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Cannabis News

Discussion in 'Cannabis News and Activism' started by vtac, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    How marijuana is going to become bipartisan

    Sessions is ............ also bringing Democrats and Republicans together — to oppose him.

    Today, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (a Democrat) and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (a Republican) introduced a bill called the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, which would essentially allow states to pass their own marijuana laws without interference from the federal government. Here’s a one-page explanation from the House sponsors, and here’s the bill text.
  2. florduh

    florduh Well-Known Member

    Can we just finally pass one of these fucking bills?

    Multiple bills are introduced every year that would end the "gray area" Legal States are operating in. Every time they die in committee. This is a very reasonable, bipartisan bill.

    As Gardner said "we can't put the ketchup back in the bottle." There will never be a massive crackdown in Legal States. Given that, quit all the fuckery and pass a Bill that decriminalizes cannabis Federally. What are we waiting for? It's a win/win for both the "Law and Order" types who don't care for Legal States flouting Federal Law, AND for cannabis fans.

    It's time for the ridiculousness to end. Now.
  3. Ibn Vapin

    Ibn Vapin DIY Noob

    'murica, fk yea
    Gardener bucked ol' Sessions and cockblocked his DoJ appointees like a boss, lol, when Gardener himself opposed legalization to begin with. Kinda like giving Sessions the finger and saying, 'My people voted for this, piss off bro.' Those are some big balls, mad respect.

    I watched that earlier on Leafly, myself, @macbill , and I agree that it sounds super good. Hopefully the Commonwealth will hurry the flip up and legalize/decriminalize it. I even went so far as to email my representative earlier over the topic.
  4. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    Adobewan, grampa_herb, Helios and 3 others like this.
  5. psychonaut

    psychonaut High as fuck

    We're getting closer every day ladies and gentleman. This is obviously a lot less than I would like to see, but this makes sense as a step in the right direction. Way different position than previous administrations, granted we've basically forced the feds hand at a state level.
    grampa_herb, macbill and MinnBobber like this.
  6. MyCollife

    MyCollife Well-Known Member

  7. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

    Jeff Sessions Struggles to Get Planned Marijuana Crackdown Going
    Attorney general vowed to toughen federal enforcement of the drug, but he doesn’t have support from Trump or Congress

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is increasingly finding himself alone in his desire to roll back Obama-era policies that took a relaxed approach to states that had legalized marijuana.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to use federal law to get tough on marijuana, announcing in January he was ending Obama-era protections for the nascent pot industry in states where it is legal. Six months into his mission, he is largely going it alone.

    Mr. Sessions’ own prosecutors have yet to bring federal charges against pot businesses that are abiding by state law. And fellow Republicans in Congress, with support from President Donald Trump, are promoting several bills that would protect or even expand the legal pot trade.

    As a result, Mr. Sessions, an unabashed drug warrior, has struggled to make his anti-marijuana agenda a reality, a notable contrast with the success he has had in toughening law-and-order policies in other criminal justice areas.

    Marijuana advocates say Mr. Sessions’ approach, in seeking to spur a crackdown on the legal marijuana market, has largely backfired. It has catalyzed bipartisan support for research, they say, and for action to improve the young industry’s access to banks, which have been generally unwilling to accept proceeds from pot sales.

    Uneven Approach
    A growing number of states are legalizing marijuana use, but it remains illegal under federal law.

    Underlining the pushback, Sen. Cory Gardner, (R., Colo.) on Thursday joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) in introducing a bill that essentially would allow states to pass their own marijuana laws without interference from the federal government.

    Mr. Trump on Friday reiterated his support for Mr. Gardner, saying “I know exactly what he’s doing, we’re looking at it, but I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

    The dynamic highlights the unusual state of the nation’s marijuana laws. More states are legalizing marijuana use for medical or even recreational purposes as many parts of society take a more tolerant view of pot, creating a cadre of supporters from both parties. Yet the drug remains illegal under federal law, posing a challenge for U.S. officials in deciding how to pursue it.

    President Barack Obama’s administration took a largely hands-off approach to states that had legalized marijuana. Mr. Sessions initially showed determination to overhaul those policies, blaming marijuana for helping fuel the opioid abuse crisis and for causing spikes in violence.

    The Justice Department declined to comment. Mr. Sessions, however, recently told members of Congress that the department is now emphasizing the pursuit of more dangerous drugs.

    Pressed on marijuana enforcement at a hearing, he said, “I have felt it not appropriate for me to somehow give a safe harbor or protection to areas around the country where it still remains a violation of federal law.” But he added, “The threats that we’re focused on in the Department of Justice are fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription abuses in large amounts [that] lead to addiction and death. Those are clearly where we’re moving.”

    In an unusual move by a Republican senator against his own party’s attorney general, Mr. Gardner blocked nominees for Justice Department jobs after Mr. Sessions announced he was undoing the Obama administration’s approach.

    Mr. Gardner stood down after receiving assurances that Mr. Trump would support protections for pot-legal states like Colorado, essentially undermining Mr. Sessions on the issue. “If they’ve voted to have a legal industry, then it would allow them to continue forward without violating any federal law,” Mr. Gardner said of the bill he co-authored with Ms. Warren.

    House Republicans are also supporting a number of other marijuana-related measures. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) is pushing his colleagues to allow more marijuana research, which he hopes will pave the way to rescheduling pot—that is, categorizing it with less dangerous drugs on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of illicit substances.

    Supporters of relaxing marijuana drug laws cheer the recent developments. “It was terrific,” said Don Murphy, director of federal policy for the Marijuana Policy Project, said of Mr. Sessions’ threat to the industry. “It moved this issue to a burner.”

    Pot foes caution it is too soon to judge the impact of Mr. Sessions’ changes.

    “It’s not a win for Jeff Sessions, but at the end of the day he still directs the department and could have the DEA close marijuana businesses,” said Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of the antipot group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

    The marijuana landscape contrasts notably with Mr. Sessions’ success in his broader law-and-order and antidrug push. He has rolled back Obama era policies that showed leniency to lower-level drug offenders, for example, instead urging prosecutors to seek the toughest punishments possible in most cases.

    Mr. Sessions’ January marijuana policy left federal prosecutors to decide what resources to devote to marijuana crimes, stirring fear among dispensary owners that raids and arrests were imminent. Instead, many U.S. attorneys continued to use their limited manpower to target unusually brazen marijuana operations that are also illegal under state law, such as sprawling marijuana growers on federal lands or gangs that peddle pot along with other drugs.

    Billy Williams, Oregon’s U.S. attorney, for example, is targeting the trafficking of marijuana across state lines, organized crime and businesses that supply pot to minors. This in many ways resembles the policy that prevailed under the Obama administration, which urged states to tightly regulate marijuana and keep it from crossing state lines to avoid federal scrutiny.

    “I’m not making any blanket statements that we wouldn’t prosecute anyone,” Mr. Williams said. “It’s a case-by-case basis.”

    Colorado’s U.S. attorney, Bob Troyer, is aggressively prosecuting drug traffickers who grow pot on federal lands, which is against both state and federal law. But his office hasn’t brought charges against dispensaries that comply with the state’s regulations.

    “We never would give anyone immunity for violating federal law,” Mr. Troyer said. “As those threats evolve and change, something else could rise to the top priority level.”
    grokit, seaofgreens, hd_rider and 5 others like this.
  8. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

    State lawmakers still eyeing gambling expansions, marijuana legalization

    State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, talks about cannabis legalization and state Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, talks about gambling expansion


    Illinoisans looking to gamble at a new casino in Rockford or Danville or to legally buy marijuana to get high for fun will have to wait until next year for the debate to spark back up at the statehouse.

    State lawmakers didn’t attempt to pass legislation to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol this year, but that doesn’t mean the movement is dead.

    Illinois has a highly regulated pilot medical cannabis program for patients who have certain qualifying conditions. A bill lawmakers approved in both chambers would let cannabis be used for temporary pain management, as an alternative option to highly addictive opioid painkillers. That will now be up to the governor.

    However, plans for legalizing marijuana, regulating and taxing it for adult recreational use have not advanced.

    State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, one of the main sponsors of a legalization bill, said it was a "next year project."

    “This is something we’ve been working on for a good solid year, almost a year and a half now and the pieces are coming together,” said Cassidy, D-Chicago.

    “I think shortly after session adjourns (which was May 31) we’ll probably have a new version that will reflect all those conversations we’ve had over this year and a half and we’ll have something real to work from to start building that roll call,” Cassidy said.

    Lawmakers held several committee hearings over the past 12 months. Those hearings included advocates and opponents to legalizing cannabis for recreational use, along with policy makers and industry experts from states like Colorado, where it is legal.
    His_Highness and macbill like this.
  9. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    That's going to piss off folks in Windsor, Canada. They have gambling there, and soon rec. cannabis. Detroit will stay home if they can satisfy their craving to lose money at home.
    His_Highness and cybrguy like this.
  10. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

    Detroit (Michigan) has had gambling for some time. The Detroit MGM Grand opened in 1999. Illinois has had it since the early 90s, but it has been limited to specific riverboat casinos. That is what they want to change. And now that sports betting is no longer illegal, we may as well give up on efforts to limit it.
  11. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

    Jill NYC, cpk, Andreaerdna and 12 others like this.
  12. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
  13. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
  14. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

    Lawmakers In Illinois Embrace Medical Marijuana As An Opioid Alternative

    June 15, 201810:58 AM ET
    Christine Herman


    Policymakers in Illinois and other states want to make it easier to get medical marijuana for pain relief.

    A painkiller prescription could become a ticket for medical marijuana in Illinois. Lawmakers there passed a bill making anyone with a prescription for opioids eligible for its medical cannabis program.

    With this move, Illinois joins a growing number of states turning to legal cannabis in the fight against painkiller addiction.

    "As we see the horrible damage inflicted by opioid use and misuse, it seems like a very low-cost and low-risk alternative," says state Sen. Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, Ill., and sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

    The Alternatives to Opioids Act would allow millions of patients to apply for temporary access to the state's existing medical cannabis pilot program. The bill, which passed on May 31, is now awaiting Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature. Though the bill has bipartisan support, marijuana advocates have some doubts about whether he'll sign it, given his past opposition to medical cannabis.

    Lawmakers in several states have taken action to initiate or expand their medical marijuana programs in light of the opioid crisis.

    Among them, in Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law adding PTSD and intractable pain to the list of conditions covered in its medical marijuana program in May. And New York state Sen. George Amedore, a Republican, introduced legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis oil as an alternative to opioids for certain conditions.

    Under Illinois' proposed new law, anyone 21 or older with a condition for which opioids might be prescribed could get near-immediate access to cannabis products at licensed dispensaries by presenting paperwork signed by their doctor. They would no longer be fingerprinted or need criminal background checks, or wait months for approval. The measure would reduce the backlog of applications, Harmon says.

    The state's medical cannabis program currently has about 38,000 licensed users, who have been certified by a doctor to have one of 41 qualifying conditions. Many more people would become eligible under the new measure. More than 2 million people got opioid prescriptions in 2017.

    Harmon says he hopes the measure will reduce the number of opioids prescribed to new patients and help others taper off. Advocates for medical marijuana see the measure as an important step to combat the state's opioid crisis. In 2017, more than 13,000 people in Illinois overdosed on opioids. About 2,000 of those were fatal.

    "I think it will save a lot of people's lives to be quite honest," says Dan Linn, executive director of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

    The measure will be "a lifeline to those patients who are being prescribed opioid-based painkillers, as well as the medical cannabis industry in Illinois," Linn says.

    But some addiction treatment specialists are concerned the policy is getting ahead of the science.

    Aaron Weiner, director of addiction services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in Naperville, Ill., says the new policy amounts to replacing one addictive substance with another. "People are prescribed opioids inappropriately all the time," he says. "That doesn't mean they should be smoking pot."

    Weiner says some scientific research supports the use of marijuana to treat chronic pain, referring to a 2017 report from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). But, he says, the industry puts patients at risk. That's because patients must use trial and error to find what works among a vast range of marijuana products.

    Weiner is concerned that cannabis dispensary staff aren't trained adequately, and, he notes, they've been found to make recommendations that can harm patients.

    He's also worried about how patients will navigate products sold under colorful names such as "Bio Jesus" and "OG 18."

    "This is not marketed to 50-year-old people in intractable pain," Weiner says. "If we're going to pass something like this, I think it's our responsibility to protect patients while we do it. I really don't see that right now."

    The Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, which represents more than 60 behavioral health organizations across the state, has taken a neutral stance on the bill. But the group's chief operating officer, Eric Foster, says he supports efforts to reduce opioid prescriptions.

    The most recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find no evidence that opioids are effective for treating chronic pain. As many as 1 in 4 patients who take opioids long-term struggle with addiction.

    It's still an open question whether medical marijuana is an effective alternative to opioid painkillers, says Ziva Cooper, a cannabis researcher and associate professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

    "I think the public is unaware of how little data we have that's rigorous on the therapeutic effects of cannabis," says Cooper, who is one of the authors of the 2017 NASEM report on medical marijuana.

    Earlier this year, Cooper published a study in the journal Nature that found medical cannabis can work in conjunction with low doses of opioids to provide greater pain relief than opioids alone.

    But her research subjects did not have chronic pain and she says more research is needed before drawing any conclusions.

    "Science is so far behind the policy," Cooper says.

    She says there are a lot of data that suggest cannabis can serve as a substitute for — or work in conjunction with — opioids. But the vast majority of those studies are not the rigorous, placebo-controlled studies that are the gold standard in scientific research.

    "On the flip side, there's also evidence that shows it might not be the best idea, that cannabis might actually increase prescription opioid use," Cooper says.

    Leslie Mendoza Temple, an associate professor of family medicine in Chicago's north suburbs, has certified more than 500 patients for medical cannabis for approved illnesses.

    Temple says she considers cannabis for her patients when she finds that other treatments, including nonaddictive ones, are not working.

    She acknowledges that high-quality data on medical marijuana is lacking. But with opioid death rates climbing every year, she says her approach is harm reduction.

    "I don't think we have the time to wait for those beautiful trials to come out in 10 or 20 years," Temple says. "We have people dying now."

    While the changes to Illinois' medical cannabis program could increase access to the drug, Sandy Champion, an advocate for medical marijuana who helped draft legislation for the pilot program in 2013, remains cautious.

    She says some patients with qualifying conditions can't find a doctor willing to complete the paperwork to apply to the program and she thinks that's unlikely to change — even with the new rules in place.

    Harmon says doctors will not be compelled to participate. But he thinks the argument that the measure would replace one addictive drug with another is "ridiculous."

    "Opioids and heroin [are] killing scores of people. No one has died from overdose of cannabis," says Harmon.

    He agrees more research on marijuana is needed, but points out that the drug's Schedule 1 classification, which means it's considered highly addictive and has no medical use, makes it difficult for scientists to conduct research.
  15. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    Even though I live in a legal state this BS still goes on. People are always going to be arrested for pot. This gives ole Jeff Sessions more reason to want to shut things down. It’s not going to be stopped. Cannabis is gaining acceptance with the majority of Americans by leaps and bounds.

    Tacoma police bust six marijuana grow houses | The News Tribune
    Tacoma · June 18, 2018 10:30 AM. Six houses believed part of an illegal marijuana grow that was selling the drug nationwide were busted Monday, Tacoma police said. Detectives
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018 at 7:14 PM
    macbill likes this.

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