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New Mexico House passes cannabis legalization bill (Newsletter: March 8, 2019)



Banking bill has 108 congressional cosponsors; Hawaii House OKs marijuana decrim; Study: cannabis improves orgasms; Rappers’ SCOTUS drug war brief

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There are now 850 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.


A bipartisan group of House members filed a bill to let marijuana businesses access banks. It has 108 original cosponsors, the most ever for standalone cannabis legislation.

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill to legalize marijuana. A last-minute floor amendment, worked out as a bipartisan compromise, would put cannabis sales in state-run stores—with some exceptions. It would also require consumers to carry receipts for marijuana they purchased or else face criminalization.

A new Marijuana Moment interview with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)—a presidential candidate who just introduced bills to deschedule cannabis and require the federal government to study the impact of state legalization—covers her views on marijuana in politics, the broader war on drugs and whether she’s indulged in cannabis use, among other issues.

The Hawaii House of Representatives approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana, though it was amended to only cover three grams of cannabis.

Here’s a look at how Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who just decided against launching a run for president, is out of step with fellow Democratic lawmakers and voters on marijuana.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced far-reaching criminal justice reform legislation called the Next Step Act, which contains provisions to deschedule marijuana, expunge cannabis records and invest in communities impacted by the war on drugs.

A study found that “marijuana appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm,” that cannabis use increases sex drive and is associated with overall more pleasurable sexual experiences.

Killer Mike, Chance The Rapper and Meek Mill, among others, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that outlines how the war on drugs, hip hop and policing intersect.

  • “Already weakened by joblessness and drug addiction, these communities watched in horror as newly militarized police departments turned weapons of war—helicopters, armored vehicles, and machine guns—on their own citizens.


The Department of Defense is reviewing Elon Musk’s security clearance over on-camera marijuana smoking he did on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

A federal judge dismissed a case against a hemp business.

The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on Trump administration drug policies. The committee ordered the Office of National Drug Control Policy to produce a new national drug control strategy within 60 days.

Commenting on the sentencing of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted, “People are sometimes sent to prison for longer than 47 months for non violent marijuana offenses.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, said, “There is definitely—every Congress I’ve been here—movement being made. When I started talking about marijuana policy my very first year here, there’s many more people who are joining, sort of this coalition to try to advance marijuana laws here in the United States Senate, which is encouraging to me.”  He also tweeted, “The federal government should do the right thing and help to not only end the prohibition of marijuana but also expunge the records of people convicted of marijuana use and possession.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke about ending the war on drugs during a campaign rally in Iowa.

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for letting states set their own marijuana laws.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) said that he hasn’t talked with President Trump about marijuana, but that “we make the decisions [in Congress]—not the president.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “When the majority of the public says they want something, I think it’s time we do something. As the co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus, I’m fighting hard to legalize marijuana at the federal level.” She also included “✅ Marijuana Justice Act” in a list of things “we’re fighting for.”

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) tweeted, “Happy to cosponsor @TulsiGabbard’s legislation to get the feds out of marijuana prohibition.”

The Senate bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of three.


Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) signed a hemp bill into law.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that a labor appeals board incorrectly decided workers’ compensation insurance can’t reimburse employees for medical cannabis costs.

The Florida Senate passed a bill allowing patients to smoke medical cannabis.

The New Mexico Senate approved a medical cannabis expansion bill.

New Jersey’s Senate president said he wants to hold a vote on marijuana legalization legislation this month but that one unnamed issue is holding up a final deal.

The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill allowing vertical integration in medical cannabis businesses.

Guam lawmakers held a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill.

The sponsors of a Colorado bill to allow medical cannabis for conditions for which opioids are prescribed recommended postponing it while broader medical cannabis reform legislation is worked out.

Pennsylvania regulators released applications for clinical registrants in the state’s medical cannabis research program.

Washington State regulators are considering rules on mandatory signage at marijuana businesses.

Ohio regulators announced that 5,465 patients have purchased medical marijuana in the state so far.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 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.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


Colombian President Ivan Duque is urging the Constitutional Court to ease restrictions on aerial spraying of coca crops.


The American Bankers Association sent a letter to Congress in support of marijuana banking legislation.


A study found that “the formulation of C. sativa resin as a syrup using lipophilic and hydrophilic carriers improves significantly the anti-inflammatory activity of Cannabis” and that “syrup is an efficient and alternative vehicle to the traditional smoking for oral delivery of C. sativa as an anti-inflammatory.”


A poll found that U.S. likely voters support legalizing marijuana, 54%-37%.

A poll found that Arizona likely voters support legalizing marijuana, 52%-41%.

The Seattle Times editorial board is calling on Congress to allow marijuana businesses to access banks.

The Detroit News editorial board cheered the demise of Michigan’s current medical cannabis regulatory board.


The New York Times profiled the Stanley Brothers.


NFL player David Irving streamed himself smoking marijuana in an Instagram video in which he said he’s quitting professional football.

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Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

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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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