Germany Will Legalize Marijuana And Promote Drug Harm Reduction, Governing Party Coalition Officially Announces – Marijuana Moment

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The leaders of Germany’s incoming governing parties announced on Wednesday that they have a formal agreement to legalize marijuana and promote broader drug policy harm reduction measures when they take power.
News of a tentative agreement on cannabis first broke last week, but the coalition pact has now been made official.
“We are introducing the controlled supply of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores,” the parties said in a new 118-page agreement, according to a translation. “This controls the quality [of marijuana], prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors.”
Und ja: We will legalize it! 🥦
— Fraktion der Freien Demokraten (@fdpbt) November 24, 2021

As it stands, personal possession of marijuana is decriminalized in Germany, and there is a medical cannabis program in place. But this proposal seeks to establish a regulated market for adult-use marijuana.
The joint government will review the social impact of legalization four years after implementation.
Beyond cannabis legalization, the so-called traffic light coalition will also advance other drug policy reforms such as establishing drug-checking services where people can have illicit drugs tested for contaminants and other harmful substances without fear of facing criminal sanctions.
The governing coalition—comprised of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens—also said that the legislation will restrict advertising for marijuana, alcohol and tobacco products.
🔴🟢🟡 Heute ist es soweit: Nach rund dreiwöchigen Verhandlungen haben wir uns mit @spdde und @fdp auf einen #Koalitionsvertrag verständigt, der die Grundlage für eine gemeinsame Regierung bilden wird. Seid bei der Vorstellung dabei – um 15:00 Uhr live auf https://t.co/QFods0nY3d pic.twitter.com/Oy3Qv45piV
— BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN (@Die_Gruenen) November 24, 2021

“When it comes to alcohol and nicotine prevention, we rely on increased education with a special focus on children, adolescents and pregnant women,” the agreement states. “We are tightening the regulations for marketing and sponsoring for alcohol, nicotine and cannabis. We constantly measure regulations against new scientific findings and use them to align health protection measures.”
While the lawmakers emphasized that the objective of marijuana legalization is not to boost tax revenue for the country, FDP said in its election manifesto that taxing cannabis like cigarettes could generate €1 billion annually.
This reform has been a long time coming in Germany. It was 2017 when members of the Christian Democratic Union and its ally the Christian Social Union entered into talks with Free Democrats and Greens about advancing legalization.
Police unions in Germany have come out against plans to legalize marijuana.
In neighboring Luxembourg, the ministers of justice and homeland security last month unveiled a legalization proposal, which will still require a vote in the Parliament but is expected to pass. For now, the country is focusing on legalization within a home setting. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in early 2022, and the ruling parties are friendly to the reform.
If either Germany or Luxembourg moves ahead and enacts the reform, they would be the first in Europe to do so. Canada and Uruguay have already legalized recreational cannabis.
Meanwhile, Italian voters may get a chance this spring to vote on a referendum to legalize personal possession and home cultivation of cannabis as well as psilocybin mushrooms.
In North America, meanwhile, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a bill in September to legalize marijuana and promote social equity. Senate leadership is also finalizing a comprehensive reform proposal. Several Republican members of Congress introduced a bill last week to federally legalize and tax marijuana.
In Mexico, the legislature expected to vote on a bill to regulate cannabis within weeks, a top senator recently said. That comes after the Supreme Court invalidated prohibition on constitutional grounds.
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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment’s Sacramento-based senior editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.
Activists File Colorado Ballot Initiatives To Legalize Psychedelics And Establish ‘Healing Center’ Program
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Colorado voters could have the chance next year to vote on legalizing possession and personal cultivation of psychedelics, and creating a system of licensed businesses to produce psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for supervised use at “healing centers.”
A national advocacy group recently filed two separate psychedelics reform initiatives for Colorado’s 2022 ballot, both of which are titled the Natural Medicine Healing Act.
The first would legalize the possession, cultivation and an array of entheogenic substances, as well as establish a regulatory model for psychedelics therapy. The other is a similar, but somewhat more dialed-back proposal that would initially legalize psilocybin and psilocin alone for personal adult use while also allowing for their sale and administration in a therapeutic setting.
This filing comes more than two years after Denver became the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Various activists, including those involved in the 2019 campaign, have signaled interest in building upon the reform.
New Approach PAC, which has been behind a number of state marijuana legalization campaigns as well as Oregon’s medical psilocybin legalization initiative that voters approved last year, filed the new Colorado measures with the secretary of state’s office earlier this month, as Westword first reported.
Both have been revised and finalized, and activists are now awaiting approval from the state before they can launch signature gathering to qualify for next year’s ballot.
Under the broader proposal, the following entheogenic plants and fungi would be legalized: ibogaine, DMT, mescaline (except when derived from peyote), psilocybin and psilocyn.”
There would be no criminal or civil penalties for “possessing, storing, using, processing, transporting, purchasing, obtaining, ingesting, or giving away natural medicine without renumeration to a person twenty-one years of age or older” as long as it’s under the allowable amount of four grams.
While some activists are taking issue with the four gram limitation, the measure does say the allowable amount “does not include the weight of any material of which the natural medicine is a part, including dried fungus or plant material” and only counts the psychoactive compounds themselves.
The state Department of Regulatory Agencies would be responsible for developing rules for a therapeutic psychedelics program where adults 21 and older could visit a licensed “healing center” to receive treatment under the guidance of a trained facilitator.
“Colorado’s current approach to mental health has failed to fulfill its promise,” the text of the measure states. “Coloradans deserve more tools to address mental health issues, including approaches, such as natural medicines, that are grounded in treatment, recovery, health, and wellness rather than criminalization, stigma, suffering, and punishment.”
“Criminalizing natural medicines has punished people for seeking access to medicines that a growing body of research shows may have efficacy as treatments for suicidality, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders,” it says.
An advisory board would be established “for the purpose of advising the department as to the implementation of the regulated access program.”
While localities could enact policies related to the “time, place, and manner of the operation of healing centers,” they could not outright ban the facilities from operating in their jurisdiction.
Further, the initiative provides a pathway for people to have their criminal records cleared for psychedelics-related activities made legal under the proposal. And it also includes protections stating that legal psychedelic activities could not be used against a person when it comes to parental rights, violating probation or parole, access to public benefits or medical care.
The second measure that New Approach PAC filed focuses on psilocybin and psilocyn—the key active ingredients in psychedelic mushrooms.
It would similarly remove criminal penalties for the personal use of the substances and create a regulatory model overseen by the Department of Regulatory Agencies to allow adults to access the medicines at a healing center.
While the ballot proposal centers around psilocybin and psilocyn, it does allow regulators to eventually “classify additional controlled substances as natural medicines under this act if consistent with the purposes of this act.”
The initiative is also distinct from the broader proposal in that it would not create an advisory board, it does allow local municipalities to ban healing centers from operating in their area, it doesn’t provide for retroactive record sealing for psychedelics-related convictions and there are no explicit parent protections.
Here’s the ballot title language of the first initiative that was approved by the state’s Ballot Title Setting Board on Wednesday:
“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning legal regulated access to natural medicine for persons 21 years of age or older, and, in connection therewith, defining natural medicine as certain plants or fungi that affect a person’s mental health and are controlled substances under state law; establishing a natural medicine regulated access program and requiring the department of regulatory agencies to implement the program and regulate the manufacture, cultivation, testing, storage, transport, delivery, sale, and purchase of natural medicine; creating an advisory board to advise the department as to the implementation of the program; granting a local government limited authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of providing natural medicine services; allowing limited personal possession or use of natural medicine; providing specified protections under state law, including criminal and civil immunity, for authorized providers and users of natural medicine; and, in limited circumstances, allowing the retroactive removal and reduction of criminal penalties related to the possession, use, and sale of natural medicine?”
And here’s the psilocybin-focused initiative’s ballot title: 
“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning legal regulated access to natural medicine for persons 21 years of age or older, and, in connection therewith, defining natural medicine as certain plants or fungi that affect a person’s mental health and are controlled substances under state law; establishing a natural medicine regulated access program and requiring the department of regulatory agencies to implement the program and regulate the manufacture, cultivation, testing, storage, transport, delivery, sale, and purchase of natural medicine; granting a local government authority to regulate or ban the provision of natural medicine services; allowing limited personal possession or use of natural medicine; and providing specified protections under state law, including criminal and civil immunity, for authorized providers and users of natural medicine?”
While there are growing calls for expanded psychedelics reform—and specifically regulated, legal access to entheogenic substances—there are some local Colorado activists who are concerned about the language of the two New Approach proposals, as Westword reported.
“They’re looking to create these top-down, restrictive policies in places where grassroots community has been the strongest and where policy has been passed by grassroots community,” Decriminalize Nature Boulder County’s Nicole Foerster argued at a virtual meeting on Thursday.
Meanwhile, activists in the state are also targeting a number of jurisdictions for separate psychedelics reform efforts.
The Colorado initiatives seek to accomplish something similar to what California activists are actively pursuing. California advocates are in the process of collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms in the state.
Virginia activists have also launched a push to decriminalize a wide range of psychedelics in the Commonwealth, and two state lawmakers recently touted the therapeutic potential of entheogenic substances like psilocybin mushrooms.
Last month, Detroit voters approved a ballot initiative to widely decriminalize psychedelics, making it the latest in a growing number of jurisdictions to enact the reform.
In October, lawmakers in a fourth Massachusetts city, Easthampton, voted in favor of a resolution urging the decriminalization of certain entheogenic substances and other drugs.
The action comes months after the neighboring Northampton City Council passed a resolution stipulating that no government or police funds should be used to enforce laws criminalizing people for using or possessing entheogenic plants and fungi. Elsewhere in Massachusetts, Somerville and Cambridge have also moved to effectively decriminalize psychedelics.
The local measures also express support for two bills introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature this year. One would remove criminal penalties for possession of all currently illicit drugs and the other would establish a task force to study entheogenic substances with the eventual goal of legalizing and regulating the them.
Separately, Seattle’s City Council approved a resolution in October to decriminalize noncommercial activity around a wide range of psychedelic substances, including the cultivation and sharing of psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine and non-peyote-derived mescaline.
A bill to legalize psychedelics in California advanced through the Senate and two Assembly committees this year before being pulled by the sponsor to buy more time to generate support among lawmakers. The plan is to take up the reform during next year’s second half of the legislative session, and the senator behind the measure says he’s confident it will pass.
In Oakland, the first city where a city council voted to broadly deprioritize criminalization of entheogenic substances, lawmakers approved a follow-up resolution in December that calls for the policy change to be adopted statewide and for local jurisdictions to be allowed to permit healing ceremonies where people could use psychedelics. Activists in the city are also hoping to expand upon the local decriminalization ordinance by creating a community-based model through which people could legally purchase entheogenic substances from local producers.
Earlier this year, Texas enacted a law directing state officials to study psychedelics’ medical value.
The governor of Connecticut signed a bill in June that includes language requiring the state to carry out a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.
Oregon voters passed a pair of initiatives last November to legalize psilocybin therapy and decriminalize possession of all drugs. On the local level, activists in Portland are mounting a push to have local lawmakers pass a resolution decriminalizing the cultivation, gifting and ceremonial use of a wide range of psychedelics.
The top Democrat in the Florida Senate filed a bill in September that would require the state to research the medical benefits of psychedelics such as psilocybin and MDMA.
A New York lawmaker introduced a bill in June that would require the state to establish an institute to similarly research the medical value of psychedelics.
The Maine House of Representatives passed a drug decriminalization bill this year, but it later died in the Senate.
In a setback for advocates, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted against a proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that would have removed a spending bill rider that advocates say has restricted federal funds for research into Schedule I drugs, including psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine. However, it picked up considerably more votes this round than when the congresswoman first introduced it in 2019.
Report provisions of separate, House-passed spending legislation also touch on the need to expand cannabis and psychedelics research. The panel urged the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support expanded marijuana studies, for example. It further says that federal health agencies should pursue research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for military veterans suffering from a host of mental health conditions.
There was an attempt by a Republican congressman to attach language into a defense bill that would promote research into psychedelics therapy for active duty military members, but it was not made in order in the House Rules Committee in September.
NIDA also recently announced it’s funding a study into whether psilocybin can help people quit smoking cigarettes.
An official with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also said at a recent congressional hearing that the agency is “very closely” following research into the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics like MDMA for military veterans.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a longstanding champion of marijuana reform in Congress, said in October that he intends to help bring the psychedelics reform movement to Capitol Hill, and he reiterated that point in response to a question from Marijuana Moment on Thursday. The congressman is also circulating a letter to get his colleagues to demand that the Drug Enforcement Administration stop preventing terminal patients from accessing psilocybin as a right-to-try investigational drug.
In May, lawmakers in Congress filed the first-ever legislation to federally decriminalize possession of illicit substances.
Congressman Asks Colleagues To Demand DEA Allow Psilocybin Treatment For Terminal Patients

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A congressman is asking his fellow lawmakers to join him in requesting that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an investigational treatment without the fear of federal prosecution.
A new Dear Colleague letter that’s being circulated by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) notes that there are state and federal right-to-try (RTT) laws that should make it so certain patients can obtain the psychedelic given that it’s shown early potential in ongoing clinical trials.
Yet DEA has denied access, resulting in a lawsuit that was filed in March by a Washington State doctor who sought federal guidance to treat terminal patients with psilocybin mushrooms and was told there wasn’t a legal avenue for him to do so.
“There has been a growing body of evidence in recent years pointing to the safety and effectiveness of psilocybin assisted therapy as a potential method to provide care to individuals with treatment-resistant depression and/or anxiety,” Blumenauer wrote to fellow lawmakers.
“However, even with these promising advancements, the pace of regulatory approval has been far too slow for a naturally occurring substance that has evidence of having been safely used by humans for therapeutic uses for thousands of years,” the congressman said. “This is even more true when the quality of care and treatment for terminally ill individuals is resultingly limited and impacted.”
Congress and 41 states have adopted right-to-try laws, which allow patients with terminal conditions to try investigational medications that have not been approved for general use. The letter says DEA has “has failed to abide” by the law.
“I hope you will join me in urging that the DEA takes quick action to remediate these concerns and end their obstruction of access to end-of-life care,” Blumenauer said.
The lawsuit against DEA is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which heard oral arguments in the case in September. Washington State’s attorney general’s office joined the plaintiffs in support of psilocybin access. DEA argued that the court should dismiss the suit because it lacked jurisdiction.
Blumenauer is asking his colleagues to sign onto a letter addressed to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, who was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate over the summer.
“We strongly believe that our constituents suffering such illnesses should have access to this investigational drug should they decide to pursue such a course of treatment and we urge you to take quick action to ensure that the DEA accommodates federal and state RTT laws and allows terminally ill patients to receive psilocybin for therapeutic use,” it says.
The lawsuit—which was brought by an oncology clinic, the Advanced Integrative Medical Science (AIMS) Institute—”can, and ought to be, quickly settled in a manner which addresses DEA’s legitimate concerns about ensuring adequate security to prevent diversion, while enabling dying cancer patients such as those in the AIMS case access to psilocybin,” the letter says.
“Urgent action is needed to ensure that patients currently suffering terminal illness can elect treatment involving psilocybin,” it concludes. “We urge you to take quick action to ensure that the DEA accommodates enacted RTT law and allows terminally ill patients to receive psilocybin for therapeutic use. We appreciate your attention to this urgent matter.”
Sunil Aggarwal, the AIMS doctor behind the lawsuit, told Marijuana Moment that he is “so heartened and grateful for Representative Blumenauer’s leadership here to help my patients who have advancing serious and life-threatening cancer to try psilocybin-assisted therapy, as is their right, to palliate and relieve suffering.”
“High quality clinical evidence has shown that psilocybin-assisted therapy can help generate awe, connection, and joy, and these can impact immune function, mood, demoralization, and potentially prognosis,” he said. “The time is now for all members of Congress in Washington State and beyond to sign onto this letter that implores the US DEA to respect and protect the right to try law’s promises for my patients and others like them. It is the right thing to do, and this is an urgent and time-sensitive matter.”
The Blumenauer-led letter to DEA closes for signatures on Friday. It’s not clear when it will be sent to the agency, but it’s currently dated for some time in December.
Blumenauer separately told Marijuana Moment on Thursday that he’s “excited” about advancements in psychedelics research, as well as the implementation of a psilocybin therapy program that’s being set up in his home state of Oregon, where voters approved the historic reform during last year’s election.
Oregon’s initiative is “a model about how to take advantage of the this therapy for people who desperately need it,” he said. “There are a number of opportunities to demonstrate the power of this therapy. And we are, in a very thoughtful and systematic way, implementing that in Oregon to show how it can result.”
“I think this discussion needs to take place on Capitol Hill—and it’s something that I would like to occur early in the new the new year,” Blumenauer said. “Let people understand the potential, using opportunities now for people in the late stages of life to be able to try this using federal legislation.”
Read the full text of the letter to DEA on psilocybin access for terminal patients below: 
Dear Administrator Milgram,
We write with concern about the U.S. Drug and Enforcement Administration (DEA) obstructing access to psilocybin for therapeutic use consistent with the letter and intent of Right to Try (RTT) laws. The DEA has failed to allow patients access to psilocybin treatment under RTT laws and as a result, litigation has been brought against the agency in Advanced Integrative Medical Science Institute (AIMS), et al v. USDEA that seeks to force the agency to allow access to psilocybin treatment consistent with RTT law (Pub. L. 115-176). We strongly believe that our constituents suffering such illnesses should have access to this investigational drug should they decide to pursue such a course of treatment and we urge you to take quick action to ensure that the DEA accommodates federal and state RTT laws and allows terminally ill patients to receive psilocybin for therapeutic use.
Research demonstrates that psilocybin provides immediate, substantial, and sustained relief from debilitating anxiety and depression in patients with terminal illnesses. Patients with advanced cancer that are also suffering from treatment-resistant anxiety or depression have been found to experience significant reductions in anxiety and depression, and improvements in mood, following a single guided session of psilocybin-assisted therapy. Further, these studies show no safety concerns or clinically significant adverse effects.  Of note, researchers have also found that the benefits from such a treatment are sustained, with patients experiencing improvements in quality of life, life meaning, death acceptance, and optimism six months after treatment. We are excited by this research and the implications it has for our constituents suffering terminal illness.
Recognizing that terminally ill patients do not have the luxury of time to await the slow approval process for new drugs, in 2018 federal lawmakers enacted the Right to Try Act (Pub. L. 115-176), following 41 state legislatures that provided patients access to drugs in investigational stages. Psilocybin qualifies as an investigational drug under the terms outlined in applicable state and federal statutes. Notwithstanding, suffering dying patients seeking treatment with psilocybin are prohibited from receiving such a treatment because of the DEA’s refusal to accommodate RTT.
This refusal has led AIMS, an outpatient oncology clinic and research institute that has been denied access to psilocybin for therapeutic use with terminally ill patients, to file suit against the DEA (AIMS, et al v. USDEA). This case can, and ought to be, quickly settled in a manner which addresses DEA’s legitimate concerns about ensuring adequate security to prevent diversion, while enabling dying cancer patients such as those in the AIMS case access to psilocybin. Urgent action is needed to ensure that patients currently suffering terminal illness can elect treatment involving psilocybin.
We urge you to take quick action to ensure that the DEA accommodates enacted RTT law and allows terminally ill patients to receive psilocybin for therapeutic use. We appreciate your attention to this urgent matter.
Lawmakers Talk Next Steps For Marijuana Banking And Legalization After Reform Blocked By Senate Leader

Image courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos.
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Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is “still pretty irritated” that marijuana banking reform was omitted from a defense bill last week—apparently at the behest of Democratic Senate leadership. But he said in an interview with Marijuana Moment that the congressional debate that subsequently ensued has advanced the cause nonetheless.
Looking ahead, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act sponsor sees additional opportunities to pass the legislation as part of other large-scale bills if the Senate remains unwilling to adopt the standalone measure. He’s had conversations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to that end.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) also told Marijuana Moment this week that they remain adamant about finding a path to passage in spite of the recent setback.
Blumenauer, who also released a memo reflecting on the year’s progress on marijuana reform and outlining priorities for 2022 on Thursday, said during a briefing with reporters that he’s “learned to be patient” when it comes to cannabis reform on Capitol Hill.
“We’re playing the long game here, and we are in the best position we’ve ever been with the Senate,” Blumenauer said. “I’m confident, when we get these aligned, that we’ll be able to move.”
The congressional debate over SAFE Banking this year has divided certain lawmakers and advocates. They share the ultimate goal of ending cannabis criminalization, but there’s tension between the pragmatic desire to pursue bipartisan legislation that’s more incremental but has the votes to pass now and the push for comprehensive reform that will take time to build support for.
But despite the lawmakers’ optimism, it doesn’t necessarily take the sting out of the latest failed attempt to secure protections for banks that choose to work with state-legal cannabis businesses. The House had passed the reform as part of its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), only to have it sidelined following bicameral negotiations.
“By adding it to NDAA, we brought it up several notches in terms of the attention that the Senate had to take to SAFE Banking,” Perlmutter told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview on Tuesday.
And while he remains frustrated over inaction on cannabis policy in the Senate, he said he’s “somewhat encouraged by the conversation that developed” after he filed an amendment in the House Rules Committee to reinsert the legislation into the defense bill—even if he ultimately decided not to force a vote and risk blowing up the overall NDAA deal that emerged out of bicameral negotiations.
But he and other House lawmakers have signaled that the days of playing nice with the Senate and hoping that the other body will get around to taking up cannabis banking at its own pace are over.
Blumenauer told Marijuana Moment on Thursday that “it’s very clear that this is the last time that we’re going to basically avoid the showdown” without blowing up larger bills, if it comes to that. Perlmutter made similar comments during the Rules meeting last week.
It was no secret that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) posed an obstacle to enacting marijuana banking reform through NDAA, as he’s repeatedly said that he believes comprehensive reform to end federal cannabis prohibition and put in place a regulatory scheme should come first. Perlmutter said it really was the leader’s final word that nailed the coffin on passing banking reform as part of the defense bill.
“Senator Schumer really weighed in on this. It was one of the last things eliminated from the NDAA—really at the Senate majority leader’s insistence,” he said.
The congressman is a cosponsor of a legalization bill—the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which passed the House last year and cleared the Judiciary Committee this session in September. He wants to see broad reform, too. But he’s not so confident that the proposal still has the votes to be approved in the full House again, with a narrower Democratic majority in place now than the last time it was brought up.
And that’s to say nothing of the Senate, where deep doubts remain about the prospects of getting 60 votes to advance federal descheduling.
“Right now, with SAFE Banking, we know clearly that has the votes in the House,” Perlmutter said, noting the strong bipartisan support his bill has received as it’s cleared the chamber five times in some form at this point.

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“The bill that Senator Schumer and Senator Booker have talked about—they’ve got some basic outline of what they’d like to see that decriminalizes, has a criminal justice reform component in it, as well as a big taxation component in it,” he said, referring to their draft Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). “I don’t think they have the votes for that.”
“It isn’t like this is a subject that’s brand new. Where is it going?”
“I don’t have a problem with [broad legalization] personally,” he said. “I just want to pass something that breaks the ice so that the Senate starts taking this up in, you know, bigger chunks if they’re willing to do that.”
He also said that there are other potential legislative vehicles that he could attempt to put the banking language in, and which he has discussed with Pelosi, but “it’s premature to talk about” the specifics publicly.
Blumenauer, for his part, insisted that the Senate could easily pass SAFE Banking if it was brought to the floor as standalone legislation.
“We’ve given them a bill. It is clean. It has broad support in the Senate,” he said. “That’s the simplest effort, but there will be vehicles going back and forth. And you will see there will be strong support to make sure that we don’t come up short on this again.”
Joyce, the Ohio Republican congressman who on Thursday sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris criticizing the administration’s inaction on cannabis reform and who recently filed a new marijuana expungements bill, also recently spoke about the SAFE Banking Act and the thinking behind enacting that bipartisan policy change first.
At an event hosted by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), Joyce said that the MORE Act is “DOA” in the Senate, meaning dead on arrival. So “we’ve got to find a more palatable path forward.”
“Our idea was to consider this—if you wouldn’t mind the term—flooding the zone,” the congressman said in response to a question from Marijuana Moment about combining his expungements legislation with banking to assuage the Senate’s concerns. “You know, piecemeal things like the HOPE Act and [SAFE Banking Act] and STATES Act and putting those things out there in front of it instead of an all-inclusive one-size-fits-all” bill.
“We know we don’t do big well. And so bite-sized pieces may be better,” Joyce said. “If we can get the Senate to at least bite on some of these smaller ones, I think that we’ll get into position where” reform can advance.

Perlmutter is quick to argue against people who say that SAFE Banking is all about the industry—emphasizing that access to capital and “not getting shot” due to the inherent dangers of marijuana businesses being forced to operate on a largely cash basis are equity issues in and of themselves. But he’s also not against having the Senate take the legislation and add additional social justice components.
Asked for his thoughts on attaching the marijuana expungements bill that Joyce recently filed with Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to the SAFE Banking Act as a way to assuage equity concerns expressed by Schumer and others, the congressman deferred to the Senate, saying he’s fine with it “if they have the votes.”
The congressman also reacted to strong pushback from House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) against Schumer’s intervention against the banking provisions of the NDAA.
“I don’t really quite know what the hell his problem is,” the chairman said of Schumer at last week’s hearing.
“I’m glad” that the chairman was openly critical, Perlmutter told Marijuana Moment, “because mine would have been even harsher.”
GOP Lawmakers Blast Biden And Harris Over ‘Continued Silence’ On Marijuana And Urge Rescheduling

Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.


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