CBP’s Air and Marine Operations Interdicted 62 Tons of Drugs in First Three Months of Year

Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations interdicted 62 tons (124,000 pounds) of illicit drugs in the first three months of this year, CBP reports, working with international, federal, state and local partners.

“Collaboration keeps us all safer,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said of their efforts. “CBP AMO works with U.S. and international partners to stem the flow of illicit narcotics. Through the end of March, AMO has contributed to the seizure of over 124,000 lbs of narcotics by partner agencies.”

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States That Legalized Marijuana Are Bringing in More Tax Revenue on Marijuana Sales than Alcohol

A majority of the states that legalized recreational marijuana for recreational use are collecting more tax revenue from pot sales than alcohol sales.

The first two states to legalize pot are profiting the most, Colorado and Washington. Across the country, the total revenue for taxes on weed amounted to nearly $3 billion, according to a report on “sin taxes” by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

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House Passes National Marijuana Legalization Bill

Person making a marijuana joint

The Democrat-led House on Friday passed legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide, eliminating the longstanding criminal penalties for those who distribute and possess it.

The bill passed primarily along party lines (220-204), with all but three Republicans voting ‘no,’ and all but two Democrats voting ‘yes.’

The legislation will now head to the Senate where it will likely face an uphill battle toward passage, but has a powerful ally in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is working with several of his colleagues to introduce a twin bill sometime this spring.

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Florida Among States Across the Country That Could See Marijuana on the Ballot in 2022

Ballotpedia is tracking 20 citizen-initiated measures in nine states related to marijuana that could appear before voters in 2022. As of 2022, recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states and D.C.

In Ohio, sponsors of an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana submitted an additional 29,918 signatures on January 13, after the secretary of state verified their initial petition contained 119,825 valid signatures–13,062 less than the number required. If enough of the additional signatures are found to be valid, the initiative will go before the state legislature. If the state legislature does not enact it outright, sponsors will have to collect a second round of 132,887 signatures to place it on the 2022 ballot. In 2015, Ohio voters defeated Issue 3 with a margin of 63.65% to 36.35%.

In Arkansas, voters could decide on two marijuana initiatives. One initiative would decriminalize marijuana, give limited immunity to cannabis businesses, and create regulations on the cannabis industry. The other would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 years of age and older regardless of residency. Both campaigns have until July 8, 2022, to collect 89,151 valid signatures.

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Marijuana Use Soaring Among College Students While Alcohol Use Drops, Study Finds

two people passing a blunt

Marijuana use among college students has surged while alcohol use dropped, according to a recent National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse study.

The “Monitoring the Future” study found that 44% of college students said they used marijuana in 2020, an increase from 38% in 2015. More, “daily” or “near daily” marijuana use among college students increased from 5% to 8% over the last five years.

The number of college students who said they consumed alcohol, on the other hand, dipped from over 62% in 2019 to 56% in 2020, according to the report. Binge drinking among college students, defined as having five or more drinks in one outing, decreased from 32% in 2019 to 24% in 2020.

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FBI Tapes in Federal Corruption Trial Casts Florida Political Players in Unflattering Light

This week’s witnesses in the federal corruption trial of J.T. Burnette, a Tallahassee businessman standing trial for federal extortion and racketeering, described the “dirty politics of getting things done” in Tallahassee.

The testimony exposed some of the true “power behind the throne” like that wielded by Burnette and his wife, Kim Rivers, CEO of the mega medical marijuana company, Trulieve, and by a former “rising star” in Florida Democratic politics, Scott Maddox.

Burnette is facing federal charges of racketeering, and extortion stemming from a multi-year FBI investigation into political corruption in Tallahassee. Government prosecutors are trying to prove Burnette arranged bribes for Maddox, through Governance Services, LLC, a lobbying firm owned by Maddox’s close friend and business partner Paige Carter-Smith.

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