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Michigan legal cannabis measure has enough signatures for ballot (Newsletter: April 24, 2018)



All US senators surveyed on legalization; MO House approves medical cannabis; OK hemp bill signed

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Michigan activists collected enough signatures to place a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot, state elections officials have determined. Formal certification is expected to take place on Thursday.


President Trump nominated former White House Deputy Chief of Staff James Carroll to serve as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is optimistic about his marijuana descheduling bill.

VICE surveyed every U.S. senator about marijuana legalization; some responded.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said marijuana should be decriminalized and, for some reason, continues to describe the war on drugs in the past tense. (Her staff said in the VICE story above that she will soon cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act.)

Politico looks at the rapid shift in the politics of marijuana on Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Senate comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 12.

The U.S. Senate industrial hemp bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of eight.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala, a former U.S. Health and Human Services secretary during the Clinton administration, now says she support marijuana law reform.

Massachusetts Democratic congressional candidate Dan Koh tweeted, “The enforcement of our current marijuana laws disproportionately penalizes people of color and wastes our taxpayer dollars. It’s time to legalize and decriminalize marijuana nationwide.”

Wisconsin Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce tweeted, “John Boehner profits from marijuana while hundreds of thousands of people of color are arrested each year for marijuana possession. We can’t forget about the people who have had to bear the costs of the failed War on Drugs. We need marijuana amnesty.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Dayna Steele tweeted, “Let’s legalize marijuana and release the hundreds of thousands of people from prisons across the country who are there for possession of pot.”

New York Democratic congressional candidate Suraj Patel tweeted about legalizing marijuana.

Wisconsin Democratic congressional candidate Kyle Frenette supports legalizing marijuana.

Kentucky congressional candidates debated marijuana reform.


Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed an industrial hemp bill into law.

Missouri’s House of Representatives approved a medical cannabis bill.

The Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to approve a medical cannabis expansion bill.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) said he’s not sure how he feels about marijuana legalization.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a gubernatorial candidate, said his past struggles with alcohol misuse informed his efforts to legalize marijuana and support criminal justice reform. And Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox said cannabis consumers should be hospitalized. Separately, here’s a look at where several pending marijuana bills are in the legislature.

Michigan regulators warned about fake cease-and-desist letters being sent to medical cannabis dispensaries.

Nevada regulators clarified rules to spell out that casinos can’t let people who are high on marijuana or other drugs gamble, in addition to having to turn away those who are visibly drunk.

Pennsylvania medical cannabis businesses are trying to shut down the state’s research program. Separately, a judge dismissed a lawsuit from a business that failed to win a medical marijuana license.

Florida now has more than 100,000 registered medical cannabis patients.

Ohio regulators allocated $2 million to defend the state’s medical cannabis licensing program from lawsuits.

North Dakota activists are continuing to collect signatures for a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure. Separately, regulators received 19 applications for medical cannabis production licenses.

Arkanskas’s attorney general rejected the language of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

The ex-wife of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) took to Twitter to say she disagrees with him on marijuana legalization’s impact on kids.


Canada’s government released more details about its marijuana legalization implementation plans.

The St. Kitts and Nevis government is conducting a survey to determine marijuana consumption levels.


NORML delivered more than 10,000 public comments in support of marijuana rescheduling to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The American Medical Association disclosed that it is lobbying in support of medical cannabis research legislation.


A study concluded that “when climate attributes are favorable for [marijuana] cultivation, support for [legalization] measures increase.”

A study is starting on May 1 to “examine how medical cannabis use affects opioid analgesic use over time, with particular attention to THC/CBD content, HIV outcomes, and severe adverse events.”


A poll found that San Diego County, California residents think marijuana legalization has been good for society and the economy.


USA Today looks at marijuana sales numbers for 4/20.

Nevada retailers sold more than $35 million in recreational marijuana products in February.

/ CULTURE     

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote an open letter about medical cannabis to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Cheech and Chong jokingly told Stephen Colbert they no longer do comedy about marijuana because it’s legal and not cool anymore.

Comedian Amy Schumer told Oprah Winfrey that she wants to smoke marijuana with CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King.

The Washington Post looks at the evolving slang of marijuana.

The Onion takes on U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) newfound marijuana law reform support.

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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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