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Trump admin opposes veterans medical cannabis bills (Newsletter: May 1, 2019)



Hawaii lawmakers send marijuana decrim to governor; Psychedelics decrim has sponsor in Oakland; GOP senator won’t commit to cannabis banking vote

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The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on three bills concerning medical cannabis for military veterans, and officials from the Trump administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs testified against the proposals.

Hawaii lawmakers sent a marijuana decriminalization bill to the desk of Gov. David Ige (D). It only covers three grams, which is much less than existing laws in other states.

Activists in Oakland, California say they’ve secured a City Council sponsor for a measure to effectively decriminalize psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline cacti, ayahuasca and ibogaine.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he won’t commit to holding a vote on marijuana financial services legislation that’s already been cosponsored by more than a fifth of the body.


The Department of Justice is trying to block a woman from receiving bankruptcy protections because she works at a marijuana industry staffing agency.

A federal judge ordered the release of test results showing that the Idaho State Police actually seized hemp in what it claimed was a marijuana bust.

Rhode Island’s U.S. attorney said that legalizing marijuana is “a matter for the state and the people of the state of Rhode Island to decide” and that his office devotes its limited resources to opioid-related crimes.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Hemp can be a significant agricultural product if managed effectively. Let’s hope the WVDA does a better job maintaining a THC testing and enforcement regime than it has in the past. Testing and enforcement is critical to protect a growing industry.”

The Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner tweeted, “FDA remains committed to exploring an appropriate, efficient & predictable reg. framework for lawfully marketing cannabis-containing/cannabis-derived products when they meet the reqmts under our authorities.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said that he doesn’t think “someone in my party survives the nomination process” for president if they are opposed to marijuana reform.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) said that his state produces the world’s best marijuana, a notion that Blumenauer took issue with.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “More people are arrested for marijuana than for all violent crimes combined. The criminalization of marijuana has long been a driving force for mass incarceration in this country and I’m fighting to end it.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

Former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (D-CA) believes President Trump will more forcefully endorse marijuana reform as the 2020 election approaches.

The Senate bill to remove the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor, for a total of four.

The House bill to let states set their own marijuana laws got 10 new cosponsors, got a total of 39.

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 168.

The House bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors issue medical cannabis recommendations got two new cosponsors, for a total of 16.

The House bill to protect military veterans from losing Department of Veterans Affairs benefits for medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of three.

The House bill to remove the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got two new cosponsors, for a total of two.


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a presidential candidate, signed a bill allowing medical cannabis in schools. Separately, regulators issued an update on implementing hemp legislation.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tapped a coauthor of the state’s successful marijuana legalization initiative to lead the Fair Political Practices Commission. Separately, regulators issued guidance on registering marijuana-related trademarks. Regulators also approved hemp rules.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that the state is now accepting industrial hemp cultivation and processing applications.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he thinks his medical cannabis proposal will gain support in the legislature.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) declined to say how she will act on a medical cannabis bill that’s on her desk.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) tweeted that a House-passed marijuana decriminalization bill is “dead” in the Senate, adding, “I join with those House Republicans who oppose this step toward legalization of marijuana.” Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted to give the measure its final third-reading approval.

West Virginia’s attorney general tweeted that he’s working on medical cannabis issues. Separately, regulators announced an increase in hemp licenses.

Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidates debated medical cannabis and marijuana decriminalization.

New York’s Senate majority leader said marijuana legalization legislation remains a work in progress.

Nevada lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) that would publicize the names of marijuana business license holders.

The Florida Senate is considering an amendment to cap THC potency in medical cannabis.

Michigan regulators could start accepting recreational marijuana business license applications in September, three months ahead of schedule. Separately, a judge ruled that regulators can’t close down unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries until their applications are rejected.

Alaska regulators are considering easing rules for marijuana retailers who want to allow on-site consumption of edibles only.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis 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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New York City’s public advocate revealed that he used to sell marijuana in high school, tweeting that because he wasn’t caught, “I can hold citywide office. Otherwise, I could’ve been unemployable or had a record. So I’m using my office to fight for all who weren’t as lucky.”

The Birmingham, Alabama City Council approved a resolution endorsing a statewide marijuana decriminalization bill.

Macon-Bibb County, Georgia officials held a rally to build support for a marijuana decriminalization proposal. Commissioners are divided on the issue.


An independent Swiss advisory board that reports to the government is recommending marijuana legalization.

Canadian officials loosened requirements for shipping hemp seeds to the U.S.


A coalition of 300 organizations, led by the International Drug Policy Consortium, signed a statement decrying the “unacceptable human rights abuses” and health consequences of the war on drugs.


A study found that “the majority (81.7%) of participants endorsed using cannabis concurrently with exercise,” that “co-users reported engaging in more minutes of aerobic and anaerobic exercise per week,” that “the majority of participants who endorsed using cannabis shortly before/after exercise reported that doing so enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise” and “approximately half reported that it increases their motivation to exercise.”

A study of mice found that “CBD alleviated liver inflammation induced by [a high fat-cholesterol] diet” and “lead to the reduction of the expression of inflammation‐related factors.”

Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology received $9 million in funding from a cannabis industry investor to study marijuana’s health effects.


Bed Bath & Beyond is now selling CBD products.


Actress Charlize Theron said that Seth Rogen becomes smarter, more focused and more creative when he smokes marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Carlos Gracia.

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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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