Beto O’Rourke Would Use Marijuana Taxes To Help Expunge Possession Convictions

On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke updated his campaign platform’s position on cannabis with specific, targeted proposals addressing legalization, taxation and social justice. As a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, O’Rourke has continued his long-standing fight to end the prohibition of cannabis. On the campaign trail, O’Rourke has called for federal cannabis legalization as part of a wide-ranging package of criminal justice reforms. Now, we have a clearer picture of exactly what he has in mind.

Beto O’Rourke Proposes “Drug War Justice Grants” for Formerly Incarcerated People

Much of Beto O’Rourke’s cannabis platform resembles other candidates’ proposals to federally legalize cannabis. O’Rourke’s plan would apply a federal tax on the marijuana industry, open up access to banks and financial services, work to elevate minority-owned cannabis businesses and invest in rebuilding lives and communities shattered by the drug war.

But it’s Beto’s plan for “Drug War Justice Grants” that distinguishes his proposal from the pack. Under O’Rourke’s plan, a federal marijuana tax would fund grants to help expunge possession convictions, support re-entry programs and directly provide money to those formerly incarcerated for marijuana offenses in state and federal prisons. Federal marijuana tax revenue would also assist those who have been locked

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Canadian Health Officials Now Investigating Vaping-Related Hospitalization

One of the bizarre parts about the recent string of vaping related illnesses and deaths is that it has been restricted to the United States. So far there have been 380 likely cases of vaping-correlated lung disease in 36 states and one US territory, but not a peep from the rest of the world.

That changed this week, when officials in Ontario, Canada told the public that they were investigating the severe respiratory problems that had been experienced by a high school student after vaping. They would not release many details about the case, however—we’re still in the dark even as to whether the young person was using cannabis and/or tobacco products.

The reason, the county health department’s medical officer stated, was that authorities did not want to exculpate vaping itself in the situation.

“In order to clarify the health messaging, we’re not going to be releasing the brand related information. Because that would imply that this is something coming from one brand when clearly looking at the international evidence that’s not the case,” said chief medical officer Dr. Christopher Mackie.

He did share that the youth had no other health condition, was showing symptoms that constituted a severe illness,

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Canntrust Says Cannabis Goods Returned by Alberta Government Worth $1.3M

CannTrust Holdings Inc. said Thursday that about $1.3 million worth of its products will be returned by the Alberta government’s cannabis wholesaler and online retailer.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) agency announced the returns on Wednesday after Health Canada suspended CannTrust’s licences to produce and sell pot.

CannTrust noted Thursday that Health Canada has not ordered a recall in respect of any of the company’s products.

– Read the entire article at Global News.

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Federal Government Funds Nine Research Grants To Study CBD

The U.S. government will spend $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the part of the plant that gets people high.

Nine research grants announced Thursday are for work on CBD, the trendy ingredient showing up in cosmetics and foods, and hundreds of less familiar chemicals. THC research was excluded.

The federal government still considers marijuana an illegal drug, but more than 30 states allow it use for a range of medical problems, some without good evidence.

The science is strongest for chronic pain, the most common reason people give when they enroll in state-approved medical marijuana programs. But little is known about which parts of marijuana are helpful and whether the intoxicating effects of THC can be avoided.

“The science is lagging behind the public use and interest. We’re doing our best to catch up here,” said Dr. David Shurtleff, deputy director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which is funding the projects.

THC has been investigated extensively, Shurtleff said, and its potential for addiction and abuse make it unsuitable for treating pain.

Other federal agencies have supported marijuana research, but much of

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Federal Judge Says Indiana’s Ban On Smokable Hemp Is Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Indiana ruled last week that the state’s law banning smokable forms of hemp is unconstitutional and has issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the statute. In a ruling issued on September 13, Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern District of Indiana said that Indiana’s law prohibiting the manufacturing, financing, delivery, and possession of smokable hemp is preempted by federal law.

Barker wrote in her ruling that enforcing the law would cause “irreparable harm in the form of a credible threat of criminal sanctions” without a preliminary injunction.

The federal government legalized hemp and removed the crop and all hemp products from the nation’s list of controlled substances with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December. But when Indiana passed Senate Bill 516 earlier this year to regulate hemp agriculture in the state, it included the ban on smokable forms of hemp flower.

Smokable Hemp Confusing Cops

The legalization of hemp has led to a proliferation of smokable products that are generally rich in CBD, including dried hemp flower and pre-rolled joints. But the immense popularity of the products has led some states to ban smokable forms of hemp, arguing that law enforcement cannot readily

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