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Sessions admits feds can’t enforce cannabis prohibition everywhere (Newsletter: March 12, 2018)



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Vets step up medical cannabis push in Congress; Trump calls for death penalty at rally; VA gov signs CBD expansion; Problems in WV

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged in a weekend speech that the federal government doesn’t have enough resources to enforce marijuana prohibition across the board. He also slammed the medical use of cannabis.

Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America pushed Congress to change medical cannabis policies during hearings on Capitol Hill.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed into law a bill allowing doctors to recommend CBD/THC-A medical cannabis oil for any condition.

The U.S. attorney for West Virginia’s Southern District tweeted that “EVERY SINGLE”drug treatment professional he’s spoken to says marijuana is a gateway drug. He also addressed possible prosecution actions, saying his office is “preparing to enforce laws against marijuana aggressively – AGGRESSIVELY.”


President Trump, at a campaign rally, again stated his support for using the death penalty on people who sell drugs. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is reportedly studying the use of capital punishment for drugs in Singapore as a possible model for U.S. law.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report warning that some marijuana industry employees have “exposures to highly repetitive work, most notably during hand trimming activities, which increase workers’ risk for musculoskeletal disorders.”

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) endorsed the passage of state medical cannabis legislation in Kentucky.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “Instead of easing restrictions on Wall Street, we should make banking easier for legitimate marijuana businesses.”

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) called for marijuana rescheduling:

  • “If nothing else, I would like to see the ability for researchers to study the medical effects of marijuana to see if the benefits are really there, as some people claim, and you can’t do that right now when it’s a level category one controlled substance. So, at least let’s take the step of allowing marijuana to be available to researchers.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “There are far too many Americans who are unable to get a job, rent an apartment, or go to school because of a marijuana conviction.”

The U.S. House industrial hemp bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 43.


West Virginia’s treasurer said his office is “unwilling to accept the funds derived from medical cannabis” due to conflicts with federal law. Meanwhile,  a bill to expand medical cannabis licensing didn’t receive a needed vote before the end of the legislative session.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) claimed during congressional testimony that marijuana is being laced with fentanyl. Separately, the state Senate passed a bill to create a legal presumption that people who have less than 10 grams of marijuana should not be charged with possession with intent to distribute.

Several Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidates are campaigning on marijuana law reform.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss, currently a senator, tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis is a question of racial justice, but it may also have other benefits. Science shows legal cannabis could be a part of addressing the opioid crisis, a problem hurting too many Illinois communities. As gov, I’ll fight for legalization.” And the Associated Press takes a look at where the state’s gubernatorial contenders stand on marijuana.

The New Jersey Democratic state senator leading an effort to block marijuana legalization also opposed syringe exchange more than a decade ago.

Colorado lawmakers filed legislation to allow school nurses to administer medical cannabis to students.

Massachusetts regulations on grow lights could lead to low-quality or more expensive marijuana, industry participants say.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal Arkansas regulators’ rushed and unorganized process for scoring medical cannabis business license applications. And an unsuccessful applicant for a license filed an ethics complaint against one of the commissioners. And a representative is calling for a delay in licensing due to possible tax delinquency among applicants.

Montana’s medical cannabis tracking system goes online this month.

A Hawaii representative filed resolutions uring Congress to “consider legislation removing marijuana from schedule I.”

New Mexico lawmakers coauthored an op-ed calling for opioid use disorder to be added as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.


A Lemon Grove, California City Council member is being accused of assaulting a marijuana business owner.


The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs is meeting this week.

The Washington Post looks at Colombia’s efforts to become a world leader in medical cannabis production.

Singapore’s ambassador to the U.S. defended the country’s use of the death penalty for some drug offenses.


The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is urging prosecutors in states with legal marijuana to expunge prior cannabis convictions.

Prohibitionist groups Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth are selling a “toolkit” intended help anti-drug activists defeat the cannabis industry’s “deep profits” for nearly $1,200.

The Drug Free America Foundation takes issue with legalization advocates’ claims that legal cannabis access can reduce opioid issues.


A study concluded that “cannabis oil was effective in oncological pain treatment in a percentage of patients who had not responded to other therapies, but the majority of patients did not receive any benefit.”

A study found that “marijuana use was associated with periodontitis, but not with oral HPV infection.”

A study concluded that “cannabis is a treatment option for treatment-resistant complaints in [post-polio syndrome].”

A study examined depictions of blunt smoking in YouTube videos.


A poll found that 46% of American adults consider alcohol to be more dangerous than marijuana, while just 15% believe the reverse.


MJ Freeway is offering credit monitoring and identity restoration services to marijuana dispensary customers who may have been impacted by a security breach of its platform.

The Natural Products Expo West included a summit on CBD products.

Ad Age looks at marijuana delivery services.

Boston sportscaster Bob Lobel is launching a marijuana podcast.

/ CULTURE     

People on Twitter trashed Ontario, Canada’s bland logo design for government-run marijuana stores.

Stephen Colbert joked about marijuana use in a segment featuring a mock job interview.

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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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