This Week’s Marijuana News Round-Up: DOJ “Evaluating” Marijuana Policy;Governors from 4 Marijuana States Ask To Be Left Alone; CA Governor Rejects Anti-Competitive Marijuana Rules; Marijuana Lifer Michael Pelletier Speaks Out: Laws Change While Lives Are Ruined; Godfather of Grass Deported from Canada to Face US Marijuana Charges; Can You Deduct Alternative Medicines on Your Taxes?;California Could Become Marijuana Sanctuary State; and more.
Medical/Health Marijuana News
Marijuana Use Up, Beer Sales Down — Registered Nurse Lanny Swerdlow explores the connection between rising marijuana consumption and decreased beer sales.
Legal/Political Marijuana News
DOJ “Evaluating” Marijuana Policy — Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday announced the Justice Department has begun reevaluating federal policy on marijuana, according to a memo his office sent to the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices. The project will be handled by subcommittees of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which Sessions formed to look at a variety of issues, including “developing violent crime reduction strategies, supporting prevention and re-entry efforts, updating charging and sentencing policies, reviewing asset forfeiture guidance, reducing illegal immigration and human trafficking, combatting hate crimes, and evaluating marijuana enforcement policy.
Governors from 4 Marijuana States Ask To Be Left Alone — Governors from the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana are asking the Trump administration to let the pot experiments continue.The governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington say that marijuana legalization has expanded their economies. The governors also say in Monday’s letter that legal weed can be regulated to protect public safety and that legalization reduces “inequitable incarceration,” or people of color being disproportionately jailed for pot crimes.
Godfather of Grass Deported from Canada to Face US Marijuana Charges — A 73-year old man known as the Godfather of Grass, who escaped the grasp of U.S. federal agents almost a decade ago, was deported from Canada on Wednesday and was being held in a Vermont prison pending his return to Kentucky to face marijuana charges.
Marijuana Lifer Michael Pelletier Speaks Out: Laws Change While Lives Are Ruined — The way Michael Pelletier sees it, any given legal dispensary handles more cannabis than he sold in his entire life – and he’s the one serving life without parole. The 61-year-old – who started using cannabis at age 14 after a farming accident put him in a wheelchair for life – was incarcerated in 2004 on charges of conspiring to import and distribute marijuana.
Can You Deduct Alternative Medicines on Your Taxes? — When it comes to health care costs, understanding tax-savvy ways to cover your medical bills is already pretty perplexing. But tax strategy gets even hazier when you throw alternative medications such as acupuncture, chiropractic services and medical marijuana into the mix. Which off-the-beaten-path medical treatments are tax-deductible? Here’s what to know about deducting unconventional medical treatments from your tax return.
Marijuana News State by State
California Could Become Marijuana Sanctuary State — A bill introduced in the California Legislature calls for applying sanctuary city rules to federal marijuana enforcement efforts. Assembly Bill 1578 would bar state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal crackdowns on legal marijuana growers and sellers in California. The bill is modeled after sanctuary city rules that shield illegal immigrants from federal agents.
CA Governor Rejects Anti-Competitive Marijuana Rules — On Tuesday night California Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled proposed legislation aimed at reconciling Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized cannabis for recreational use in that state, with the medical marijuana regulations that state legislators approved in 2015. The bill generally favors the more liberal rules of Proposition 64, a.k.a. the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), over the more restrictive provisions of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), which is good news for entrepreneurs and consumers.
Legislator’s Proposal Would Protect Nevada Medical Marijuana — With recreational cannabis sales expected this year, one Nevada lawmaker wants to ensure the survival of the state’s medical marijuana program. Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, on Wednesday introduced a bill that would make a litany of changes to the state’s program. Obtaining a medical marijuana card would be easier for patients under Assembly Bill 422, and those cards would last two years instead of the current one-year lengths. Patients would still need a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis, but the $100 in fees needed to renew the card would be removed and patients would no longer have to go through the state’s registration portal to apply for the card. “We should no longer require these patients to jump through unnecessary hoops,” said Nevada Dispensary Association Executive Director Riana Durrett, who helped introduce the bill.
Marijuana Entertainment News
Marijuana Minstrel David Peel Passes Away — New York’s most famous street musician, David Peel, passed away today at 12:30 pm. He was 73. Peel suffered a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest on Mar. 31. He was being treated in the ICU unit at the VA Hospital in Manhattan. Friends gathered to pay respects to the singer, who lit up the Lower East Side with his humorous protest tunes since the late-’60s.