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FDA boss signals support for cannabis decriminalization (Newsletter: Sep. 10, 2018)

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Did Obama smoke marijuana at Disneyland?; Booker gets Kavanaugh to read drug war book; Air Force looking into Elon Musk’s cannabis consumption

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  • Colin B M Wood of Citizen’s Freedom Blog: “I support Marijuana Moment and their every man’s battle to get marijuana legalized across the United States, and considered a medical treatment. After 30 years of entertaining on stage, and television, I was hit with Sarcoidosis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Tremors (with a possibility of Early Onset Parkinsons). I treat daily with marijuana and when I can, with the amazing CBD oil, you can find anywhere online. Without marijuana, I wouldn’t be able to walk, or talk properly, and my depression and anxiety would have taken me years ago. Thanks Tom for your support and fight for legalization!”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb signaled support in a TV interview for decriminalizing, but not legalizing, marijuana.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)  convinced Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to read the book “The New Jim Crow,” which exposes the racially disproportionate enforcement of marijuana criminalization and the war on drugs.

Speaking at a rally, former President Barack Obama shared a story about getting  kicked out of Disneyland for smoking when he was in college. While he explained that it was for cigarettes instead of for marijuana, some people in the crowd and on Twitter didn’t really believe it. Watch the video and you be the judge.

/ FEDERAL

A review by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that a Drug Enforcement Administration effort to license more growers of marijuana for research violated United Nations drug treaties.

The U.S. Air Force is reportedly looking into Elon Musk’s on-camera marijuana use because his company SpaceX is a federal contractor and cannabis consumption is prohibited by people with security clearances. The military branch hasn’t yet begun a formal investigation and is taking “time to determine the facts and the appropriate process to handle the situation.”

A bipartisan group of 14 U.S. House members sent a letter urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop blocking marijuana research cultivation applications. It is reportedly at least the 15th such letter sent to him about the issue from members of Congress.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “We’ve got a long way to go before we right the wrongs of America’s failed war on drugs, which has allowed the legal discrimination of communities of color for too long. But I’m co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act because it’s a great start. Let’s fight for what’s right.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congressman David Joyce (R-OH) expressed optimism about the future of marijuana reform at a conference.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Medical marijuana is the frontier for PTSD treatment for veterans and yet Congress will not allow it to be researched. I’m cosponsoring the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 in order to begin researching how we can provide the best care possible for our nation’s bravest.”

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) tweeted, “Medical marijuana is not an answer for the #opioidcrisis.”

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Democratic challenger Mitsch Bush debated military veterans’ access to medical cannabis.

The U.S. House bill to respect state marijuana laws got two new cosponsors, for a total of 29.

New York Democratic congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley said she supports legalizing marijuana.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) spoke about the success of marijuana legalization in his state and the challenges presented by federal prohibition. Separately, a former Marijuana Enforcement Division official and a former state assistant attorney general are urging the state to reconsider its restrictive rules on cannabis business ownership.

Vermont’s marijuana legalization study committee will meet on Monday.

New Mexico’s health secretary approved adding obstructive sleep apnea as a medical cannabis qualifying condition, but rejected adding opioid addiction, muscular dystrophy, Tourette’s syndrome, eczema and psoriasis. Separately, regulators are holding a series of public meeting next month to receive feedback on proposed hemp rules.

Kansas Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach made a reference to Doritos when discussing his opposition to medical cannabis and marijuana legalization.

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon tweeted, “Marijuana has been legal for white people for a long time. It’s time to make it legal for everyone else.”

Utah prohibitionists are defending their radio ad against the state’s medical cannabis ballot initiative, which was been criticized as misleading.

A Pennsylvania lawyer is mounting a longshot bid to get a court to invalidate the criminalization of marijuana.

Ohio regulators missed a weekend deadline for making the state’s medical cannabis program “fully operational.”

Kentucky lawmakers held an interim hearing about medical cannabis.

California regulators released an explainer about the state’s marijuana track-and-trace system. And here’s a look at cannabis bills sitting on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

Here’s a look at ongoing efforts in North Dakota to implement medical cannabis.

/ LOCAL

Los Angeles, California officials announced they charged 515 people in connection with 105 illegal marijuana businesses.

Brooklyn, New York’s district attorney is moving to expunge thousands of marijuana convictions. And Manhattan’s district attorney is moving to vacate misdemeanor marijuana warrants.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Nigerian presidential candidate says he will make the country a marijuana exporting hub if elected.

Scottish officials will meet with medical cannabis advocates this month.

Here’s a look at how Portugal’s drug decriminalization law is going.

/ ADVOCACY

The South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance is ramping up the push to legalize medical cannabis in 2019.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “constituents of cannabis, such as cannabidiol and Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol, have shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hepatoprotective effects both in in vitro and clinical studies, and appear to have potential in the symptom management and treatment of various liver diseases that were previously considered difficult to manage conservatively.”

JAMA Internal Medicine printed three letters debating the impact of state marijuana laws on opioid death rates.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Florida likely voters found that they support medical cannabis, 74%-21%, and legalizing marijuana, 49%-42%.

The Portland Press Herald editorial board is calling on Congress to pass legislation respecting state marijuana laws.

/ BUSINESS

Massachusetts health regulators ordered Good Chemistry of Massachusetts to cease activities over concerns that its medical cannabis products are tainted with pesticides.

Maryland medical cannabis business owners are demanding answers about recent Metrc tracking system outages.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how some CEOs are embracing marijuana while many remain reluctant.

/ CULTURE

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is partnering with the Cannabis Voter Project, which tracks where politicians stand on marijuana reform.

Actors Jason Sudeikis slammed the racially disproportionate enforcement of drug laws.

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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.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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Group representing 19,000 US cities pushes cannabis rescheduling (Newsletter: Nov. 14, 2018)

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Michelle Obama talks smoking marijuana; New veterans & cannabis bills in Congress; Why women back legalization less than men

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  • Freelance cannabis writer Abbie Rosner: “With the industry evolving so quickly, Marijuana Moment helps me produce content that is informed and up to speed.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The National League of Cities—which represents the U.S.’s 19,000 cities, towns and villages— adopted resolutions calling for federal marijuana rescheduling and access to banks for cannabis businesses.

Top lawmakers in Illinois and New Mexico expressed optimism about newly elected governors’ plans to legalize marijuana in 2019.

In a new filing, the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates it wants to hire a new company to:

  • Grow 2,000 kg of marijuana
  • Develop new cannabis cultivation methods
  • Produce THC/CBD extracts
  • Make oral solutions, oils, vaping fluids, capsules/tablets

Former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote about smoking marijuana in her new memoir released on Tuesday, a subject she also discussed in a TV interview.

A new study examines why women are less likely to support legalizing marijuana than men. Contrary to one hypothesis, it has nothing to do with motherhood.

Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are filing three new separate bills on medical cannabis for military veterans.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump is reportedly leaning in favor of backing congressional criminal justice reform legislation.

Newly released documents show that shortly after 9/11 the Central Intelligence Agency considered using a drug it thought might work like a truth serum and force terror suspects to give up information about potential attacks.

The federal trial against Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman began.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “I’ve long supported legislation to give our #veterans access to medical #cannabis. We should empower VA medical personnel to discuss all options for treatments with their patients and promote research. The R’s have blocked this from progressing.”

/ STATES

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura met with Gov.-elect Tim Walz (D) and urged him to push for marijuana legalization. He also suggested the slogan “pot for potholes.”

Ohio regulators released an update on the rollout of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Colorado regulators released guidance about new marijuana rules going into effect on January 1.

Oklahoma regulators have already collected nearly $6.57 million in medical cannabis application fees.

A Wisconsin representative plans to file a marijuana legalization bill in January.

The Washington, D.C. Council chairman said that smoking marijuana doesn’t have victims and shouldn’t be a crime.

Arkansas regulators are responding to public criticism about a lack of transparency in the medical cannabis licensing process.

/ LOCAL

The Jackson County, Missouri prosecutor said she will stop pursuing most marijuana possession cases.

Some Michigan municipalities are already moving to opt out of allowing legal marijuana sales, at least temporarily.

Here’s a look at how Oregon municipalities voted on marijuana regulation ballot measures last week.

Two people were shot and killed in an apparent attempted robbery at an unlicensed Los Angeles, California marijuana dispensary.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s cabinet approved medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “an advantage of [medical cannabis therapy] in [fibromyalgia] patients with [low back pain] as compared with [standardised analgesic therapy].

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is conducting a study on CBD and youth seizures.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Indiana adults found that when given options, 39% support legalizing marijuana, 42% back medical cannabis and 16% don’t want it legal at all. Separately, 78% said that if marijuana is not legalized, people still should not be sent to jail for it. The survey also showed that people see cannabis as less of problem than other drugs, including alcohol.

A poll found that the majority of Canadians want the minimum age for cannabis use to be higher than 18 years old.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray’s earnings report showed lower than expected sales.

Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the growing number of companies interested in making cannabis beverages.

/ CULTURE

Actor Michael Colyar spoke about visiting Mike Tyson’s marijuana farm.

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Texas cannabis decrim bill filed for new session (Newsletter: Nov. 13, 2018)

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Marijuana opponents’ misleading ad allegedly pulled off air; Feds researching lesser-known cannabinoids & terpenes; Ojeda running for president

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 340 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A Texas representative pre-filed a marijuana decriminalization bill for the upcoming 2019 legislative session. Several other cannabis-related pieces of legislation were also introduced.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a federal agency, announced that it is funding research into how minor cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana like CBN, CBG, limonene and others can treat pain.

It appears that several Michigan TV stations pulled anti-marijuana ads off the air in the lead-up to Election Day after being informed that prohibitionists were making factually incorrect claims about the state’s legalization ballot measure.

/ FEDERAL

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators reached a deal on criminal justice reform legislation, with support from the White House potentially coming this week.

The Department of Health and Human Services said a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration that two chemicals in kratom should be classified as Schedule I substances.

The Food and Drug Administration is pursuing a ban on menthol cigarettes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is optimistic about the chances of passing marijuana banking legislation.

West Virginia State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), who sponsored the state’s successful medical cannabis bill and support broader marijuana legalization, filed to run for president just days after losing a congressional race.

/ STATES

Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz (D) and the incoming House speaker said that the state will consider legalizing marijuana in 2019.

Opponents of Michigan’s successful marijuana legalization ballot measure are vowing to fight to ban cannabis commerce in municipalities across the state. Meanwhile, Michigan State University said marijuana possession will remain prohibited on campus.

An Indiana senator plans to file several marijuana reform bills.

Concerns are being raised over Oklahoma regulators’ decision to publish information about medical cannabis license holders.

The Colorado man who murdered his wife after eating a marijuana edible in 2014 continued to insist that cannabis is to blame in an interview from behind bars.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Here’s a look at how public outcry over a Malaysian death sentence for a man selling cannabis oil has prompted the country to rethink capital punishment.

The Israeli health ministry is allowing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for medical cannabis beginning in March.

Canadian political observers say that support for marijuana legalization could put Liberal members of Parliament who represent districts with high proportions of Chinese-Canadians at risk of not being reelected.

The Thai government is shooting down a foreign company’s bid to monopolize patents on cannabis.

Ecuadorian lawmakers are considering medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of medical cannabis patients found that about two-thirds “reported at least one moderate or severe withdrawal symptom” and that “the most commonly observed symptom was sleep difficulties (50.3%), followed by anxiety (27.8%), irritability (26.7%), and appetite disturbance (25.2%)” but that “no association was observed between physical functioning and withdrawal symptom endorsement.”

A study concluded that “legalization of recreational cannabis does not affect compliance rate in patients treated with opioid therapy for chronic pain.”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse released a funding opportunity for researchers to study “the impact of a state marijuana policy on health and other social/environmental outcomes with the ability to obtain pre/post data on exposures and outcomes of interest otherwise not available with standard review timelines.”

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis reported better-than-expected fiscal Q1 earnings.

Southern University is moving ahead with its medical cannabis production facility after having problems with its initial partner, Advanced Biomedics.

/ CULTURE

Actress Mindy Kaling tweeted about confusing the smell of marijuana with that of skunks.

The Onion had some fun with recent marijuana reform victories.

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McConnell “guarantees” hemp legalization (Newsletter: Nov. 12, 2018)

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VA secretary talks medical cannabis; Feds issue marijuana joint rolling contract; Legalization would give Illinois big economic boost, study finds

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 340 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a “guarantee” that hemp legalization will be in the finalized Farm Bill.

Veterans Affairs Sec. Robert Wilkie said his department is open to exploring medical cannabis as an option for veterans, but only if federal law changes.

The federal government posted a notice that it is seeking to hire professional marijuana joint rollers…kind of. Part of a new National Institute on Drug Abuse contract is to produce “standardized marijuana cigarettes” with strains of various potencies.

A new analysis on the benefits of legalizing marijuana in Illinois found that it would:

  • Create 24,000 jobs
  • Generate more than $500 million in tax revenue
  • Infuse about $1 billion into the state economy overall by 2020

/ FEDERAL

Incoming House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) says he will allow floor votes on marijuana amendments.

Acting U.S Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has voiced support for the right of states to nullify federal laws, a prospect that has obvious implications for marijuana legalization.

Customs and Border Protection officials said they have seen a spike in marijuana seizures at the Canadian border.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “We need to decriminalize marijuana. The fight to pass the Marijuana Justice Act is about combating discrimination against communities of color. It’s about putting a stop to injustice. It’s about creating a fairer, more equal society.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Michigan has just become the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Missouri and Utah also passed medicinal marijuana. The tide is turning. As long as we keep pushing forward, cannabis prohibition will become a thing of the past.” He also tweeted, “After decades of failed drug policies, any effort to legalize marijuana must include expunging low-level offenses and reinvesting in communities of color.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Thankful for the service of our armed forces this Veterans Day. Our vets must receive the respect and care that they have nobly earned and should be given equal access to medical marijuana if they choose.”

/ STATES

Utah lawmakers are expected to consider a compromise medical cannabis bill during a special session beginning December 3.

New Jersey lawmakers are aiming to vote on marijuana legalization on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Florida Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Nikki Fried, who supports marijuana reform, declared victory in a narrow race.

Vermont election results could bolster the chances of legalizing marijuana sales.

Here’s a look at the prospects for Illinois marijuana legalization in 2019.

Colorado regulators proposed rules changes for recreational marijuana and medical cannabis.

Ohio regulators are considering petitions to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

A New York senator says it is important to protect the state’s medical cannabis program if marijuana is legalized.

/ LOCAL

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who has been floated as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said that voters in Indiana are ready for marijuana legalization.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK lord is calling for the legalization of drugs as a violence reduction measure.

/ ADVOCACY

The Fraternal Order of Police announced its support for limited criminal justice reform legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD shows similar efficacy to established antiepileptic drugs.”

A study on driving found that “chronic marijuana users had slower reaction times, deviated less in speed, and had difficulty matching a lead vehicle’s speed compared to nonusers.”

/ BUSINESS

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Greenview Investment Partners L.P. with defrauding investors.

The Brink’s Company entered into a multi-year agreement to provide secure logistics and cash management services for Canopy Growth Corporation.

/ CULTURE

Jimmy Kimmel Live did a segment from a Las Vegas marijuana dispensary.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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.
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