Sen. Scutari, author of N.J. legal weed proposal, talks possible legalization Tuesday at public forum

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari is author of the adult-use, recreational marijuana legalization bill that never made it to the Senate for a full vote. You know by now New Jersey cannabis legalization is Public Question 1 (on the other side of the ballot if you haven’t voted yet).

If the ballot question passes — which seems likely considering most New Jersey voters support legalization according to several polls — Scutari’s bill will be used as a framework to draft enabling legislation.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Scutari will join NJ Cannabis Insider reporter Justin Zaremba for a discussion about what the future of cannabis in the state may look like after Nov. 3. The half-hour program, which starts at 1 p.m., will be streamed live on NJ.com’s Facebook page.

Scutari told NJ Cannabis Insider recently he is reviewing with the state Assembly the legislation he drafted that would regulate and tax weed and end arrests for possession.

Keep reading at NJ.com

How you can help 6 state legalization campaigns right now

In the final two-week run-up to Election Day on Nov. 3, legalization efforts in six states are looking for a final push to win over undecided voters.

Here’s how you can help.

Arizona

Prop. 207, adult-use legalization, is gaining support among Arizona voters as Election Day nears. In a mid-October poll, 56% of contacted voters approved of Prop. 207, while 36% opposed and 7% were undecided.

To move those undecideds into the approval category, the Smart and Safe Arizona campaign can use your help.

Mississippi

Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign has a tough challenge: Convince residents to vote for Initiative 65 (the real legalization measure) and not Initiative 65A (the fake measure).

Every dime makes a difference! Donate here.

Kratom a step closer to legalisation for medicinal use

Kratom Powder

Kratom, a plant known for its psychotropic and relaxing effects, is in the process of being legalised in Thailand for medicinal use. The Cabinet just approved the Justice Ministry’s bill to amend the Kratom Act which would legalise production as well as importation and exportation of kratom. The bill will be forwarded to the Office of the Council of State before it is approved by the House.

The kratom tree, Mitragyna speciosa, is native to Southeast Asia and in the coffee family. The leaves have been used in traditional medicine to treat pain, fever, dysentery and diarrhoea, according to the Bangkok Post. In recent years, kratom has become popular in the United States and used recreationally with many tea bars offering different types of kratom teas and shakes. Some people with a history of alcohol addiction have used kratom as an alternative. Others enjoy the kratom’s relaxing effects.

Read more

Kratom a step closer to legalisation for medicinal use

Kratom, a plant known for its psychotropic and relaxing effects, is in the process of being legalised in Thailand for medicinal use. The Cabinet just approved the Justice Ministry’s bill to amend the Kratom Act which would legalise production as well as importation and exportation of kratom. The bill will be forwarded to the Office of the Council of State before it is approved by the House.

The kratom tree, Mitragyna speciosa, is native to Southeast Asia and in the coffee family. The leaves have been used in traditional medicine to treat pain, fever, dysentery and diarrhoea, according to the Bangkok Post. In recent years, kratom has become popular in the United States and used recreationally with many tea bars offering different types of kratom teas and shakes. Some people with a history of alcohol addiction have used kratom as an alternative. Others enjoy the kratom’s relaxing effects.

More at The Thai Tiger

Oregonians will vote whether to legalize therapeutic use of ‘magic mushrooms’

On Tuesday, supporters of Measure 109 came together virtually to talk about the mental health benefits of the drug.

If passed, this measure would allow the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities to adults aged 21 and over.

Currently, the manufacturing and consumption of this drug is illegal under both state and federal law.

Supporters say psilocybin therapy relieves debilitating anxiety and depression that comes with a terminal illness.

On the Zoom call Tuesday, attendees heard from a cancer patient in Portland who has a terminal diagnosis.

Mara McGraw says she underwent psilocybin therapy with a trained facilitator recently after trying other options.

“In just one session, I feel tremendous relief from fear and anxiety that had been burdening me for three years now, and I did not receive that type of relief through a year of talk therapy. So, one session gave me more than going weekly to talk therapy for an entire year,” said McGraw.

Keep reading at MSN

Series of Illinois Cities Ban Kratom

Sound the alarm. At least four communities in southwest Illinois recently banned the sale of kratom—an herb used for its painkiller-like properties—in an effort to crack down on the herb’s growing popularity.

The cities and communities of Jerseyville, Alton, Glen Carbon and most recently, Edwardsville City banned the sale of kratom. In Edwardsville, people who violate the new ordinance banning the herb are subject to a $750 fine.

“We were presented with quite a bit of health-related data, and members of the community spoke out against it because of its potentially harmful side effects,” Ward 1 Alderman S.J. Morrison stated. “There’s just not a lot known about it.”

Other communities in the area are exploring options for cracking down on kratom sales. CBD Kratom in Belleville sells both CBD supplements and kratom supplements, among other similar products.

Keep reading at Dope Magazine

New Arizona Polls Show Narrow Support for Legalization

Arizona voters will likely support cannabis legalization during November’s General Election as a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll found 45.6 percent back the reforms with 34.2 percent opposed, AZ Central reports.

The poll comes about one month out from the election.

The poll did find 19.2 percent of respondents were still undecided – a large enough cohort to defeat the initiative. In 2016, Arizona voters narrowly rejected the reforms 52-48 percent.

The poll found 59 percent of Democrats support Proposition 207, with 20 percent opposed and 21 percent undecided. Just 30 percent of Republicans said they supported the reforms, with 50 percent opposed and 20 percent undecided.

A separate poll by Smart and Safe Arizona – the campaign behind the initiative – released last week found 50 percent support and 34 percent opposed, according to the report.

Keep reading

Lawyers who specialize in cannabis are eyeing the burgeoning psychedelics industry as companies studying magic mushrooms go public

Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.

The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. It’s accelerated in recent months as companies seeking to use psychedelic substances as medical treatments have gone public on US and Canadian stock exchanges.

Like cannabis, psychedelic substances like psilocybin and ibogaine are Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act in the US, which creates complications for businesses seeking to work with them. That helps create new clientele for cannabis lawyers, who have the expertise of helping cannabis companies navigate complicated laws and regulations over the years.

Read the full story at Business Insider

City Council votes to make psychedelic mushrooms legal in Ann Arbor

City Council members voted unanimously this week to decriminalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in Ann Arbor.

The city joins a handful of others across the country. Ann Arbor is a college town that prides itself in a more relaxed approach to drug enforcement. In the 1970s, it was among the first to decriminalize marijuana. Now, it’s doing the same thing with mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

“They are non-addictive chemicals,” Ann Arbor City Council member Anne Bannister said. “They are healthier than many of our pharmaceuticals people can fill their bodies with for years for treatment resistant anxiety.”

The drugs in question are ayahuasca, from South America, ibogaine, from Africa, and popular ’60s drugs such as mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms.

The Council voted 11-0, saying Ann Arbor police should stand down enforcing possession.

Keep reading here

The kratom controversy

The sale of kratom is really taking off in South Dakota, but if you still aren’t familiar with it, you no doubt will be soon. Millions of people take the substance derived from the leaves of a plant from Southeast Asia, either in capsule or tea form for a variety of health reasons.

Proponents have a powerful lobby behind them; so powerful that when the DEA wanted to make kratom a schedule one drug, public outrage made the government agency change its mind.

While some states and cities still banned it, over concerns of it being addictive, misused and even deadly, South Dakota is not among them. While some states and cities still banned it, over concerns of it being addictive, misused and even deadly, South Dakota is not among them.

Continue at Keloland

Some say this herbal remedy eases pain, but 4 southwest Illinois cities have banned it

Kratom Powder

Some people swear by kratom as an herbal remedy, and it’s legal for use by adults in Illinois.

But a state representative has tried to ban it, and three metro-east cities and a village have prohibited its possession, use and sale due to safety concerns. Most recently, Edwardsville City Council passed an ordinance in March on the recommendation of Police Chief Jay Keeven.

“We were presented with quite a bit of health-related data, and members of the community spoke out against it because of its potentially harmful side effects,” Ward 1 Alderman S.J. Morrison said last week. “There’s just not a lot known about it.”

People who violate the ordinance are subject to a $750 fine. Kratom already had been prohibited in Jerseyville, Alton and Glen Carbon.

Continue at MSN

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf, Lt. Gov. Fetterman Again Urge Lawmakers To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman are once again urging lawmakers to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous disruptions to the economy and with the additional federal aid stagnating in Congress, we need to do everything we can right here in Harrisburg right now to help ourselves to recover from this pandemic,” Wolf said.

“Legalizing cannabis is serious policy for serious times. I put this challenge out against to the legislature,” Fetterman said. “We’re talking about generating billions in long-term revenue for Pennsylvania, we’re talking about generating tens of thousands of jobs.”

Pennsylvania’s Republican-led Assembly has previously opposed the legalization. They said a bill would need to work its way through the Senate Committee Process to be vetted.

Read more at CBS

Why Investing in Psychedelic Medicine Could Be Better Than Cannabis

The burgeoning psychedelic sector is attracting attention from investors as more companies have gone public, and research has increased rapidly due to greater mainstream and government acceptance and decriminalization.

Decades of research have demonstrated that psychedelics, which are hallucinogenic drugs, are effective in treating mental disorders such as depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD and anxiety. The Food and Drug Administration has approved and fast-tracked several clinical research trials.

Dozens of biopharmaceutical companies are competing against each other since the ones that develop the intellectual property to synthesize the molecules to help treat disorders will likely be profitable and attract more capital.

“There is a smaller subset of investing verticals in the psychedelic space as it is more of an intellectual property race to develop drugs,” says Michael Sobeck, managing partner at Ambria Capital, a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based asset manager.

Read more about the key issues here

Some veterans hope Oregon will legalize psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic use

While vaping has falling out of favor, mushrooms are headed in the other direction in Oregon.

The state may be just a few months away from legalizing psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic reasons, if Measure 109 passes in the November election.

Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms, has been outlawed in the United States since 1968. But over the years, studies show the drug may have lasting benefits for mental health patients.

“I’ve just seen these incredible changes occur in people who come into a room closed-off, angry, suspicious, and just really hurting and then after one session of psilocybin therapy, come out the other side smiling,” said Chad Kuske, a former Navy Seal who’s been undergoing psilocybin therapy to cope with post traumatic stress disorder.

Four veterans groups are endorsing the measure.

Keep reading at MSN

House committee passes two resolutions authored by Struzzi

State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, announced Wednesday that the House Health Committee has passed two resolutions he authored. House Resolution 459 would request guidelines for the commercial sale of CBD products from the Food and Drug Administration. House Resolution 460 would request guidance and appropriate protocol from the FDA for the safe use of Kratom.

“The affects of these products are still relatively unknown. Without oversight from the FDA, there is a lack of consistency in the market. This leads to retailers not being fully knowledgeable about the products they sell, and consumers not being fully knowledgeable about the products they purchase,” Struzzi said in a news release. “My resolutions would go a long way in providing clear guidelines for the sale and use of these products so retailers and consumers know they are being safe and responsible.”

Read more here

Where Do Biden and Trump Stand on Cannabis Legalization?

These days, it is pretty clear that Americans are finally ready to end federal cannabis prohibition. Eleven states and Washington, D.C., have already legalized the plant for recreational use, and more than half of the country lives in a state with some form of medical marijuana law on the books. In the latest national opinion polls released by both Pew and Gallup, more than two-thirds of Americans said they were ready to see cannabis legalized across the country. In Congress, a bill to fully legalize weed has more than 70 co-sponsors and could see a full House vote before the year is up.

But with the 2020 presidential election just months away, the future of marijuana legalization will likely rest on the shoulders of whoever is sitting in the Oval Office come January. So how do Donald Trump and Joe Biden feel about legalizing weed?

Find out at Complex

Congress set to vote on legalization of Marijuana in September

The House is preparing to vote on the legalization of marijuana next month — a bipartisan bill whose lead sponsor in the Senate is Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

Under the MORE act, cannabis would be removed from the 1970 federal Controlled Substances Act.

House members were alerted to the possibility of an upcoming vote via an email from from Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, writes Politico.

Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 substance, just like heroin, ecstasy and LSD.

Removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act would decriminalize it at the federal level.

The act, which stands for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, would also encourage the expunging of most cannabis convictions on the state level.

More at New York Post

Wall Street donors are racing to back psychedelic therapy

Psychedelics are the next billion dollar industry, according to market analysts, and investors and donors are taking note.

Over the past six months, $30 million in donations has gone to the nonprofit funding research into MDMA-assisted therapy, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), according to the group’s announcement on Aug. 20. Major donors, who each donated at least $1 million, include GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, and Joby Pritzker, co-founder of Tao Capital Management and part of the family behind Hyatt Hotels.

MDMA isn’t the only psychedelic gaining support. Earlier this month, the Canadian government ruled that four citizens could legally use psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms), to treat end-of-life anxiety. Meanwhile, clinical studies on psilocybin are racing towards the final stages of trials at a similar pace to MDMA, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved its second ketamine-based treatment for depression.

Read more at MSN

Editorial: Pot tax revenues can bring pandemic relief

In 2018, San Rafael voters endorsed Measure G, a city-sponsored plan to set new and higher taxes for the fledgling legal marijuana market.

It was a step in the city’s “toe in the water” approach toward opening the door to the 2016 approval of California’s recreational pot initiative. In San Rafael, 69% of its voters endorsed Proposition 64.

The city had estimated local marijuana production and sales — delivery only — could generate about $1 million per year for the city’s general fund.

That estimate fell far short of reality, as the special tax raised only $243,554 in its first calendar year.

That was almost two years ago.

This past year was a lot different. Local pot delivery sales have been on a record-setting pace.

What a difference a pandemic can make.

Keep reading…

Thailand’s Lawmakers Edge Closer to Legalizing Kratom

Thailand’s lawmakers have taken one step closer to legalizing Kratom with proposed legislation that would remove kratom from the narcotics list, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) said on Tuesday.

The Council of State, the government’s legal arm, finished examining the amendment to the Narcotics Act last Wednesday. It will send back to the cabinet for endorsement before it is forwarded to parliament, ONCB secretary-general, Niyom Termsrisuk, said.

The cabinet approved in principle to remove kratom from the drugs list in March.

Mr Niyom warned the public that the plant is still on the narcotics list at present. Which means possessing and using it is still illegal. The warning came in response to a recent surge in drug cases involving kratom.

Read more at CTN News