Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): one of the staunchest opponents of marijuana law reform in Congress

n November 2016, California’s Proposition 64, a measure to legalize the adult use of cannabis, looked to be cruising to victory. The initiative, led by then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, attracted few high-profile opponents—with one notable exception.

San Francisco created the modern medical marijuana movement. So why is the city's iconic leader California's last drug warrior?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s powerful US Senator, high-ranking Democrat, and revered San Francisco icon, blasted the measure early and remained an unrelenting opponent. She signed a ballot statement accusing cannabis companies of plotting to lure “millions of children and teenage viewers” with television ads.

The Prop. 64 campaign spokesman called the statement “reminiscent of the ‘reefer madness’-style disinformation campaigns that subverted honest dialogue around this issue for decades.”

Feinstein’s opposition was hardly a surprise. For decades, the San Francisco Democrat has opposed nearly all forms of drug reform, from medical marijuana in the 1990s to California’s adult use measure in 2016. In recent years she’s been a key ally of Iowa’s Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, the two elder senators working together to block Congressional measures aimed at drug reform in the age of medical and adult-use legalization.

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California Officially Calls On Feds To Reclassify Marijuana

"Last November, California voters approved a ballot measure to legalize marijuana. Now, the state's lawmakers are formally calling on the federal government to reclassify cannabis.

"The Legislature urges the Congress of the United States to pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule, therefore allowing the legal research and development of marijuana or cannabis for medical use," reads a joint resolution approved by the California Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 60 to 10.

The Controlled Substance Act's Schedule I -- the most restrictive category -- is supposed to be reserved for drugs with no medical value and a high potential for abuse. Researchers have long complained that marijuana's classification there creates additional hurdles that don't exist for studies on other substances."

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Uncertainty continues to loom over destiny of Cole Memo in Trump's Administration

The Trump administration is continuing to weigh whether or not to reverse Obama-era guidance that generally allows states to legalize marijuana without federal interference, the Justice Department's number two official said on Thursday.

"We are reviewing that policy. We haven't changed it, but we are reviewing it. We're looking at the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, trying to evaluate what the impact is," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in an appearance at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

"And I think there is some pretty significant evidence that marijuana turns out to be more harmful than a lot of people anticipated, and it's more difficult to regulate than I think was contemplated ideally by some of those states," he said.

Under the so-called "Cole Memo," named after the former Obama Justice Department official who authored it in 2013, the federal government set out certain criteria that, if followed, would allow states to implement their own laws mostly without intervention. Those criteria concern areas like youth use, impaired driving and interstate trafficking.

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      Senators introduce bill to end federal medical marijuana prohibition

      Congress took a step toward easing its stance on medical marijuana on Thursday.

      U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Corey Booker (D-New Jersey) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) introduced a bill that would end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana and take steps to improve research.

      The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States, or CARERS, Act would effectively change the Controlled Substances Act, allowing the possession, production and distribution of medical marijuana in states with established marijuana laws.

      Twenty-nine states, as well as the District of Columbia, have already legalized marijuana, but the CARERS Act would prevent the federal government from prosecuting businesses and individuals in states where medical marijuana is legal, since federally marijuana is still illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.

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      More waiting then... Vermont governor vetoes marijuana bill, wants changes made

      MONTPELIER, Vt. — Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday that he planned to veto a bill making Vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana but indicated that he was willing to work with the legislature on a compromise.

      Scott said he is sending the bill back with suggestions for another path forward and suggested that changes could be made to the bill in a special session this summer.

      “We must get this right,” Scott said. “I think we need to move a little bit slower.”

      The governor has said he’s not philosophically opposed to marijuana legalization but has concerns about public safety, children’s health and impaired drivers.

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      Yet another study shows legalizing weed doesn't make more teens get high

      Opponents of marijuana legalization have long warned that ending prohibition will cause rates of use among teenagers to skyrocket due to increased availability and less concern about the potential harms associated with getting baked on a regular basis.

      But yet again, new evidence shows the concern is unfounded.

      The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report Tuesday that found that in 2015, the most recent year with complete data, 21.7 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported using weed at least once over the past month. That figure is “not measurably different” from 2013, when the first recreational marijuana laws took effect in Washington and Colorado, according to the report.

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      Christie hammers backers of legalizing marijuana in N.J., calls it 'beyond stupidity'

      PRINCETON -- Gov. Chris Christie on Monday unleashed a diatribe against the increasing push to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey, warning that Democrats are willing to "poison our kids" to receive "blood money" from the taxes pot sales will bring in.

      "This is beyond stupidity," the Republican governor, who has long been opposed to legalizing marijuana, said during a speech at a forum on substance abuse hosted by the New Jersey Hospital Association in Princeton. 

      "We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates," added Christie, who has been tapped by President Donald Trump to chair a commission to find ways to fight the opioid abuse epidemic in America. "But people are saying pot's OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything's OK.

      "Baloney," he said.

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      Pharma Company That Spent $500,000 to Keep Pot Illegal in AZ Gets DEA Approval for Synthetic Marijuana

      Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that was one of the chief financial backers of the opposition to marijuana legalization in Arizona last year, received preliminary approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration this week for Syndros, a synthetic marijuana drug.

      Insys gave $500,000 last summer to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the group opposing marijuana legalization in Arizona. The donation amounted to roughly 10 percent of all money raised by the group in an ultimately successful campaign against legalization. Insys was the only pharmaceutical company known to be giving money to oppose legalization last year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance records.

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      Chronic Pain Considered for Medical Marijuana Use in New Jersey

      Chronic pain may be added to the list of ailments that qualify for medical marijuana in New Jersey, according to the chairman of an advisory health department panel that took emotional testimony from patients on Wednesday in a crowded meeting room at the War Memorial building in Trenton.

      The panel will decide in the coming months whether to recommend the health commissioner expand the list, which currently has about a dozen ailments, including terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. 

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      Flag of Virginia Takes On New Meaning as Lawmakers, Claiming Ignorance, Stomp All Over Sick People Begging for Help

      Six House Republicans shot down a major expansion of Virginia's medical marijuana allowances Wednesday night, reducing to tears advocates who thought they had the votes for at least some reform.

      Legislation that would have allowed oils derived from the marijuana plant as treatment for 13 diseases or conditions, including cancer, died on a 5-6 vote in a legislative subcommittee that writes criminal law in Virginia.

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      DEA Removes False Marijuana Facts From Website

      The DEA has removed some (more remain) inaccurate "facts" from their government website, including that marijuana can cause lung cancer, and permanent cognitive damage. Americans for Safe Access may be thanked for these changes in lieu of their filing a legal petition against the DEA on grounds that the agency was in violation of the Information Quality Act.

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      After 105 years, marijuana is legal again in Massachusetts

      "It was 1911. The New England Watch and Ward Society (née the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice) was battling against drugs and other “special evils.” And in April of that year, the group’s leaders successfully petitioned the Massachusetts Legislature to outlaw possession of several “hypnotic drugs,” including cannabis.

      One hundred five years, seven months, and 16 days later — Thursday — marijuana became legal again in Massachusetts.

      The Governor’s Council, a Colonial-era body that vets judges and accepts election tabulations, on Wednesday formally certified the results of a ballot question that allows marijuana for recreational use.

      The initiative passed last month with 1.8 million people voting for the measure, despite the opposition of top politicians, the Catholic Church, doctors and business groups, and an array of other civic leaders. About 1.5 million people voted against it."

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