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Nebraska lawmakers approve medical cannabis bill (Newsletter: May 13, 2019)



Prosecutors tour Portugal for decrim info; Denver activist on Pollan’s psychedelic ballot criticism; White House drug czar pressed on marijuana & CBD

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The Nebraska legislature’s Judiciary Committee voted to advance a medical cannabis bill to the Senate floor.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll was pressed by lawmakers about his views on marijuana, CBD and racial disparities in enforcement during a House hearing.

A group of 20 top prosecutors from major U.S. cities are touring Portugal this month to learn about the nation’s successful drug decriminalization policy.

In an interview with Marijuana Moment, the activist who led Denver’s campaign to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms pushed back against criticism from pro-psychedelic author Michael Pollan, who argued in a New York Times op-ed that ballot measures are not the best way to advance the issue.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “partial expungement or reclassification [of marijuana offenses] cannot eliminate the immigration consequences of a conviction.”

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Denver is 1st US city to decriminalize mushrooms containing psychedelic psilocybin, a/k/a “magic mushrooms.” Denver started with marijuana. Then safe for injection sites. Now magic mushrooms. Slippery slope.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, compared the criminalization of marijuana to the failure of alcohol prohibition.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-FL), a presidential candidate, said, “I don’t think you should be seen as a criminal under federal law for choosing [to use marijuana].”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s time to decriminalize marijuana. And the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act is a critical first step.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “While investors make huge profits on marijuana, others have spent decades in jail and are still locked up, even in states where cannabis is legal. This injustice shows why simply ending prohibition isn’t enough if we don’t expunge prior offenses.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted, “I joined @RepSwalwell, @RepMattGaetz, & 27 other members in sending a letter to the DOJ &DEA urging them to reduce barriers to #marijuana research &allow more facilities to grow research grade #cannabis, so that we can unlock it’s full medical potential.”

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) sent a press release about Connecticut’s enactment of a hemp pilot program.

The House marijuana banking bill got three new cosponsors, for a total of 178.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and punish states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor, for a total of 38.

The House bill to respect state marijuana laws got four new cosponsors, for a total of 43.


Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed a bill requiring greater transparency in the state’s marijuana business licensing process. Regulators quickly posted new documents.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a hemp bill into law.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced he will sign medical cannabis licensing and research bills on Monday.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said she would consider signing a medical cannabis bill “if it’s tightly controlled and limited to just those illnesses as verified by medical professionals.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he’s worried there aren’t enough votes in the legislature to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor said she’s optimistic lawmakers can still get it done.

Massachusetts’s attorney general tweeted, “It is critical that our banking system meet the needs of the emerging marijuana industry. In the interest of public safety, marijuana-related businesses should be able to access the regulated banking system and not operate on a cash-only basis.”

Arkansas medical cannabis sales began.

A Texas House-passed bill to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis law has been referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.

Missouri regulators announced they may license as many as 10 medical cannabis testing facilities.

Ohio regulators released updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis 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.


The city of Detroit, Michigan will pay $60,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a woman whose three dogs were shot and killed by police during a marijuana raid.

Minneapolis, Minnesota’s mayor tweeted about a kickoff event for a statewide marijuana legalization effort on Tuesday.


Italy’s interior minister is threatening to close the country’s low-THC cannabis shops.


The Texas Democratic Party is calling out Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) for blocking marijuana reform.


A study of fish concluded that “CBD was found to significantly decrease seizure activity within the acute exposure.”


The Washington Post editorial board is encouraging District of Columbia officials to begin considering marijuana sales legalization legislation in anticipation of the removal of a congressional rider blocking its enactment.

The Boston Herald editorial board is worried that psilocybin decriminalization will spread to Massachusetts.


Top executives from Target, Walmart, Kroger and Safeway are reportedly meeting with CBD companies about potentially selling their products.

Saks Fifth Avenue is selling CBD products.


On at least three occasions over the past month or so, Jeopardy quizzed participants about their knowledge of marijuana and psychedelic drugs. And James Holzhauer got all three questions right.

The Netflix series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj covered the bloody Philippine “drug war.”

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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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