Republican Stalwart Sen. Lindsey Graham Warms to Weed


Lt. Gen. Jack L. Rives, Air Force judge advocate general, pins the Meritorious Service Medal on Col. Lindsey Graham in a Pentagon ceremony April 28, 2009. In addition to being a U.S. senator from South Carolina, Colonel Graham is an individual mobilization augmentee and the senior instructor at the Air Force JAG School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (U.S. Air Force photo)

He held a hearing on how its classified by the Federal Government.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the latest high-profile Republication to show hints of evolving on cannabis policy. He’s a cosponsor of the CARERS Act which would, Politico writes: “reclassify marijuana so that it is considered to have some medical value; permit banks to handle money from legal marijuana businesses; prevent the government from interfering with state-legal medical marijuana programs; exclude non-psychoactive marijuana extracts from the definition of marijuana; grant military veterans access to medical marijuana; and break the government’s monopoly on medical marijuana research.”

This summer Graham chaired a subcommittee hearing on how the DEA classifies the plant, a major step towards getting a vote on the bill. It had languished since introduced last year by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) is teaming up with the casino industry to oppose REC. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson donated $1M to fight MED in Florida. He donated $5M in 2014.

Body care company Dr. Bronner’s said it will give $660,000 to support legalization in five states.

A plurality of Coloradans think legalization has benefitted the state, and a majority think it’s good for the state economy, according to a new poll. It’s more popular in Oregon.

The L.A. Times endorsed REC in California. Marijuana Business Daily games out the two MED initiativesthat voters will decide in Arkansas. You can put money on which REC and MED initiatives will pass at the site PredictIt.

Three Oakland City Council members have proposed that all permitted cannabis-businesses should give the city a 25% equity stake in their business and at least one board seat. “We’ll be able to use a resource that generates millions,” Council Member Noel Gallo told the San Francisco Chronicle.

One established executive called the idea a “gut punch.” State Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), lead author of California’s new MED rules, said the proposal is likely not legal. “If the city is an owner, it’s also a regulator. So it’s regulating itself.”