European Parliament OKs medical marijuana measure; Congressional banking hearing highlights; New bill legalizes medical cannabis for veterans
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There are now 649 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The European Parliament approved a medical marijuana resolution.
- “Regulation of cannabis-based medicines would translate into additional resources for public authorities, would limit the black market and ensure quality and accurate labelling to help control points of sale, would limit the access of this substance to minors, and would ensure legal certainty and safe access for patients for its medicinal use, with particular precautions being in place for young people and pregnant women..”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) filed legislation that would federally legalize medical marijuana for military veterans.
The House Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee held a lengthy hearing on marijuana businesses’ access to banks. Lawmakers and witnesses covered public safety and equity issues, and even whether banks have to handle cash that smells like weed.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she has no problem with a president smoking marijuana.
- “You’re not hurting anybody… There is nothing more inherently damaging about marijuana than legal substances like alcohol.”
A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration official argued that marijuana’s risks are “downplayed by the marijuana industry and ignored by the states.”
A federal judge ruled that Walmart improperly terminated an Arizona employee for state-legal medical cannabis use.
The chairman of the Department of Justice’s Marijuana Working Group spoke about his views on cannabis enforcement.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted that he will oppose the nomination of William Barr for attorney general, saying he can’t back someone “who supports the failed war on drugs.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued in an op-ed that the U.S. has an “obligation” to support the Colombian president’s anti-drug strategy.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted in support of a hemp commercialization and industrialization bill.
Florida’s agriculture commissioner authored an op-ed on the need to allow patients to smoke medical cannabis.
Kentucky’s secretary of state is encouraging voters to pressure lawmakers into approving medical cannabis.
Virginia judges are blocking the top Norfolk prosecutor’s plan to not pursue certain marijuana cases.
Oklahoma’s bicameral Medical Marijuana Working Group finalized a bill to reform the state’s medical cannabis law.
The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee released a revised draft of a bill to legalize marijuana sales.
The New York Legislature held a joint budget hearing on legalizing marijuana.
A Pennsylvania representative held a Facebook live chat about his marijuana legalization bill.
Arkansas regulators released a public health advisory about the risks of using marijuana products. Meanwhile, the House Rules Committee defeated a bill to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions. Separately, regulators were sued over the alleged failure to investigate claims against marijuana businesses.
Michigan regulators projected that medical cannabis sales could generate $18.2 million in tax revenue for the current fiscal year.
Utah’s largest healthcare provider is moving to allow its doctors to recommend medical cannabis.
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The New York City City Council will consider a proposal to ban many employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. Meanwhile, the Council speaker is criticizing health officials’ crackdown on CBD products.
The Hartford, Connecticut City Council approved a plan to form a working group to study equity in the marijuana industry.
Salem, West Virginia activists say they have collected enough signatures to place a marijuana decriminalization measure on the June ballot.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A review concluded that “adolescent cannabis consumption was associated with increased risk of developing depression and suicidal behavior later in life, even in the absence of a premorbid condition,” though “individual-level risk remains moderate to low” and “there was no association with anxiety.”
/ OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll found that more Californians trust marijuana dispensaries and cannabis growers than social media companies. It also showed that 53% think the marijuana industry fuels some or a great deal of their local economies.
A partner at a lobbying firm formerly engaged by Weedmaps—who also happens to be the chairman of anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana—denied claims that he has profited off an industry whose existence he opposes.
Joe Rogan hosted a debate on his podcast between anti-marijuana author Alex Berenson and Dr. Mike Hart.
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