Live election results; Fed drug official: Criminalization created “racist” system; Biden talks marijuana pardons; MO legalization poll
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Marijuana Moment will have live coverage of Tuesday’s cannabis and drug policy election results. Sponsored by FundCanna, our embedded maps from key states will post voting results as ballots are counted. Plus, Tom and Kyle will be analyzing the results on Twitter all night and publishing breaking news stories when races are called.
President Joe Biden is continuing to tout his marijuana pardon proclamation—though he again emphasized it’s “just for possession,” signaling he has no intention of offering relief to people jailed for growing or selling cannabis.
National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow acknowledged that “criminalizing people who use drugs has created a structurally racist system that allows us to treat certain people, particularly Black Americans, worse than others.”
A federal judge dismissed Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s (D) lawsuit that sought to win gun rights for medical cannabis patients.
- “Plaintiffs recoil at being compared to the mentally ill…but one does not have to label marijuana users mentally ill to recognize that both categories of people can be dangerous when armed.”
A new poll found that 61 percent of Missouri likely voters say they are “certain to vote yes” on the marijuana legalization initiative on Tuesday’s ballot, with just 28 percent saying they are “certain to vote no.”
Missouri NAACP sent a cease and desist letter to the state’s marijuana legalization campaign over allegedly “unauthorized use” of its name and logo.
- Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) issued lightly veiled criticism of the ballot initiative in a statement to Marijuana Moment—though seems to have dropped plans to publicly campaign against it that sources said were in the works.
Some Arkansas marijuana activists don’t like provisions of the legalization initiative on Tuesday’s ballot but are holding their noses to vote for it anyway because a separate measure would raise the threshold to pass future amendments to 60 percent—which could make this the last chance to enact cannabis reform.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said U.S. officials met with American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is jailed in Russia after being convicted of possessing cannabis vapes.
The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission sent a letter ordering CannaAid to stop claiming its CBD products can prevent or treat COVID-19.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about ongoing talks about a package of marijuana reform legislation, saying, “I hope to see a final bill soon that would not only allow small and diverse cannabis businesses access to the U.S. banking system, but also expand and support expungement programs in states that have legalized cannabis to address some of the harms our failed marijuana policies have done to marginalized communities.”
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) spoke about her support for descheduling marijuana during a debate. Republican challenger Bob Burns also said he supports the reform.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “If we protect and expand our majorities in Congress, here’s what’s possible:… 🚬 Legal marijuana… We can accomplish all of this (and more!) if we make our voices heard and VOTE.”
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “When I heard from constituents about the illegal marijuana grows across the Antelope Valley, I took action. Together with the LASD, we took down dozens of cartel-linked operations & seized almost $2B in illegal drugs. I’ll always fight to keep #CA27 safe.”
Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Mike Franken tweeted that a voter asked him about cannabis, answering, “Let’s just go ahead and legalize it.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill to legalize fentanyl test strips.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “The revenue we’d generate from legalizing marijuana could be invested back into our own communities. Right now, that’s money going out the door to other states. It’s time to join our neighbors and legalize and tax marijuana, much like we do alcohol.”
New York’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Honored to accept the @NYCannaBizCC award on behalf of @GovKathyHochul tonight for her work building the Cannabis industry in NYS.”
Texas Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mike Collier joked that he will be first in line when the state legalizes marijuana.
Arkansas’s marijuana legalization campaign reported spending nearly $12.4 million so far, making it the most expensive ballot initiative effort in the state’s history. Separately, regulators are investigating two medical cannabis dispensaries over ads appearing to offer $10 in store credit to people who vote for the marijuana legalization initiative on Tuesday’s ballot
Maryland’s House speaker tweeted, “Question 4 is on Maryland’s ballot because for decades, overly restrictive cannabis laws have been a pipeline to prison that’s disproportionately impacted people of color. Legalizing recreational cannabis in Maryland puts us on a path to reform our outdated drug laws and create more equity in our justice system. Our views and research on cannabis have changed; federal laws have changed. It’s time for our policies to do the same.”
A Missouri representative tweeted, “It’s no surprise that @SnoopDogg endorsed Amendment 3 in MO. He owns a marijuana business..he will benefit personally but doesn’t care about Missourians that will have to deal with the consequences of this terrible addition to our Constitution. I’ll bet he hasn’t even read it.”
A Minnesota representative tweeted, “I support regulating marijuana instead of prohibiting it. The current system is expensive, ineffective and unfair.”
A Kansas representative tweeted, “I’m proud to support decriminalizing cannabis… That’s why I’ve highlighted this issue on my campaign literature, my website & have spoken about it at forums.”
Florida regulators are being sued over allegedly improper delays in issuing additional medical cannabis business licenses.
California tax officials sent guidance about new responsibilities for cannabis retailers.
The Nevada Cannabis Advisory Commission’s Subcommittee on Market Stability will meet on Friday.
Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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.
Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.
Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted, “On the MO Amendments, it’s simple. I don’t trust the legislature’s majority, who strip us of rights, either to craft the best approach to legal marijuana or to control Kansas City’s future budget. Hence, a Yes on 3 (weed) and a strong No on 4 (colonialism masquerading as safety).”
Thirty-one Rhode Island municipalities will vote on whether to allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate on Tuesday’s ballot.
Voters in several Oregon counties and municipalities will decide on ballot measures on whether to allow psilocybin services businesses on Tuesday.
The Laurel County Kentucky sheriff was ordered by a federal judge to return hemp products that were seized from stores.
Denver, Colorado officials are expected to award the city’s first marijuana business license to a Black owner through the social equity program.
The Czech Republic’s drug commissioner said he is drafting a marijuana legalization bill in coordination with German officials.
Thai lawmakers from several parties are criticizing a pending cannabis and hemp regulation bill over concerns that it could allow recreational marijuana use. Separately, the public health minister posted a photo of himself standing next to an ad for cannabis-infused ice cream.
A UK member of Parliament called out government officials for continuing to “drag their feet” on medical cannabis access.
The Isle of Man government said a pharmacy will begin dispensing medical cannabis products as part of a pilot project next month.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “cannabidiol demonstrated promising effectiveness and tolerability in patients with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies.”
A study indicated that “inhaled THC-rich therapy is more effective than CBD-rich sublingual extract therapy for treating low back pain and that cannabis therapy is safe and effective for chronic low back pain.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Republican National Committee accused Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, of wanting to decriminalize fentanyl.
The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s past time to legalize cannabis. Why? More than 80% of Hoosiers in some form, it’s a win-win economic opportunity for Indiana, and it’ll create a better future for folks across the state. A vote for @INDems is a vote to legalize marijuana.”
The North Dakota Medical Association is opposing the marijuana legalization initiative on Tuesday’s ballot.
The National Industrial Hemp Council of America sent a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration to approve hemp seed as an animal feed ingredient.
The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board accused the state’s governor and U.S. senators of lying “to shill for pot legalization.”
COMPASS Pathways plc reported a quarterly net loss of $18.4 million.
A psychedelics conference hosted by Microdose reportedly barred entry by several journalists and academics.
Metrc has a new chief technology officer.
New Mexico retailers sold more than $25 million worth of recreational marijuana in October.
Missouri dispensaries sold $35.36 million worth of medical cannabis in October, a new monthly record.
Sean “Diddy” Combs is acquiring certain Illinois, New York and Massachusetts assets from Cresco Labs and Columbia Care.
Golfer John Daly is urging Arkansas voters to support the marijuana legalization initiative on Tuesday’s ballot.
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.