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Psychedelics decrim advances in Berkeley (Newsletter: July 22, 2019)



Study examines marijuana’s anti-cancer potential; GOP congressman touts state’s ‘high hemp IQ’; Judge dismisses medical cannabis housing case

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There are now 1,164 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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A Berkeley, California City Council committee unanimously advanced a measure to decriminalize psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, ibogaine and mescaline. Meanwhile, activists in nearly 100 other cities are now pursuing similar efforts.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said his constituents have a “high hemp IQ” and that his political advisers were wrong when they cautioned against championing the issue due to marijuana concerns. He also discussed his own use of CBD.

A study “demonstrates the anti-cancer activity of various whole cannabis extracts on a set of human cancer cell lines.” Researchers tested 12 marijuana extracts tested on 12 types of cancer cells, finding that differing cannabinoid content has unique effects on each cell type.


A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from a woman who was evicted from federally subsidized housing as a result of her medical cannabis use.

Federal agents say that drug smuggling across the border has dropped significantly as more states legalize marijuana, while at the same time human trafficking has increased.

The Department of Justice released an update on implementation of criminal justice reform legislation.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas tweeted, “A friendly reminder from your local federal prosecutor: Marijuana is still illegal.”

Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rick Scott (R-FL) filed a bill to require the Coast Guard to conduct a study on factors causing low interdiction rates of illegal drugs smuggled by sea.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, reiterated his support for moving marijuana to Schedule II and letting states implement their own legalization laws.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), a presidential candidate, said he thinks marijuana legalization “should be left up to the states… I think the federal government should get out of the way and this is a state by state decision.”

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and said “we clearly have to take a very deep redesign about the way we think about this and many other drugs.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and his limited experience consuming cannabis.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, said that marijuana should be legalized “on a federal basis now. End that prohibition once and forever.” He also spoke about his support for ending the war on drugs.


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) discussed efforts to convince lawmakers to support medical cannabis and decriminalizing marijuana.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) tweeted, “Virginia arrested more people for marijuana last year than in any year over the last two decades. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—we must decriminalize marijuana.”

A former Massachusetts House speaker is now lobbying for a medical cannabis business. Separately, the state’s top cannabis regulator defended the pace of the legalization rollout in a letter to a lawmaker.

Mississippi activists say they need about 28,700 more signatures to qualify a medical cannabis measure for the state’s 2020 ballot.

Utah regulators selected companies to grow medical cannabis.

Oregon regulators approved marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Legal hemp cultivation in Nebraska has begun.

Washington State regulators sent updates about ongoing marijuana tracking technical issues.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.

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The Miami-Dade, Florida Police Department issued a memo instructing officers not to detain people solely for marijuana odor.


New Zealand’s government is conducting research on the harms and benefits of marijuana ahead of next year’s legalization referendum.

Canadian and Dutch officials met to discuss marijuana issues.

Thailand’s tourism minister plans to promote medical cannabis-focused tourism packages.


Drug and crime policy academic Mark Kleiman died.


A study found that “increasing cannabis retail access was associated with increased current and frequent use.”

A review concluded that “solid conclusions regarding the respiratory consequences of regular cannabis smoking are difficult to make due to a relative paucity of literature, confounding by concurrent tobacco smoking and reports of conflicting outcomes.”

Researchers are hoping to open MDMA-assisted psychotherapy clinics in Pennsylvania.


Harborside plans to appeal a Tax Court ruling about the 280E provision that disallows the deduction of certain expenses by cannabis businesses.

Canopy Growth Corp. is lobbying Congress on legislation to allow marijuana banking and to respect state cannabis laws.

The New York Times looks at ongoing workplace drug testing issues under marijuana legalization.


Actress Sonja Sohn was arrested on marijuana and cocaine charges.

Mathew Knowles, father of Beyoncé, signed on as chief marketing officer of Bangi Inc., a company that handles real estate for marijuana businesses.

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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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