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DC legal cannabis bill filed despite federal rider (Newsletter: Jan. 9, 2019)



Poll: 2020 primary voters value legal marijuana; CO gov says federal legalization “inevitable”; Sen. Harris talks marijuana in new book

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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) writes in her new book that marijuana should be legalized and past cannabis convictions should be expunged. She also seems to imply that she might support decriminalizing other drugs:

  • “When someone is suffering from addiction, their situation is made worse, not better, by involvement in the criminal justice system.”

A Washington, D.C. councilmember filed a marijuana legalization bill in defiance of an ongoing congressional rider preventing the city from spending its own money to legalize and regulate cannabis sales, saying he “invite[s] the federal government to arrest us for doing our jobs.”

A poll asked likely New Hampshire 2020 Democratic primary voters to rank their most important issues—and more chose marijuana legalization than picked education, jobs or voting rights. Among voters who chose cannabis as their top issue, about 47% back Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) had programs printed on hemp paper at his inauguration. He also told CNN that federal marijuana legalization is “inevitable.”

New Hampshire lawmakers filed legislation to authorize medical marijuana home cultivation, to allow medical cannabis for opioid addiction and misuse and to clear criminal and court records for marijuana possession convictions that occurred prior to decriminalization.


President Trump claimed in a prime time televised speech that his proposed Mexican border wall would stop drug smuggling.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent said the impact of a Texas marijuana decriminalization bill “would be comparable to what you see in other states that have legalized marijuana where you have an increase in violent crimes and property crimes.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said the 116th Congress will be the “most pro-cannabis Congress in history.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) included her support for “an end to the war on drugs and for-profit prisons” in her Congressional Hispanic Caucus bio.


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he is “absolutely and adamantly opposed to” legalizing marijuana.

The Arizona Supreme Court agreed to take up a case concerning the legality of medical cannabis extracts.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands senators deferred action on marijuana legalization amendments.

Rhode Island’s House majority leader spoke about the prospects of legalizing marijuana in the state this year. (About 27:40 into the video.)

Connecticut’s House Republican leader said that legalizing marijuana “will not solve our underlying financial problems.” Separately, medical cannabis businesses are pushing the state Elections Enforcement Commission to allow them to make political campaign contributions.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s policy committee declined to vote on a proposal clarifying that companies can’t own more than one of each category of marijuana business licenses.

A pediatric care nurse joined Arkansas’s medical cannabis regulatory body.

New Mexico lawmakers are considering legislation to create employment protections for medical cannabis patients.

North Dakota regulators released draft medical cannabis dispensary application materials for additional parts of the state. Separately, lawmakers filed a bill to place limits on the amount of medical marijuana products patients can have.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board’s public safety subcommittee will discuss marijuana social use areas and home delivery on Wednesday.

A Pennsylvania senator tweeted a photo of a meeting where he and fellow lawmakers were finishing the “final stages” of marijuana legalization legislation.

A Virginia delegate is pushing for marijuana law reform.

North Carolina regulators awarded funding for hemp research programs.

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

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The latest New York City marijuana arrest data continues to show racial disparities in enforcement.

Chicago, Illinois mayoral candidate Susana Mendoza (D), currently the state comptroller, included marijuana legalization in her campaign plan.

Hartford, Connecticut’s mayor tweeted, “If marijuana is going to be legalized, those communities that have born the brunt of the war on drugs must benefit from the jobs, from the ownership opportunities, and from the revenue that legal sales generate. Communities of color have been damaged disproportionately by the war on drugs for decades, and there is no question that those communities should benefit disproportionately from legalization.”


Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the government will unveil a development program for marijuana farmers in the first quarter of this year.

The Chilean Senate Health Committee is considering medical cannabis legislation.

The Panama Assembly’s Health Commission began discussion medical cannabis legislation.

The Wall Street Journal examines the expansion of Greece’s medical cannabis industry.


Marijuana prohibitionist Paul Chabot said, “Just because something doesn’t work doesn’t mean that we end it.”


The Lexington Herald-Leader editorial board is calling on Kentucky lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

The Boston Herald editorial board is concerned about moves to allow psilocybin in Denver, Colorado and Oregon.


One of MedMen’s largest outside shareholders and a former board member are suing the company and its executives for alleged breach of fiduciary duties.

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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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