Here Are The Biggest Marijuana, Psychedelics And Drug Policy News Stories Of 2021

MJ moment

From full cannabis legalization in New York to the launch of a modest medical marijuana program in Alabama, cannabis reform continued to spread across the U.S. in 2021 amid the ongoing backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and other hot-button political issues. And while federal prohibition remains in place, the year saw major movement toward reform on the federal level, including a number of new legalization bills in Congress and slow, steady progress on cannabis banking. In a year marked by partisan divisions, the year also saw more GOP lawmakers than ever take the lead on cannabis, helping craft and introduce bills in at least 10 states as well as Congress. The year also saw its share of cannabis-related disappointments, including the fact that Congress failed to pass any meaningful marijuana reform bills despite the Democratic majority and President Joe Biden’s yet unfulfilled campaign pledges to stop criminalizing people over cannabis. The suspension of U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson for a positive THC test, which kept her from competing in the Tokyo Olympics, also made international headlines and frustrated advocates. But the widespread criticism of the penalty has sparked a review of the marijuana policy, with advocates hopeful it will lead to lasting reform. Below are some of the most significant cannabis and related news stories from 2021, as selected by Marijuana Moment editors. Four More U.S. States Legalize Cannabis For Adults New York After legalization attempts that repeatedly fell short in recent years, New York lawmakers in March finally saw their latest reform bill signed into law, just hours after they delivered it to the governor’s desk. While retail sales aren’t expected to begin until sometime in 2022, the bill’s passage immediately removed penalties for possession of up to three ounces of marijuana or 24 grams of cannabis concentrates. Adults will…

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