New CT legal marijuana plan; Treasury Sec. pressed about cannabis biz tax issues; O’Rourke’s marijuana record; Cannatourism study

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A trio of key Connecticut House committee chairs announced a new multi-bill plan to legalize marijuana in the state.

Two senators—one Republican and one Democrat—pressed Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin about marijuana business tax deductions and credits during a hearing.

Reps. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Don Young (R-AK), along with several cosponsors, filed a bill to block federal agencies from firing employees for state-legal marijuana consumption that doesn’t affect their job performance.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-TX) long track record on cannabis and drug policy reform.

A study sheds light on the marijuana-related reasons that so many tourists from China travel to Amsterdam.

  • “You can do a lot of things there that are illegal in China… So Chinese tourists want to go there to find a different way to relax that’s not traditional.”

/ FEDERAL

A federal RICO case against a Massachusetts medical cannabis dispensary was settled with an undisclosed “significant” monetary payment.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, spoke about racial justice and marijuana legalization.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) made a joke about former House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) support for marijuana law reform.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Agreed, @MeghanMcCain. The stigma around cannabis must go. The potential for treating chronic conditions is just one of the many reasons to legalize.   In ending the federal prohibition of marijuana, there’s too much to gain, with nothing to lose.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “When Americans are arrested for marijuana use, it could make it harder to get into college, find a job, qualify for public assistance or even vote. Legalizing cannabis must include expunging prior low-level offenses and dismissing current possession charges.”

The House marijuana banking bill got 13 new cosponsors, for a total of 126.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of 22.

The House bill to require the federal government to study the impact of state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor, for a total of 25.

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a medical cannabis regulation bill into law.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) held a press conference to push for legislation to crack down on marijuana-impaired driving.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that since he took office the state has added 25,500 new patients, nearly 1,000 caregivers and 412 doctors to its medical cannabis program. Meanwhile, the Assembly Appropriations and Senate Judiciary Committees will hold hearings on marijuana legalization bills on Monday, and the Senate president said he is “very close” to getting the 21 votes he needs to pass the legislation.

New Mexico’s marijuana legalization bill appears to have stalled in a key committee just days ahead of the end of the legislative session.

An Idaho committee approved a hemp bill.

The Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee held a hearing on a medical cannabis bill.

The Maine legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services Committee held a hearing on a bill to require insurance companies to cover medical cannabis.

Delaware lawmakers are pushing a package of criminal justice reform bills, including one that would make underage possession or use of marijuana a civil violation instead of a criminal offense.

Washington State lawmakers are considering legislation to allow medical cannabis at schools.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.

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/ LOCAL

The Hennepin County, Minnesota county attorney said his office will no longer prosecute cases involving possession or sales of less than 100 grams of marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The United Nations System Coordination Task Team issued a report criticizing punitive drug policies.

Ethiopia’s health minister is opposed to medical cannabis.

/ ADVOCACY

The Republican Party of New York tweeted, “The Nassau and Suffolk County Executives are feeling the political pressure of the grassroots opposition to their fellow Democrats’ rush to legalize marijuana. Their half-baked announcement to opt-out is a cop-out.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity said, for some reason, “Just for the record, we don’t know if AOC ever smoked weed although a lot of liberals now who care about late-term abortion, during birth abortion, even after birth abortion and yes they want to legalize weed.”

Kevin Sabet of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana is floating the idea of suing MedMen over unspecified claims.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study “not find evidence that marijuana use in [people living with HIV] is associated with improved pain outcomes, or reduced opioid prescribing.”

A review concluded that “most of the variance in cannabis-related negative consequences was not explained by any single indicator of cannabis use, pointing to the fact that additional factors need to be examined to explain the experience of negative consequences from cannabis use and that additional indicators of cannabis use may be needed.”

/ BUSINESS

A California judge denied a request for an injunction from a marijuana company named Harvest on Geary Inc. that is suing to block another cannabis firm called Harvest of Napa, Inc. from using the name.

/ CULTURE

An artist from the Australian town of Woodenbong is commemorating the area by sculpting a giant wooden bong.

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The post Bill protects federal workers from being fired for cannabis (Newsletter: March 15, 2019) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.