Welcome to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we take a look at the Department of Justice’s action (or lack of action) on cannabis. In other news of inaction, the Supreme Court won’t take up a medical marijuana case. As for the states, we see that Maryland is working on rules for a possible cannabis market. Meanwhile, in Texas, the state’s Republican party has strongly opposed such action. And finally, election season has brought us “pothole pot”.
We all know cannabis is federally illegal. We also know that the Department of Justice has not focused on enforcement in states where cannabis is legal. Different jurisdictions have taken different positions on the clarity of this “hands-off” approach. The Obama administration made it official with the Cole Memorandum; the trump administration canceled this direction. So where does the Biden administration stand? Attorney General Merrick Garland said recently that he did not view the prosecution of low-level, non-violent marijuana-related offenses as the best use of the agency’s time, regardless of state law. He also promised that the ministry would resolve the issue “in the coming days”.
The Supreme Court of the United States decreases to hear two cases regarding reimbursement for medical marijuana treatment. The Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled that the Controlled Substances Act prevails over state law on the matter. SCOTUS’ decision not to hear the cases means the decision will remain the law of the land (of 10,000 lakes).
In November, voters in Maryland will decide whether adult-use marijuana will be legal in the state. State lawmakers, assuming the answer will be “yes”, started gather industry information. The Maryland House Cannabis Legalization and Referendum Task Force caught up with John Hudak, senior researcher and cannabis policy expert at the Brookings Institution. They asked about tax rates and application fees, among other things.
The Texas Republican Party met recently to vote on their party’s platform. Cannabis/marijuana was mentioned in the document. The party supports moving cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II at the federal level. He also opposed the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
Speaking of elections, not all Republicans agree with the anti-legalization stance in Texas. CW Gardner, a GOP Senate candidate from Missouri, has a new a d who advocates federal legalization. He would like to take some of the tax revenue to fix America’s roads. Because no matter where you are on the pot, nobody likes potholes.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!
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