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Sessions debates cannabis with DOJ intern (Newsletter: Dec. 8, 2017)



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NIH director on marijuana as opioid alternative; State lawmakers to vote on cannabis resolution; Congress avoids gov’t shutdown



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A newly released video shows U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions explaining why he believes marijuana should be treated more restrictively than guns. In the clip, which was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, he also seems to mock the Justice Department intern who asked him about the issue.

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins testified before a Senate panel for the second time this week that research indicates legalizing marijuana is associated with reduced opioid overdose deaths.

The National Conference of State Legislatures will vote on a resolution next week recognizing cannabis as an alternative to opioids. Marijuana Majority has an action page where you can contact your state lawmakers in support.



The U.S. House and Senate approved a short-term legislation extending federal funding levels, along with state medical cannabis protections, through December 22. The continuing resolution was necessary to avoid a government shutdown as lawmakers work to complete a full Fiscal Year 2018 spending package. It is unknown if the medical marijuana rider will be included in that.

A bipartisan group of 20 House lawmakers sent a letter about marijuana’s potential to reduce opioid issues to Acting Health and Human Services Sen. Eric D. Hargan.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) says he’s trying to convince a House-Senate conference committee working on tax reform legislation to include language removing the 280E penalty on marijuana businesses even though neither chamber approved it.

A Colorado marijuana business is fighting a case about the 280E provision in U.S. Tax Court.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted that “smart marijuana policy can generate billions of dollars in economic growth.”



The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the state’s medical cannabis registry is not unconstitutional.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) spoke about recent confusion surrounding the legality of CBD medical cannabis and said he opposes further marijuana law reforms.

California regulators released applications for temporary marijuana business licenses.

Rhode Island’s marijuana legalization study commission took testimony from a former Colorado regulator.

A New York senator prefiled a bill to close the loophole that allows police to arrest people for marijuana that is in public view despite decriminalization.

A Missouri representative prefiled a medical cannabis bill.

An Illinois representative says he will introduce legislation to ban civil asset forfeiture.

Alaska regulators proposed changes to rules on marijuana establishment odor control, and other areas.

Here’s a profile of the Ohio medical cannabis business application scorer whose past felony drug conviction set off a firestorm this week.



The Honolulu, Hawaii police chief says her department was wrong to send letters requesting that medical cannabis patients turn in their guns.

A Savannah, Georgia alderman will propose an ordinance to reduce marijuana arrests at the next City Council meeting.

Denver, Colorado regulators need to be more transparent about how they spend marijuana tax revenue, the city auditor says.



No one knows how long Canada’s Senate will take to consider the government’s marijuana legalization bill.
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia officials released proposed legal marijuana regulations.



Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin tweeted that she disagrees with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about marijuana.

Prohibitionist group Healthy and Productive Michigan revealed some of the arguments it plans to make to convince voters to reject a marijuana legalization ballot measure, also saying that it is open to taking donations from opioids manufacturers.



The New York Times looks at renewed debate on whether marijuana is a “gateway drug.”

A study examined tweets about marijuana edibles.



Bloomberg looks at KannaSwiss, a company making legal, low-potency hashish in Switzerland.

Former basketball player Dennis Rodman is pitching his digital currency PotCoin in meetings with Guam officials.



Musician Noel Gallagher was filmed holding a bag of marijuana.

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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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