3. CHRONICLE AM: HOUSE MOVES TO PROTECT STATE-LEGAL MARIJUANA, CANADA
OKS POT EXPUNGEMENTS, MORE... (6/21/19)
The House has passed an historic amendment to protect legal marijuana
states from federal interference, the polls numbers are looking good in Florida, Canada moves forward on expungement of pot bust records, and more. https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2019/jun/21/chronicle_am_house_moves_protect
In a history-making vote Thursday, the House voted 267-165 to approve a bipartisan measure aimed at protecting state marijuana policies from
The vote came on an amendment (https://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/BLUMEN_072_xml618191421192119.pdf)
to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations
bill that prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to prevent
states, US territories, and the District of Columbia from implementing
laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, and cultivation of marijuana.
A similar appropriations rider known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment
has been in effect since 2014, but it only protected state medical
marijuana programs, not states that have legalized marijuana for adults.
Sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC),
and Tom McClintock (R-CA), the measure's fate will now up to House and
Senate negotiators as they seek to bridge differences between House and
Senate versions of the appropriations bill.
"It's past time we protect all cannabis programs," said Rep. Blumenauer, cofounder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and lead sponsor of the amendment. "We have much more work to do. The federal government is out
of touch and our cannabis laws are out of date. I'm pleased that the
House agrees, and we are able to move forward."
Marijuana reform organizations and industry spokesmen pronounced
themselves quite pleased but pushed for more.
"Today's vote is the most significant step Congress has ever taken
toward ending federal marijuana prohibition," said Steven Hawkins,
executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "Congress is
recognizing that the federal government must let the states decide on
cannabis legalization -- and not the other way around."
"The historic nature of this vote cannot be understated. For the first
time, a chamber of Congress has declared that the federal government
should defer to state cannabis laws," said Neal Levine, CEO of the
Cannabis Trade Federation.
"The bipartisan nature of this vote is a strong signal that there would
be majority support in the House for the STATES Act (S. 3032 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3032/all-info)), which could be considered a more permanent version of this amendment. We
hope the full House will be given the opportunity to vote on the STATES
Act in coming months so that we can move closer to the end of federal
Sponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), the
STATES Act would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that it "shall
not apply to any person acting in compliance with State law relating to
the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana."
Passage of the STATES Act, while still a distant glimmer, would be a
good interim measure, but the ultimate goal is the end of federal
"The end of marijuana prohibition has never been closer," said Michael
Collins, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.
"When Drug Policy Alliance and a small band of allies first worked on
this amendment in 2015, we were told that we didn't stand a chance. But
we convinced members this was the right thing to do, and four years on,
victory is sweet. Now is the time for Democrats to pivot to passing
legislation that will end prohibition through a racial justice lens,
making sure that the communities most impacted by our racist marijuana
laws have a stake in the future of legalization. To do anything less
would be to repeat an injustice."
The Senate is expected to take up companion legislation in the coming
weeks, and then the battle will be to ensure that the House language
stays in the final bill, but marijuana is picking up momentum in the
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.