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Top fed drug official says end ‘aura of illegality’ (Newsletter: November 12, 2021)



DEA deschedules cocaine derivative; Mexican senator blames US for marijuana laws; VA GOP open to legal cannabis sales

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National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said it’s time to end the “aura of illegality” of drugs, which has perpetuated stigma and created barriers to treatment and harm reduction services.

Mexico’s Senate president is blaming the U.S. for failed marijuana criminalization laws as legislators in the country work to craft a legalization bill they hope to pass by the end of next month.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to completely deschedule a cocaine-derived substance used in evaluating Parkinson’s disease—while it refuses to alter marijuana’s strict Schedule I status.

Some Virginia Republican lawmakers say they’re open to moving ahead with legal recreational marijuana sales when the party takes control of the House of Delegates and governor’s office next year—perhaps even on an expedited basis as compared to Democrats’ previous plans.

NORML coauthored a Veterans Day op-ed for Marijuana Moment calling on Congress and the VA to enact cannabis policies that benefit veterans’ health and wellbeing.


House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) is demanding that TikTok supply information about minors’ access to drug-related content on its platform.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “This #VeteransDay, and every day, let’s fight to give our veterans what they are asking for: the best medical care possible, including access to cannabis.”

Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR) met with Jackson County, Oregon officials to discuss illegal marijuana cultivation.


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said he is not planning a special session on medical cannabis legislation soon.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted, “​​One way we can honor our vets is by decriminalizing marijuana and giving them access to this crucial pain relief. They gave everything for us – they deserve the best care available without fear of losing their job, VA benefits, or access to their Second Amendment freedoms.”

Montana House Democrats tweeted, “MT House Dems & @MTSenateDems are working hard to make sure that marijuana legalization rolls out safely & smoothly on January 1.”

The chairman of the Georgia House Regulated Industries Committee suggested that regulators’ medical cannabis business license approval process may need to be overhauled.

An Illinois representative said it’s unfair that people living in state-run veterans homes are unable to use medical cannabis.

Texas regulators filed a notice of appeal on a judge’s injunction on their delta-8 THC ban, automatically reinstating the policy for now.

Arizona regulators issued a voluntary recall on marijuana products that may be contaminated with salmonella or aspergillus.

Colorado regulators filed rules to implement a bill on medical cannabis restrictions that will take effect on January 1.

Washington, D.C. regulators voted to waive registration fees for medical cannabis patients and caregivers through January 31, 2022.

Washington State regulators issued a policy statement on payment of vendor fees by certified cannabis testing labs.

Oklahoma regulators published a list of licensed medical cannabis transporters.

Connecticut regulators posted updated statistics on the state’s medical cannabis program.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a commercial cannabis cultivation permitting workshop on Wednesday.

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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The Leon County, Florida Commission scheduled a workshop on the possible decriminalization of marijuana for March 22.


Thailand’s Public Health Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Rx Leaf World Medica to set up a medical cannabis research center.

Iran’s interior minister is urging other countries to do more to combat illegal drugs.

A UK member of Parliament said medical cannabis should be more freely prescribed on the National Health Service.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration is hosting a webinar on how medical practitioners can apply to access certain medicinal cannabis medicines.


A study demonstrated “the beneficial effect of CBD treatment on autoimmune neuroinflammation.”

A study found that “psilocybin therapy increases cognitive and neural flexibility in patients with major depressive disorder.”


Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera spoke about being filmed at a cannabis coffeehouse in the Netherlands with his son.


Cresco Labs Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $215.5 million and a net loss of $263.5 million.

WM Technology, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $50.9 million.

The husband of Trulieve’s CEO was sentenced to three years in federal prison and a $1.25 million fine after being convicted of extortion and other charges.

Jushi Holdings Inc. filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus that will allow it to raise up to C$500 million.

VS Strategies hired a former top Oklahoma medical cannabis regulator as a senior associate.


Jada Pinkeett Smith and Jaden Smith spoke about their use of psychedelics.

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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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