Florida Bill Filed to Ban Courts From Denying or Restricting Parental Rights Over Medical Marijuana

Legislation “prohibiting a court from denying or restricting certain parental rights based solely on a parent’s medical marijuana use” was filed yesterday in the Florida Legislature.

“A court may not deny or otherwise restrict a parent’s custody of a minor child or the parent’s visitation rights or parenting time with a minor child based solely on the parent’s status as a certified medical marijuana user pursuant to s. 22 381.986”, states the official text of Senate Bill 1496.

The measure states that there “is no presumption of neglect or child endangerment based solely on the person’s status as a certified medical marijuana user pursuant to s. 381.986. In determining the best interest of the child with respect to custody or dependency, the provisions of this section shall apply.”
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Rhode Island Lawmakers File Bill to Legalize Possession and Cultivation of Psilocybin Mushrooms

Legislation to legalize the personal possession and cultivation of psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms has been filed in the Rhode Island Legislature.

Dried psilocybin mushrooms.

House Bill 7047 was filed by State Representatives Brandon Potter Brandon Potter along with cosponsors Representatives June Speakman, Joseph McNamara, Scott Slater, Cherie Cruz, Jose Batista, David Bennett, Robert Craven, Enrique Sanchez and Arthur Handy.

If passed into law, the possession of up to one ounce of psilocybin mushrooms would be legalized for those 21 and older.
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US Department of Veterans Affairs Announces They’re Funding Psychedelics Research

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that they will be funding and conducting research on the use of certain psychedelics to treat PTSD and depression.

Psilocybin ("magic") mushrooms.

Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

Today, the VA issued a request for applications (RFA) for proposals from its network of VA researchers (in collaboration with academic institutions) to study the use of certain psychedelic compounds in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Through this new research opportunity, VA intends to gather definitive scientific evidence on the potential efficacy and safety of psychedelic compounds such as Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin when used in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat Veterans with PTSD and depression, according to a press release sent today. This is the first time since the 1960s that VA is funding research on such compounds.
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US Congressmember Sends Letter to DEA Asking Them to Expedite Rescheduling Marijuana

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) today sent a letter to Drug Enforcement Administrator Anne Milgram asking her to act expeditiously on a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation to reschedule marijuana to Schedule 3 under the Controlled Substances Act.

The letter follows a DEA oversight hearing in July in which Congressman Cohen questioned Administrator Milgram on this topic. At the time, Administrator Milgram said DEA could only act after it received a recommendation from HHS. The following month HHS sent a letter to the DEA officially recommending marijuana be moved to Schedule III, which would effectively legalize it for prescription use nationwide.

“I urge you, in the strongest possible way, to follow through on HHS’s recommendation”, says Representative Cohen in his letter. “It is critical that the DEA’s review is expeditious and that your agency quickly initiate the rulemaking process.”
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US Senate Bill to Allow Marijuana Banking Has 68% Chance of Becoming Law, Says GovTrack Analysis

According to an analysis, federal legislation to allow marijuana banking has a more than two-thirds chance of being enacted into law.

The SAFER Banking Act (S.2860) would provide strong legal protections to banks and other financial institutions that provide services to state-legal marijuana businesses. The measure is sponsored by 35% of the entire US Senate, including having support from both Democrats and Republicans as well as all three senators who identify as independent. In September it received approval by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying November that the full Senate is “getting close” to a vote.

According to an analysis by GovTrack.us, the SAFER Banking Act now has a 68% chance of being passed in the Senate and House, and signed into law by President Biden.
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Montana: $319 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in 2023, Over $50 Million in Taxes Made

Montana marijuana stores sold $26.8 million in legal marijuana in December, bringing the yearly total to $319 million.

According to the Montana Cannabis Control Division, there was $26,886,443 worth of marijuana sold in December. This is around $1.7 million more than the total for November, and $1.2 million more than the previous December.

Year-to-date marijuana sales finished at $319.16 million, an over $15 million increase from the $303.56 million sold throughout 2022. The $319 million in sales resulted in around $55 million in tax revenue.
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Nebraska Bill Would Make Kratom an Illegal Substance

Legislation filed today in Nebraska would make kratom a schedule 1 controlled substance, making it illegal for all uses.

Legislative Bill 972, filed by Senator Loren Lippincott, would explicitly prohibit the use, possession and distribution of kratom by placing it at the top of the state’s list of controlled substances. Under current law kratom is legally sold in outlets like smokes shops and gas stations.

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. The crushed or powdered leaves are often brewed with tea, or placed into gel capsules. Kratom can produces both stimulant effects and sedative effects, depending on the strain and amount consumed. Many consumers report benefits in combatting pain and anxiety, among other ailments.
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New Missouri Bill Would Prohibit Marijuana Odor From Being Used as Probable Cause for Police Searches

A newly filed Missouri bill “Prohibits the odor of marijuana alone to give rise to probable cause to search a vehicle, home, or other private property”.

House Bill 2132 was prefiled by State Representative Ian Mackey (D) on December 28. Yesterday the measure was passed through its first reading in the House of Representatives, and today it was heard for a second time. It will need to be passed through a third reading by the full House before it can be sent to the state’s Senate.

The proposed law states that “Notwithstanding any provision of law, the odor of marijuana alone shall not provide a law enforcement officer with probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of a motor vehicle, home, or other private property.”
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Study: Marijuana Legalization Not Associated With Increases in Psychotic Disorders or Health Service Use

Legalizing marijuana is “not associated with an increase in health service use or frequency of psychotic disorders”, according to a new study.

The study was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, and it was conducted by researchers at Western University, McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, McGill University, Brescia University College and King’s College London.

“There is concern that non-medical cannabis legalization in Canada may have population-level impacts on psychotic disorders”, states the study’s abstract. “We sought to examine changes in health service use and incident cases of psychotic disorder following cannabis legalization, during a period of tight restrictions on retail stores and product types.”
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Arizona Bill to Facilitate Psilocybin Research Filed in House of Representatives

Republican State Representative Kevin Payne has filed legislation that would facilitate the research of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms.

Dried psilocybin mushrooms.

House Bill 2105 was prefiled today by Representative Payne for the upcoming legislative session which begins January 8. The measure has not yet received a committee assignment.

Under the legislation the director of the Department of Health Services “shall provide from monies appropriated competitive research grants for whole mushroom psilocybin phase one, phase two and phase three clinical trials that are capable of being approved by the United States food and drug administration to evaluate the effects of whole mushroom psilocybin on treating any of the following:

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