The Week in Weed 3-25-17 Marijuana News Round-Up

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The Week in Weed - Marijuana NewsThis Week’s Marijuana News Round-Up:Should Insurance Companies Pay for Medical Marijuana?; Trump Administration Cannabis Fear Mongering All Too Familiar to Marijuana Lifer; Congress Votes to Extend Drug Testing for the Jobless; A Quarter of a Million Beer Drinkers Sat They’re Switching to Pot; Segerblom Bill Could Spark Earlier Recreational Sales; and more.

Medical/Health Marijuana News

Should Insurance Companies Pay for Medical Marijuana? — Recent court rulings in Canada and the U.S. could set a new precedent for insurance companies to pay for doctor-prescribed medical marijuana. In the last few months, in consideration of the addictive potential of opiates and relatively few safety concerns over marijuana, judges in both the U.S. and Canada have ruled in favor of insurance companies covering medical marijuana for pain patients.

A Quarter of a Million Beer Drinkers Say They’re Switching to Pot — As legalization of marijuana grows throughout the United States, so does its popularity with beer drinkers. About one in four Americans are now spending their money on marijuana instead of beer, new research from Cannabiz Consumer Group found. Twenty-seven percent of beer consumers are legally purchasing cannabis instead of beer, or suggested they would purchase it instead if it were legalized in their state. The research group surveyed 40,000 Americans last year. 

Legal/Political Marijuana News

Congress Votes to Extend Drug Testing for the Jobless — In their seemingly endless quest to ferret out the “undeserving poor” and further impoverish the needy, Republicans in Congress last week sent a bill to President Trump vastly expanding the number of unemployment applicants who can be drug-tested before receiving benefits. He’s expected to sign it. Here are a couple of salient points about this: First, it may well be unconstitutional. Second, even if it’s not, it’s an enormous waste of money. Several states have tried drug-screening applicants for public assistance programs, aiming to deny benefits to those who fail. Universally, these efforts fail to uncover more than a tiny handful of drug users, typically below the percentage of users in the general population, and often cost more than they save.

Dustin Costa is serving de-facto life for marijuana.

Dustin Costa is serving de-facto life for marijuana.

Trump Administration Cannabis Fear Mongering All Too Familiar to Marijuana Lifer — Recent troubling comments about cannabis from members of the Trump administration sound eerily familiar to Dustin Costa. As of January 2017, the septuagenarian has been serving a de facto life sentence over a nonviolent cannabis offense for 11 years. Statements like those made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who has hinted at a crackdown on cannabis laws and recently claimed marijuana is only “slightly less awful” than heroin – don’t exactly have Costa feeling hopeful about an early release. 

Marijuana News State by State

2nd Mendocino Tribe Files Suit Over Pot Eradication — The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians is seeking more than $25,000 in damages from Mendocino County for 847 marijuana plants it claims were illegally eradicated from its rancheria by law enforcement last year. It’s one of at least two claims filed against the county in connection with tribe-sanctioned cannabis operations, a growing movement among Indian nations seeking new sources of revenue. The Pinoleville Pomo Nation last year filed a claim for the eradication of more than 400 plants on its rancheria just outside Ukiah but has yet to file a lawsuit. Both tribes contend the marijuana was for medicinal use.

Segerblom Bill Would Spark Earlier Recreational Sales in Nevada —  A bill proposed Friday by Sen. Tick Segerblom would kick-start recreational marijuana sales in Nevada. But a statement out of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office could spell doom for the bill. Senate Bill 302 would let medical marijuana dispensaries forgo the medical card requirement and sell cannabis to anyone 21 and older. The measure would allow for some sales for the drug while the Nevada Department of Taxation crafts permanent business regulations. If passed, the bill would go into effect as soon as it is signed into law.

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