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San Antonio Certifies Marijuana And Abortion Initiative For May Ballot, But Officials Question Enforceability

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San Antonio, Texas officials have officially certified a local initiative for the May ballot that would decriminalize marijuana, prevent the enforcement of abortion restriction laws and ban no-knock warrants.

But already, the city attorney is indicating that the local reforms would not be enforcable under state statute, even if voters ultimately approve the measure on May 6.

Advocates with Ground Game Texas, the organization that spearheaded the ballot initiative and turned in more than 37,000 signatures to qualify it last month, have grown used to the bureaucratic pushback after several cities fought against successful decriminalization measures that passed last year.

For the time being, the focus will be on ensuring that voters are aware that the criminal justice reform package will be on the ballot this spring.

“The simple truth is that these policies will SAVE lives by limiting unnecessary interactions with police that can lead to serious injury or even death—as we have seen recently with the shooting of Erik Cantu and death of Tyre Nichols,” Ananda Tomas, executive director of ACT 4 SA, which supported the initiative alongside Ground Game, said in a press release.

“By passing this we will create a safer, more just San Antonio for

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Marijuana Banking Bill Will Pass ‘Decisively’ Next Week, Senate Committee Chair Says As More Amendments Are Floated

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Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says a bipartisan marijuana banking will pass “decisively” out of his panel next week, as senators discuss possible tweaks on its path to the floor and anti-drug advocates decry the reform as a public safety hazard.

The revised Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act that’s due for a committee markup next Wednesday might not enjoy the same level of support as other unrelated bills that recently moved out of the panel, but Brown told Ask a Pol’s Matt Laslo that he still expects a “strong majority” will approve it.

The chairman said he isn’t anticipating “many amendments” when it reaches the floor. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has committed to attaching changes related to state-level cannabis expungements and gun rights for medical cannabis patients—but beyond that, Brown said generally “there will be enough agreement that we will keep the bill together and make minor changes.”

NEW EXCLUSIVE:

Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown on SAFER Banking Act: “we’ll pass it decisively”#SAFEBanking #cannabisindustry https://t.co/g9P3nD6KuX pic.twitter.com/bYZZvoBBc0

— @askapol (@ask_a_pol) September 22, 2023

He did mention another possible amendment related to a “credit card bank issue,” but it’s unclear what he’s specifically

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Schumer Commits To Bring Newly Revised Marijuana Banking Bill To The Floor With Cannabis Expungements And Gun Rights Amendments

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reaffirmed his commitment to expeditiously advancing a revised marijuana banking bill—and he says he will also push to attach legislation on cannabis expungements and gun rights for medical marijuana patients.

One week before the Senate Banking Committee is set to vote on the amended Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, which was formally filed on Wednesday, Schumer released a statement shared exclusively in advance with Marijuana Moment that touted the bipartisan agreement and previewed plans to further expand the bill.

“For too long, the federal government has continued to punish marijuana users and business owners—even when doing so is actively harmful to our country,” he said. “This ‘war on drugs’ has turned into a war on people and communities—specifically people and communities of color—and a war on business.”

“This agreement allows cannabis businesses that have traditionally operated in cash to finally have the opportunity to accept credit and debit cards, allowing them to grow their businesses, pay their employees, protect their customers and ensure public safety,” he said.

The majority leader added that he intends to bring the SAFER Banking Act to the floor “with all due speed,” and he said he’s

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Congressional Committee Will Vote On Removing Marijuana As Barrier To Federal Employment Or Security Clearances

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A congressional committee next week will vote on a bill to protect people from being denied federal employment or security clearances due to marijuana use—and to provide relief for people who lost opportunities due to cannabis in the past.

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee will hold a markup on the legislation, the Cannabis Users’ Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act, on Wednesday, Chairman James Comer (R-KY) announced late Friday.

“Every year, qualified and dedicated individuals seeking to serve our country are unable to secure federal jobs and security clearances because the federal government has not caught up with the widely established legal use of medical and recreational cannabis,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the bill’s lead sponsor, said when he filed the measure in July.

The change “will eliminate the draconian, failed and obsolete marijuana policies that prevent talented individuals from becoming honorable public servants in their own government,” he said.

A separate cannabis bill, meanwhile, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, is scheduled for consideration a week later, on September 27, in a Senate panel.

Raskin’s employment and security clearance bill says that “current or past use of marijuana by a covered person may not be used in

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