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NY gov schedules cannabis listening sessions (Newsletter: August 31, 2018)

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MI legalization gets ballot number; Trump lobbying senators to ditch Sessions; Rosenstein slams safe consumption sites

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a series of 15 “listening sessions” on marijuana legalization that will be held across the state starting next week.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump is personally lobbying U.S. senators to rescind their support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But he said that Sessions is safe in his job until after the midterm elections.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke at length about his opposition to safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) pushed back against the White House’s plan to gather negative information about marijuana.

Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA), Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) also slammed the Trump administration anti-marijuana strategy.

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a U.S. Senate candidate, said, “The Trump Administration should not be working behind the scenes to mislead the public and undermine our successful efforts to legalize and regulate marijuana at the state level. After rescinding the Cole Memo last year, it’s clear why this Administration has not stepped up for real solutions this year.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) tweeted, “It is unfortunate that the Trump Administration is choosing to perpetuate biased information and outdated myths to fuel the failed War on Drugs that has ripped families apart and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.”

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) sent press releases about their bill to seal records for marijuana and drug possession convictions.

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “In a GOP primary in the reddest  district in FL I was attacked by @crisdosev 4 acknowledging climate change, supporting rights of gay couples to adopt & leading on marijuana reform.  All true. I won 2-1. Republicans believe in science and freedom. It’s a refreshing affirmation.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “My friend & colleague @BetoORourke understands what’s at stake with dangerous & unfair marijuana policies. A message I’ve carried around the country, but nothing beats hearing it from a high profile candidate like Beto as he takes on Ted Cruz.”

/ STATES

Michigan’s marijuana legalization initiative was given the ballot designation Proposal 1.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said he will vote against the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure, but he also said the legislature should enact a different medical cannabis policy and called on the federal government to declassify marijuana.

Advocates behind one of Missouri’s medical cannabis initiatives are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to revoke its ballot access.

The chief justice of Ohio’s Supreme Court published an op-ed urging voters to reject a ballot measure to reduce drug sentences.

Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, currently a congressman, tweeted, “As Coloradans, we know the truth. Allowing responsible adults to legally buy marijuana gives money to classrooms not cartels; creates jobs not addicts; and boosts the economy not the prison population.”

More details are emerging about forthcoming New Jersey bills to legalize marijuana and expand medical cannabis.

Oregon regulators are asking lawmakers for $7 million to fund medical cannabis tracking.

/ LOCAL

New York City police will implement a relaxed marijuana enforcement policy starting on Saturday.

Marijuana arrests in Miami-Dade County, Florida have risen since commissioners enacted a policy allowing police to issue tickets instead of send people to jail for small amounts of cannabis.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said marijuana should be added to NAFTA.

/ ADVOCACY

A California Democratic Party vice chairwoman slammed local officials for blocking legal marijuana access in their communities.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “experiences of pain are not associated with decisions about whether or not to use cannabis” but that “once cannabis users are in cannabis-using situations, they tend to use larger amounts when they are experiencing elevated levels of pain.”

Researchers studying Early Bronze age skeletons in Italy reported that “from the dental calculus of two females with grooves and striations, we extracted three fragments of fibers, identified as hemp.”

The University of Mississippi filed to renew its license to grow marijuana to be used in scientific research.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board criticized Massachusetts regulators for not taking action against agreements between marijuana businesses and municipalities that require large payments in order to obtain a license.  

The Tulsa World editorial board is calling on Congress to reschedule marijuana.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board criticized Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) openness to consider the results of marijuana legalization.

/ BUSINESS

A law firm is preparing a class action lawsuit over allegations that Cronos Group Inc. issued materially misleading business information to the investing public.

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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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