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Illinois lawmakers approve cannabis legalization ballot measure (Newsletter: March 2, 2018)

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 12:47

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Trump talks up death penalty for drugs; RI legalization referendum proposed; Savannah, GA decrim OKed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

In televised remarks from the White House, President Trump strongly implied he supports executing people who sell illegal drugs.

The Illinois Senate voted to place a marijuana legalization question on the state’s November ballot.

A new Rhode Island bill would place a marijuana legalization question before voters in November. Lawmakers in at least right other states are weighing similar cannabis referendum proposals.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed the Drug Enforcement Administration to consider amending regulations governing aggregate productions quotas for Schedule I and II drugs.

President Trump nominated four people to serve on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

The White House hosted a summit on responding to opioid issues.

A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opinion highlights uncertainties surrounding bankruptcy proceedings involving marijuana-related assets.

An analysis suggests that the U.S. State Department is shifting away from a hardline stance on drug production in Colombia.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he doesn’t support legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana but does back the right of states to set their own laws.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) cited marijuana reform as an area where he can work with Republicans.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “There have been far too many lives destroyed by the ‘war-on-drugs.'”

New Jersey Republican senatorial candidate Bob Hugin says he opposes legalizing marijuana but supports decriminalization.

A onetime aide to former Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-CA) was convicted in federal court  of promising to “make things happen” for an unlicensed medical cannabis business business and taking a $5,000 bribe.

/ STATES

The New Jersey Assembly Regulatory Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization on Monday. On a train trip to Washington, D.C., several legislators spoke about their position on ending prohibition.

The Vermont House of Representatives preliminarily approved a bill allowing police to test saliva for marijuana during traffic stops.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) is predicting that medical cannabis legislation will fail.

The New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee may kill a marijuana legalization bill that already passed the full chamber.

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee filed a bill directing state officials to “develop a plan to legalize and regulate the retail sale of marijuana in the state.”

The Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on legislation proposed by Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) to allow reciprocity for out-of-state medical cannabis patients, quintuple the number of dispensaries and add acute pain as a qualifying condition. Separately, a representative filed a bill to expand employment protections for patients.

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidates all agreed on opposition to legalizing marijuana during a debate.

Minnesota lawmakers are considering legislation to let medical cannabis providers deduct business expenses from taxes.

Illinois lawmakers delivered petition signatures in support of adding intractable pain as a medical cannabis qualifying condition to the office of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

The chair of the Kentucky Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection says he is working to move medical cannabis legislation forward.

Arkansas regulators released information about successful medical cannabis cultivation license applicants.

/ LOCAL

The Savannah, Georgia City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

A Denver County, Colorado judge declared a mistrial in a case against the founders of the International Church of Cannabis after prosecutors determined they couldn’t seat an impartial jury.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Greek lawmakers approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis production.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police and military personnel not to cooperate in investigations into the country’s bloody “war on drugs.”

Singapore’s health minister said the country should not decriminalize drugs.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A Pew Research Center analysis, using data from a poll the organization conducted in January, shows that 71% of Millennials support legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Organizers of the 1969 Woodstock music festival are suing the Woodstock American Products marijuana company over alleged trademark violations.

Alaska collected more than $1 million in marijuana tax revenue in January.

Bloomberg looks at the valuations of marijuana stocks.

Rolling Stone examines evolving efforts to test marijuana for contaminants.

Here’s a look at the tobacco industry’s evolving interest in marijuana.

/ CULTURE     

Texas Wesleyan University fired a baseball coach who said he wouldn’t recruit students from Colorado due to its marijuana legalization law.

Jimi Hendrix’s fingerprint card from when he was arrested for heroin and marijuana in 1969 is being auctioned.

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The post Illinois lawmakers approve cannabis legalization ballot measure (Newsletter: March 2, 2018) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Trump Talks Up Death Penalty For Drug Dealers

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 21:07

President Trump, speaking at the White House on Thursday, seemed to imply he supports executing people who sell illegal drugs.

“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty. The ultimate penalty,” he said. “And by the way they have much less of a drug problem than we do. So we’re going to have to be very strong on penalties.”

Please visit Forbes to read the rest of this piece.

(Marijuana Moment’s editor provides some content to Forbes via a temporary exclusive publishing license arrangement.)

Photo courtesy of Michael Vadon.

The post Trump Talks Up Death Penalty For Drug Dealers appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Ballot Question

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 18:20

Illinois lawmakers voted to place a marijuana legalization measure on the state’s November ballot.

The question posed to voters would read:

“Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

The measure would not be binding, but would likely prod state lawmakers to more seriously consider passing a bill to legalize marijuana in 2019.

The Senate vote on Thursday was 37 to 13. The measure now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

SB2275 is up on the floor, @SenCunningham's measure to put an advisory referenda on the ballot on the legalization of marijuana. It passes 37-13.

— IL Senate Democrats (@ILSenDems) March 1, 2018

“The debate over marijuana legalization is continuing to lead many states to consider various ideas and changes to current laws,” Sen. Bill Cunningham (D), the chief sponsor of the referendum legislation, said in a press release. “Asking the people of Illinois how they feel about the subject can help determine which path we take as legislators.”

Voters in Cook County — the state’s most populous county and the second largest in the U.S. — will already see a similar cannabis question on their March 20 primary election ballot.

Several candidates for governor and attorney general are campaigning on platforms that include support for marijuana legalization.

Illinois Voters Will Make Major Marijuana Decisions In March

Lawmakers in at least eight other states are considering bills to place marijuana referendums before voters.

That includes Rhode Island, where a state representative filed a cannabis legalization referendum proposal on Wednesday.

The post Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Ballot Question appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Marijuana On The Ballot: Rhode Island Voters Could Weigh In On Legalization

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 17:00

Voters in the nation’s smallest state could have a chance to send a big message about marijuana legalization this fall.

Under a new bill filed in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday, Rhode Islanders would be able to decide on a ballot measure calling for the end of cannabis prohibition.

Please visit Forbes to read the rest of this piece.

(Marijuana Moment’s editor provides some content to Forbes via a temporary exclusive publishing license arrangement.)

The post Marijuana On The Ballot: Rhode Island Voters Could Weigh In On Legalization appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Did Trump make a pro-legalization argument in gun debate? (Newsletter: March 1, 2018)

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 12:43

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American Legion presses Congress on medical cannabis; DE task force report fails; UT ballot signatures

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

In a meeting about gun policy, President Trump appeared to make an argument often used by drug legalization activists: “The problem is you have a real black market… They sell a gun and the buyer doesn’t care… And you have that problem with drugs. You make the drugs illegal and they come.”

The American Legion, which represents 2.4 million military veterans, pushed lawmakers to reschedule marijuana during a joint hearing of House and Senate committees.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump has reportedly stated his support for executing drug sellers to members of Congress and foreign leaders.

A bipartisan group of congressional leaders is asking the inspectors general of the Departments of Justice and State to investigate the Drug Enforcement Administration’s role in operations that triggered violent attacks by Mexican drug cartels.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Office of National Drug Control Policy Acting Director Jim Carroll, First Lady Melania Trump and other administration officials will speak at  White House summit on opioids on Thursday.

U.S. Sen, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “Big pharma keeps pushing back against legalizing medical marijuana because, in many cases, they want to continue to sell addictive drugs and dominate the market for drugs that address chronic pain.”

The Congressional Black Caucus criticized Sessions’s drug enforcement policies.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Outdated regulations prevent legal marijuana businesses from accessing financial services. This self-defeating policy makes it harder to tax revenue and risks public safety.”

Former Office of National Drug Control Policy spokesman Robert Weiner is criticizing Democrats for supporting marijuana legalization.

The U.S. House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of 33.

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) said he would veto a marijuana legalization bill if passed by the legislature.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force failed to find enough votes to approve its draft report.

The Georgia House of Representatives voted 145-17 to approve a bill to add PTSD and intractable pain as qualifying conditions for the state’s limited CBD medical cannabis law.

Idaho’s House of Representatives voted 59-11 to approve a CBD medical cannabis bill. Gov. Butch Otter (R), who vetoed similar legislation before, indicated he might do so again.

The West Virginia House of Representatives passed a bill to raise caps on medical cannabis licenses and allow for vertical integration.

The Colorado House Finance Committee approved a bill to allow out-of-state investments in the marijuana industry.

The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to mandate state officials refuse requests for information on medical cannabis program participants unless accompanied by a warrant.

Massachusetts regulators agreed to place a cap on marijuana cultivation and made other decisions on legalization implementation.

Utah activists have collected more than 150,000 signatures to qualify a medical cannabis ballot measure.

The Florida Supreme Court disbarred an attorney who helped to sell false medical cannabis certificates.

Alaska representatives filed a bill to create a state-run bank that would be allowed to serve the marijuana industry.

Georgia representatives introduced a resolution calling on Congress to reschedule marijuana or otherwise remove roadblocks to cannabis research.

North Dakota regulators are accepting applications for medical cannabis testing lab licenses.

Tennessee police are dismissing charges against stores recently raided for selling CBD products.

Washington State regulators extended the period through which they are accepting contingency reporting from marijuana licensees due to problems with the state’s electronic tracking system.

A Louisiana representative (jokingly?) said the state should legalize marijuana and fund transportation: “We’d call it a pothole tax. It makes sense.”

/ LOCAL

The Los Angeles, California City Council approved a resolution supporting a state-run bank to serve the marijuana industry.

The East Baton Rouge, Louisiana Metro Council approved a proposal to remove the threat of jail time for low-level marijuana possession.

The Easton, Pennsylvania City Council voted 4-3 to reject a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

The police chief of Lumberton, Mississippi was suspend with pay after a video surfaced appearing to show him smoking marijuana.

The Savannah, Georgia City Council will consider a marijuana decriminalization proposal on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Russia will allow foreigners attending the World Cup to bring medical cannabis and other drugs with them, as long as they have proper documentation.

The UK government said a six-year-old boy whose family wants him to have legal medical cannabis could access it through clinical trials.

Jamaican medical cannabis harvests began.

/ ADVOCACY

Activists led by StoptheDrugWar.org held a demonstration outside the Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C. to protest the country’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Questions are being raised about the methodology of an analysis that suggested pedestrian fatalities rose in some states that legalized marijuana compared to states that did not. Namely, the analysis put California into the latter group instead of the former one, likely skewing the results.

A survey conducted by Michigan regulators found that more than 60 percent of patients said they benefited greatly from using medical cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

The owners of Marijuana Business Daily reportedly reached an undisclosed settlement with the site’s former president and publisher.

Former Overstock.com president Stormy Simon spoke about her support for marijuana law reform.

/ CULTURE     

A basketball coach at Texas Wesleyan University sent an email telling a high school student from Colorado that he doesn’t recruit students from that state because they “have had trouble passing our drug test.”

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The post Did Trump make a pro-legalization argument in gun debate? (Newsletter: March 1, 2018) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Did Trump Just Argue For Drug Legalization (Again)?

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 00:56

President Trump, in a meeting about gun policy, seemed to voice arguments that are commonly used by people advocating for drug legalization.

“The problem is you have a real black market. They don’t worry about anything. They don’t worry about anything that you’re saying. They sell a gun and the buyer doesn’t care and the seller — that’s one of the problems we are all going to have,” he said on Wednesday, surrounded by members of Congress from both parties.

“And you have that problem with drugs. You make the drugs illegal and they come, you’ve never had a problem like that. We’re fighting it hard, but you’ve never had a problem like this,” he continued. “So you have the same problem with guns.”

Activists campaigning against drug prohibition often argue that making drugs illegal prevents very few people from consuming them, and that they purchase their desired substances in an unregulated criminal market where cartels and gangs make the rules.

By explicitly invoking drugs in the debate about gun policy — in which some Democrats and others are pushing to ban certain categories of weapons — the president appears to be saying that prohibition just doesn’t work, whether it comes to drugs or firearms.

Or maybe he’s just confused. Here’s the video:

Trump explicitly argued for drug legalization in 1990.

“We’re losing badly the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war,” he said at the time. “You have to take the profit away from these drug czars… What I’d like to do maybe by bringing it up is cause enough controversy that you get into a dialogue on the issue of drugs so people will start to realize that this is the only answer; there is no other answer.”

But more recently, he has floated harsh penalties including, according to reports, executing drug sellers.

Trump Wants Death Penalty For Drug Dealers, Report Says

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

The post Did Trump Just Argue For Drug Legalization (Again)? appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

American Legion Pushes Congress On Medical Marijuana At Hearing

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 20:22

The leader of the U.S.’s largest military veterans organization pressed Congress to allow the use of medical marijuana during a hearing on Wednesday.

“The federal government continues to list cannabis as a Schedule I drug – the most addictive and dangerous – although its addiction rates are lower than alcohol, and the less-restrictive Schedule II classification applies to opioids, which kill 91 Americans every day,” American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan said in testimony for a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

“The American Legion calls for immediate reclassification of cannabis to allow research into its potential for medical application, and if no medical value is found, The American Legion advocates its return to Schedule I,” she said. “By continuing to consider accumulating evidence of the efficacy of cannabis-based medicines, the federal schedule fails patients fighting debilitating conditions, including PTSD and potentially lethal opioid addiction.”

The organization, which represents more than 2.4 million military veterans, released a poll last year finding that 81% percent of veterans said they “want to have cannabis as a federally-legal treatment.”

Marijuana Poll: Military Veterans Strongly Support Legal Access

The group has also adopted resolutions at its two most recent annual conferences calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana and to let U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where it is legal.

In written testimony prepared for the congressional committees, the Legion’s Rohan called on lawmakers and the Trump administration to take three specific steps:

Immediately reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III on the DEA Controlled Substance Act Scheduling. „

Direct departments and agencies within the administration to fully cooperate in all federally authorized scientific research and offer assistance as needed. „

Authorize extensive research, conduct oversight hearings and support legislation that enables research on cannabis and the medical impact it could have for Americans suffering from opioid over-prescription, pain, depression and a host of other known ailments.

While the Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin has consistently maintained that the V.A. is barred by federal law from recommending medical cannabis or even participating in research on the drug, the department quietly updated its website this month to acknowledge that it “can look at marijuana as an option for treating Veterans.”

VA Admits It “Can Look At Marijuana As An Option For Treating Veterans”

Advocates have argued that there is no overarching federal law blocking the V.A. from changing its own internal policies on marijuana.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), who chaired the Wednesday hearing, said separately on Tuesday that he supports the V.A. researching marijuana.

“There is so much controversy about cannabis now,” Roe said. “We need to study that drug, like any other drug. Where there are benefits — if there are any — then we use it for what it’s researched for,” he told Stars and Stripes.

“I would support [Shulkin] if he did it,” the congressman said of cannabis research. “I will make that clear.”

WATCH: @AmericanLegion comes to Capitol Hill to push legislative agenda including easing marijuana laws. pic.twitter.com/8F8FGFgcuy

— Drew Petrimoulx (@DrewPetrimoulx) February 28, 2018

The post American Legion Pushes Congress On Medical Marijuana At Hearing appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

U.S. territories consider legal cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 28, 2018)

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 12:43

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Big marijuana focus in IL for March; NJ likely to reschedule marijuana; TN medical cannabis bill advances

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

March is going to be a huge month for marijuana in Illinois, with the state’s biggest county voting on a cannabis ballot question, pro-legalization candidates poised to win March 20 gubernatorial and attorney general primaries and state lawmakers considering legalization legislation.

Legal marijuana could be coming to U.S. territories soon. This week, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R)  directed lawmakers to consider legalization to raise revenue in light of the tax cut signed into law by President Trump. And legislators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are holding hearings on a bill to end cannabis prohibition.

Arkansas TV anchor Donna Terrell disclosed her involvement with a medical cannabis business in an emotional on-air statement: “It’s because of her, my daughter Queah. She died from colon cancer seven years ago.”

/ FEDERAL

U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to research medical cannabis.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions launched a new task force targeting opioid manufacturers and distributors that engage in unlawful practices.

Officials with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of National Drug Control Policy and National Institute on Drug Abuse spoke at an event on drugged driving hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

A new book reports that former President Ronald Reagan was upset about a “distasteful endorsement of pot smoking” in a movie he viewed. Turns out, Reagan actually wrote about it in his diary.

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) spoke about legislation he will soon introduced aimed at increasing marijuana research.

The U.S. House bill to allow marijuana businesses to access banks got four new cosponsors, for a total of 88.

The U.S. House bill to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the Controlled Substances Act got one new cosponsor, for a total of 45.

The U.S. House bill to remove roadblocks to marijuana research got two new cosponsors, for a total of 13.

North Carolina Democratic congressional candidate Steve Woodsmall supports legalizing marijuana.

/ STATES

Nevada lawmakers approved permanent legal marijuana regulations.

The Michigan Senate defeated a bill to repeal a requirement that medical cannabis be transported in locked trunks of cars.

The Tennessee House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 4-3 to advance medical cannabis legislation.

New Jersey regulators announced they will not appeal a court ruling mandating that they reconsider marijuana’s Schedule I status under state law. Separately, a survey of lawmakers suggests that marijuana legalization legislation would be defeated if a vote were held now.

Massachusetts regulators approved more marijuana rules, including measures to ensure an adequate supply of medical cannabis after recreational sales begin.

Utah police charged two people paid to collect signatures for medical cannabis and other ballot measures with forging petitions.

A Maryland House subcommittee voted 6-2 to advance a bill to expand medical cannabis industry participation by people of color, women and small-business owners.

Colorado lawmakers filed legislation to let marijuana retailers allow limited on-site consumption.

Arkansas regulators announced the winners of medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force is expected to approve its final report on Wednesday.

Vermont lawmakers are considering marijuana saliva testing legislation.

Oregon regulators released information about marijuana waste disposal.

/ LOCAL

The Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky Urban County Council unanimously approved a resolution urging state lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

A video emerged that appears to show Lumberton, Mississippi’s police chief smoking marijuana.

An Etowah County, Alabama man was arrested on drug trafficking charges just days after he criticized the sheriff in a news story. Police say he had “1,042 grams of cannabis,” which includes the weight of infused butter he had in addition to just a few grams of smokable marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples held a hearing on marijuana legalization’s impact on the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Separately, the federal budget projects legal marijuana will generate $220 million per year in revenue by 2022, and allocates $62.5 million over five years for cannabis education.

/ ADVOCACY

The Anti-Defamation League criticized Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for promoting a “Pot Plot” conspiracy that Jews and the U.S. government are manipulating strains of marijuana to feminize black men.

Americans for Safe Access released a report card on state medical cannabis laws.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

An analysis found that “the seven states (Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) and DC that legalized recreational use of marijuana between 2012 and 2016 reported a collective 16.4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2017 versus the first six months of 2016, whereas all other states reported a collective 5.8 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities.”

A study concluded that “poorer outcome of anxiety disorders among cannabis users may be attributed mainly to differences in baseline factors and not cannabis use.”

A survey found that Ivy Leagues students are more likely than not to have consumed illegal drugs.

Here’s a profile of a researcher studying cannabidiol’s potential to reduce opioid relapses.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Hampshire adults support legalizing marijuana, 56%-25%.

The Baltimore Sun editorial board is opposed to legalizing marijuana through a constitutional amendment.

Emerson College will “poll all angles of the marijuana issue” with surveys throughout March.

/ BUSINESS

Car insurance rates have increased in every state where recreational marijuana has been legalized, except for Massachusetts.

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TV Anchor Discloses Medical Marijuana Involvement In Emotional On-Air Statement

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 03:50

One of the five companies awarded a medical marijuana cultivation license by Arkansas regulators on Tuesday involves a prominent TV personality in the state, a fact she made public in an emotional on-air statement.

“I wanted to be the first to tell you, because this information will be made public soon,” Donna Terrell of Fox 13 said at the tail end of a segment about the new cannabis licenses. “I know this is a controversial subject, but let me show you why I wanted to be part of this. It’s because of her, my daughter Queah. She died from colon cancer seven years ago.”

Terrell, noting that Tuesday happens to be her daughter’s birthday, said medical cannabis could’ve helped ease some of her suffering.

“I know medical marijuana would not have saved her life, but based on my research and experience as her caregiver, I know she would have benefited greatly,” she said. “Medicinal marijuana would have made those last few months, weeks and days much more tolerable. I miss her every day.”

Tonight during @FOX16News at 9pm, @donnaterrell_tv disclosed the motivation behind her involvement with a medical marijuana cultivation group. #ARNews pic.twitter.com/y6GMtVrBqU

— FOX16 News (@FOX16News) February 28, 2018

Arkansas voters approved the medical cannabis measure in 2016.

.@FOX16News Project ISSUE 6 medical marijuana has passed.

— Donna Terrell (@donnaterrell_tv) November 9, 2016

The post TV Anchor Discloses Medical Marijuana Involvement In Emotional On-Air Statement appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

U.S. Territories Could Legalize Marijuana Soon

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 16:44

Marijuana is now legal in nine states, and two U.S. territories could soon join them in ending prohibition.

Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R) included “legalizing the use and sale of recreational marijuana” in a list of revenue enhancements he sent to lawmakers for consideration on Monday.

And lawmakers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are holding a series of hearings on a marijuana legalization bill this week. Advocates expect they will decide whether to end cannabis prohibition or refer a ballot question to voters in the coming days.

If one or both of the remote Pacific territories ends cannabis prohibition, it would mark the start of the next phase of the legalization movement, bringing its reach to a new part of the globe.

In Guam, Calvo placed marijuana legalization legislation before lawmakers last year, but later rescinded support for his own plan in light of concerning signals the Trump administration was sending about the issue at the time.

But now, even though U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has since removed earlier protections for state marijuana laws, Calvo appears to have changed his mind again.

His current push for legalization appears to come out of concern that the tax reform plan recently passed by congressional Republicans and signed into law by President Trump could impact the territory’s revenues.

“As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, I Liheslaturan Guåhan, with assistance from the Office of Finance and Budget, shall collaborate with I Maga’lahen Guåhan to determine the feasibility and implementation of the following items,” Calvo wrote in the fiscal realignment plan he sent to lawmakers.

Marijuana legalization is listed along with 15 other proposals, such as increasing alcohol and tobacco taxes, implementing rental car surcharges and adding a sales tax.

“It could be treated like alcohol and tobacco, and it could be taxed,” Calvo said in a radio appearance last week. “I’m one that may not philosophically believe in [legalization], but it’s about providing a stable government and a stable community.”

Guam has been slow to implement a medical cannabis measure approved by voters in 2014.

In CNMI, the Senate Judiciary, Government and Law Committee Committee has held a series of hearings on each of the territory’s major islands about a pending marijuana legalization bill.

As originally introduced, the legislation, if enacted, would refer the question of legalization to voters in the form of a ballot measure. But concerns have been raised about the constitutionality of that approach, and supporters are now considering amending the proposal to enact legalization solely through an act of lawmakers.

A hearing on the island of Saipan scheduled for Tuesday was postponed due to lack of quorum.

“We held the public hearing on Rota last night and the other Senators were not able to make back to Saipan for tonight’s public hearing,” Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R), the legalization bill’s sponsor, said in a Facebook post.

Advocates expect a committee vote to take place soon. If approved there, the legislation will go before the full Senate.

The moves to legalize cannabis in Guam and CNMI, in the face of anti-cannabis policy changes from the Trump administration, are part of a widespread pushback against federal prohibition laws that many see as outdated.

Days after Sessions’s enforcement policy change, for example, Vermont enacted a new marijuana legalization law. And four or more states are expected to vote on cannabis ballot measures later this year.

These States Will Probably Vote On Marijuana In 2018

The post U.S. Territories Could Legalize Marijuana Soon appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Vermont Legislature Legalizes Marijuana

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 18:23

Vermont lawmakers took final action on Wednesday to make the state the first in U.S. history to legalize marijuana by an act of lawmakers. Gov. Phil Scott (R) has pledged to sign the bill into law.

Vermont Governor “Comfortable” Legalizing Marijuana In Early 2018

While eight other states and Washington, D.C. have also ended cannabis prohibition for adults over 21, they did so with voter-approved ballot initiatives.

Vermont’s legislative move signals a milestone in the evolving politics of marijuana. Polls consistently show majority voter support for legalization, and more politicians are beginning to see the issue as a winning one they should embrace rather than run away from.

In neighboring New Hampshire, the House of Representatives approved a similar legalization bill on Tuesday.

The marijuana victories come just days after the Trump administration rolled back Obama-era guidance that generally allowed states to implement their own legalization laws without federal interference.

Both New England states’ proposed laws provide for a noncommercial approach to marijuana under which possession and home cultivation of relatively small amounts would be allowed, but storefronts and sales would not.

In Vermont, the bill would allow people over 21 years of age to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow as many as two mature and four immature cannabis plants.

Once legislative counsel finalizes the bill formatting and it is officially transmitted to the governor’s desk, he will have five days to act on it.

Last year, the state fell just short of legalizing marijuana. The legislature passed a bill to legalize personal cannabis possession and homegrow, but Scott vetoed it. However, in doing so, he laid out a few small changes he wanted legislators to make in order to win his support. The Senate quickly acted to make the requested revisions, but the House was not able to overcome procedural hurdles to get it done in time during a short special session over the summer.

The House approved the bill last week, making a minor amendment, necessitating Wednesday’s final Senate vote to send the measure to Scott’s desk. Final passage was accomplished via a voice vote.

Legalization supporters appear ready to keep pressing toward full-scale commercial legalization as soon as the governor signs the current proposal, which is set to take effect on July 1.

“It’s up to citizens across the state whether or not we see a bill like that pass this year with their participation in the process,” Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (Progressive) said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I would like to see that. I think every year we go by not doing it, we are perpetuating the underground, unregulated, unjust system that we have today while other states are moving forward.”

The Senate approved bills to allow legal marijuana sales last year and in 2016, but they didn’t gain traction in the House, which favored the noncommercial approach.

Advocates believe that New Jersey is also poised to end marijuana prohibition via the legislature this year. Phil Murphy (D), who will be sworn in as governor next week, campaigned on full-scale commercial legalization, and the Senate president says he is ready to pass a bill.

A number of other states are expected to vote on ballot initiatives to legalize recreational or medical cannabis later this year.

These States Are Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2018

The post Vermont Legislature Legalizes Marijuana appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

New Hampshire House approves legal cannabis (Newsletter: Jan. 10, 2018)

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:53

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VT Senate voting today; 2nd biggest VA city backs state decrim; Congressional bills get lots of new cosponsors

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill.

Norfolk, Virginia, the second-largest city in the commonwealth, is calling on state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana and expand the limited medical cannabis program.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will meet to discuss marijuana policy on Wednesday, as Gardner has already placed holds on numerous Department of Justice nominations over the issue. On Tuesday, Gardner led a meeting of a bipartisan group of senators to plan a pushback. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) attended the meeting, reportedly with about ten other senators.

President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner will host a listening session on prison reform at the White House on Thursday.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she’s working on legislation to protect state marijuana laws from federal interference.

Marijuana reform champion U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has been appointed as a new member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who tweets a lot about cannabis lately but hasn’t yet cosponsored any legislation, was also named to the panel.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is concerned that medical cannabis is at risk under the new federal marijuana enforcement policy.

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio said, “We’re going to still continue to be in a position to prosecute those cases, and marijuana’s still illegal under federal law just like it was last week, so that doesn’t change.”

Four members of Colorado’s congressional delegation sent a letter asking Sessions to rethink his marijuana policy decision. Members of Congress from the state also held a meeting to plot strategy on Tuesday.

Nevada’s congressional delegation pushed back against the federal cannabis change as well. Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) wrote a letter telling congressional leaders she will oppose a big spending bill unless it includes protections for state marijuana laws. In an interview, she suggested the Trump administration change could spur legislative action. Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV) sent a letter urging Sessions to reverse his marijuana directive. Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV), who also opposes the federal shift, nevertheless  said, “I don’t think there’s a reason for panic.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) gave a House floor speech pushing back against the Trump administration’s marijuana move.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted about marijuana’s health benefits.

The U.S. House bill to deschedule marijuana got four new cosponsors, bringing the total to 19.

The U.S. House bill to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the Controlled Substances Act got 11 new cosponsors, bringing the total to 35.

The U.S. House bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol got four new cosponsors, bringing the total to 21.

The U.S. House bill to create a federal tax structure for legal marijuana got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to nine.

/ STATES

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) sent a letter to President Trump requesting he support extending state medical cannabis protections.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said that federal prosecutors should not focus on marijuana.

Vermont’s Senate is set to vote on sending a House-passed marijuana legalization bill to the governor on Wednesday. Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (VPP) suggested lawmakers might pass full-scale legal marijuana sales legislation this year after the noncommercial bill is signed into law.

Maine marijuana legalization supporters and opponents reportedly reached a deal on an implementation plan.

Michigan’s House speaker and other candidates for state attorney general are criticizing the federal marijuana policy change.

A Kansas representative who made racist comments about marijuana has stepped down from committee leadership positions following criticism.

New Jersey’s Senate Republican whip has “major concerns” about marijuana-impaired driving under legalization.

The State of New York is providing funding to open a hemp processing facility.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wakely supports legalizing marijuana.

A Florida judge ruled in favor of a black farmer in a medical cannabis licensing case.

A Mississippi representative introduced a marijuana legalization bill.

A California assemblyman is filing a bill to make it easier to expunge past marijuana convictions. Separately, regulators proposed a timeline and strategy for cannabis rulemaking.

A New Mexico representative filed a resolution calling on the state’s congressional delegation to “create new legislation protecting medicinal cannabis users in New Mexico from the threat of being sent to federal prison.”

A Nebraska senator introduced a bill to exempt substances containing ten percent or less CBD by weight and three-tenths of one percent or less THC by weight from the definition of marijuana.

The parents of a Vermont prosecutor who were arrested transporting 60 pounds of marijuana across the country last month were busted again, this time on suspicion of carrying drug money.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner approved more than 12,000 acres for industrial hemp research in 2018.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Paraguay President Horacio Cartes signed medical cannabis regulations.

Canadian Prime MInister Justin Trudeau answered questions about marijuana legalization at a town hall meeting.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox will host a marijuana conference at Centro Fox facilities in May.

/ ADVOCACY

Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos says he’s conflicted about the federal anti-marijuana move.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A survey found that 60% of adults in the Birmingham, Alabama metro area support legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.

The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board slammed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s anti-marijuana move.

The News & Observer editorial board isn’t happy with the change either.

The Toledo Blade editorial board wants Congress to amend federal marijuana laws.

The Washington Times editorial board wants Sessions to “take the lead” in resolving the federal-state marijuana conflict.

/ BUSINESS

Medical cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been shut off from debit card processing in the wake of federal changes.

Iowa State University has agreed to pay more than $300,000 in damages and legal fees after a federal court found it improperly prevented a student group from making t-shirts that featured school mascot and a marijuana leaf.

/ CULTURE     

Jimmy Kimmel Live visited the MedMen marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.

The post New Hampshire House approves legal cannabis (Newsletter: Jan. 10, 2018) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Major Virginia City Calls For Marijuana Decriminalization

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 01:12

Virginia’s second-largest city is officially calling on state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana. It also wants an expansion of the commonwealth’s existing limited medical cannabis program.

At a meeting on Tuesday evening, the Norfolk City Council approved its 2018 state legislative agenda. Item number four reads:

“Support the decriminalization of simple possession of marijuana as well as the expansion of conditions that physicians licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine can treat with cannabidiol or THC-A oil.”

The call by Norfolk officials comes as the state is better positioned than ever before to remove cannabis’s criminal penalties.

Incoming Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) made decriminalization a centerpiece of his campaign, often describing the issue in stark racial justice terms.

“We need to change sentencing laws that disproportionately hurt people of color. One of the best ways to do this is to decriminalize marijuana,” he wrote in a blog post early last year. “African Americans are 2.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia. The Commonwealth spends more than $67 million on marijuana enforcement — money that could be better spent on rehabilitation.”

New Virginia Governor Pledges Marijuana Decriminalization

And, the issue has bipartisan traction. Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment has announced he will file a decriminalization bill when the new legislative session convenes. Earlier this week, he revealed some details of his modest proposal, which would only apply to first-time offenders.

Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin has also filed a separate, more far-reaching decriminalization bill.

The cannabis effort could get an additional boost by Democrats’ surprising number of wins in House of Delegates elections in November. Depending on the results of two still-pending races that may be settled by litigation, the party could either have a narrow majority in the chamber, be tied with Republicans or be just a couple of seats in the minority. The GOP has a two-seat majority in the Senate, and tie votes there would be broken by the Democratic lieutenant governor.

Over the past week, legislative chambers in New Hampshire and Vermont have voted to pass marijuana legalization bills.

New Hampshire Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization

Vermont Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill

The post Major Virginia City Calls For Marijuana Decriminalization appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

New Hampshire Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:23

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to legalize marijuana on Tuesday, just five days after the Trump administration moved to rescind federal guidelines protecting state cannabis laws.

Under the bill, which now moves to the state Senate, people over 21 years of age would be allowed to legally possess three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana and grow up to three mature cannabis plants at home. Retail sales locations would not be allowed.

Please visit Forbes to read the rest of this piece.

(Marijuana Moment’s editor provides some content to Forbes via a temporary exclusive publishing license arrangement.)

The post New Hampshire Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

NH & VT cannabis legalization votes this week (Newsletter: Jan. 9, 2018)

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 13:02

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KS lawmaker’s racist marijuana comments; More congressional Sessions reaction; NV gov wants Sessions to explain

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

I’ve continued to add congressional pushback to U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s marijuana policy change to my compilation post on Marijuana Moment. There are…a lot…of lawmakers from both parties who are speaking out against the move.

A Kansas representative justified marijuana prohibition by saying these racist comments:

  • “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. And so basically what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past.”

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday.

The Vermont Senate is expected to vote on a House-passed marijuana legalization bill on Wednesday.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) will lead a meeting of a bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday to push back on the Trump administration’s marijuana policy reversal.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said he supports Sessions’s anti-cannabis move. Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney for Oklahoma’s Western District said the office’s “primary focus is going to be on multi-state drug trafficking organizations and I don’t anticipate that [federal marijuana]  memo will change what have been our practices here in this district.” But the state’s Eastern District U.S. attorney said  the move “opens up” marijuana laws, allowing his office to further “protect the citizens of the eastern district.” And the Northern District’s U.S. Attorney said his office is committed to “turning back the tide of the drug crisis.”

The Massachusetts U.S. attorney, in response to requests for more information about his cannabis enforcement plans, said he cannot “provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution.”

Delaware’s U.S. attorney said his office has “limited resources and [we] have got to be smart with how we utilize the. The public safety of the citizens of Delaware is our overarching priority, as far as I’m concerned, and that starts with violent crime.”

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington said he would apply “principles [that] have always been at the core” of his office’s work in determining marijuana enforcement and will “focus on those who pose the greatest safety risk.”

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reiterated that Congress should consider extending existing state medical cannabis protections in a budget rider to cover broader recreational marijuana laws too.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)  said the federal marijuana change is “an incredibly destructive thing to do.”

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tweeted that he sides with the New York Times editorial board over U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on marijuana.

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said Sessions was within his right to rescind the Obama-era guidance, but he wants Congress to pass a law exempting medical cannabis from federal marijuana prohibition.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) is siding with Sessions.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is calling on his colleagues to change federal marijuana laws.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “”Even with all of the progress we’ve made, the ‘war on drugs’ continues to criminalize communities of color. There won’t be justice until we end this double standard which has ruined so many lives.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Lillian Salerno, who is challenging anti-marijuana Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), says she supports legalization.

Two of the top ten most-viewed bills on Congress.gov over the past week concern marijuana.

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) said he thinks legalization has gone “extremely well” in his state and will be reaching out to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about federal marijuana enforcement soon.

Virginia’s Senate majority leader discussed details of a limited marijuana decriminalization bill he plans to file soon.

Connecticut’s Senate president and other lawmakers will continue pushing marijuana legalization this year.

Oklahoma’s acting commissioner of health says that if voters approve a medical cannabis ballot measure, another agency should be in charge of regulations.

An Indiana senator introduced a medical cannabis bill. Separately, state officials are apologizing to businesses after erroneously citing them for selling CBD products.

A Virginia delegate introduced a bill to allow doctors to recommend CBD and THC-A oil for any condition.

Kentucky representatives filed resolutions urging Congress to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana and to incorporate safety and efficacy standards for medical cannabis.

A Pennsylvania senator is introducing a resolution calling on Congress to allow medical cannabis patients to purchase guns.

New Hampshire’s marijuana study commission met Monday. Also, the state’s medical cannabis patient count has more than doubled in the past year.

California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on January 18.

Rhode Island regulators are preparing to approve delivery plans from medical cannabis dispensaries.

Colorado regulators are asking people to submit “topics to study related to the potential adverse effects or public health impacts of marijuana use.”

An Ohio company that failed to win a medical cannabis business license is suing the state over an alleged “unconstitutional racial quota.”

/ LOCAL

Las Vegas, Nevada officials put plans for marijuana social use areas on hold after news of the federal cannabis policy change.

Former Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Kurt Schmoke (D) criticized the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Government of Canada’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat hired a staffer from marijuana website Lift. (Lift is now hiring a new editor and news writer.)

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Attorneys General Association said that “Dem AGs are vowing to push back on the [Trump administration’s new marijuana] directive.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is pressuring New Jersey prisons to stop banning incarcerated people from reading drug policy book “The New Jim Crow.”

The Minority Cannabis Business Association announced a new president and Board of Directors.

A fellow from the conservative Heritage Foundation says the federal anti-marijuana move is a good thing.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that state medical cannabis policies “decrease high school graduation rates by 0.36 percentage points, indicating that nearly 13,000 students will not graduate as a result of the [medical marijuana law]  implementation.”

A study found “a high degree of association between Cannabis use and the occurrence of traffic accidents with injuries of the driver.”

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.” (Some readers reported trouble with the link to this study in Monday’s newsletter, so I’m trying again.)

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Denver Post editorial board slammed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s anti-marijuana move.

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board isn’t happy either.

Neither is the Seattle Times editorial board.

Nor the the Las Vegas Sun editorial board.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board says nothing much will change without the Cole memo.

The New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board is criticizing U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for slamming the Sessions marijuana move without sponsoring any cannabis reform legislation.

/ BUSINESS

The Canadian Securities Exchange is asking listed marijuana companies with U.S. operations to publicly detail any risks they face in light of federal enforcement policy changes.

A debit card processor has stopped working with Massachusetts medical cannabis dispensaries in light of the federal move.

Significant percentages of marijuana professionals reported witnessing or personally experiencing sexual harassment “specifically in the cannabis industry” in a survey.

Stateline looks at how the Justice Department’s marijuana policy change could further imperil marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

EdSource looks at how California universities are continuing to ban marijuana even in light of state legalization.

/ CULTURE     

Actress Meryl Streep says her son gave her marijuana-infused foot cream for Christmas.

The post NH & VT cannabis legalization votes this week (Newsletter: Jan. 9, 2018) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

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

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.

Why Sessions’s Anti-Marijuana Move Might Be Good For Legalization

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 18:40

For the past several years, the marijuana industry and its customers have been relying on a piece of paper — an Obama-era document known as the Cole memo — to indulge in their business and pleasure mostly without fear of arrest by federal agents.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded that document. Observers took it as a sign that a large-scale cannabis crackdown could be on the way.

But could Sessions’s move actually turn out to be good news for legalization supporters?

The development generated immediate and intense pushback from federal and state officials, from both sides of the aisle. And it wasn’t just the usual suspects of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus chiming in. Democratic and Republican House and Senate members who almost never talk about marijuana, except when asked about it, proactively released statements pushing back against Sessions.

Congressman Rod Blum, Republican of Iowa, for example, said that the attorney general’s action inspired him to sign on as a cosponsor of House legislation to let state set their own cannabis laws without federal interference.

Iowa has not legalized marijuana, and only has an extremely limited medical cannabis oil law on its books.

Because of @jeffsessions actions, I’m joining the “Respect State Marijuana Laws” bill. I believe in States' Rights & I’ve seen how cannabis derived medicines can stop seizures in a child, help a veteran cope with pain, or provide relief to a senior with glaucoma. #IA01

— Congressman Rod Blum (@RepRodBlum) January 5, 2018

Not surprisingly, lawmakers who represent state-legal marijuana businesses and consumers who are now at greater risk in a world without the Cole memo are also fired up.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, for example, issued a statement in response to the Sessions move saying that Congress should not only continue an existing budget rider that prevents the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws but should expand its scope to protect full recreational laws as well.

“Congress must now take action to ensure that state law is respected, and that Americans who legally use marijuana are not subject to federal prosecution,” she said. “Democrats will continue to insist on bipartisan provisions in appropriations bills that protect Americans lawfully using medical marijuana. Congress should now consider expanding the provisions to cover those states that have decriminalized marijuana generally.

Similarly, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said that “any budget deal Congress considers in the coming days must build on current law to prevent the federal government from intruding in state-legal, voter-supported decisions.”

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado took to the Senate floor and issued a threat to block Trump administration nominees over the move.

.@SenCoryGardner on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' #marijuana policy change: "I will be holding all nominations for the Department of Justice. The people of Colorado deserve answers." pic.twitter.com/BnVEkA54ag

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 4, 2018

Likely 2020 Democratic presidential contenders rushed to beat one another to the punch in slamming the Trump administration’s anti-cannabis action.

Not a single member of Congress from either party issued a statement supporting the rescission of the Cole memo.

Whereas the marijuana industry has been operating in a sort of legal gray area under the Cole memo and the medical cannabis budget rider, the Sessions move forces marijuana to the forefront of American politics, where a breaking point may finally be reached.

While in the short-term, Sessions’s move has sent shock and fear through the cannabis community, caused stocks to tumble, spooked investors and gave banks greater pause about opening accounts for marijuana businesses, the disappearance of the Obama-era protections could actually have positive long-term implications.

Yes, DEA agents may raid some businesses. And federal prosecutors might bring some cannabis entrepreneurs to court. People in the cannabis industry could go to prison or have their assets seized.

Those actions could have long-lasting implications negative for those targeted. That’s nothing to take lightly, and no one in the legalization movement wants it to happen.

But by launching a crackdown in any form, Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department could spur a backlash — among the public and from federal, state and local officials whose job-creating, taxpaying constituents are being targeted.

And that could finally force a resolution to to the growing federal-state divide on marijuana that might otherwise persist longer in a murky gray area under the Cole memo and annual appropriations riders.

If Congress passes legislation to change cannabis’s status under federal law in the next year or two, legalization supporters may have Jeff Sessions to thank for it.

The post Why Sessions’s Anti-Marijuana Move Might Be Good For Legalization appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Trump administration ends Obama cannabis policy (Newsletter: Jan. 5, 2018)

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:54

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VT House approves legalization bill; OK medical cannabis vote date set; Lawmakers push back on Sessions

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama-era Cole memo that has generally allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

The move represents a clear violation of President Trump’s repeated campaign promises to respect state cannabis laws.

A large number of members of Congress and state officials across party lines pushed back against the decision.

Vermont’s House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill, setting up a final Senate vote next week.

/ FEDERAL

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, asked about the federal marijuana move, said, “The president believes in enforcing federal law…that is regardless of what the topic is, whether it’s marijuana or it’s immigration.”

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson wasn’t willing to predict whether the marijuana change would lead to more prosecutions. The official also said there are no current plans to begin sending threat letters to state-legal cannabis businesses. However, an official also wouldn’t rule out medical cannabis prosecutions.

Colorado’s U.S. attorney suggested that the disappearance of the Cole memo wouldn’t change his marijuana enforcement strategy.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio implied that the Sessions move wouldn’t change much.

Vermont’s U.S. attorney also indicated she’s not about to launch a cannabis crackdown.

The same goes for the Western District of Washington’s U.S. attorney.

Oregon’s U.S. attorney suggested he would continue to use Cole memo priorities in determining enforcement actions.

Alaska’s U.S. attorney said he will “continue to use the long-established principles of federal prosecution to determine what cases to charge.”T

he U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said the office will “utilize long-established principles of prosecutorial discretion in pursuing cases.”

Pennsylvania’s U.S. attorney said his office will continue going after “criminal organizations which traffic in all illegal controlled substances, including marijuana.”

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas said he will “continue to exercise our prosecutorial discretion and evaluate criminal cases on an individual basis.”

Rhode Island’s U.S. attorney said he would “evaluate each matter based upon its specific facts, and then rely upon the well-established principals that govern all federal prosecutions when deciding which cases to pursue.”

The Massachusetts U.S attorney said his office would “prosecute bulk cultivation and trafficking cases, and those who use the federal banking system illegally.”

The U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of California said the office will “evaluate violations of those laws in accordance with our district’s federal law enforcement priorities and resources.”

Former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration head Chuck Rosenberg suggested the removal of the Cole memo wouldn’t change much.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is responding to the federal marijuana change by pushing for even broader state protections in federal spending legislation than just the existing medical cannabis rider.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) seems to want to extend budget protections to cover state recreational laws as well.

Congressman Earl Blumenaeur (D-OR) congratulated Vermont on its marijuana legalization vote.

The U.S. Senate bill to respect state medical cannabis laws got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to eight.

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) placed a medical cannabis measure on the state’s June 26 primary election ballot.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said the state won’t amend its marijuana laws in response to federal enforcement policy changes.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that regulators have approved that state’s first medical cannabis dispensary to begin serving patients.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) says he wants the federal government to distinguish between medical and recreational marijuana.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said the state will move ahead with legal marijuana sales.

California’s top marijuana regulator and attorney general said the state will move ahead with legalization. And an assemblyman will file legislation to prevent state and local police from assisting federal agents in any cannabis crackdowns.

Massachusetts regulators are moving ahead with marijuana legalization implementation.

Ohio regulators said they would continue implementing the medical cannabis program despite federal changes.

Minnesota regulators said their medical cannabis program would continue as well.

The chair of Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board, who is a police chief, resigned in response to the federal move.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates JB Pritzker and Daniel Biss slammed the federal marijuana change.

Louisiana’s attorney general said he supports the move to scale back state marijuana protections.

Indiana’s attorney general also seemed pleased with the change.

New Jersey’s Senate president slammed the federal cannabis move.

A Maine legislative committee hearing on marijuana legalization implementation scheduled for Friday has been canceled.

/ LOCAL

Seattle, Washington Mayor Jenny Durkan (D), a former U.S. attorney, said local police will not assist federal agents in any marijuana crackdowns.

Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock (D) expressed “severe disappointment” about federal marijuana changes.

The Los Angeles, California City Council president said the city would move ahead with legal marijuana sales.

San Francisco, California’s marijuana permitting will proceed as well.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Canadian data shows an increasing number of patients and doctors participating in the country’s medical cannabis program.

/ ADVOCACY

The Fraternal Order of Police applauded the Department of Justice’s move to rescind state marijuana law protections.

The National Sheriffs’ Association is also happy.

Prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana could barely contain itself over the federal news.

Freedom Partners, an advocacy group funded by the Koch Brothers, slammed the federal cannabis change.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “current blunt smokers had 1.4 times the odds of purchasing cannabis relative to the cannabis users who had never smoked a blunt” and  “current blunt smokers had greater odds of purchasing cannabis frequently and making the purchases in outdoor settings,” suggesting  that “current blunt smokers compared to other cannabis users are at greater risk of the dangers associated with illegal drug transactions.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

Some Democratic analysts think that the party stands to benefit politically from the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

/ BUSINESS

Marijuana stocks slid following news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was rescinding guidance on state cannabis laws.

Monsanto tweeted to shoot down rumors it is working on GMO marijuana.

/ CULTURE     

Actor George Takei tweeted, “AG Sessions’s move to override the will of local voters and legislatures when it comes to marijuana laws is just the latest example of conservatives’ using federal power to impose red state values on the whole country. So much for that whole smaller government thing, I guess, eh?”

Actor Richard Schiff tweeted, “The war on drugs was a monumental mistake on so many levels. Militarizing gangs and police forces; mass incarceration; crowning kingpins of trafficking in Mexico, Columbia et al; endangering and handcuffing law enforcement and costing taxpayers over a trillion dollars.”

Late night TV hosts bashed Sessions’s marijuana move.

The post Trump administration ends Obama cannabis policy (Newsletter: Jan. 5, 2018) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Vermont Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 23:23

The Vermont House of Representatives voted on Thursday to legalize possession and home cultivation of marijuana.

The move comes on the same day that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved to rescind Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Under the Vermont legislation, an earlier version of which passed the Senate last summer, commercial sales of cannabis would not be allowed. But if the proposal is enacted, as is expected, the state would become the first to legalize marijuana by an act of lawmakers. To date, all eight states that have ended cannabis prohibition have done so via voter initiatives.

Gov. Phil Scott (R) has promised to sign the bill into law after the Senate votes to approve the new language, expected next week.

Vermont fell just short of ending marijuana prohibition in 2017. Both legislative chambers approved a legalization proposal, but Scott vetoed it. However, the governor then laid out a few small revisions he wanted legislators to make in order to garner his signature. The Senate quickly acted to make the requested changes, but the House wasn’t able to overcome procedural hurdles to pass the revised bill in time during a short special session over the summer.

That left the House poised to approve the bill under regular order after reconvening for the year this week. The vote on Thursday was 81 to 63.

Representatives voted down several floor amendments, including proposals to delay consideration of the bill in light of news about the federal enforcement policy change. They also rejected an attempt by GOP House leader Don Turner to add legal cannabis sales to the bill. The move by Turner, a legalization opponent, was seen by advocates as an attempt to attach a poison pill to the legislation, because Scott would have been less likely to sign it into law as amended.

In his State of the State speech on Thursday, Scott seemed to express disappointment about a recent news report suggesting that Vermont’s consideration of cannabis legalization was the biggest story in the state last year.

“Imagine how it must seem to a family who’s struggling to get by, who can’t afford to pay their property tax bill, to turn on the news and hear that the marijuana debate was ranked Vermont’s number one news story of 2017,” he said.

If the proposal is enacted, possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and home cultivation of two mature plants by adults over 21 years of age would be legal.

While the legislation initially included language creating a study commission to examine the possible future legalization of commercial marijuana sales, Scott created such a panel on his own by executive order during the interim. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee amended the bill to remove the commission provisions, which is why it now requires one more vote in the Senate, where it is widely expected to pass.

Advocates believe that New Jersey is poised to end marijuana prohibition via the legislature this year as well. Phil Murphy (D), who will be sworn in as governor later this month, campaigned on legalization, and the Senate president says he is ready to pass a bill.

A number of other states are expected to vote on ballot initiatives to legalize recreational or medical cannabis.

This story was first published by Forbes.

The post Vermont Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Lawmakers React To Sessions Anti-Marijuana Move

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:14

A bipartisan collection of members of Congress and state officials are pushing back on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s move to rescind Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO):

.@SenCoryGardner on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' #marijuana policy change: "I will be holding all nominations for the Department of Justice. The people of Colorado deserve answers." pic.twitter.com/BnVEkA54ag

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 4, 2018

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.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018

I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY):

Attorney General Sessions' decision to restrict states’ ability to legalize and decriminalize marijuana is either willfully ignorant of the medical science or an act of greed on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry. In either case, it's an attack on patients, and it's wrong. pic.twitter.com/Kiw8nOmPb7

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 4, 2018

This is about public health. You can join me in fighting back by calling for support for my bill, the CARERS Act, which keeps the federal government out of the way when doctors and patients decide that medical marijuana is the best treatment for them.

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 4, 2018

DOJ should investigate how pharma helped create the opioid crisis, not institute policies that take marijuana based medicines from patients and needlessly target non-violent minority youths.

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 4, 2018

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK):

pic.twitter.com/xjQOTx6MtS

— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 4, 2018

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D):

Make no mistake: As we have told the Department of Justice ever since I-502 was passed in 2012, we will vigorously defend our state’s laws against undue federal infringement. https://t.co/R3jJrncN9X pic.twitter.com/uM48hVH26q

— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) January 4, 2018

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D):

INBOX: @GovofCO releases a tame statement by comparison to @SenCoryGardner, but expresses support for the Cole memo. #marijuana #COpolitics pic.twitter.com/lQvYfIUzxM

— Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) January 4, 2018

Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission:

.@MA_Cannabis statement regarding anticipated repeal of @TheJusticeDept Cole memo which has allowed cannabis industry to go forward despite federal laws against it. #mapoli pic.twitter.com/LQnQP2UeCM

— Steve Brown (@WBURSteve) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

Attorney General Sessions, your unjust war against Americans who legally use #marijuana is shameful & insults the democratic processes that played out in states across the country.

— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 4, 2018

Nancy Pelosi says the Justice Dept’s new marijuana policy "bulldozes over the will of the American people." pic.twitter.com/PIuRQPCFiA

— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) January 4, 2018

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY):

I believe that the States should continue to be the labs of democracy when it comes to recreational & medical marijuana. Jeff, this is one place where states’ rights works. Let each state decide.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 6, 2018

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D):

Reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will roll back federal marijuana policy are deeply concerning & disruptive to Oregon's economy. Oregon voters were clear when they chose to legalize the sale of marijuana & the fed govt shouldn't stand in the way https://t.co/3ax9EvdGGE

— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) January 4, 2018

Reports that AG Jeff Sessions will roll back federal marijuana policy are deeply concerning & disruptive to Oregon's economy. Oregon voters were clear when they chose to legalize the sale of marijuana & the fed govt shouldn't stand in the way. #orpol https://t.co/BKy4hSCXas

— Kate Brown (@KateBrownForOR) January 4, 2018

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R):

.@AsaHutchinson said there needs to be a difference of views between medical and recreational marijuana when it comes to today's decision by DOJ on legalized marijuana.https://t.co/avmZkAiZWc pic.twitter.com/CZZR51P51k

— THV11 (@THV11) January 4, 2018

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I):

“I remain committed to upholding the will of Alaskans on this issue, and maintaining our State’s sovereign rights to manage our own affairs while protecting federal interests.”

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R):

My statement on today's DOJ announcement regarding potential changes to federal marijuana policies: https://t.co/fJkOjlG8k5 pic.twitter.com/ZBIN6wfZgv

— Cynthia Coffman (@CynthiaHCoffman) January 4, 2018

Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA):

Perhaps b/c the Trump Admin. was unsuccessful in repealing the ACA, they’ve thought up another way to harm cancer patients, chronic pain sufferers, & other law-abiding citizens by taking away guidance for DOJ to work w/ local communities who voted to legalize marijuana. 1/4

— Denny Heck (@RepDennyHeck) January 4, 2018

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO):

pic.twitter.com/pcGElRDtMi

— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) January 4, 2018

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK):

Today’s action by the Department of Justice — which contradicts previous statements by the President that this is an issue best left to the states, and adds new confusion and uncertainty for numerous states and communities — could be the impetus necessary for Congress to find a permanent legislative solution for states that have chosen to regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana. As we move forward, I will be examining new and existing legislative proposals and working to ensure the rights of Alaskans and the State of Alaska are protected.”

Congressman Don Young (R-AK):

“Today’s decision announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is a direct violation of states’ rights. Rolling back the Cole Memo without a responsible replacement to protect individuals and the states they live in is unacceptable.”

Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL):

.@jeffsessions confirms that he has no respect for the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution and no respect for over 70 percent of Floridians who voted to legalize #MedicalMarijuana. It's time for Congress to pass meaningful legislation on this issue that honors states' rights. https://t.co/jUaUxEPF2u

— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) January 4, 2018

Businesses operating in compliance with their state's laws deserve a federal government that respects the 10th Amendment. Very disappointing to see an Attorney General who supposedly respects the federalist model of our government take such a drastic step ignoring states’ rights https://t.co/n8a5EVz1Jl

— Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) January 4, 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

No, Attorney General Sessions. Marijuana is not the same as heroin. No one who has seriously studied the issue believes that. Quite the contrary. We should allow states the right to move toward the decriminalization of marijuana, not reverse the progress that has been made.

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 4, 2018

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):

Congress needs to take immediate action to protect state marijuana laws, and the patients that rely on them.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 4, 2018

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI):

There is a growing bipartisan group of Senators that is not going to stand by while Jeff Sessions takes us back several generations on marijuana policy. More later.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 5, 2018

We have an opioids epidemic. But there is no such thing as a marijuana epidemic.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 4, 2018

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA):

Dear Attorney General Jeff Sessions and @TheJusticeDept: Let me give you a list of things more important for federal prosecutors and federal law enforcement to pursue other than marijuana:

1. Basically anything. https://t.co/ctyJui7g4c

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 4, 2018

AG Jeff Sessions apparently wants to take America back to the 1920s. Prohibition didn't work then and it will not work now. Congress needs to pass sensible laws to prevent a monumental waste of precious federal resources chasing Americans who use #cannabis. #thursdaythoughts https://t.co/GP3qPyKIve

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 4, 2018

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT):

In 2013, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I held a hearing on the conflict betw. federal laws and evolving state laws on marijuana. That hg. prompted DOJ to release the Cole memo. Rescinding that memo is a terrible, facts-backwards decision by Atty Gen Sessions.

— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) January 4, 2018

(2/4) Make no mistake, the Cole memo NEVER PREVENTED the gov from going after bad actors, like those who traffic marijuana to minors or across state lines. ONLY reason to rescind the memo is because the AG wants to target patients & businesses that are COMPLIANT with state laws.

— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) January 4, 2018

(3/4) We need to protect the patients and dispensaries in the 46 states with medical marijuana and CBD laws. As Vice Chair of Appropriations, I offered an amdt in Committee to do just that – and it was approved with a bipartisan voice vote.

— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) January 4, 2018

(4/4) I'm now fighting to include my amdt in the final omnibus Approps bill so we can protect patients and law-abiding businesses. With an AG determined to waste finite DOJ resources to prosecute even those who are compliant with state law, this amdt is more important than ever

— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) January 4, 2018

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH):

As lead Democrat on DOJ funding subcommittee, I’ll work to ensure that resources are devoted to opioid response NOT foolish policy of interfering with legal marijuana production. My statement: pic.twitter.com/0w9x22ByQg

— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) January 4, 2018

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT):

Hatch office on DOJ’s marijuana announcement: “Senator Hatch encourages the Department of Justice to remove bureaucratic red tape – not put up roadblocks – to allow our nation’s top medical researchers to study the potential medicinal benefits of marijuana.” #utpol pic.twitter.com/nmTXOkcZ6K

— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 4, 2018

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN):

“This change takes us in the wrong direction and is another step by the Trump Justice Department toward rolling back the sensible and more effective prosecution policies established by the Justice Department under President Obama. The Judiciary Committee should conduct hearings on these issues so that we may develop better strategies for preventing drug abuse and focusing the Justice Department’s efforts on those who pose the most serious threats to public safety.”

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA):

Rohrabacher Blasts Attorney General’s Marijuana Policy Decision https://t.co/TeV9wmuWyj

— Dana Rohrabacher (@RepRohrabacher) January 4, 2018

I believe states, not the federal government, should determine the extent to which the use of #cannabis should be regulated, so I introduced H.R. 975, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017. To read the bill, visit this link: https://t.co/kALjeM8aLS #marijuana

— Dana Rohrabacher (@RepRohrabacher) January 5, 2018

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR):

There's nothing to be gained from going back to an era when fed resources were wasted prosecuting nonviolent cannabis crimes. This will create massive uncertainty, hurt local biz & tax revenue, & harm public safety by driving cannabis activity back into the dangerous black market

— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 4, 2018

Jeff Sessions is turning back the clock to the failed “war on drugs.” Instead of punishing local businesses, how about focus those resources on actual problems, like the opioid epidemic that is killing tens of millions? https://t.co/agG1X1HqS2

— Jeff Merkley (@JeffMerkley) January 5, 2018

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R):

Statement from Gov. Baker's office on the DOJ memo on marijuana: "The administration believes this is the wrong decision and will review any potential impacts from any policy changes by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office.” pic.twitter.com/Ewk9FNr1on

— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) January 4, 2018

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R):

We support states’ rights when deciding whether medical marijuana should be legalized, and North Dakota voters have spoken.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ):

Senator @CoryBooker on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' #marijuana policy change: "This is an attack on our most sacred ideals." pic.twitter.com/ehkAS2f65Y

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 4, 2018

Sessions' determination to revive the failed War on Drugs is fiscally wasteful, morally bankrupt, unjust—and won't make us safer. This backwards policy is wrong for America, and on the wrong side of history. https://t.co/KgoEtz3MrK

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 4, 2018

We must stop Jeff Sessions' backwards actions. There is now great urgency to pass the Marijuana Justice Act to legalize marijuana on the federal level.

Now is the time. Call your Senator. https://t.co/Cr8FZjITWI pic.twitter.com/9OMTz3VMjN

— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) January 4, 2018

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL):

Dear @jeffsessions – Prosecute Hillary Clinton, not medical marijuana businesses and patients! https://t.co/GwMP3NETjY

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 4, 2018

I am extremely disappointed that AG Sessions is rescinding medical cannabis protections; it is a step backward for the American people. When Congress passes new spending bills, I will fight this misguided plan. Prosecute criminals, not patients!https://t.co/eklRBR5SXL

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 4, 2018

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D):

Despite backwards moves by the Trump administration, I will continue to protect cancer patients, kids with epilepsy, veterans with PTSD and all Pennsylvanians seeking relief from legal medical marijuana.

— Tom Wolf (@WolfForPA) January 4, 2018

Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA):

Because of @jeffsessions actions, I’m joining the “Respect State Marijuana Laws” bill. I believe in States' Rights & I’ve seen how cannabis derived medicines can stop seizures in a child, help a veteran cope with pain, or provide relief to a senior with glaucoma. #IA01

— Congressman Rod Blum (@RepRodBlum) January 5, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D):

In California, we decided it was best to regulate, not criminalize, cannabis. Unlike others, we embrace, not fear, change. After all, this is 2018 not the 20th century. 1/ https://t.co/71auR83R4V

— Xavier Becerra (@AGBecerra) January 4, 2018

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello (NPP):

Breaking with the Trump administration, Puerto Rico's Gov. cites "lack of awareness of the scientific evidence" as reason for the Attorney Generals decision to crackdown on states where marijuana is legal. @ricardorossello will "join any legal actions that arise to defeat it." pic.twitter.com/giW5A7Gi7D

— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) January 4, 2018

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD):

We should not be using federal law enforcement resources to lock people up for the use of marijuana. In fact, no one should be jailed for marijuana use. I strongly oppose AG Session’s decision yesterday. https://t.co/TO1aDg2utd

— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) January 5, 2018

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV):

Nevada voters made it clear that the state should be able to enforce its marijuana laws without federal interference. We must respect the will of states while ensuring prosecutorial resources are used effectively.

— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) January 4, 2018

Nevada’s marijuana industry is a boon to our economy: it supports nearly 300 small businesses and currently employs more than 6,700 Nevadans. AG Sessions’ decision to ignore states’ rights will create uncertainty and could cost Nevada millions in economic revenue.

— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) January 4, 2018

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA):

Instead of going after drug cartels, and violent crime, and major traffickers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going after recreational marijuana users. That’s not being smart on crime.https://t.co/BNlcxbTT4v

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 4, 2018

Instead of wasting money on failed policies like the “War on Drugs,” the Department of Justice should be directing federal resources toward working with local law enforcement to clamp down on transnational criminal organizations and the trafficking of guns and human beings.

— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 4, 2018

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA):

.@SenBobCasey says he's concerned about how Sessions' pot action could impact PA medical marijuana and says states should determine own policies, per statement. "Bureaucrats in Washington should not interfere with the medical care these patients are receiving."

— Justine McDaniel (@McDanielJustine) January 4, 2018

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR):

My full statement on AG Sessions' announcement today: pic.twitter.com/6YaHskHxIF

— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) January 4, 2018

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND):

States are really determining how this issue will be handled now and going forward, and I don’t think this policy decision will change that.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA):

“It seems to be the absolute opposite direction from where our country’s headed.”

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN):

The war on drugs didn’t stop drug usage; it just ruined a lot of lives. Jeff Sessions is reviving it because he believes in using the criminal justice system as an instrument of racial and economic control of poor people and brown people. https://t.co/XRd8OldE2N

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 4, 2018

Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND):

Congress should act on this and make it clear that … this a states’ rights issue, that it should be up to states to determine whether they want to allow marijuana.”

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV):

I will fight for businesses that are legally operating in states, contributing to tax bases, & creating jobs. We don't need a crackdown. We need to protect states' rights, respect the voice of voters, and pass laws to prevent this from happening again. https://t.co/0XBLrgf0iM

— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) January 4, 2018

Congressman Jason Lewis (R-MN):

My statement on marijuana policy #MN02 pic.twitter.com/Q3OsYqZwky

— Jason Lewis (@RepJasonLewis) January 5, 2018

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO):

“The announcement by the Department of Justice is a drastic departure from the Attorney General’s previous commitment to Senator Cory Gardner during the confirmation process that he would uphold the Obama Administration’s treatment of marijuana enforcement and President Trump’s comments that he would leave it to the states. Furthermore it creates even greater confusion and uncertainty by leaving enforcement decisions up to federal prosecutors. The Department of Justice should provide guidance on enforcement of marijuana for states that have voted to legalize it. The people of Colorado voted to legalize marijuana in the state, and I am committed to defending the will of Coloradans.”

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D):

Jeff Sessions has destructively doubled down on the failed, costly, and racially discriminatory war on drugs, ignoring facts and logic, and trampling on the will of CA voters.

Have no doubt — CA will pursue all options to protect our reforms and rights. https://t.co/0EuSp5GJ2z

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 4, 2018

My full statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' harmful and destructive attempt to revive the failed war on drugs.

Calling on our federal leaders to move quickly to protect states’ rights from the harmful effects of this ideological temper tantrum by Sessions. pic.twitter.com/96xtRx6OYE

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 4, 2018

"States rights" is nothing more than a catch phrase to Jeff Sessions. CA overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana. Sick and tired of elected officials who lack the courage to stand up for those that are unjustly targeted by the failed war on drugs. The time to speak out is now. pic.twitter.com/Pnj4rsKYF9

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 7, 2018

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R):

Statement from @GovSandoval on the Sessions removing the Cole Memo pic.twitter.com/DMOPdn99XO

— Colton Lochhead (@ColtonLochhead) January 4, 2018

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR):

This is outrageous. Going against the majority of Americans—including a majority of Republican voters—who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made. https://t.co/favJUDVBiA

— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) January 4, 2018

One wonders if Trump was consulted—it is Jeff Sessions after all—because this would violate his campaign promise not to interfere with state marijuana laws. It’s time for ANYONE who cares about this issue to mobilize and push back strongly against this decision. https://t.co/S0neITlP5q

— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC):

Sessions has it exactly backwards. Americans are ending the war on marijuana, not escalating it. Republicans, get on board and remove the DC marijuana rider to let DC commercialize recreational marijuana as 7 states have done. #HandsOffDC https://t.co/oXMgu2rrMF

— Eleanor H. Norton (@EleanorNorton) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA):

Jeff Sessions’ War On Drugs is a direct attack on communities of color, who bear the burden of overzealous policing & mass incarceration. This Attorney General makes a mockery of the so-called “Justice Department.”https://t.co/phJaVRD3Mr

— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI):

Veterans suffering from invisible wounds like Post-Traumatic Stress and chronic pain, or with addiction to opioids, deserve our commitment to researching every possible treatment to help them, and Sessions is failing them.

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 4, 2018

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY):

Thank you @RepRodBlum for cosponsoring this bill with us! Marijuana laws should be set by the states, not the feds. https://t.co/S9iz0iy0FG

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) January 5, 2018

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY):

Statement from @RandPaul on Sessions rescinding Obama-era marijuana guidance to U.S. Attorneys: "I continue to believe that this is a states’ rights issue, and the federal government has better things to focus on."

— CJ Ciaramella (@cjciaramella) January 4, 2018

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV):

.@SenDeanHeller statement on Sessions move to rescind Cole Memo: "Knowing Attorney General Sessions’ deference to states’ rights….." #Marijuana pic.twitter.com/zas7dft3GM

— Colton Lochhead (@ColtonLochhead) January 4, 2018

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND):

“I’m going to continue to follow this situation to see how it will impact our state, especially after North Dakotans made their voices heard and voted to legalize medical marijuana.”

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN):

Sessions will end policy that allowed legalized marijuana to prosper https://t.co/Jrx50hRwme Sessions & Trump for states rights to secede and discriminate but not to innovate and be as Justice Brandeis said,”the laboratories of democracy.”
Opioid crisis and no action.Pot?Get real

— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) January 4, 2018

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D):

AG Ferguson response on reported action by US AG Jeff Sessions on federal marijuana policy. Read AG Ferguson and @GovInslee's letter to Sessions correcting Sessions' bad information on WA marijuana law here: https://t.co/z1DY0fbnsE pic.twitter.com/i68zhtHc9A

— WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) January 4, 2018

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA):

When it comes to the legal, adult use of marijuana, the voters in my home state of Washington, and in many other states, have spoken clearly and I intend to keep fighting to make sure Washington state is able to continue carrying out the will of its voters.

— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) January 4, 2018

Washington state has created a well-regulated system for the legal, adult use of marijuana that works for families and communities. I intend to keep fighting to make sure Washington state is able to continue carrying out the will of its voters.https://t.co/db84cwCmbP

— Senator Patty Murray (@MurrayCampaign) January 6, 2018

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA):

Let’s be clear: Trump’s decision to prosecute marijuana use will hurt Black and Latino youth the most. Privileged kids who use these drugs in private schools rarely get prosecuted. This is a civil rights issue. It’s not only bad policy. It’s morally wrong. https://t.co/REIekeWCeY

— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 4, 2018

We must allow states the right to move towards the decriminalization of marijuana, not turn back the clock as more states – like CA – legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. I will do all I can to stop Sessions’ backwards decision to reverse the Cole Memo. https://t.co/i9a6njpG0M

— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) January 4, 2018

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO):

.@realDonaldTrump pls stop your loser Attorney General from making you look weak and undermining you by putting big swamp government in the way of our state marijuana laws

— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) January 4, 2018

It is absurd that @USAGSessions has broken @POTUS’s campaign promise & is now waging war on legal #marijuana & states’ rights. I am calling on the President to overrule & protect consumers, our economy, the will of voters, & states’ rights. #ColeMemo pic.twitter.com/sQCL0yFkzv

— Rep. Jared Polis (@RepJaredPolis) January 4, 2018

Colorado has proven that a thoughtful approach to cannabis works much better than the failed federal prohibition. And as #COgov, I will fight back against attacks by Jeff Sessions & the Trump administration that undermine the work we have done here in CO. https://t.co/EWWV4Po9Oq pic.twitter.com/bjrFZ7DmQ4

— Polis for Colorado (@PolisForCO) January 4, 2018

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE):

Devoting our limited resources to prosecuting medical marijuana use that is permitted under Delaware state law is a poor allocation of federal time, money, and manpower that should be focused on more important things, such combating violent crime on our streets.”

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI):

Under our Constitution, marijuana shouldn’t be federally criminalized. @RepTomGarrett has a bill that will stop AG Sessions in his tracks: the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 (#HR1227), which I’ve cosponsored.

Here’s a list of cosponsors: https://t.co/buRPtGh9Bm

— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 5, 2018

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX):

We're not going to let Jeff Sessions drag us backwards. His decision on marijuana is terrible policy. pic.twitter.com/LxwWwBkid4

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) January 5, 2018

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA):

As more states, including California, legalize and regulate marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational use, turning back the clock on federal enforcement is a waste of limited resources. I believe the hands-off policy should be reinstated, by Congressional action if necessary https://t.co/N2cA83k94g

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 4, 2018

With a nationwide opioid epidemic and innumerable other priorities, busting legal marijuana sellers and medicinal dispensaries is wasteful and destructive. Whatever happened to their states’ rights creed? https://t.co/gDi8RTUylZ

— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiffCA) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME):

As a member of Congress, I’ve cosponsored legislation to uphold state laws regarding marijuana legalization. I hope @TheJusticeDept will reconsider its one-size-fits-all approach so that congressional action is not needed. #mepolitics https://t.co/nFCV0ih6FS

— Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) January 4, 2018

Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA):

“This action by Attorney General Sessions would silence the voices of the majority of Washington state’s voters. No matter how you feel about the legalization of marijuana, this decision by the federal government to meddle in a state issue settled by public referendum is particularly troubling and would create tremendous uncertainty. It’s the wrong decision and is in direct conflict with the Attorney General’s long career of advocating for more autonomy for state and local governments.”

Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA):

This is the opposite of what we should be doing. Let’s not kid ourselves – people will be using marijuana regardless of what Attorney General Sessions says. We have an obligation to regulate it and make it as safe as possible.
https://t.co/5JSGMLMnU4

— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) January 4, 2018

Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL):

AG Jeff Sessions leads fed crackdown on legalized marijuana. What century does he think we’re in? #Sayfie @JohnMorganESQ https://t.co/wnAsmvGZHY

— US Rep. Darren Soto (@RepDarrenSoto) January 5, 2018

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA):

More bad policies & politics from this chaotic, incompetent administration #marijuana policy. https://t.co/vS4F2tCcwh

— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) January 4, 2018

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN):

While the VA moves (slowly) in the right direction, AG Jeff Sessions is dead set on overruling states that have legalized recreational or medical cannabis, including MN. I'll keep fighting alongside the 83% of vets & caregivers who support legalizing medical cannabis nationally. https://t.co/b6LkoPvxYP

— Rep. Tim Walz (@RepTimWalz) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY):

It makes no sense to dedicate additional fed resources toward marijuana enforcement when our nation faces an opioid epidemic & many states are taking steps toward marijuana decriminalization. Height of hypocrisy coming from party that makes ‘states rights’ a litmus test.

— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) January 5, 2018

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D):

DC residents voted overwhelmingly to legalize small amounts of marijuana, in part because of racial disparities in drug arrests and convictions. This is a step backwards for local autonomy and smart criminal justice policy. DOJ should focus on larger public safety priorities. https://t.co/AdCX8k3nDd

— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) January 4, 2018

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R):

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt on rescinding of Cole Memo that created “hands off” approach by the Feds when it comes to state sponsored marijuana programs @News3LV pic.twitter.com/LNQyLnaTCR

— Nathan O'Neal (@NateNews3LV) January 4, 2018

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D):

This puts the health and safety of patients at risk. It’s inhumane and short-sighted to take this away from people who are suffering.
Trump policy change on marijuana raises questions in Maryland https://t.co/XwX1LqX6vP

— Brian Frosh (@BrianFrosh) January 4, 2018

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO):

In rescinding the Cole memo, the Attorney General failed to listen to Colorado, and will create unnecessary chaos and confusion. https://t.co/vSQuhlkv4D

— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) January 4, 2018

Attorney General Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memorandum completely disregards the steps Colorado has taken to regulate legal #marijuana dispensaries and retail stores.

Read my letter to the Attorney General: https://t.co/qx0DvobMUi

— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) January 5, 2018

Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA):

More than 90% of veterans support research into medical cannabis as an alternative to addictive opioids. The DOJ's announcement will discourage progress on a potentially safer way to manage veterans’ post-traumatic stress and chronic pain. https://t.co/uW5AqTdrWb

— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 5, 2018

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA):

I'm extremely disappointed in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempt to disregard the will of the people and return us to the days of prohibition and the war on drugs.

— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 4, 2018

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D):

“Especially during the midst of a national opioid crisis, medical marijuana provides an important alternative to opioids and is counted on for relief by 22,000 Connecticut residents. Rather than diverting critical federal resources and infringing on the will of the American people, Attorney General Sessions would do well to take a leaf out of Connecticut’s book, where our marijuana policies have allowed law enforcement professionals to focus on reducing violent crime, with demonstrated success. We will continue to follow Connecticut law regarding marijuana policy despite this short-sighted decision.”

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA):

Attorney General Sessions’ decision to rescind the @TheJusticeDept’s Cole Memo is a slap in the face of the voters in every state that has chosen to legalize #marijuana. https://t.co/wEZFOe2UGu

— Rep. Suzan DelBene (@RepDelBene) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR):

The Department of Justice has much more important things to focus on than prosecuting licensed, legitimate businesses. Oregon voters have spoken and the federal government must respect the will of the states that have legalized the use of marijuana.https://t.co/xqptVqvTyc

— Suzanne Bonamici (@RepBonamici) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA):

The state of California has the right to enact its own policies on marijuana, and the voters have spoken. Rather than wasting taxpayer money going after medical and recreational marijuana users, Attorney General Sessions should concentrate on protecting Americans from criminals. https://t.co/pbdTw6ANYS

— Julia Brownley (@JuliaBrownley26) January 5, 2018

Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA):

The Trump Admin is rescinding a policy that has allowed states to freely operate legal marijuana markets. The people of CA have made their will clear and the Admin should help implement the policy responsibly, not subvert our democratic process. https://t.co/68haHERjI9

— Mike Thompson (@RepThompson) January 4, 2018

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO):

#JeffSessions' decision creates even greater uncertainty in the industry and shows a lack of respect for states’ rights. https://t.co/huaDOgsUvx

— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) January 4, 2018

Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY):

The war on drugs was a costly failure that targeted communities of color and worsened mass incarceration. Attorney General Sessions has no business resurrecting the discriminatory policies of yesteryear.https://t.co/2v4l7sfdLq

— Rep. Joe Crowley (@repjoecrowley) January 4, 2018

Congressman Ryan Cosetllo (R-PA):

In 2016, PA passed a law to allow patients facing certain illnesses to legally use medical marijuana, and I believe it is critically important the Commonwealth’s law and patients who benefit from it are protected. https://t.co/y5xYFUebii

— Rep. Ryan Costello (@RepRyanCostello) January 7, 2018

Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ):

Jeff Sessions' decision to ramp up DOJ #marijuana enforcement isn't just an infringement on states' rights – it's bad policy. Read my statement: pic.twitter.com/bhesdnifAj

— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) January 4, 2018

We need to stop AG Sessions attempt to roll back the progress we have made to decriminalize marijuana. Time to legalize not criminalize.

— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) January 4, 2018

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D):

Mass. Attorney General @maura_healey weighs in on Jeff Sessions' move against legal marijuana in states, says it takes away from fight against opioid epidemic#mapoli pic.twitter.com/yGNXo0M5Kd

— Gintautas Dumcius (@gintautasd) January 4, 2018

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV):

This is an insult to Nevada voters, an affront to states’ rights, and a threat to our local economy. Nevadans made it clear at the ballot box in 2016 that they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, and their decision should stand. https://t.co/lC6fsCOFWn

— Rep. Jacky Rosen (@RepJackyRosen) January 4, 2018

Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT):

Peter’s statement in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to reverse an Obama administration policy on the legalization of marijuana #vtpoli pic.twitter.com/rXthCg7EzS

— Rep. Peter Welch (@PeterWelch) January 4, 2018

Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA):

Attention @DanaPerino @guypbenson @lesliemarshall2 My bill, HR 1227 would deregulate marijuana policy by removing federal oversight and empowering the 50 States… It has been around for a year now. Congress is TRYING to "do something."

— Tom Garrett (@GarrettforVA) January 4, 2018

H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal #Marijuana Prohibition Act, is a #bipartisan bill that gives states the ability to formulate their own marijuana policy free from federal interference. Read more HERE → https://t.co/TUF0Q5uaCW pic.twitter.com/rO0ti8ozXy

— Tom Garrett (@RepTomGarrett) January 5, 2018

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI):

.@TheJusticeDept is signaling to prosecutors that it is open season on marijuana dispensaries and businesses operating legally in states with established policies and procedures. What a complete waste of time. @jeffsessions https://t.co/RQMhHsJYz5

— Colleen Hanabusa (@RepHanabusa) January 5, 2018

Congressman Adam Lowenthal (D-CA):

AG Sessions’ move to attack state marijuana laws is nothing short of hypocritical. @GOP supports states’ rights when it suits them, and thwarts the will of voters when it doesn’t. https://t.co/J9VFpH665G

— Rep. Alan Lowenthal (@RepLowenthal) January 5, 2018

Congressman John Delaney (D-MD):

“The Cole Memo provided clear guidance to an otherwise conflicting situation. Revoking the Cole Memo will restore that confusion and undermines the will of the voters in several states.”

Congressman Ruben Kihuen (D-NV):

.@TheJusticeDept marijuana decision clashes with the will of hundreds of thousands of Nevadans and will put at risk a stable source of vital tax revenue for our state. pic.twitter.com/AGmHVdbbrX

— Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (@RepKihuen) January 4, 2018

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA):

The actions taken by AG Sessions to rescind existing protections for citizens complying w/lawfully enacted state laws regarding marijuana use across the country represents a flagrant disregard for the will of the majority of Americans. My full statementhttps://t.co/18k0NsLB3u

— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) January 4, 2018

Colorado Senate Democrats:

The marijuana industry supports hundreds of small businesses across our state.

Since legalization, marijuana has generated $617,767,334 in tax revenue. Instead of going to drug cartels, that money helps fund our schools and addiction treatment programs for more dangerous drugs.

— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) January 4, 2018

This post will be updated as more reactions come in.

The post Lawmakers React To Sessions Anti-Marijuana Move appeared first on Marijuana Moment.