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Biden touts cannabis move in campaign speech (Newsletter: October 19, 2022)



OK special marijuana election; WH drug director: Cannabis has medical benefits; Booker on psychedelics; San Antonio decrim; PA hemp promotion grants

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President Joe Biden, in a pre-midterms political rally, touted that he is “keeping my promise that no one should be in jail merely for using or possessing marijuana.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said separately that the administration doesn’t have any update to share on the timeline for next steps on the president’s cannabis actions.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) called a special election for March 7, 2023 for the marijuana legalization initiative that missed this November’s ballot amid legal challenges and printing deadlines.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta said marijuana “clearly” has medical benefits and that it’ll be “really important to follow the science” for federal agencies that are carrying out the review of cannabis’s scheduling status that was recently directed by President Joe Biden.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) posted a video about his efforts to make psychedelic therapy more accessible for “constructive application” by people with PTSD, depression and other conditions. Psilocybin and MDMA are showing “incredible results” in trials, he said.

San Antonio, Texas activists launched a campaign to put a measure on the May 2023 local ballot to decriminalize marijuana and abortion while banning no-knock warrants and police chokeholds. Voters in five other Texas cities will vote on cannabis decriminalization initiatives next month.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is providing $200,000 in grant funds for projects “aimed at increasing sales, export or consumer awareness of Pennsylvania hemp products.”


A Department of Energy administrative judge upheld the removal of a contractor’s security clearance eligibility over his use of medical cannabis for back pain.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) tweeted, “Legalize marijuana. Expunge all records. End the racist ‘War on Drugs.'”


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) defended his cheering of law enforcement marijuana busts in response to attacks during a debate from Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) appointed an executive director for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Separately, a former member of Stitt’s Council on Science and Innovation was charged with illegal involvement in marijuana businesses, prompting a spokesperson for the governor’s reelection campaign to say that the state’s medical cannabis law “created far too many opportunities for fraud, which is why Governor Stitt has been working with the legislature to strengthen law enforcement’s ability to track and stop bad actors.”

A spokesperson for U.S. Virgin Islands Gov.Albert Bryan Jr. reiterated his support for legalizing marijuana.

The Arkansas marijuana legalization campaign raised $850,000 in September, though anti-legalization committees have more cash on hand.

The Louisiana legislature’s Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force met. Separately, the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus spoke about cannabis legalization as a priority.

A California senator spoke with Dr. Phil about his legislation to allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Washington State Department of Commerce launched a new Social Equity in Cannabis Technical Assistance Program.

Alabama regulators received 607 requests for medical cannabis business license applications.

Oregon regulators will host a Psilocybin Fall Business Forum on Wednesday.

Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Review Panel will discuss petitions to add new qualifying conditions on Thursday.

Tennessee’s Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Thursday.


The Forest Park, Ohio City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.


Yukon, Canada’s government completed the handover of all cannabis sales to the private sector.

A Costa Rican lawmaker discussed the benefits of legalizing marijuana.


A study found that a “water-soluble cannabis-based medicine provided acceptable bioavailability for Δ9-THC/CBD, appeared safe and tolerable in advanced incurable cancers with uncontrolled pain with preliminary evidence of analgesic efficacy.”

A study of the impact of Oregon’s drug decriminalization law found that “public-initiated calls for service did not change” after it was enacted and tha “Portland 911 calls for service data align with comparison cities for property, disorderly, and vice offenses, with similar seasonal fluctuations.”


The Republican National Committee posted a Twitter thread examining Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman’s position on drug decriminalization.

The chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party said he is opposed to the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

Akron, Ohio NAACP’s president is calling on Gov. Mike DeWine (R) to follow President Joe Biden’s lead in pardoning people for marijuana.

The National Institute of Military Justice’s president authored an op-ed urging President Joe Biden to extend his marijuana pardon proclamation to cover people convicted by military courts.

The Boston Globe editorial board criticized Massachusetts regulators over a lack of transparency about the death of a Trulieve employee.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board said President Joe Biden’s cannabis pardons proclamation was a good symbolic step but broader changes are needed.


Leafly is cutting its workforce by more than a fifth.

POSaBIT Systems Corporation previewed a quarterly financial report it will release by the end of next month, saying it will be the company’s first-ever quarter with more than $10 million in revenue.


Redman and Dead Prez’s M1 will participate in a rally at the White House on Monday to call on President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of people in prison for marijuana.

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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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