Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
We look at what’s happening with medical marijuana in Kentucky. President Biden grants clemency to several prisoners incarcerated for cannabis offenses. We look at ballot initiatives in various states. CBS released a new poll concerning marijuana. And finally, the term pizza joint may have a new meaning in New York.
After failing to pass in the state legislature, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) is considering using an executive order to legalize. The governor asked his staff to look into their legal options, saying, “We’re behind Mississippi. That’s something that we can’t be OK with.” (Ouch.) Lawmakers, even those who supported the bill, consider this a power grab. One thing the Governor has done is approve a cannabis research facility at the University of Kentucky.
Turning to the federal government, President Biden recently granted pardons to three non-violent drug offenders and commuted the sentences of 75 others. Some activists view this as a drop in the bucket; the administration says they will continue to review additional clemency petitions in future.
Several states are considering adding cannabis to the November 2022 ballot. Here’s where each of them stand:
The state Supreme Court allowed two adult-use initiatives to go forward. Advocates need to collect 178,000 signatures and can begin their efforts in May.
Activists are nearing the number of signatures needed to put adult-use on the ballot. Legal Missouri 2022 says 200,000 people have signed their petition, but will continue to collect signatures until the May 8 deadline.
The Secretary of State approved the language put forth by New Approach North Dakota. This allows the group to start gathering signatures. Their deadline is July 11.
CBS News recently released the results of a poll on adult-use legalization, and a majority of Americans (66%) favor it. This holds true at both the national and the state level. A majority of those polled also would either favor or wouldn’t oppose a cannabis business opening in their own neighborhood.
One of the advantages of writing about cannabis is that the puns are plentiful. For example, this story from the New York Post about the possibility of pizzerias being able to sell cannabis-infused products.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!