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Headlines: Schumer Introduces Federal Marijuana Descheduling

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Headlines: Schumer Introduces Federal Marijuana Descheduling

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The highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate has had a change of heart of the issue of marijuana legalization. [SCHUMER CLIP: “I’ll be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana.”] In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York explained his newfound support for ending federal prohibition as a matter of racial justice. [SCHUMER CLIP: “It affects communities of color disproportionately and unfairly. And ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. Freedom.”] Schumer dismissed analysis that his bill is a cynical ploy designed to attract young voters to the Democratic Party for the 2018 election. Schumer’s announcement follows former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner last week calling f or the federal reform Schumer is proposing. [BOEHNER CLIP: “And I think descheduling this drug, allowing for the research, would be very helpful to the American people.”]

Some Republicans in Michigan are considering legalizing marijuana to thwart a citizen’s legalization initiative they fear would drive Democratic turnout. “I think everybody in this chamber has thought about that strategy,” said Republican State Sen. Mike Shirkey to The Detroit News. Roughly 365,000 signatures have been turned in for a marijuana legalization petition drafted by the Marijuana Policy Project, the organization behind four of five state legalization drives in 2016. “There’s no doubt this will spur younger voter turnout,” said GOP pollster Steve Mitchell, “and the more young voters you get  out, the better it is for Democrats.”

Tokers hoping to enjoy now-legal marijuana at the 4/20 HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup in Southern California are out of luck. NBC News reports that San Bernardino city council voted unanimously to deny a permit to the three-day festival if any cannabis was allowed onsite. HIGH TIMES has held an event there every year since 2013, as a substitute venue when Los Angeles officials nixed the event. San Bernardino also became a substitute venue when Denver canceled its 2016 event. Prior to legalization, the event allowed cannabis consumption only for medical cardholders. One of these so-called “Medical Cannabis Cups” was held in Seattle in 2013 and was proposed for Portland in 2014, until regulations mandated by legalization made them all but impossible to produce there.

Police in one New Jersey town are clamping down on marijuana for the 4/20 holiday, while in another town, an officer is charged with helping supply drugs to eager buyers. In Winslow Township, New Jersey, police executed a search warrant on a suspected marijuana dealer that netted five pounds of marijuana and over $21,000. Township police used their Facebook page to mock pot smokers, stating, “For those people that were going to purchase their ‘04/20’ supplies… sorry but you will have to make other arrangements,” concluding with the hashtag “#sorrynotsorryforruiningyour04/20.” Meanwhile, in Paterson, New Jersey, a city police officer is facing federal charges of selling heroin, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana on multiple occasions, including once from within his police car.

Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected the summary of a proposed initiative petition to legalize marijuana. DeWine’s analysis of the summary concludes that it fails to accurately describe the initiative text in three ways: it falsely claims the General Assembly regulates marijuana commerce under the Act; it fails to mention that commerce is only legal in precincts that approve the initiative; and it doesn’t list the requirement that lawmakers enact marijuana regulations within 240 days of the initiative’s effective date. “For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” DeWine, a GOP candidate for governor, stated in his letter. “However, I must caution that this letter is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”

Bleacher Report gathered together athletes from various professional sports to discuss their use of marijuana during their careers. [BLEACHER REPORT CLIP: This is Al Harrington… I’m John Moffat… This is Matt Barnes… Hi, I’m Shawn Smith… This is Kenyon Martin… I’m Ricky Williams… This is Gary Payton… I’m Eben Britton… This is Cutino Mobley… I’m Ryan Clady… I’m Bo Scaife… It’s 4/20… And I use cannabis… And I use cannabis…] The athletes all described how they used marijuana before games and found it to be beneficial to their playing abilities, mental focus, and physical recovery.

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