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Pennsylvania lawmakers to vote on cannabis decrim (Newsletter: Oct. 9, 2018)



Poll: Legal marijuana support continues to increase; Study tracks interesting teen cannabis use attitudes; Missouri medical marijuana ad

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A Pew poll found that support for marijuana legalization continues to increase, with Americans now backing ending cannabis prohibition by a margin of 62%-34%.

The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill on Tuesday.

A  study found that teens who don’t use marijuana are becoming increasingly tolerant of their peers who do.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows that border patrol seizures of marijuana are at the lowest point in more than a decade and that only a small minority of its cannabis enforcement actions involve unauthorized immigrants as opposed to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Several members of Congress expressed frustration with the White House’s position on marijuana:

  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ): “I think it’s despicable. To me this has always been an issue around justice — and restorative justice — and to see that there may be forces in the White House that are working against those issues of justice is just sad, frustrating, and, frankly, against the things that we stand for as a nation, which is truth and justice.”
  • Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA): “Every time I speak to someone in the administration, despite what the president has said, they tell me it isn’t happening. My question is, who is in charge over there? It borders on ridiculous. The president is right on this issue. The gatekeepers need to do their job, not undermine good policy.”
  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR): “Trump is on all sides of issues, sometimes within a matter of minutes, so people shouldn’t be shocked. It is an illustration of another area where the administration has an incoherent policy framework…. They’re on the wrong side of history. They’re on the wrong side of their own base. They have something that if they actually tried to implement something that is draconian there will be open revolt, and in a way I’d love for them to do that before the November election, they’d lose the Senate. They’d lose more seats in the House.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “When more Americans are arrested for marijuana than for committing violent crimes, it’s clear that the priorities of our justice system are completely out of order. The ‘war on drugs’ has destroyed too many lives. It’s imperative that we legalize marijuana.”

Virginia congressional candidates agreed on marijuana decriminalization during a debate.

Kansas Democratic congressional candidate Alan LaPolice said marijuana should be federally decriminalized.


Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo signed a bill allowing medical cannabis home cultivation. The territory’s gubernatorial candidates said they back the legislation.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) is expected this week to name his appointees to the territory’s marijuana regulatory commission, and is urging mayors to name their picks soon as well.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) incorporated a nonprofit that will work to open a safe injection site for illegal drug consumers despite federal threats.

A Missouri medical cannabis campaign released a video ad featuring an Afghanistan veteran who suffers from chronic pain and PTSD.

Colorado gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy.

Here’s a look at where Connecticut gubernatorial candidates stand on legalizing marijuana.

Pennsylvania lieutenant governor candidates debated marijuana legalization.

Massachusetts lawmakers are traveling to Portugal to study its drug decriminalization law.

As a key Florida deadline approaches for school districts to report if they plan to allow students to access medical cannabis on campus, a consulting firm representing several districts is urging its clients not to allow such use, citing concerns with federal law.

Oklahoma has a 12:1 ratio of medical cannabis dispensary license applications to patient applications.

California’s insurance commissioner released an updated list of cannabis insurance agents and brokers. Separately, regulators released a fact sheet on provisional cannabis cultivation licenses.

Michigan regulators added an additional medical cannabis licensing meeting this month.

Here’s a look at marijuana-focused lobbying spending and campaign contributions in New York.


A Green Bay, Wisconsin City Council committee voted to delay consideration of a proposed ordinance to lower marijuana possession penalties.

A Goochland County, Virginia supervisor deleted a tweet in which he suggested shooting protesters that smoked marijuana outside the office of Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD).


Welsh political party Plaid Cymru is calling for drug decriminalization.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is directing officers to avoid consuming marijuana for 28 days before shifts.


Smart Approaches to Marijuana and other prohibitionists are hosting a Capitol Hill briefing on cannabis legalization and opioids on Tuesday.

The president of the Medical Society of the State of New York expressed concerns about marijuana legalization.


A study found that “in a sample of individuals in treatment for [alcohol use disorder], using cannabis 12x/month or more during treatment is associated with increased rates of physical consequences attributed to alcohol use.”

A study suggested that “social media use was associated with affecting support for marijuana legalization and that more time spent on social media was also associated with supporting marijuana legalization.”


Aurora Cannabis filed to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The owners of Colorado dispensary chain Sweet Leaf reached an agreement with regulators that will allow them to sell their licenses following multiple violations.

Tilray, Inc. completed an acquisition of Chilean company Alef Biotechnology SpA.

A study found that “small community banks in marijuana states are, on average, further from the best practice frontier relative to medium-to-large banks.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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