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NH House speaker hopeful about legalizing cannabis (Newsletter: Dec. 31, 2018)

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Best politician marijuana tweets of 2018; Virgin Islands lawmakers approve medical cannabis; Study sheds light on marijuana & opioids

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New Hampshire’s House speaker — who himself voted against marijuana legalization earlier this year — now says that the legislature likely has enough support to override Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and end cannabis prohibition in 2019.

A new meta-analysis looks at research on legal marijuana access and opioid overdoses:

  • “In ecological studies, states that allow medical cannabis laws have reported a slower rate of increase in opioid overdose deaths compared with states without such laws.”

Marijuana Moment took a look  back at some of 2018’s best cannabis-related tweets by politicians. Posting pics of hemp pens, calling out Big Pharma’s marijuana opposition and even fighting with prohibitionist Kevin Sabet—lawmakers did all that and more on Twitter this year.

/ FEDERAL

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent criticized Mexico’s move to legalize marijuana.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is “highly optimistic” that marijuana reform legislation will advance under the Democratic-controlled House.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted that one thing he likes about Kentucky Republicans is that they “like basketball, bourbon & hemp so not all bad.”

Here are more comments from Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) about how he intends to try marijuana regardless of its legal status.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted critically about the federal law that denies gun rights  to people who consume marijuana.

/ STATES

U.S. Virgin Islands lawmakers sent a medical cannabis bill to the desk of Gov. Kenneth Mapp (R).

Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker (D) may have trouble convincing some Democratic lawmakers to support his marijuana legalization plans. Some members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus are waiting to see the details of potential legalization legislation.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed a budget that includes $5 million to implement marijuana legalization.

The Nebraska Supreme Court rejected an argument that the legalization of marijuana in neighboring Colorado means that police can’t use the smell of cannabis as a pretext for warrantless vehicle searches.

Michigan regulators announced that medical cannabis businesses operating without a license after December 31 may experience impediments to being licensed in the future.

A Massachusetts commission on impaired driving voted to not make saliva marijuana tests automatically admissible in court.

Florida regulators certified more than 136,000 medical cannabis patients in the first nine months of 2018.

The Denver Post published a package of stories looking at how Colorado municipalities raise and spend marijuana tax revenue. The paper also shed light on how state lawmakers can direct a large portion of cannabis tax dollars to whatever they please.

Here’s a look at how legalization of marijuana in other states and countries is adding to pressure on Texas to modernize its cannabis laws.


Marijuana Moment is tracking key cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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.

/ LOCAL

Dallas County, Texas’s incoming district attorney plans to dismiss all first-time arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said legalizing marijuana is “opening up Pandora’s box.”

Here’s a look at the challenges that some California cities are having in rolling out marijuana equity programs.

/ INTERNATIONAL

French regulators accepted the recommendations of an expert committee that endorsed medical cannabis, saying that they want a system in place by the end of 2019.

Malaysian police are opposed to legalizing medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “long‐term CBD treatment had an acceptable safety profile and led to sustained, clinically meaningful reductions in seizure frequency in patients with treatment‐resistant [Dravet syndrome.]”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York Times editorial board included significant criticism of the war on drugs in a series of editorials about women’s reproductive rights.

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. said that a proposed takeover bid by Green Growth Brands Ltd. “significantly undervalues the company.”

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union plans to organize “many thousands of workers” in the marijuana industry once New York legalizes.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA cautioned its members against using CBD products because trace amounts of THC could cause them to fail drug tests.

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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 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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