Top Dem Super PAC sees cannabis opportunity (Newsletter: May 8, 2018)
FDA head skeptical of medical cannabis; GA gov signs PTSD/pain bill; Sharpton slams Nixon reparations remark
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The chairman of Democratic organization Priorities USA said that putting marijuana on the ballot boosts Democratic voter turnout.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is skeptical that smoking cannabis has medical value.
U.S. Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) filed legislation encouraging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to research marijuana’s medical benefits.
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on a prison reform bill on Wednesday.
Several members of Congress expressed concerns about marijuana legalization in Colorado:
- U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “I think Colorado made a lot of mistakes, such as allowing marijuana to be in edible.”
- Congressman Steve King (R-IA): “I think it’s terrible and I think it proliferates marijuana all over the Midwest. It’s causing all kinds of social problems in Colorado and wherever it’s proliferated it’s causing social problems, and it’s part of the defiance of federal law.”
- Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD): “All I know is they got a whole lot more instances of drugged driving. That’s a danger.”
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) tweeted, “Failed war on drugs began in 1971. Leading to mass incarceration epidemic. It’s time to reverse the damage.”
Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana will create jobs, increase desperately needed tax revenue for state and local governments, and address issues of structural racism. 61% of Americans support legalization. What is Congress waiting for?” He also tweeted about expunging cannabis convictions.
The U.S. Senate industrial hemp bill got two new cosponsors, for a total of 12.
Texas Democratic congressional candidate Laura Moser supports legalizing marijuana.
Pennsylvania Democratic congressional candidates debated legalizing marijuana.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a bill adding PTSD and intractable pain as low-THC medical cannabis qualifying conditions.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) said marijuana is a “dangerous drug” and he doesn’t support allowing its medical use unless federal authorities approve it.
A third Missouri group submitted signatures for a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure, and another organization filed signatures in support a full marijuana legalization measure. Separately, Facebook blocked a state representative’s ad about medical cannabis legislation.
Vermont’s lieutenant governor will be the keynote speaker at a cannabis conference this weekend.
Idaho gubernatorial candidate Raul Labrador, currently a congressman, said CBD is a “common sense solution” that helps people, but he’s skeptical of broader medical cannabis reform.
The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on June 7 in a lawsuit seeking to overturn regulators’ medical cannabis business license awards.
An Illinois police canine trainer suggested that legalizing marijuana would force the euthanization of many drug sniffing dogs.
It seems unlikely that Connecticut lawmakers will vote on marijuana legalization before this week’s end of session.
A Pennsylvania senator filed a bill to expunge past marijuana convictions for people who can demonstrate they were using it for medical purposes.
ThinkProgress takes a look at the screening questionnaires used by states to determine which welfare recipients to drug test.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said he still has concerns about marijuana legalization.
Buffalo, New York’s mayor is considering municipal marijuana reforms.
The International Narcotics Control Board held a meeting about marijuana.
The leader of Canada’s Conservative Party says he consumed cannabis as a young man.
The Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted, “I’m for legalizing marijuana and I like Cynthia Nixon but putting pot shops in our communities is not reparations. Health care, education!!” Nixon responded.
Marijuana Policy Project founder and former Executive Director Rob Kampia started a Super PAC with the goal of defeating Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who has blocked cannabis votes as chair of the House Rules Committee.
AMVETS, which has more than 250,000 members, has an online action center where people can ask their members of Congress to support veterans medical cannabis research legislation.
Video emerged of a Drug Safe Utah contractor trying to convince a voter to rescind her signature on a medical cannabis ballot petition.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A new study examines how high users on Reddit’s r/trees forum get on various forms of marijuana.
A market research report found that marijuana consumers in legalized states use 27% less over-the-counter pain medications, 22% less sleep aids, 21% less alcoholic spirits and 20% less beer than consumers in states that still have prohibition in place.
A study found that “fewer states regulated marijuana than tobacco or alcohol in [early care and education] settings.
An analysis from Moody’s Investor Service finds that legalizing marijuana generates more tax revenue than it costs to regulate the drug.
Here’s a look at Weedmaps’s expanding billboard advertising efforts.
Freedom Leaf added Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom (D) to its board of directors.
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