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Medical cannabis popular in key districts, Trump pollster says (Newsletter: March 20, 2018)



AK House tells feds to back off; MD Senate triples decrim amount; Trump announces death penalty for drugs

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A survey conducted by President Trump’s former pollster found that 77% of likely 2018 voters have a favorable opinion of medical marijuana, including 74% in key Senate states and 76% in competitive House districts. That total includes 68% of Republicans, 81% of independents and 84% of Democrats.

President Trump rolled out an opioids plan that includes the use of the death penalty against some people who sell drugs. The administration also launched a website where people can share stories about how their families have been impacted by opioids.


U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General Steven H. Cook spoke at a New Jersey drug enforcement conference. While he didn’t address plans from the state’s governor to legalize marijuana, he did criticize Obama-era drug policy moves. He also said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes that the “Just Say No” campaign worked as an anti-drug strategy.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) tweeted, “The war on drugs didn’t work in the 80’s, and it won’t work now by reviving failed deterrence measures like the death penalty for drug dealers.

Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) tweeted that Trump’s plan is “a dog whistle to his base and it seeks to take us back to the 1990s failed ‘War on Drugs’, which saw some of the most appalling racial disparities in the arrests and prosecutions of African-Americans and Latinos.”

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) tweeted, “The war on drugs ripped American families apart, falling especially hard on communities of color. Its effects continue to wreak havoc across the country.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “I’m incredibly proud of #Oakland for leading the way on restorative justice in the legal cannabis industry.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana nationwide would create over a million jobs and begin to rollback the disastrous “war on drugs” which has ruined countless lives.”

The U.S. Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 15.

The U.S. Senate CBD research bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of seven.

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Garrick McFadden supports rescheduling marijuana and letting states set their own cannabis laws.


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT) said, “On medical marijuana: If there’s science behind it, I’m all for it. I don’t know that we have the science yet.”

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), a gubernatorial candidate, is being urged by rivals for the Republican nomination to advance legislation to add PTSD and intractable pain as low-THC medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Alaska House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution urging the federal government to respect state marijuana laws.

The Maryland Senate approved legislation to triple the amount of marijuana subject to decriminalization and to criminalize smoking while driving or riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle.

Colorado lawmakers formed the nation’s first state-level legislative cannabis caucus.

A Minnesota judge is allowing a trial to proceed in the case of former medical cannabis company officers who allegedly smuggled product from that state to New York.

Ohio regulators are accepting applications from physicians who want to be certified to recommend medical cannabis.

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing on marijuana legalization.

The Rhode Island House Finance Committee will hold a Tuesday hearing on a proposal to significantly increase the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how candidates for state office in Illinois, Michigan and elsewhere are embracing marijuana legalization.


Clark County, Nevada’s district attorney will not proactively expunge prior marijuana convictions.

The South Fulton, Georgia City Council is expected to vote on a marijuana decriminalization proposal on Tuesday.

A St. Louis, Missouri alderman will reintroduce a marijuana legalization proposal in the new session that begins next month.


Canadian officials released the results of public consultations on proposed legal marijuana regulations. The document includes the design of warning labels that will appear on cannabis products.


The Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association said in testimony that they are worried legalizing marijuana would reduce alcohol sales.


A study comparing traffic fatalities in states with legalized marijuana and synthetic control groups found that the latter “saw similar changes in marijuana-related, alcohol-related and overall traffic fatality rates despite not legalizing recreational marijuana.”

A study concluded that “cannabis use does not negatively influence opioid outcomes among patients receiving buprenorphine maintenance treatment” and “there is no difference in productivity and quality of life between individuals maintained on buprenorphine with and without current cannabis use.”

A study found that 23% of recent high school graduates have ridden with a marijuana-impaired driver at least once.


Canadian medical cannabis producer Tilray Inc. formed an exclusive partnership with Sandoz Canada, in what is apparently the first collaboration between a marijuana producer and a major pharmaceutical company.

Reuters looks at how the 2008 financial crisis led some Wall Street executives to join the marijuana industry.

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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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