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How US bullied world into sports cannabis ban (Newsletter: July 12, 2021)

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White House wants meeting on marijuana & athletes; Senators push aid for cannabis biz; MO gov vetoes marijuana tax deduction bill

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said harsh global marijuana penalties against Olympic athletes like Sha’Carri Richardson “must change.” Meanwhile, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is pursuing a meeting to discuss cannabis in sports with the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) led a congressional sign-on letter calling on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to change “outdated and restrictive” policies that punish athletes like Richardson for marijuana.

  • “We believe that cannabis does not meet the description of scientifically proven risk or harm to the athlete and the USADA is perpetuating stereotypes and rhetoric fueled by the racist War on Drugs by claiming its usage, in private use and outside of competition, violates the ‘spirit of the sport.’”

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) led a group of 10 senators—including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)—in calling for an upcoming spending bill report to include a provision clarifying that marijuana businesses can access federal Small Business Administration loans and assistance.

Marijuana Moment took a look back at old documents, and spoke to the first head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, to get a sense of how the U.S. bullied the rest of the world into including cannabis on the list of banned substances for Olympic athletes.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) vetoed a bill that would have allowed medical cannabis companies to deduct business expenses from their state taxes like any other company can.

/ FEDERAL

The assassins who killed Haiti’s president reportedly posed as Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee tweeted, “Last month, track star Sha’Carri Richardson inspired the country at the U.S. Olympic trials. Her exclusion from the U.S. 4×100 relay team for marijuana use is not only outdated but it also is not supported by science.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the marijuana-related suspension of Sha’Carri Richardson “speaks to the problems of the so-called war on drugs” and “so I have a problem with that.”

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter urging the Office of National Drug Control Policy to include a section in the national drug control strategy on “addressing the increasing use of marijuana, the benefits and dangers of the substance, and how it plans to implement prevention programs for youth users.”

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) tweeted, “Excited to join my colleagues in the fight to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. Now is the time to fix our antiquated drug laws!”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Decriminalize cannabis now.”

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) wrote in a constituent letter that he supports the CBD and hemp industries but opposes marijuana legalization.

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted in support of law enforcement efforts to stop unlicensed marijuana operations.

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a bill allowing the administration of medical cannabis products at summer camps.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “In addition to creating thousands of quality jobs and building new economic opportunities across the state, cannabis legalization will reduce harmful impacts to marginalized communities and improve community safety – a step forward for all of New Mexico.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Last week, I signed legislation to enhance patient access to quality medical marijuana. I’m proud these COVID-19 disaster declaration measures are now permanent parts of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. Now let’s work together to make it legal for all Pennsylvanians.”

VIrginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin made misleading comments about the success of marijuana sales in states with legalization, according to a Washington Post analysis.

The South Dakota attorney general’s office reversed its previous position that had said medical cannabis cards issued by Indian tribes are valid. Separately, the Department of Education approved guidelines on the use of medical mariuana at schools.

A new Colorado law that enacted restrictions on medical cannabis concentrates is being challenged by a lawsuit from a young patient.

The North Carolina Senate Finance Committee will consider a medical cannabis bill on Tuesday.

Nevada regulators issued a health and safety bulletin about marijuana products for which testing results may not reflect actual potency levels.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who attempted to swallow a bag of marijuana after he was pulled over for speeding.

California tax officials issued guidance on arm’s-length transactions for marijuana businesses.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Disproportionately Impacted Communities Workgroup will meet on Monday.

Vermont marijuana regulators will meet on Tuesday.

/ LOCAL

The Tybee Island, Georgia City Council is considering a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Denver, Colorado officials received their first application for a marijuana delivery license.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation advanced a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Belize’s minister of new growth industries introduced a bill to legalize marijuana.

The Lake Country, British Columbia, Canada Council voted to send a letter asking the federal government to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “alcohol and cannabis are not clearly substitutes nor complements to one-another.”

A study of mice concluded that “CBD prevents both behavioral and neuro-immunological changes associated with [lipopolysaccharides]-induced [sickness behavior], which reinforces its potential use as an antidepressant which modulates neuroinflammation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mississippians support lawmakers going into a special legislative session to enact a medical cannabis law and restore the ballot initiative process, 76 percent to 17 percent.

The New York State Bar Association issued an ethics opinion saying attorneys can not only advise marijuana businesses but can accept equity in them as payment.

Americans for Prosperity tweeted about its support for legalizing marijuana.

NORML’s executive director appeared on C-SPAN.

Author Michael Pollan published an op-ed about what post-prohibition drug policies might look like.

/ BUSINESS

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is on track to open New York’s first recreational marijuana dispensary.

A subsidiary of Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc. is acquiring Charm City Medicus, LLC.

Flow Cannabis Co. appeared to claim responsibility for inadvertently starting a fire that destroyed nine structures.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. created a grant program to fund nonprofits that are working to help marginalized communities affected by the war on drugs.

Columbia Care Inc. received approval from West Virginia officials to begin medical cannabis operations in the state.

Michigan retailers sold $149 million worth of legal marijuana products in June.

/ CULTURE

Basketball player Kevin Durant smokes a lot of marijuana, according to the author of a new book.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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