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Marijuana Business Daily | March 1, 2018
 Hemp State Highlight: Kentucky invests in hemp but wonders if peak has passed

Kristen Nichols
Kentucky checks all the boxes for nourishing a hemp revival. Climate suited to the plant? Check. Friendly regulations from a state willing to experiment and invest in hemp? Check. Lots of cheap land and a processing infrastructure that includes in-state decortication and CBD extractors? Check and check. So why do some agronomists fear that Kentucky has reached its hemp zenith? Its a matter of how big the hemp market is going to get. Its kind of reached a peak, said David Williams, a plant and soil scientist at the University of Kentucky, which owns several h....
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The Joint Blog | March 2, 2018
 Vermont House Votes to Allow Cops to Administer Saliva Tests for Drugs During Traffic Stops

Anthony Martinelli

Vermonts full House of Representatives gave preliminary approval yesterday to House Bill 237, which would allow law enforcement to administer saliva tests for drugs during traffic stops.
The House gave approval to the measure in a voice vote yesterday after 2.5 hours of debate and after approving several rather inconsequential amendments. Representative David Potter D, the bills primary sponsor, says that under his proposal the saliva tests alone cant result in an arrest or conviction, though it can play a factor. The measure requires at least two peer-reviewed studies to verify the accuracy of the devices being deployed before they can be used. According to Potter, overall impairment would still be determined by police who are trained as Drug Recognition ....
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The Joint Blog | March 5, 2018
 Theres No Such Thing as Medical Marijuana, Says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary

Anthony Martinelli

At a recent press conference about opioids the United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that theres no such thing as medical marijuana.
There really is no such thing as medical marijuana, Azar said during the press conference, which was held in Ohio. There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that. The remarks were in response to a reporters question asking for Azars opinion regarding medical marijuana as a potential pain relief alternative to opioids. Azars comments, though disappointing and ridiculously out-of-touch, arent exactly surprising. After all, the federal government still has marijuana listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance, putting it....
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The Joint Blog | February 22, 2018
 Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee Votes to Approve Marijuana Decrim Bill

Anthony Martinelli

In a surprising move Alabamas Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve a bill to decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.
The committee has voted 6 to 4 to pass Senate Bill 251, which was filed by Senator Dick Brewbaker. The proposal would create the crime of possession of marijuana in the third degree for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and would provide that a first or second conviction would be a violation with applicable fines that would not appear on a persons criminal record and a third or subsequent offense would be a Class A misdemeanor. Under current law, the possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Also,....
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Stop the Drug War | February 22
 Chronicle AM: Jail Populations Drop, ME Pot Social Clubs Go Up in Smoke, More... 2/22/18
Jail populations have been declining for a decade.
Jail populations have been declining for a decade.
An Arizona pot poll has good numbers, asset forfeiture reform bills move in a couple of states, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports on declining jail population numbers, Maine lawmakers appear ready to do away with pot social clubs the voters voted for, and more. Jail populations have been declining for a decade. Wikimedia Marijuana Policy Arizona Poll Has Strong Support for Legalization. A new poll from OH Predictive Insights and the Consumer Choice Center had support for marijuana legalization at nearly two-thirds. Some 62.9 percent of respondents supported taxin....
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NORML | February 20, 2018
 California: Alameda County District Attorney To Vacate Thousands Of Past Marijuana Convictions

Paul Armentano
The District Attorney for Alameda County has announced her intent to automatically vacate thousands of past marijuana convictions. Alameda County, which includes Oakland, is the 7th-most populous county in California. According to the DAs office, there are an estimated 6,000 marijuana convictions eligible for either a sentence reduction or a dismissal. California is offering a second chance to people convicted of cannabis crimes, from felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy OMally s....
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The Joint Blog | February 20, 2018
 Bill Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry Passes WA Senate Committee, Already Passed Full House

Anthony Martinelli

Legislation to explicitly give permission to financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the Washington State Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.
The committee voted 5 to 1 today to pass House Bill 2098, which was filed by Representative David Sawyer D and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Bick R, Steve Kirby D and Cary Condotta R. The measure, which passed the full House of Representatives last month in an 82 to 12 vote, would provide immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws. For purposes of the bill, financial institution is ....
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The Cannabist | Feb 19, 2018 | TRENTON, N.J.
 New Jersey lawmakers opposed to marijuana legalization propose decriminalizing small amounts instead
Michael Catalini,

``I think this whole legalization stuff has to slow down,`` State Sen. Ronald Rice said
A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged caution on marijuana legalization on Thursday and instead introduced legislation to eliminate penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug. Democratic state Sens. Ronald Rice and Joseph Cryan and Republican Sen. Robert Singer unveiled the legislation at a statehouse news conference. The lawmakers effort offers a counterpoint to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned and won election in November while promising to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. But Rice has been skeptical, calling for hearings across the state ....
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The Cannabist | Feb 19, 2018 | BOSTON
 Will Massachusetts be the first state to allow social marijuana use?
Bob Salsberg

Everything you need to know about the states proposed social use regulations
Could Massachusetts become the first U.S. state where adults can gather and use legal recreational marijuana at so-called cannabis cafes? The Cannabis Control Commission, the five-member panel set up to regulate the states marijuana industry, is expected to decide later this month whether to approve draft regulations that would allow for the licensing of social consumption establishments. The idea has received strong opposition from Republican Gov. Charlie Bakers administration and from law enforcement officials who warn of public safety and public health risks if such fa....
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NORML | February 17, 2018
 It Was A Big Week For Marijuana In America

Justin Strekal
Valentines Day week 2018 saw a tremendous amount of activity when it came to addressing our nations failed policy of marijuana prohibition. From new federal legislation being introduced to two federal lawsuits having hearings, plus a number of members of Congress, old allies and new stepping up to demand the Trump Administration continue to allow the states that have reformed their laws be respected by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Rick Not Pro-Pot But Pro-Civil Liberties Steves Went To Washington: Bestselling guidebook author and travel host Rick Steves held two briefin....
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The Joint Blog | February 15, 2018
 Berkeley Council Votes Unanimously to Become a Sanctuary City for Marijuana

Anthony Martinelli
The proposal, put forth by Mayor Jesse Arreguin along with two councilmembers, prohibits all local officials and city employees from assisting federal officials in the enforcement of federal marijuana laws. I believe we can balance public safety and resisting the Trump administration, says Mayor Arreguin. In a tweet made after the councils vote, Arreguin said the move was in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis. According to Arreguin, the approved resolution doesnt prevent the city from....
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NORML | February 15, 2018
 New Federal Legislation To Protect Legal Marijuana States And Businesses

Justin Strekal
Representative Lou Correa D-CA has introduced the Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act which would essentially codify the protections that were outlined in the now-rescinded Cole Memo. Upon the introduction, Rep. Correa said, To date, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis, and twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, representing more than half of the American population, have enacted legislation to permit the use of cannabis. Attorney General Sessions decision to rescind the Cole Memo created great uncertainty for these states and legal cannabis busine....
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NORML | February 14, 2018
 Update: Federal Judge Reserves Decision After Hearing Arguments In Washington, v. Sessions

Justin Strekal
Today, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York heard oral arguments on the motion to dismiss Washington, v. Sessions,, a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Schedule I classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. The federal government argued to have the case dismissed. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York reserved the decision. The lead attorney for the case, Michael Hiller released the following statement: First, we w....
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The Joint Blog | February 10, 2018
 Trump Administration Names Jim Carroll as New Drug Czar

Anthony Martinelli
Drug czar is the unofficial but often used term for director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy ONDCP. According to CNN, Carroll was named deputy director of the ONDCP on Friday, a position he will retain until confirmed by the Senate as director. We have full confidence in Jim to lead ONDCP to make significant strides in combating the opioids crisis, reducing drug use, and coordinating US drug policy, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a public statement. Fighting the opioid crisis and drug addiction is a priority for this administration. We grea....
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