Congressional cannabis legalization vote this week (Newsletter: November 30, 2020)

DEA rejects marijuana exemption petition; WA legal psilocybin push; Congressional Research Service: Cannabis bill could “reverse” policy gap

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that a bill to federally legalize marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs will receive a floor vote this week, as soon as Wednesday.

A new Congressional Research Service report says the bill up for a House floor vote, the MORE Act, could “reverse” the current cannabis policy gap “since federal marijuana law would become less strict than some state laws.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration rejected an activist’s petition to exempt Iowa’s medical cannabis program from federal prohibition—but now the state itself is considering filing its own request for the accommodation.

Inspired by Oregon’s reform votes this month, activists in Washington State are now pursuing a two-track route to legalize psilocybin therapy, including administrative exemption petitions under federal and state Right to Try laws as well as a planned 2022 ballot measure that would also include broader drug decriminalization.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration finalized production quotas for controlled substances for 2021.

Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli said he thinks President-elect Joe Biden will view drugs “primarily as a public health issue” but “there is a critical component law enforcement has to play.”

Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) criticized Democrats for passing coronavirus relief legislation that “mentioned marijuana more times than it mentioned jobs,” and also mentioned an upcoming vote on a federal cannabis legalization bill.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “There is already a thriving marijuana market in Pennsylvania. Why not make it legal? Why not make it safe? Why not make it taxable to help Pennsylvania get back on its feet?” He also tweeted, “Legal adult-use cannabis is criminal justice reform. More than 20,000 Pennsylvanians get a criminal record every year for doing something that 1) most of us don’t even think should be illegal and 2) is legal in 11 states and decriminalized in 26 states and D.C.”

New Jersey’s Senate president is hosting a roundtable meeting on marijuana legalization and social justice on Monday. Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman authored an op-ed on the need to center social justice in cannabis legalization efforts.

Indiana’s Senate minority leader said that legalizing marijuana would generate more revenue for the state than a cigarette tax can.

A South Carolina senator said there is a “very, very good chance” the state will legalize medical cannabis in 2021.

A Wyoming representative said that marijuana legalization in neighboring states bodes well for efforts to enact reform there.

Arkansas regulators approved the sale of a medical cannabis company.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife published a flyer about reporting illegal marijuana grows on public lands.

Connecticut regulators will hold webinars on the state’s hemp program on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Oregon Cannabis Testing Workgroup will meet on December 8.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

Prosecutors in most Arizona counties are dropping marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on Tuesday on a proposal to ban smoking or vaping cannabis and tobacco in buildings with three or more units.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK Department of Health & Social Care sent a letter to a lawmaker defending delays in getting patients access to cannabis-based medicines.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and partners are investing C$21 million in marijuana research.

The Philippine government may miss the deadline for a report on the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on adolescents found that it “was not associated with a significant shift in the likelihood of marijuana use but predicted a small significant decline in the level of marijuana use among users and a small increase in the likelihood of any e-cigarette use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is calling on the incoming Biden administration and Congress to modernize federal marijuana laws.

The Globe and Mail editorial board cheered Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’s passage of a drug decriminalization resolution.

/ BUSINESS

Patagonia is participating in a pilot project where China-sourced seeds are being used to grow hemp in Colorado for its clothing.

Original Investments LLC is asking an Oklahoma judge to overturn the state’s medical cannabis business licenses residency requirements.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson said he smoked marijuana right before his fight with Roy Jones Jr.

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