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A Brief Overview: How Cannabis and LGBTQ Rights Reform Have Intertwined Through the Decades

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The cannabis and LGBTQ rights movements have been connected from the beginning, as they mutually supported reform throughout the decades.

“Arguably, neither would exist as they do today if not for the other,” said Tyme Ferris, founder and CEO of cannabis brand Pantheon Collective.

The decades have been tumultuous for each effort. Both movements saw positive progress in the 1960s. Some states decriminalized homosexual activity, and various favorable Kennedy and Johnson-era reports on the plant were submitted.

However, progress turned to regression in the 70s under the Nixon administration.

Per the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis was listed as a Schedule I drug, considered to have maximum abuse potential but no medicinal value. This classification came “Even though the Shafer Commission, formed by Nixon, recommended decriminalizing cannabis,” said Pantheon Collective co-founder Thomas Kupiec.

The 80s were equally devastating for both movements. As the drug war raged on, HIV and AIDS impacted the gay community as it reeled from the virus. Between 1981 and 1990, over 100,000 people died from AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As the disease ravaged the U.S., President Ronald Reagan chose not to address the issue until 1987. At the same time, he continued the Nixon-era War on Drugs, headlined by the ‘Just Say No’ campaign.

Without medical guidance, marijuana proved effective in treating various HIV and AIDS-related symptoms, including wasting syndrome, nausea, chronic pain and anxiety.

“In most places deeply touched by the AIDS crisis, there’s a nexus between marijuana reform and gay rights,” said journalist and podcaster Jay Lassiter.

Rather than pushing for cannabis access, America doubled down on punishment. Bills like 1984’s Comprehensive Crime Control Act, 1986’s Anti-Drug Abuse Act and the controversial three-strike …

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

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The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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