A number of newsworthy items occurred this week, including a potential hands-off enforcement policy at the federal level.
Cannabis exports are coming to an international cannabis-leading nation, fewer people are going to be arrested for cannabis in a major metro area, and some good news is on its way in New Jersey.
Find out more in our weekly recap below.
Attorney General nominee puts his hands-off cannabis enforcement pledge in writing
What happened: United States Attorney General nominee William Barr has previously expressed verbal support for allowing legal cannabis states to proceed without federal interference.
This week William Barr put that pledge in writing via his written responses to Senator’s questions as part of his confirmation proceedings.
Why it matters: It wasn’t that long ago that Jeff Sessions was the United States Attorney General, and the cannabis industry and reform movement was bracing itself for a federal crackdown.
Zoom forward to this week and his permanent replacement is providing a written pledge to respect states’ cannabis policies. That’s a very big (and welcomed) change!
Israel approves cannabis exports
What happened: Israel has long been a global leader in cannabis research, and soon it will be a world leader on cannabis exports.
This week leaders in Israel approved medical cannabis exports, which is a long overdue policy change for the Middle Eastern nation.
Why it matters: Israel is home to some of the top medical cannabis researchers on earth, including Raphael Mechoulam who first identified THC.
Patients around the world should be able to benefit from Israel’s knowledge, and fortunately, that will happen soon.
Baltimore to stop pursuing cannabis possession cases
What happened: The Baltimore State Attorney announced this week that it would no longer be pursuing cannabis possession cases.
A push is also underway to vacate convictions for cannabis possession cases (as many as 5,000).
Why it matters: The enforcement change is not the same as saying that cannabis has been legalized but it is still a huge move.
People who are caught with cannabis often have their lives ruined, both at the time of the prosecution and after, via stigma and a criminal record. That should never happen to anyone.
Survey: most healthcare providers believe that medical cannabis is a legitimate medical therapy
What happened: Researchers conducted a survey of healthcare providers and asked them about their views on medical cannabis.
The survey found that 58.1% of providers “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that medical cannabis was a legitimate medical therapy.
Why it matters: Medical decisions should be made by medical professionals, and not by politicians who seek to keep cannabis prohibition in place.
The results of this survey strongly suggest that if medical professionals had it their way, medical cannabis would be made available to those who would benefit from it.
New Jersey approves medical cannabis for opioid use disorder
What happened: New Jersey passed a measure this week that allows patients who suffer from opioid use disorder to qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program.
Opioid use disorder has been a major issue in New Jersey in recent years, and the policy change aims to help mitigate the issue.
Why it matters: Countless studies have found that increased access to medical cannabis is associated with a reduction in opioid use.
No patient should be forced to use opioids if they would rather make the safer choice. It’s fantastic to see New Jersey getting on the right side of this issue.