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Vermont will legalize cannabis next month, House speaker says (Newsletter: Dec. 11, 2017)



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Sessions meets with anti-legalization activists; 2018 OH legalization initiative; World Health Org on CBD


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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a closed-door meeting with anti-legalization activists like Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s Kevin Sabet, former National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Robert DuPont and the Drug Free Schools Coalition’s David Evans.

Vermont’s House speaker said the state will legalize marijuana in “early January.”

An Ohio businessman who failed to win a medical cannabis license and who funded a losing 2015 marijuana measure that would have created a cultivation oligopoly will announce a 2018 “free market” marijuana legalization initiative on Monday.



President Trump signed a short-term bill extending federal funding levels, along with state medical cannabis protections, through December 22.

President Trump declared December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the attorneys general of Colombia and Mexico agreed to cooperate on counternarcotics activities.

Ohio’s legalization of medical cannabis is making Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH), a gubernatorial candidate, rethink past opposition to amendments protecting state laws from federal interference.

  • His spokesman said: “Congressman Renacci has voted against the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment in the past because the use of medical marijuana has not been recognized either at the federal level or in Ohio. With the change in Ohio law, the congressman would reconsider his opposition to the amendment and discuss with community leaders the implementation of the new state law.”

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted that “marijuana businesses and communities need certainty, stability, and parity. They don’t need fearmongering from the DOJ.”

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) tweeted about “importance of medical marijuana research, and ensuring DOJ isn’t hindering those efforts.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) just can’t stop tweeting about marijuana.

The U.S. House bill to allow marijuana businesses to access banks got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to 56.



Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidates all endorsed medical marijuana at a debate.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss, a state senator, tweeted support for legalizing marijuana and noted that “drug laws aren’t applied equally across different communities.”

Here’s a look at key decisions Massachusetts regulators will make about marijuana legalization implementation this month.

The North Dakota attorney general opined that changes to the state’s medical cannabis law require a two-thirds majority of the legislature.

Here’s a look at the possible timeline for enacting marijuana legalization in New Jersey.

California regulators launched an online system to process marijuana business licenses.

Michigan regulators released medical cannabis business license applications.,4601,7-154–454734–,00.html

New York regulators announced that starting this month, medical cannabis dispensaries will be able to sell topicals, chewables, lozenges and non-smokable forms of ground plant material.

A Guam senator wants the territory’s attorney general and U.S. attorney to clarify whether doctors who recommend medical cannabis will be punished.

A South Carolina senator introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to “promote and actively pursue scientific research and testing into the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions and illnesses by removing the federal statutory and regulatory barriers that prevent these scientific endeavors.”

A New Hampshire senator prefiled a bill to govern how marijuana will be grown in the event it becomes legal in the state and federally.

Florida lawmakers filed bills to remove a requirement that regulators issue a medical cannabis cultivation license to a member of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association.

Ohio regulators issued clarifications about the medical cannabis processor license application process.

The Washington, D.C. Council is considering legislation to set fines for violations by medical cannabis cultivators.

Alaska regulators proposed changes to rules governing ownership of marijuana businesses.

State lawmakers from Colorado and Florida spoke on a panel about marijuana policy at the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference.



The St. Louis, Missouri Board of Aldermen held a hearing on a marijuana legalization proposal.

Vandalia, Missouri’s chief of police voiced support for legalizing medical cannabis.



A World Health Organization pre-review of the possibility of scheduling CBD found it “has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials” and “is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” and that “there is no evidence of…any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Conservative Canadian senators are threatening to delay consideration of the government’s marijuana legalization bill so significantly so as to miss the planned July 2018 deadline for implementation.
Also, provincial and territorial finance ministers are pressing the federal government on marijuana revenue distribution at a meeting this week.

Here’s a look at how Uruguay’s marijuana legalization implementation is going.



A study concluded that “1.8 million underage individuals reported buying marijuana in the past year.”

A study found that medical cannabis users “had a higher probability for committing Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and drug selling/making than nonusers, and diverted medical marijuana users had a higher probability for involvement in property crime, violent crime, DUI, and drug selling/making than nonusers.”

A review concluded that “cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants for mental and motor dysfuction in neurodegenerative diseases” and “the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids suggest their therapeutic use for limiting neurological damage.”



The Los Angeles Times editorial board is telling the Trump administration to respect state marijuana laws.

The Concord Monitor editorial board wants a more health-focused approach to drug policy.



Green Bay Packers player Lance Kendricks was charged with marijuana possession.

The New York Times examines Los Angeles’s marijuana culture.

The New York Times ethicist said it would be fine for a doctor to accept a gift of marijuana from a patient.

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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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