Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announces his plan to legalize cannabis in the U.S. One America’s Salina Arredondo breaks down the proposal.
Senator Bernie Sanders will legalize Cannabis within his first 100 days in office, if elected. His plan includes expungement, reinvesting revenue into struggling communities, and ensure the cannabis industry doesn’t turn into something like the tobacco industry.
[Cannisuer: This is an incredibly important announcement. Bipartisan support is finally here. As noted in the article: “For the first time, a chamber of Congress has declared that the federal government should defer to state cannabis laws.”]
The House of Representatives approved a far-reaching measure on Thursday to prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state marijuana laws, including those allowing recreational use, cultivation and sales.
The amendment, which also shields cannabis laws in Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories, is now attached to a large-scale appropriations bill to fund parts of the federal government for Fiscal Year 2020.
The inclusion of adult-use programs represents a significant expansion of an existing policy that protects only local medical cannabis laws from federal intervention which was first enacted in 2014 and has since been extended through annual spending bills.
The broader rider was approved in a floor vote of 267 to 165, a tally that is considered by legalization supporters to be an indication of how much support there is in Congress for more comprehensive and permanent changes to federal marijuana policies.
“This is the most significant vote on marijuana reform policy that the House of Representatives has ever taken,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Today’s action by Congress highlights the growing power of the marijuana law reform movement and the increasing awareness by political leaders that the policy of prohibition and criminalization has failed.”
Cannabis Trade Federation CEO Neal Levine agreed with the importance of the legislative victory.
“The historic nature of this vote cannot be overstated,” he said. “For the first time, a chamber of Congress has declared that the federal government should defer to state cannabis laws.”
Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, called the vote “without a doubt the biggest victory for federal cannabis policy reform to date, and a hopeful sign that the harmful policies of marijuana prohibition will soon be a relic of the past.”
The measure, sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Tom McClintock (R-CA), would bar the Department of Justice from spending money to prevent states and territories from “implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana.”
In 2015, a nearly identical measure came just nine flipped votes short of passage on the House floor. Since then, the number of states with full legalization laws has more than doubled, meaning that far more lawmakers now represent constituents who stand to benefit from its protections.
“The end of marijuana prohibition has never been closer. When Drug Policy Alliance and a small band of allies first worked on this amendment in 2015, we were told that we didn’t stand a chance,” DPA Director of National Affairs Michael Collins said. “But we convinced members this was the right thing to do, and four years on, victory is sweet.”
“Now is the time for Democrats to pivot to passing legislation that will end prohibition through a racial justice lens, making sure that the communities most impacted by our racist marijuana laws have a stake in the future of legalization,” he said. “To do anything less would be to repeat an injustice.”
On Wednesday, the House approved a similar amendment protecting the marijuana laws of Indian tribes by a voice vote, and no member requested a roll call vote, so that language is also now attached to the spending bill.
“We’re watching the growth of this industry, a multibillion-dollar industry. We’re watching state after state move forward,” Blumenauer said in a floor debate on the state protection amendment on Wednesday evening. “Every one of us on the floor of the House who are here now represent areas that have taken action. We have had embedded in our legislation protections for medical marijuana. And this would simply extend that same protection to prevent the Department of Justice interfering with adult use. I strongly, strongly urge that we build on the legacy that we’ve had in the past, that we move this forward to allow the federal government to start catching up to where the rest of the states are.”
Tonight, my amendment with @repblumenauer to prohibit the DOJ from using its funds to prevent jurisdictions from implementing their own medical and recreational marijuana laws passed in the House. Thank you to @repblumenauer for working with me to include D.C.
[Canniseur: In theory, I love the idea of corporations banding together to promote good citizenship. Let’s just hope this isn’t a case of smoke & mirrors and they really do support social justice. This industry has a chance to do things differently. However, the pessimist in me doesn’t think a corporate-led program is batting for smaller, independent businesses and disadvantage people. This new association would do well to add community advocate members from outside of the corporate world.]
World’s first responsible cannabis framework released at World Cannabis Congress.
SAINT JOHN, NB, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – New certification standards will encourage and validate actions by members of the global cannabis industry to advance environmental stewardship, social responsibility and good governance, delegates of the second annual World Cannabis Congress heard today.
The Global Cannabis Partnership (GCP), a collaboration of leaders in the government-sanctioned cannabis industry, released today a corporate social responsibility framework that its 45-member organizations have agreed to adhere to, establishing a standard for the new and rapidly growing cannabis industry worldwide.
“We’re building an industry for the future,” said the GCP’s Executive Director Kim Wilson. “It’s one thing to have a legal license to operate; earning and keeping a social license is another story. We have a long road ahead of us, but today’s announcement is an important step in the right direction.”
The world’s first Responsible Cannabis Framework (RCF) seeks to positively influence the industry’s impacts on the environment and society, and aims to support GCP members in continually improving their corporate performance over time.
Using best practices from within and outside the industry, the RCF goes beyond minimum compliance with all relevant and applicable laws, articulating expectations of members for evaluating, developing, implementing, measuring and disclosing their environmental, social and governance initiatives.
“The RCF was developed through extensive research and consultation with a variety of stakeholders,” said Rick Petersen, one of the world’s experts in corporate responsibility and author of the Framework. “We knew that we could rely on the experience of other industries, while at the same time coming up with the right steps to meet the challenges in our specific sector.”
Members have all agreed to the Framework’s four guiding principles – responsibility, collaboration, transparency and continuous improvement – and have up to a year to complete work necessary to apply for one of four certification categories. Minimum requirements include, among others, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions; promoting responsible use, and reinforcing ethical conduct. The formal certification process was developed by EY and member applications will be submitted to an independent evaluation panel.
The GCP expects members to make improvements when Framework standards are not met and to develop mechanisms to ensure ongoing compliance and continuous improvement.
“The industry is responding positively to the work we’re doing,” Wilson said. “Whether they are CEOs, regulators, new entrants to the space or consumers, all recognize that by working together we’re in a unique position to set a new bar for socially responsible practices.”
Click here to read the Responsible Cannabis Framework.
GCP-Responsible-Cannabis-Framework Fact Sheet
About the Global Cannabis Partnership:
Founded by Revolution Strategy, the Global Cannabis Partnership (GCP) is a not-for-profit collaboration of leaders in the government-sanctioned cannabis industry. With representation from government, private-sector and affiliate organizations, the GCP is creating an international standard for the safe and responsible production, distribution and consumption of legal cannabis. For more information, visit globalcannabispartnership.com
Being the first year with legal cannabis and sunny weather in the low 70’s, the turn out was tremendous. Scheduled for noon on the diag of University of Michigan’s campus, everyone was in a celebratory mood. There were NO police, even though the public school’s campus is considered Federal property.
[Canniseur: Finally! Florida medical cannabis patients can smoke. The will of the voters is finally being upheld.]
After a landslide vote of 101-11 this week in the Florida House SB 182 gets signed into law today by Governor Ron DeSantis at 2:40 PM
Gary Stein of Clarity PAC and other sources in Tallahassee, confirmed that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 182 into law today at 2:40PM. This can be confirmed according to a Florida 1st District Court of Appeals filing, Govoner Ron DeSantis has signed SB 182 into law. The repeal of the smoking ban on medical marijuana is now official.
Earlier this year DeSantis put a deadline on this process himself by pressuring the legislature into establishing legal verbiage by March 15, the start of the legislative session. SB 182 will be the first bill of this session to be reviewed at the Governor’s desk.
This bill not only repeals the smoking ban that had been deadlocked by a state appeal, but it also allows doctors to order a 210-day supply of medical cannabis (opposed to the current 70-day limit). Other stipulations include submitting oneself for a data study on the effects of smoking marijuana, but also requires minors (under the age of 18) to be diagnosed with a terminal condition and get a second opinion from their primary pediatrician (or a secondary pediatrician) before receiving the prescription.
DeSantis commended the Legislature for their efforts via Twitter saying, “I thank the Florida Legislature for taking action on medical marijuana and upholding the will of the voters”, but until this signing had not released a formal statement. Having only 3 months in office, his administration is moving at a record pace.
House Speaker Jose Oliva commented after the vote earlier this week, “This is a difficult issue, and you’re going to have people on both sides; some that are happy that now this is available to them and others that feel that we didn’t go far enough,” adding “We did the best that we could do and still remain responsible.”