A Publication of StoptheDrugWar.org
David Borden, Executive Director,firstname.lastname@example.org
"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"
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4. CHRONICLE AM: FEDERAL LEGAL MARIJUANA BILL FILED, OH MEDMJ SALES DELAYED, MORE... (6/7/18)
A bipartisan bill that would make marijuana federally legal in states that have legalized it has been filed, a key GOP committee chair blocks votes on marijuana amendments, the New York Assembly approves medical marijuana for opioid addiction and sealing
past pot convictions, and more. https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2018/jun/07/chronicle_am_federal_legal
8. CHRONICLE AM: ST. LOUIS ENDS SMALL MJ PROSECUTIONS, HOUSE PASSES OPIOID PACKAGE, MORE... (6/13/18)
St. Louis prosecutors will no longer go after people with less than 100 grams of marijuana, a Delaware legislator amends her legalization bill to address concerns, the House passes an opioid package, the Canadian federal government rejects some Senate
marijuana amendments, and more. https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2018/jun/13/chronicle_am_st_louis_ends_small
A bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill Thursday in both houses of Congress that would protect state marijuana legalization, medical marijuana, and decriminalization laws from federal interference. Under the measure, the Strengthening the
Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act (https://www.warren.senate.gov/download/20180605_-warren-gardner-states-act)), the Controlled Substances Act's (CSA) provisions federally criminalizing marijuana would no longer apply to anyone
acting in compliance with state, territorial, or tribal laws allowing marijuana activities.
The bill would also clarify that marijuana business transactions done in compliance with state laws are not drug trafficking and that money made in state-legal marijuana operations is not the proceeds of an unlawful transaction. This provision would
provide breathing room for financial institutions to provide services to the industry and give state-legal pot businesses the ability to claim standard business deductions at tax time.
The bill additionally removes industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances under the CSA.
It also retains criminal provisions of the CSA that bar the endangerment of life while manufacturing marijuana and the employment of people under 18 in drug operations. And it prohibits the distribution of marijuana at transportation safety facilities,
such as truck stops and rest areas.
The bill is a direct response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' avowedly aggressive approach to marijuana. The Obama administration dealt with state-legal marijuana by largely getting out of the way, but under Sessions, the Justice Department has
rescinded Obama-era guidance to federal prosecutors that limited law enforcement efforts. A feared crackdown has not materialized, but the Justice Department's posture has created legal and business uncertainty, threatened public health and safety, and
undermined state regulatory regimes.
While the bill is unlikely to pass this session, it allows its sponsors to stake out positions at the cutting edge of marijuana reform. Senate sponsor Cory Gardner (R-CO) is a Republican seeking to defend his seat this year in a state that legalized
marijuana who has sparred with the Justice Department over the issue, while Senate sponsor Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), representing a state where legal marijuana sales are set to begin this summer, is considered a leading Democratic presidential contender.
"In 2012, Coloradans legalized marijuana at the ballot box and the state created an apparatus to regulate the legal marijuana industry. But because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at
odds with the federal government," said Gardner. "The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 46 states have acted. The bipartisan STATES Act fixes this problem once and for all by taking a states' rights approach to the legal
marijuana question. The bipartisan, commonsense bill ensures the federal government will respect the will of the voters - whether that is legalization or prohibition - and not interfere in any states' legal marijuana industry."
"Outdated federal marijuana laws have perpetuated our broken criminal justice system, created barriers to research, and hindered economic development," said Warren. "States like Massachusetts have put a lot of work into implementing common-sense
marijuana regulations - and they have the right to enforce their own marijuana policies. The federal government needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana."
House sponsor Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) doesn't need to burnish his marijuana reform credentials -- he is a co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus -- while House sponsor David Joyce (R-OH) is defending his seat in battleground Ohio, where medical
marijuana sales are slated to begin this fall.
"For too long the senseless prohibition of marijuana has devastated communities, disproportionately impacting poor Americans and communities of color. Not to mention, it's also wasted resources and stifled critical medical research," said Blumenauer. "It'
s past time to put the power back in the hands of the people. Congress must right this wrong."
"We should trust the people of the states, like Ohio, who have voted to implement responsible common-sense regulations and requirements for the use, production, and sale of cannabis," said Joyce. "If the people of these states have decided to provide
help for those veterans and others suffering from pain and other health issues, we should allow them access without government interference."
The legislation is backed not only by the usual suspects, such as the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, National Cannabis Industry Association, and NORML, but also by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Also supporting the
bipartisan effort are conservative groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Institute for Liberty, as well as banking groups including the Cooperative Credit Union Association, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, the
Maine Credit Union League, and the Mountain West Credit Union Association.
Other marijuana reform bills have been introduced in this Congress, too, but like this one, they are likely doomed by Republican recalcitrance. Still, if the Democrats manage to take control of the House and/or the Senate in November, we could start to
see some real progress made. Support for marijuana legalization has gone past the tipping point; now it's just inertia and intransigence blocking progress.
bliss -- Cacao Powered... (-SF4ever at DSLExtreme dot com)
bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco
"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cacao that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
--from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.