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Homeland Security head dodges marijuana custody question (Newsletter: July 19, 2019)



DNC chair jokes about Trump smoking hemp; Congressional marijuana research bill; Cannabis biz call for social equity; TX officials want prosecutions

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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan refused to directly answer a congressman’s question about whether immigrant children should be separated from their families over a parent’s past marijuana possession conviction.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez made an attempt at a joke about President Trump smoking hemp, and marijuana legalization groups aren’t happy about it.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Andy Harris (R-MD), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) filed a bill to remove barriers to marijuana research.

A coalition of more than 100 marijuana businesses and cannabis industry groups sent a letter to congressional leaders urging that legalization include social equity components aimed at helping people harmed by the war on drugs.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), along with the state’s lieutenant governor, attorney general and House speaker, sent a letter saying that district and county attorneys are wrong to refuse to prosecute marijuana cases without lab tests showing seized substances are not legal hemp.


A federal judge denied a cancer patient’s request for an injunction against Michigan regulators so that she could obtain untested forms of medical cannabis.

Rep. Darin LaHood (D-IL) said he opposes legalizing cannabis because “as a former drug prosecutor, I’ve seen the harmful effects that drugs have on young people in particular and I think marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The marijuana policies in this country have driven the prison population. We’ve got to have some justice and end these discriminatory laws that target communities of color. Let’s pass my Marijuana Justice Act.”

The House bill to respect state marijuana laws got two new cosponsors, for a total of 59.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of 72.

The House bill to federally tax marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of two.

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Mike Broihier, running against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said he supports legalizing marijuana.


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “It’s time to do the right thing and allow doctors to prescribe the medication that’s best for their patients and their families — including medical marijuana.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) tweeted about visiting an industrial hemp manufacturing firm, saying it “will add more jobs in the Russell area. The crop offers a new opportunity for diversification for farmers at a time that’s so important.”

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) discussed marijuana on a podcast with former Gov. Kay Orr (R).

The Missouri secretary of state’s office opened an investigation into whether someone illegally sought investments for a medical cannabis business.

Virginia’s attorney general reiterated his call for marijuana reform as new data showed arrests rose in the state last year.

Hearings in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Nevada’s marijuana business license award process may extend into next month.

Michigan regulators announced the details of the state’s marijuana social equity program, which is designed to encourage industry participation by people from communities disproportionately harmed by prohibition enforcement. Separately, they sent an update on cannabis retesting policies.

Louisiana medical cannabis sales are expected to begin within weeks.

Colorado regulators held a meeting to discuss rules changes required by new marijuana reform laws.

The California State Bar is seeking public comment on a proposed opinion concerning whether lawyers may provide advice and assistance to clients with respect to state-legal marijuana activity that might violate federal law.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will display hemp at the state fair next month.

Minnesota regulators released a report on PTSD patients in the state’s medical cannabis program.

Massachusetts regulators overhauled a website to educate the public about marijuana and the laws surrounding it

Parts of New Jersey’s medical cannabis expansion law went into effect.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis 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.

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The Columbus, Ohio City Council held a hearing on a proposal to decriminalize marijuana, with a vote expected Monday.

Three candidates for Maricopa County, Arizona attorney said they would stop charging marijuana possession cases if elected.

A self-styled Rastafarian church in Madison, Wisconsin that was busted for allegedly distributing marijuana has reopened, but without the cannabis.

The Los Angeles Times looks at how marijuana policy discussions have gotten so heated between Commerce, California officials that fistfights have broken out.


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador directed regulators to explain a delay in issuing medical cannabis rules.

A Swiss court ruled that possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana is not a punishable offense.

Thailand’s public health minister said medical cannabis “can become a cash crop for farmers.”


The American Bankers Association and Credit Union National Association coauthored an op-ed calling on Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation.


A study found “small increases in nonmedical prescription opioid use and no significant change in prescription opioid use disorder among users after medical marijuana law enactment.”

A review of studies on cannabis and multiple sclerosis found “clinically significant improvements of patient-reported muscle spasticity and pain.”


Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares dropped after BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded it from a buy rating to neutral.

Eaze reduced its projections for the amount of marijuana it plans to deliver in 2020 by more than half.


Singer Aaron Carter tweeted, “I need to make something perfectly clear. I smoke weed because I have an eating disorder which stimulates my appetite. I’m also an advocate for marijuana for that reason. I don’t do any drugs. I smoke weed. I wanna make that clear personally & professionally.”

UFC fighter Alen Amedovski was suspended for six months following a positive test for a marijuana metabolite.

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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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