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Today’s SCOTUS case could block marijuana legalization (Newsletter: Dec. 4, 2017)

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280E amendment not considered in Senate; VT gov comfortable with 2018 legalization; OK gov to announce medical cannabis vote

 

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TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) did not end up offering his amendment to undo the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses during the Senate’s consideration of a broad tax reform bill. He reportedly was not sure he had the votes to pass it in light of a $5 billion price tag congressional tax scorers attached to it.
https://www.marijuanamoment.net/gop-senator-pulls-back-marijuana-tax-amendment/

A case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday could have huge implications for the ability of states to legalize marijuana. Ironically, the case on sports gambling is being brought by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a legalization opponent, who is arguing in this instance that states should be able to set their own laws despite federal prohibitions.
https://www.marijuanamoment.net/chris-christies-supreme-court-gambling-case-impact-marijuana-laws/

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) says he’s “comfortable” legalizing marijuana in early 2018.
https://www.marijuanamoment.net/vermont-governor-comfortable-legalizing-marijuana-early-2018/

 

FEDERAL

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said he believed medical cannabis should be researched “like any other drug,” though he has concerns about the health effects of smoking it.
http://www.newsandtribune.com/news/u-s-surgeon-general-jerome-adams-supports-studying-medical-marijuana/article_823aa112-d6d4-11e7-bff5-1bb5b81b6df3.html

Prohibitionist group Drug Watch International is asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to add marijuana and THC to a list of drugs that cannot be marketed without approval.
https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2017-P-6692

The U.S. Army is granting an increasing number of enlistment waivers to recruits who have used marijuana in the past.
https://apnews.com/1ac00952a0e3477a904f5f12ec6ee8f1

A CNBC analysis suggests that congressional tax reform legislation could incentivize more states to legalize marijuana because it eliminates state and local tax deductions and would ultimately reduce state and municipal revenues.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/01/how-tax-reform-could-push-more-states-to-legalize-marijuana-commentary.html

A report from the National Institute of Justice postulates that a rise in homicides is tied to “expansion in illicit drug markets brought about by the heroin and synthetic opioid epidemic.”
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/251067.pdf

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got four new cosponsors, bringing the total to 55.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2215/cosponsors?pageSort=lastToFirst

The U.S. House industrial hemp bill got two new cosponsors, bringing the total to 38.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3530/cosponsors?pageSort=lastToFirst

 

STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said she will announce after the new year whether the already-qualified medical cannabis initiative will appear before voters on the June primary ballot or during November’s general election.
https://www.facebook.com/GovernorMaryFallin/posts/2202848879740959

Maine Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dion, a state senator, shared his thoughts on marijuana legalization implementation.
https://portlandphoenix.me/columns/homegrown-in-maine/item/7125-senator-mark-dion-hopes-to-set-up-maine-cannabis-market-by-the-spring

Maryland medical cannabis sales began.
https://www.apnews.com/fda24f32af7d430c8f6a10ce2cd064f2

A copy of draft Michigan medical cannabis regulations has leaked.
http://www.wzzm13.com/money/cannabis-experts-leaked-state-medical-marijuana-guidelines-are-comprehensive/496594187

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss marijuana cultivation regulations on Tuesday.
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/State_Board/pdfs/StateBoardFood&AGenda12052017.pdf

Arkansas regulators announced a timeline for considering and awarding medical cannabis cultivation licenses.
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/dec/02/pot-bids-timeline-resolved-by-panel-201-1/

Delaware’s marijuana legalization study commission will meet on Wednesday.
http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/del-panel-continues-talks-on-legalized-marijuana

An Iowa regulator admitted that the state’s high fees and small patient pool may have dissuaded companies from applying for CBD medical cannabis licenses.
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2017/12/01/medical-marijuana-firms-may-have-been-dissuaded-iowas-fees-and-restrictions/914765001/

Montana medical cannabis patients and providers said at a public hearing that proposed new regulations are too restrictive.
http://mtstandard.com/news/state-and-regional/proposed-medical-marijuana-rules-will-add-financial-and-time-burdens/article_e9d1547e-82da-5eb3-95f8-b9d56307d64f.html

Ohio regulators released medical cannabis cultivation license applications scores.
https://medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/News?articleID=102

 

LOCAL

The Los Angeles, California City Council will consider marijuana regulations on Wednesday, including provisions concerning participation in the legal industry by people with prior convictions.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-marijuana-convictions-20171203-htmlstory.html
//
http://ens.lacity.org/clk/councilagendas/clkcouncilagendas3116923_12062017.html

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s minister of state for the national drugs strategy says legislation to decriminalize drugs could be enacted in early 2019.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/legislation-to-decriminalise-drugs-could-come-in-early-2019-1.3311583

German activists collected enough petition signatures to force lawmakers to debate marijuana legalization.
https://www.marijuana.com/news/2017/12/cannabis-activists-force-debate-crash-bundestag-server/

The New York Times looks at cartels’ increasingly sophisticated methods for smuggling drugs into the U.S.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/us/politics/drug-cartels-border-security-traffickers.html

 

ADVOCACY

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators ratified a resolution urging lawmakers to approve legislation to “reduce the sentencing of non-violent drug offenders.”
http://nbcsl.org/public-policy/docs/resolutions/file/28-resolution-lje-17-25.html

The Drug Policy Alliance convened a clinic to help Californians expunge prior marijuana convictions.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-expungement-fair-20171202-story.html

 

SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “counties located in [medical cannabis] states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent.”
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3063288
//
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/01/medical-marijuana-took-a-bite-out-of-alcohol-sales-recreational-pot-could-take-an-even-bigger-one/

A review concluded that “exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke leads to cannabinoid metabolites in bodily fluids, and people experience psychoactive effects after such exposure.”
http://cmajopen.ca/content/5/4/E814

 

BUSINESS

The Associated Press looks at the legal risks for lawyers who advise businesses in the marijuana industry.
https://apnews.com/089873ba9a6d4708ae3bf9188689e4c2/Lawyers-walk-fine-line-to-navigate-state,-federal-pot-laws

Alaska generated just under a million dollars in marijuana tax revenue in October.
https://www.adn.com/alaska-marijuana/2017/12/01/alaska-october-cannabis-tax-revenue-nears-1-million/

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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