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Legalization advocates’ differing cannabis legislative strategies (Newsletter: July 10, 2019)



Study: Marijuana enhances sex; ACLU & other groups for Marijuana Justice Coalition; Hawaii cannabis decrim enacted

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As a House subcommittee holds a first-ever hearing on ending federal marijuana prohibition on Wednesday, a debate between legalization advocates about which legislation—STATES Act, Marijuana Justice Act or other bills—they should put their efforts behind is heating up.

ACLU, Center for American Progress, Human Rights Watch and other groups formed a new Marijuana Justice Coalition to advocate that cannabis legalization proposals must maintain a focus on social and racial equity.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) allowed marijuana decriminalization to take effect but vetoed separate bills to allow inter-island medical cannabis transportation and create a hemp licensing program.

A new yet-to-be published study found that marijuana increases sexual functioning and satisfaction for men and women of all ages.

  • “Participants reported increased desire, orgasm intensity, and masturbation pleasure. Results indicated that taste and touch were enhanced when using cannabis.”


The Department of Justice Office Office of the Inspector General found that a Drug Enforcement Administration group supervisor engaged in an “improper personal relationship” with and made payments “without proper justification” to a confidential source, though criminal prosecution was declined.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, posted on Facebook, “If someone had said ten years ago that more than half the states in the country will decriminalize marijuana, people would have called them crazy. A movement for criminal justice reform made it possible. Congratulations Hawaii on becoming the 26th state to end the failed criminalization of marijuana.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, cited her support for marijuana legalization as an example of an issue she’s changed her mind or evolved on.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “As president I’ll end the failed war on drugs, legalize marijuana, end cash bail, and ban private prisons and bring about real criminal justice reform.”

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) visited a medical cannabis dispensary to discuss his support for marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted that clearing cannabis records is “is a great start, but we need to make sure these measures actually offer relief to the communities targeted by discriminatory practices. That includes laying the groundwork to allow them to participate in the cannabis industry once it is legalized.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “More people are arrested for marijuana than for all other violent crimes combined. Marijuana has long been a driving force for mass incarceration in this country and it’s time we end our nation’s discriminatory laws.”

The Senate bill to expand research on marijuana and CBD got one new cosponsor, for a total of nine.


A Florida appeals court upheld a ruling that the state’s forced vertical integration of the medical cannabis industry is unconstitutional. The state’s agriculture commissioner cheered the move.

Iowa Democratic lawmakers are calling on Republican leaders to create an interim study committee on medical cannabis.

Arkansas activists are filing separate proposed ballot measures that would legalize marijuana and provide a process for cannabis conviction expungements.

Oklahoma regulators sent an update about upcoming medical cannabis program changes.

The South Dakota Legislative Research Council will hold its first meeting about a hemp study on Thursday.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Study Group will meet on Monday.

Guam regulators released a list of things they want the public to know about the territory’s marijuana legalization law.

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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Activists in more than 20 Ohio municipalities are working to enact local marijuana decriminalization measures.


Brazilian lawmakers held a hearing on medical cannabis.

New Zealand regulators released draft medical cannabis rules.


A study concluded that “medical cannabis implementation produces a reduction in the Medicaid opioid prescription rate of around 10%, which first appears about a year post-implementation and remains steady in subsequent years.”


Surterra Wellness hired a former Kellogg Company chief financial officer.

Better Choice Company Inc. hired a former Walmart and PepsiCo executive as chief financial officer.

An analysis concluded that only four percent of investments in the CBD sector are held by companies clearly operating within Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

Here’s a look at ownership in Nevada’s marijuana industry.


Rapper Jay-Z signed on to serve as chief brand strategist for marijuana company Caliva.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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