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Schumer speaks at cannabis rally (Newsletter: May 3, 2021)



TX House passes marijuana decrim; RI legalization hearing; ME drug decrim support; MN legal cannabis advances; LA polls; Another vets research bill

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke at a marijuana rally in New York City and slammed the government’s “bigoted” laws against cannabis. He also talked about his forthcoming federal bill, saying it will legalize “the right way.”

The Texas House of Representatives gave its final passage to a bill to decriminalize marijuana, sending it to the Senate. The body also approved separate legislation last week to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis system.

The Minnesota House Health Finance and Policy Committee approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill, which has now cleared 10 panels so far. A floor vote is coming up later this month.

The Rhode Island House Finance Committee held a hearing on Gov. Dan McKee’s (D) marijuana legalization proposal—with discussion focusing on how, not whether, to enact the reform. Top lawmakers have said legal cannabis is “inevitable” in recent days, but there’s uncertainty about whether it can get done this year.

The Maine House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on a bill to decriminalize all drugs—and the Maine Medical Association and Maine Council of Churches testified in support.

Two new Louisiana polls—including one personally commissioned by the House speaker pro tempore—show strong support for legalizing marijuana as the reform advances in the legislature.

Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) filed a bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs study the benefits of medical cannabis for military veterans—one day after a separate bipartisan measure on the issue was introduced.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “For decades, young Americans—disproportionately Americans of color—have been arrested and jailed for carrying even small amounts of marijuana. I’m working to end the federal prohibition and undo harms caused by the War on Drugs.”

Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) filed a bill to provide a health-focused response to fentanyl.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Ending the failed War on Drugs begins with legalizing marijuana which has locked up too many for decades. Enough. It’s time to end this sad chapter in our history and focus on undoing the discriminatory policies that have ruined lives and communities.”

The scope of the federal investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) reportedly reaches back to his work on medical cannabis legislation as a Florida state lawmaker.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) inserted comments about his new veterans medical cannabis research bill into the Congressional Record.

The Senate marijuana banking bill got two new cosponsors for a total of 36.


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted that regulators are accepting applications to serve on the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee.

Alabama’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “I support legalizing medical marijuana to help those with cancer and other serious medical issues ease their pain.  The majority of the medical community agrees.  The Alabama House should pass this important bill before the session ends.”

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner announced 2021 hemp licensing data.

Colorado lawmakers sent Gov. Jared Polis (D) a bill to transfer $100 million in marijuana tax revenue to the Building Excellent Schools Today program.

Tennessee lawmakers sent Gov. Bill Lee (R) budget legislation that includes funding for a state commission to study medical cannabis, the subject of a separate bill that has not yet been approved.

The Montana Senate rejected last-minute changes to a bill to redirect marijuana revenue and restrict medical cannabis access.

The Puerto Rico House of Representatives debated a bill to provide employment protections for medical cannabis patients.

The Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance is poised to remove marijuana legalization and medical cannabis provisions from Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) budget proposal on Thursday.

A Maryland appeals court ruled that police officers can no longer stop people based on the smell of marijuana alone.

New Jersey regulators are accepting public comment on fairness and social equity in the marijuana industry.

Texas regulators released an updated list of approved hemp varieties.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Disproportionately Impacted Communities Workgroup will meet on Monday.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 death of a man in a Collin County, Texas jail after being arrested for possessing marijuana has been ruled a homicide.

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission will no longer test cab and livery drivers for marijuana.

Columbia, Missouri is being sued by a medical cannabis dispensary over claims that its development rules conflict with the state’s law.


Iceland’s national commissioner of police is opposing a drug decriminalization bill proposed by the health minister.

Australia’s health department announced that patients with Dravet syndrome will have access to the CBD drug Epidyolex.


A review concluded that “cannabis along with the naturally occurring endocannabinoids has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can support healing and restoration as an adjunctive therapy.”

A study found that “cannabidiol reduces withdrawal symptoms in nicotine-dependent rats.”


A poll found that 60% of Icelanders support decriminalizing drugs.


Tilray, Inc. shareholders approved a proposed merger with Aphria Inc.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. closed a $217 million senior non-brokered private placement financing through the issuance of senior secured notes.

Headset raised $1.8 million in new funding.

New MexiCann Natural Medicine had its medical cannabis license permanently revoked by New Mexico regulators in connection to an explosion and fire that injured employees.

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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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