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Trump administration wants cannabis reclassification comments (Newsletter: Oct. 11, 2018)



Feds clarify border policy for marijuana workers; More Canadian liquor stores than marijuana stores; Cannabis use by older people; Nick Kroll on LSD

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comment about whether marijuana should be rescheduled under international law ahead of a United Nations review on the question.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a clarification to a policy many feared would prevent Canadians who work or invest in marijuana businesses from entering the country.

  • “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”

New government data shows that 90% of Canadians live within 10km of a liquor store. Meanwhile, only 35% will live within the same distance of a planned marijuana store upon next week’s legalization launch.

A study of marijuana use by older people seems to suggest that recreational legalization might ease access to cannabis for medical use.


President Trump said he is “actively looking” for more prisoners to release with his clemency power, saying “a lot” of people are jailed for long periods of time without good reason.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he will conduct a whip count and move a possible vote on criminal justice reform legislation after the midterm elections.

A top U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer spoke about how officials will handle Canada’s legalization of marijuana.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration carried out raids on suspected illegal marijuana grow houses in Colorado.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, is being criticized by conservative media for his association with longtime drug legalization activist Dean Becker, who has at times “compared America to Nazi Germany and law enforcement and military members to terrorists,” according to the Daily Caller.

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is scheduled to participate in an online marijuana summit later this month.

The U.S. House bill to require the federal government to study the effects of marijuana legalization got two new cosponsors, for a total of 30.

New Jersey congressional candidates debated racial disparities in drug enforcement.


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) indicated he might be open to accepting a lower legal marijuana tax rate than he initially wanted.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said marijuana legalization has “largely been a success” and the state has “not had crime associated with it.” He also predicted that U.S. federal marijuana laws will evolve soon, particularly if Democrats seize power in Washington, D.C.

Iowa gubernatorial candidates both said they oppose legalizing marijuana during a debate.

Minnesota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz, currently a congressman, tweeted, “While no one solution will be enough, there are a number of steps we must take to move the ball forward in the fight to save the lives of our veterans. For one, Congress needs to pass my VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act.” He added, “I introduced the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act to authorize VA research into the efficacy of medicinal cannabis use by vets with PTSD and chronic pain.”

Idaho Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan spoke about her support for marijuana reform.

Opponents of North Dakota’s marijuana legalization ballot measure are sending out a brochure to every household in the state.

The Oklahoma legislature’s medical marijuana working group unanimously agreed on a set of proposed regulations.

A Texas lawmaker said he is optimistic about the prospects of decriminalizing marijuana.

Connecticut regulators launched a new database to track legally available medical cannabis products.

Alaska regulations on marijuana testing, inventory tracking and sample preparation were finalized.

The Blackfeet Nation tribe, based in Montana, passed a resolution allowing medical cannabis.


The Kern County, California Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to unseal a key document in a criminal case against a supervisor over an alleged failure to disclose a conflict of interest ahead of a marijuana vote.


The head of the World Health Organization is urging countries not to legalize marijuana.

The Canadian government is directing grant funding to public education programs about marijuana for young people. Separately, the Correctional Service of Canada said that prison guards will have to abstain from cannabis use for 24 hours before shifts. Meanwhile, the country’s Labour Code will not be updated ahead of next week’s legalization launch—although newly released documents show that the government weighed potential changes—leaving it up to individual workplaces to update impairment policies for now.

The Australian Senate is expected to debate a bill to allow states and territories to legalize marijuana next week.

Georgian lawmakers postponed consideration of a medical cannabis bill for two months.

New Zealand marijuana arrests have dropped 70% in the past 20 years.


Californians for Sensible Regulation of Adult Use is a new PAC seeking to support candidates backing marijuana reform.


A poll of Utah likely voters found that they support the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure, 64%-33%.

A survey of Coloradans found that 6% think marijuana/drugs is the “most important issue facing people in Colorado today.”


Canadian Securities Administrators slammed marijuana companies for failing to adequately disclose basic financial information to shareholders.

Tobacco maker Altria Group Inc. is reportedly in talks to acquire an equity stake in Canadian cannabis grower Aphria Inc. The marijuana company issued a release saying no deal is final.

A Cowen analyst admitted that the legal marijuana market is likely to be bigger than she initially thought.

Cresco Labs, LLC is going public in a reverse takeover.

Lyft is offering $10.17 discounts on rides in the Toronto area on October 17 to commemorate Canada’s legalization of marijuana going into effect that day.


Actor and comedian Nick Kroll spoke with Joe Rogan about the time he saw the patterns of the universe during an LSD trip at Burning Man.

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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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