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New congressional leaders on cannabis (Newsletter: November 29, 2022)

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Young Americans twice as likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes; Colombia & Mexican presidents want drug war review; TX cannabis decrim pushback

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Marijuana Moment compiled a deep dive into the cannabis voting records of the incoming Republican and Democratic House leaders. We examined their support for and opposition to federal legislation on legalization, banking, veterans, research and more.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a joint statement that they will convene other Latin American leaders for a conference focused on “redesigning and rethinking drug policy” given the “failure” of prohibition.

A new Gallup poll shows that young Americans are now more than twice as likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes.

Texas activists are pushing back as local lawmakers in several cities are working to undermine marijuana decriminalization ballot measures that voters overwhelmingly approved this month. In Harker Heights, for example, the City Council repealed the reform—but now advocates want to put it back on the ballot again.

The Kansas legislature’s Special Committee on Workforce Development voted to recommend that colleagues “proceed with caution” on medical cannabis legalization due to concerns about drug testing and labor shortages.

/ FEDERAL

A White House spokesperson said President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons will “bring relief to thousands of Americans.”

Customs and Border Protection defended a lifetime ban on visiting the U.S. that was imposed on a Canadian man who had a bottle of CBD oil in his car when crossing the border.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “I introduced a common sense bill to level the playing field for legally-operating cannabis small businesses so that they have access to the @SBAgov resources they need to thrive.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) discussed his marijuana research bill that is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden soon.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted that his bill to create a federal commission to study marijuana regulations ” gives lawmakers the answers they need to effectively regulate cannabis & forces executive agencies to prepare for the inevitable end to prohibition. With a deadline of 1 year to act, PREPARE bolsters @POTUS’ EO’s, paving the way for more comprehensive reform.”

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “It’s long past time for Wisconsin to join other states in legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana, much like we already do with alcohol. Nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites support legalizing marijuana—it’s time to get this done.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said he supports research on medical cannabis but he is not comfortable with advancing any marijuana legislation that would contradict federal law.

Ohio’s House speaker said members have interest in enacting a Senate-passed bill to expand the medical cannabis program in the lame duck session.

Minnesota’s outgoing House majority leader authored an op-ed arguing that the state is “on the verge of passing the best cannabis legislation in the nation.” He also discussed his support for legalization in a radio interview.

A Pennsylvania representative’s office is assisting people with registering as medical cannabis patients.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is  being asked to reconsider the loss of a medical cannabis cultivation company’s license.

A Massachusetts judge heard arguments in a case challenging the local impact fees that Haverhill charges to marijuana businesses.

Oklahoma regulators are accepting public comment on proposed medical cannabis rules.

Rhode Island regulators issued guidance about marijuana taxes.

The Virginia Crime Commission is considering proposals on marijuana-impaired driving.

Vermont regulators will review marijuana guidance, proposed rules changes and recommendations for license approvals and social equity status on Wednesday.

Washington State regulators will host the first Cannabinoid Science Work Group meeting on Thursday.

The Nevada Cannabis Advisory Commission’s Subcommittee on Public Health will meet on Thursday.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Elyria, Ohio City Council Utilities, Safety and Environmental Committee rejected a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

District attorneys in several North Carolina counties discussed their decisions to deprioritize marijuana prosecutions.

Reno, Nevada officials are holding meetings to take public feedback on a proposal to allow marijuana consumption lounges on Wednesday and Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The president of Thailand’s Parliament said lawmakers still have enough time to consider cannabis and hemp legislation before the end of the session.

The Lithuanian Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs advanced marijuana decriminalization legislation.

The Canadian Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples held a hearing on how cannabis laws impact indigenous populations. Separately, the Senate Subcommittee on Veteran Affairs  heard testimony on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics in treating PTSD.

The Philippine government is launching a new drug policy that it says will focus on demand reduction and rehabilitation instead of killing people who consume drugs.

Malta’s Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis is expected to start accepting applications for marijuana club licenses by February.

Colombia’s National Institute of Cancerology wants to produce cannabis medicines. Separately, the Justice Ministry and National Planning Department participated in a cannabis conference.

Victoria, Australia’s Legalise Cannabis Party is expected to win seats in the Legislative Council.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “the commercially available CBD products included in this study are safe and may serve as potentially effective complementary therapies for management of anxiety, sleep disturbance, and pain.”

A review found “a significant pain reduction in response to placebo in cannabinoid randomized clinical trials” and concluded that “media attention was proportionally high, with a strong positive bias, yet not associated with the clinical outcomes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Iowa Republican Party and Democratic Party chairs discussed their views on marijuana policy.

/ BUSINESS

A spokesperson for Meta discussed the company’s ban on content that promotes the buying and selling of illegal drugs including marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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