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Two governors talk legal cannabis in big budget speeches (Newsletter: Feb. 21, 2019)



North Dakota marijuana decrim narrowly fails; Obama urges youth to work on drug reform; Study: The munchies are real

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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) both spoke about the fiscal and other benefits of legalizing marijuana in budget speeches. Pritzker included legal cannabis revenue in his formal budget proposal to lawmakers, while Lamont’s plan includes a system of hemp licensing.

Former President Barack Obama, who has in the past scolded young people for caring about marijuana policy, said during an event with young men of color that it is important for them to be involved in the process of shaping drug laws.

  • “Nothing changes if citizens…aren’t paying attention and aren’t educating themselves about…how are decisions made about drug laws.”

The North Dakota House of Representatives narrowly defeated a bill to decriminalize marijuana by a vote of 43-47.

A study showed that sales of “junk food” rise after states legalize marijuana, seemingly confirming that the munchies are a real phenomenon.


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a drug case that the Constitution places limits on civil asset forfeiture policies that allow states and localities to seize private property that was allegedly used to commit crimes.

A federal judge denied a request to release a disputed cannabis crop that Idaho law enforcement seized as illegal marijuana but the Colorado company in question says is legal hemp.

The Department of Justice announced that the owners of a Colorado unlicensed marijuana business pled guilty to filing a false federal income tax return.

Several major news outlets have picked up a Jamaican website’s claim that the father of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, pointedly took issue with the way she discussed her Jamaican heritage in relation to her past marijuana use. Marijuana Moment has not been able to verify the original report.


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill to let farmers plant hemp crops earlier than originally planned. Separately, the House Committee on Public Safety advanced legislation to clarify that medical cannabis extracts and edibles are legal.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) has no plans to change the state’s marijuana legalization laws, a spokesman said, despite concern from industry players about his appointments to a regulatory body.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) is pushing lawmakers to hold hearings on marijuana legalization.

Delaware’s attorney general said her office will stop prosecuting people for possessing less than six ounce of marijuana in most cases.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee voted to approve a bill to let patients smoke medical cannabis.

Iowa regulators added ulcerative colitis and severe pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors as CBD medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Michigan regulators will consider medical cannabis license applications at a meeting on Thursday. Separately, the state appeals court ruled against a woman who had a job offer rescinded for state-legal medical cannabis use.

The Nevada Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor held a hearing on a bill to make it illegal to disqualify job applicants due to positive marijuana tests.

No hearings on Indiana marijuana legalization or medical cannabis bills have been scheduled ahead of key deadlines, indicating the issues are likely dead for the year.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 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.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


Salt Lake City, Utah’s former mayor, a medical cannabis supporter, sent a letter warning local officials that the law legislators passed to replace a voter-approved ballot initiative is preempted by federal law.


Thailand’s king signed a decree legalizing medical cannabis and kratom.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May defended her government’s approach to medical cannabis in response to a question from a lawmaker.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his nation’s bloody “drug war” will get “harsher in the days to come.”


The first clinical trial looking at whole-plant marijuana in treating PTSD was completed, with data now being analyzed and prepared for publication.

A study on marijuana consumers found that “solitary users were significantly more likely to screen positive for psychosis, endorse more symptoms of cannabis abuse/dependence, report using cannabis to cope, and use cannabis on more days within the previous 30 days,” while “social users were significantly more likely to report using alcohol in addition to cannabis during their most recent cannabis‐using occasion.”


A poll of U.S. voters commissioned by prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that when given options, 39% support medical cannabis, 33% back marijuana legalization, 18% want decriminalization and 11% want broad prohibition. The survey also asked whether voters were more or less likely to support presidential candidates who take cannabis industry money.

A poll of South Carolina likely voters found that when given options, 50% support medical cannabis and 23% back marijuana legalization, with roughly 23% saying the oppose any form of legal access.


GoDaddy announced that the number of Canadian cannabis websites built on its platform increased 700% over a year.

The Globe and Mail looks at how Canadian marijuana companies and government agencies are tracking information about visitors to their websites.


Comedy Central’s Jim Jeffries Show hosted a debate between third party candidates, including a member of the U.S. Marijuana Party.

A brick of marijuana was found in a clothing donation bin for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

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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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