Pluribus AM: An historic shift on marijuana

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, May 1, 2024. In today’s edition, feds to reschedule marijuana in landmark move; Arizona Senate to take up abortion ban repeal; North Carolina Gov race a statistical tie:

Top Stories

MARIJUANA: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plans to propose reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule III drug, on par with drugs with accepted medical uses and low to moderate addiction potential. Rescheduling the drug would allow it to be sold with a prescription but not over the counter. (Pluribus News)

Our Sophie Quinton reports the move won’t have much impact on states where recreational pot is legal, and it won’t remove barriers pot businesses face in accessing banking systems.

ABORTION: The Arizona Senate is expected to take up legislation repealing the 1864 near-total abortion ban on Wednesday. The 14 Democrats in the chamber need support from two Republicans to win passage. (Associated Press) The Arizona Supreme Court has rejected a petition to reconsider its decision upholding the near-total abortion ban. (AZ Mirror)

State of play: Sens. T.J. Shope (R) and Shawnna Bolick (R) voted with Democrats on an earlier procedural vote, a hint that the repeal bill has a path to a majority.

CRYPTO: The Arkansas House Committee on City, County and Local Affairs has approved two bills increasing oversight of crypto mines. The full House will hear testimony today over bills to require noise reduction and to require crypto mines to obtain a state permit to operate. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

GUN POLITICS: The Alabama House has approved legislation to ban so-called Glock switches, which turn semi-automatic handguns into automatic weapons. ( The House gave final approval to a bill barring credit card companies from requiring the use of a code that identifies firearm transactions. (

EDUCATION: The Alabama Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee voted Tuesday to set aside $10 million so the state can participate in a federal summer food assistance program for low-income families. The state initially rejected federal funding; the new money would apply to next year’s summer lunch program. (Associated Press)

PUBLIC SAFETY: The Pennsylvania House approved legislation that would make it illegal to use a tracking device to secretly track someone. The bill would add Bluetooth tracking to the state’s law against stalking, punishable by up to 90 days in jail. (Associated Press)

AGRICULTURE: The Kansas legislature has given final approval to a measure banning companies from foreign adversaries, including China, from owning real estate. The bill likely blocks construction of a $95 million business park in Johnson County by Cnano Technology, the U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese firm. (Kansas City Star)

DEFENSE: Forty-eight governors have written to the Biden administration protesting a move to incorporate parts of the Air National Guard into the U.S. Space Force. The legislation, proposed by the Defense Department, would override existing law that requires governors to approve changes to National Guard units. (Alaska Beacon)

In Politics & Business

NORTH CAROLINA: A new Emerson College poll shows Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) in a statistical dead heat with Attorney General Josh Stein (D) in the race to replace outgoing Gov. Roy Cooper (D), 42%-41%. They’re tied among independent voters, with Stein at 26% and Robinson at 25%. (Emerson)

LOUISIANA: A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a new congressional district map that would have created a second Black-majority district in Louisiana. The legislature had approved the new map earlier this year after a previous court ruling struck down the old version. (Associated Press)

The raw politics: A second Black-majority district means another Democratic seat in the U.S. House. An appeal is all but certain.

MICHIGAN: The Michigan House is formally back in Democratic hands, after Reps. Peter Herzberg (D) and Mai Xiong (D) were sworn into office following their special election wins in early April. The House had been deadlocked, 54-54, after two legislators won elections to become mayor of their respective home towns. (Michigan Advance)

CALIFORNIA: Supporters of plans to build a new green city for up to 400,000 residents in Solano County, north of the Bay Area, have submitted more than 20,000 signatures to qualify for November’s ballot. Solano County voters will decide whether to allow urban development on agricultural land. (Associated Press)

Read the fascinating background on the Big Tech-funded California Forever plan right here.

By The Numbers

611,144: The number of Arizonans who have been unenrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, after the state began unwinding pandemic-era rules. About 1.95 million residents were approved for renewal over that span. (AZ Mirror)

$210 million: The amount Illinois estimates it will spend to cover GLP-1 drugs like Wegovy, Mounjaro and Ozempic for state employees, in just the first year. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Off The Wall

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and his wife M.K. have donated a document signed by President Abraham Lincoln ordering a blockade of Southern states after the Confederacy’s attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The Pritzkers bought the document for $471,000 at auction. (Chicago Tribune)

The Minnesota Twins, in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, have a new lucky charm: A summer sausage, introduced by hitting coach David Popkins, who urged hitters to tap it before their plate appearance. The first time Popkins brought the sausage into the dugout, two Twins hit back-to-back home runs. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“I’m going to be having a Martin’s potato roll tonight at sundown when Passover ends.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D), visiting Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg. The Martin family that makes the famous potato rolls spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Shapiro’s 2022 opponent, state Sen. Doug Mastriano. Shapiro says he doesn’t care. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)