EPA pick Pruitt: state laws "must be invalidated;" New White House marijuana webpage; hemp bill coming to Congress
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An incoming Trump administration Cabinet member just weighed in on whether states can set their own marijuana laws without federal interference, and it wasn't Jeff Sessions:

"A state may not establish its own policy that is directly counter to federal policy against trafficking in controlled substances." So says Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

The claim comes in a brief filed by Pruitt's office late last week in a case concerning a medical cannabis measure that activists succeeding in qualifying for Oklahoma's 2018 ballot. Unexpectedly, the state Supreme Court last month asked the petitioners and Pruitt to weigh in on whether the measure is "void on its face in relation to federal law."
  • Pruitt's new brief: "Because of the inherent and irreconcilable conflict between the federal marijuana prohibitions and the Initiative Petition's authorization for the use of marijuana, it is preempted by federal law."
Perhaps most concerning coming from a soon-to-be top Trump official, the filing calls the Obama approach to state cannabis laws "tenuous." And it cites Sessions's testimony from his U.S. attorney general confirmation hearing last week, concluding, "the prior [Bush] presidential administration vigorously enforced the law...and the incoming presidential administration may take the same course."

  • "[The Oklahoma initiative] requires State officials to violate federal drug laws by issuing licenses that will break federal law if certain preconditions are met, and to arguably share in the profits for breaking federal law by taxing the sale of marijuana."

In the last week, the website for the White House drug czar's office has been significantly pared down for some reason:
Now, while ONDCP webpages stating that the Obama administration "steadfastly opposes" marijuana legalization are still online, it is no longer easy to find them by following links from the homepage. Instead, a new page simply noting the fact that many states have ended prohibition is prominently linked.

What does it mean? Is the Obama administration just trying to give the incoming Trump team a clean a slate to start from, or...?

Hemp companies have filed a legal challenge to a recent DEA Federal Register notice that some in the industry say marks a new and inappropriate move against CBD (though others think the DEA filing didn't actually purport to change much).
Congressman James Comer (R-KY) explained the differences between hemp and marijuana in an interview with C-SPAN, comparing the plants' relationship to that of broccoli and cauliflower. A former state agriculture commissioner, he said his  “first bill as a member of Congress” will be to de-regulate hemp as a controlled substance.
dana rohrabacher

Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), a hero of the civil rights movement, is in the news after saying he doesn't see Donald Trump as a "legitimate president" and the president-elect retorted that the lawmaker is "all action or results."

DID YOU KNOW: In Lewis's first successful Congressional race he challenged a Democratic primary opponent (fellow civil rights hero Julian Bond) to take a drug test?

Speaking of drug testing: According to the New York Post's Page Six, one candidate to be Trump's White House press secretary proposed forcing reporters to undergo random drug tests as a condition of getting a seat in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The would-be presidential flack, who BuzzFeed revealed as Daily Mail's David Martosko, didn't get the job.


The Indiana American Legion passed a resolution over the weekend calling on the state legislature to reclassify marijuana into a category recognizing its medical value.
The North Dakota House and Senate Human Services committees are hearing a bill on Monday that would effectively block the state's voter-approved medical cannabis initiative from taking effect.
A New Hampshire bill would make the state's Liquor Commission the sole provider of recreational marijuana in case of legalization.
A Maine state representative introduced legislation to create a Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation, since several regular standing committees have jurisdiction over parts of the state's voter-approved legalization initiative.
A bicameral Colorado bill would create new statewide licenses for marijuana social consumption clubs -- but would bar businesses that serve food or alcohol from getting said permits.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) says he won't support either the medical cannabis or recreational legalization ballot measures that activists are floating for 2018.
Marijuana legalization supporter, Trump backer and PayPal founder Peter Thiel is considering a run for California governor in 2018, potentially pitting him against Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, also an anti-prohibition crusader.
A Michigan appeals court is preparing to rule in a case that could determine whether people on probation or parole will be able to legally use medical cannabis.
Despite opposition from prohibitionist Gov. Chris Christie (R), New Jersey lawmakers are plowing ahead with marijuana legalization legislation, if only to set the stage for the next governor, who will be inaugurated early next year.


A new U.S. Department of Justice report on the Chicago police department's history of civil rights violations noted the reality that marijuana laws are not enforced fairly across racial and economic lines, as is the case in too many cities across the country:

  • "One officer told us that the law is unquestionably enforced differently in some neighborhoods: when 'kids' on the North Side of Chicago get caught with marijuana, they get a citation; kids on the South Side get arrested."
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French Socialist presidential primary candidates clashed over legalizing marijuana during a weekend debate.
A lawmaker in Pakistan is proposing the death penalty for any of his colleagues caught drinking alcohol. Sen. Shahi Syed is also calling for a "DNA test" to determine whether candidates for public office have ever used marijuana or other drugs.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is threatening to impose martial law amidst a bloody "drug war" that has left thousands dead in the streets.


A study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that cannabidiol does not "display any signals of abuse liability," a finding that the authors say "may help inform U.S. regulatory decisions regarding CBD schedule on the CSA."


A survey found that 59% of Irish doctors support medical cannabis, but only 28% endorse outright decriminalization.
The Denver Post editorial board is endorsing a plan to let marijuana stores in the city stay open later at night:
  • "It’s time to be adults and let the cannabis industry live by rules more like liquor stores."

The Pacific Daily News editorial board says Guam needs to carefully study U.S. states that have legalized marijuana before it adopts Republican Gov. Eddie Calvo's proposal to end prohibition.
Former Mexican Ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo: "Mexico can gain some leadership in the world by standing up to Trump. Enough with the bullying. Let the chips fall where they may. Expel all US law enforcement agents from Mexico, stop cooperating on immigration, legalize drugs. Some of the options Mexico has."


A new analysis found that despite overall caution and uncertainty about serving the cannabis industry, the nation's four largest banks have all opened accounts for marijuana businesses.
An investment firm study found that marijuana law reform doesn't hurt beer sales.
The Los Angeles Times looks at the latest crop of marijuana dispensaries trying to be the 'Apple Store of weed.'


The Nevada Athletic Commission voted to study eliminating marijuana from its list of banned drugs for boxers & MMA fighters. 
Green Bay Packers player Sam Shields has been charged with a marijuana offense, making him the team's second player to get busted with cannabis recently.
Former NHL player Guy Lafleur is speaking out against the Canadian government's move to legalize marijuana.
Former NFL player Eugene Monroe continues to champion the medical benefits of cannabis, especially as a painkilling alternative to opioids:

Snoop Dogg's Merry Jane brand sponsored a marijuana-themed birthday party for actor Liam Hemsworth, according to a series of Instagram posts from his fiancé, singer Miley Cyrus.

Really, though: Help me think of a name for this newsletter.

Note: All name submissions are my property forever and you get no commissions or credit. (OK fine, I might give you a little credit.)
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