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I’m A Former Marijuana Prisoner. Here’s What I’ll Tell Senators At Their Legalization Hearing (Op-Ed)

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“If we can make any progress today—whether through legislation or executive action—we must seize that opportunity to move forward toward a post-prohibition approach to federal cannabis law.”

By Weldon Angelos

Tuesday will be a historic day in the U.S. Senate. Members of a key subcommittee have invited me to testify at a hearing on cannabis reform and the harms of criminalization—a first-of-its-kind meeting in a chamber where marijuana policy and the lifelong consequences of prohibition have been swept under the rug for far too long.

My message to the panel will be simple: My name is Weldon Angelos, and I am living proof of the benefits of second chances. But I’m far from the only person deserving of relief. I plan to remind members that inaction will only continue to breed injustice, and there’s no more time to waste.

The topic of the hearing—the critically important issue of federal cannabis decriminalization—affects the lives of millions of Americans, from those who have interacted with the criminal justice system, to patients and veterans who get relief from cannabis.

I’m grateful to the subcommittee chairman, Senator Booker, as well as Senator Lee for their ongoing commitment to my cause and to my case.

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California Senator Gives Up Psychedelics Reform Push For 2022 After Bill Gutted By Key Committee

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A California senator announced on Friday that he will no longer pursue plans to enact his psychedelics reform bill this year after a key committee removed major provisions this week that would have legalized possession of substances like psilocybin, LSD, DMT and MDMA for people over the age of 21.

On Thursday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee advanced the Senate-passed legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D), but significantly scaled it back so it would merely direct state officials to conduct a study of potential future psychedelics policy reforms—taking out its main criminal justice provisions.

“I’ve now confirmed that SB 519—decriminalizing possession and use of small quantities of certain psychedelic drugs—was amended by the Assembly Appropriations Committee to remove the decriminalization aspect of the bill,” Wiener said in a press release. “As a result, the soon-to-be-amended version of SB 519 is limited to a study.”

“While I am extremely disappointed by this result, I am looking forward to reintroducing this legislation next year and continuing to make the case that it’s time to end the War on Drugs,” the lawmaker said. “Psychedelic drugs, which are not addictive, have incredible promise when it comes to mental health and addiction treatment. We are not

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Schumer Touts Senate Marijuana Research Bill Among ‘Historic Progress’ Under Biden As Legalization Measure Lingers

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As the midterm elections approach, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would probably prefer to be able to tout progress on enacting marijuana legalization—but instead, he’s currently left with the Senate passage of a modest cannabis research bill as among “historic achievements” made during the Biden administration.

In a statement released on Thursday, the leader touted the “productive and bipartisan” work that the Senate has done under Democratic leadership.

“To even do small things in the Senate is tough,” he said. “To pass major pieces of bipartisan legislation in the longest evenly divided Senate in history is a testament to Democrats’ persistence and hard work to deliver for the American people.”

While the press statement largely focuses on touting major achievements such as the Inflation Reduction Act, and infrastructure bill and aid to Ukraine, among other more well-known pieces of legislation, it also includes mention of the cannabis study reform.

Under a section of the statement titled “Fighting Back Against Hate, Crime and Oppression,” Schumer briefly mentioned that the “Senate passed legislation to streamline research of marijuana,” referencing legislation from Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that cleared the chamber in April.

Missing from the

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CA cannabis & psychedelics bills advance to floor votes (Newsletter: August 12, 2022)

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AR court puts marijuana on ballot (but votes might not count); GOP congressman “hopeful” on psychedelics; NY retail apps soon; MD cannabis ballot info

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered the secretary of state to certify a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot while a legal challenge is pending. But depending on the outcome of the case, the votes on the measure may never be counted.

The California Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees cleared major drug policy reforms for floor votes—including bills to allow interstate cannabis commerce and protect people from losing jobs for off-duty marijuana use—but a

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