Connect with us


Bloomberg says jail for cannabis is “dumb” (Newsletter: February 4, 2020)



Colorado’s new marijuana banking plan; Yang again promises pardons for drug offenses; Illinois sold $40 million in legal cannabis in 1st month

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Get our daily newsletter.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,183 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), a presidential candidate, said that locking people up for marijuana is “dumb.” He previously called legalizing cannabis “perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done.” The latest comments came in response to a reporter who asked him, “Are the people of Colorado stupid for legalizing it?”

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang seems to have changed the scope of his clemency plan again, saying he’d pardon everyone jailed “for a non-violent drug-related offense.” He previously made a similar pledge but then walked it back to cover only people convicted for marijuana. Yang’s two young sons were on stage when he made the most recent comments.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and state officials unveiled a “roadmap” aimed at increasing the number of banks that work with marijuana businesses by 20%. At a press conference announcing the plan, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said “we expect movement” on congressional cannabis banking legislation and referenced changes floated by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, saying, “we can work with many of his particular points.”

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported that retailers sold nearly $40 million worth of recreational marijuana—that’s 972,045 individual products—in the first month of legal sales. That includes $8.6 million sold to out-of-state residents.


The Department of Veterans Affairs was reportedly considering a marijuana research partnership with Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian investor who has since been indicted for allegedly pursuing cannabis licenses and political donations illegally funded by a Russian national.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released the 2020 National Drug Control Strategy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit declined to reconsider a ruling saying that a marijuana company must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Marijuana is and remains federally illegal. My office enforces all laws including marijuana laws. New revenues aren’t free revenues and federal prohibition remains in effect. Public safety, protecting children, auto safety and other issues are critical considerations.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We must finally put an end to the disastrous, so-called ‘War on Drugs.’ This includes legalizing marijuana, releasing those imprisoned because of it, expunging their records, and investing in the communities devastated by this decades-long assault.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) spoke at the grand opening of a new medical cannabis dispensary.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke at a press conference about the certification of regenerative organic cannabis production.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “Yes, we need to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide. It’s also time we expunged the records and sought amnesty for those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalize marijuana. End mass incarceration. Give people tools and support, not draconian sentences.”


Connecticut Gov. New Lamont (D) said he will let lawmakers “take the lead” on legalizing marijuana and that he’s not counting on any recreational cannabis revenue in the budget proposal he will release this week.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and the state’s Department for Local Government  announced a $1 million grant for a hemp and CBD company.

Minnesota’s House speaker said she isn’t sure if her chamber will pass a marijuana legalization bill this year.

A Georgia appeals court ruled that a police officer did not have reasonable suspicion to search a juvenile due to the smell of marijuana.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill to let regulators review agreements between marijuana businesses and the municipalities that host them.

California regulators are accepting public comment on proposed quick response code rules for marijuana businesses.

Pennsylvania regulators issued an updated list of doctors certified to recommend medical cannabis.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


The Las Cruces, New Mexico City Council adopted a resolution supporting statewide marijuana legalization.


South Africa’s finance minister tweeted pictures of marijuana plants growing on his property and essentially dared police to arrest him.


A study found that “one third of women would consider the use of marijuana for labor pain, although many are unsure of its effects” and that “most women would feel comfortable discussing this topic with their obstetrician.”

A study concluded that “in Uruguay, the 2013 legislation legalizing recreational cannabis consumption may have been associated with an increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes, particularly in light motor‐vehicle drivers and urban settings.”


Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. completed its acquisition of Select and announced several leadership changes.

Cresco Labs announced it closed a $100 million senior secured term loan with a mutual option to increase to $200 million.


Actress Whoopi Goldberg resigned from the marijuana company she cofounded, Whoopi & Maya, leading to it ceasing operations altogether.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

Get our daily newsletter.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Become a patron at Patreon!

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.


Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Get our daily newsletter.