Senate leaders back DC cannabis sales, bucking Biden (Newsletter: October 20, 2021)
NY restricts workplace marijuana testing; SD lawmakers approve legalization proposal; CA cannabis environmental cleanup grants
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The Senate Appropriations Committee released FY2022 spending legislation that would finally let Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana sales—in contravention of President Joe Biden’s budget request. The House already signed off on eliminating the ban, and Democratic leaders plan to enact a final appropriations package by December 3,
- The new Senate bills would also protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference, call to reconsider policies that fire federal workers for marijuana and criticize Schedule I research roadblocks.
New York’s Department of Labor issued guidance saying that employers cannot drug test most workers for marijuana—going so far as to say the odor of cannabis cannot be used to prove impairment on the job.
- “Observable signs of use that do not indicate impairment on their own cannot be cited as an articulable symptom of impairment. Only symptoms that provide objectively observable indications that the employee’s performance of the essential duties or tasks of their position are decreased or lessened may be cited.”
The South Dakota legislature’s Adult-Use Marijuana Study Subcommittee approved a bill to legalize recreational cannabis. Activists don’t necessarily trust that lawmakers will follow through and still plan to move forward with a plan to put another legalization initiative before voters next year.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a workshop this week about a new grants program to help small marijuana cultivators with environmental clean-up and restoration. The funds come from cannabis tax revenue.
Former President Donald Trump reportedly planned to send 250,000 troops to the border and stage military raids against drug cartels inside Mexico until he was dissuaded from doing so by the secretary of defense.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The federal prohibition on marijuana has disproportionately harmed young people of color. @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end the federal prohibition and undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) wrote about his support for federal marijuana law reform in a constituent letter.
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release and posted a tweet cheering the removal of a rider blocking Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales in newly released Senate appropriations legislation.
Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “Let it be known that the incumbent in my district has never supported federal legalization. To be sure, worse than that, he’s voted at least 4 times to allow the DOJ to continue to prosecute people in states where cannabis has been legalized. Like my own state of WA.”
The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got 11 new cosponsors for a total of 87.
The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor of a total of 31.
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted, “18 states have already legalized recreational marijuana — it’s time Florida does too.”
Virginia Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala, currently a delegate, highlighted marijuana legalization as a key accomplishment.
Washington, D.C.’s attorney general tweeted, “After 6 years of advocacy, I’m glad to see Congress respecting the will of DC voters. I hope DC will soon be able to regulate our local marijuana market, direct new tax revenue to communities most impacted by over-criminalization, & take steps to expunge related criminal records.” The Council chairman tweeted, “This is a step in the right direction. We hope that, as the bill moves through the Senate, no rider language is inserted so we can honor the will of District voters and set up a safe, equitable recreational cannabis market.”
California’s attorney general and other officials will participate in a conference commemorating the 25th anniversary of the state’s medical cannabis law on November 5.
Wisconsin’s Assembly speaker said he supports medical cannabis but does not support recreational marijuana legalization “at this time.” (About 18:00 into the audio.)
Pennsylvania’s House minority leader said marijuana legalization bills don’t yet have enough momentum to pass.
The chairwoman of Delaware’s Senate Health & Social Services Committee said she is eager to hold a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill if it can clear the House.
The Illinois Supreme Court ordered the consolidation of various lawsuits challenging regulators’ marijuana business licensing award processes.
The South Dakota legislature’s Rules Review Committee will consider newly revised medical cannabis regulations on Monday.
A Wisconsin senator who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill held a virtual roundtable meeting about the issue.
A New Jersey judge pointed out that the legalization of marijuana is reducing the number of required court appearances.
Nevada regulators proposed rules on cannabis weighing and measuring.
Colorado regulators are forming a work group on cannabis cross pollination.
Ohio regulators published question and answer responses about medical cannabis dispensary license applications.
Montana regulators will host a cannabis virtual listening session on Friday.
Michigan regulators will host a marijuana social equity education session on October 28.
Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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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A policy by Baltimore, Maryland’s district attorney not to prosecute minor drug possession and prostitution led to fewer new low-level drug and prostitution arrests, almost no rearrests for serious crimes for those who had charges dropped, and fewer 911 calls.
Spain’s Congress rejected a marijuana legalization bill.
Western Australia’s Parliament formed a Select Committee into Cannabis and Hemp.
The Philippine Department of Justice said it will make public information about certain killings in the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A case study appears to “demonstrate a possible benefit of ‘CBD oil’ intake that may have resulted in the observed tumour regression.”
A study of rats found that “cannabidiol at dose 10 mg/kg bw exerts anxiolytic effect in a model of acute cold stress.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Kristi Noem opposed medical cannabis. Now she’s using $700,00 from South Dakota taxpayers, meant to implement these measures, as thinly-veiled political ads.”
Trulieve donated $250,000 to a campaign seeking to put a marijuana legalization measure on Florida’s 2022 ballot.
iAnthus is being sued by a former employee who alleges he was demoted because he is black.
Harmony Foundation’s former chief administrative officer filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired after speaking up about the firm’s CEO allegedly using $1 million of company money for a personal investment.
Tilray Canada has a new president.
atai Life Sciences formed a nonprofit arm called atai Impact.
Leafly is hosting a contest to celebrate budtenders.
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