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Wells Fargo shuts pol’s account over cannabis campaign contributions (Newsletter: August 21, 2018)



NJ Senate president says he has votes for legalization; UT gov rejects medical cannabis oppo request; Not enough signatures for OK legalization

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Wells Fargo closed the bank account for Florida Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Nikki Fried because she receives campaign donations from “lobbyists from the medical marijuana industry,” according to copies of emails shared with Marijuana Moment.

New Jersey’s Senate president said he has the votes to pass marijuana legalization and medical cannabis expansion bills next month.

Activists in Norwood, Ohio collected enough signatures to place a marijuana depenalization measure on the November ballot, but local police said they will continue charging people under state law even if voters approve the initiative.


President Trump tweeted, “It is outrageous that Poisonous Synthetic Heroin Fentanyl comes pouring into the U.S. Postal System from China. We can, and must, END THIS NOW! The Senate should pass the STOP ACT – and firmly STOP this poison from killing our children and destroying our country. No more delay!”

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “Fentanyl was responsible for nearly 30,000 deaths in the US last year. Many Americans don’t know it can be an instant killer when laced into pills, marijuana.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection included a bullet point about seizing 14,243 pounds of marijuana in a blog post titled, “The Life Saving Missions of CBP.”

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy appointed members to its  Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said she will be “looking at where marijuana is scheduled in the federal laws.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) tweeted, “As an original member of the Cannabis Caucus, I am committed to protecting the rights of residents in Washington state, and will work to ensure legal clarity when it comes to marijuana use.”

The U.S. Senate bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of nine.

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted, “Descheduling marijuana is the way forward to give people access a non addictive form of pain management. #CannabisIsMedicine”


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) rejected requests from prohibitionists to call a special legislative session to keep medical cannabis off the ballot and to direct state agencies to oppose the measure.

The reelection campaign of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Democratic challenger Ben Jealous are battling over whether legalizing marijuana would generate enough revenue to fund universal pre-K.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) reelection campaign is asking TV stations to stop running a nonprofit group’s attack ad that focuses on state laws allowing day care center owners to also work in the marijuana industry.

Oklahoma’s secretary of state determined that activists failed to collect enough signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the ballot. Separately, regulators established a call center to answer questions about medical cannabis. And the legislature’s medical marijuana working group will take public testimony on Wednesday.

An Arizona judge upheld regulators’ decision not to add autism spectrum disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Nevada Democratic gubernatorial nominee Steve Sisolak said he would work to make sure more marijuana tax revenue goes toward funding schools.

Some observers say the text of North Dakota’s marijuana legalization ballot measure is so broad it would legalize driving under the influence of cannabis.

A backlog is preventing Oregon police from testing urine samples from drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana.

The Rhode Island Office of the Child Advocate recommended to “treat medical marijuana by primary caretaker as a risk factor, regardless of legality.”

The Vermont marijuana legalization study committee’s taxation and regulation subcommittee met.

The Washington Post looks at stiff competition for Virginia’s limited medical cannabis production licenses.

The Washington, D.C. City Council, in response to news about its opposition to an expensive military parade proposed by President Trump,  tweeted that its members would have also “opposed a $92 million parade led by the Obamas & Chuck Brown, with statehood floats made of hemp.”


The Denver, Colorado City Council discussed a proposal to use marijuana tax revenue to fund affordable housing.


The National Cannabis Industry Association launched a petition to pressure Facebook to stop censoring marijuana pages from search results.

Conservative commentator Armstrong Williams tweeted, “The poor and racial minorities have suffered disproportionately under the prison industrial scheme in this country. Justice demands that they have a seat at the table when it comes to the fruits of legal marijuana as well.”


A study found that women with “severe [nausea and vomiting in pregnancy] had nearly 4 times greater odds of prenatal marijuana use.”

A pair of articles in Journalism & Communication Monographs look at the formulation of anti-drug public service announcements during the Nixon administration.


A poll found that U.S. voters broadly support sentencing reform legislation.


Representatives for Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase told the New York Times they don’t have policies such as the one at Wells Fargo that blocks political candidates who receive marijuana industry contributions from maintaining accounts.

Canopy Growth Corporation’s stock hit a new high following the announcement that alcohol distributor Constellation Brands is investing big.

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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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