USDA official’s study: Legalization tied to crime reduction; VA seals marijuana records; Melissa Etheridge & Van Jones talk psychedelics
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing a massive increase in legal production of marijuana and psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, DMT and mescaline to be used in research next year. That’s on top of a big boost already made in 2021 for cannabis and psilocybin.
A new study authored by a researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that medical marijuana laws “result in significant reductions in both violent and property crime rates, with larger effects in Mexican border states.” The federal official’s research also finds that existing studies of cannabis legalization’s impact have methodological errors that lead to “underestimation of crime reduction from ending marijuana prohibition.”
Virginia officials have sealed more than 64,000 misdemeanor marijuana distribution charges since legalization took effect in July. That’s in addition to 333,000 cannabis possession records sealed under the prior decriminalization law passed last year.
Melissa Etheridge and Van Jones spoke at a conference about the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics and the need to end criminalization. Jones noted that he hasn’t “yet” tried psilocybin or ayahuasca.
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “Nevada’s marijuana businesses generated $159 million in revenue for our public schools over the past year alone. This emerging industry is creating jobs and raising much-needed revenue to help our students succeed.”
Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR) hosted a meeting with law enforcement and government officials to discuss issues associated with illegal marijuana cultivation.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, tweeted, “On National Mushroom Day, from the mushroom capital of the world, let’s join Texas (weird, right?) and legalize research into Psilocybin + expunge + decriminalize possession.”
Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, currently the state’s attorney general, testified in the federal trial of a onetime associate of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who is accused of making illegal campaign contributions as part of a scheme to win cannabis business licenses.
Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mckayla Wilkes tweeted, “As a Black woman who has been arrested for possession of cannabis before, let me say this: There are a lot of people behind bars right now because of the War on Drugs who need to be free. A lot, a lot.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and three former governors are endorsing a November ballot measure to increase marijuana taxes and use the revenue to fund tutoring and other after-school educational opportunities. Separately, regulators issued a health and safety advisory about cannabis products from Chronic Factory LLC that have potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold contamination.
Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “🍁 Legalize marijuana 💰 Invest the tax revenue back into our communities 🚧 Create 30,000 new jobs a year that pay at least $60k ⚡ Give Ohioans a cut of our energy profits” Separately, the House speaker said he’s skeptical of a new Republican-led bill to legalize marijuana.
Michigan’s attorney general participated in an event to help people expunge marijuana and other records.
The Wisconsin Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee approved a bill to increase penalties for marijuana extracts.
The New Mexico legislature’s Finance Authority Oversight Committee narrowly rejected a proposal to offer loans to cannabis microbusiness operators.
Arizona regulators issued final marijuana social equity licensing rules.
Connecticut regulators added Huntington’s disease as a medical cannabis qualifying condition but rejected anorexia nervosa.
Oklahoma regulators issued an advisory about medical cannabis products that contain THC analogs, including THC-O-acetate.
New Jersey regulators awarded long-delayed medical cannabis business licenses.
South Dakota regulators issued revised proposed medical cannabis rules. Separately, the legislature’s Adult-Use Marijuana Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday.
Alabama regulators indicated that medical cannabis will not be available to patients until 2023.
Maryland regulators advanced a proposal to allow medical cannabis discounts for veterans and Medicaid recipients.
Florida regulators repealed rules on medical cannabis regulation development.
Minnesota’s top medical cannabis regulator said the number of patients could triple or quadruple with the addition of raw flower.
Nevada’s Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Public Health will meet on Tuesday.
New York regulators will consider medical cannabis program rules on Thursday.
The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Licensing Workgroup will meet on Wednesday.
Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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.
Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.
Chicago, Illinois aldermen are proposing that certain marijuana businesses be required to provide “certified evidence” that they qualify as social equity applicants.
San Francisco, California supervisors are pressing the mayor to declare the overdose crisis an emergency, which they believe will add urgency to open a safe consumption site for illegal drugs.
A Mexican senator hosted an event on the benefits of legalizing marijuana and is planning other events for this week.
A UK man was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Dubai for possessing CBD vape oil.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “cannabis use was associated with lower risks of overweight and obesity in patients with [chronic hepatitis B virus] infection.”
A study of Canadian medical cannabis company stocks found that “pre-legalization performance of cannabis companies was better than their post-legalization performance” and that “given that cannabis companies did not outperform their matched pair, we can confirm that legalization did not have a significantly positive effect on the industry.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The American Bar Association’s International Law Section is hosting a cannabis conference next month.
The New York Post editorial board criticized Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) for signing a bill to decriminalize syringes.
Compass Group USA Inc. is being sued for allegedly improperly rescinding a Pennsylvania woman’s job offer over legal medical cannabis use.
Arkansas patients have spent $428 million to purchase more than 60,000 pounds of medical cannabis since sales began.
Drake became a strategic advisor to and investor in cannabis company Bullrider.
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.