Surgeon General Vivek Murthy appeared to endorse decriminalizing marijuana.
“When it comes to decriminalization, I don’t think that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use. I don’t think that serves anybody well.”
The House Appropriations Committee approved spending bills and reports that protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference, encourage marijuana and CBD research and note the lifesaving potential of safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.
The measures also protect universities from being punished for studying cannabis, note the painkilling value of kratom and remove restrictions on using federal funds for syringe access programs.
Maryland’s House speaker pledged to pass legislation “early next year” to put a marijuana legalization referendum on the 2022 ballot, and she’s forming a working group to figure out details. The Senate president cosponsored a legal cannabis bill this session. Rhode Island’s Senate president said he’s had “discussions” about reaching a marijuana legalization compromise with the House and that he hopes lawmakers will come back to vote on a deal in September. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced it is using $3.5 million in marijuana tax revenue to fund grants aimed at reducing violence. It’s part of an ongoing justice reinvestment program created by the cannabis legalization law. FEDERAL Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said we are due for a national conversation about legalizing marijuana. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “When it comes to cannabis, the federal government is still living in the era of Reefer Madness. It’s past time to end these outdated, racist laws.
@SenBooker @SenSchumer and I are all in to get it done.” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted his marijuana legalization bill “has the potential to be the most comprehensive effort to rewrite marijuana laws at the federal level in American history, and has the potential to be a substantial step towards ending the failed War on Drugs. We will get this done.” He also tweeted, “The federal prohibition on marijuana is archaic, cruel & hypocritical to its core. Enough is enough. We need to finally end the prohibition on marijuana & focus on restorative justice for communities that have been ruined by our broken marijuana policies.” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) criticized federal policies that make it hard for military veterans to get access to medical cannabis. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted, “Democrats ignore science with their new push for marijuana.” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said he doesn’t support federal marijuana legalization. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “It’s LONG past time to right the wrongs of the failed War on Drugs. Let’s go further and legalize marijuana across America, and invest in the BIPOC communities hit hardest by these cruel failed policies.” STATES California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a marijuana licensing and regulatory bill. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) asked the state attorney general to review the legality of delta-8-THC. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) and the House speaker discussed ongoing negotiations about medical cannabis legislation to replace the voter-approved measure that the state Supreme Court overturned. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he remains opposed to legalizing marijuana because it is a “gateway drug.” South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham spoke about his decision to run on a marijuana legalization platform and about his past cannabis use. He also tweeted, “It’s shameful that our current Governor opposes medical marijuana. When I served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I heard from countless veterans just begging for an alternative to addictive opioids. When I’m Governor, they’ll finally get access to medical marijuana.” A North Carolina senator spoke about how his experience as a cancer survivor motivates his push to legalize medical cannabis. A Virginia delegate tweeted, “If requiring an ID to vote is racist, why did Democrats require one to grow marijuana? #Hypocrisy” A Kentucky judge is weighing a case seeking to stop police raids on hemp businesses that sell delta-8-THC products. A federal judge heard arguments in a case challenging Maine’s residency requirement for medical cannabis business owners. New York’s comptroller determined that the Department of Agriculture and Markets has made progress in addressing issues with the state hemp program that were identified in a previous report. Georgia regulators will discuss medical cannabis cultivation licenses on Saturday. The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Technical Assistance & Mentorship Workgroup will meet on Tuesday. — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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.