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North Dakota could vote to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: July 2, 2018)

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Nugent part of Trump medical cannabis council?; Next DEA head; Study: dispensaries don’t increase crime

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

With almost no national attention or support, local North Dakota activists might end up putting a measure to legalize marijuana on the state’s November ballot.

Musician Ted Nugent said that he is part of a “new council…working with President Trump to legalize medical marijuana nationwide.” The revelation, which he did not elaborate on, came during an interview in which podcaster Joe Rogan tried his best convince the broadly anti-legalization rocker that not all cannabis consumers are lazy and irresponsible.

A study concluded that there was “no relationship between county laws that legally permit [marijuana] dispensaries and reported violent crime” and that there was a “negative and significant relationship between dispensary allowances and property crime rates.”

/ FEDERAL

President Trump is expected to name White House lawyer Uttam Dhillon as the next head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Here’s a look at how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) push for hemp legalization will foster the CBD product market.

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Democrats called out Republicans for blocking a vote on letting marijuana businesses access banks:

  • “We were also disappointed that Republicans opposed an amendment from Rep. Joyce to ensure that financial institutions are not penalized solely because they provide services to entities involved with handling marijuana in states where such activity is legal. After several Republicans implied that they would support an amendment limited to entities handling medical marijuana, Rep. Joyce proposed such an amendment. The Majority encouraged him to withdraw that amendment as well. Democrats will continue to work to provide clarity for financial institutions and others operating legal businesses.”

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “One year ago today the first recreational marijuana sales began in the State of Nevada. The growth of the industry has created thousands of new jobs and generated over $70 million in new tax revenue for the state. I’ll continue to advocate to protect the state’s interests in DC.”

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) claimed on Twitter that marijuana legalization is associated with increased youth use.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “I am fighting for a future where we replace the ‘war on drugs’ with a war on poverty and inequality.”

The U.S. House bill to remove the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor, for a total of 45.

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted, “Medical cannabis users are patients, NOT criminals and they should never be treated as such!” He also tweeted, “Descheduling cannabis is the right thing to do. It is as simple as that.”

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) relented and said a special legislative session to amend the voter-approved medical cannabis measure is “not necessary.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that although marijuana legalization didn’t make it into the state’s budget deal, there is agreement from lawmakers to get it done “sooner rather than later.” The Senate president said that legislators are “committed” to passing marijuana legalization this summer. Separately, in a tweet, the governor touted the expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Delaware lawmakers sent a marijuana expungement bill to the desk of Gov. John Carney (D).

Utah’s medical cannabis measure has been given the ballot number Proposition 2. But opponents asked a federal judge to issue an emergency restraining order to keep the initiative off of the ballot.

Missouri’s secretary of state suggested that courts would decide what happens if multiple medical cannabis measures are approved by voters in November.

Ohio regulators cleared the state’s first medical cannabis cultivation business to begin operations, and also awarded testing lab licenses.

Massachusetts public health officials released the results of a baseline study about marijuana in the state prior to the launch of legalization. Meanwhile, the state’s public safety secretary seems poised to miss a legal deadline to make recommendations on civil citations for low-level cannabis violations.

Vermont’s law legalizing marijuana possession and home cultivation took effect on Sunday.

Georgia’s law allowing low-THC medical cannabis preparations for PTSD and intractable pain took effect on Sunday.

Arkansas medical cannabis regulators will hold their first meeting on Monday since they were sued over their application process.

/ LOCAL

The Rock County, Wisconsin Board voted to place a marijuana legalization advisory question on the November ballot.

A Savannah, Georgia law allowing police to avoid low-level marijuana arrests took effect on Sunday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A commission of experts from Caribbean nations is recommending that countries legalize marijuana.

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn indicated he is open to supporting decriminalizing marijuana.

Sri Lanka is moving to allow growing and exporting medical cannabis.

/ ADVOCACY

The Idaho Democratic Party adopted platform planks supporting marijuana legalization, medical cannabis and industrial hemp.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana strongly implied in a fundraising email that US. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) filed a cannabis bill just to get campaign contributions from the marijuana industry.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that conservatives are more likely to oppose marijuana legalization “because of their greater reliance on the authority and purity foundations of morality” and that “concerns about harm were found to play no role in determining attitudes toward marijuana legalization, even though those who were against this policy frequently explained their views with harm-related accounts.”

A study concluded that medical cannabis “can be an efficacious tool to make more effective the management of chronic pain and its consequences on functional and psychological dimension.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 66% or Utah voters support a medical cannabis ballot measure.

/ BUSINESS

Tobacco company Imperial Brands is entering the marijuana industry. It is joining with Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm to invest in a cannabis research firm backed by actor Patrick Stewart.

/ CULTURE

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand is set to start selling cannabis products.

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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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