Reason Foundation’s Drug Policy Newsletter, February 2019
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Drug Policy Newsletter

Reason Foundation’s Drug Policy Newsletter, February 2019

Some California lawmakers are acknowledging that high tax levels and too much red tape are stunting the legal marijuana market’s growth.  

News and Opinion

Idaho State Police seized 6,701 pounds of legal hemp and are being sued by the owners as a consequence.  

In 2017, over 151,000 pounds of processed marijuana were destroyed by federal agents.

A Canadian medical marijuana patient with multiple sclerosis was arrested for violating Canada’s THC per se driving level, but was later found to be unimpaired by a drug recognition officer and was released with the charges dropped.

Denver’s voters will have a chance to decriminalize psilocybin, the main chemical compound in psychedelic mushrooms, this May.

A California cannabis testing lab had multiple equipment failures leading to faulty results, but the incident also shows that legal marijuana products are under more scrutiny for health purposes than the black market ever would be.  

Massachusetts is going to be relying more heavily on drug recognition experts to enforce marijuana driving and impairment laws.

Regulating marijuana effectively may mitigate many of the risks it presents.

Legislation, Regulation, and Markets

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis called on President Trump and the federal government to allow marijuana businesses to bank normally and legally, saying that cash businesses encourage crime.

Some California lawmakers are acknowledging that high tax levels and too much red tape are stunting the legal marijuana market’s growth.  

A new report concluded that a state-run bank for marijuana in California would not be a cost-effective or reliable long-term solution, emphasizing the need for continued reform at the federal level.   

A Florida circuit judge struck down Florida’s hard cap on dispensaries, the second ruling against the law in the last year.   

Florida’s governor has asked the legislature to end the ban on smoking.

Evidence

Occupational licensing requirements, which restrict who is eligible for work in the cannabis industry, harm workers, consumers, and the economy.

In order to regulate marijuana and driving, law enforcement should focus on impairment as verified by drug recognition experts, not per se THC levels.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.