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Lawmaker Renews Push to Make California a Sanctuary State for Marijuana

The Joint Blog - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 03:51
Assemblymemver Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) is renewing his effort to get legislation passed into law that would make California a sanctuary state for marijuana.

The renewed effort comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he’s rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memo which gave some protection to state-authorized cannabis outlets. Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer’s proposal, Assembly Bill 1578, was approved by the state’s Assembly in June by a vote of 41 to 33. Later that month it was approved by a Senate committee 5 to 2, but has since stalled.

“The impacts of this ill-conceived and poorly executed war are still being felt by communities of color across the state,” Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer said in a statement. “The last time California supported the federal government’s efforts, families were torn apart and critical state resources were used to incarcerate more black and brown people than ever before in the history of our state.”

If passed into law, Assembly Bill 1578 would prohibit state and local agencies from using “money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California”, unless there is a court order signed by a judge. It would also prevent them from responding to a request “made by a federal agency for personal information about an individual who is authorized to possess, cultivate, transport, manufacture, sell, or possess for sale marijuana or marijuana products or medical cannabis or medical cannabis products, if that request is made for the purpose of investigating or enforcing federal marijuana law.”

In addition, State and local agencies would  not be allowed to “Provide information about a person who has applied for or received a license to engage in commercial marijuana or commercial medical cannabis activity pursuant to MCRSA or AUMA”, or “Transfer an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement or detain an individual at the request of federal law enforcement for conduct that is legal under state law.”

The full text of Assembly Bill 1578 can be found by clicking here.

The post Lawmaker Renews Push to Make California a Sanctuary State for Marijuana appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Is Senator Kamala Harris Sincere About Supporting Marijuana Reform?

Weed News - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 03:16
It wasn’t that long ago that many in the political world considered supporting cannabis reform to be political suicide. After Oregon failed to legalize cannabis in 2012 I text my friend that...

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New Pew poll: Support for marijuana legalization continues to rise among Americans

Cannabist - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 00:50
Marijuana legalization continues to be viewed more favorably by Americans, buoyed by support from young adults, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Massachusetts' federal prosecutor "cannot provide assurances" for legal marijuana businesses

Cannabist - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:42
The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts offered no guarantees on Monday that he would take a hands-off approach to legalized pot, injecting a new layer of uncertainty and confusion into the commercial marijuana industry.

Kansas State Representative Defends Prohibition, Goes Full Racist

NORML Blog - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:11

At an event over the weekend, Kansas State Representative Steve Alford (R) defended the continuation of marijuana prohibition by reverting to the kind of overtly racist rhetoric originally deployed by Henry Anslinger when this failed policy was first implemented.

It is important to remember: Marijuana prohibition perpetuates institutional racism and is itself being perpetuated by racists.

“What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States,” Kansas Rep. Steve Alford said. “What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”

Watch the video:

Read more here.

You can share your thoughts with him here (since they apparently don’t have social media back in 1928):
j.stephen.alford@house.ks.gov

Help us fight back against this unacceptable and disgusting ideology. Click HERE to send your Senators a message in support of the Marijuana Justice Act, which would deschedule marijuana and begin to dial back the devastating impact our nation’s war on marijuana has had on communities across the country.

Op-ed: Why it's time for Jeff Sessions to go

Cannabist - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:02
Opinion: It is no longer tenable for Session to remain atop the Justice Department, as he cannot credibly lead the FBI, and has repeatedly lied to the Senate.

Can legal marijuana survive the disapproving glare of Jeff Sessions?

Cannabist - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:00
The U.S. is not gearing up for a large-scale prosecution of legal marijuana users, according to initial indications from the dozen or so U.S. attorneys who are now authorized make that call.

Maine: Cannabis legalization Implementation Bill Public Hearing Tomorrow

Weed News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 20:42
Below is a message that I received out of Maine today: The second half of the 128th Maine Legislature begins this week. Lawmakers will revisit the bill put forward by the MLI committee and attempt to...

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New DOJ marijuana policy sparks latest clash over states' rights

Cannabist - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 20:15
The federal government's position on state laws legalizing marijuana is only the latest high-profile states' rights fight.

More unauthorized stores selling CBD oil in Iowa

Cannabist - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 19:06
Unregulated sales of cannabis oil have been ramping up in Iowa even as state officials work to set up a tightly regulated distribution system for medical marijuana products.

Will 2018 Be A Big Year For The Sports Cannabis Movement?

Weed News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:40
Last year was a big year for the sports cannabis movement. An ever-increasing number of professional athletes, both current and retired, are joining the movement in an effort to free the plant...

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

Marijuana Moment - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:42

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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.

The post Will Sessions’s anti-cannabis move actually help legalization? (Newsletter: Jan 8, 2017) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Has Made us Stronger

Weed News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 00:53
Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wants to Stifle the Cannabis Legalization Movement. He’s Only Made Us Stronger. “If you strike down the Cole Memo, we shall become more powerful than...

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America Declares War On Jeff Sessions’ Threatened War On Cannabis

Weed News - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 16:33
With his announcement that he is freeing federal prosecutors to go after marijuana operations in states where it is legal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has excited strong bipartisan opposition...

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Sessions ignites nation with anti-marijuana ploy

The Leaf Online - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 15:52

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rattled his saber of prohibition by threatening more federal marijuana prosecutions, reversing one of the few remaining policy holdovers from the Obama administration, stoking a firestorm of support for a variety of federal reforms. The famous “Cole Memo” was issued after Colorado and Washington legalized adult use of marijuana, when […]

The post Sessions ignites nation with anti-marijuana ploy appeared first on The Leaf Online.

Latino Legislators Reject Jeff Sessions’ Cannabis Directive

Weed News - Sat, 01/06/2018 - 17:30
The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) firmly rejected a recent memorandum by Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoking Obama Administration policy that directed US...

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Study: Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Not Linked To Neighborhood Crime, Violence

Weed News - Sat, 01/06/2018 - 16:52
Retail stores that sell primarily alcohol and tobacco are associated with an increased prevalence of neighborhood crime, but medical cannabis dispensaries are not, according...

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New Pew Research Center Poll Finds 61% of American Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana

The Joint Blog - Sat, 01/06/2018 - 06:39
According to a new Pew Research Center (PRC) survey, more than six in 10 American voters support legalizing marijuana.

The survey, conducted in October and released today, finds that support for legalization has risen 4% from last year (57%), and has nearly doubled since 2000 (31%).

“As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization”, says Abigail Geiger from PRC . “Majorities of Millennials (70%), Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (56%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Only among the Silent Generation does a greater share oppose (58%) than favor (35%) marijuana legalization.”

According to the poll, nearly seven in 10 Democrats say marijuana use should be legal, as do 65% of independents. By contrast, 43% of Republicans favor marijuana legalization, while 55% are opposed. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, those younger than 40 favor legalizing marijuana use, 62% to 38%. Republicans ages 40 to 64 are divided (48% say it should be legal, 49% illegal), while those 65 and older oppose marijuana legalization by more than two-to-one (67% to 30%).

Sizable majorities of Democrats and Democratic leaners younger than 40 (79%) and 40 to 64 (70%) favor marijuana legalization. Older Democrats – those 65 and older – are more divided (50% favor legalization, 42% oppose it).

The poll comes just a day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he’s rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memo which directs federal law enforcement to respect states’ marijuana legalization laws.

The post New Pew Research Center Poll Finds 61% of American Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana appeared first on TheJointBlog.

California’s first legal sale honors cannabis activism

The Leaf Online - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 23:47

Long-term cannabis reform activists Chris Conrad and wife Mikki Norris were beaming as they made the first documented legal purchase of marijuana in California for non-medical personal adult use and paid its first recorded cannabis excise tax in Berkeley, Jan 1, 2018. “What we’re getting are three Jack Herer joints in honor of our friend […]

The post California’s first legal sale honors cannabis activism appeared first on The Leaf Online.

Democrats and Republicans Reject Recent Action by AG Sessions

NORML Blog - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 23:03

Following yesterday’s announcement by the DOJ that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had rescinded the Cole Memo, an Obama-era memorandum issued by Attorney General James Cole in 2013, federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle quickly denounced the decision.

Reject AG Sessions’ Efforts to Revert to the Failed Criminal Policies of the ‘Just Say No’ Era

In addition to taking to the floor of the Senate to express his frustrations, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) continued to vent on Twitter. He had this to say:

“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.”

Sharing some of the same frustrations as her counterpart in the Senate, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) shared the following in a email to supporters:

“Sessions’ actions to protect the bottom lines of the for-profit private prison industry, and Big Pharma whose opioids and drugs flourish in part due to the marijuana prohibition, while trampling on states’ rights and turning everyday Americans into criminals, is the latest injustice that the Attorney General has suffered on the American people.”

Being the cosponsor of pending legislation, that if passed by Congress would stop AG Sessions in his tracks, Representative Gabbard also took a minute to encourage support for her bill, HR 1227:

“I am calling on every member of Congress to take up the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act to remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances.”

With prominent Democrats and Republicans promising a fight and threatening to derail DOJ nominations, and thousands of calls and emails from activists asking lawmakers to reject Mr. Sessions’ misguided plan, it appears that political courage comes in many forms.

To join the fight, take a few minutes to contact your representative and encourage their support for HR 1227: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act: http://norml.org/action-center/item/federal-bill-introduced-to-end-federal-marijuana-prohibition and email Chapters@NORML.org for a list of upcoming meetings and lobby days.

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