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Psychedelics decrim qualifies for DC ballot (Newsletter: August 6, 2020)

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Biden mocks drug testing; Colorado teen marijuana use stable after legalization; Grandma sues Disney for CBD arrest; MI AG pushes cannabis clemency

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Washington, D.C. Board of Elections formally certified that activists collected enough valid signatures to place a psychedelics decriminalization measure on the November ballot.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seemed to mock drug testing—a policy he helped to expand as a senator— in response to a reporter’s question about whether he has undergone cognitive assessments.

  • “That’s like saying, ‘You—before you got on this program did you take a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?’”

New data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that “youth marijuana use has not significantly changed since legalization”—despite spin from prohibitionists. Methods of cannabis consumption are shifting, however.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is pushing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to commute the decades-long marijuana sales sentence of Michael Thompson, who has been hospitalized for a coronavirus infection.

A grandmother who was arrested for possessing CBD oil at Disney World is suing the company with the help of a powerful civil rights lawyer who also represents the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

  • “We need people of good moral character to stand up to Mickey Mouse and say that civil rights come in many different forms. Mickey Mouse has an obligation to all the people.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) criticized House Democrats in a Senate floor speech for including provisions for marijuana industry diversity studies in their coronavirus relief bill.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Speaking as someone with an MD, scratching the backs of marijuana special interests is unrelated to #COVID19. A better use of @SpeakerPelosi and all of our time would be to focus on patient health, opening schools, and relief for struggling families.”

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) touted his work to extend the federal Industrial Hemp Pilot Program for another year.

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) discussed his reasons for coming around to supporting marijuana legalization.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “As we work to ultimately end the senseless prohibition of cannabis and the failed war on drugs, we must ensure the protection of legal state and tribal cannabis programs. Last week, the House passed my bill to do just that. The Senate must do the same.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of 80.

The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

Here’s a look at where Wisconsin congressional candidates stand on marijuana.

Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Jess Scarane tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is a question of economic, health, and racial justice. A majority of Delawareans support legalization, but Senator Coons doesn’t.”

Hawaii Democratic congressional candidate Brian Evans tweeted, “Marijuana must be legalized in #Hawaii. If we started taking advantage of all of our resources we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. Tax the shops and we would bring in millions.”

/ STATES

A New Jersey campaign working to pass a marijuana legalization referendum launched a new website.

A California court will begin hearing a case this week challenging a state rule that allows marijuana to be delivered to localities that ban sales.

Colorado regulators released reports on THC concentrations in marijuana products.

Oklahoma regulators launched an online dashboard to track medical cannabis revenue.

Pennsylvania regulators approved the final clinical registrant for the state’s medical cannabis research program.

A Virginia senator who sponsored a marijuana decriminalization bill that was enacted authored an op-ed on the need to enact full cannabis legalization.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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 winner of the Pima County, Arizona prosecutor Democratic primary has pledged to stop marijuana prosecutions and deprioritize drug possession cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s health minister presented reforms aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by 50%.

The Canadian government is giving marijuana businesses an extra six months to pay owed annual fees.

The UK Home Office rejected claims that psilocybin’s current illegal classification blocks research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “endo‐, synthetic and phytocannabinoids can reduce neuroinflammation by inhibiting afferent firing and inflammatory neuropeptide release.”

A study found that “compared with no use, daily/near-daily cannabis use was associated with [viral load] suppression” in people living with HIV who use cocaine.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Heart Association said that cannabis “laws should be harmonized in ways that limit confusion and better reflect the existing science behind cannabis, starting in the United States at the federal level with removal of cannabis from Schedule 1 of the US Controlled Substances Act, followed by a proactive approach to labeling that standardizes concentrations of THC and CBD content.”

The Albany Times Union editorial board wants New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to appoint a commission to study issues related to marijuana legalization.

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois is pressing Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to use marijuana tax revenue to reimburse social equity business applicants who have experienced delays in processing their proposals.

/ BUSINESS

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $24.3 million.

Tilray recalled cannabis extracts in Germany due to incorrect THC content.

TerrAscend Corp. announced executive changes.

CFAM and Lowell Herb have been ordered by a judge to pay more than $500,000 in penalties and fees for allegedly illegally subletting to an unlicensed marijuana business.

/ CULTURE

Actor Seth Rogen pushed back on an interviewer’s suggestion that the fight for marijuana legalization is effectively over.

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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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