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GOP lawmakers tout cannabis poll (Newsletter: February 24, 2023)

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Feds: CA marijuana license fees hurt owls; WA worker protections; NC medical cannabis hits floor; NY gov visits dispensary

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service says California’s high cost to maintain a legal, licensed marijuana cultivation operation is endangering spotted owls. Illicit grow sites that serve the unregulated market often use banned chemicals that enter the birds’ food supply and kill them, the agency said in a Federal Register notice.

The Washington State Senate passed a bill to protect most job applicants from being discriminated against for using marijuana outside of the workplace.

Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Brian Mast (R-FL) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) are celebrating the results of a new poll that shows a strong majority of likely 2024 GOP presidential primary and caucus voters support federal marijuana legalization.

The

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GOP Congressman Says ‘Millions Of Marijuana Users’ Own Guns And Shouldn’t Face Prosecution Like Hunter Biden Did

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Two Republican congressmen are challenging the basis of the conviction of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter for purchasing a gun while being a consumer of illegal drugs, with one pointing out that there are “millions of marijuana users” who own guns but should not be prosecuted.

After a federal jury found Hunter Biden guilty of three felony charges related to his purchase of a firearm while being a user of crack cocaine on Tuesday, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said he “might deserve to be in jail for something, but purchasing a gun is not it.”

“There are millions of marijuana users who own guns in this country, and none of them should be in jail for purchasing or possessing a firearm against current laws,” the congressman said.

This past December, attorneys for Hunter Biden called on a federal court to dismiss the case against their client based on a similar principle, arguing that prosecutors are applying an unconstitutional statute that would criminalize millions of marijuana consumers acting in compliance with state law if broadly enforced.

The federal statute banning people who use cannabis from buying or possessing firearms has been challenged in multiple federal courts over recent years, with one

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New Hampshire Medical Medical Expansion Bills Near Final Passage As Recreational Legalization Also Advances

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As New Hampshire lawmakers move toward potentially making the state the 25th in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, separate legislation to significantly expand the state’s existing medical cannabis program is also advancing toward final passage.

House and Senate negotiators on conference committees arrived at deals on language for the measures ahead of a Thursday deadline. One proposal would allow doctors to recommend marijuana for any condition they believe would be improved through cannabis use, and the other would expand the pool of healthcare professionals who can recommend medical marijuana.

Both bills now return to each legislative chamber for up-or-down votes. If they succeed, they would next go to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

The compromises come in addition to agreement reached Thursday on legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults, a bargain struck after months of tension between the two houses on how to approach the reform.

On the qualifying conditions bill, HB 1278, members of the conference committee agreed to go with the version of the bill passed by the House in March, recommending that its language be adopted by both chambers.

“The Senate has receded from their amendment and acceded to the House position,”

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Nebraska Activists Say They Need 30,000 More Signatures Over Next Month To Put Medical Marijuana Initiatives For November Ballot

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Nebraska activists are putting out an urgent call for voters to sign petitions to place a pair of medical marijuana legalization initiatives on the state’s November ballot, with just under four weeks left to collect about 30,000 more signatures to qualify each measure.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) said in an email blast on Thursday that while they prioritized meeting a requirement to gather signatures from at least five percent of voters in a minimum of 38 counties across the state, they now need supporters to rally to hit the overall statewide signature threshold.

“We made the counties our main focus because they require a great deal of time and resources that cannot wait until the last minute,” Crista Eggers, NMM’s campaign manager, said. “We have the counties, but we have an urgent need to collect bulk signatures.”

“There is no doubt we are farther ahead than in past petition drives, but still have a tremendous push to gather over 30,000 signatures on each petition over the next 27 days to assure we are successful,” she said.

The campaign needs to collect a total of 87,000 valid signatures for each of the two measures by July 3 in order to

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