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Rohrabacher works new cannabis bill following Trump pledge (Newsletter: April 17, 2018)



McConnell fast-tracks hemp bill; PA approves whole-plant medical marijuana; Senator debates anti-legalizer

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is fast-tracking his hemp legislation, skipping the committee process.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) announced he will soon introduce a new bill in line with President Trump’s pledge to support legislation respecting state marijuana laws.

The U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on medical cannabis research legislation on Tuesday.


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) debated incarceration rates with marijuana prohibitionist Kevin Sabet on Twitter.

Indiana Republican U.S. Senate candidates discussed medical cannabis at a debate.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Federal interference in cannabis legalization should never have been an option to begin with. President Trump should have supported the wishes of American voters from the start.”

Wisconsin Democratic congressional candidate Cathy Myers tweeted, “I support legalizing marijuana to put an end to the racist enforcement of our drug laws & to release those in jail for non-violent marijuana offenses. Legalization would also boost tax revenues & provide an alternative to addictive opioids.”


Pennsylvania’s health secretary approved a recommendation to allow sales of medical cannabis in flower form and to add new qualifying conditions. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) applauded the moves.

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon is holding a 4/20 fundraiser with actress Mary Louise Parker.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial nominee JB Pritzker said, “Legalizing marijuana will help bring in revenue to our state, and will be a major step forward in reforming our criminal justice system. The time is now.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R), a gubernatorial candidate, said legalizing marijuana would be a “mistake,” though he supports expanding medical cannabis research because there “would appear [to be] some benefits.”

Here’s a look at the marijuana policy views of Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidates.

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous tweeted about his support for legalizing marijuana and ending mass incarceration.

A Florida judge will hear arguments on Tuesday about whether she should lift a stay and allow a man to begin cultivating medical cannabis immediately.

South Dakota’s secretary of state rejected a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure because not enough signatures in a random sample were valid.

Utah activists say they’ve collected more than 200,000 signatures in support of a medical cannabis ballot measure.

The Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice will hear marijuana decriminalization legislation on Tuesday.

Here’s a look at Missouri’s competing medical cannabis ballot initiatives and legislation.


Denver, Colorado’s mayor is proposing raising the city’s marijuana sales tax from 3.5% to 5.5% to fund affordable housing.


Malta’s Parliament approved legislation allowing medical cannabis production.

Australia’s government dismissed a Green Party plan to legalize marijuana.

The Hague is the first Dutch city to ban marijuana smoking around its city center, central railway station and major shopping areas.


Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana removed the name of a researcher from its scientific advisory board page who reportedly did not consent to be listed there.


A study concluded that “medical cannabis users perceived a 50% reduction in depression and a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use” and “two puffs were sufficient to reduce ratings of depression and anxiety, while 10+ puffs produced the greatest perceived reductions in stress.”

A study found that “marijuana use appears to be protective in acute burn admissions, despite classic teaching that illicit drug use leads to poorer outcomes.”

The New York Times looks at the development of a vaccine to block opioids from reaching the brain by way of the circulatory system.


The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board cheered President Trump’s pledge to respect state marijuana laws, but is skeptical he will follow through.


Marijuana delivery service Eaze released a new report with customer data, including their openness about cannabis use and plans to celebrate 4/20.

/ CULTURE     

SB Nation published a package of stories looking at the intersection of sports and marijuana.

Actor Wendell Pierce tweeted, “As we legalize marijuana around the country, think of the racist irony that white businesses will be capitalized to succeed in this new economy, while tens of thousands of Black men will be in prison because they were a part of this business when it was an underground economy.”

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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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