In a troubling move, US President Donald Trump has nixed Israel’s medical cannabis export hopes.
Israel has long been a leader in medical cannabis research and now stands poised to serve a huge export market. Yet this market will remain unserved and global medical cannabis production discouraged, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has caved to pressure from Donald Trump to quash a lucrative and health-promoting trade. As reported by The Jewish Telegraph Agency,
The prime minister made it clear that he did not want Israel to be a pioneer in the export of medical marijuana in order not to anger the U.S. president, according to the report.
While commonly ignoring any American request to stop building settlements on Palestine land, in this case, the Israeli Prime Minister was quick to comply.
Netanyahu told the heads of the ministries he ordered the freeze after receiving a call about the issue of exporting marijuana from Trump, who is against its legalization.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this development is Trump’s apparent active opposition to medical cannabis. Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions nourishes a great hatred for all things marijuana and the others in Trump’s cabinet are extreme in opposition to cannabis, the President himself has said little about the plant. During his campaign, Trump expressed support for medical marijuana and for the rights of states to choose. His comments about the drug war have been extreme, even praising the homicidal actions of foreign leaders, but has so far not demonized cannabis.
How did the notion come into Trump’s mind to request that Netanyahu stifle shipments of medical cannabis? It seems unlikely that he came up with the idea himself.
The fact that Trump apparently personally made a phone “call about the issue” would seem to indicate its importance to the President. Unfortunately. In any case, Trump’s actions, far more than any that have come before, show him to be actively opposed to cannabis, its medical uses, and its value to commerce.
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Indulging in “self-care” is a reasonable response to both the current political climate and the increased risk for mental health issues that many millennials face. Self-care isn’t just a millennial obsession, of course; in Audre Lorde’s 1988 book of essays, “A Burst of Light,” she writes that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Lorde’s ideas are meant for and are especially revolutionary for queer women of color, who suffer at the hands of the current system.
But in the era of Trump, this idea seems to have been co-opted as a trend, and it makes sense. It is, of course, important to take care of yourself; to say no to overworking yourself and expecting perfection, which contributes largely to the millennial mental health epidemic. It is especially important for marginalized groups of people to recognize when they are being exploited by the system and by other people, and when they’re allowed to take a break. During the special election in Alabama this past December, black women turned out in large numbers to vote for Democrat Doug Jones over accused pedophile Roy Moore, and were celebrated for “saving America” on social media, which shows how much labor this group of people puts forth and how much Lorde’s ideas about self-care are necessary. This idea was extrapolated on by singer Solange in an interview with W Magazine: “Even in the midst of this last week with the multiple murders of young black men that occurred, I chose this time not to watch. Just for the sake of being able to exist in that day, to exist without rage, and exist without heartbreak. To be able to get up and tell my child to have a wonderful day and know that he’ll be protected and nurtured and loved and treated like an equal contributor to society, I sometimes have to choose to not look.” One does not always have to participate in the tumultuous world, especially if one is part of a largely marginalized group of people, and it is clear that Solange and Lorde’s ideas of caring for yourself are in the least selfish vein possible.
It’s also necessary for everyone, no matter their privilege and experience, to take care of themselves before helping other people. Increased awareness of the importance of this, especially regarding mental health issues, has blown up over social media, and it’s been helpful. In an interview with NPR, Hyepin Im, an expert on mental health and digital advocacy, said that “…the introduction of social media throughout the millennial generation has increased understanding of mental illnesses and decreased the stigma.” And it’s especially important for people with mental health issues to take time to care for themselves, through therapy or exercise, for example.
But self-care culture can prove to be destructive and selfish, especially for people with a lot of privilege who aren’t doing it the right way. An example of self-care leading to self-destruction happens within “wine mom culture”, which is now known as a Facebook meme. It’s middle-aged women using alcohol as a reward and can lead to them drinking far more than they should, impacting not only their own health but the safety of their children. Self-care needs to be responsible, and not done at the whims of others – and Audre Lorde shouldn’t be quoted to make up for irresponsible behavior.
Treating yourself can cause more problems for yourself when it’s short sighted, focusing only on what you want in the moment. This includes eating a bunch of junk food or staying in bed to watch Netflix all night, or skipping something that might prove to be more beneficial to you in the long run, like spending time with family or friends. “When you have a craving for chocolate, do you tend to tell yourself that you need chocolate? Instead of automatically giving in to a craving, first consider what you might really need,” said Carrie Dennet in an article for the Seattle Times. Chocolate can be replaced with any quick fix here – it’s not that you can never give in and satisfy that immediate craving, but if you do it all the time, it’s just going to cause more damage.
While it is certainly okay and healthy to occasionally remove yourself from social situations to work on your own mental health, it’s also important to be a good friend and parent. And while it’s sometimes necessary to retreat from the world of politics, it’s not okay to become complacent, especially if you have a lot of privilege. Go to the friend’s party you promised them you’d go to. Do your best to educate people on issues you feel they could benefit from. And don’t stay inside and watch Netflix every day. It will benefit your mental health and help the people around you.
Ideas for Healthy Self-Care:
-Turn off news notifications on your phone. It’s damaging for one’s psyche to be constantly receiving updates about nuclear war. (I’m speaking for my anxious self here).
-Don’t back out on too many promises. Sometimes you might be having a terrible night, and you don’t have to go to every party. But you should try your best to maintain your commitments, especially to the people close to you.
-Treat yourself when it’s okay to do so. You don’t always have to beat yourself up about splurging a little, but do it in a way that will ultimately help you. Maybe buying a new pair of sneakers would encourage you to run more, or a scented candle could help you relax.
-Ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to be perfect all the time! In fact, you certainly won’t be! Give yourself a break. You’re probably doing things pretty well.
The state of Oregon has been producing high-quality cannabis for decades. The climate, especially in the southwest corner of the state, is nearly perfect for the plant’s needs and the state’s progressive cultural climate supported people experimenting with marijuana cultivation. Now, with full adult use legalization, prices have dropped substantially. The drop in price per pound has caused havoc for growers, but now Oregon’s US Attorney is poised to provide price support.
For many decades, Oregon has been a leader in cannabis interest, use, legislation, and cultivation. As an agricultural crop, cannabis has long reigned as the state’s leading earner. When most old growth forests disappeared, logging waned as a prosperous industry and was partially replaced by cannabis. Oregon was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts. Then, 20 years ago, the state’s voters legalized medical cannabis, creating retail markets and allowing legal home growing by those with a medical card. Finally, in 2014 Oregon voters chose to legalize all cannabis adult use and allowed for four plant cultivation and state-licensed adult use grows. The state does produce a lot of cannabis.
Enter Billy J. Williams, US Attorney for Oregon. Newly encouraged to prosecute pot by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Williams is about to do just that. Of all the 94 US Attorneys responding to Session’s ending the protective Cole Memo, the Oregon US Attorney seems the most hawkish. He invoked a widely publicized “marijuana summit,” whined about Oregon’s overproduction of cannabis, and vowed, “Make no mistake. We are going to do something about it.”
Presumably, the Oregon US Attorney’s statement means some Oregonians will soon be charged with federal marijuana crimes. Current law makes possession of non-trivial amounts of cannabis one of the gravest federal crimes, punishable by the most severe penalties. Reversing a small measure of sanity from the previous administration, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instructed his 94 US Attorneys, including Oregon’s Williams, to seek maximum harm against those charged with drug crimes. Sessions cheers mandatory minimums and asset forfeiture. Some Oregon entrepreneurs are likely soon to suffer both.
For the last half-century, Oregon has likely always produced more cannabis than it consumed. Doubtless, some was distributed to eager markets in other states. With nearly a thousand recreational grow licenses already awarded by the state, and hundreds more on the way, combined with the right to grow 4 plants by all Oregonians and 12 medical plants per household, it is difficult to see how legal Oregon production will not continue to outpace in-state consumption. And this is before considering production by non-legal growers. Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a great friend to the Oregon cannabis industry, somehow assures that legal grows will not be federally prosecuted.
So, what will be the effect of aggressive federal marijuana law enforcement by the US Attorney for Oregon?
- Some Oregonians will have their lives ruined by federal prosecution. Mandatory minimums will be served, property will be seized.
- US Attorney Billy J. Williams will get a pat on the back from marijuana-crazed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
- Oregon will continue to produce more cannabis than it consumes.
- The price per pound of Oregon cannabis will stabilize, even rise as it has always done during periods of coercive federal enforcement.
The irony of any federal enforcement action by Williams against Oregonian growers will only serve to provide needed price support for others. The Oregon grow rush is already abating, discouraged by an ever-dropping the price per pound. Federal prosecutions will artificially prop up prices, encouraging increased production.
The true problem, of course, is not over-production of marijuana in Oregon. The problem is the idiotic federal inclusion of cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act, especially its bogus classification as a Schedule I drug. Delisting cannabis from the CSA would allow states their rightful role in marijuana policy and would allow Oregonians to sell their valuable cash crop in other states, just as is done now with wine and timber.
One set of true harms associated with a small percentage of Oregon marijuana grows are environmental crimes. Some pirate growers in woodlands divert streams, poison with pesticides, spew trash, and otherwise degrade the environment. If US Attorney Williams really wants to help his state with marijuana enforcement, this is where he should start. And end.
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Numerous companies within the United States coffee industry, which has for decades taken market advantage of the hard labor and skill of millions of people in developing countries to milk profits, have swiftly responded to…
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Tulsi Gabbard legislates for Hawaii’s 2nd District in the House of Representatives. In Congress, she has proven to be an outspoken supporter of cannabis rights on all fronts and introduced a current proposal to completely deschedule marijuana. She will be speaking at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Kauai, December 2017.
Earlier in 2017 Tulsi introduced house bill HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, with cosponsor Congressman Tom Garret, R-Virginia.
Tutsi has written thoughtfully on the issue. Her November 2017 statement, Tulsi Gabbard on Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition, should be required reading by all politicians. She makes great sense, mentioning the Schedule I stifling of research, dangerous cash practices with current banking restrictions, and the disastrous War on Drugs damages to the lives of tens of millions of Americans. She states,
Whether an individual chooses to use marijuana or not should be treated the same as whether they choose to use alcohol or tobacco.
The higher the elected office Tulsi attains, the better off America will be. She is an attractive candidate with her progressive views and veteran’s perspective. She served honorably in the Army National Guard, including a tour of duty in Iraq. She has strong and thoughtful opinions and actions to many of the country’s and planet’s key problems. Many of us would like to see her as President.
Hear Representative Tulsi Gabbard in Kauai December 1-3 at the ICBC conference. Support her political career at this link.
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