ND legalization measure cleared for signatures; Poll: Americans back drug decrim; NJ police marijuana use memo gets pushback; SC 4/20 pardons bill
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
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made a “promise” to marijuana activists that his federal legalization bill will actually be introduced by his most recently announced deadline.
North Dakota’s secretary of state and attorney general signed off on the language of a proposed marijuana legalization initiative—clearing activists to begin collecting signatures to place it on the November ballot.
A new poll found that a majority of Americans—including Republicans—support decriminalizing drugs. There’s also strong support for opening overdose prevention centers where people can consume controlled substances under medical supervision.
New Jersey mayors and state lawmakers are pushing back against an attorney general memo clarifying that police can use marijuana while off duty. But a federal law generally banning guns for cannabis consumers that the opponents are citing also has a little-known exception for government employees like cops.
A South Carolina representative filed a bill on 4/20 that would require the state to issue pardons for people with marijuana convictions annually on the unofficial cannabis holiday.
Staffers for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) will speak at a Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation event on April 28.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) tweeted, “Washington state cannabis businesses shouldn’t have to fear for their safety because of outdated banking laws. Let’s pass the #SAFEBankingAct and make sure these businesses don’t have to operate fully in cash.”
Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) tweeted that Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) call to legalize marijuana and expunge convictions is a “great idea. I have a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in every state.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) discussed the benefits of hemp with a construction contractor.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) declined to directly answer when asked if she still consumes marijuana. Primary challenger Katie Arrington is calling on her to take a drug test.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Great to see the growth in regenerative organic cannabis products. @SunAndEarthCert certified products will make a real difference for consumers who care about health + the environment, and help the farmers and manufacturers who are doing it right.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) spoke about the injustices of the war on drugs.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidates discussed marijuana legalization at a debate.
Louisiana Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers said there aren’t enough black people who own or work for cannabis businesses.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill allowing reimbursements to municipalities of up to $20,000 to cover the procedural costs of allowing recreational marijuana businesses.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill allowing hemp cultivation sites to be larger.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted, “We’re thinking big in Nevada, and finding every way we can to support our students, families and economy through new, innovative revenue sources. There’s also no industry getting higher than cannabis, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.”
Mississippi’s attorney general issued an opinion on municipalities’ ability to regulate medical cannabis businesses.
Oklahoma lawmakers sent Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) a bill to require medical cannabis cultivation license applicants to file a bond in an amount of no less than $25,000.
Kentucky’s Senate president pushed back on potential medical cannabis executive actions by Gov. Andy Beshear (D). Meanwhile, the representative who is sponsoring a stalled medical marijuana bill said he is worried the governor’s move could give patients false hope.
Virginia’s Senate president pro tem tweeted, “Sometimes reporters ask if my support of marijuana could hurt me politically. I don’t care if it does, I will stand up for good policy over politics anytime. Plus marijuana is a lot more popular than Glenn Youngkin.”
A New York senator filed a bill to add coverage of medical cannabis to public insurance programs.
Arizona lawmakers are considering legislation to strengthen marijuana testing rules.
Ohio House Democrats tweeted about the introduction of a new marijuana legalization bill based on a citizen-initiated measure.
A Rhode Island representative spoke about his drug decriminalization bill.
A Florida representative tweeted, “For the last two years I filed legislation in Florida to allow for the controlled, clinical use of Psilocybin to treat depression and PTSD. If elected to the State Senate I will get this passed.”
The Montana Legislative Services Division published an analysis of marijuana revenue.
A federal judge suggested that Illinois regulators’ marijuana business licenses process may violate the Constitution’s dormant commerce clause.
Alabama regulators are opting not to ask lawmakers to give them more time to craft medical cannabis rules.
Oregon regulators are moving to implement a moratorium on marijuana business licenses as directed by a new state law.
Washington State regulators are seeking applicants to serve on a psilocybin services workgroup.
West Virginia’s top medical cannabis regulators said the program has created “332 direct jobs in West Virginia, with an additional job growth of 1,884 positions in the fields of commercial construction, security services, and transportation.”
Vermont regulators will discuss marijuana issues at a meeting on Monday.
Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.
The Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney filed a motion to expunge more marijuana convictions.
A Trinidad and Tobago lawmaker is pressing the government for clarity on religious use of marijuana.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada’s police chief said he opposes decriminalizing drugs despite a push for the reform from members of the City Council.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study concluded that “a steep growth in support for cannabis legalization began in the 1990s and continued to grow in a relatively linear manner” and that “most people developed more liberal views, with no evidence that changes within any one sociodemographic group was disproportionately responsible for the overall attitudinal change.”
A study “did not find increases in the percentage of women with clinically relevant low birthweight or preterm births following cannabis policy liberalization” and “does not show substantial changes in adverse birth outcomes.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll of U.S. adults found that 69 percent support legalizing marijuana, 58 percent say alcohol is more harmful than cannabis and 91 percent believe the war on drugs has not been successful in reducing drug use.
The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “It was a big week for making big progress on cannabis, and Democratic governors are leading the way!”
The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Alabama spent $22 Million in 2016 on the enforcement of marijuana possession alone. That’s enough money to hire 571 school teachers or get 8,600 children covered by Medicaid.”
The Kentucky Democratic Party tweeted, “Our neighboring states are legalizing medical cannabis. It’s safe, effective and overwhelmingly supported by Kentuckians of all political stripes. The Republican supermajority refuses to act. @GovAndyBeshear will.” It also tweeted, “It’s time we legalize medical cannabis and deliver for patients who deserve a chance at relief. Republican politicians in the legislature don’t care about their voices. @AndyBeshearKY does.”
Alan Brochstein of New Cannabis Ventures has made some progress in recovering from a bicycle accident last weekend, but he’s still in the ICU. His family has created a GoFundMe for those who wish to help.
A Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member is being accused of taking more than $4 million from an elderly Holocaust survivor.
The American Bankers Association tweeted, “ABA appreciates Senator @PattyMurray’s strong support for the bipartisan #SAFEBanking Act, which would enhance public safety in WA and the 36 other states where cannabis is legal in some form.”
Eaze reportedly experienced a data breach compromising the personal information of current and former employees.
Johnny Depp was pressed on his drug use during questioning for the defamation lawsuit he filed against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Family Feud had a question about what women would do if they found a bag of marijuana in their husband’s car.
Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.
Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.