A new bipartisan bill would automatically seal nonviolent federal cannabis records if passed into law.
Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) recently reintroduced the Clean Slate Act, which would also seal the records of people who were arrested for a crime but were never convicted.
The sponsors say the bill would help improve the workforce. “We know how critical it is to give those who have served their time and paid their debt to society a clean slate and a second chance. That's why I'm proud to be introducing the bipartisan Clean Slate Act,” Rochester tweeted.
“The Clean Slate Act would remove major barriers for many Americans in finding employment, securing housing, and accessing education by automatically sealing the federal records of individuals convicted of low-level, nonviolent drug offenses after they successfully complete their sentence,” said the representatives in a press release.
A previous version of the bill advanced through the House Judiciary Committee last year but never made it to the floor.
Texas House Passes Decrim Bill
Texas is New Mexico’s biggest neighboring state that hasn’t legalized cannabis for adult use.
This has led directly to an influx of Texan customers at New Mexico border dispensaries, and is the biggest factor in their success. Now Texas legislators are pushing to decriminalize cannabis as a stepping stone to broader reform.
Last month the Texas House of Representatives voted 87 to 59 to pass a bill that would make possession of up to one ounce of cannabis a Class C misdemeanor. The bill would also impose a maximum fine of $500 for the crime with no threat of jail time.
Under current Texas law, getting caught in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana can be punishable with up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.
It is believed that the bill will have a difficult time in the Senate and is unlikely to pass to Texas Gov. Greg Abbot’s desk.
Study: Medical Cannabis Improves Quality of Life
A new study from researchers in Australia found that medical cannabis treatments improve quality of life for patients.
Researchers at the Center for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology in Hawthorn, Australia, recently published the study in JAMA Network Open. The study analyzed data from 3,148 cannabis patients and found that many showed significantly improved ratings in eight medical categories. The survey rated quality of life issues when patients started using medical cannabis.
The authors said there were a high number of adverse events related to cannabis use, however. “The relatively high incidence of adverse events still affirms the need for caution with THC prescribing and careful identification of patients with contraindications,” they wrote.
CBD-dominant products were associated with greater role-related physical improvements while THC-dominant products were associated with greater physical improvements.
State adds insomnia to medical cannabis conditions
he New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) announced Tuesday the addition of insomnia to the program’s list of qualifying conditions for enrollment starting June 1, 2023.
The announcement was made this morning at the MCP’s Medical Advisory Board meeting. A petition requesting insomnia be added as a qualifying condition was submitted for consideration at the board’s last meeting March 7, where the board members eligible to vote unanimously voted to support the recommendation.
In his written decision approving the advisory board’s petition, Department of Health Secretary Patrick M. Allen wrote:
“Even though patients may access cannabis without a medical cannabis card through the adult use program, by including insomnia in the list of qualifying conditions, patients would have increased opportunity to discuss with their medical provider how cannabis can be used to impact their insomnia and help them sleep better. From a health equity perspective, medical cannabis can offer a legal alternative to the expensive medications sometimes utilized by those suffering with insomnia.”
Insomnia is the 30th qualifying condition for the Medical Cannabis Program. Anxiety disorder was the most recent added condition in December 2022.
Enrolled patients can buy cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary tax-free.
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