Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against the Government to Reschedule Cannabis
We reported ten days ago about a federal lawsuit, which was brought on by multiple parties. The basis of the suit was to have the courts force the DEA to reschedule marijuana and remove it as a Schedule I drug. Unfortunately, the federal judge sided with the DEA’s argument that the plaintiffs can petition them directly for rescheduling cannabis, and that this is not an issue for the courts. We also reported that it took the DEA 12 years to respond to a previous petition, using reasons that cannabis is not a “known or reproducible” substance. Obviously, the plaintiffs will appeal the judge’s decision.
Rescheduling cannabis might not be an issue for the courts, but it is an issue for Congress. The Plaintiffs should just focus their efforts and get Congress to change the law. Don’t wait for the DEA; they won’t do anything. Yes, they have the authority, but who within that agency dares to stand up against Jeff Sessions and the DoJ? Fortunately, there is a lot of support in Congress across party lines. Again, this is an excellent opportunity for our representatives to do something that the people will see as courageous, compassionate, and empowering state’s rights.
All this confusion at the federal level, but the city of Denver just approved its first cannabis club. Doors will open in two weeks, charge an entrance fee, and allow people to vape and consume edibles. Although, no smoking nor the selling of cannabis will be allowed. What has been going on in other states?
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Last week we reported that the voters in Arizona could get another chance to vote on legal weed. Unfortunately, this week the chairman of the judiciary committee didn’t want to hear about the bill, so it is essentially dead. Arizona already has a medical marijuana program and is surrounded by states that are not regulating and taxing the plant like alcohol. Furthermore, 62% of Arizonians support the legalization of cannabis. So, find your legislators and tell them you support the recreational use of marijuana.
According to 4029TV.com, Gov. Hutchinson says that he will continue to treat marijuana like a medicine, but that he will not allow Arkansas to become a “recreational state”. However, according to one of our readers and an activist since 2012, he states,
“Here in Arkansas with a state-wide population of about 1/3 the size of Houston, TX, we’ve entered into our second year of legal medical marijuana. Yet, not a single patient has a card, not a grower approved and growing. Also, not a single dispensary is approved or open…The state elected officials who continue to drag their feet are dreaming if they think this will go unnoticed. From the Gov. Hutchinson to the lowest county official beware. Your political days are numbered. 53% of Arkansas voters are mad as hell because they voted for MMJ.”
The state must have intercepted the conversation, because just yesterday, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission plans to announce the first five groups allowed to grow medical cannabis. Great news for Arkansas, and keep up the great work.
A California Senator introduced a bill that would suspend the license for teens that test positive for any amount of cannabis. We all know how ridiculous that is. Marijuana is known to linger in the system for weeks depending on the amount of fat available in someone’s body. Furthermore, there is no marijuana equivalent of a blood-alcohol level to prove impairment. The same trace of cannabis found in someone that smoked 15 minutes ago could be the same that is found two days later. We hope this bill dies in the Senate. Contact your legislators and tell them you oppose this ridiculous bill.
There are efforts in the state trying to decriminalize marijuana –at least for some first-time offenders. The bill is targeting teens that are making the wrong choice of using marijuana. Those caught with 5 grams or less could see themselves getting a second chance. Offenders could still see up to 30 days jail time and a fine between $65 and $625, so it’s not real decriminalization. But it’s better than 6 months in jail and an up to $1000 fine, which is the current law.
Massachusetts is getting ready for retail cannabis shops to open up July 1st. So new legislation will be discussed that will adjust zoning laws already on the books. The legislation also proposes to convert the city’s old mill buildings into facilities for growing marijuana. The legislation already received a positive response from all stakeholders, so it should be approved this week.
The legalization of recreational cannabis in the Garden State has proven to be very dramatic over the past few months. With countless of cities already opting out before a law is even passed. And a fair amount of pushback in the state house and senate. This is not what Governor Brown was expecting. But finally, New Jersey gets its first public hearing on recreational cannabis.
Arguments were heard for and against legalization, but the audience was clearly for it, according to the Hudson Reporter. Arguments for legalization were not just for government revenue, but for social justice, since three times more colored people get arrested for marijuana possession. At the end of the day, it will be a boost for the economy and keep from ruining the lives of individuals because of possession. A commenter on the report mentioned that the group opposing legalization, led by Kevin Sabet, is tied to big pharma. Go figure.
A letter to the state legislators was shared with the Fayette Tribune showing strong support for legalizing recreational cannabis. The letter uses the successes in Colorado and states strongly that cannabis is West Virginia’s next billion dollar industry. It is a great read, so if you have time, we recommend you go through it.
A federal judge throwing out the lawsuit is yet another signal to Congress to change the law. We hope our representatives jump on this opportunity. Will 2018 be the year for national legalization?
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