OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Pot fight heating up on 4/20

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's no ordinary Monday evening here in Washington. It's 4/20, time to give a shout-out to an anonymous relative of mine. Here's what's going on around town:



On National Weed Day, marijuana advocates are continuing to push for legalization.

As marijuana supporters rally across the country on their unofficial holiday, the fight in Washington is heating up with a handful of bills that would pave the way for legalization.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is working on legislation that would allow states to set their own policies for both medical and recreation marijuana, according to his office.


The bill could drop as early as this week, sources say, which would coincide with national weed day, better known as 4/20.

"It's what guys like Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal MORE and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire McConnell: Wearing a mask is 'single most significant thing' to fight pandemic McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill MORE have said on the campaign trail," said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, of the three GOP senators running for president.

"Regardless of their personal views, they believe that's a question for the states and the federal government shouldn't intervene with those laws," he added.

Rohrabacher's bill, letting states regulate pot, is far from the only piece of marijuana legislation introduced this year.

In contrast, a bill introduced in February by Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerTrump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE (D-Ore.) would give the federal government power to regulate pot. http://bit.ly/17kFdis

Rohrabacher's bill also goes a step further than the bill from Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), which would allow states to legalize medical marijuana -- but doesn't address recreational marijuana. http://bit.ly/1wqJjkK

These marijuana bills are part of a larger, concerted effort by lobbyists and a growing number of lawmakers to legalize pot.

It comes as the marijuana industry is experiencing tremendous growth.

According to a new study from market research firm IBISWorld, legal pot sales could hit $13.4 billion by 2020 with a projected growth rate of 30 percent annually. http://bit.ly/1OzviUZ



The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on "improving accountability and oversight of juvenile justice grants." http://1.usa.gov/1Ha1sqS

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on "opportunities and challenges for agriculture trade with Cuba." http://1.usa.gov/1x9gHYe



The Obama administration will publish 225 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to look for:

--The Coast Guard will issue new guidance for mariners on liftboats.

The policy letter will apply to merchant mariner credentialing.

"Liftboats spend significant periods elevated at work sites and are not underway at those times," the agency wrote. "The time a liftboat spends underway is generally limited to traveling to and from a job site, and may be a relatively small portion of the total time the liftboat is in operation."

The changes are already in effect. http://bit.ly/1yKfgWi

--The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will propose loosening protections for certain humpback whales.

Humpback whales are currently considered an endangered species, but the NMFS is proposing to remove some populations of these whales from the list while maintaining the protections for others.

The NMFS began a review of the status of humpback whales back in 2009, and has twice been petitioned since then to remove the endangered species protections.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1zDoxKL

--The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will consider exempting 15 truck drivers from the agency's cardiovascular standard.

"These 15 individuals are requesting an exemption due to the presence of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) as a result of their underlying cardiac condition," the agency wrote.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1El8etm

--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will issue a draft guidance concerning medical devices.

Medical device companies would formally be allowed to submit foreign clinical studies that provide supporting evidence during the premarket approval process. But the foreign clinical studies must be relevant to U.S. populations, the agency noted.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1yKfeO5

--The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will consider new rules for federal onshore oil and gas leases.

The oil and gas lease agreements could be subject to new civil penalty assessments, rental payments, royalty rates, and minimum acceptable bids under an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

The public has 45 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1H9RhCG



Pot: A new study projects legal marijuana sales will hit $13 billion annually by 2020. http://bit.ly/1OzviUZ

Lead foot? Truckers want federal regulators to require electronic speed limit devices that will block drivers from going more than 65 miles per hour. http://bit.ly/1IyN0Gj

Guns: Republicans are up in arms over federally mandated racial disclosures for gun purchases. http://bit.ly/1D5Hpm1

Hillary: The Democratic presidential candidate is facing pressure to take on Big Tobacco. http://bit.ly/1yKgBfF

E-cigs: The head of the Food and Drug Administration says the agency is moving "full speed ahead" on new regulations for electronic cigarettes. http://bit.ly/1GbLd9R

Save the whales: Animal activists are concerned by a federal government proposal that would remove certain humpback whales from the endangered species list. http://bit.ly/1bmdJeJ



$3.6B: The current size of the marijuana industry, including medical and recreation sales in states where it has been legalized.

30 percent: The projected annual growth rate of the marijuana industry over the next five years.

$13.4B: The projected size of the marijuana industry by 2020.

(Source: IBISWorld).



"Why does it make a difference what my race is, as long as I'm a law-abiding citizen? The government should be color blind on all of our rights, whether it's the right to religion, or guns, or freedom of speech," -- Rep. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee MORE (R-Tenn.), speaking about a policy from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requiring gun owners to state their race on gun applications.

"Am I accusing the ATF of racism? You're absolutely right I am," -- Michael Hammond, legislative counsel at Gun Owners of America.


We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and@wheelerlydia.

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