Despite a bill being tabled in U.S. Congress this week to support smaller cannabis companies during the pandemic, an independent Colorado retailer said they aren’t holding their breath for financial aid.
At the start of 2020, cannabis legalization bills in a handful of northeast states had a relatively clear path to passage. That was before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The latest place where a cannabis bill is delayed? Connecticut.
In 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union released a groundbreaking report that examined millions of cannabis arrests across America between 2001 and 2010 and found significant racial disparities in how cannabis laws were enforced. Just one year before its release, Colorado and Washington made history when voters in both states on election night passed ballot measures to legalize cannabis use and sales for adults. Since then, nearly a dozen states have followed.
The coronavirus crisis could be igniting a revolution of sorts in the legal cannabis industry. Thirty-three states across the U.S. allow for some form of sale and consumption of marijuana. And of those, more than 20 states have designated the cannabis industry as essential during the coronavirus outbreak.
There will be many policy lessons that emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. One should be that we can achieve better health, safety, and economic outcomes if we replace cannabis prohibition with a thoughtfully regulated system of sales to adults and take other steps to reduce the number of low-risk offenders who become entrapped in our criminal justice system.
Marijuana Policy Project Deputy Director Matthew Schweich and Director of State Policies Karen O’Keefe join Jordan and Andrew of Weed Wonks to talk about the current state of marijuana policy reform in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic sets in.
Virginia’s medical marijuana law has been a source of confusion and frustration for reform advocates given the restrictive definitions of which cannabis products patients can access and the limited legal protections afforded to them. But under legislation approved by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) this week, the issue is being addressed.
Massachusetts marijuana advocates are asking for an advisory opinion from the state's attorney general addressing whether Gov. Charlie Baker can restrict adult-use marijuana sales to state residents, as part of a bid to get Baker to lift a closure order shuttering recreational cannabis businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are now more than 1.6 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, 475,000 of them in the U.S. alone. While experts have pinpointed certain underlying conditions that put Americans at risk of serious infection from COVID-19 — many linked to obesity — new guidance from the American Lung Association suggests that marijuana smoking should also be considered a risk factor.