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GOP bill might accidentally allow medical cannabis (Newsletter: March 14, 2018)



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NJ gov puts marijuana revenue in budget; UN chief touts decrim; CT legalization hearing

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Republican-backed “right to try” legislation that could have the unintended consequence of allowing seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana fell narrowly short of getting enough votes to pass on the House floor. The Senate has previously approved a similar bill.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) included marijuana legalization in his budget proposal and used a related speech to hit back at fellow Democrats who say mere decriminalization is enough.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres touted his home country of Portugal’s successful decriminalization of all drugs in a speech before the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.


Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) are asking the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for information on “past instances of narcotics-related money laundering in Panama’s real estate sector, as well as the possibility that this criminal activity may have tainted the Panama business interests of the Trump Organization, and, by extension, of President Trump.”

Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said he supports legalizing medical cannabis in Kentucky.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “As state after state has shown, the best economic policy when it comes to marijuana is legal regulation. Ending the prohibition of cannabis will create millions in revenue that can be used to support local and state services. It’s that simple.”

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Jennifer Wexton, currently a state senator, cheered a new state law allowing doctors to recommend CBD or THC-A medical cannabis oil for any condition.


California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a bill specifying that regulators may receive criminal background checks on any applicant for a marijuana business license. Separately, regulators posted guidance on paying taxes for cannabis businesses.

A Washington State court ruled that local jurisdictions have the authority to ban marijuana sales. And Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill removing a requirement to include information about retailers on marijuana packaging.

The Arizona House of Representatives approved a bill to prevent the marketing of medical cannabis products to children.

The Connecticut General Assembly’s General Law Committee will hold a Thursday hearing on marijuana legalization. In a related development, the Judiciary Committee introduced its own cannabis legalization bill.

Two Arkansas companies that failed to win medical cannabis cultivation licenses filed lawsuits against regulators.

A New Jersey assemblyman filed a marijuana legalization bill.

A Vermont bill to allow municipalities to punish people for the smell of marijuana failed to cross over from the House to the Senate by a key deadline, but isn’t necessarily dead for the year.

Here’s a look at Louisiana’s pending marijuana law reform bills.

Alaska’s marijuana regulatory board is accepting applications for an open seat.

Hawaii regulators certified another medical cannabis testing lab.


A Mexican senator introduced a marijuana legalization bill.

The Philippines is moving to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, which is investigating the country’s bloody “war on drugs.”


A study found that “decriminalization of cannabis in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maryland resulted in large decreases in drug-related arrests for both youth and adults” and “did not find any increase in the prevalence of youth cannabis use.”

A review concluded that “all cannabis-based medicines pooled together were better than placebo for the outcomes substantial and moderate pain relief and global improvement” and “in reducing pain intensity, sleep problems and psychological distress.” But there was “no difference between all cannabis-based medicines pooled together and placebo in improving health-related quality of life, stopping the medication because it was not effective, and in the frequency of serious side effects.”


The Intercept looks at how the “exclusive focus on white casualties of the [opioid] epidemic has obscured the brutality of the drug war being waged against both white and black users.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board wants more health networks to encourage their doctors to recommend medical cannabis.


Colorado retailers sold more than $117 million worth of marijuana products in January, and the state collected more than $21 million in cannabis tax revenue and fees in February.

Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital closed its debut fund with $45 million.

/ CULTURE     

Actor Armie Hammer shared his mugshot from a 2011 marijuana arrest.

Rapper U-God supports legalizing marijuana.

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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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