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A congressional committee voted to extend protections for state legal MED against federal law enforcement. The move defies U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) who requested its removal. The extension, which has been in place since 2014, will be tacked onto the 2018 federal budget.
AG Sessions did not release the recommendations of a crime reduction task force expected to contain updates on federal marijuana enforcement. In a short statement the AG said he receives recommendations on a “rolling basis” from the task force. The statement didn’t mention marijuana. For more see here.
KKTV has more on the closed door meeting between the task force and authorities in Colorado Springs.
Sessions’ job appears to be safe for now after President Trump spent a week publicly berating the AG for recusing himself from the administration’s Russia scandal. (The Onion says Sessions peruses at minority incarceration statistics to cheer himself up.)
House Republicans blocked a committee vote on MED access for veterans. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) had made the case for it with a deeply felt speech.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a legalization opponent, signed a new REC law, a legislative adaptation of a REC initiative passed by voters in November. It raises sales taxes from 12% to 20% (3% to the municipality). It also creates a pathway to edibles. (For more see here.)
Shaleen Title, a Boston attorney, and entrepreneur who was involved in the effort to secure stronger equity protections, calls the Massachusetts law “great law.” Title is a board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association which has published a model bill for state legalization.
The cannabis industry has contributed more than $300,000 to the California gubernatorial campaign of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), far more than any other candidate. The vote is in November 2018.
The L.A. Times calls on the city to follow the voters’ will and regulate the industry.
California needs to revert to an “emergency rulemaking process” if it’s going to start issuing licenses by the January 2 goal.
Five plaintiffs including former NFL-player have filed a federal lawsuit against AG Sessions and the DEA claiming the plant’s schedule I status is unconstitutional.
Pew’s Stateline project says legalization still faces a “rocky road.” (Mmmm, rocky road.)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants the state to repeal its REC law.
Canadian provinces are trying to shape legalization.
Former drug czar William Bennett predicts the legal states will soon regret it.
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