Pot State Dems Want Federal Regulation of MJ
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Pot State Dems Want Federal Regulation of MJ
Posted by CN Staff on March 30, 2017 at 10:00:59 PT
By Reid Wilson
Source: Hill
Washington, D.C. -- Democrats from states where marijuana is legal say so many Americans have access to pot products that the federal government should begin regulating the industry, which generated more than $7 billion in sales last year.New legislation introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both Oregon Democrats, would take marijuana off the list of federally banned drugs, tax marijuana at a rate similar to alcohol and tobacco, and end the threat of federal criminal penalties for businesses operating in states that allow the use of pot for recreational purposes.
Under the legislation, marijuana businesses would gain access to the regulated banking system. Many banks currently are reluctant to open accounts for marijuana businesses because of fears that the federal government could seize the money.Another measure, introduced by Wyden and Sens. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would allow marijuana businesses to claim federal deductions and tax credits, ending what the senators called a tax penalty on those businesses.“This is commonsense legislation that will eliminate the growing tension between federal and state marijuana laws,” said Robert Capecchi, who oversees federal policy for the Marijuana Policy Project. “States are adopting laws designed to improve public safety by replacing the illegal marijuana market with a tightly regulated system of production and sales. The federal government should be working to facilitate that transition, not hinder it.”Anti-legalization advocates say the current balance between federal and state laws are unsustainable, and that marijuana use remains a danger to public health.“While we support federal laws against marijuana legalization, we don't want to see folks locked up or given criminal records for smoking pot,” said Kevin Sabet, who runs Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group that opposes legalization. “While we don't support an enforcement-centered war on drugs, we do support a targeted approach consistent with public health and social justice that stops the corporate interests driving Big Marijuana.”Oregon is one of eight states where voters have approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Those new laws put states in conflict with federal law, which still considers marijuana an illegal drug. The vast majority of Americans live in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes.Until now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken an arms-length approach to legal marijuana states. A DOJ memo issued under the Obama administration deprioritized prosecution of marijuana-related activity, effectively allowing the industry to operate in states where it is legal.Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been hostile to marijuana liberalization laws, has said that agreement, known as the Cole Memo, will stand for now. But public officials in states where marijuana has been legalized — Washington, Colorado, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Alaska have also legalized pot — remain wary of the Trump administration’s future actions.“I don’t know what direction the Justice Department is going to go, but it is going to raise some legal issues,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) told The Hill last month. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) said in an interview that legalization states would fight back in court if the Cole Memo is revised or rolled back.“It is certainly my hope that the federal government does not undertake any significant changes,” Ferguson said. “States like Washington have legal tools to resist such an effort, in the same way we have legal tools to resist the executive travel ban.”The measures introduced Thursday are unlikely to advance in a Republican-controlled Congress. But marijuana advocates are increasingly optimistic about their chances of moving some legislation during this session of Congress. In recent years, riders to appropriations bills that would block the Justice Department from enforcing federal marijuana laws have gained steam, and advocates hope the increasing number of states where legalization initiatives have passed will mean more allies in Congress.A growing number of Republicans who don’t want the federal government suing their states have backed measures to ease restrictions on marijuana use. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) sponsored the measure to block Justice from suing over marijuana. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) has sponsored legislation with Blumenauer to expand access to the banking system for pot businesses. And Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced legislation to allow doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss medical marijuana with their patients.Pro-marijuana advocates point to public polls that show sentiment has shifted. New data from the General Social Survey released Wednesday shows 57 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legal, up from 31 percent in 2000 and 44 percent in 2010.“The time for fiction and myth-making is over. The time for science, safety and social justice is now upon us,” said Tom Rodgers, a Washington lobbyist who backs legalization.This report was updated at 12:00 p.m.Source: Hill, The (US DC)Author: Reid WilsonPublished: March 30, 2017Copyright: 2017 The HillContact: editor thehill.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #16 posted by John Tyler on April 01, 2017 at 07:42:17 PT
Will Delaware be the next legal state?
Will Delaware be the next legal state? a pleasant surprise. Common sense and legalization is spreading down the East coast.
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Comment #15 posted by The GCW on April 01, 2017 at 05:42:46 PT
Jared Polis
There has been mention of Jared Polis for Governor of Colorado.Hickenlooper is term limited.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on March 31, 2017 at 22:27:24 PT
Thank you, Rep. Jared Polis.
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on March 31, 2017 at 16:47:35 PT
Insys from Opioids to Synthetic THC
Former Insys execs charged in nationwide conspiracy
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 22:32:25 PT
Is there not some criminal graft afoot here?
From Comment 7: "Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that was one of the chief financial backers of the opposition to marijuana legalization in Arizona last year, received preliminary approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration this week for Syndros, a synthetic marijuana drug."Is this the same as saying synthetic broccoli is preferable to real broccoli? Or the same as fake beans are better than real beans?Is this going to be as bad as the things these manufacturing type dudes caused with the coca plant and the opium poppy? One upping God? *smile* Maybe. 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 22:11:54 PT
This article
makes me realize that Sabet and others fear of "Big" marijuana could mean that they don't want marijuana/cannabis interests big enough to have any power to actually be able, financially, and legally, to resist prohibitionist authoritarian control.Sabet, seemingly, does not want big marijuana, big enough to be big as Sembler and that other old curmudgeon that gave stunning amounts of money to finance fighting any loosening of laws pertaining to cannabis. Those people are people he respects and looks up to.
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Comment #10 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 30, 2017 at 18:33:49 PT
Christie let two of his top aides hang in a bridgegate scandal--If they're criminal it doesn't matter, as long as their loyal to trump. Like some other leaders in history, as long as your soldiers march to your orders, who cares!
I wonder sometimes how long the trump disaster will last. 
I've always said Christie is a fat piece of sh.., never truer. 
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on March 30, 2017 at 16:19:29 PT
Re comment 7
Well I'll be boycotting Insys.-0-Interesting, "The DEA approval places Syndros and its generic formulations in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, indicating a “high potential for abuse.” "Whole-plant marijuana remains in Schedule I of the CSA, an even stricter regulatory category that designates a lack of medically accepted use in addition to a high abuse potential."-0-That doesn't make sense. The dinks are creating fakes to mimic the real deal because the real deal works, yet the real deal is formally regulated as though it doesn't work.Then the fake is accepted by government.To top it off, hemp without THC is classified as more dangerous than the lab rat.At least We know where We stand within the realm of sanity and insanity.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 16:05:38 PT
Stay on the surface, Hemp World, my old friend! Don't think it too deeply! It often looks that way to me, too! The things the prohibitionist is willing to do to their fellow man, woman, and child in the name of their plant prohibition are utterly stunning. Up your privates on the side of the highway. Bullet in the head. Kill your pets. They will kill fellow living humans to save an imaginary child from consuming a plant. They are out of control. They will lock you in a cage and steal your money. I am afraid of killers, thieves, and rapists. I am not afraid of people who enjoy an herb. Good grief! Some sanity in high places of governance would be so appreciated. Somehow... like the old saying... they don't seem able to recognize that through their self righteous rage and blind allegiance to "The Law", they are actually stark raving mad. Their attitude and behavior seems perfectly sane to them. Even highly moral and extremely righteous. They have literally destroyed so many lives in the name of prohibiting cannabis. A violent or detaining prohibitionist is actually dangerous to other humans. Far more dangerous then someone enjoying relaxing at home, alone, or with friends. The prohibitionist wants to stalk others and harm them... to save them... or something for some reason or reasons. The prisons? There are bad people in the world. Some of them need to be confined for the safety of others. This needs to be carefully considered before any person loses his precious freedom to move from here to there, at will.Let's stop imprisoning people we don't like. Let's stick to detaining the ones we have good reason to be afraid of.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 30, 2017 at 15:51:15 PT
Article on Synthetic Marijuana
A Pharma Company That Spent $500,000 Trying to Keep Pot Illegal Just Got DEA Approval for Synthetic MarijuanaURL:
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on March 30, 2017 at 15:34:02 PT
The Insane are running the asylum!
That's what I'm thinking!God help us all! (from willful ignorance)The war on us (drugs) continues unabated!Repeating the same thing over and over (and over, over, over) again, somehow expecting different results this time...Keep tryin' we are your guinea pigs! Here piggy, piggy...
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 14:24:30 PT
Good coverage and assessment out of Oregon
Trump Chooses Acting Drug Czar: Richard Baum
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 13:54:25 PT
The video attached may be offensive to some.
Looking at how things are portrayed to both sides now...Christie back in the spotlight amid Trump push to fight drug addiction watched most of the video. It creeped me out the way he said, "Facilities".
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 13:06:36 PT
Check it out.
Breaking: Cannabis Legalization Bills Make Splash in Congress
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 12:55:31 PT
PBS yesterday
Here’s what Trump’s new executive order means for opioid addiction
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Comment #1 posted by Hope on March 30, 2017 at 12:30:21 PT
Richard Baum
Richard Baum to Be Trump’s Acting Drug Czar
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