Ending the Pot Ban?
On June 8, 2018, President Trump indicated support for a bipartisan bill that would end the federal ban on pot.
The legislation, co-authored by Senator Cory Gardner, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, would lift the federal prohibition, defer to states’ laws on marijuana legalization, and permit marijuana businesses to use the federal banking system.
Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colorado
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts
In a USA Today article, Ryan Miller quoted a tweet Senator Gardner made last Thursday: “We need to take a states’ rights approach to the legal marijuana question. Our bill does not legalize marijuana. Instead, it allows the principle of federalism to prevail as the founding fathers intended and leaves the marijuana question up to the states.”
According to Time Magazine, the legislation has bi-partisan support from both parties in Congress.
If President Trump does endorse the bill, this would be a break from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ position on cannabis enforcement.
You may recall last January, that Mr. Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo. Created by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the memo identified guidelines that states would follow: i.e., keeping adolescents away from pot and ensuring that weed grown within a state didn’t leave that state. The rescinding of this memo meant that state-level prosecutors would be able to use their discretion in bringing charges against businesses or individuals who violated the Controlled Substances Act.
Cannabis with gavel
The Senate proposal and a companion bipartisan measure in the House would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that its marijuana provisions do not apply to any person or business that complies with state’s laws. The bill specifies that such marijuana sales would not be considered trafficking and does not amount to illegal financial transactions, which would put the banks at ease.
A lifting of the federal prohibition also would bolster efforts to create uniform testing and regulatory standards, and potentially free scientists to pursue research into marijuana medical uses.
I recently stumbled across an April 29, 2018 article in The Motley Fool, which surprised me. While being questioned by the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Committees, Attorney General Sessions said, “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana.” He also intimated that additional federal grow facilities would be approved for cannabis research.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
According to Forbes Magazine, the House is expected to vote as soon as Thursday.
Why do I support legalizing marijuana?
Because prohibition has never worked.
What do you think?
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Warmest Regards, Michele
P.S. If you’re interested in reading my novel, Busted, which shows both sides of the drug debate, please click on Amazon.