or to vote comment and more!
The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved a bipartisan marijuana research bill that’s meant to streamline studies into cannabis, in part by allowing scientists to access products from state-legal dispensaries.
This comes days after the chamber separately approved a bill to federally legalize marijuana for the second time in history. And it also follows the Senate’s unanimous approval of a similar cannabis research bill last month.
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted in favor of an amendment to protect all state, territory and tribal marijuana programs from federal interference.
The measure, which would prevent the Department of Justice from using its funds to impede the implementation of cannabis legalization laws, passed in a 254-163 vote on the floor. Earlier in the day, it had been approved in an initial voice vote.
Now, reform supporters want to add in an expansion to the current medical cannabis protection rider, which was first enacted in 2014 and has continually been renewed by Congress on an annual basis, so that it would cover recreational marijuana laws as well.
The state protection amendment, filed by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), reads as follows:
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) released a police accountability plan on Tuesday, and it includes proposals to legalize marijuana and decriminalize other drugs to reduce over-policing of communities of color.
The congressman cited statistics showing that black people are significantly more likely to be arrested over cannabis compared to white people, despite comparable rates of consumption. This pattern is part of the systemic racial injustice fueling mass protests across the country, he said.
In the legal market, licensed companies are currently sitting on a surplus of roughly one million pounds, enough to keep the state stoned at current levels for six years. Meanwhile, Oregon’s illicit growers just keep doing what they’ve always done, supplying unlicensed cannabis to appreciative consumers in states where a combination of restrictive laws and poor climate make for a net cannabis deficit.
A 2018 regional cannabis summit created a template that East Coast governors used in the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a House vote on Democratic leadership’s latest coronavirus relief package expected on Friday, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is making the case for a provision he’s championing that would protect banks that service marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup Wednesday on legislation to decriminalize marijuana federally and reassess marijuana-related convictions, the panel announced Monday.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) will join other House Democrats, including Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), on Tuesday to highlight the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
“People kept saying that with Sessions no longer attorney general, a major obstacle was removed from the cannabis movement’s progress,” Wallin told POLITICO Magazine. “I had to remind them that Jeff Sessions was not really the major problem. He had been all bluster and no action.” Instead, Wallin was focused on the departure of another Sessions — the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee.
As polls show record support for marijuana legalization, advocates say the midterm elections could mark the point of no return for a movement that has been gathering steam for years.
"The train has left the station," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., a leading marijuana reform advocate in Congress. "I see all the pieces coming together... It's the same arc we saw two generations ago with the prohibitions of alcohol."
Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday quickly endorsed legislation that would stop the federal government from enforcing anti-marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug.
Murphy, who is pushing to legalize cannabis in New Jersey for recreational use, was one of 12 governors signing a letter to congressional leaders of both parties in support of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act.