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Feds should reconsider cannabis firings, committee says (Newsletter: June 30, 2021)



RI safe consumption bill passes; NM legalization takes effect; Mexican president floats marijuana referendum; CA psychedelics decrim advances

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The House Appropriations Committee approved a report that calls on federal agencies to reconsider policies on “hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in states where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited under the law of the state.” The attached spending bill, which was also approved, contains additional provisions protecting banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses and letting Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana sales.

Rhode Island lawmakers approved a bill to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs. One more vote in the Senate, which passed an earlier version, is needed to send it to Gov. Dan McKee (D). Separately, a House panel held a hearing on legislation to legalize marijuana.

New Mexico’s law legalizing possession and home cultivation of marijuana officially took effect. Later this week, new cannabis policies in Connecticut, South Dakota and Virginia come online as well.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is floating the idea of putting a marijuana legalization referendum on the ballot following a ruling from the nation’s Supreme Court that struck down cannabis criminalization.

The California Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a Senate-passed bill to legalize possession of psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD and MDMA. It was amended to remove ketamine, however.

A Department of Justice brief on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Administration argues that allowing terminally ill cancer patients to access psilocybin therapy could boost the illegal drug market.

  • “Application of the CSA to restrict the use of psilocybin by patients with life-threatening conditions thus furthers the CSA’s main objectives ‘to conquer drug abuse and to control the legitimate and illegitimate traffic in controlled substances.’”


The Drug Enforcement Administration’s new administrator was sworn in.

A Customs and Border Protection response to a Freedom of Information Act request indicates that the agency provides no due process for people who have had ayahuasca seized from them to demonstrate that it was for religious use.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “The War on Drugs failed—it failed to make us safer, it failed to treat addiction & it failed to prevent the horrific opioid epidemic. The continuation of the crack-powder cocaine disparity is a continuation of a failed drug policy—it’s past time we end it.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted about taking hemp questions from constituents.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) asked Vice President Kamala Harris, “Have the types of drugs you see streaming across the border changed over the last few years as marijuana has been legalized in several states?”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “Proud to be leading the charge in Congress to reform the federal government’s outdated and untenable approach to cannabis alongside @repdonyoung.”

Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY) wrote in a constituent letter that “we must take steps to address the devastating and discriminatory effects of marijuana prohibition.”


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) made appointments to the state’s new Medical Cannabis Commission.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said he has been talking with lawmakers who are crafting medical cannabis legislation to replace the voter-approved program that was overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “The vast majority of Pennsylvanians support legalizing marijuana. But the legislative session just ended without lawmakers getting a bill to my desk. I’m going to keep pushing for legalization + restorative justice until we get it done.” Separately, the lieutenant governor tweeted, “Open up research into Psilocybin. We are the mushroom capital of the world.”

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli blamed the legalization of marijuana for July 4 fireworks display cancellations.

Wisconsin’s Assembly speaker accused Gov. Tony Evers (D) of playing politics by including marijuana legalization in his budget proposal.

Oregon regulators penalized a hemp extractor for failing to comply with hazardous waste requirements.

Alaska regulators filed proposed rules on reinstatement of marijuana licenses.

Montana regulators posted a checklist for medical cannabis facility inspections.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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.


Oakland, California’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday.

Denver, Colorado officials will host a webinar on the marijuana business licensing process on Thursday.


The Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada Municipal Council adopted a motion supporting efforts to decriminalize drugs.


A review concluded that “clinical evidence shows that smoked cannabis alleviates” HIV-associated neuropathic pain.

A study of illegal marijuana growers and sellers in South Africa found that “while participants relished improvement in their economic fortunes upon commercial legalisation of marijuana cultivation and trading, they were also apprehensive about this policy due to the perceived consequences it may have on their livelihoods and communities.”


The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Thanks to Governor @Michelle4NM, @NMHouseDems and @NMSenateDems recreational cannabis use and possession is legal in New Mexico!”

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Cannabis legislation is outdated and broad support for its legalization is growing across the country. Alabama, let’s not be the last state to #legALize cannabis.”

The Safe Advertising Coalition is a newly formed group that is lobbying Congress to legalize on-air marijuana ads on behalf of state broadcaster associations.


Checkr launched a tool that automates the process of expunging marijuana conviction records.

A subsidiary of Curaleaf International entered into a partnership with Zambon GmbH to increase medical cannabis accessibility in Germany.

Columbia Care Inc. closed a private placement worth $74.5 million.

Tilray, Inc. is asking shareholders to support an increase in the number of shares as well as changes to the company’s governing documents.

Vicente Sederberg LLP formed an environmental, social and governance practice aimed at advising cannabis businesses on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, diversity, equity and inclusion.

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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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