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UN warns US & Canada over cannabis legalization (Newsletter: March 6, 2018)

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NV OKs cannabis conferences at casinos; More NJ legalization hearings; KY medical cannabis vote

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The International Narcotics Control Board, a body of the United Nations, issued a report slamming  countries like the U.S., Canada, Uruguay and Jamaica for moving toward marijuana legalization.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s (R) Gaming Policy Committee approved a measure allowing casinos to host marijuana-related conferences as long as federal drug laws are observed, including prohibiting use and possession of cannabis on-site. Sandoval also confirmed that he has spoken to the state’s U.S. attorney about marijuana enforcement.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Sensitive Investigative Unit took more than a decade to address known issues related to the agency’s involvement in civilian deaths in Mexico, a document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act shows.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) acknowledged that his views on marijuana “don’t exactly line up with my own state.” But he also said that federal policy is a “nightmare” and a “mess,” which “Congress has to clean up a bit.” (About 46 minutes into the audio clip.)

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke about the impact of marijuana enforcement on African-American men in a House floor speech.

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “States should have the right to make their own decisions regarding marijuana regulation,” and published an op-ed on the topic.

Candidates in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district debated marijuana.

/ STATES

The New Jersey Assembly Oversight Committee held a hearing on marijuana legalization, and the chair announced three additional future hearings on cannabis issues.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) proposed “a number of minor amendments and corrections to the statutes regulating adult use marijuana and medical use marijuana.”

Kentucky’s House Judiciary Committee began debate on a medical cannabis bill, with a possible vote expected on Tuesday.

The Idaho Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted to hold a bill to legalize CBD medical cannabis, likely killing the proposal.

A Florida judge scheduled a hearing on a lawsuit seeking to force the state to allow smokable forms of medical cannabis for May 16. Meanwhile, the production of medical marijuana patient ID cards is months behind schedule.

A South Dakota senator said she believes voters will be able to weigh in on medical cannabis via a ballot measure this year.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted that “medical marijuana has been proven to help serious medical conditions like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and more.” Separately, the state’s medical cannabis advisory board met to discuss potential changes to the program.

/ LOCAL

Atlantic City, New Jersey’s mayor wants to turn the city into a marijuana “destination, where folks can come here and enjoy it in a controlled area.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico city councilmembers detailed a new proposal to decriminalize marijuana.

Denver, Colorado’s Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee will meet on March 14.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The largest party in the Portuguese Parliament endorsed legalizing marijuana.

The UK is the world’s largest producer and exporter of legal cannabis for medical and scientific use.

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted in support of decriminalizing marijuana.

An effort to defeat Oklahoma’s medical cannabis ballot measure is forming.

Here’s a look at marijuana-related lobbying interests in Massachusetts.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Michigan likely voters support legalizing marijuana, 61%-35%.

/ BUSINESS

The Washington Examiner looks at the difficulty of policing dark web drug markets.

/ CULTURE     

The former Texas Wesleyan University baseball coach who was fired for sending an email saying he won’t recruit students from Colorado because of the state’s marijuana law gave a lengthy interview in which he said he regrets the move, but also said cannabis has “affected my life personally several years ago” and “cost me a lot financially.”

A video game speedrunner who goes by the handle BubblesDelFuego was banned from future events hosted by charity organization Games Done Quick after he shared some of his medical cannabis with a friend.

HBO’s John Oliver called out NRA TV for a segment that “slut-shamed” marijuana.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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