Cannabis Headline News is heard at the top of every hour on RadicalRuss Radio and Friday’s news is contained within the free The Russ Belville Show live podcast. For daily downloads of Cannabis Headline news podcast to your device every morning, subscribe by becoming a Patron of RadicalRuss Radio.
Connecticut House Speaker Gives Legalization a “50/50 Chance”
The Hartford Courant reports that incoming Speaker of the Connecticut House Matt Ritter spoke to a meeting of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association on Thursday about the issue of marijuana legalization
Ritter explained that revenue projections are not his motivation for supporting legalization, but rather the practical reality that Connecticut will be surrounded by legalization.
For Ritter, legalization is about racial justice.
South Dakota Cops Sue to Overturn Legalization
Two cops in South Dakota are suing to overturn Amendment A, the successful marijuana legalization initiative, reports the Argus Leader.
Because it touches on taxation, transportation, licensing, the health department as well as medical and recreational marijuana and hemp, the lawsuit argues that Amendment A encompassed more than one subject.
Nebraska’s medical marijuana initiative was pulled from the 2020 ballot for a similar reason.
Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller filed the lawsuit Friday, also alleging that that because Amendment A inserts a new section into the constitution, it should be considered a revision to the constitution, which can only be placed on the ballot through a state convention, something that hasn’t been done since statehood.
South Dakota voters in 2018 added a single subject rule to their books, which declares that initiatives can only modify one aspect of the law at a time. If heard, it will be the first time the single subject rule has been adjudicated.
Illinois Gov Costing Marijuana Industry $135 Million, Advocates Say
The governor’s reading of restrictions on relocating medical marijuana dispensaries is costing Illinois a potential $135 million in tax revenue, according to a memo circulated this weekend by the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois.
Gov. Pritzker has interpreted the regulations so as to prevent existing medical dispensaries that have outgrown their facilities or that face bans on recreational sales within their city or town from relocating without losing their chance to also sell recreational weed, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Gov. Pritzker argues that such an interpretation of the rules is necessary to prevent existing dispensaries from dominating the market at the expense of new licensing candidates to be aided by the state’s programs to guarantee social equity in the recreational cannabis market.
Mexican Catholic Church Opposes Marijuana Legalization
In a statement Sunday, the Mexican Bishops Council of the Catholic Church opposes the regulations being proposed to legalize marijuana nationwide, saying the lower house of the Mexican legislature should modify the bill passed by the Senate last week “to emphasize health and public safety,” according to ABC News .
“The bill that was approved does not address the health damages that arise from an ever increasing use of marijuana, does not address the effects on families due to young people’s consumption of drugs, and does not contribute to reducing and inhibiting exposure to drugs,” the council wrote.
The church said that with the approval of the bill, “public health and welfare are no longer the priority, and cede to the tastes of individuals, even though they may damage others. The demands for irresponsible liberty for a few, are placed above the common good and health.”
Legalization Sharply Reduced Teenage Rehab Admits
Marijuana Moment reports that Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued findings that marijuana rehab admissions for teenagers fell by almost half between 2008 through 2017.
“Consistent with prior research on medical marijuana and adolescent marijuana use, medical legalization status does not appear to correspond to treatment admission trends,” says study, published in the CDC journal GIS Reports. “Notably, however, 7 of 8 states with recreational legalization during the study period fall into the class with the steepest level of admissions decline.”
Nationwide, the average annual admissions rate “declined over the study period by nearly half, from 60 (admissions per 10,000 adolescents) in 2008 to 31 in 2017,” according to the CDC study.
A CDC report published in August found that cannabis use by high school students has fallen in recent years after an earlier increase. Youth lifetime marijuana use “increased during 2009–2013 and then decreased during 2013–2019,” the report found.