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White House still opposes legalizing cannabis (Newsletter: July 15, 2021)



Schumer: We don’t have the votes for marijuana bill; Booker will block cannabis banking before justice reform; VA gov too busy to try legal marijuana

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Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) unveiled their new draft federal marijuana legalization bill at a press conference, with the majority leader candidly admitting that “we don’t have the votes necessary at this point.”

  • Schumer also spoke about the cannabis legislation on the Senate floor.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, asked about the new federal marijuana legalization bill minutes after its unveiling by Senate leaders, said President Joe Biden remains opposed to the reform but would be “encouraged” to see more incremental cannabis decriminalization, which he endorsed on the campaign trail, advance.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he will personally block any attempt to pass a simple marijuana banking bill that does not come with comprehensive, justice-focused cannabis legalization.

  • “I don’t know about other members of the Senate, but I will lay myself down to do everything I can to stop an easy banking bill that’s going to allow all these corporations to make a lot more money off of this, as opposed to focusing on the restorative justice aspect.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), asked whether he has smoked marijuana since it became legal in the state this month, said he’s “been very busy at my job making sure we’re the number one state in the country.”

  • “Serious people smoke marijuana, just for the record about that,” the reporter replied.


The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked by marijuana companies to reconsider a decision not to hear their case about a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service following a recent statement from Justice Clarence Thomas that criticized the state of federal cannabis policy.

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) tweeted, “As a former prosecutor myself, I know how big of a victory this is for our Arizona criminal justice system. Arizonans charged with low-level marijuana possession can now have that erased from their records.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) tweeted, “Heartened to hear that @SenSchumer and the Senate will soon take up marijuana decriminalization. Marijuana policy has long been used as an agent of racial discrimination, with its effects reverberating through nearly every sphere of American life.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted that the new Senate marijuana bill is “a step in the right direction. I’m glad to see the Senate build off of our momentum in the House. It’s time to end the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “I supported the MORE Act the House passed last session (with my Homegrown Act included) that would have accomplished this. I welcome this new momentum for #cannabis reform in the Senate!”

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 39.


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) will reportedly sign a bill to expand equity in marijuana business licensing on Thursday.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted, “I’m proud to see the Cannabis Advisory Commission hold its first meeting and establish a robust agenda. The CAC will play an important role in the continuation of effective regulation of Nevada’s cannabis industry.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham tweeted, “No one has ever overdosed on marijuana. And you have to wonder how many of these 93,000 people [who died of drug overdose deaths last year] would still be alive if marijuana was legal nationally.”

Rhode Island’s higher education commissioner spoke about the potential impact of marijuana legalization on colleges.

Washington State regulators published an updated list of pesticides approved for use on marijuana.

Arizona regulators sent tax compliance reminders for marijuana businesses.

Michigan regulators hosted a webinar about marijuana rules enforcement.

Oklahoma regulators published updated lists of licensed medical cannabis laboratories and transporters.

Vermont regulators will discuss marijuana’s environmental and energy impact on Thursday.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Wednesday.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


Santa Fe County, New Mexico commissioners are considering a proposal to only allow marijuana cultivation indoors.


Israeli lawmakers delayed a vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill due to opposition from within the country’s governing coalition.

Mexico’s Senate majority leader mentioned marijuana legalization as an issue that lawmakers need to deal with.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were an estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2020—a record high.

A study found that cannabis “is frequently used as a substitute for prescription drugs, particularly opioids.”


The Wisconsin Democratic Party tweeted, “Retweet if you support Governor Evers’ policy proposal to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin.”

The president of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana will be on  C-SPAN on Thursday morning.


WM Technology, Inc. announced the members of its board of directors.

Canopy Growth Corporation is being sued by Rémy Cointreau for alleged trademark infringement.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Eaze over allegedly unpaid advertising fees.


Justin Bieber spent more than $1,000 in a single visit to a marijuana dispensary.

Joe Rogan criticized the marijuana-related suspension of runner Sha’Carri Richardson.

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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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