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Majority of Americans now live in cannabis decrim zones (Newsletter: Sep. 5, 2018)



Kavanaugh’s little-noticed marijuana enforcement comments; Trump backers don’t buy anti-cannabis committee news; Farm Bill & hemp negotiations begin

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A new Marijuana Moment analysis finds that a majority of Americans—55%—now live in places where first-time, low-level marijuana offenses generally do not come with the threat of jail time.

In little-noticed remarks from 2016, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh laid out thoughts about how the decision not to enforce federal marijuana laws could be related to uninhibited presidential pardon powers.

Pro-legalization Trump supporters like Roger Stone and Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams are constructing theories to undermine a recent BuzzFeed report that revealed a secret White House anti-marijuana committee.


The congressional conference committee on the Farm Bill, the Senate version of which contains hemp legalization language, begins meeting on Wednesday.

Ohio state and county officials are defendants in a federal lawsuit that was filed over the denial of ballot access to two local marijuana depenalization initiatives.

A U.S. Government Accountability Office review of federal substance abuse grant programs identified “insufficient access to recovery services and a shortage of treatment providers.”

Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “I second my colleagues’ push for cannabis research. The VA needs to stop ignoring this potential alternative to opioids and help our veterans get their lives back.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) criticized the White House’s efforts to compile negative information about marijuana.

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted, “I stand in the fight for medical cannabis. Deschedule and get out of big pharma’s hands! #CannabisIsMedicine”

Alabama Democratic congressional candidate Tabitha Isner tweeted, “It’s time to get over our stereotypes about marijuana and recognize that the cannabis plant produces medicines that can and should be on pharmacy shelves.”


Utah medical cannabis supporters filed a complaint with the lieutenant governor’s office alleging that opponents are working to “mislead the public” about their ballot measure.

The Missouri Court of Appeals is being asked to reconsider a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against a medical cannabis initiative’s ballot access.

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana legalization.

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon tweeted, “Not only do we need to legalize marijuana in NY, but when this multibillion-dollar industry comes, we need to use that revenue to invest in the communities that have been most targeted by the War on Drugs and pay for job training and education programs.”

Virginia regulators met to begin reviewing medical cannabis dispensary license applications.

Alaska regulators proposed rules concerning marijuana business ownership ownership changes, expiration of renewal and wholesale transfer of concentrates, as well as on conversion of licenses and public notices.

A New Mexico representative is optimistic about marijuana legalization legislation in 2019.

Oklahoma regulators released a list of doctors who have registered to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Here’s a look at how California marijuana legislation fared this session.


Former Mexican President Vicente Fox predicted that the country will legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, regulators are being accused of blocking access to medical cannabis.

The Canadian government  announced an investment of $330,550 to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. Separately, The Leaf profiled Canadians who have been barred from entering the U.S. due to marijuana use.

A Malaysian man who gave cannabis oil to needy patients has been sentenced to death.


The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Medical marijuana isn’t just a lifeline for thousands of patients, it’s a multi-million dollar industry that’s creating jobs and lifting up our economy — electing Steve Pearce puts that in jeopardy.”

The Florida Democratic Party tweeted, “Over 71% of Floridians voted to approve Medical Marijuana – but Rick Scott and Republicans continue to block access to it. Nikki Fried will break the barriers that prevent seniors and veterans from accessing it. We need a leader like @nikkifried at the Dept. of Agriculture!”

The Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network released a voter guide for this week’s primary elections.


A study of marijuana consumers in Nigeria found that “most interviewees did not view the criminal identity associated with cannabis use as a deterrent to use; they considered it a risk that could be mitigated by concealment of use” and that “the ‘criminal’ stereotype from the negative societal perception about users as criminals which often resulted in stigma and lost opportunities paradoxically appeared to reinforce cannabis use among male users.”

A study of Colorado newspaper coverage found that “legalisation of marijuana has been accompanied by more positive media portrayals, suggesting that legalisation is leading to decreased stigmatisation of the drug,” but that “the more positive portrayals following legalisation, however, were only found in the headlines. Photographs, which are powerful framing devices, have remained stagnant.”


Attendees of the Minnesota State Fair support marijuana legalization, 56% – 34% in a poll conducted by the House of Representatives.

The Tulsa World editorial board is urging Oklahoma schools to keep medical cannabis off campus until federal law changes.


A class action lawsuit has been filed against Cronos Group, Inc. for allegedly making materially false and/or misleading statements.


Rapper DJ Maseo posted to Instagram, “I have been [ridiculed], arrested, and demonized for the great benefits of Marijuana and now I’m a share holder in a few different companies.”

Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and his wife Beth were spotted at a Los Angeles marijuana dispensary.

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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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