Lots of exciting things happening in the cannabis universe this week!
In case you missed it, we’ve got big cannabis news out of Europe, plus the new U.S. Congress held its first cannabis hearing, and more.
Your weekly highlights are below:
European Parliament passes cannabis resolution
What happened: The European Parliament voted on a medical cannabis resolution on Wednesday. The resolution was approved but is non-binding.
The resolution ‘seeks to incentivize European nations to increase access to medical marijuana, prioritizing scientific research and clinical studies.’
Why it matters: The successful resolution vote comes not long after the World Health Organization put forth a recommendation to internationally reschedule cannabis.
This resolution vote may not have been binding, but it’s still a big deal. Cannabis reform is sweeping the European continent, and this resolution vote will help to increase reform momentum in the EU.
Kamala Harris admits to consuming cannabis
What happened: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris stated in an interview this week that she consumed cannabis in college. She also stated she was listening to Tupac and Snoop while doing so.
The problem with that claim is that Kamala Harris graduated from law school in 1989 and Tupac’s debut wasn’t until 1991 (Same Song w/Digital Underground) and Snoops debut wasn’t until 1992 (Deep Cover w/Dr. Dre).
Why it matters: In years past a presidential candidate admitting to consuming cannabis resulted in serious political controversy.
In Kamala Harris’ case, the controversy is surrounding whether or not her timeline is accurate, not the claim of cannabis use itself. It’s a sign of how far cannabis has come in the political arena.
Actor Patrick Stewart talks about using cannabis for arthritis
What happened: This week famed actor Patrick Stewart described his cannabis use to treat arthritis in an interview.
When asked why his hands, which visually show signs of arthritis, are so flexible Mr. Stewart simply stated, “Medical marijuana – let me be very clear about that.”
Why it matters: Patrick Stewart is a very famous actor with a huge, loyal following. When he speaks, many people listen, including members of the media and older individuals.
Stewart is high-profile living proof that cannabis is medicine. Hopefully, his experience encourages others to give cannabis topicals a try.
New Congress holds first cannabis hearing
What happened: The 2018 election brought in new members of Congress, and it has been widely expected that cannabis reform could gain traction this year as a result.
The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on a cannabis banking reform bill, which is the first cannabis hearing held by the new Congress. Passage of the bill is uncertain at this time.
Why it matters: This will hopefully be the first of many Congressional hearings held for cannabis reform bills this session.
Federal cannabis reform has a better chance of passing in this new Congress than at any other time in United States cannabis prohibition’s history.
John Boehner starts a new cannabis lobbying group
What happened: Former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner announced this week the launch of a new lobbying group, the National Cannabis Roundtable.
The lobbying group is industry-funded and seeks to lobby for federal banking, taxes and research reform.
Why it matters: John Boehner’s sincerity has been questioned by the cannabis community given his lack of action while in office, and rightfully so.
However, his influence in federal political circles is undeniable, and as a result, the launch of his new lobbying group is a big deal and could yield results. What type of results? Only time will tell.
Oregon warned about a push to legalize cannabis exports
What happened: The federal prosecutor in Oregon, Billy Williams, issued a warning to the state of Oregon in regards to a push underway in the Oregon Legislature to legalize cannabis exports.
A bill was introduced earlier this session in Oregon that would put a measure in place to allow legal cannabis exports at the Governor’s discretion (it would not automatically begin legal exports).
Why it matters: The warning by Billy Williams at this point is nothing more than political rhetoric. Until Oregon actually exports legal cannabis, the situation remains unchanged and the warning is moot.
It’s important that lawmakers in Oregon, and in other states that may make a push for similar reform, keep that in mind and refuse to be bullied. This reform is desperately needed, in Oregon and beyond.