Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we report on some unhappiness with the Biden administration. We have an update on the signature count for a Nebraska ballot initiative. And we have a similar piece on a ballot initiative in North Dakota. We note the signing of a banking bill in Pennsylvania. And finally, we see Neil deGrasse Tyson wondering what other plants might offer a high.
A group of Senators are dissatisfied with the Biden administration’s approach to marijuana issues, and they are making their voices heard. They would like the White House to “use its existing authority to (i) deschedule cannabis and (ii) issue pardons to all individuals convicted of nonviolent cannabis-related offenses.” Further bulletins as events warrant, but don’t hold your breath.
We reported a couple of weeks ago that the effort to put medical marijuana on the 2022 Nebraska ballot looked like a close call. Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana needed 87,000 signatures for each of its two ballot measures, and they turned in more than 90,000 for each. That’s not an enormous amount of leeway to account for faulty signatures or other administrative issues, so no guarantee of success just yet.
New Approach North Dakota seems to be in a better position. They collected over 25,000 signatures, which gives them a more than 10,000 signature cushion in their bid to put adult-use on the ballot. Assuming the initiative goes up for a vote, will the Peace Garden State’s voters give it the thumbs up? In 2018, a similar measure went down to defeat, but that was then…
A cannabis banking bill is now law! No, not on the federal level. This piece of legislation comes courtesy of the state of Pennsylvania. The law allows banks to serve licensed medical marijuana businesses, without fear of penalty under state law. The same protections extend to insurance companies. Of course, penalties could still accrue under federal law.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is well known as “your personal astrophysicist.” Recently, however, he devoted some time in his podcast “Star Talk” to a discussion of other plants that might provide the same elevated mood as cannabis. Note: scientific analysis of new plants is probably a safer way to determine their properties – don’t just start smoking whatever you find growing in your back yard!
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!