My first amendment, cosponsored by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Barbara Lee and Earl Blumenauer, strikes the rider that prohibits D.C. from spending its local funds to commercialize recreational marijuana. Nine states have legalized recreational marijuana, and eight of those states have approved commercialization.
In February 2015, D.C. legalized the possession of marijuana for recreational use, after two independent studies found dramatic racial disparities in marijuana arrests in D.C. A rider to block recreational use failed due to faulty drafting, and possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for recreational use is legal in D.C., but Congress has prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds to tax and regulate recreational marijuana. This rider has unintentionally benefited violent drug gangs. For that reason, some refer to it as the “Drug Dealer Protection Act.” As one marijuana dealer told the Washington Post, the rider is “a license for me to print money.” Regulating marijuana like alcohol would allow D.C., instead of drug dealers, to control production, distribution, sales and revenues.
Russia has come out strongly against Canada’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana, calling the move a “breach” of its “international legal obligations.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that a number of international conventions, to which Canada is a signatory, require privy nations to restrict the use of cannabis and other drugs to only medical and scientific purposes.
“We expect Canada’s partners in the G-7 to respond to its ‘high-handedness’ because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states,” the ministry said in an official statement.
Last week, Canada became the second nation in the world and the first member of the wealthy G-7 to pass legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. The U.S. neighbor plans to implement the new regulations on October 17. Uruguay was the first nation to legalize recreational marijuana, with legislation passed…
A majority of Oklahomans today voted to enact State Question 788 — a statewide voter-initiated measure that permits doctors to use their discretion to recommend medical cannabis to those patients who will benefit from it. Oklahoma is now the 31st state to legalize and regulate the use of medical cannabis under state law.
“Public support for medical marijuana access is non-partisan,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Even in a predominantly ‘red’ state like Oklahoma, it is the will of the voters to enact common sense, yet significant marijuana law reforms.”
He continued, “The ongoing expansion of compassionate medical marijuana in states like Oklahoma places additional pressure upon Congress to take action to end this existing state/federal conflict. It is time for members to move forward with legislation like The States Act or The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would allow states the flexibility and autonomy to regulate cannabis as best they see fit — free from the looming threat of undue federal intervention.”
A lot has happened in Congress this week. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) succeeded in inserting hemp legalization language into the wide-ranging Farm Bill – must-pass legislation that is approved by Congress every five years. The bill was then approved by the US Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
The US Senate Appropriations Committee, for the first time ever, included protections for state medical marijuana laws in base Justice Department funding legislation. On the other hand, the US House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment to protect banks that work with marijuana businesses from being punished by federal authorities.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced The “RESPECT Resolution: Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades” to elevate the importance of equity within the legal cannabis marketplace.
To all of our surprise, President Donald Trump expressed verbal support for recently introduced, bi-partisan legislation that seeks to codify legal protections for state-sanctioned marijuana-related activities. Similarly, members of the Congressional Black Caucus recently announced their support for marijuana law reforms to keep the federal government out of the business of prohibition and related law enforcement of marijuana.
At the state level, South Carolina voters approved a medical marijuana advisory question on the Democratic primary ballot by a margin of 81% – 19%. And The Maine Supreme Court ruled that employers don’t need to pay for medical cannabis under the state workers’ compensation system.
At a more local level, the St. Louis, Missouri circuit attorney will no longer pursue cases for marijuana in the amount of less than 100 grams. And Denver, Colorado is using marijuana tax revenue to fund after-school and summer programs.
Preceding his remarks at 4:00 p.m., there will be a full day of fascinating speakers. Mr. Paul Armentano, national Deputy Director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) will speak at 3:00 p.m. Mr. Armentano is one of the nation’s most knowledgeable and articulate experts on the science of medical marijuana. He will speak about how the legalization of medical marijuana in 29 other states has dramatically reduced opioid overdose and provided relief from suffering to thousands of Americans.
At 2:00 p.m., the leader of the St. Louis NAACP, Mr. Adolphus Pruitt, will speak, followed by Mr. Tom Mundell at 2:20 p.m. Mr. Mundell is the former commander of the Missouri Association of Veterans’ Organizations (MAVO). He is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Warren and Gardner, who both represent states with legal recreational pot, introduced the legislation, known as Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, as a response to the Trump administration’s hard-line stance against the drug.
The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to include a framework that says it no longer applies to those following state, territory or tribal laws “relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of [marijuana].”
“It’s time to reform American’s outdated marijuana policies,” Warren tweeted with a video of her and Gardner speaking at a press conference announcing the measure.
It’s time to reform American’s outdated marijuana policies. Watch live as @SenCoryGarder and I discuss our new legislation that would let states, territories, & tribes decide for themselves how best to regulate marijuana – without federal interference. https://t.co/BVcvxomhld
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes specific provision within it that the Home Secretary may licence any action under it that would otherwise be unlawful.
There can be no credible excuse whatsoever for refusing to licence Billy Caldwell’s and Alfie Dingley’s cannabis medicines when they have been proven to work under the supervision of senior doctors and the medicines themselves are produced by reputable, government regulated companies.
UK drugs policy is now the most regressive, backwards and cruel of any first world nation. Specifically on the medical use of cannabis it is evidence-opposed and causing great harm, far more harm than is prevented by a policy that is based on nothing but ignorance and prejudice.