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What Trump said in private conversations about cannabis revealed (Newsletter: Feb. 25, 2019)



NM legalization advances; 5 governors discuss marijuana; FL bill would put legalization on ballot; First look at North Dakota 2020 legalization plans

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New Mexico House and Senate committees voted to advance two separate marijuana legalization bills over the weekend.

A Florida senator filed a joint resolution to place a marijuana legalization question on the state’s 2020 ballot.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) all spoke about marijuana policy at a Politico event.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) spoke in a podcast interview about his Oval Office and telephone conversations about marijuana with President Trump.

  • “At that point I realized that there was an ally in the president on this.”

In an interview with Marijuana Moment, a key North Dakota cannabis activist talked about lessons learned from last year’s failed legalization ballot measure and how they will inform a new effort for 2020.

  • “The last time, our bill was unlimited growing, no licensing, no permitting and nothing beyond a sales tax. It was a really aggressive measure so we’re going to taper it back a little bit. We’re going to have some grow limits and a possession limit. We’re going to have some form of an excise tax and we’re going to have a licensing system.”


Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted that prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana was present at a meeting where federal officials discussed cannabis. He also posted several tweets expressing his thoughts on the alleged harms of marijuana legalization.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a presidential candidate, said she supports legalizing marijuana.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, reiterated her stance that the war on drugs “was” a failure. (About 7 minutes into the linked video.) She also discussed the controversy surrounding what music she listened to while smoking marijuana.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “It’s not enough to just legalize marijuana at the federal level—we should also expunge records of those who have served their time, and reinvest in communities hardest hit by the failed War on Drugs—which has really been a war on people.” And during a campaign appearance in Las Vegas said he has a “chip on my shoulder” over people who support legalizing cannabis but don’t talk about those who are already sentenced.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “For people dealing with chronic pain, medical marijuana can provide a safe, alternative method for pain management. At last week’s @SenateHELP hearing, I asked how we can reduce opioid dependency and better address pain management through medical marijuana.”

A Bay of Pigs veteran serving time in federal prison for marijuana fears being deported to his native Cuba upon release this year, where he could be incarcerated again as a political prisoner.


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) is being called out by PolitiFact for a “Pants on Fire” false statement in a press release that claimed “drug-related crimes account for as many as 75-85 percent of all inmates in our prisons.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) spoke about decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs at a National Governors Association meeting.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) budget chief said he plans to continue talking with legislative leaders about marijuana legalization.

Illinois’s lieutenant governor spoke about how marijuana legalization is a social justice issue in addition to a fiscal benefit.

Washington State’s attorney general said he would reach out to the office of new U.S. Attorney General William Barr to discuss marijuana.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner tweeted that he’ll be talking about hemp with colleagues at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture conference.

The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to hear 18 marijuana-related bills on Tuesday.

Colorado lawmakers will hold a hearing on legislation to allow publicly traded companies to hold marijuana business licenses on Monday.

Maine regulators are apologizing for directing retailers to take CBD products off their shelves.

Missouri regulators finalized a first draft of medical cannabis rules. They also recently finalized hemp regulations.

Michigan regulators released updated guidance on failed medical cannabis tests.

The termination of a South Carolina law enforcement program for testing plant matter could create a backlog as hemp cultivation expands.

Here’s a look at where Hawaii marijuana reform bills stand in the legislative process.

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.


The mayor of Cocoa Beach, Florida is proposing an ordinance that would allow police to avoid low-level marijuana arrests.

The Erie County, New York district attorney dropped nearly three dozen low-level marijuana cases.

Denver, Colorado officials held the city’s second event aimed at helping people seal prior marijuana convictions.


Thailand’s government is expected to issue regulations on medical cannabis this week.

Zimbabwe’s government approved 37 investors for cannabis cultivation operations.

Peruvian officials published medical cannabis regulations.


Former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, also a former Vermont governor, said that he thinks the U.S. will end federal marijuana prohibition by 2021.


A study found “little evidence that the enactment of [medical marijuana laws] has reduced opioid death rates” but did find “that the presence of a legal dispensary may reduce opioid deaths.”

A review concluded that “cannabidiol, a nontoxic phytocannabinoid with few side-effects is promising in various indications in medicine.”


A poll found that Iowa adults are divided on legalizing marijuana, 48%-48% and that 78% want to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.


ABC rejected an ad featuring actress Bella Thorne that Lowell Herb Co. wanted to air during the Oscars.

MedMen released a Spike Jonze-directed short film starring Jesse Williams.

Potbelly and NORML got into a Twitter conversation about sandwiches and marijuana.


Former NBA coach Don Nelson said that he’s been smoking marijuana in his retirement.

Actor Hal Sparks tweeted, “.@starbucks Hi. Hal here. Start using Hemp to make your cups. Preferably domestic Hemp. Thanks… I’m eco-friendly. “

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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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