Kentucky Allocating $42 Million in Opioid Lawsuit Money to Fund Psychedelic Ibogaine Research

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced today that the state will be allocating $42 million to research the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic substance ibogaine for the treatment of opioid addiction.

(Photo credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Attorney General Cameron said at a press conference that the state will be using $42 million that was obtained via lawsuits against opioid manufacturers to study a potential key benefit of the psychedelic substance ibogaine. The funding will lead to the establishment of clinical trial sites: a state commission will coordinator with state colleges in order to facilitate the research.

Ibogaine is a “dissociative psychedelic with oneiric properties that has multiple aforementioned anti-addictive mechanisms, as well as the ability to generate therapeutic psychological insights”, according to the journal Progress in Brain Research.
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Louisiana Senate Committee Passes House-Approved Marijuana Expungement Bill

Louisiana’s Senate Judiciary Committee has voted in favor of legislation designed to allow for the quick expungement of marijuana possession convictions.

House Bill 286 was reported favorably out of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, just six days after it was passed through the House of Representatives in a 69 to 30 vote. The measure will need to be passed through one more committee before it can be considered by the full Senate. Passage in the Senate would send the bill to Governor John Bel Edwards.

HB 286 would allow those with a misdemeanor conviction for marijuana possession to file a motion to expunge the charge 90 days following their conviction. First-time offenders would be exempt from processing fees.
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California Senate Passes Bill to Ban Employers From Asking About Past Marijuana Use

California’s full Senate has passed a bill that would provide legal protections to marijuana consumers who are seeking employment.

Filed by Senator Steven Bradford, Senate Bill 700 “would make it unlawful for an employer to request information from an applicant for employment relating to the applicant’s prior use of cannabis”. The Senate voted yesterday 29 to 9 to send the proposal to the House of Representatives.

The proposal would not apply to applicants or employees hired for positions that require a federal government background investigation or security clearance in accordance with regulations “issued by the United States Department of Defense pursuant to Part 117 of Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or equivalent regulations applicable to other agencies.”
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Arizona Court Ruling Expands Eligibility for Marijuana Expungements

A ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals allows for more marijuana-related convictions to be expunged (removed) from people’s records.

Following Arizona’s legalization of marijuana in 2020, thousands of marijuana charges have been expunged or are in the process of being expunged, including over 10,000 in Maricopa County. The charges that have been made eligible for expungement include:

  • Possessing, consuming or transporting 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana
  • Possessing, transporting, cultivating or processing not more than six marijuana plants at the individual’s primary residence for personal use
  • Possessing, using or transporting paraphernalia relating to the cultivation, manufacture, processing or consumption of marijuana

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Minnesota Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Marijuana

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed House File 100 into law, officially making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana.

The governor’s signature on HF 100 means that starting August 1, those 21 and older in Minnesota will be allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, eight grams of marijuana concentrates and 800mg of marijuana edibles. They will also be allowed to grow up to eight plants and possess up to two pounds at a private residence.

After an extensive process that included over 40 committee hearings, HF 100 was passed through the House of Representatives 73 to 57, and it passed the Senate 34 to 32.
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Texas Marijuana Bills Killed in Senate, Dead Until At Least January, 2025

Two Texas bills that would have decriminalized marijuana and expanded the state’s medical marijuana program have both been killed in the Senate after being passed by strong majorities in the House of Representatives.

The Texas House passed House Bill 218 in April by a vote of 87 to 59. Sponsored by State Representative Joe Moody the measure would have removed criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or marijuana concentrates such as hash and oil.

The same month the House gave approval to House Bill 1805 in an overwhelming 121 to 23 vote. Sponsored by Representative Stephanie Klick with over 40 cosponsors, the proposal would have added chronic pain “for which a physician would otherwise prescribe an opioid” to the state’s list of medical ailments that qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient. The legislation would have also replaced the 1% cap on THC content by instead instituting a volumetric dose of 10mg, and empowered the Department of State Health Services to add additional qualifying condition through an administrative process.
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Illinois Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Marijuana Businesses to Take State Tax Deductions

Legislation that would allow marijuana businesses that are legal under state law to take standard state-level tax deductions has been passed by the full Illinois Legislature.

House Bill 3817 was filed by State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth along with 19 cosponsors, all Democrat. The measure will now to sent to Governor J. B. Pritzker for consideration after passing the Senate 36 to 20, and passing the House 73 to 38.

The legislation, which covers a variety of topics, includes a provision that would alter the state’s existing tax code to allow marijuana businesses to take deductions for “an amount equal to the deductions that were disallowed under Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code for the taxable year”.
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Michigan: Over $1 Billion in Legal Marijuana Sold So Far in 2023

Legal marijuana sales in Michigan have surpassed $1 billion in 2023 alone, according to data released by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency.

Michigan sold $909 million worth of legal marijuana and marijuana products between January and April of this year. Although data for May won’t be released until sometime in June, a spokesperson for the Agency tells us that the state passed $100 million sold in May earlier this month, meaning the year-to-date total is now over $1 billion.

March is the top month so far this year with $249.6 million sold, followed by April with $246 million sold. Data for January and February is almost identical with $207 million and $206 million sold respectively. The vast majority of these sales were for recreational marijuana, with medical marijuana sales each month ranging from $7.8 million to $10.1 million
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Minnesota Governor to Sign Marijuana Legalization Bill on Tuesday

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz plans to sign into law a bill that will legalize recreational marijuana early next week.

According to the governor’s office he plans to sign HF 100 on Tuesday, May 30 as part of a “large ceremony” that will celebrate the state becoming the 23rd to legalize marijuana. A spokesperson for the governor tells us there’s a small chance the ceremony could get delayed to Wednesday, but it will happen next week “no matter what”.

Once signed into law HF 100 will take effect on August 1, allowing those 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, eight grams of marijuana concentrates and 800mg of marijuana edibles. They will also be allowed to grow up to eight plants at a private residence.
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New York Senate Committee Passes Legislation to Legalize Safe Drug Consumption Sites

A key committee in the New York Senate has given approval to legislation that would legalize safe drug consumption sites, sometimes referred to as overdose prevention centers and safe injection sites.

(Photo credit: Eric Risberg / AP file)

The Senate Health Committee passed Senate Bill S399A this week in a voice vote, exactly four months after it was assigned to the committee. The measure, filed by Senator Gustavo Rivera, requires the Department of Health to authorize at least one safe drug consumption site. The site/s would provide a safe location for consumers to use drugs such as heroin, with medical personnel on site to prevent overdoses as well as make referrals for treatment.

“Harm reduction works”, says Senator Rivera. “Harm reduction is a modality, a way to approach dealing with an issue which assumes, first, that a person who uses drugs is a person, and that they have to be met where they are. Fact number two, criminalization has not worked.”
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