Cannabis protest at White House (Newsletter: October 25, 2022)



Biden: marijuana pardons “changed the lives” of 1000s; Poll: Americans say cannabis safer than alcohol & tobacco; DC patient count spikes

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

President Joe Biden said he’s “changed the lives of thousands of people” with his recent marijuana pardons.

An activist was arrested at the White House as part of a protest calling on President Joe Biden to make good on his campaign pledge to release federal marijuana prisoners. The advocates pointed out that the president’s existing pardon order frees zero of the estimated 2,800 federal cannabis prisoners.

A new poll shows that most Americans think that the federally legal drugs alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than marijuana, which remains banned. It also shows majority support for legalizing cannabis and for President Joe Biden’s pardons proclamation.

A new survey found that a narrow majority of Arkansas voters plan to vote for the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot—but support has dropped significantly from a month ago amid ramped up opposition by Republican elected officials.

Washington, D.C.’s medical cannabis patient count has grown 55 percent since the mayor signed a bill letting people self-certify without the need for doctors’ recommendations. A new expansion letting tourists self-certify as well could lead to even bigger growth.

/ FEDERAL

Former White House Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought called marijuana a “gateway drug.”

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) tweeted, “Early voting has started, and I encourage Arkansans to vote NO on Issue 4. Easy access to marijuana will be bad for safety, health, and quality of life in our state. The unintended consequences aren’t worth the risk.”

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said that fentanyl requires a “war on drugs-type” response.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) tweeted, “It has been shown that recreational marijuana leads to increased drug use among minors & more dangerous roadways. Early voting in Arkansas starts tomorrow, and I plan to vote NO on ISSUE 4. I encourage all Arkansans to do the same.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons are a “nod to federalism.”

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) tweeted, “No one should be in jail for simple marijuana possession. @POTUS’ pardon will allow previously convicted persons to be eligible for housing and job opportunities which they may have previously been denied on the basis of their prior federal marijuana conviction.”

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted, “Cannabis is a plant. Plants shouldn’t be criminalized. Cannabis should be legal.”

/ STATES

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) touted his signing a bill to legalize marijuana.

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Sherman tweeted, “Legalization would strengthen our workforce, our communities, and our economy. It’s time to stop outsourcing revenue to our surrounding states and finally legalize adult-use cannabis.”

The Michigan attorney general’s office is reportedly investigating a former House speaker’s connections to the marijuana industry after three of his relatives landed jobs at the same cannabis business.

Texas’s attorney general filed an amicus brief in a case challenging an Arkansas law restricting gender-affirming health care for transgender people under the age of 18, arguing that the policy is “no different than if it had banned medical marijuana or euthanasia.”

California’s treasurer tweeted about public support for marijuana banking legislation.

An Arkansas senator tweeted, “Issue 4: I’m voting no. I fully support legalization, but Issue 4 guarantees that a small group of companies will control the recreational marijuana industry and won’t face meaningful competition. It’s a bad approach, and Arkansans deserve better.”

A Missouri representative tweeted, “Try telling someone that has trouble finding meaningful employment because of a minor marijuana arrest that they should wait a few more years until we can get the language perfect and passed. I’m voting yes on 3.”

A Louisiana representative spoke about efforts to keep telemedicine options open for medical cannabis.

A Wisconsin senator tweeted, “Oklahoma voters will decide on recreational marijuana legalization during a special election in March of 2023🌱 It’s #hightime for Wisconsin to follow suit and take the necessary steps to legalize cannabis in our state. Wisconsinites are ready!”

North Carolina senators and candidates discussed their views on marijuana policy.

Colorado regulators issued a bulletin about advertising of marijuana concentrates.

Utah regulators issued a bulletin about labeling of medical cannabis products containing synthetic or derivative ingredients.

Alabama regulators are distributing medical cannabis license applications to businesses that requested them.

Washington State’s Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force will meet on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 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.

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/ LOCAL

Evanston, Illinois officials held a town hall about the city’s marijuana-funded reparations program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The deputy chairman of Germany’s Free Democratic Party, part of the governing coalition, criticized restrictive provisions in a leaked Health Ministry marijuana legalization plan.

Singapore’s government invited Virgin’s Richard Branson to debate the country’s home affairs and law minister about the death penalty for drug offenses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “therapeutic benefits of CBD became more clearly evident at doses greater than or equal to 300 mg,” that “at doses of 300–400 mg, there is evidence of efficacy with respect to reduced anxiety, as well as anti-addiction effects in drug-dependent individuals” and that “more marginal and less consistent therapeutic effects on insomnia, neurological disorders, and chronic pain were also apparent.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alaska Federation of Natives approved a resolution calling on Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) to expand a marijuana task force to include seats for representatives from tribal governments and the tribal health system.

Ohio activist Mary Jane Borden published a cannabis voter guide for the state’s elections.

/ BUSINESS

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Cronos Group Inc. with “improperly accounting for millions of dollars of revenue and for other accounting misconduct in multiple reporting periods.”

Beckley Psytech Limited is acquiring Eleusis Therapeutics Limited.

Leafly Holdings, Inc. has a new chief commercial officer.

/ CULTURE

Lawyers for American basketball player Brittney Griner, who was convicted of possessing cannabis vapes in Russia, says she “does not expect miracles” at her appeals hearing on Tuesday.

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