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Will Sessions’s anti-cannabis move actually help legalization? (Newsletter: Jan 8, 2017)

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Another poll shows majority legalization support; Sessions & Gardner to meet; Lots of state bills filed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A Pew poll found that Americans support legalizing marijuana, 61% – 37%.

I put together some thoughts about how U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s anti-marijuana move might actually be good for legalization.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) says he told Sessions in a phone call that he will be blocking all Justice Department nominations over the Trump administration’s marijuana policy change. The two are set to meet this week. The nomination block threat stands to leave several key posts unfilled for the foreseeable future.

/ FEDERAL

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is working with California officials to formulate a response to the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Justice Department marijuana changes won’t affect government doctors’ ability to talk with veterans about cannabis.

Montana’s U.S. attorney said he would focus “on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our citizens and communities.”

Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who authored the Cole memo, spoke about its rescission.

A federal judge scheduled oral arguments in a lawsuit against marijuana’s Schedule I status for February 14.

President Trump said that countries with “harsh” drug policies see “less difficulty,” adding: “We are going to be working on that very, very hard this year, and I think we’re going to make a big dent into the drug problem.” He also tweeted that he spoke with Cabinet and military officials about “the ever increasing Drug and Opioid Problem.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, criticized Sessions’s anti-marijuana move and said that cannabis could become a campaign issue in 2018.

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who is running against U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), is making marijuana a campaign issue.

Members of Congress from Colorado held a conference call to discuss legislative responses to the Sessions marijuana move. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter asking the attorney general to rescind the anti-marijuana guidance, while Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) sent a letter asking President Trump to overrule Sessions on cannabis.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said the Sessions marijuana move could be an impetus for Congress to end prohibition.

Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said he supports the Sessions policy change.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) cheered on the Sessions cannabis move, and also seems upset that some Democrats want to include broader state marijuana protections in appropriations legislation.

Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) says Sessions’s anti-marijuana move inspired him to cosponsor cannabis legislation.

Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is calling on Sessions to resign.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy (D) and legislative leaders say they will continue with plans to legalize marijuana despite federal enforcement policy changes.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is concerned the federal government is sowing “confusion” about marijuana enforcement.

Oklahoma Democratic gubernatorial candidates are backing medical cannabis, but Republican contenders are mostly mum on the issue.

Louisiana is moving ahead to implement its medical cannabis program.

California’s attorney general is considering suing the federal government over marijuana policy. Separately, officials pulled a PSA on drugged driving after critics viewed it as pro-marijuana.

The New Mexico Supreme Court temporarily upheld hemp legislation vetoes by Gov. Susana Martinez (R).

Colorado regulators said they will continue to adhere to the principles of the Cole memo even though it is no longer in place. Separately, they are proposing changes to medical cannabis rules.

Missouri’s House speaker says that he’s surprised by momentum behind medical cannabis and that he’d prefer lawmakers pass legislation instead of having voters do it via a ballot initiative.

Indiana’s Republican majority floor leader introduced a resolution calling for a study on medical cannabis.

New York regulators say they will continue the state’s medical cannabis program in light of federal changes. Separately, lawmakers filed a bill to allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for any condition.

Maine lawmakers will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization implementation legislation on Tuesday.

A Florida representative filed a marijuana decriminalization bill. Another representative introduced legislation setting procedures for medical cannabis use in schools.

A Mississippi representative filed a medical cannabis bill.

A Washington, D.C. councilmember, at the request of the mayor, introduced legislation to allow reciprocity for out-of-state medical cannabis patients.

Washington State regulators identified marijuana products with undisclosed pesticide residues. Separately, the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming will hear a bill to use marijuana tax revenue to fund indigent defense on Monday.

/ LOCAL

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) spoke out against the federal marijuana enforcement change.

San Francisco, California retailers began recreational marijuana sales.

/ ADVOCACY

Trump ally Roger Stone called the Justice Department’s marijuana policy change a “cataclysmic mistake.”

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators also slammed the Sessions anti-cannabis move.

Purported criminal justice reform group Right on Crime cheered the Sessions decision.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro bashed cannabis consumers but said he supports decriminalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “consumption of cannabis reduces vigilance and increases driving errors.”

A study found that medical cannabis “dispensary users do not necessarily reside in the same area in which dispensaries are located and do not necessarily reflect the local population.”

A study concluded that “there are higher proportions of personal communication tweets and Twitter users tweeting about rosin in U.S. states where cannabis is legalized.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York Times editorial board slammed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s marijuana enforcement policy.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board wants Congress to overrule Sessions on cannabis.

Even the Washington Post editorial board, which has long opposed marijuana legalization, criticized the Justice Department action.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board supports Sessions’s anti-marijuana change, but said that it could spur Congress to end prohibition.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board is calling on Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.

/ BUSINESS

Corona distributor Constellation Brands, which has marijuana investments, says it is not concerned about a federal crackdown.

Marijuana industry operatives don’t seemed too spooked by Sessions’s anti-marijuana move.

Environmentalists are concerned about the marijuana industry’s energy usage.

/ CULTURE     

Comedian Seth Meyers opened the Golden Globes by saying, “It’s 2018: marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t. It’s going to be a good year.”

Trump-supporting Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams said he may turn on the president over the administration’s anti-cannabis move.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Newsletter

Mexican cannabis bill draft circulates ahead of vote (Newsletter: November 29, 2021)

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More senators push marijuana banking in NDAA; PA lieutenant gov. invites cannabis pardon applications; MD drug paraphernalia decrim override urged

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

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Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mexican lawmakers are circulating a revised draft of a marijuana legalization bill that the Senate majority leader wants to pass by December 15.

Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter urging passage of marijuana banking legislation through the National Defense Authorization Act.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who chairs the Board of Pardons, is urging as many people as possible to apply to have their marijuana convictions pardoned before he leaves office.

A regional ambassador with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition authored an op-ed urging Maryland lawmakers to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge delayed the sentencing of a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor convicted of extorting marijuana businesses.

/ STATES

Texas’s attorney general is being asked by the Montgomery County district attorney to issue an opinion saying that possessing or selling delta-8 THC products is a crime.

Utah’s Senate minority whip and other lawmakers are criticizing regulators for delays in implementing a law to make it easier for providers to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Florida representatives filed a bill on medical cannabis testing, delta-8 THC and other issues.

A Missouri Republican representative spoke at a psychedelics conference.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has failed to comply with a law requiring it to conduct a public education campaign about the process for sealing marijuana conviction records.

Arizona regulators proposed revised marijuana social equity rules.

New York regulators published a checklist for cannabinoid hemp packaging and labeling.

Nevada marijuana regulators will hold a public hearing on December 14.

Colorado regulators will hold a hearing on a proposed fee increase for medical cannabis registry applications on December 15.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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.

/ LOCAL

San Francisco, California police were caught on tape appearing to watch as a marijuana dispensary was robbed, without taking action to intervene.

The Missoula, Montana City Council will consider marijuana rules on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Italy’s labor and youth policy ministers said that the incoming German government’s commitment to legalize marijuana means that their country should also seriously consider the reform.

A Philippine vice presidential candidate said he supports allowing medical cannabis access.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration announced another public consultation on standards for medical cannabis imports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested an “antipsychotic medication sparing effect of CBD-cigarettes as adjunctive treatment of acute psychosis.”

A study indicated that “recreational cannabis legalization is associated with decreasing enrollment in medical cannabis programs, particularly for males.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Psychiatric Association is reportedly working on a policy statement about psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

A budtender at Burnside Buds in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada who was allegedly fired for union organizing has been reinstated.

/ CULTURE

Jared Leto spoke about getting fired from working at a movie theater for selling marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Feds’ cannabis interference on Indian land (Newsletter: November 26, 2021)

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AGs push Congress for marijuana cooperation with states; Study looks at dogs getting high from THC in poop

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Pueblo of Picuris Indian tribe in New Mexico is accusing the federal government of a discriminatory double standard after a medical cannabis patient’s garden on tribal land was raided while marijuana businesses across many states operate without interference.

The bipartisan attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota and Vermont sent a letter urging Congress to emphasize federal-state cooperation in any plan to legalize marijuana.

A study concluded that “ingestion of human feces containing THC may lead to marijuana toxicosis in dogs.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote in an op-ed that he discussed marijuana legalization and other issues with students at a youth summit.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Including #SAFEBanking in the final NDAA will help safeguard our financial system, reduce the public safety risk & help support Veteran & minority-owned businesses now. It will help pave the way for broader, comprehensive cannabis reform & create a safer, more equitable industry.”

/ STATES

A New York senator sent a press release about his new bill to add transgender and non-binary people to the marijuana equity program.

A Tennessee representative tweeted about touring a hemp and CBD business.

Ohio regulators posted a draft resolution eliminating the medical cannabis tier system and setting a 90-day supply of plant material as nine ounces, regardless of THC percentage.

Alaska regulators will host working group meetings about marijuana products next month and in January.

Colorado regulators will host a work group meeting about changing marijuana business licensee designations on December 3.

Michigan regulators will hold a public meeting on marijuana issues on December 9.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on December 10.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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.

/ LOCAL

Los Angeles, California regulators published a report about the city’s marijuana licensing program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill to legalize drug checking services.

Lithuanian lawmakers defeated an amendment to decriminalize drugs.

Argentina’s government approved a research project on cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes.

India’s Food Safety and Security Authority approved regulations for hemp seeds and oil as food ingredients.

Luxembourg is experiencing medical cannabis supply issues.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “recreational marijuana legalization increased the clearance rates for violent crime overall and aggravated assault” but that “the positive effect of legalization appears to shrink over time.”

A study suggested that “psychedelic-use may causally influence metaphysical beliefs—shifting them away from ‘hard materialism.’”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs closed its acquisition of Bay, LLC.

Vaseline released a new hemp-infused soothing product.

/ CULTURE

Deftones launched a line of marijuana products.

CNN will air the sixth installment of its “WEED” series on Sunday.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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SD legal cannabis blocked by court (Newsletter: November 25, 2021)

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Germany to legalize marijuana; Taliban signs cannabis deal; Former TX gov talks psychedelics’ benefits

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Your good deed for the day: donate to an independent publisher like Marijuana Moment and ensure that as many voters as possible have access to the most in-depth cannabis reporting out there.

Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Germany’s incoming government coalition officially announced plans to legalize marijuana. The plan also includes broader harm reduction measures such as drug checking services.

The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld a lower judge’s ruling that a voter-approved marijuana legalization measure is invalid. Activists are already working to put another initiative on the 2022 ballot, and lawmakers are considering the issue.

Afghanistan’s Taliban regime announced it signed a cannabis production deal with a company called Cpharm, though an Australian firm of that name later denied it is involved and said it has “no connection with cannabis or the Taliban” and has “no idea where the Taliban media release has come from.”

  • The project “will be officially launched soon and hundreds of people will get job opportunities,” the Ministry of Interior Affairs said.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)—who also served as U.S. energy secretary—spoke about his support for the therapeutic use of psychedelics to treat mental health conditions faced by military veterans.

  • “If you would have told me five years ago that Rick Perry, knuckle-dragging, right wing Republican governor of Texas, was going to be in the same sentence with the word ‘psychedelics,’ I would have bet you the farm, baby.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and RMA is pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. We must end the federal prohibition on marijuana and make criminal justice reforms—I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to do just that.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted about his vote in favor of a psychedelics research amendment.

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) spoke about assisting someone with obtaining psilocybin therapy for depression.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got one new cosponsor for a total of 101.

/ STATES

The Cayuga Nation, located within New York, began selling marijuana at tribal stores.

California generated $322.34 million in marijuana tax revenue last quarter.

Massachusetts regulators rescinded a recommendation that municipalities should prioritize approval for marijuana social equity applicants. Separately, they are accepting public comment on hemp guidance.

Virginia regulators finalized rules removing the requirement to report prior marijuana convictions for asbestos, lead and home inspectors.

Oregon regulators reviewed plans to begin accepting new marijuana business license applications and approved stipulated settlement agreements for violations.

Minnesota regulators released the results of a medical cannabis survey of healthcare providers.

Maine regulators are conducting a survey about the hemp program.

Connecticut regulators posted updated stats about the medical cannabis program.

West Virginia regulators will host medical cannabis patient signup events next week.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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.

/ LOCAL

Pima County, Arizona officials are having issues processing marijuana expungements.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg’s government gave an update on its marijuana legalization plans.

The Israeli Knesset created a new Cannabis Committee.

Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Access Program enrolled its first patient.

Mexico’s Senate hosted a forum on marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “all preclinic and clinic studies that have been reported show that, through the cannabinoid system, cannabinoids, particularly CBD, have many mechanisms that are effective in the treatment of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2.”

A study found that “adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 61 percent of Massachusetts residents believe marijuana legalization has been positive for the state.

/ BUSINESS

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $33 million and a net loss of $10.2 million.

An investor’s fraud and retaliation lawsuit against Bloom Farms was dismissed.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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