cannabisnews.com: House Passes Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana
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House Passes Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on December 04, 2020 at 12:15:05 PT
By Catie Edmondson
Source: New York Times
Washington, D.C. -- The House on Friday passed sweeping legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and expunge nonviolent marijuana-related convictions, as Democrats sought to roll back and compensate for decades of drug policies that have disproportionately affected low-income communities of color.The 228-164 vote to approve the measure was bipartisan, and it was the first time either a chamber of Congress had ever endorsed the legalization of cannabis. The bill would remove the drug from the Controlled Substances Act and authorize a 5 percent tax on marijuana that would fund community and small business grant programs to help those most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana.
The legislation is, for now, almost certainly doomed in the Republican-led Senate, where that party’s leaders have derided it as a superficial distraction from the work of passing coronavirus relief, as lawmakers inched toward bipartisan compromise after spending months locked in an impasse.But the bill’s passage in the House amounted to a watershed moment decades in the making for advocates of marijuana legislation, and it laid out an expansive federal framework for redressing the racial disparities in the criminal justice system exacerbated by the war on drugs.“The effects of marijuana prohibition have been particularly felt by communities of color because it has meant that people from the communities couldn’t get jobs,” Representative Jerry Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview.Mr. Nadler, who spearheaded the legislation with Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California and the vice president-elect, described the collateral consequences of a conviction for marijuana possession as creating “an often-permanent second-class status for millions of Americans.”The idea behind the legislation is “you want to make whole these communities, and you want to compensate,” he said. “You want to shed light on what was done.”The legislation intends to give states power and incentives to enact their own reforms, and its passage came as states around the county, including some conservative-leaning ones, have become increasingly open to decriminalizing marijuana amid a growing consensus that the war on drugs has been destructive. Fifteen states have legalized recreational cannabis, and voters in five states last month voted on legalization issues, bringing the number of states where medical marijuana is legal to 35.The law would require federal courts to release those serving sentences for nonviolent, marijuana-related offenses, and set up grant programs focused on providing job training, legal aid and substance use treatment, as well as grants for small businesses in the marijuana industry led by low-income and minority business owners. Physicians with the Department of Veterans Affairs would also be allowed for the first time to recommend medical marijuana to their patients.It is the first major piece of legislation aimed at addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system that Congress has taken up since June, when the House, responding to a national outcry for racial justice, passed a behemoth policing overhaul bill, which ultimately was stalled by partisan disagreement. To date, Congress has yet to send any legislation to the president’s desk addressing the issue since nationwide protests last summer.“This is part of the same effort to make it possible for minority communities to live on an equal basis in this country,” Mr. Nadler said.Republicans denounced the bill, and castigated Democrats for bringing it to the floor before lawmakers had struck a compromise on coronavirus relief. Democrats had postponed a vote on the legislation scheduled earlier in the fall after some moderate lawmakers facing difficult re-election races fretted about fending off those attacks, during a campaign in which Republicans accused them of backing a radical liberal agenda.“With mere days left in the year to get something done for the American people who are suffering, Speaker Pelosi has brought up a drug legalization bill,” said Representative Pete Stauber, Republican of Minnesota. “As children struggle to receive their education and child care facilities close; as seniors remain isolated from their families, this is their solution.”Five Republicans broke from their party to support the bill, as did Representative Justin Amash, Libertarian of Michigan. — But some who ultimately voted for the bill were vocal in airing their complaints.“If Pelosi was serious about marijuana reform we would take a vote on the STATES Act, which would pass the Senate and be signed into law,” Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, said, referencing a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate that would legalize marijuana. “But she isn’t. So we’ll do this instead.”Mr. Gaetz added: “I prefer my marijuana reform not dipped in reparations policy, frankly.”For Democrats, that was exactly the point.Forty percent of drug arrests made in 2018 were for marijuana offenses — and just over 90 percent of those arrests were for possessing the drug, according to a report from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. A separate report released by the American Civil Liberties Union showed that Black people are more than three times as likely as white people to be arrested for marijuana possession despite comparable usage rates.“Marijuana use is either socially acceptable behavior or it’s criminal conduct,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. “But it can’t be socially acceptable behavior in some neighborhoods and criminal conduct in other neighborhoods when the dividing line is race.”Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.Source: New York Times (NY) Author:  Catie EdmondsonPublished: December 4, 2020Copyright: 2020 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: http://www.nytimes.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/kxGOkMTeCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #21 posted by The GCW on January 13, 2021 at 05:37:54 PT
Gloovins
From Your link,"...political campaigns to legalize cannabis have encountered no well-funded opposition.""Weed won in Mississippi and in deep-red South Dakota, where voters became the first to skip over medical cannabis altogether and go straight to adult-use legalization"-0-"Biden is not really in the legalization camp" may be true, however, the movement is not dependent on Biden. Biden can help but He can't hurt. Cannabis only wins.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 13, 2021 at 05:26:45 PT
Gloovins
It is so good to see you. One thing about Biden is he listens and learns. I look back on my views of issues when I was younger and I am way more tolerant now at 73 years old and see my ideas weren't always right. I do believe Biden will listen to Harris.
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Comment #19 posted by gloovins on January 12, 2021 at 16:39:50 PT
Oh and then this happened....
https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisroberts/2021/01/12/the-last-drug-warrior-sheldon-adelson-was-the-final-billionaire-to-fight-marijuana-legalization-and-he-lost/?sh=183c97372942No one lives forever remember. This dude made peoples lives hell on earth, imprisoned. He should not be celebrated imo.
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Comment #18 posted by gloovins on January 12, 2021 at 16:18:27 PT
2021
Hi all, happy new year. It's been an interesting one so far to say the least. I just want to address something I have not seen pointed out. Biden is soon to be sworn-in and Harris, the VP as well. However, Biden is not really in the legalization camp as far as I can see & hear from his camp. Harris on the other hand is very pro-legalization & I think this will cause some sort of hurdle/rift/problem down the line. I think a major issue in removing cannabis off schedule 1 & as a controlled substance creates the legal ownership of guns and cannabis users. I have no problem with it at all & possibly they will put a clause of some sort to allow or even not allow cannabis users to own/carry/sell guns, I have not read the proposed laws or the recently passed cannabis law in the House this article is about but I do see this very lukewarm water attitude Biden has re: cannabis legalization vs Harris' very progressive legalization stance being a possible issue. I HOPE it isn't but Biden is just not of the generation of legalization ideology. He is an old dinosaur from the 70s. We all know his history on drug laws too so you can call me pessimistic & you probably would not be wrong but he had 8 years as VP and never really worked to undo his policies of draconian mandatory minimums that created huge racial disparities in prisons all over. It's sad but true that Biden has never been a friend to the legalize cannabis crowd. Just my take. I hope all have a prosperous 2021. Much peace.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 07, 2021 at 05:36:56 PT
Humble and Kind
My favorite PSA! It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.https://www.passiton.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/170-humble-and-kind
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 07, 2021 at 05:28:36 PT
The GCW
I can't believe yesterday. We won control of the Senate and I was so happy. A few very special personal things happened yesterday for 2 members of my family and then all hell broke loose at the Capitol. Pence should enact the 25th Amendment. Trump should be permanently blocked from Facebook and Twitter. I remember the protests after Trump won and they were peaceful. I think back to the Vietnam War protests and people didn't carry guns. Where have we gone wrong? 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #15 posted by The GCW on January 06, 2021 at 19:11:41 PT
FoM,
What a day.What a day.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 06, 2021 at 11:10:15 PT
Cannabis Stocks Stage Strong Rally
Cannabis Stocks Stage Strong Rally as Prospect of Democratic Senate Spurs Reform HopesURL: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cannabis-stocks-stage-strong-rally-as-prospect-of-democratic-senate-spurs-reform-hopes-11609951092
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 01, 2021 at 05:23:12 PT
Happy New Year 2021 
I hope, but I realize it is a long shot, if we win both Senate seats in Georgia we could see broader legalization happen faster. We really do need control of the House and Senate to get it done. Have a safe day and year. I am so glad Trump will be gone in about 3 weeks. It has been wonderful not seeing him on TV much at all. 
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on December 31, 2020 at 19:34:11 PT
The next steps.
We are leaving 2020. 
Stepping into 2021.What will the future bring regarding RE-legalizing cannabis?A world of possibilities exist, yet I'm confident cannabis is moving forward, never backward.One change which may effect the speed in RE-legalizing cannabis could be considered with this (and similar) news."Both newspapers in Utah’s capital print final daily editions". https://apnews.com/article/salt-lake-city-utah-newspapers-journalism-6602bba5df4d7a56eb21de181e4c0ae4 One resource available in the past which may have helped expedite RE-legalizing cannabis is the use of Letters To The Editor.If newspapers reduce print, with all those different implications, We may see diminished outlets / diminished resources available to help end cannabis prohibition.One the one hand, I believe important milestones have been achieved. -but don't be complacent! There's a ton of work which still must be completed.Cannabis activists must continue to be resourceful, imaginative and energetic to continue the noble work, ending only when cannabis prohibition, persecution and extermination ends.That was 2020 and 2021 is Ours for the betterHappy New Year.The GCW
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on December 25, 2020 at 05:56:15 PT
Merry Christmas Everyone
What a year this has been. Storm Crow I agree that Covid continues to cause damage in many people's bodies. My great niece, who is 6 months pregnant, her husband and two young sons got Covid. We have been thru so much together from 9/11 until now. I love you all and stay safe. What a journey this has been.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on December 24, 2020 at 16:43:04 PT
M, Long Dusty Road
To So many here,Everyone,People stoping by,,,CHRISTmas.And especially to M, Merry Christmas.
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Comment #9 posted by Storm Crow on December 15, 2020 at 16:41:07 PT
  Sam Adams and everyone
The new 2021 List should be coming out around February. I've gotten bogged down changing thousands of "http" links into "http" links. Just about all the links before 2015 need to be changed! Keeps me busy. I'm completely hunkered down in my room- my sons do all the shopping and such. I've been reading up on Covid, and horrible as it is, the initial infection is only the start of our problems. Post-Covid syndrome will manifest itself in many ways. Covid causes abnormal blood clots throughout the whole body. These clots kill little pockets of tissue, weakening whatever organ they are in, damaging it. That young,seemingly healthy, basketball player's collapse the other day is just one indication of things to come. Covid affects more than just our lungs- our hearts, kidneys, and our brains are also targeted by Covid.  Omega 3 is a natural blood thinner and may help prevent these clots. (If you are on blood thinners or daily aspirin, talk to your doctor before starting Omega 3.) I keep mine right by the computer, so I can't forget my 2 to 4 grams per day. Take care of yourselves!  
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on December 13, 2020 at 11:09:25 PT
MORE Act...
....Marihuana Tax Act of 2020! awful IMOhope everyone is doing well - Granny Storm Crow I just checked in on your list, wow, it has become an incredible resource, congrats and good work! I just sent it to a couple friends who were seeking info about their medical conditions.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on December 11, 2020 at 13:04:28 PT
“It was so unjust what they did to me,”
America's longest-serving marijuana prisoner freed after 31 yearshttps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/11/longest-serving-marijuana-drugs-prisoner-richard-delisi-florida-released “It was so unjust what they did to me,”
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 10, 2020 at 05:58:54 PT
Storm Crow
Thank you! You are so great at researching.
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Comment #5 posted by Storm Crow on December 06, 2020 at 13:12:19 PT
Did you know?
Georgia had the very first MMJ law way back in 1980? It was written in such a way that it was unworkable, but it was the first!See "Flash Back: How Georgia Legalized MEDlCAL MARlJUANA :A ‘Tiger Of A Woman Takes On Conservative Georgia And Wins A Battle For Cancer Victims" https://www.gacareproject.com/flash-back-how-georgia-legalized-medical-marijuana/    
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 05, 2020 at 06:49:10 PT
Georgia
The GCW I am proud of Georgia now. I agree.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2020 at 21:00:08 PT
Keep it. Georgia On My Mind
Seeing is believing.While typing that post, I was hearing it but seeing is believing. 
Georgia's accomplishments helps change My viewpoint of the south.Georgia becomes THE leader of the south.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 04, 2020 at 15:45:09 PT
The GCW!
I agree! Here's a song.Ray Charles ~ Georgia On My Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glggureA_Kk
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2020 at 13:00:51 PT
Georgia can help fix this problem.
Coming up in January, Georgia will have the opportunity of electing 2 Democratic Senators. That would flip the Senate.Georgia's likely one of those places which disproportionately cages minorities for using the relatively safe God-given plant cannabis (marijuana).The Senate must change. I'm uncomfortable with how much the Senate enabled t to harm The United States of America. -That was due to being a majority of Repub.'s.A Democratic led Senate is the answer. Help Georgia.Georgia has shown in the last election to have the ability to vote for change.Let's hope Georgia continues in the direction of sanity, hope, equality and peace.
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