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NM House speaker hopeful for legal cannabis in 2021 (Newsletter: October 9, 2020)

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Congresswoman shares legal marijuana buying tips; NJ gov: Legalization referendum “can’t fail”; Veterans back case challenging DEA on cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New Mexico’s House speaker said he’s hopeful the state can legalize marijuana in the 2021 session and also spoke about “decriminalizing the possession of narcotics and what that would do to help people across the board, especially people of color.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said the state “can’t fail” to pass its marijuana legalization ballot referendum in remarks at a fundraiser for the campaign. Meanwhile, a key senator said that legislative leaders are preparing to pass enabling cannabis regulations in the first week of November if voters sign off.

  • “We will do this responsibly. We’ll do this the right way. We’ll do it in a way that addresses, head-on, the social justice issues and creates the kind of opportunities that we’re now robbing from too many of our fellow residents.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) shared tips to make sure her constituents know how to successfully buy marijuana on Maine’s first day of legal sales on Friday.

  • “For example, the method of payment will vary by retailer. Do your research before waiting in line.”

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America filed a brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to take up a case challenging the DEA’s restrictive classification of marijuana.

  • “Medical marijuana holds promise for treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but randomized controlled studies with real-world medical marijuana are necessary to determine the efficacy and safety of medical marijuana as a PTSD treatment.”

/ FEDERAL

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani tweeted, “Harris’s record as a DA was to put people in prison,1,500,for merely possessing small amounts of marijuana. She did it to artificially inflate her incompetent record of convicting dangerous criminals.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service said in response to public comments that it is unclear whether legalization of marijuana will lead to reduced use of rodenticides or other toxicants in illegal cannabis grows.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalize Cannabis. End the war on drugs.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) replied to Lee’s marijuana and drug reform tweet with, “Endorse.”

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) tweeted, “Speaker Pelosi has insisted that any COVID relief bill include a complete rewrite of our election laws even though people are already voting, and she’s insisting on special interest carve outs. In fact, her bill mentions ‘cannabis’ more than ‘jobs.'”

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) endorsed South Dakota’s marijuana legalization and medical cannabis ballot measures.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Adam Christensen tweeted, “I think it’s time that we give Farmers a new cash crop. George Washington was a hemp farmer. It’s time we make it available for our agg industry here in the district.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Legalizing adult-use cannabis is:  🤜🏿🤛🏼Fiscally responsible.  🤜🏽🤛🏾Criminal justice reform.  🤜🏽🤛🏿Humane, with greater access at a lower cost for medical marijuana patients. 🤜🏽🤛🏾Common sense. Call your legislators and ask why they don’t get started right now.”

California’s attorney general announced that officials eradicated more than 1.1 million marijuana plants across 455 grow sites this year.

Mississippi’s secretary of state held another public hearing on the state’s medical cannabis ballot measures.

North Carolina Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Jenna Wadsworth spoke about her support for legalizing marijuana.

The Maryland House Workgroup to Address Police Reform and Accountability approved a recommendation to remove prior marijuana use as a disqualifying factor to becoming a police officer.

Maine regulators sent guidance ahead of the state’s launch of legal recreational marijuana sales on Friday.

Colorado regulators issued a health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of yeast, mold and arsenic in marijuana flower produced by EvanD Management, LLC.

Guam regulators scheduled public hearings for proposed marijuana rules from November 12-14.

Georgia regulators preliminarily approved a medical cannabis license application design.

Nevada regulators will consider changes to marijuana rules on Monday.


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/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s health minister helped to plant medical cannabis seedlings.

Italian regulators added hemp flower for extraction uses to a list of agricultural products approved for medicinal purposes.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of total joint arthroplasty patients found that “during a 6-year period, cannabinoid use increased more than 60%, and opioid use decreased approximately 30%” and that the findings “indicate that cannabinoid use did not appear to be associated with perioperative complications.”

A study found that “with just one exception, we find that both Black and Indigenous people are over-represented amongst those arrested for cannabis possession across the five cities examined” and that “Canadian cannabis legalization lacks measures to redress the racialized harms caused by the war on drugs because the full extent of these harms remains largely unknown.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Medical Association published a post urging Mississippi voters to reject an activist-driven medical cannabis ballot measure.

An Oregon AFSCME leader authored an op-ed on why the union supports the state’s ballot initiative to decriminalize drugs.

/ BUSINESS

Several marijuana stocks rose on Thursday.

Lantern brought its marijuana delivery service to Detroit, Michigan.

Columbia Care, Inc. launched a national lifestyle brand of cannabis.

Vireo Health of Minnesota, LLC is pressuring Minnesota regulators to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

/ CULTURE

Actor John Slattery spoke about getting high as a teenager.

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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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