Happy Friday everyone! This is Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News coming to you on November 2nd of 2018. It is amazing to me just how fast this year has gone by. We are on the brink of some major changes to our federal and state governments with the midterm elections coming this Tuesday, and both North Dakota and Michigan are voting on legalizing an adult-use cannabis market. Canada already legalized marijuana nationally and the UN will decide soon on whether to deschedule marijuana worldwide. Everything is happening quickly and we are doing everything in our power to deliver cannabis specific news to you as quickly as we can. Having said that, let’s move on to our first story.
Mexico’s Supreme Court has Virtually Legalized Recreational Marijuana
I’m heading internationally first. This story seems to have fallen under the radar, but on Wednesday Mexico’s Supreme Court deemed the ban on the recreational use of marijuana unconstitutional. This is a very serious decision because Mexico’s government works different than ours. The US Supreme Court does not make laws, but Mexico’s does. It is a long drawn out process where the Supreme Court has to have 5 consecutive rulings on the same issue go the same way in order for a law to be made. That happened for marijuana on Wednesday when the court ruled in favor of 2 more challenges against the prohibition of marijuana. They made their first ruling back in 2015 and there have now been a total of 5 rulings, setting a jurisprudence and making the decisions a precedent for other courts. All that is left is for the Mexican government is to regulate its consumption. The ruling does not create a framework for the commercial sale of marijuana, so saying it is legal in Mexico is not entirely accurate. We will have to see what they do next. But congratulations to Mexico! We interviewed the former president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, recently which we will provide a link to here in the transcript. He has fought hard advocating for the legalization of marijuana in his country and around the world to combat the cartels in Mexico. It looks like his efforts have paid off.
Thailand is Working on a Medical Marijuana Bill
Moving over to Asia, Thailand may be the first Asian country to legalize medical marijuana. There is a bill being drafted that would allow Thailand to participate in the massive international medical marijuana export business. Their climate is very good for growing marijuana and according to Bloomberg, they were a major source of marijuana to the world throughout the ‘80s. As of right now, they have very strict laws on drug trafficking, including marijuana, that could even result in the death penalty. It would be a massive swing in policy for them but it shows what the advocacy efforts worldwide have accomplished and how the lure of money can influence everyone. South Korea also has very strict rules on marijuana which apply even to its residents when they are out of the country. However, they are also considering loosening up laws so that they can participate in the international medical marijuana industry.
Epidiolex is Now Available by Prescription Throughout the US
Moving to the US. Epidiolex, the first marijuana based prescription drug to ever be approved by the FDA, is now available via prescription throughout the country. The drug is made by GW Pharmaceuticals and treats epilepsy. Very few drugs have ever shown much of an ability to reduce seizures in patients struggling with Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome until it was discovered that CBD is one of the best anticonvulsants out there. Earlier this year the city of Chicago passed Ashley’s Law, named after Ashley Surin a young girl with epilepsy, that allows students to take medical marijuana on public school grounds. CBD’s ability to combat epilepsy may be the best proof that marijuana has medical properties contradicting entirely the Schedule 1 status of marijuana that labels it as having no medical value. The US Justice Department and the DEA gave Epidiolex a Schedule 5 listing back in September.
There Are At Least 20 Gubernatorial Candidates that Support Cannabis Legalization
I mentioned the midterm election at the beginning of the broadcast. The last count shows 20 Gubernatorial candidates around the country running in their state’s election that support marijuana legalization. It’s interesting because most of the 31 states that now have legalized medical marijuana, or the 9 adult-use states, were a forced result by voters. Now that politicians see the people want legalized marijuana, the candidates that support legalization seem to be coming out of the woodwork. The next phase of marijuana legalization seems to be fully upon the US where lawmakers create and pass bills legalizing cannabis like Vermont did and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is trying to do. There are a total of 39 governor seats up for grab in the US and its territories. One of the more interesting ones from the perspective of the cannabis legalization movement is Maine’s race. We have mentioned Governor Paul LePage of Maine in a number of articles on TNMNews.com. Maine voters approved the legalization of adult-use marijuana back in 2016, but Governor LePage has vetoed every bill his state’s congress has put before him to implement rules for the new market. Janet Mills is running on the democratic ticket for his seat and if she wins she will likely give Maine voters what they want quickly.
Well everyone, that is it for this week. We will have to see what happens next week with the elections. It should be exciting for the marijuana movement and we will be reporting on it. Be sure to go out and cast your ballot if you have not yet. Our managing editor, Richard Lowe, will be covering MJBiz Con here in Las Vegas in two weeks, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @NationalMJNews and our culture Instagram account @Culture.TNMNews. You can find many more great stories at TNMNews.com too. This is Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News. Have a great weekend everyone!