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Congress plans legal cannabis vote in Sept., sources say (Newsletter: July 27, 2020)



White House official admits teen marijuana use down in legal states; NY Senate OKs cannabis expungements; TX speaker on legalization’s fiscal impact

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The House of Representatives is planning a floor vote on federal cannabis legalization for September, an aide to a key congressional committee chair and several advocates tell Marijuana Moment. There’s a complicated path ahead and a tight calendar that could complicate things, but that’s the plan, the sources say.

An official from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s National Marijuana Initiative admitted in testimony before lawmakers that teen cannabis use is going down in states that have enacted legalization—contrary to fears often raised by prohibitionists.

  • “For some reason, the use rate among this age bracket is going down. We’re not 100 percent sure why it’s going down. It’s a good thing that it’s going down, but we don’t understand why.”

The New York Senate passed a bill to make more people eligible to have their past marijuana convictions expunged.

Texas’s House speaker acknowledged the fiscal potential of legalizing marijuana but said he would vote against it due to other “costs” he feels it would create.

  • “It certainly could be a help. It could augment the shortfall. But I don’t believe it’s anywhere near a singular solution.”


Federal prosecutors are seeking a three-year prison sentence for a former Maryland delegate who pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting bribes from medical cannabis businesses.

The House of Representatives approved an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to shift $5 million from the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account to the Economic Support Fund.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office criticized marijuana banking provisions in coronavirus legislation passed by the House.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) declined the opportunity to criticize presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s refusal to support legalizing marijuana.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in a Senate floor speech that “one of the great injustices for our times was overly harsh drug laws. It was a measure passed in the 1980s and 1990s that disproportionately harmed people and communities of color.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the damage of the war on drugs got two new cosponsors for a total of 78.

Massachusetts Democratic congressional candidate Jesse Mermell tweeted, “I support nationwide cannabis legalization, expunging records for marijuana-related convictions, the SAFE Banking Act, @RepBarbaraLee’s RESPECT Resolution to promote equity in the industry and the Veterans Equal Access Act.”


Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “PA Legislature: OK legal weed would lower teen cannabis use, but a new mini casino + taxpayer subsidized petro jobs won’t, so let’s do those two. The case for marijuana prohibition grows more absurd-literally-by the day.”

The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a policing reform bill that includes the use of marijuana tax revenue to fund law enforcement training. Meanwhile, police are raking in millions of dollars working traffic details outside marijuana dispensaries.

A federal court is being asked to reconsider a ruling upholding Indiana’s ban on smokable hemp.

The Oregon therapeutic psilocybin legalization campaign is launching a new committee for military veterans.

An Arkansas judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking regulators from issuing a medical cannabis license.

New Mexico regulators are facing petitions from two more companies challenging medical cannabis rules.

Ohio regulators released applications for medical cannabis testing laboratory licenses.

Missouri regulators issued additional medical cannabis infused product manufacturing licenses.

Texas regulators published a checklist for consumable hemp products.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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 top prosecutors in Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania co-wrote an oped that says, “Although the president claims to be a champion of the 10th Amendment, his administration has treaded alarmingly on the rights of states and localities. His first attorney general spent much time saber-rattling about states that had protected immigrants and legalized marijuana.”

The Durham, North Carolina Racial Equity Task Force recommended decriminalizing marijuana.


A study of review of cannabinoids in autism spectrum disorder found results to be “promising, as cannabinoids appeared to improve problem behaviors, sleep, hyperactivity, and communication deficits, with limited cardiac and metabolic side effects” and that they generally helped to “reduce the number of prescribed medications.”

A study found that people “perceive mushrooms to be safer than heroin, cocaine, prescription painkillers, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), ecstasy, tobacco and alcohol.”


Arcadian Capital LLC is suing Cura Partners Inc. for $11.7 million it claims it is owed for introducing the company to investors who acquired it.

Employees at New England Treatment Access’s Brookline, Massachusetts dispensary voted against joining the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and the company is being accused of firing organizers.


Maroon 5’s new music video depicts the singer smoking marijuana and ends with a pro-legalization message.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone told Joe Rogan about the time he dosed his father with LSD.

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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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