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DC Dems endorse psychedelics decrim (Newsletter: October 6, 2020)

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg funds OR drug decrim; NJ gov talks up cannabis referendum; Groups push VT gov on legal marijuana sales; Another IL sales record

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg boosted an Oregon effort to decriminalize drugs and expand treatment access with a $500,000 donation from his foundation. The campaign contribution makes him the ballot measure’s second-biggest funder to date.

The District of Columbia Democratic Party endorsed a ballot measure to decriminalize psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca in the nation’s capital.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that approval of the state’s marijuana legalization ballot referendum will raise revenue and create jobs but is primarily a social justice move that will reduce racially disparate arrests.

  • “Low-end drug crimes are the biggest reason, by far, that we have young persons of color, especially young men of color, in our criminal justice system. Beyond that, this is a potential significant, over time, revenue item for the state and a source of job growth, which are also positives. I hope we’ll see it pass in November.”

A coalition of civil rights and criminal justice reform groups—including the ACLU of Vermont—is urging Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) to sign marijuana sales legalization and expungements legislation into law. The organizations are pushing back against others that say he should veto the cannabis commercialization bill because it doesn’t go far enough to ensure racial equity in the industry.

Illinois again saw record-breaking marijuana sales in September, with more than 1.4 million recreational cannabis products sold during the month, worth a total of more than $67.6 million. Nearly $18 million of that was purchased by out-of-state residents.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani again criticized Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) marijuana enforcement record as a prosecutor.

Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) called out House COVID legislation for mentioning marijuana more than jobs.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is a question of criminal justice reform. Black residents are 3x more likely to be charged for marijuana possession than white residents. It’s time to right this wrong.”

Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) tweeted, “The MORE Act is a good first step in the fight to fix decades of damage done to minority communities by the harmful War on Drugs.” He also tweeted, “The legalization of marijuana is both a criminal and a racial justice issue. That’s why I am a proud cosponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which removes marijuana from the list of Schedule I federally controlled substances.”

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) said that “a COVID relief bill is also not the place to tackle…marijuana policies.”

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham exchanged text messages of a sexual nature with the media director for Potnt, which is a PR firm that services cannabis companies.

Missouri Republican congressional candidate Ryan Derks said he wants to “repeal the war on drugs.”

North Carolina Republican and Democratic congressional candidates agreed on supporting marijuana legalization during a debate.

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) appointed additional members to the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board.

Illinois regulators are being sued by successful marijuana business license finalists who want to block losing applicants from getting a chance to revise their proposals.

Montana marijuana activists hosted a press conference about how the state’s marijuana legalization ballot initiatives would benefit public lands.

South Dakota activists released a video ad in support of the state’s medical cannabis and marijuana legalization ballot measures.

California regulators are now accepting applications for marijuana revenue-funded grants to promote public health and economic justice for communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Maine regulators published guidance about the reconfiguration of the state’s marijuana inventory tracking system.

Washington State regulators published a list of approved pesticides for use in marijuana production.

Massachusetts regulators authored a letter to the editor defending the state’s marijuana edibles rules.

Oregon regulators published a bulletin on verification of compliance for marijuana businesses.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Carlisle Borough, Pennsylvania Council is considering a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

The Hackettstown, New Jersey Police Department used its official Twitter account to campaign against the state’s marijuana legalization referendum before deleting the tweet.

The Albany County, New York district attorney authored an op-ed in support of legalizing marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Eighty French lawmakers wrote an open letter opposing marijuana legalization.

A Colombian lawmaker spoke about his reasons for sponsoring marijuana legalization legislation that is advancing.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study “supports CBD as an adjunctive treatment for children with [treatment-resistant epilepsy]” and found that “decreases in major seizure frequency and an increase in seizure-free days compared with baseline were reported during treatment.”

A study “identified racial/ethnic and gender disparities in a large county’s cannabis diversion program.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand adults support the nation’s marijuana legalization referendum, 49%-45%.

NORML is hosting its annual conference digitally on October 22 and 23.

Transform published a book on how to legally regulate stimulants.

/ BUSINESS

Vireo Health International, Inc.’s chief strategy officer resigned and stepped down from its board of directors.

420 Investments Ltd. announced it obtained litigation funding for its breach of contract case against Tilray Inc. and High Park Shops Inc.

Bhang Corp. settled a lawsuit that alleged it misrepresented cannabinoid content in its products.

Field Trip Health Ltd. will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange on Tuesday.

Youngevity International might be delisted from the NASDAQ because its stock has fallen below $1.

/ CULTURE

Football player Jamal Adams appeared to tweet and then delete a photo of himself with a joint nearby.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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