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Manhattan DA stops cannabis prosecutions (Newsletter: August 1, 2018)



Study: Marijuana doesn’t impair eyewitness accounts; Italy’s health minister pushes medical cannabis in pharmacies; CNMI legalization developments

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As of Wednesday, Manhattan’s district attorney will no longer prosecute marijuana use or possession.

  • “Our research has found virtually no public safety rationale for the ongoing arrest and prosecution of marijuana smoking, and no moral justification for the intolerable racial disparities that underlie enforcement. Tomorrow, our Office will exit a system wherein smoking a joint can ruin your job, your college application, or your immigration status, but our advocacy will continue. I urge New York lawmakers to legalize and regulate marijuana once and for all.”

Italy’s health minister said the government will “make every effort to make medical cannabis available” in pharmacies alongside other prescription drugs.

A study of marijuana’s effect on eyewitness recall after crimes found that “cannabis intoxication was not associated with either a decrease in correct identifications or an increase in false alarms.”


Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said, “In the course of the next decade, I think there will be a North American cannabis market.”

Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN) included a photo of himself discussing marijuana reform with constituents in his newsletter.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Not only would legalizing marijuana create jobs, boost tax revenue, and begin to end the ‘war on drugs’ by expunging prior offenses, but new evidence shows that it could also make police more effective at fighting violent crime.”

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Elaine Luria tweeted, “The @DeptVetAffairs has largely refused to recommend medical marijuana, citing federal law. That puts the department out of step with most of the country. Veterans deserve access to treatments that work for them.”


The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives sent a Senate-passed marijuana legalization bill back to committee, but will soon introduce its own version of the legislation that should solve procedural issues.

Oklahoma regulators will consider revised medical cannabis rules on Wednesday. Separately, the legislature’s bipartisan medical marijuana working group will hold its second meeting.

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) touted the state’s “expanded access to medical marijuana.”

Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed tweeted, “In 2018, we’re going to legalize marijuana here in Michigan. What we need to talk about is what comes next.”

Here’s a look at where Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana.

Alaska regulators are proposing to extend the period of time that marijuana business surveillance recordings must be retained, and to change residency requirements for cannabis license holders. Separately, a cannabis business owner is calling for the resignation of two regulators over alleged bias, conflict of interest and favoritism.

Utah regulators are concerned they won’t be able to meet deadlines laid out in the medical cannabis measure on the November ballot.

A New Mexico hearing officer recommended regulators strip a medical cannabis business of its license for submitting falsified audits.

Pennsylvania regulators granted medical cannabis grower and processor licenses to 13 businesses.

Here’s a look at Virginia regulators’ review of medical cannabis dispensary applications.


The Oregon, Ohio City Council placed a marijuana depenalization measure on the November ballot.

The Los Angeles, California City Council pulled a marijuana tax measure that was expected to appear on the November ballot.

The Detroit, Michigan City Council voted to cap the number of medical cannabis dispensaries at 75.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors voted to ban marijuana businesses from Chinatown.

Long Beach, California’s mayor is proposing funding to support marijuana record expungement.


Italy’s health minister said she will “make every effort to make medical cannabis available to all pharmacies.”

The Georgian Orthodox Church is calling for the country’s Constitutional Court to be abolished after it invalidated marijuana penalties.

Canadian officials have no plans to lift the cap on medical cannabis reimbursements for veterans.


The Democratic Attorneys General Association touted a Michigan candidate’s support for marijuana reform.

The Teamsters are sponsoring a marijuana panel at this week’s Netroots Nation conference.


A study examining marijuana tolerance found that “cognitive function is the domain showing the highest degree of tolerance, with some evidence of complete absence of acute effect (full tolerance)” and that “the acute intoxicating, psychotomimetic, and cardiac effects are also blunted upon regular exposure, but to a lesser extent (partial tolerance).”

A study found “a clear, increasing trend of [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] body burdens as marijuana smoking increased.”


Columbia University’s Samuel Kelton Roberts published an op-ed about the 30th anniversary of then-Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Kurt Schmoke calling for an end to the war on drugs.


United Cannabis Corporation filed a federal patent infringement lawsuit against Pure Hemp Collective Inc.

Molson Coors Canada is partnering with The Hydropothecary Corporation to develop non-alcoholic, marijuana-infused beverages.

Lowell Herb Co. is recalling pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes after a testing lab changed its result from pass to fail.


Here’s a look at how professional sports leagues are dealing with marijuana issues. posted a marijuana-related tweet.

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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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