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NORML | April 19, 2018
 Senator Sanders Co-Sponsors The Marijuana Justice Act


Today, Senator Bernie Sanders joined Senator Cory Booker on a live stream for a conversation about ending prohibition and co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act. But they cant do it alone. Right now, 33 members of Congress have put their name on the House and Senate versions of this legislation, but we still have a long way to go. Politicians are starting to realize that legalization is not only good policy, but good politics. Send a message to your federal officials and tell them to put their name on this legislation too. The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition....
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NORML | April 18, 2018
 Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Facilitate Medical Cannabis Trials For Veterans


Paul Armentano
United States Rep. Timothy Waltz D-MN, along with over 30 bipartisan co-sponsors, has introduced legislation, HR 5520: The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018, to facilitate federally-sponsored clinical research into the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis among veterans. The legislation states: In carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary may conduct and support research relating to the efficacy and safety of forms of cannabis on the health outcomes of covered veterans diagnosed with chronic pain, post-traumatic str....
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The Joint Blog | April 19, 2018
 U.S. Senate Minority Leader Announces Measure to Decriminalize Marijuana


Anthony Martinelli

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer D announced today that he will soon be introducing legislation that would decriminalize marijuana across the United States.
In an interview with VICE News Schumer called the legislation long overdue, and said that too many people have been effected by the plants prohibiton. Ill be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level from one end of the country to the other, said Schumer, who is the leading Democrat in the Senate. Schumers announcement comes just weeks after the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R announced legislation that would legalize hemp. Ive seen too many peoples lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail, muc....
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NORML | April 13, 2018
 GOP Lawmaker: Trump Administration Pledges Non-Interference In Legal Marijuana States


Paul Armentano
Republican Senator Cory Gardner CO says that he has received a verbal commitment from President Donald Trump specifying that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate the substance. Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana, Gardner told the Associated Press. Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justices rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorados legal marijuana industry....
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NORML | April 11, 2018
 NORML Responds as Ex-House Speaker Signs On With Marijuana Industry Leader


It has been announced that former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, along with former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld, have joined the Board of Advisors for Acreage Holdings, a multi-state corporation operating in the medical and recreational marijuana space. The company holds licenses for dozens of cannabis businesses in the United States. Boehner, in comments to the press, made it clear that he has reversed his long held opposition to marijuana legalization. In an interview with Bloomberg news wire, he stated: Over the last 10 or 15 years, the ....
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The Joint Blog | April 9, 2018
 Californias Chalice Festival to be First to Allow On-Site Recreational Marijuana Use and Sales
Anthony Martinelli

Taking place July 13 to July 15, the California Chalice Festival will be the first in the state to allow recreational marijuana to be sold and consumed on-site.
The festival is slated to take place at the San Bernadino County Fairgrounds in Victorville starting July 13 and going through July 15. Launched in 2014, this years Chalice Festival will feature performances by Bassnectar, Ludacris, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Sizzla Kalonji, Curren$y, Cut Chemist, Pharcyde, and Thriftworks. LiveforLiveMusic.com notes that while past events have catered to medical marijuana users and paraphernalia aficionados, this years event will, for the first time, allow on-site marijuana consumption and purchases for adults aged 21 and older. On-site produc....
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The Joint Blog | April 9, 2018
 Feds Now Accepting Public Comments on Potential Rescheduling of Marijuana


Anthony Martinelli

Starting today, the federal government is accepting public comments regarding the potential rescheduling of marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substances which puts it alongside drugs such as heroin.
In response to the United Nations World Health Organization announcing that they will soon review the current international classification of marijuana, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA is themselves starting a review, and are asking interested persons to submit comments regarding the potential rescheduling of marijuana. The public comment period will be open from today, to April 23. The FDA is seeking input on the abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of marijuana and its c....
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NPR | April 7, 2018
 Medical Marijuana`s `Catch-22`: Limits On Research Hinder Patient Relief
Marisa Taylor Melissa Bailey
By the time Ann Marie Owen, 61, turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She was also hallucinating. For four years, her doctor prescribed a wide range of opioids for transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis. The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her. When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help. ``Even though medical marijuana is l....
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HuffPost | 04/06/2018
 GOP Congressman: Only Wealthy States Can Afford To Smoke Weed
Eliot Nelson

Steve Pearce, who is running for governor in New Mexico, argues poor states cant handle legal marijuana
Rep. Steve Pearce R-N.M. said this week that his state shouldnt legalize recreational marijuana because it would hinder the economic fortunes of poor people. Wealthier states can better afford to handle the substance, he added. I do not see how in combating poverty you can put one more obstacle in front of people who are struggling to get out of poverty, Pearce said Thursday, so I dont see where I would support recreational marijuana. A wealthier state, the congressman added, could more easily absorb the allegedly deleterious effects of legal marijuana. People [point t....
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The Cannabist | Apr 6, 2018
 Google and Facebook wont advertise marijuana, even where its legal
Rachel Siegel The Washington Post
As the cannabis industry grows, generating an estimated $10 billion in annual sales, states are increasingly approving medical marijuana programs and passing adult-use laws. But for marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles. Online platforms with prime advertising space like Facebook and Google do not allow drug, or drug-related promotions on their sites, leaving a large share of marijuana advertising to blogs and podcasts, newsletters and print media. And while experts say Facebook and Google which control....
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The Joint Blog | April 6, 2018
 Over 11,000 Drug Convictions Vacated by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court


Anthony Martinelli
All of the chargers were dismissed due to evidence crossing paths with disgraced state chemist Sonja Farak, who was arrested in 2013 for stealing cocaine. Farak later admitted to spending nearly a decade stealing cocaine and other drugs that were meant as evidence. Farak also admitted to testing seized drugs all being used as evidence in criminal cases while under the influence of various drugs including LSD, MDMA, methamphetamine, amphetamine, phentermine and ketamine, among others. As an initial matter, the respondents the attorney general and the offices of the Massach....
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Marijuana Business Daily | March 29, 2018
 Could IRS policy change strip marijuana trade associations of tax exemption?


John Schroyer
The Internal Revenue Service issued a 280-page policy update in January, and buried deep inside is what appears to be a ban on future nonprofit organizations that lobby on behalf of the marijuana industry. That could make life a lot harder for advocacy groups trying to change cannabis laws across the nation depending on how the IRS chooses to implement it. The little-heralded provision declares that the agency will not acknowledge tax-exempt applications for any organization whose purpose is directed to the improvement of business conditions relating to an activity invo....
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The Washington Post | April 2 | NEW YORK
 Studies link legal marijuana with fewer opioid prescriptions
Malcolm Ritter
Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may. Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse. The new studies dont directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids. Over-pr....
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The Cannabist | Mar 29, 2018
 Heres how much marijuana youd need to be eligible for the death penalty under federal law
Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post
Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo encouraging federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for certain drug trafficking offenses. Federal law allows for capital punishment in drug trafficking cases involving murder or homicide. But the attorney general also specifically called out one provision that allows for capital punishment in cases involving extremely large quantities of drugs. That provision, 18 U.S.C. 3591b1, lays out quantities of drugs that could trigger capital punishment even in the absence of any accompanying violent crime. Experts say ....
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