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Banking lobby group surfaces cannabis issues (Newsletter: Oct. 16, 2018)



Marijuana science grows faster than general research; Melissa Etheridge on art & cannabis activism; Fed prosecutor floats charging real estate agents

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The American Bankers Association is surveying its members to collect stories about the problems they face in opening accounts for marijuana businesses. The move could be a signal that the group is preparing to ramp up lobbying on cannabis issues.

  • “Answers will be used by ABA and State Banking Associations to help illustrate to regulators and legislators the need for greater clarity.”

A new scientific review finds that legalization seems to be driving more research on marijuana, with the number of cannabis studies per year increasing at a much higher rate than the growth of research in general.

  • “The spike in medical publications on medical cannabis that began in 2013 is impressive and encouraging.”

Melissa Etheridge spoke about the role of activism and art in the cannabis reform movement in an  interview with Marijuana Moment:

  • “It has been many decades of misinformation telling us that cannabis is evil… These are different times and it’s possible to think differently about this medicine.”


The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that Detroit police didn’t have free rein to shoot a woman’s dogs during a drug raid just because they weren’t licensed.

The outgoing U.S. attorney for Colorado said that it would not be “far fetched” to prosecute real estate personnel who know that their customers are buying properties for the purposes of growing marijuana.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy designated 10 additional areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said she supports Michigan’s marijuana legalization ballot measure. Republican Senate challenger John James said that while he won’t vote for the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, he’ll support the will of the voters and is calling for more research into medical cannabis as an opioid alternative.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “We should call this country’s war on drugs what it really is: a war on communities of color. It’s time to end this discrimination. We need to pass the Marijuana Justice Act.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Democratic challenger Matt Longjohn debated marijuana legalization.

Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) and Democratic challenger Ben McAdams debated medical cannabis.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “In 2001, only 31 percent of Americans supported marijuana legalization. Today, over six-in-ten Americans are in support. The tide has clearly turned. We need to end prohibition, expunge prior convictions, and reinvest in the communities most ravaged by the drug war.”

New Mexico Republican Senate candidate Mick Rich criticized Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for suggesting that legal marijuana can reduce opioid issues.

Utah Democratic Senate candidate Jenny Wilson tweeted her support for legalizing medical cannabis.

Utah Democratic congressional candidate James Courage Singer endorsed the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure.

Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Sarah Smith tweeted, “We can’t fight the opioid crisis without legalizing cannabis. 🌿We can’t treat addiction like a health crisis without decriminalizing drug use. 🏥 We can’t fight for women’s autonomy without legalizing & protecting sex work. 👠”

New Mexico Democratic congressional candidate Deb Haaland tweeted, “I have been vocal about my support for the legalization of marijuana because people of color have been targeted disproportionately for non-violent crimes for far too long. For-profit prisons are exploiting people of color through mass incarceration, we must end this.”


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) tweeted about how his administration has “lifted restrictions on industrial hemp.” Separately, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker touted his support for legalizing marijuana during a debate.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) and Republican challenger Andria Tupola debated marijuana policy.

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous and his comedian friend Dave Chappelle spoke about marijuana legalization during a CNN interview.

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate James Smith sent a press release blasting incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster (R) for opposing medical cannabis.

Minnesota Democratic attorney general candidate Keith Ellison, currently a congressman, got the endorsement of the Legalize Cannabis Party candidate after calling for legalization.

Opponents of Utah’s medical cannabis ballot initiative agreed to postpone action in their lawsuit against the measure until after Election Day.

Four New York Assembly committees will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization on Tuesday.

Guam regulators will make forms available to register for home cultivation of medical cannabis on Tuesday.

Montana regulators issued a rule setting a maximum amount of space on which medical cannabis providers can grow.

Alabama Securities Commission sent an alert cautioning investors about “schemes and risks” associated with marijuana-related investments.

Alaska regulators will consider a resolution on separating marijuana for personal use from cannabis grow for commercial sales on Tuesday.

Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee will meet next week.

Oregon regulators will meet next week to consider marijuana rule changes.

California regulators will host a workshop on water access issues and requirements for marijuana growers on Tuesday.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s mayor said that legalizing marijuana is a step toward solving inequality.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leaders of other political parties said they don’t plan to use or purchase marijuana when it becomes legal this week.

The head of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board said Canada’s legalization of marijuana contravenes international law.


A review demonstrated “good tolerability and safety of cannabidiol in humans and animals” and “the positive effect of the substance in various conditions, inflammatory and oncological.”

A survey found that 65% of Minnesota oncology physicians, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants support the use of medical cannabis.


The Detroit News editorial board is opposing the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure.

The Tulsa World editorial board is calling on Congress to allow medical cannabis.


Canopy Growth Corporation is acquiring the assets of ebbu, Inc.

Instagram continues to arbitrarily disable marijuana-related accounts.

Hugh Hefner’s belongings are being auctioned off, with the proceeds going to his foundation, which supports the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project.


The National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association don’t plan changes to the league’s marijuana policy in light of Canada’s legalization.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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