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July 26, 2018
Sessions Says States Are Free To Legalize Marijuana, But DOJ Can Enforce Federal Law

States are free to legalize #marijuana U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday, but his department plans to continue enforcing federal prohibition anyway.

“Personally my view is that the American republic will not be better if there are marijuana sales on every street corner,” Sessions said in response to a reporter’s question. “But states have a right to set their own laws and will do so.”

Sessions, speaking at a press conference in Boston about unrelated fraud prosecutions, said that when it comes to marijuana, “we’ll enforce the federal law.”
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July 18, 2018
Congress Must Catch Up To Voters On #Marijuana Issue

It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the federal prohibition on marijuana will end in this country.

►Poll after poll has shown that legalization of marijuana is an issue on which voters of all stripes agree, with progress being made every day around the country.

A change to our outdated #cannabis laws is long overdue. Politicians who view this issue as “taboo” or dismiss it as “reefer madness” do so at their peril. Voters are motivated on this issue.

►Candidates should be encouraged to fully embrace marijuana policy reform. Otherwise, according to recent surveys, voters say they are likely to come out to the polls this fall and in future elections to hold their representatives accountable, on this particular issue.
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June 21, 2018
Senators Vote To Block Marijuana Banking Amendment

A powerful U.S. Senate panel has moved to block an amendment to let marijuana businesses store their profits in banks.

In a 21 – 10 vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee table an amendment on Thursday that would have shielded financial institutions that open accounts for #cannabis businesses that are complying with state laws from being punished by federal regulatory authorities.

Current policy, which forces many #marijuana businesses to operate on an all-cash basis, is "a big problem because it's great for organized crime, it's great for money laundering, it's great for theft and larceny, it's great for cheating on taxes, it's great for cheating on your payroll," Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the sponsor of the measure, said in a brief debate before the vote. "We're really facilitating crime by not enabling the banking industry to provide basic services."

#banking #politics #cannabiz
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June 8, 2018
Trump Says He Is Likely To Support Ending Blanket Federal Ban On Marijuana

►The Senate proposal, and a companion bipartisan measure in the House, would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that its marijuana provisions do not apply to any person or business that is in compliance with state laws.

►To put bankers at ease, it specifies that such #marijuana sales would not be considered trafficking and do not amount to illegal financial transactions.
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May 24, 2018
Here’s What The DEA Told Agents About Cannabis Enforcement This Week

However, the directive went on to assert the continuing validity of an earlier Federal Register notice that claimed #cannabis extracts—including products that “contain only one cannabinoid” such as #cannabidiol #CBD —fall under Schedule I and are thus banned.
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May 22, 2018
Bill On Trump’s Desk Would Allow Marijuana (And Maybe MDMA) For Some Patients

Seriously ill patients would finally be allowed to use #marijuana — and potentially MDMA and psilocybin — without violating federal law under a congressionally approved bill now heading to President Trump’s desk.

The bill, know as the “Right to Try Act” would give certain patients access to drugs that have not yet received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for broad use.

►The House voted 250 – 169 to pass the legislation on Tuesday, and it cleared the Senate by unanimous consent last August.

In order to qualify under the new program, a drug must have completed a phase 1 clinical trial, be under active development, and meet certain other criteria:
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March 17, 2018
Congressional Committee Protects Medical Marijuana From Jeff Sessions

►Recent poll showed 92% of Americans support #medicalmarijuana

Historically, the measure has been approved on the House floor but, because Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) has effectively blocked floor votes on #cannabis amendments for the last several years -- most recently on Wednesday when his panel prevented three #hemp measures from advancing -- supporters haven't gotten a chance to bring the #medicalmarijuana measure before the full chamber since 2015, when it passed by a margin of 242-186.

Since then, the provision has been extended, mostly by default, through large-scale omnibus bills or short-term continuing resolutions that have largely kept federal spending policy riders frozen in place for the last few budget cycles.

But legalization supporters circumvented their Pete Sessions problem on Thursday by inserting the #marijuana language into the funding bill at the earlier Appropriations panel stage, a move they previously haven't risked because members of Congress are seen as more likely to avoid bucking party leadership at the committee level when bills are being crafted.
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May 14, 2018
State Marijuana Laws Dodge Supreme Court Bullet

A ruling in a U.S. Supreme Court case about sports gambling on Monday has positive implications for marijuana legalization.

► The case, Murphy v. NCAA, centered on whether the Constitution’s anti-commandeering doctrine prevents the federal government from forcing states to keep prohibitions of certain federally banned activities on their own law books.

The Supreme Court voted 7-2 on Monday to overturn the federal gambling prohibition.

If the justices had ruled the other way, state marijuana laws could have been in greater jeopardy of federal intervention.

► If the Court had ruled to uphold the gambling prohibition, it wouldn’t have automatically invalidated state #cannabis laws. But Congress would have been empowered to pass a new law, broader than the current Controlled Substances Act (CSA), that required states to keep their own #marijuana bans in effect.

“The CSA (Controlled Substance Act) stands, but so do state legalization laws. Congress can’t prohibit those laws, force the states to repeal them or force the states to go back to prohibition. Almost everyone who’d thought carefully about these issues knew it was so, but it’s nice to see it recognized by a 7-2 Supreme Court.” ~Sam Kamin, serving as the Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law
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April 26, 2018
Sessions: States Can Make ‘Own Decision’ About Marijuana, But Remain At Risk

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing questions from lawmakers about marijuana for his second day in a row of appearances on Capitol Hill, but he remains unwilling to give states a signal that they will be allowed to implement legalization without federal interference. — “Let’s be frank. What they’d like is a statement that they’ve been provided a safe harbor. I don’t believe I can give that,” he said. “They’ll just have to look and make their own decision about how they conduct a #marijuana enterprise.”
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Rep. Earl Blumenauer delivers the Cannabis State of the Union 2018

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the next Congress will accelerate our progress to reform cannabis laws on the national level. — There’s no doubt in my mind that the next Congress will accelerate our progress to reform cannabis laws on the national level. If Republican leadership would allow our legislation to be fully and fairly debated in the House and Senate, it will happen even sooner. Because of the work of advocates and the strong support of voters, progress is inevitable – and the 2018 election will prove it. The winner of the next presidential election will be a candidate who embraces our cause to finish the job of ending the failed federal prohibition of marijuana." ~Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat Representing Oregon's 3rd Congressional District

See article for full statement:
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