Michigan Becomes First State in Midwest to Legalize Marijuana, As Missouri Approves Medical Marijuana and Florida Restores Felony Voting Rights


This Election Day showed the burgeoning political clout of the drug policy reform movement, with the results expected to accelerate efforts to legalize marijuana and to end the broader war on drugs in states across the U.S., at the federal level, and internationally.

Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, a ballot initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21 and over, making it the 10th U.S. state to legalize marijuana – and the first in the Midwest. Missouri also became the 32nd state to approve medical marijuana.

“Western and northeastern states have led the way on legalizing marijuana, but the victory in Michigan powerfully demonstrates the national reach of this movement,” said Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “With such overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization, even including majorities of Republicans and older Americans, there’s only so long that the federal government can continue to hold out.”

Michigan’s Proposal 1 will legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Michigan for adults aged 21 and older. It allows for the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and cultivation of up to 12 plants for personal use, while also establishing a legal framework for the licensing and regulation of marijuana businesses and products. There were over 200,000 marijuana arrests in Michigan from 2007 through 2016, averaging roughly 21,000 per year. Of those arrests, 84% were for personal possession.  The Drug Policy Alliance and its lobbying arm, Drug Policy Action, helped fund and played a significant role in drafting this initiative.

Missouri’s victorious Amendment 2 will provide legal access to medical marijuana for patients with certain qualifying conditions. It creates a robust system of access for patients through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services while allowing physicians to decide when medical use is appropriate. Missouri had three separate medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot. The Drug Policy Alliance and its lobbying arm, Drug Policy Action, played a leading role in drafting and funding Amendment 2.

Florida voters, meanwhile, approved a historic initiative to restore the vote to over 1.4 million people with past felony convictions upon completion of their sentences, except for those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense. As in most other U.S. states, drug possession is punished as a felony in Florida.

Embracing drug policy reform proved to be a winning strategy for gubernatorial candidates, as Gavin Newsom (CA), Jared Polis (CO), J.B. Pritzer (IL), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM) emerged victorious.

Drug policy reform also played a major role in scores of local, state and federal races all over the country. The most powerful marijuana reform opponent in the House of Representatives, Pete Sessions of Texas, lost to Colin Allred, a supporter of marijuana reform.

“The public has long believed that drug use should be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue. It’s encouraging to see so many political candidates finally getting on board,” added McFarland. “The momentum to end the drug war took a significant leap forward today.”

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Thursday, January 31, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


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Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, January 31, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Ron DeSantis walks back opposition to Florida’s medical marijuana system (Orlando Weekly)

// European cannabis products have been more popular than expected (Boston Globe)

// Cannabis edible sales could miss government’s October target: Pot czar (BNN Bloomberg)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 100,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// AP Day: Nikki Fried announces more help for marijuana patients (Florida Politics)

// Holland man referenced in High Times pleads guilty to federal marijuana charge (Worcester Telegram)

// New Jersey Mayors Demand Automatic Marijuana Expungements If State Legalizes (Marijuana Moment)

// Starting Thursday Illinois will allow some patients to substitute medical marijuana for opioid prescriptions (Fox 2 Now St. Louis)

// Boulder trying to more closely align marijuana enforcement with liquor laws (Daily Camera)

// Unionizing Weed Workers Are Reigniting the Labor Movement (Vice)

// The Most Interesting 2019 Marijuana Bills That You Might Have Missed (Marijuana Moment)


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Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
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Leading Marijuana Prohibitionist Fails in Congressional Re-Election Bid


House Rules Committee chair, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

One of Congress’ most powerful and vocal marijuana prohibitionists, Republican Pete Sessions of Texas, failed in his re-election bid for Congress’ 32nd District.

Sessions was defeated by Democratic challenger Colin Allred.

Representative Sessions used his position as Chairman of the House Rules Committee to block House floor members from voting on over three-dozen marijuana-related amendments during his leadership tenure.

His actions single-handedly killed a number of popular, bipartisan-led reforms — such as facilitating medical cannabis access to military veterans and amending federal banking laws so that licensed marijuana businesses are treated like other legal industries.

“Representative Pete Sessions was the single greatest impediment in the US House to the passage of common-sense, voter-supported marijuana law reform measures,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “His departure opens the door for the possibility of House lawmakers in 2019 enacting a number of significant, NORML-endorsed policy changes.”

Representative Sessions received an ‘F’ grade in NORML’s latest Congressional Scorecard.

By contrast, his Democratic challenger received a B+ grade as a result of his stated support for cannabis decriminalization and medical marijuana access.

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Voters Approve Amendment 2, Legalizing Medical Marijuana Access in Missouri


With the approval of Amendment 2, Missouri has become the 32nd state to regulate the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients.

The amendment was one of three competing ballot measures that seek to regulate medical cannabis use in Missouri. Of the three, NORML only endorsed Amendment 2. That is because we believe that Amendment 2 is written in a manner that best provides for the needs of patients and their physicians.

“This is a patient-centered proposal that puts power in the hands of state-licensed physicians and their patients, not politicians or bureaucrats. Passage of Amendment 2 creates a robust statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “Of the three proposals on the ballot, we believed that Amendment 2 was the clear choice for voters, and the voters agreed.”

According to national polling compiled earlier this year by Quinnipiac University, 91 percent of voters nationwide support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.”

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Monday, September 10, 2018 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


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Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Monday, September 10, 2018 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// District Attorneys Dismantle Legacy of Tough Marijuana Enforcement (NY Times)

// Canadian military to severely curtail use of recreational marijuana (CBC News)

// Marijuana use among baby boomers doubled in a decade, study shows (KOAA News 5 NBC)


Today’s headlines are brought to you by our friends over at Eaze.com, California’s top one stop website for legal marijuana delivery. If you live in the golden state, swing over to Eaze.com to see if they are active in your area. With deliveries taking place in less than an hour, it’s never been easier to get legal California marijuana delivery. And of course, if you don’t live where Eaze delivers, you can still benefit from all the useful bits of industry insight and analysis they’ve developed using their properly aggregate and anonymized sales data stream.


// Air Force says it’s not investigating Elon Musk for smoking pot (The Hill)

// Cash tax payment penalty lifted from cannabis industry (Lake Country News)

// ‘Real nonsense’: Why are Alaska marijuana buyers obsessed with high potency? (Alaska Daily News)

// Congress Will Pass Legalization Bills Next Year, Lawmakers Say (Leafly)

// MedMen Closes $53 Million Florida Acquisition (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Lab equipment giant Thermo Fisher makes a quiet bet on the Canadian cannabis industry (Financial Post)

// Did Barack Obama Smoke Marijuana At Disneyland? (Marijuana Moment)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Pass Proposition 1 Legalizing the Retail Sale of Marijuana for Adults


With the approval of voter-initiated Proposal 1, Michigan has become the 10th state to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for adults.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said, “Voters in Michigan sent a resounding rebuke to their state’s failed policy of prohibition and elected to follow a new, more sensible path of regulation and legalization. Instead of arresting thousands of citizens a year for possession of a plant, Michigan will now be able to prioritize law enforcement resources towards combating violent crime, honor personal freedom and civil liberties, end the racist application of weaponizing prohibition laws against communities of color, and collect tax revenue that was previously going to black market elements and put it towards important social programs such as education and infrastructure development.”

Proposition 1 permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

“For years, Michigan has been one of the leading states in the nation in total annual marijuana-related arrests,” added Altieri, “In 2016, police made over 22,000 marijuana-related arrests, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of over $94 million. That wasteful and harmful practice ends today.”

According to recently compiled nationwide survey data provided by Gallup, 66 percent of US citizens — including majorities of self-identified Republicans, Independents, and Democrats — believe that the adult use of marijuana should be legal.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


Baltimore's Inner Harbor is seen from above on a clear summer day.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Baltimore Will No Longer Prosecute Cannabis Possession Cases (Leafly)

// Hemp or marijuana? ISP stops truck driver with 6,701 pounds of ‘green, leafy substance’ (Idaho Statesman)

// Canopy Growth-backed pot company Slang lists on CSE, valued at $480 million (Market Watch)


Today’s headlines are brought to you by our friends over at Eaze.com, California’s top one stop website for legal marijuana delivery. If you live in the golden state, swing over to Eaze.com to see if they are active in your area. With deliveries taking place in less than an hour, it’s never been easier to get legal California marijuana delivery. And of course, if you don’t live where Eaze delivers, you can still benefit from all the useful bits of industry insight and analysis they’ve developed using their properly aggregate and anonymized sales data stream.


// More ‘extinction events’ for CA cannabis companies: Q&A with consultant Jackie McGowan (Marijuana Business Daily)

// What’s the Holdup, New Jersey? Squabbles Delay Legalization, Again (Leafly)

// Take a sneak peek at Denver’s newest social marijuana club about to open on the ‘Green Mile’ (Denver Channel)

// U.S. Funds With $100 Billion Explore Loans to Canadian Pot Firms (Bloomberg)

// Leaked internal document sparks questions over CA cannabis growers group’s finances, management (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canadian Cannabis Sales Rise Modestly in December (New Cannabis Ventures)

// In Photos: Canada’s First Bongspiel, a Cannabis-Infused Curling Tournament (Leafly)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Voters Approve Proposition 2, Legalizing Medical Marijuana Access in Utah


With the approval of Proposition 2, Utah has become the 33rd state to regulate the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients.

The vote comes ahead of a proposed special legislative session of the Utah legislature to address specific rules and regulations governing medical cannabis patient access.

“It is our hope that Utah’s politicians will respect the will of the electorate and move swiftly to enact The Utah Medical Cannabis Act in a manner that comports with both the spirit of the law and the letter of law,” said .NORML Political Director Justin Strekal

Under legislation enacted by the legislature in 2018, only those patients who are terminally ill may potentially access cannabis-infused products. To date, however, such products are not yet legally available.

According to national polling compiled earlier this year by Quinnipiac University, 91 percent of voters nationwide support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.”

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