United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions personally pleaded with Congress to oppose a provision in the federal spending bill that protects medical marijuana providers operating in accordance with state laws from federal enforcement actions so that the Department of Justice can prosecute medical marijuana cases.
With industrial hemp farming now legal in 33 states, the 8th annual Hemp History Week has events scheduled across the country from June 5-11, 2017, to raise awareness about hemp’s history as a means of enriching its future.
During a press briefing on May 31, 2017, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin fielded a reporter’s question regarding medical marijuana for veterans.
On May 25, 2017, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced that they had introduced the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, a bill that would ask the Attorney General to reconsider whether cannabidiol should be scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act and expand research opportunities as a means of determining the medical efficacy of cannabidiol and marijuana in the treatment of serious medical conditions.
One of the largest veteran services organizations in the United States is making a push to change marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance.
On May 18, 2017, Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman introduced legislation to protect state marijuana laws from federal interference. If passed, the bill, “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017,” would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that the federal government could not use the CSA to preempt state marijuana laws.
On May 15, 2017, Congressman Tom Garrett, R-Va., announced that he is going to hold a press conference outside of the U.S. Capitol on May 17 to discuss H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.
On May 5, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the 2017 omnibus funding bill, covering the federal government’s funding through Sept. 30. The bill contains a provision that bans the Department of Justice from using funds to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana; however, Trump issued a signing statement that has clouded the future of medical marijuana.
In an effort to educate lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., co-sponsor of a bill to end federal prohibition of marijuana, recently announced that he will be hosting The Marijuana Big Thinker Talks on May 3, 2017, at the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer in Washington, D.C.
With top members of Congress agreeing to a funding bill on April 30, 2017, the federal government should be able to avoid a shutdown and state-legal medical marijuana programs should have extended protection from federal enforcement actions.
In the face of mounting pressure for the National Football League to revise its policy on marijuana use, commissioner Roger Goodell continues to double down on the league’s anti-marijuana stance.
On April 27, 2017, a bipartisan group of congressmen in the United States House of Representatives announced that they would be launching legislation to allow state-legal marijuana businesses access to banking services.
On April 26, 2017, New Frontier Data, an analytics firm, announced that it had released The Cannabis Industry Annual Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook, revealing some compelling data on the market habits of medical cannabis patients and recreational cannabis consumers across the country.
On April 20, 2017, the National District Attorneys Association announced that it had released “Marijuana Policy: The State and Local Prosecutors’ Perspective,” a white paper that argues federal drug policy should be enforced in state-legal marijuana markets in the United States.
On April 20, 2017, Quinnipiac University announced the results of its latest national poll and found that 60% of American voters believe marijuana use should be legalized in the United States, the greatest level of federal legalization support ever recorded by Quinnipiac.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies is preparing its spending bill for fiscal year 2018 and 44 members of Congress want the subcommittee to craft its bill so that the Department of Justice has to respect state medical marijuana laws.
When the House of Representatives convened for its Morning Hour on March 21, 2017, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, took to the floor to urge House members to support H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.
On March 15, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to law enforcement officers in Richmond, Virginia, on his mission to fight violent crime and bolster public safety. It was during his discussion of drugs that Sessions brought marijuana into the conversation, reinforcing a stance that he has previously communicated.
The second day at the California Cannabis Business Expo, Monday, March 6, kicked off with a discussion of the “Trump effect,” by Lawrence W. Horwitz, of Horwitz + Armstrong, a law firm and professional corporation headquartered in Lake Forest, California.
When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented on the potential of “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana law under the Trump Administration, the industry reacted immediately. Now, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has penned a letter in an effort to protect the recreational marijuana industry.
On Feb. 16, 2017, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to address the future of cannabis policy reform in the United States.
On Feb. 16, 2017, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus will be in Washington, D.C., to host a press conference at 2 p.m. on the future of states’ rights and federal cannabis reform, with a livestream of the event available for those who are unable to attend.
North Americans spent $53.3 billion on legal, illegal, and medical marijuana in 2016, according to a Jan. 17, 2017, release from Arcview Research Group. That’s more than people in the United States spent on McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.
On Jan. 10, 2017, the United States Air Force announced that it would relax its policy on barring recruits who have previously used marijuana from entering the service.
On Jan. 11, 2017, the Pew Research Center released the results of a national survey of law enforcement officers, finding that 68% of police officers think America’s marijuana laws need to be relaxed.
Despite marijuana legalization in some states, new data from an ongoing survey reveals fewer 8th graders know how to find pot easily. In 2016, the Monitoring the Future survey revealed, 34.6 percent of 8th graders self-reported they could easily access weed, down 2.4 percent from the previous year.
As legalization continues to sweep through the United States, researchers are beginning to see a spike in marijuana use among older Americans. Most recently, a study published in the medical journal Addiction found that the baby-boomer generation is reporting higher rates of marijuana use than any other preceding generation.
A new study shows increased marijuana use among U.S. adults, especially among men, according to a Nov. 29, 2016, press release from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Researchers compared 2002 data with 2014 data and found 4 million more women and 6 million more men had used marijuana within the past year.
Support for legal marijuana is at an all-time high, according to two new polls. That’s a good sign in and of itself, but especially so with weed on the ballot in multiple states on Nov. 8.
On Oct. 19, 2016, Gallup released its latest poll on marijuana legalization support in the United States, finding that public support is at 60%, a record-breaking percentage for legalization in Gallup’s 47-year polling history.
As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana, which is banned under U.S. federal laws, banks are facing “unsustainable tension” that needs to be resolved by Congress, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said on Tuesday.
A new study reveals an increase in the number of U.S. adults using marijuana, according to an Aug. 31, 2016, report at CBSNews.com. The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, was led by Dr. Wilson M. Comptom of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.
This November’s election could be a decisive turning point in the struggle to end U.S. marijuana prohibition. It’s been a long time coming.
A new report on the cannabis industry details its explosive growth and may be pointing to a different kind of job market.
On Aug. 16, 2016, a federal appeals court banned the Department of Justice from prosecuting medical cannabis cases as long as defendants hadn’t broken state laws.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton plans to reschedule marijuana if she is elected in November, according to a statement issued by the campaign.
On Aug. 11, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it would not reschedule marijuana. This announcement comes after months of rumors and speculation that the federal agency was preparing to change marijuana’s classification.
On July 29, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill removing the threat of arrest for small amounts of marijuana, capping a record year of legislative and administrative marijuana policy reforms throughout the country.
Declining tobacco use could soon intersect with a steady uptick in the smoking and consumption of another leafy drug – marijuana.
On Aug. 8, 2016, Gallup released the results for its latest poll on marijuana use in America, finding that one in eight American adults currently smoke marijuana, which is almost double the percentage calculated in 2013.
Marijuana supporters are crossing their fingers that the Obama administration will act soon to reschedule cannabis because neither candidates for president or vice president are giving them any positive feelings.
On July 13, 2016, the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing at 2:30 p.m. ET to review the benefits and risks of medical marijuana.
On July 10, 2016, NORML announced that Allen F. St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, a consumer advocacy organization focused on reforming state and federal cannabis laws, had submitted his resignation to the NORML board of directors.
The Internet is buzzing with claims that the DEA is planning to reschedule marijuana on August 1. But, unfortunately for the cannabis community, those claims are most likely not true.
A group of Democratic lawmakers is renewing pressure on the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove marijuana from its current position on a list of the most dangerous drugs, a category that includes heroin and ecstasy.
On June 21, 2016, the House Committee on Rules blocked an amendment to H.R. 5485, the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, that would have prohibited regulators from penalizing financial institutions that provide services to state-legal marijuana businesses.
Despite strong bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate to allow military veterans to receive medical marijuana recommendations through the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.), Congressional leadership is blocking the change from becoming law.
On June 20, 2016, survey results from Prevention magazine revealed that 75 percent of Americans support medical marijuana legalization.
While the demand for edibles continues to rise, so too do the expectations for producers to follow good manufacturing practices and food safety plans consistent with federal requirements.
A majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on June 6, 2016. The poll showed 54 percent of surveyed registered voters agreed with the unqualified statement, “marijuana should be made legal in the United States,” while 41 percent opposed it.