Sessions asks Congress to let him go after medical marijuana
The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in 2014, prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own marijuana laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asking Congress to undo these protections, according to a letter that recently became public. His reasoning? The drug epidemic. Maybe he doesn’t know that the current, horrifying drug epidemic relates to opiates.
Luckily, Scientific American published a great article that lays out the facts of the epidemic, and how places with legalized cannabis actually have lower rates of opioid overdose death. Someone send this article to Sessions, quick!
Medical cannabis on hold in Hawaii
Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis 17 years ago. Dispensaries weren’t legalized until 2015, and weren’t permitted to open until July 2016. Now, some dispensaries are finally open, but they’re not allowed to sell their products. This is because the state has not certified any labs to run required safety tests. This leaves Hawaii’s 17,000 registered patients to grow their own marijuana or buy it on the black market. Get it together, Aloha State.
Federal medical marijuana bill reintroduced
A bill known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act has been reintroduced. This bill would amend federal law to officially allow states to implement and govern their own medical marijuana policies. It would also allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients. With a bipartisan group of senators and representatives behind it, there’s hope.
California decides on legal cannabis regulations
California’s recently-announced state budget agreement also contains provisions for the legal cannabis industry. One of the more interesting points is that state regulators would need to come up with a certification process for organic marijuana. Learn more about the regulations here.
Dennis Rodman, North Korea and PotCoin
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has once again made news with another trip to North Korea. This journey is sponsored by PotCoin, a digital currency for the marijuana industry. PotCoin has nothing to do with North Korea and simply appears to be seeking publicity. It worked.