WeedVoice

An online media news aggregator and blog for the cannabis and hemp industry world-wide.

Marijuana's Ten Biggest Victories Of 2018 - Cannabis News

This year was a pivotal one for marijuana.

It began with then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sending waves of uncertainty and fear over the cannabis industry and legalization supporters on January 4, when he formally rescinded Obama-era guidelines protecting state marijuana laws.

But as 2018 went on, even more states ended up changing their laws to allow for legal recreational or medical cannabis use despite the conflict with federal law.

Efforts to end national prohibition in Congress picked up steam as well.

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Rhode Island considers marijuana legalization as New England turns green - Cannabis News

Pot stores are opening in Massachusetts. You can now grow your own in Maine and Vermont. And Connecticut’s new governor says legalizing marijuana will be a priority of his.

When Rhode Island lawmakers return to Smith Hill next month they will find the regional marijuana landscape greening around them.

That reality will influence the strategies both sides of the pot legalization argument employ this time around, they say.

Despite years of hearings and study commissions, the question of legalization has never reached lawmakers for a vote.

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Hemp Legalization Is Officially In The Final Farm Bill - Cannabis News

The 2018 Farm Bill will include a provision to legalize industrial hemp, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the top Republican and Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee confirmed on Thursday.

Lawmakers in the Senate and House Agriculture Committees announced that they’d reached an agreement in principle on the large-scale food and agriculture policy legislation and were in the process of finalizing “legal and report language.”

But while there’s still “more work to do,” it seems that hemp legalization made the cut.

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Kyle Jaeger ~ Marijuanamoment.net ~ 

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Legal weed is now one step closer to reality in New Jersey - Cannabis News

After months of false starts and delays, New Jersey took a big step Monday toward legal weed, with state lawmakers advancing a bill that would legalize the possession and personal use of recreational marijuana.

Committees from both the state Senate and Assembly approved the bill, which now awaits a full vote in the Democrat-controlled state Legislature before it could be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

After nearly four hours of debate in a hearing room packed with about 200 people, the bill cleared the Senate budget committee, 7-4 with two abstentions, and then Assembly budget panel, 7-2, with one abstention.

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Payton Guion ~ NJ Advance Media via NJ.com ~

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On First Day Of Recreational Marijuana Sales In Mass., Rep. Joe Kennedy III Calls For Federal Legalization - Cannabis News

Massachusetts became the first state east of Colorado to start selling recreational pot on Tuesday, and Rep. Joe Kennedy III is calling on the nation to end its “prohibition on marijuana.”

The Congressman wrote an op-ed for The Boston Globe’s “Stat” publication titled “It’s time to legalize marijuana at the federal level.”

He’s calling for the removal of pot from the Controlled Substances Act and for federal legalization.

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Boston.CBSlocal.com ~

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Politics: Marijuana backers plot ambitious campaign - Cannabis News

Advocates of legalizing medical and recreational marijuana are planning a wave of new ballot measures in coming years few years, buoyed by wins scored this year's midterm elections in swing and conservative states.

Supporters say they are likely to field measures in states like Ohio and Arizona in 2020, and potentially in Florida and North Dakota.

They say plans are underway for initiatives to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota.

“2020 provides an opportunity to run medical marijuana and legalization campaigns across the country. Typically, presidential elections offer better turnout and a more supportive electorate,” said Matt Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project. 

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Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Three Medical Marijuana Bills For Veterans - Cannabis News

A bipartisan team of lawmakers plans to introduce a package of bills aimed at reforming marijuana policies at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Wednesday.

Just days after Veterans Day, Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are filing three pieces of legislation that seek to cement the VA’s existing administrative policy of protecting patients who discuss their marijuana history, survey veterans on medical cannabis use and assist in education programs focusing on marijuana treatment at medical universities.

“Our veterans are seeking alternative options to opioids and we should be supporting their desires not to be addicted to painkillers,” Moulton said in a press release. “Let’s not kid ourselves, people are using marijuana—including our veterans.”

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Kyle Jaeger ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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New bills filed for marijuana decriminalization in Texas - Cannabis News

Decriminalization of marijuana in Texas is back on the table as nearly a half dozen bills related to the drug’s use were filed on Monday for the 86th legislative session.

Recreational and most medical uses of marijuana are still prohibited in the state, the exception being low-THC cannabis for qualifying intractable epilepsy patients under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.

Marijuana advocates, who have been pushing for decriminalization and an expansion to the medical program, have gained greater bipartisan support in recent years, said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.

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Ileana Najarro ~ HoustonChronicle.com ~ 

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Mitch McConnell Guarantees Industrial Hemp Legalization - Cannabis News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is guaranteeing that the 2018 Farm Bill will include his industrial hemp legalization provision after the Senate and House reach a compromise -- ideally by the end of the year.

“If there’s a Farm Bill, it’ll be in there, I guarantee that,” he told reporters on Friday.

McConnell said he’s visited several hemp processors over the past few months, and one thing that occurred to him was the international implications of hemp legalization.

Executives based in countries like Australia and major investors have expressed interest in the hemp business, he said, signaling the crop’s immense potential. 

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New attorney general must protect states’ rights on marijuana, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner says - Cannabis News

The next U.S. attorney general is going to have to respect the decision of Colorado and other states to legalize recreational and medical marijuana — at least if Republican Sen. Cory Gardner has his way.

“Whoever comes after him is going to face some pretty tough questions about where they stand on states’ rights and making sure they will stand up for states’ rights,” Gardner told The Denver Post on Thursday.

“I am going to demand that the new attorney general side with the president because the president is right on states’ rights.”

Gardner blocked President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Justice Department for three months in early 2018 after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded something called the Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era policy that outlined a set of rules for states that legalized marijuana to follow if they wanted to avoid federal intervention.

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Weed Wins on Election Day. So What Comes Next? - Cannabis News

The more states that legalize cannabis, the likelier it is that federal prohibition will topple soon.

And so a few more dominoes fall. Michigan voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, while Utah and Missouri legalized it for medical use, according to projections made late Tuesday night.

(A recreational measure in North Dakota failed, though medical cannabis remains legal there.)

They join 31 other states that have already gone the medical route, and nine others that have gone fully recreational.

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With Jeff Sessions Out, The New Attorney General Should Advance Marijuana Policy By Restoring The Cole Memorandum - Cannabis News

There are glimmers of hope now that Sessions has left office. For all of his anti-cannabis bluster, it seems like his former boss doesn’t share his opinion, and that could lead to new legal protections for the industry.

Sessions is out of the Trump Administration, resigning at the president’s request after months of speculation that his tenure would be up shortly after the midterm elections.

Many factors led to this, but it is unlikely that Sessions’s position on cannabis was one of them.

To understand why, let’s review Sessions’s record. 

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Pot proponents claim victory, set sights on national legalization - Cannabis News

Marijuana proponents were elated Tuesday after major cannabis measures passed in Michigan and Missouri and Democrats took control of the House.

The victories — for recreational cannabis in Michigan and medical marijuana in Missouri — have emboldened some leaders in the prohibition reform movement to declare that they'll push for legalization in the House.

"We are going for the jugular on this issue," said Michael Collins, interim director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

Voters in Utah endorsed a measure that would provide access to medical marijuana despite opposition from the powerful Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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GOP strategist on weed: 'This is Middle America embracing this industry' - Cannabis News

“Marijuana is going to win big today, and it’s going to win in a number of places,” GOP Strategist Michael McKeon predicted on Market Movers ahead of the outcome of today’s midterm elections.

There are eight states with marijuana-related initiatives on their ballots: Michigan, North Dakota, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Aside from Florida, all of these states are considered “Middle America.”

“This is not an East Coast issue, this is not a West Coast issue,” McKeon said. “This is Middle America embracing this industry.”

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How The Cannabis Landscape Could Change Post Election - Cannabis News

After the mid-term elections, the nation may look even more cannabis-friendly.

Voters in seven states will weigh in on 36 different cannabis proposals Tuesday, everything from the legalization of medical and recreational use to the definition of hemp to the tax on cannabis sales.

All of these initiatives have the potential to change how cannabis is produced, sold and used.

But there’s more than just those cannabis-specific questions that could change the marijuana landscape after the midterms. 

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Legal marijuana states: Election Day brings pot debate to North Dakota, Utah, Michigan and Missouri voters - Cannabis News

Legal pot is poised to spread further across the country this Election Day, with millions of voters casting ballots that could roll back marijuana prohibition in two states and expand access to medical cannabis in two others.

In North Dakota, voters may approve what would be the nation's most permissive recreational marijuana laws, allowing adults to grow, consume and possess as much pot as they want, without government oversight.

And in Utah, the state's conservative residents are virtually guaranteed to see medical cannabis laws approved thanks to a deal struck between legalization advocates and religious leaders staunchly opposed to even alcohol and caffeine.

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Trevor Hughes ~ USAToday.com ~ 

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Florida Democrats call for state-run bank for medical marijuana industry - Cannabis News

They want the creation of a state-run bank to handle medicinal marijuana money.

It may be legal in Florida, but patients like Gena Lederhandler say it’s still not easy or cheap to get their medicinal marijuana prescriptions filled.

The reason: the payment method. "You have to have cash,” said Lederhandler.

"It's not just the cash to buy the items, it's the cash to obtain the Florida green card and to keep up with having the Florida green card." 

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The Politics of Pot: How Elections Will Play Into Weed Laws - Cannabis News

Entrepreneurs and investors who are flocking to the industry say legalization is inevitable in the U.S. But while more than 60 percent of Americans support making pot legal, the politics remain fraught.

When it comes to cannabis, Canada is nice but the U.S. would be a lot better.

In the aftermath of pot legalization north of the border, attention has turned to the world’s largest economy and the potential for a U.S. marijuana market that could be worth $75 billion by 2030, according to an estimate from Cowen & Co.

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Craig Giammona ~ Bloomberg.com ~ 

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Marijuana Campaign Ads Are Flooding Airwaves Ahead Of The Election - Cannabis News

Campaigns supporting and opposing marijuana ballot measures are filling up airwaves and social media feeds with political advertisements in the run-up to the midterm elections.

From Utah to Michigan, battles to convince the electorate via video advertisements to vote one way or the other on cannabis-related initiatives are heating up.

Here’s a roundup of ads you can find on TV and the internet as competing camps work to get out the vote in the four states with recreational or medical legalization up for consideration on Election Day.

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Kyle Jaeger ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~

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Another Big Election Year For Marijuana As Candidates Recognize Voters Want Legal Weed - Cannabis News

The lucrative legal cannabis industry is again front and center this voting year as Americans head to the polls for midterm elections November 6.

Ballots across the U.S. will include numerous cannabis-related measures — many at the county and municipal level — regarding laws for commercial cultivation in certain zones and how to spend abundant new cannabis taxes.

In Colorado alone, legal cannabis revenues for 2018 crested a record $1 billion by August.

The state is forecasting to gross over $1.5 billion by end of year, meaning more than $250 million into government coffers.

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Marijuana Ballot Measures Could Drive Democratic Voters, But Candidates Aren’t Running On It - Cannabis News

Four states will vote on ballot initiatives to decriminalize pot.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ memo in January urging state officials to enforce federal marijuana laws has not stalled momentum toward decriminalization across the country.

Four states will vote on pot proposals in November.

For years, the Democratic Party has hoped marijuana ballot initiatives will motivate their voters to turn out. 

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The Five Best U.S. Senators On Marijuana Policy - Cannabis News

There are far more than five cannabis champions in the Senate, with multiple strong champions on both sides of the aisle.

With the 2018 election almost upon us, I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about why Congress has never passed a bill legalizing marijuana.

Despite overwhelming public support for both medical marijuana and regulating it like alcohol, our government has been incredibly slow to turn that into policy. 

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Kris Krane ~ Forbes.com ~

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North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Measure Winning In Latest Poll - Cannabis News

North Dakota voters appear poised to legalize marijuana via a ballot measure next month, according to a new poll.

Measure 3, which would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over in one of the country’s most conservative states—and with no possession limits—is ahead among likely voters by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent in the survey released on Sunday.

North Dakota has brought marijuana policy reform supporters pleasant surprises before.

Medical cannabis was approved there by an overwhelming majority of voters in 2016, for example, and will be available to patients sometime in 2019.

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These four states will vote on marijuana in the midterms - Cannabis News

Supporters of marijuana legalization will get four chances across the country in November to add to the expanding map of states where the drug is legal for recreational and medical use.

Michigan and North Dakota have measures on the ballot to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use.

In Missouri, there are three initiatives on the ballot to legalize marijuana for medical use, and voters in Utah will also vote on medical marijuana.

The ballot initiatives come as the push to legalize marijuana in a variety of states has picked up steam over the past year.

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Congressman: If Missouri legalizes medical marijuana, 'the tide changes nationally' - Cannabis News

"It has been voters who have decided that they want to end this failed prohibition, and it's starting to come to a crest."

Is it time for medical marijuana in Missouri? As residents prepare to vote on the issue in less than a month, supporters are making a big push to get the measure passed — but others are still skeptical.

Supporters of medical marijuana are holding a rally and concert this weekend in Kansas City. U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who travels across the country advocating for medical marijuana, will be the guest speaker at the rally.

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Christa Dubill ~ KSHB.com ~ 

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Congressman Issues 'Blueprint To Legalize Marijuana' For Democratic House In 2019 - Cannabis News

A key Democratic congressman has a step-by-step plan to enact the end of federal marijuana prohibition in 2019 if his party takes control of the House, and he's laying it all out in a new memo.

"Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) writes in the eight-page document addressed to House Democratic Leadership.

"We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November. There’s no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way." 

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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Marijuana and the Mid-Terms: A new opportunity for cannabis legalization in some key Midwestern states - Cannabis News

The momentum for cannabis reform in the U.S., which has had landmark political success beginning in 2012, appears to be gaining speed ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Voters in Michigan and North Dakota will be deciding on the legalization of adult-use, recreational cannabis in November while Utah and Missouri voters will look at several medical marijuana measures.

Several municipalities in Ohio, meanwhile, are considering cannabis decriminalization.

And residents of at least 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin will vote on a wide range of cannabis issues. 

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Oklahoma gets 600 medical marijuana dispensary applications - Cannabis News

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has received nearly 7,330 license applications for patients and 600 applications for dispensaries, signaling the potential start of a competitive marketplace with light regulations.

Oklahoma's ratio of medical marijuana patients to dispensaries would be about 12 to 1 if each business had its application approved and managed to open, according to the state statistics released Monday.

Industry leaders disagree about whether the business landscape would be sustainable in the long run, the Tulsa World reported.

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Associated Press via TheState.com ~ 

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About six-in-ten Americans support marijuana legalization - Cannabis News

About six-in-ten Americans (62%) say the use of marijuana should be legalized, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The share of U.S. adults who support marijuana legalization is little changed from about a year ago – when 61% favored it – but it is double what it was in 2000 (31%).

As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization. 

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Hannah Hartig and Abigail Geiger ~ PewResearch.org ~ 

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Marijuana: The latest battlefield between left and right in Idaho - Cannabis News

As more states legalize marijuana, whether to change Idaho's laws has been coming up more often in political debate and has become more prominent among the issues that divide the state's politicians and voters by party and ideology.

While Democratic gubernatorial candidates A.J. Balukoff and Paulette Jordan agreed on most issues, Jordan staked out a position to Balukoff's left on marijuana.

She supports medical marijuana and has said she favors decriminalizing marijuana possession and would support full legalization if the people back it by popular vote.

Jordan won the primary, and the Idaho Democratic Party amended its platform at its convention in June to call for legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana use.

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Senator: White House drug office vows objective pot study - Cannabis News

A White House drug office official has offered assurances that a marijuana policy panel will be objective and dispassionate as it examines the impact of legalization in some states, a Colorado senator said.

The vow came after BuzzFeed reported in August that the panel intended to portray marijuana as a national threat and criticize state efforts to legalize it drug.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet disclosed the assurances Monday after he asked the Executive Office of the President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy to respond to the report.

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Paul Elias ~ Associated Press ~ 

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Where Missouri’s US Senate Candidates Stand On Marijuana - Cannabis News

Missouri is proving to be one of the most consequential battlegrounds in Democrats’ fight to regain control of the U.S. Senate, with polls showing Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley in a dead heat.

But when voters hit the polls in November, they won’t just be selecting a candidate.

Three separate competing medical marijuana initiatives will also appear on the ballot, which begs the question: where do McCaskill and Hawley stand on the issue? 

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Kyle Jaeger ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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Rick Steves to campaign for marijuana legalization in Michigan - Cannabis News

Instead of doling out tips on Italian gelato or showing off the oldest tower in Ireland's oldest city, travel guru Rick Steves will be in Michigan campaigning for recreational marijuana legalization.

Steves, who is from the state of Washington, is a marijuana policy reform advocate and said he's traveling to Michigan on his own dime.

Steves will be in Grand Rapids Tuesday, Oct. 2, and will be in Ann Arbor Wednesday, Oct. 3.

The events are being promoted by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a group of marijuana lawyers, drug policy reform groups and the ACLU.

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California: Cannabis Equity Act will reverse some damaging impacts caused by prohibition - Cannabis News

The Cannabis Equity Act, Senate Bill 1294, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, Wednesday, groundbreaking legislation that aims to reverse some of the damaging impacts cannabis prohibition has had on individuals from disadvantaged communities.

Authored by Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, the bill is the first social equity cannabis measure in the U.S. Sen. Steven Bradford.

“The signing of SB 1294 recognizes the failed efforts of the war on drugs,” said Bradford. “But more importantly, it highlights the disproportionate devastation cannabis criminalization has had on communities and helps address the harms by reducing barriers to licensure and increasing opportunities for employment."

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ComptonHerald.org ~ 

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The 5 Best U.S. House Reps On Marijuana Policy - Cannabis News

With the midterm elections on the horizon, it’s a good time to spotlight those who have taken the most notable positions on marijuana policy, both positive and negative.

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: “If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con,’ then what’s the opposite of ‘progress?’” Of course, the answer is Congress!

It’s an institution that Americans love to hate, with its approval rating (currently at 17%) famously being lower than approval for traffic jams or Nickelback.

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Kris Krane ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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Here Are Preliminary Polling Results for Every Marijuana Ballot Initiative This November - Cannabis News

In a little over a month, Americans will head to the voting booths to vote in a very important midterm election that will have major impact on control of Congress and the Donald Trump presidency.

But there are also some very important marijuana initiatives being voted on as well, and the polls are definitely looking good.

Marijuana Business Daily put together all the available polling data to see how likely all the marijuana ballot initiatives are likely to pass this November. Here were the results.

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Joseph Misulonas ~ Civilized.Life ~

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Election 2018: A Complete Guide to Cannabis on the Ballot - Cannabis News

Cannabis legalization goes before the voters in a number of states on Nov. 6.

This year’s highlights: Michigan and North Dakota will decide statewide measures on the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

Utah and Missouri will consider medical marijuana legalization initiatives.

Other states will consider smaller reforms or advisory measures, including Ohio and Wisconsin.

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Minnesota: Recreational Marijuana Creates Buzz on Campaign Trail for Governor - Cannabis News

Medical marijuana is legal in Minnesota, but allowing recreational marijuana use for adults is an issue the candidates have been talking about on the campaign trail for Minnesota governor.

A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll conducted earlier this month found 56 percent of registered voters said they would support legalization of recreational marijuana for residents over 21-years-old, while 35 percent said no, and 10 percent were not sure.

"I trust adults to make their own decisions," said Tim Walz, DFL Candidate for Governor. Walz once called it “Pot for Potholes” at a previous candidate forum.

Walz supported medical marijuana and feels the state could legalize recreational use and tax the product.

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Feds Would Compile Tips For Growing Marijuana Under Proposal Advancing In Congress - Cannabis News

“If this bill moves forward, I hope NIDA, DEA and FDA will seek significant input from experienced cannabis growers as they develop standards for good manufacturing practices.”

A key congressional committee approved a bill last week that would require the Department of Justice to issue more licenses for people to grow marijuana for research.

But lost in the excitement about the historic vote, a little-noticed amendment got attached to the legislation that would have additional surprising impacts for cannabis policy.

The provision directs federal agencies to compile a list of “good manufacturing practices for growing and producing marijuana.”

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein Signs Onto Marijuana Bill After Decades Of Drug War Advocacy - Cannabis News

A bill that would amend federal law to give states the autonomy to set their own marijuana policies gained a tenth cosponsor last week, and a somewhat surprising one at that.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has long been one of Congress’s most vocal opponents of legalizing cannabis.

But now she’s backing legislation to end federal prohibition so that states like hers can implement legalization without interference.

The bill, nicknamed the STATES Act, was introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) in June.

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Marijuana Bill Approved By Congressional Committee, Despite Drug Conviction Restriction Dispute - Cannabis News

A powerful U.S. House panel that oversees federal drug enforcement efforts approved a bill on Thursday to require the Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to begin issuing more licenses to grow marijuana for research.

Prior to the vote, a bitter dispute broke out over a provision of the legislation that prevents anyone with a “conviction for a felony or drug-related misdemeanor” from being affiliated with cannabis research cultivation operations.

“There is no legitimate health or public safety justification for the inclusion of this language and we urge you to strike this unnecessary, punitive ban on individuals with previous drug law violations,” reads a letter sent to the committee's leaders on Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, #cut50, the Drug Policy Alliance and other groups. 

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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Marijuana In Texas: Where Ted Cruz And Beto O’Rourke Stand On Legalization - Cannabis News

When Texas voters hit the polls in November, they’ll face a choice between two U.S. Senate candidates who have significantly divergent views on marijuana and are facing off in one of the nation’s most-watched races, the result of which could determine whether Democrats or Republicans end up controlling Congress’s upper chamber.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) is taking on incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is running for a second term.

Polling reveals a surprisingly tight race—with O’Rourke behind by about four points on average—and while marijuana isn’t exactly center stage for either campaign, it’s clear how the candidates differ on the issue. 

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Kyle Jaeger ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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Vets' medical marijuana debate revived - Cannabis News

Medical marijuana for veterans is having another moment on Capitol Hill.

As lawmakers work to wrap-up their pre-election work in the next three weeks, they’re also considering a host of proposals that could have wide-ranging effects on veterans' ability to access cannabis for a host of ailments.

Among the ideas are broadening research into the medicinal effects of cannabis, allowing veterans to discuss use of marijuana with Veterans Affairs physicians, and new legislation introduced this week which would essentially decriminalize the drug for veterans across the country. 

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Leo Shane III ~ MilitaryTimes.com ~ 

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Missouri Will Vote on Medical Marijuana This November - Cannabis News

All three ballot measures would legalize, regulate and tax medical cannabis, with some key differences.

On November 6, Missouri voters won’t just have a choice between prohibition and legal medical cannabis — they’ll get to choose among three different legalization measures, each of which takes its own approach toward a regulated and taxed cannabis industry.

All three bills received certification from the Secretary of State’s office last week. Now, they’ll have to survive one more week of a 10-day interval in which those opposed can legally challenge the bills.

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Adam Drury ~ HighTimes.com ~ 

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These 4 Red-Leaning States Have Big Marijuana Decisions to Make This November - Cannabis News

Two will vote on marijuana legalization; two on medical marijuana.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana since 2012, but all of those states have been in the West or the Northeast.

This year, with marijuana legalization on the ballot in Michigan as well as North Dakota, legal weed could make a heartland breakthrough.

Similarly, medical marijuana’s rise to acceptance continues, and this year, Missouri and Utah look set to join the ranks.

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Marijuana referendum questions go to voters Nov. 6 in 16 Wisconsin counties, two cities - Cannabis News

When voters in 16 Wisconsin counties and two cities go to the polls Nov. 6 they will join a nationwide debate by marking their ballots for or against legalizing marijuana use either for medical reasons or personal recreation.

The advisory referendum questions are scattered on local ballots throughout the state, from Milwaukee and Dane to La Crosse and Langlade counties and the cities of Waukesha and Racine.

All were approved by county boards or city councils.

Supportive officials and marijuana legalization activists say the referendums will provide a measure of public opinion that can be shared with the state Legislature, and possibly spur new laws relaxing or eliminating current prohibitions on pot.

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Warren: If Democrats take Senate, they'll vote on marijuana bill - Cannabis News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) said she is confident that Democrats would vote on a marijuana bill that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference should they retake the Senate in November.

"I feel confident that if the Democrats recapture the Senate we’ll get a vote on this, and the vote will carry," Warren said in an interview with Rolling Stone of the bipartisan bill, which Warren co-sponsored.

"I think we’ve got the votes for this." Warren said she has been pushing Republicans to convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to relax his hard-line stance against the federal ban on marijuana.

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Emily Birnbaum ~ TheHill.com ~ 

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Connecticut Legislature: Medical marijuana approved for migraines and more - Cannabis News

Patients with migraines, rheumatoid arthritis and muscular dystrophy soon will be able to treat their ailments with medical marijuana in Connecticut.

The Legislature’s Regulation Review Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to expand the approved uses of medical marijuana for palliative care.

The state anticipates a “relatively significant increase” of patients joining the medical marijuana program as a result of these new uses, said Lora Rae Anderson, spokesman for the Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program.

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Emilie Munson ~ CTPost.com ~

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With billions in marijuana cash unbanked, Pa. leads an appeal to Congress for protections - Cannabis News

Currently about 70 percent of all American "plant touching" marijuana businesses — growers and dispensaries — reportedly lack bank accounts.

With millions of dollars in medical marjuana proceeds — all cash — being moved across Pennsylvania monthly in unmarked cars, state banking regulators have appealed to leaders in the U.S. Congress to create protections for financial institutions so that banks and credit unions might serve the state cannabis industry.

The Wolf Administration on Friday sent a letter making the request to Congress' top leaders: U.S. Reps. Paul Ryan, R.-Wis., and Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca. and U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

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Sam Wood ~ Philly.com ~

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Pot for the People: New Bill Would Allow Federal Employees to Access Weed - Cannabis News

As federal agencies actively recruit veterans, a new bill would allow government employees to legally get the treatment that is proving helpful for PTSD and pain management: marijuana.

After losing his legs fighting with his Marine Corps unit in Afghanistan in 2010, Paul was put on a steady regimen of OxyContin, a potent, highly addictive and, back then, heavily prescribed opiate.

After years of intense rehab — as soon as he was physically, mentally and emotionally strong enough — he weaned himself off a daily pharmaceutical cocktail (which also included Ambien, Methadone, Seroquel, etc.) in part by replacing those concentrated chemical compounds with consuming marijuana four to five times a week.

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Matt Laslo ~ RollingStone.com ~ 

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