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My new job at MassRoots; Poll: let athletes use marijuana; Sessions vote today
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Marijuana Moment

The only daily cannabis update you need.

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PERSONAL ANNOUNCEMENT

I'm starting a new full-time marijuana reporting job!

As of today, I'm a senior political correspondent for MassRoots.

MassRoots, as you probably know, facilitates a community-driven, cannabis-focused social network that has become a go-to source for marijuana news and information. I couldn't be more excited to help ramp up MassRoots's efforts to keep its constituents informed about what all the latest political and policy developments mean for cannabis, and to help steer them toward opportunities to play an active role in building the movement for reform.

Separate from my work with MassRoots, I'll continue to bring you news dispatches right here in your inbox every morning with Marijuana Moment. And, I'll remain as chairman of the nonprofit Marijuana Majority.

FEDERAL

The National District Attorneys Association has formed a group of prosecutors that will offer marijuana policy advice to the Trump administration.

SOUNDS SCARY, BUT: One prominent member of the panel, Boulder County, Colorado DA Stan Garnett, actively pushed back against Justice Department attacks on his state's medical cannabis law during the first term of the Obama administration. And shortly after the passage of full legalization measure Amendment 64, Garnett dropped pending marijuana possession cases:

  • "I think one of the things that happens is that many of the people in states where there is no legalization have a complete misunderstanding of states like Colorado. If nothing else, I'm able to say, 'Wait a minute, this is a huge business in Colorado, it is largely supported by the editorial boards, polls show it was being very popular, and by and large we have not seen an impact on crime rates." -- Stan Garnett

So we know that at least one sympathetic voice will be in the mix when NDAA's federal recommendations are formulated. While we don't know the full makeup of the 14-member panel, it has been reported that at least some members are from other legalization states like California and Oregon.

For now, it's unclear whether the White House asked for the prosecutors' input on cannabis or if they're simply taking it upon themselves to weigh in on the issue.


The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a vote on the nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as attorney general on Tuesday.
URGE YOUR REP: Join the Cannabis Caucus

STATES

Despite dozens of marijuana bills being introduced in Hawaii, including a decriminalization one sponsored by the House speaker, Gov. David Ige (D) says he doesn't want any further reforms enacted until the state's medical cannabis dispensaries open. Ige previously voted for a decrim bill as a senator.
Maine's Senate president appointed members to the Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation, which will make recommendations on regulations to the full legislature. Separately, Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed an order directing the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to take over responsibility for regulating the cannabis industry.
South Dakota's attorney general released copies of his correspondence with DEA and FDA about the need for the federal government to approve marijuana or more of its derivatives for medical use.
The Utah House Health & Human Services Committee unanimously passed a medical marijuana research bill.
The Colorado Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee unanimously approved a bill to add PTSD as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.
A Virginia House subcommittee defeated two bills to expand the state's existing medical cannabis CBD oil law.
Wyoming representatives introduced a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana.
Arkansas lawmakers filed legislation to ban the sale of medial marijuana edibles, prohibit smoking of medical cannabis and require regulators to wait until local zoning rules are in place before issuing licenses to cannabis businesses.
At a joint hearing of three California Senate committees, lawmakers voiced skepticism that regulators will be able to start issuing commercial marijuana licenses by the beginning of next year.
Minnesota regulators say they need more money to fund implementation of the state's medical cannabis program.
Maryland lawmakers filed legalization bills.
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INTERNATIONAL

Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley tweeted that his government is actively exploring marijuana decriminalization.
Advocates and businesses are working to begin importing medical cannabis extracts to the Cayman Islands under a newly-enacted law.

ADVOCACY

Hemp industry advocates are holding a Capitol Hill lobby day on March 1.

OPINION & ANALYSIS

A new poll finds that 54% of Americans say professional athletes should not be punished by their teams or leagues for marijuana use that's legal under state law.
The Harvard Crimson editorial board says the school needs to better educate students about marijuana in light of legalization in Massachusetts, but not in a nagging way:
  • "As marijuana becomes more readily available, administrators and students alike must keep in mind that a greater supply does not mean that necessarily mean that more students will abuse the drug. By taking steps to normalize and objectively educate students about marijuana, Harvard will be able to provide students with the tools they need to make their own informed decisions."

The Mason City Globe Gazette editorial board is calling on Iowa legislators to expand the state's existing medical cannabis CBD oil law.

CULTURE

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson says he occasionally used marijuana before games:
  • "I just gotta be real, you know, it's been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games."

A leader in the Nation of Islam gave a speech claiming that marijuana, which he says is put onto the streets by the CIA, "feminizes" men.
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