NEWS: Bipartisan group of senators and reps call on Trump to remain states’ rights on marijuana; REEFER MADNESS: Responding to Idaho Senator Jim Risch’s opposition to legalization; RANT: Responding to OLCC Dir. Steve Marks lackadaisical attitude about kids getting alcohol easier than marijuana.
A bipartisan group of 54 U.S. senators and House members are joining together with “urgent concern” to ask President Trump to uphold his campaign pledge to respect state marijuana laws. Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidance (known as the “Cole Memorandum”) that has generally allowed states to implement their own cannabis laws without federal intervention. “This action has the potential to unravel efforts to build sensible drug policies that encourage economic development as we are finally moving away from antiquated practices that have hurt disadvantaged communities,” the group of lawmakers, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), wrote to the president on Thursday. “These new policies have instead helped eliminate the black-market sale of marijuana and allowed law enforcement to focus on real threats to public health and safety.”
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission today approved a temporary rule increasing the penalties for marijuana retail licensees that sell marijuana to minors. The rule includes a provision to revoke an individual’s marijuana worker permit if the permittee intentionally sells marijuana to a minor. For a first-time offense of the unintentional sale of marijuana to a minor the penalty increases to a 30-day license suspension or a fine of $4,950. Previously the penalty was a 10-day license suspension or a $1,650 fine. The Commission re-evaluated penalties after reviewing recent compliance reports on minor decoy operations. Those checks showed marijuana retailers to be 81 percent compliant with the law. Meanwhile, the past two years of minor decoy operations for alcohol retailers have showed 79 percent compliance. The penalty for first-time offense for the unintentional sale of alcohol to a minor remains at marijuana’s previous 10-day license suspension and $1,650 fine. In an exclusive interview with The Marijuana Agenda, OLCC Director Steve Marks said comparing marijuana and alcohol carding rates was a “specious comparison,” because there are only roughly 500 marijuana retailers, but “thousands and thousands” of alcohol retail outlets.
A recently introduced bill would allow residents to use oil extracted from cannabis plants in staunchly anti-marijuana Idaho as long as the product is prescribed by a licensed practitioner. Under the proposed legislation, Idahoans seeking to use the oil for medical purposes for themselves or their minor children would have to apply to the Idaho Board of Pharmacy for a cannabidiol registration card. Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD oil, comes from cannabis but contain little or no THC. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter vetoed legislation in 2015 that would have allowed children with severe forms of epilepsy to use CBD oil. Currently, 18 states that don’t otherwise have medical marijuana or legalized marijuana allow use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical reasons in limited situations or as a legal defense. The House Health and Welfare Committee introduced the bill Thursday. It must now pass a full hearing.
Health Canada is reducing the security requirements for federally-licensed medical cannabis cultivators. Health Canada has drawn on four years of experience, and nearly 1000 physical inspections of licensed producers, to determine that the current requirements for physical security under the ACMPR, specifically the requirements that licensed producers maintain a high-security vault for the storage of cannabis products and that areas where cannabis is grown be under constant visual surveillance, do not align with the existing evidence of risks to public health and safety. Since the licensing of the first federally licensed producer in June 2013, Health Canada has not had any cases of diversion of cannabis to the illegal market. Effective immediately, licensed producers will no longer be required to meet the previous vault and storage measures. In addition, licensed producers will no longer be required to maintain 24/7 video surveillance inside the rooms where cannabis is being cultivated, propagated or harvested.
A pilot study suggests that psilocybin, the hallucinogenic ingredient in magic mushrooms, along with psychological support, might produce lasting changes in attitudes and beliefs. Researchers were investigating the effects of psilocybin on nature relatedness and libertarian–authoritarian political perspective in patients with treatment-resistant depression. They found that nature relatedness significantly increased, and authoritarianism significantly decreased for the patients 1 week after the dosing sessions. At 7–12 months post-dosing, nature relatedness remained significantly increased and authoritarianism remained decreased. The study is small, and causality cannot be established, but the researchers believe the possibility of drug-induced changes in belief systems seems sufficiently intriguing and timely to deserve further investigation.