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MORE Act Faces Final Committee Hearing Before House Vote
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern announced on Wednesday the last hearing for the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, & Expungement Act before receiving a full House vote.
The MORE Act has now been closed to new amendments by a committee voice vote, defeating Republican efforts to diminish the bill, according to Marijuana Moment.
Floor debate on the MORE Act is expected to begin in the House later today.
DEA Asks Court to Reject Fourth Lawsuit over Marijuana Scheduling
The Drug Enforcement Administration is asking U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reject a lawsuit filed in May challenging the placement of cannabis in Schedule I, which denies cannabis’s medicinal use in the United States and declares it a drug to be so dangerous it must be federally prohibited.
Marijuana Moment reports that the DEA is claiming the petitioners lack standing to bring the suit and that it addresses a 2020 rescheduling petition that was already correctly decided. Similar lawsuits brought by NORML were also rejected in 1992 and 2016.
Attorneys for the petitioners reacted positively to the DEA’s claims, noting that their arguments largely resemble arguments the court has already rejected.
New Jersey Lawmakers Want Voters to Approve Marijuana Reparations
Heeding the calls of social justice advocates, lawmakers in the Garden State are looking to place another marijuana initiative before New Jersey voters, this time to direct proceeds from legalized marijuana to benefit communities of color devastated by the War on Drugs.
In statement shared by Marijuana Moment, Senate President Steve Sweeney and three other Democratic lawmakers unveiled the proposal for a constitutional amendment that would allocate 70 percent of all state marijuana sales tax revenue and 100 percent of excise fees to social justice programs to certain minority communities.
And in a move to ease passage, Senate lawmakers also removed a recent amendment to marijuana legislation that would have reduced the penalties for possession of psychedelic mushrooms. However, on Monday Assemblyman James Kennedy introduced a new bill containing similar sentencing reforms on psychedelic mushrooms, NJ.com reported.
Michigan’s Legal Marijuana Industry Celebrates One Year Anniversary
John Sinclair, the 1970s activist who was sentenced to ten years in prison for two joints, inspiring the song “Ten For Two” and prompting a benefit concert by former Beatle John Lennon, was the first person to purchase legal cannabis in his home state of Michigan one year ago Tuesday.
Since then, the Great Lakes State has racked up nearly a half-billion dollars in marijuana sales. Retailers recently report sales exceeding $13 million per week. Estimates for next year’s sales are expected to top one billion dollars.
Marijuana Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo told Michigan Live that the state has earned over $74 million in tax revenue from those sales from over 450 licensed retailers. As of July, recreational marijuana sales are outperforming medical marijuana sales.
Those retailers include Indian tribes like the Ojibwe, whose shops are not subject to the state’s 6% sales and 10% excise tax. That translates to “much lower prices,” the tribe said.
San Francisco Bans Indoor Tobacco—But Not Marijuana—Smoking
In a 10–1 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors extended a ban on tobacco smoking in common areas of apartment complexes to include the inside of the apartments themselves, but did not ban the smoking of marijuana, CNN reports.
The ordinance was drafted with the goal of protecting apartment residents from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Apartment residents caught smoking tobacco will face a $1,000 fine.
The board will hear a second reading next week, before the ordinance goes to Mayor London Breed’s desk. If she signs it, the law will go into effect 30 days later.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use & Health, an estimated 12.9% of California adults, or roughly 3.8 million Californians, smoke cigarettes on a monthly basis.