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Dems forming consensus on legalizing cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 15, 2018)



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Gillibrand backs Booker bill; WH aide resigns over marijuana use; WA gov weighs pardons for cannabis

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U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a potential 2020 presidential candidate, signed on as the latest cosponsor of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) Marijuana Justice Act.

Gillibrand also voiced clear support for legalizing marijuana outright, signaling that ending cannabis prohibition is becoming a mainstream consensus position in the Democratic Party.


George David Banks resigned from the White House National Economic Council after he wasn’t able to get a security clearance due to past marijuana use.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is opposing criminal justice reform legislation being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

A federal judge weighing a lawsuit against marijuana’s Schedule I status did not immediately rule on the government’s motion to dismiss the case following oral arguments.

The president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, speaking outside the White House after a meeting with President Trump, said that marijuana leads people to use other drugs.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Godlatte (R-VA) may cosponsor a pending marijuana research bill being filed by Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). In an interview, Gaetz decried the fact that “too many Republicans here in Washington have just reflexive opposition to any type of cannabis reform.”

Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) endorsed legalizing marijuana.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana legalization leads to fewer opioid deaths, safer communities, and economic growth.”

The U.S. House bill to prevent federal agencies from punishing people complying with state marijuana laws got two new cosponsors, for a total of nine.

The U.S. House bill to restrict civil asset forfeiture funds from being used for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication / Suppression Program got one new cosponsor, for a total of four.

A Wisconsin Indian tribe filed a federal lawsuit against the state attorney general over his objection to their hemp cultivation plans.


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said he would consider pardoning everyone convicted of minor marijuana crimes.

Florida advocates filed a lawsuit against the state’s restrictive medical cannabis licensing scheme.

The Colorado House Finance Committee voted 8 to 5 to approve a bill allowing marijuana deliveries.

The Missouri House General Laws Committee approved a medical cannabis bill.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force released a draft report, with a vote on adopting it expected later this month.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is urging regulators to not immediately move forward with proposed rules to allow marijuana social use areas and delivery services, the latest development in the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) escalating pushback against the Cannabis Control Commission.

The New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill.

Connecticut representatives filed two marijuana legalization bills.

A California assemblymember introduced a bill directing regulators to “establish guidelines for licensed veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabis on animal patient clients.” Separately, Rolling Stone looks at how the state is making it difficult for Native American tribes to obtain marijuana business licenses.

A Wisconsin representative plans to introduce a bill barring employers from urine testing for THC or disqualifying people for jobs based on testing positive for marijuana.

Michigan regulators released a spreadsheet tracking municipal medical cannabis licensing.


The Easton, Pennsylvania City Council is considering a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Cook County, Illinois Commissioner John Fritchey (D) released a video about his use of medical cannabis and support for marijuana legalization.

Los Angeles, California police cracked down on unlicensed marijuana shops.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced a series of questions about the government’s marijuana legalization plans from members of Parliament.

The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines government is exploring allowing medical cannabis but is opposed to recreational legalization.


Massachusetts marijuana legalization activists will hold a Thursday press conference to push back against Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) “coordinated intimidation campaign” against regulators.


A review found that “cannabinoids may have modest effects in [multiple sclerosis] for pain or spasticity.”


Molson Coors Brewing Co. said in a federal filing that marijuana legalization “could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.”

The Wall Street Journal looks at marijuana-focused streaming services like 420TV and Burn TV.

The Federalist Society released a video examining the marijuana industry’s banking access issues.

/ CULTURE     

Netflix marijuana series “Disjointed” was canceled.

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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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