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NM legal cannabis bill advances in Senate (Newsletter: March 11, 2019)

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Video: Cops search cancer patient for marijuana in hospital; Senators compare Manafort sentence to marijuana punishments; Congressman talks cannabis with ‘Captain America’

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Angus King (I-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—along with pretty much everyone on Twitter—are outraged that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to serve less time in prison than other people get locked up for marijuana.

The New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill that the full House of Representatives passed last week.

Marijuana opponents often suggest removing possession penalties as an alternative to legal sales—which they believe will create “Big Marijuana” and drive use spikes. But a new study finds allowing possession might increase cannabis use, whereas regulating sales does not.

Police officers were filmed rifling through a cancer patient’s bags in a hospital room in a futile attempt to find marijuana so they could cite him—an event that happened in Missouri, where voters last year legalized medical cannabis.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) talked cannabis with Captain America actor Chris Evans.

/ FEDERAL

Customs and Border Protection is being sued for access to records about border policies related to marijuana.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “More than 2.5 million teens vape marijuana everyday. My office intends to be extremely vigorous enforcing laws to protect our kids & frustrate illegal teen vaping & marijuana use. Marijuana of today is powerfully potent, dangerous drug.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Countless Americans have felt the devastating ramifications of the War on Drugs — millions still remain incarcerated to this day. This is a matter of public health, drug addiction, and economic security. I’ll say it again as I did in 2008: it was a complete failure.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “It’s not enough to legalize marijuana—we must also reinvest in areas that have been most harmed by the failed drug war which have been disproportionately communities of color and low-income.” He also tweeted, “Many states that have already legalized marijuana haven’t done the necessary step of expunging records of past marijuana use and possession. Any federal legalization should also include expungement provisions.” And he talked about criminal justice reform in a Late Show appearance and an op-ed he authored.

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), a presidential candidate, said, “I’m in favor of that, which would basically get marijuana out of the shadows, and get it into a market where it could be regulated, where we can make sure it’s labeled and distributed appropriately, where we can tax it.”

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about white privilege in the context of being caught with marijuana while at Harvard.

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, said he supports legalizing marijuana.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a presidential candidate, is defending his renomination of a member of the state’s marijuana regulatory body in the face of criticism that he has contributed to a “toxic culture” in cannabis enforcement.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “60% of voters support marijuana legalization—great to see Florida coming around! We just introduced a bill to end federal #marijuana prohibition because American citizens should not be made into criminals for choosing to smoke marijuana.”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who is exploring a potential presidential run, discussed marijuana legalization during a visit to New Hampshire.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke at a press conference about racial justice and marijuana reform.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) authored an op-ed on why she introduced the Marijuana Justice Act.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CA) thanked the American Bankers Association for supporting his bill to allow marijuana businesses to access financial services, tweeting, “Our legislation is tailored to specifically address the cannabis banking issue & reduce the public safety risk associated with cash-only businesses.”

Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) tweeted, “For 6 yrs, @RepPerlmutter and I have been working to let marijuana businesses access banking services. This week, we reintroduced our bill, the SAFE Banking Act, w/ 108 cosponsors. Let’s strengthen public safety by letting these businesses open bank accounts. Let’s pass this bill.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) tweeted, “We need to legalize Marijuana nationwide. Whether you are are a criminal or not shouldn’t be based on your zip code, color or income.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “There are too many Americans from communities of color and low-income neighborhoods who have had their futures destroyed for using cannabis. Not only would the #MarijuanaJusticeAct end federal prohibition, but it would also expunge prior offenses for use.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got two new cosponsors, for a total of 21.

The House comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of five.

The House bill to require the federal government to study the impact of state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor, for a total of 24.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got five new cosponsors, for a total of 47.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said “we are close but we are not there yet” on a marijuana legalization deal.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “✅ HB 581, the Hemp Manufacturing Act, UNANIMOUSLY approved by the Senate! This first of its kind legislation creates an important framework to encourage hemp business in New Mexico and partner with Native nations, tribes and pueblos in this promising industry.”  She also tweeted, “Expanding commercial and industrial hemp will generate millions of dollars for the economy, grow New Mexico’s sustainable agriculture industry, and create jobs across the state.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) spoke about regulatory disputes that are delaying medical cannabis implementation. Meanwhile, the agriculture and forestry commissioner is pushing back against claims that regulators are improperly accusing a medical cannabis operation of violations.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he opposes decriminalizing marijuana.

The West Virginia legislature sent medical cannabis and hemp bills to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice (R).

New York’s Assembly speaker said that marijuana legalization language will be part of at least one chamber’s budget legislation. A news outlet reported that it would be included in the Senate’s proposal.

Wisconsin’s Assembly speaker said he supports medical cannabis but it shouldn’t be in the state budget.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on medical cannabis. Meanwhile, the state agriculture commissioner tweeted about a new hemp historical marker.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill to allow medical cannabis home cultivation.

The Arizona Senate approved a medical cannabis testing bill.

The Minnesota House Government Operations Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a task force to develop a comprehensive plan with recommendations on marijuana legalization.

Idaho activists are seeking to qualify a medical cannabis and hemp measure for the 2020 ballot.

Ohio regulators are proposing several medical cannabis rules changes. They also approved the state’s first medical marijuana processor certificate of operation.

Here’s a look at where South Carolina medical cannabis legislation stands.

Several Iowa marijuana reform bills are still alive.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.

/ LOCAL

The Los Angeles, California City Council voted to shut off power and water for unlicensed marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The International Criminal Court appears to be preparing to launch an investigation into the bloody Philippine “drug war.” Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said he doesn’t support legalizing medical cannabis.

Thailand is set to begin testing medical cannabis oil on patients. And regulators are preparing to propose medical marijuana advertising rules.

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee tweeted about a Texas representative’s marijuana decriminalization bill.

The Credit Union National Association endorsed congressional marijuana banking legislation.

The Texas Police Chiefs Association is speaking out against pending marijuana law reform bills.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that CBD and CBN “have anti-cancer properties.”

Researchers will soon begin recruiting participants for a study on whether resistance exercise is an effective intervention for cannabis use disorders.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers found that 44% prefer a presidential candidate who fully supports legalizing marijuana nationwide, 33% want one who supports steps toward it and 16% would like a candidate who does not support doing so.

/ BUSINESS

Altria Group, Inc. announced the completion of its approximately $1.8 billion investment in Cronos Group Inc., making it the largest shareholder in the cannabis company.

Levi’s is making hemp jeans.

Journalist Jim Higdon is stepping away from marijuana journalism to start his own CBD company, Cornbread Hemp.

The Wall Street Journal looks at the market for cannabis-infused beverages.

/ CULTURE

Actress and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow said that an understanding of “how psychedelics affect health and mental health and addiction will come more into the mainstream” might be the next big things.

ESPN takes a look at how professional sports leagues treat marijuana.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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 15-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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Newsletter

CT legal cannabis bill approved in committee (Newsletter: March 26, 2019)

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Congressional banking bill amendment; NJ legalization stalls; TX marijuana decrim bill advances; POTUS candidate Pete Buttigieg on cannabis

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

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This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 400 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

  • Nat Kulik: “You have been my favorite follow on Twitter. The work you and your team are doing to bring change to cannabis reform is unparalleled! As you say, it is not inevitable, but only with activism and caring that we can get to a path forward.”

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New Jersey legislative leaders pulled a marijuana legalization bill that had been scheduled for Monday votes from the calendar because it did not have enough Senate support to pass.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the chief sponsor of a marijuana banking bill up for a congressional committee vote on Tuesday, is proposing an amendment that would require federal agencies to track diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry, among other changes to the legislation.

The Connecticut legislature’s General Law Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill, with the Judiciary Committee expected to vote on related cannabis legislation on Thursday.

The Texas Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Marijuana Moment’s latest candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at where Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg stands on cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a case seeking to overturn a Washington State Supreme Court ruling that determined regulators properly denied a marijuana business license to an LLC because of the criminal history of its sole member’s spouse.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is seeking a contractor to handle the incineration of seized marijuana, other illegal drugs and additional evidence materials.

Politico takes a look at the Food and Drug Administration’s difficulty in regulating CBD products.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate said that the war on drugs “is a war on American people.” He also tweeted, “It’s not enough to legalize marijuana—we should also: ✅ use tax revenue to reinvest in communities hurt by the failed War on Drugs ✅ penalize states that don’t change their marijuana laws & continue to disproportionately arrest people of color.”

A Maryland student pleaded guilty to charges of illegal wiretapping related to streaming a meeting about marijuana with a staffer for Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) on Facebook.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “New reports show legal marijuana to be the fastest-growing industry in the country: 65,000 full-time jobs added to the US job market in 2018 and 60% of voters supporting legalization. This underscores the fact that it’s time to decriminalize marijuana nationwide.”

PolitiFact ruled that a statement by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, about marijuana use rates in his state following legalization is “Half True.”

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) congratulated Connecticut’s new agriculture commissioner nominee, noting that they have worked together on hemp issues.

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he believes the legislature will be able to legalize marijuana even if the issue isn’t addressed in the budget.

South Dakota’s attorney general released a statement clarifying that hemp and CBD remain illegal under state law.

A number of state attorneys general met with Canadian law enforcement officials to discuss marijuana regulations.

The Kansas House of Representatives approved a hemp bill.

The North Dakota Senate did not produce a needed two-thirds majority to approve a bill allowing medical cannabis edibles, but it did pass hemp legislation.

The Connecticut legislature’s General Law Committee advanced a bill adding opioid withdrawal syndrome as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Arizona House Committee on Regulatory Affairs approved legislation aimed at increasing the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in rural areas.

The Florida Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously advanced a hemp legalization bill. The state’s agriculture commissioner cheered the move.

The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee approved hemp legislation.

The Missouri House Rules-Administrative Oversight Committee voted to approve a hemp expansion bill.

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to decriminalize possession of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction.

The Utah Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case seeking to overturn legislation lawmakers passed replacing the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis initiative.

The Guam Senate is expected to vote on a marijuana legalization bill soon.

The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee was scheduled hear a marijuana legalization bill and legislation to protect employment rights of cannabis consumers on Tuesday, but the proposal to end prohibition is being pulled back for revisions. The House Health, Education and Welfare Committee will hear a bill on Wednesday to add marijuana to laws covering second-hand smoke.

Washington State regulators released an updated list of pesticides that are allowed to be used in marijuana cultivation.

Louisiana regulators are being pressured to make medical cannabis available to patients by May 15.

New Mexico regulators will decide on Friday whether to add opioid addiction as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Nevada lawmakers filed a marijuana banking bill.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.

/ LOCAL

District attorneys from Oklahoma counties disagree with one another about whether people should be able to use medical cannabis while on probation.

Los Angeles, California regulators are hiring someone to run the city’s marijuana equity program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Kenyan government disputed an American company’s claim that it had been granted a license to cultivate medical cannabis there.

Liberian government officials are reportedly meeting with U.S. medical cannabis business interests.

/ ADVOCACY

The American Bankers Association and the Credit Union National Association sent letters urging Congress to approve marijuana banking legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “THC use does not reduce immune function” in people living with HIV.

A study found that hospital “visits attributable to inhaled cannabis are more frequent than those attributable to edible cannabis, although the latter is associated with more acute psychiatric visits and more [emergency department] visits than expected.”

A review concluded that “randomised controlled trials of plant-derived cannabidiol for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe childhood-onset epilepsies, provide evidence of anti-seizure effects” but that “small clinical trials of cannabinoids in other neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dementia, have not found any effect.”

A study of mice suggested “CBD as a pharmacological tool to improve neurological dysfunctions caused by the trauma” associated with traumatic brain injury.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Guam Daily Post editorial board wants the territory’s voters to be able to decide on marijuana legalization via a ballot measure.

/ BUSINESS

Target said it doesn’t have any immediate plans to carry CBD products.

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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.
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Newsletter

GOP seeks to delay cannabis banking vote in Congress (Newsletter: March 25, 2019)

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Connecticut legalization hearings; Booker backs NJ legal marijuana bill; Advocates press industry to uphold social responsibilities

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There are now 958 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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  • Jeff Rover: “I would like to do whatever I can to help bring this medicine to the people of Wisconsin and the country at large.”

https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Top Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee are calling on Democrats to delay a scheduled Tuesday vote on marijuana banking legislation.

Two Connecticut legislative committees held separate simultaneous hearings on marijuana legalization bills. A vote in the General Law Committee is scheduled for Monday.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) endorsed the marijuana legalization bill that lawmakers in his home state of New Jersey will vote on Monday, though it looks like a majority of state senators are now opposed to the legislation.

The Drug Policy Alliance released a memo pressing the marijuana industry to do more to uphold its social responsibilities and the principles of the legalization movement—the work of which allows cannabis businesses to exist in the first place.

/ FEDERAL

Attorney General William Barr toured Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters on Friday just before receiving Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York is urging state lawmakers not to legalize marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Los Angeles office tweeted, “Outstanding work! Excellent investigation culminating in the arrest of a man suspected of putting poison – #marijuana – on our streets. #cannabis is illegal and highly addictive. Use #pot and go to #jail! Violent guns+#marijuana go hand in hand.”

Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted about more of his concerns with marijuana legalization.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We need to invest in jobs and education for our kids, not more jails and incarceration. We need to end the destructive “war on drugs,” eliminate private prisons and cash bail and bring about major police department reform.” He also spoke about ending the drug war during a campaign rally in San Francisco.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We can’t talk about legalizing marijuana unless we also talk about expunging the records of the millions of people who are unable to get a job—or any of the thousands of other collateral consequences—that come with having a marijuana conviction.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We need to dismantle institutional racism. We need solutions both targeted and broad—like higher standards for maternity care, a national commitment to full employment, postal banking, ending cash bail and legalizing marijuana.” She also spoke about cannabis legalization at a campaign rally.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about the need for the federal government to allow marijuana businesses to access banks and to actively regulate cannabis. (About 45 minutes into the video.)

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, said he wants to visit Nevada marijuana stores to see what legalization looks like in practice.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “W/ the support of almost a third of my colleagues in the House, I look forward to advancing #SAFEBanking this week. With 97.7% of Americans living in a state where some form of cannabis is permitted, Congress can no longer just stick its head in the sand.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis prohibition has always unfairly targeted communities of color. It’s time to pass the #MarijuanaJusticeAct and invest in communities devastated by the failed #WarOnDrugs.”

The House marijuana banking bill got five new cosponsors, for a total of 143.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) tweeted, “Our adult-use marijuana legalization bill, with strong provisions for expungement and the ability to vacate sentences for those currently incarcerated, will promote social and racial justice and reduce disparities in our criminal justice system.” Assembly and Senate floor votes on legalization legislation are expected on Monday, but it is not clear that supporters have the votes to pass the bill.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) tweeted, “It’s time for #CT to legalize marijuana for recreational use. We should expunge criminal charges for simple possession. This will lead to a safer market, and some of the proceeds can be used to correct historical wrongs and support addiction services.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said that the best chance of passing marijuana legalization would be to do it through the budget.

The North Dakota Senate approved legislation to expand the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Arizona House of Representatives narrowly defeated a bill to clarify the legality of medical cannabis edibles.

The Guam Senate voted to approve additional fees on medical cannabis.

The Utah Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging legislation lawmakers passed to replace the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis initiative on Monday.

The Alabama House Democratic caucus included medical cannabis in its legislative agenda.

Michigan regulators adopted a resolution on action against unlicensed medical cannabis businesses. They also sent a bulletin on intellectual property issues for marijuana products and released a fire plan checklist.

Oregon regulators upheld a judge’s denial of a marijuana business license application over false statements.

Louisiana regulators gave approval for Louisiana State University to move its medical cannabis growing operation into a larger facility.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.

/ LOCAL

Here’s a look at the stalemate between Baltimore, Maryland prosecutors, who no longer charge marijuana possession, and the city’s police force, which continues to make arrests.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced plans to develop a medical cannabis industry.

/ ADVOCACY

The New York Medical Society, New Jersey Medical Society, Connecticut Medical Society and Delaware Medical Society issued a joint statement opposing marijuana legalization.

The Texas Medical Association is calling for marijuana to be federally rescheduled and to remove restrictions in state law on who can access CBD medical cannabis.

The president of the New Jersey NAACP published an op-ed urging lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “How long will Hoosiers have to wait to join the — 33 other states– that have legalized medical marijuana in some form?”

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist tweeted, “There are always two ways presented to solve a ‘problem.; One increases liberty.  One increases state power. We first chose prohibition with liquor. It was expensive in lives. We chose prohibition with cannabis. Now we are giving people more options and reducing state power.”

The National Cannabis Roundtable made a number of lobbyist hires.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study looking at car accidents in the UK on 4/20 found that “on the average cannabis celebration day in Britain, there were an additional 23 police-reported collisions compared to control days, corresponding to a 17.9% increase in the relative risk of collision.”

A study concluded that college “students in medical states were more likely to use marijuana compared to non‐legal states.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board is urging Massachusetts lawmakers to do more to ensure an equitable marijuana industry.

/ BUSINESS

A Marijuana Business Daily analysis found that 93% of Canadian marijuana company board seats are held by men.

The Wall Street Journal looks at hiring and workplace issues related to marijuana.

/ CULTURE

Whoopi Goldberg authored an op-ed calling on New Jersey lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

Professional golfer Robert Garrigus was suspended over a positive marijuana test.

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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.
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Fed health agency slams cannabis’s Schedule I restrictions (Newsletter: March 22, 2019)

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Study: Marijuana consumers are less obese than non-users; Veterans orgs press Congress on cannabis research; More WI legalization ballot questions

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 951 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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A federal agency under the National Institutes of Health is slamming marijuana’s restrictive Schedule I status as a reason for “slow” research on its medical benefits, and says it will spend money on studies examining cannabis as a pain treatment.

A number of military veterans advocacy organizations such as Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have been pressing Congress on expanding medical cannabis research in a series of joint House-Senate hearings in recent weeks.

Voters in some Wisconsin localities will get the chance to decide on marijuana legalization and medical cannabis ballot questions during the state’s April 2 election.

A new study smashes stereotype about lazy stoners who are too busy stuffing their faces with munchies to exercise, finding that “actively cannabis-using subgroups were under-represented among newly incident cases of obesity.”

/ FEDERAL

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the driver of a truck that got stuck on railroad tracks and was collided into by a train carrying members of Congress last year was under the influence of marijuana and an anti-seizure medication.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The drug pushers at Big Pharma have enough crooked politicians in their pocket to maintain the appearance of legality – that’s the only difference between them & every other global drug cartel. I’m for legalizing marijuana & holding Big Pharma accountable.”

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) touted his 95% Conservative Voting Record from Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, which is based, in part, on the Farm Bill’s hemp legalization provisions.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) held a press conference to build support for marijuana legalization votes on Monday, saying that he is “making progress, but we have a ways to go.” He also spoke about the reasons for ending prohibition in an MSNBC interview.

Alabama’s Republican House speaker is cosponsoring a medical cannabis bill.

A majority of Illinois House of Representatives members have cosponsored a resolution calling to slow down the process for marijuana legalization legislation. Separately, a representative filed a bill to make the state’s medical cannabis program permanent and to add new qualifying conditions.

The Connecticut legislature’s General Law and Judiciary Committees will hold hearings on marijuana legalization on Friday.

Guam lawmakers began debating a marijuana legalization bill.

Several large marijuana companies appear to be testing the limits of a Massachusetts law that allows firms to control no more than three retail cannabis outlets in the state.

The North Dakota Senate is expected to vote on legislation to expand the state’s medical cannabis program soon.

Maine officials hired a top regulator to run the state’s recreational marijuana program.

Michigan regulators are moving to shut down 50 unlicensed medical cannabis businesses.

Ohio regulators awarded certificates of operations to three more medical cannabis dispensaries.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.

/ LOCAL

Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor published a letter in the New York Times about the city’s efforts to ensure equity in the marijuana industry.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The former presidents of Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland co-authored an op-ed calling for drug legalization.

A Guernsey senior deputy said the jurisdiction should consider legalizing marijuana.

/ ADVOCACY

The Connecticut Republican Party is conducting a survey on support for legalizing marijuana.

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “33 other states have passed some form of medical marijuana- including our neighbors of Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. Hoosiers are ready to join them.” It also launched a petition on the issue.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “lifetime cannabis use is associated with better working memory and processing speed and worse real-world functioning in the area of socially useful activities in patients with schizophrenia-related disorders.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Montana voters support legalizing marijuana, 51%-37%.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Tallahassee made Florida’s first legal sale of smokable medical cannabis flower.

SunTrust closed the bank account of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida.

/ CULTURE

Travel writer Rick Steves gave the New York Times Magazine a look at some of the musings he has jotted down while high.

The New York Times looks at high-end marijuana-related jewelry.

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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.
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