In the first few months since Trump has taken office, his administration has expressed some concerning sentiments regarding cannabis. With new Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading the charge, spokespeople for the Trump administration have created an atmosphere of uncertainty, having failed to clarify any official position on the matter.
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Yet another new cannabis bill introduced to congress would alleviate the friction between Attorney General Jeff Session’s anti-cannabis views and cannabis-friendly state laws. The bill would reschedule cannabis under the DEA’s classification system, downgrading it from Schedule I to Schedule III, a category that includes the likes of Tylenol, codeine, and ketamine. Still unnamed, House Bill 2020 was introduced by Florida representatives Matt Gaetz, a Republican, and Darren Soto, a Democrat.
A new open letter from four governors makes a case to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to maintain existing guidelines on the enforcement of federal cannabis law. The Governors ask the two cabinet members to “engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems.”
In the wake the Trump administrations stance on marijuana in legal states, two new bills have been introduced to congress that would protect the rights of individuals in legal and medical states who are complying with state cannabis laws. One bill would rule out federal prosecution for anyone following state laws, while another seeks to end federal cannabis prohibition entirely, removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
It appears that state governments and newly elected/ appointed federal officials seem to be at an impasse when it comes to marijuana laws. Newly appointed Attorney General, Jeff Sessions - who has a history of being in staunch opposition to legal marijuana and is also as a big proponent of marijuana enforcement on a federal level - recently commented that - "States ... can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” Not only have these statements echoed anti-marijuana sentiments made by the Trump and administration, but they have also more than implied the possibility of federal crackdowns in states with legal marijuana programs.
These days, just about wherever you are on the political spectrum, following the news can be exhausting at best, and truly depressing at worst. Many of us have gone so far as to avoid the news entirely. However, if you’ve been ignoring the news in the last few months you may have missed developments in the one area where momentum seems to be on the side of the forward-thinking, common sense outcome. Unthinkable ten or twenty years ago, public opinion – nationally too, but especially in California – has shifted towards the majority of citizens supporting the legalization of recreational cannabis.
The Compassionate Care Act was signed into law in July of 2014, amidst a national political climate that seemed to indicate increasingly relaxed views towards both medical and recreational cannabis. A number of western states (Colorado, Oregon, and Washington), as well as the District of Columbia, had recently legalized recreational cannabis, and it seemed that New York might be poised to be one of the first eastern states to put these new national attitudes into law.
It is hard to wrap one’s mind around such momentous change, but the truth is that the legal marijuana industry - the fastest-growing industry in the United States - is here to stay. Despite the doubters and detractors, the traction gained by the legal marijuana industry cannot be stopped. Currently 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Four states have legalized recreational use. Two of the four states, Colorado and Washington, already have experience with the taxation and regulation of retail marijuana and have seen astounding results.
When Colorado became the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana in November of 2012, many around the nation, and the world for that matter, saw it as a live experiment of sorts. Would it work out? Would more people die? Would the state benefit from it? Would the streets run rampant with brainless zombies?
For decades, maybe even hundreds of years, marijuana has been made synonymous with a plethora of false stereotypes that paint this plant as an addictive life-destroying drug. Yet, humans, and now even pet owners, have been advocating for the plant’s medicinal benefits. For pet owners, this doesn't mean including your dog into the blunt rotation or even putting a small edible into the kitty bowl. Instead, pet owners and medicinal marijuana companies have been synthesizing specially made doggie treats and using cannabis oils to treat ailing terminally ill pets and the results have been astounding.