by Carly Wolf, NORML Political AssociateApril 20, 2018
Welcome to the 4/20 edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
Today’s the day. The High Holy Day for cannabis consumers everywhere. Happy Holidaze, my people! Check out all the 4/20 events happening around the country, and remember to be safe and smoke responsibly!
There have been lots of significant developments in the marijuana space recently, specifically at the federal level. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced his intention to sponsor a bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
Republican Senator Cory Gardner (CO) says that he has received a verbal commitment from President Donald Trump specifying that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate the substance. Also, Senator Bernie Sanders signed on as a co-sponsor of The Marijuana Justice Act. Yesterday, Sen. Sanders joined Senator Cory Booker on a live stream for a conversation about ending prohibition and co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act.
Additionally, legislation was introduced this week to facilitate federally-sponsored clinical research into the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis among veterans, HR 5520: The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018.
At the state level, Pennsylvania’s health secretary approved a recommendation from the medical cannabis law Advisory Board to allow sales of medical cannabis in flower form and to add new qualifying conditions. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed into law a sweeping criminal justice reform bill that includes expungement for prior marijuana convictions. And unfortunately, South Dakota’s secretary of state rejected a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure because not enough signatures in a random sample were valid.
At a more local level, Los Angeles, California’s top marijuana regulator said the city is considering allowing consumption lounges, and Denver, Colorado’s mayor is proposing raising the city’s marijuana sales tax from 3.5%