politics - Page 2

Cannabis Congress: Tulsi Gabbard is a Great Friend of Legalization

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

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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Cannabis Fund PAC Now Online

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s Cannabis Fund political action committee is up and accepting donations. This is a great opportunity to directly fund messages and candidates against cannabigots and marijuana prohibitionists. The photo shows an early project targeting anti-marijuana, anti-veteran congressman Pete Sessions. Such messages should appear on a massive scale. But, up until now, no link for donating existed.

Earl Blumenauer is perhaps the greatest friend in congress of medical cannabis users, marijuana entrepreneurs, and all freedom fighters. He is a founding member of the congressional Cannabis Caucus and a frequent speaker at cannabis business and health conferences.

The Oregon congressman’s recent announcement of the PAC was widely publicised. Portland’s KOIN television announced,

Blumenauer to use PAC to target anti-pot legislators
Cannabis Fund to target those who oppose reforming marijuana laws

Nowhere in any announcement, though, was a link to actually donate money to the PAC.  This link is now available:

The Cannabis Fund PAC home is here and the donation page here.

The Cannabis Fund can become a powerful voice for everyone fighting for cannabis rights. Please contribute.

 

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Oregon Marijuana Business Conference Prices Increase at Midnight

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Marijuana Politics Staff

The marijuana business in Oregon is going through rapid changes, including a December 1st deadline where all growers must declare whether they are producing products for the medical or recreational markets.

For growers wanting to be in compliance with ever-changing rules, Oregon Marijuana Business Conference (OMBC) is your best resource for information. OMBC is the longest running cannabis B2B networking event in the state, with top notch exhibitors and select speakers specializing in all areas of cannabis business. The next event will be held Nov. 19 at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites in the heart of Oregon’s cannabis country. Industry experts, cannabis law reform activists, and marijuana business attorneys will be on hand to present the latest information and answer your burning questions.

These days, no one can deny that the Oregon cannabis industry is booming, generating more than $85 million in tax revenue to the state and creating thousands of jobs. But the competition is fierce, forcing entrepreneurs and business owners to be creative with their branding strategies while producing top-notch products and services. Not only will the OMBC present you with important tools of the trade, but it will also provide you with excellent networking opportunities that can help you take your cannabis business to the next level.

While the OMBC is designed to help you survive and thrive in the legal cannabis market, advocating for social justice and sensible policies is always a top priority. Keeping people out of prison and providing safe access to patients remain of paramount importance to our community. State Senator Floyd Prozanski, a major champion of sensible cannabis and hemp regulations, will be on hand to present the latest legislative information and respond to your policy questions. This will be an important opportunity for advocates to continue the process of protecting and improving Oregon’s cannabis laws.

Early Bird Ticket prices end tonight at midnight – which means you have only a few hours left to save $100 on conference registration! VIP tickets will include an After Party at Brickroom with Hip Hop artists Hieroglyphics/Souls of Mischief, and a keynote speech by the iconic Henry Rollins. You know you want to be there, so get your tickets now!

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Legalization Supporting NYC Mayoral Candidate Goes “Homeless”

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Anthony Johnson

I didn’t know what to expect when interviewing New York City mayoral candidate Mike Tolkin. Some third-party candidates can be very eccentric and New York has had it’s fair share; it is home to the Rent is Too Damn High Party after all. After talking to Mr. Tolkin, I can attest that this cannabis legalization supporter, who is currently living as a homeless person to publicize income inequality, is an extremely smart and thoughtful candidate that is running for office for the right reasons.

Tolkin has received quite a bit of media attention by spending a week homeless in front of New York City Hall. He has relied upon the kindness of others and he has been pleasantly surprised by the support that he has received from well-wishers passing by. Tolkin will end his homeless occupation on Tuesday, October 10th.

Below is the conversation I had with the the third-party NYC mayoral candidate.

Anthony Johnson: Why go homeless?
Mike Tolkin: Homelessness is one of our biggest challenges. The fact that New York City has 60,000 homeless people speaks to a larger epidemic of economic injustice. People are being displaced with rising rent costs. Looking at the economy, 5 to 10 years from now, our economy will drastically change. Automation and e-commerce are hurting small businesses. We need to be investing and preparing our kids for the economy of the future. We need to put in place policies like a universal income. I went homeless before, without any media attention, to learn about what people are going through and to learn about solutions.

I want people to see the human side of homelessness. Many times, people look the other away, because it is too painful to see people living on the streets. There will be more political action if people have sympathy. We need, for starters, more rehabilitation centers and mental health services.

Do you see a relation between the stigma of drug use, the lack of drug treatment services, and the homeless population?
100%. There are a variety of reasons why people end up on the streets. People exhaust every single option to avoid becoming homeless, calling up every friend and family member. Substance abuse problems, mental health issues, PTSD, LGBT runaways, are just some of the reasons people become homeless. My proposal, NYC Life, would provide safe housing, job training and mental health and substance abuse treatment. Today’s shelters are unsafe, a big reason why people choose to be on the streets instead of in shelters.

What about marijuana legalization?
I am 100% in support of marijuana legalization. I was nervous to be public about this at first, but I decided to be authentic. I don’t drink, but I’ve vaped cannabis and it has helped improve my life. People have access to marijuana already, so we can make money off of the market, or we can waste money on arrests, imprisonment and ruining lives.

It has turned into a plus for my campaign. Other primary candidates then jumped on board after I was outspoken on the issue.

Not only does marijuana provide health benefits, but it also can help promote job opportunities. There are a multitude of jobs that can be created, that can benefit people, not to mention the many innovations that can benefit society and create jobs as well.

We have too many politicians that don’t have the strength of their convictions. They don’t even have the strength of being on the right side of history, even though they see where history is going. Many personally support legalization and can see that marijuana is likely to be legal in 5 to 10 years, and yet they are still afraid. Don’t you want to be on the right side of history?

Mayor de Blasio has touted that marijuana possession arrests have decreased in NYC, but they actually increased in 2016 from 2015. Is there a disconnect between de Blasio’s rhetoric and the reality on the ground?

The disconnect between Mayor de Blasio’s rhetoric and the facts on the ground are across the board. There have been a number of reports that he is a user himself. How can you use it yourself and not support legalization?

What should people do to learn more about your campaign?
Go to TolkinForMayor.com to learn more and check out our videos, including one we’ve made about the need for marijuana reform.

Be sure to join other cannabis legalization activists and entrepreneurs at the International Cannabis Business Conference in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii, December 1st thru the 3rd. After Kauai, the ICBC travels to San Francisco, February 1st-2nd, just one month after California is scheduled to legalize cannabis commerce for all adults. 

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Prohibitionists Sputter to Final Defeat in Alaska

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Amber Iris Langston

Take note America – cannabis is here to stay.

Last night Alaskan voters in small communities reaffirmed at the ballot box a number of strong American values – civil liberties, social justice, economic pragmatism, and plain old common sense. Citizens in the city of Fairbanks, its neighbor Fairbanks North Star Borough and areas on the Kanai Peninsula voted down measures which would have banned adult-use cannabis businesses within their local political boundaries. In the Kanai Peninsula, 64% rejected the ban, with the number rising to 70% for the Fairbanks’ communities, making prohibitionists now only a limp 36% and 30% of the population.

Much like other medical and adult-use legalization laws across the country, the 2014 law passed in Alaska allows localities to ban cannabis business from their communities. Had these bans passed, companies already operating would have been forced to close within 90 days, though personal use and home-growing would still have been allowed, cutting jobs and significant tax revenues.

From the Times Colonist:

“The election was held the same day the Alaska Department of Revenue released its monthly marijuana tax receipts from cultivators. The state collected nearly $700,000 in August, which was the highest monthly amount since collections began last October. Ten new cultivators began paying taxes in August, and half are from areas where votes were being held Tuesday.

“Since October 2016, cultivators in the greater Fairbanks area have paid nearly $1.2 million in taxes, while those on the Kenai Peninsula have paid more than $655,000. The state doesn’t have tax figures for retails stores since those taxes are paid to local governments only.”

James Ostend, who represented the antiquated ideologues in the Fairbanks region, did his best to save face on the loss. “We’re disappointed, but at the same time our purpose for these initiatives on the ballot was to give the voters a chance to make this decision and not have it made by our local government. So in that sense, it’s a success,” he said.

Ostend continued his Reefer Madness insanity, stating, “If the marijuana industry starts to cause more damage to a community than they do good, then people will stand up and they’ll want to do something about it.”

Sorry, Mr. Ostend. Cannabis legalization is here to stay. The people have already stood up, and we are not sitting back down. Prohibition and the lies it has perpetuated over the decades has reaped far more damage than this plant or its industry ever will.

Stay informed on politics local, national and international at the International Cannabis Business Conference! Our next events will be happening on December 1-3, 2017, in Kauai, Hawaii, and on February 1-2, 2018, in San Francisco, California. Tickets are on sale now!

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“Impossible! Naive!” Cannabis Prohibitionists Cry Foul in Canada

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Amber Iris Langston

Members of the Canadian House of Commons health committee have been hearing testimony this week about the planned roll-out for Canada’s cannabis legalization program, which is set to go into effect in July 2018 – not a long time from now, for those familiar with the cannabis industry. Investors and entrepreneurs interested in the Canadian market are making their moves now, and paying close attention to how things transpire this week in Ottawa.

Major takeaways so far include the usual rabble-rabble from opponents to cannabis legalization, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and good ol’ Kevin Sabet from from the U.S. organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).

Rick Barnum of the OPP laments that police simply won’t be able to adjust to new policy by July 1, 2018, calling such feats of fantasy “impossible”. I somehow doubt there is much Rick would admit to that would make his police force sound so weak under other circumstances, but that rapacious nature of the cannabis plant – it’s just too much, people!

Joanne Crampton, the RCMP assistant commissioner for federal policing criminal operations, testified that legalization won’t solve issues of the criminal market, and that thinking so is “naive”. While I don’t disagree that there will continue to be an underground market until the new regulatory structures have had time to take effect, the fear-mongering from the law enforcement community on this issue seems far more likely to continue far into the future.

And of course, United States’ most ardent adversary, Kevin Sabet of SAM, whose years-long campaign of rhetoric against cannabis legalization has been reduced to “slow down.”

“The only people that benefit from speed in this issue are the business people that are really waiting to get rich. There is no benefit to going fast on this issue at all,” said Sabet. “I understand it may be too late, but I still think that forgoing legalization in favour of reducing criminal sanctions and deterring marijuana use is the best way from public health.”

Thankfully, the ruling Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, understands that cannabis prohibition is a failed and harmful policy. Despite the hysterical assurances from legalization opponents that the sky will fall, the Canadian government seems bound and determined to move forward on rolling out their new policy by July 2018.

Want to find out more about how Canada’s market will look post-prohibition? Join the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) next June 24 and 25, 2018 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Want to find out how other international markets are looking? Join all of ICBC’s events in Kauai, Hawaii; San Francisco, California; and Berlin, Germany.

Photo courtesy of Cannabis Culture via Creative Commons license on flikr.

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House Rules Chairman Commits an Immoral Act

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

Pete Sessions, chair of the hugely powerful Rules Committee of the US House of Representatives, committed a highly immoral act.

This Congressman, along with others in the committee, blocked several pro-cannabis amendments from full House votes, killing them. For years, medical marijuana users and their industry have been protected from federal persecution by amendments penned by Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and other freedom loving members of the House, such as Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer and Colorado’s Jared Polis.

Such protections were the product of years of struggle and state votes for medical legalization going back to California’s landmark passage of medical marijuana in 1996. For three years now, the Department of Justice, including the DEA, have been prevented from spending any money to crush these state legalizations. Each congress saw ever-increasing votes of members of the House of Representatives securing these vital protections. Now all these years of progress and state votes for medical legalization are jeopardized by the real possibility of renewed raids by federal jackboot thugs.

Pete Sessions’ enormous power, as chair of the Rules Committee, to ignore arbitrarily the will and well-being of Americans citizens is nauseating. The Texas (surprise) Republican (surprise) appears to be granting the wish of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who recently demanded these protections be dropped.

The actions by Chairman Pete Sessions to deny congressional input into American medical marijuana policy was immoral for many reasons. The absence of these protections,

  • Sets up road blocks to what might just be the best answer to America’s lethal opioid crisis.
  • Further challenges the lives and families of medical cannabis refugees who uprooted from ignorant states to those with medical cannabis programs for cannabis treatment of conditions like juvenile epilepsy. Many children have found life-saving relief in medically legal states.
  • Denys Americans basic health choices. Instead of a decision between you and your doctor, the end of these protections allows federal police to determine what medications you and your family can access.
  • Violates the will of the American voters. By overwhelming numbers, Americans believe state medical legalizations should not be harassed by the feds.
  • Infringes state’s rights by allowing federal thugs to mug the will of voters in medically legal states.

Other pro-cannabis amendments were dropped at the same time, including protections for hemp farming, access to banking, and easing restrictions that have stifled cannabis health research for nearly five decades. Fortunately, the current protections got a short reprieve, and the Senate may act to help achieve and restore these human rights.

Congressman Pete Sessions: protecting your gun rights, immorally violating your rights to health, liberty, and a meaningful vote.

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Will California Unduly Limit Cannabis Branding?

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Amber Iris Langston

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

While Shakespeare’s words ring true across time and space, one thing is for sure: if someone offered you an air freshener for your car and you had to choose between “rose” and “stank rot” without smelling either, I’m guessing most people would go with “rose”. Frankly, I don’t know what “stank rot” air fresheners smell like, since they don’t exist to my knowledge, but I do know what roses smell like.

This is why we brand – because everyone wants to come up, er, smelling like roses.

In the next two weeks, by September 15, California’s legislature will end its special session. Before that session ends, legislators will likely have a chance to vote on a bill that would highly restrict branding and marketing in the state which promises the largest legal cannabis market in the world when legalization is set to take effect in 2018.

The measure has traction and is likely to come up for a vote. The bill would put procedures in place to restrict marketing, labeling and “even the shape of pot products.” As expected, it’s all about the children.

According to US News and World Report:

“’This is all about making sure, in the context of the legalization of marijuana, that you don’t end up inadvertently leading so many of our young people into drug abuse,’ says the bill’s author, California state Sen. Ben Allen, a Democrat representing Hollywood. ‘This is about protecting kids.’
“…Allen’s bill is designed to cut off the walking billboards – T-shirts, hats and other swag that provide an indirect avenue for reaching children and teens. It won support from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Teachers Association, the California Police Chiefs Association and the child advocacy group Common Sense Kids Action.

“Ultimately, the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, working in concert with the state’s attorney general, would be left to provide guidance for the industry, deciding whether a T-shirt sporting a corporate logo and worn by a firm’s employees should be treated in the same way as a lighter, say, bearing a product name.”

I definitely agree that public health and safety, particularly for children, should a top political priority, but I think efforts regarding cannabis could easily overreach in California. I would like to think the agencies listed above can all be trusted with such advisement, but we are talking about institutions which have historically spread misinformation about the dangers of cannabis. Placing cannabis’ political opponents in charge of regulation might not end well for the industry. Just sayin’. The State of California will no doubt feel a pushback in lawsuits arguing for freedom of speech.

Whatever the case, we may begin to have an idea in a couple of weeks when the special session ends, just how branding and marketing will take shape in the Golden State’s new industry.

Stay on top of California’s cannabis market. Get your tickets now for the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 1st-2nd, 2018. If you are inclined to be even further ahead of the curve, and would enjoy to spend a few days in Hawaii in December, then grab your tickets to the ICBC in beautiful Kauai on December 1st thru the 3rd. 

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Eleven Evil Ways To Crush Legal Cannabis

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

The conservative Heritage Foundation has developed a dangerous document to help destroy state legalized cannabis.

The powerful Heritage Foundation has had substantial influence upon Republicans since it helped chaperon Ronald Reagan and is providing major guidance to the Donald Trump administration.  The foundation, abbreviated Heritage, is supposedly conservative, but without the commitment to small government, state’s rights, and individual liberty. Heritage’s brand of authoritarian conservationism emphasizes bigger military, aggressive and preemptive military action around the world, and social conservatism. Apart from gun rights, the foundation rejects the more constitutional and libertarian conservationism that would emphasize smaller government and individual rights.

This devious scheme, How Trump’s DOJ Can Start Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law, was penned by Heritage’s Cully Stimson. The 11-point plan uses government coercion to demolish state medical and adult-use legalizations of marijuana. Michael Roberts wrote of the plan and some of the worried reaction in Westword.com. He quotes Justin Strekal, NORML’s policy director,

I’ve been screaming about this to anyone who will listen, just because of the outsized influence the Heritage Foundation has had over the administration’s policies.

The Heritage Foundation’s 11-point plan is printed below, along with commentary. This insidious scheme is a blue-print for big, coercive government to crush to freedoms, livelihoods, and medical choices of tens of millions of Americans.

1. Reaffirm support for the law. Issue a statement affirming the incoming administration’s commitment to the Controlled Substances Act with the goal of reducing, not expanding, the use of marijuana in the nation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly spoken against marijuana and its legalization. Recently, Session claimed “that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about . . . and to send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

The president has made forceful but vague comments about the evils of drugs in general: “…the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth.” It seems that Trump is content to let Jeff Sessions set policy on drugs, including marijuana, not good for legal marijuana.

2. Coordinate with lower-level officials. Have the new attorney general prioritize reaching out to governors and key law enforcement officials in states that have legalized marijuana to work with them on enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

Jeff Sessions has “reached out” to political leaders in legal states, basically challenging them to confront his accusations that legal marijuana in their state is out of control and somehow a threat to the nation. Governors of four adult-use legal states, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have given his meddling a cold reception. So far, the Attorney General’s efforts here have been an abysmal failure.

These state governors, their attorneys general, and law enforcement, including state police, have informed Jeff Session’s that his analysis is in error, that they are working hard on successfully regulating state legal marijuana, and by the way, stay out of our state.

One set of “lower-level officials” Sessions may have much more success with is local, county, and regional law enforcement and drug task forces. With this tactic the feds can by-pass newly reluctant state officials, and bring down the drug war hammer to America’s highways. Sessions is pushing asset forfeiture programs where the DEA returns a good portion of seized asset directly back to the police who seized them. This program, if implemented on a massive scale would provide Sessions with an army of drug warriors on the ground and an enormous cash flow free from any congressional restrictions on spending.

3. Reassert America’s drug position on the world stage. The White House should make clear that the United States continues to support the three international drug conventions, and that it intends to change its domestic policy to reflect that support.

“Changes in domestic policy” is code for de-legalize medical and adult use marijuana in all states.  These three treaties, which the US has long used to badger any country wishing to explore any policy other than hard line criminalization, mandate no legal cannabis. Up until now, the administration has made no new assertions of the treaties.

Internationally, President Trump has gone out of his way to praise Philippine president Dutarte in his genocidal war on drugs.

As always, Trump blames Mexico for America’s drug problem and as a way to sell his border wall. He said in a recent press conference,

Tremendous drugs are pouring into the United States at levels that nobody has ever seen before. This happened over the last three to four years in particular. The wall will stop much of the drugs from pouring into this country and poisoning our youth.

4. Up the profile of key drug enforcement personnel. Restore to Cabinet-level status the position of the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and adequately fund the office so that it can be effective.

This has not been done. The drug czar still lacks cabinet status and indeed the position is filled with an interim replacement. Same with DEA, where Obama’s administrator Chuck Rosenberg remains in place. The recent opioid panel chaired by Chris Christie had little involvement with the ONDCP.

5. Rescind and replace the August 2013 memorandum from then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole — i.e. the “Cole Memo.” The Department of Justice could do this by reiterating that marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sale are against federal law and that while states may decriminalize possession of marijuana, they may not issue licenses to sell it or commercialize it. Reiterate that the federal government is not locking up people for smoking marijuana, and that state employees are not going to be arrested, but that the Department of Justice fully expects states to not permit commercialized marijuana production and sale.

The Cole memo remains intact. But Sessions and his army of federal prosecutors and thousands of assistant prosecutors could commit havoc in all states by seeking out violators of the memo. If legalized states were compelled by the federal government to end their regulation of marijuana, then all the controls over (and taxes gained) from legalization would vanish, leaving an unregulated marijuana marketplace.

6. Select marijuana businesses to prosecute. Find a handful of cases in which large, well-funded marijuana businesses are in violation of both state and federal marijuana laws and prosecute both their management/operators and financiers. A real threat of prosecution will raise the cost of capital in the industry significantly, and seriously impede any operations above the cottage-level. Moreover, selection of unsympathetic defendants in violation of both state and federal law will (1) minimize political pushback, (2) avoid conflict with congressional appropriations provisions, and (3) clearly demonstrate the failure of the Cole Memo.

The shoe has not dropped on selective federal prosecutions, but probably soon will. Among Session’s army of 94 US Federal Prosecutors, those in adult-legal states are doubtless salivating at the prospect of prosecuting “well-funded marijuana businesses” to satisfy their goals of easy mandatory minimums, asset forfeitures, wide-spread publicity, and, priceless, pleasing their boss Jeff Sessions.

Now anti-marijuana activist (and key Obama drug policy advisor) Kevin Sabat’s SAM organization has come out with recommendations mirroring this tactic, claiming the Cole Memo has failed and that Americans need the “protection” of a reenergized war on marijuana.

7. Rescind the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s guidance for banks and oppose efforts to expand banking services to the marijuana industry. One of the principal brakes on the expansion of the marijuana industry is its lack of access to banking. Once pot businesses have regular, unimpeded access to institutional capital, their ability to scale up will expand significantly—and the financial sector will begin to lobby in favor of expanded sales of the drug.

Also part of Sabet’s anti-legalization tract is the maintenance of the shunning of cannabis businesses by banks. Lack of banking access is indeed a desperate problem for the industry. Federal legislation has been introduced to fix this problem, but will likely fail.

8. Support state attorneys general in nonlegalized states. Nonlegalized states have suffered significantly from illegal diversion of marijuana from legalized states, and from the apparent uptick in sophisticated cartel activity there. Support could include entering as an amicus to support the merits of the suit Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado.

The suit by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado legalization gained the enmity from many conservatives because of its raw attack on state’s rights. The Oklahoma Attorney General who participated in the suit against the rights of the voters of Colorado was none other than current EPA head Scott Pruitt. The Supreme Court ruled against the case in 2016, but left open that it might be resolved in federal court, so the danger is not over. Anti-marijuana and anti-environment zealot Pruitt said, “The fact remains — Colorado marijuana continues to flow into Oklahoma, in direct violation of federal and state law.”

9. Prosecute those dealing in marijuana — which is illegal under federal law — using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Those who engage in a pattern of racketeering activity through a corporation or other enterprise are liable for three times the economic harm they cause. RICO gives federal courts the power to order racketeering enterprises and their co-conspirators to cease their unlawful operations.

RICO is indeed a scary prospect, and appears to be underway. With 5,000 assistant US Attorneys needing something to do, a flood of RICO lawsuits is a nauseating possibility. The precarious status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug enables the RICO action originally written to attack the mafia. Soon it may be used to legally annihilate even small scale cannabis operation. More on this RICO peril in later posts.

10. Prosecute those who provide financing for marijuana operations. Federal anti-money laundering statutes make it illegal to engage in financial transactions designed to promote illegal activities, including drug trafficking. Start with one major marijuana financier and successfully prosecute it.

Easy prosecutions with possible asset forfeiture and favorable publicity will excite the interest of Session’s US Attorney army. The assumption is probably correct that the destruction of a few industry leaders and financiers could strike damaging blows to the industry.

11. Empower the FDA to take action to regulate marijuana in order to protect patients and the public. Marijuana legalization poses a public health problem, and the FDA should be tasked with investigating marijuana for chemical contamination and pesticides. Marijuana should also be subject to the standards of the rigorous criteria of the FDA approval process, which has been carefully constructed to protect consumer and patient health and safety.

That is, use another US bureaucracy to kill off the powerful new cannabis preventative, palliatives and cures before their momentum and public demand  rise to unstoppable levels.  Many reformers fear an outside FDA influence should cannabis be down-scheduled to Schedule 2. All the more reason cannabis must be removed from the Controlled Substances Act prison altogether.

In sum, these eleven coercive tactics could deliver considerable pain to cannabis consuming Americans, marijuana entrepreneurs and workers, and medical users across the country. They could also deliver political pain to the politicians supporting them as they go against the majority will to legalize marijuana, especially medical.

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Dank News! This is what’s happening.

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MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Ngaio Bealum

News travels fast, but stoners travel slow(ly). We here at Marijuana Politics want to make sure you are up to date on the latest weed news, so we have compiled a tasty hit of headlines just for you. Check it out:

Congressman wants to end drivers license suspensions for drug offenses

TL;dr  –  Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has introduced an amendment to fix a decades old law left over from the failed “War on Drugs”. Currently, states that do not immediately suspend the driver’s licenses of people arrested for drug possession can be denied federal monies. Suspending someone’s license does nothing to stop drug use. Congressman O’Rourke’s amendment would change the law. Read more here.

 

Colorado Sells another $100 million dollars worth of pot- in a month! 

Tl;dr – Once again, Colorado has sold over one hundred million dollars of pot in a month, according to reports. The state sold $127 million worth of cannabis and cannabis products, while taking in about 95 million in taxes. Tax money and job creation. That’;s what legalization does. Check it out right here.

 

Netflix TV show”Disjointed” opened a pot shop this weekend.

The new Netflix sitcom “Disjointed” is set in a cannabis dispensary, and what better way to promote the show than to offer custom cannabis? West Hollywood pot shop AHHS was turned into a facsimile of Ruth’s (lead Kathy Baker’s character) dispensary and offered some Netflix themed goodies like “Banana Stand Kush”. The LA times has the scoop.

 

Snoop and Martha are up for an Emmy!

That’s right: Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart have been nominated for an Emmy award for their VH1 special “Snoop and Martha’s Potluck. This is the first Emmy nomination for a pot-themed show since “Weeds” was on the air.    Leafly has more info

 

5 states looking to Pot the Vote in 2018

Michigan wants to legalize adult use, while South Dakota, Missouri, Utah, and Oklahoma want to make medical marijuana available to qualified patients. MJBiz Daily has the updates.

 

Ngaio Bealum is a writer, comedian, cannabis activist, and a decent juggler. You can catch him on the road performing at events around the country and MCing the International Cannabis Business Conference. Follow him on the social medias. @ngaio420

 

 

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