[Ed. Note: Cannabis is legal in Michigan as of midnight tonight. With Michigan legalizing marijuana, 20% of the US population has access to legal adult-use cannabis! Michigan still has to get through this lame duck session though. A Republican (who lost his seat) is trying to modify the new constitutional amendment, limiting our rights.]
At 12 am tonight, recreational marijuana officially becomes legal in Michigan, making it the 10th state to break from federal policy. Passed by voters on Nov. 6, Prop 1 allows for the possession of up to 10 ounces at home and cultivation of up to 10 plants. You can gift 2.5 ounces, but can’t sell it.
Plans for a commercial industry will get rolling next year, with stores likely opening in 2020. It’s possible that medical dispensaries will be converted for rec purposes earlier than expected.
Prosecutors in several counties—Macomb and Oakland—are already dismissing low-level marijuana arrest charges.
The bad news is that some members of the Michigan legislature, including Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlen Meekof, want to remove Prop 1’s homegrow provision.
Several events are planned for December 6 in Michigan:
• Celebration of the Legalization of Cannabis in Michigan, Cannabis Counsel Office, 2930 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 8 pm-12 am
• Women Grow Signature Networking Event, 4375 Washtanaw Ave., Ann Arbor; 7 pm-9 pm
• Make Money NOW with CBD, Entrepreneurs Hub, 1400 Woodbridge St., Detroit; 6:45 pm-8 pm
More December Cannabis Events
Michigan’s Path to Legalization
Michigan, Missouri and Utah Pass Marijuana Initiatives
Original Post: Freedom Leaf: Michigan Marijuana Supporters to Celebrate Legalization at Midnight
Ed. Note: To us, it’s not just about winning for pro-cannabis politicians. It’s about their whole agenda for the people and how they relate to people. Ted Cruz related to a lot of people…10 years ago…and hasn’t changed one iota. Have the people changed around him and he’s now tone deaf? Or did he just sell his soul to the devil? I”m guessing he’s now a minion of the devil.
In addition to several marijuana initiatives (in Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah) on the Nov. 6 ballot, a number of races in the Senate and House could result in pro-pot candidates knocking off drug warriors. Here are 10 races to watch.
Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke
1. Beto O’Rourke (D) vs. Sen. Ted Cruz (R)
Beto O’Rourke is challenging incumbent right-winger Cruz. O’Rourke, who’s backed the legalization cause ever since he was on El Paso’s City Council, has repeatedly called for the end of “the U.S. government’s War on Drugs” and “the federal prohibition of marijuana.” An O’Rourke victory would help swing the Senate back to Democratic control. The congressman has the support of Willie Nelson, who he performed with on stage at the singer’s Fourth of July Picnic in Austin. It’s an expensive race with a total of $37 million ($23.7 million for O’Rourke) in the campaigns’ coffers. An Aug. 27 Emerson College poll called the race a “dead heat,” though most prognosticators say it’s “likely Republican.” In recent weeks, Cruz’s campaign has been pulling out all the stops, releasing O’Rourke’s mug shot from a 1998 DWI and longhaired photos from when he played bass in a punk-rock band.
Colorado Congressman Jared Polis
2. Rep. Jared Polis (D) vs. Walker Stapleton (R)
In the Colorado gubernatorial race, four-term congressman Polis is hoping to succeed Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). Polis, who’s a longtime marijuana supporter and is also gay, won the June 26 Democratic primary with 45% of the vote against three opponents. “I’m proud to be the only candidate in this race that publicly supported the ballot measure to legalize marijuana (Amendment 64), and I have fought hard to declassify marijuana as a Schedule I drug in Congress,” he states at his campaign’s website. As governor, he’d be much more favorable to cannabis than the reluctant Hickenlooper. With nine times the campaign funding ($18.6 million) than his opponent, state treasurer Stapleton, and more overall support, Polis should become Colorado’s 37th governor.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
3. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vs. John Cox (R)
In the California gubernatorial race, it’s likely that Newsom will succeed Jerry Brown (D). Newsom was a major backer of Prop 64, which legalized cannabis in the Golden State in 2016. “We believe the war on marijuana is a failure,” he states at his campaign website.
4. J. B. Pritzker (D) vs. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R)
Pritzker has never held office, but he has plenty of money to bankroll his Illinois gubernatorial race against the Republican incumbent. (Pritzker’s family owns the Hyatt hotel chain.) He won the primary with 45% of the vote against five opponents. “The path forward for Illinois is clear,” Pritzker states at his campaign website. “We need to legalize marijuana.” Gov. Rauner vetoed a decriminalization bill in 2015 before signing a watered-down version the following year. The two campaigns have raised more $200 million, $128 million of which is for Pritzker, who’s expected to win.
5. Ben Jealous (D) vs. Gov. Larry Hogan (R)
In the Maryland gubernatorial race, former NAACP executive director Jealous is attempting to unseat Republican incumbent Gov. Hogan. Jealous won the primary with 41% of the vote against seven opponents. At his campaign website, he calls for “legalizing marijuana for adult use and working to strengthen diversity requirements for licenses in the marijuana industry.” However, polls indicate Hogan will remain in the statehouse.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
6. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) vs. State Sen. Scott Wagner (R)
In the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, Democratic incumbent Gov. Wolf seeks to stay in office. During his first term, he signed legislation that legalized the use and sale of medical marijuana. Polls show Wolf has a significant lead over State Sen. Wagner and should return to Harrisburg for a second term.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum
7. Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) vs. Ron DeSantis (R)
The mayor of Florida’s capitol city, Tallahassee, wants to run the state. He won a hard-fought Democratic primary on August 28 with just 34% of the vote. His opponent, former Congressman DeSantis, received 57% in the Republican primary. Both are hoping to succeed Gov. Rick Scott (R). Gillum, who’s African American, states at his campaign website that he “supports the legalization of marijuana in order to generate new revenue to pay for teacher and instructional staff pay increases and to reduce the mass incarceration of people with low-level drug offenses.” This highly contentious race – DeSantis is backed by Pres. Trump – is a toss up.
8. Liz Watson (D) vs. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R)
In Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, Watson is challenging the Republican incumbent, who was elected in 2016. She won the primary with two-thirds of the vote. “I’m a strong supporter of removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act,” Watson states at her campaign website. “This step is important to stemming the tide of over-incarceration, especially of people of color.” Both candidates have raised about $1 million for this important race.
In New York’s 14th Congressional District, newcomer Ocasio-Cortez upset 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) in the June 26 primary with 57% of the vote. She’ll most likely defeat her Republican opponent in the race in her heavily Democrat district. In addition to supporting “federal legalization of marijuana,” she wants to close “for-profit prisons and detention centers,” end cash bail and release “individuals incarcerated for nonviolent offenses.” Ocasio-Cortez is a leader in the Democrats’ progressive blue wave.
10. David Trone (D) vs. Amie Hoeber (R)
In Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, Trone, a businessman, is attempting to succeed fellow Democrat and three-term congressman John Delaney. Trone won the primary with 41% of the vote against seven opponents. Though he doesn’t mention marijuana at his campaign website, Trone refers to the “failed War on Drugs” and calls for the repeal of “mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.” His opponent in the race, Hoeber, is a defense consultant.
Also on the Nov. 6 Ballot
Michigan Poised to Become the 10th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Dueling Medical-Marijuana Initiatives in Missouri Likely to Confuse Voters
Senate Showdown: 12 Important Races to Watch
The post Pro-Cannabis Congressional Candidates Head the Midterms Ballot appeared first on Freedom Leaf.
Original Post: Freedom Leaf: Pro-Cannabis Congressional Candidates Head the Midterms Ballot
Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
A states’ rights bill that would allow each state to determine its own marijuana policy without interference from the federal government was introduced June 7 in the Congress. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act has been sponsored by two Senators, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and two Representatives, Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio). It also protects Washington, D.C.; U.S. territories; and federally-recognized tribes.
What the Bill Does
• Amends the Controlled Substances Act CSA) so that—as long as states and tribes comply with a few basic protections—its provisions no longer apply to any person acting in compliance with state or tribal laws relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration or delivery of marijuana.
• Amends the definition of “marihuana” under the CSA to exclude industrial hemp.
• It does not alter CSA Section 417 (prohibition on endangering human life while manufacturing a controlled substance) and maintains the prohibition on employing persons under age 18 in marijuana operations, two federal requirements with which states, territories and tribes must continue to comply.
• Prohibits the distribution of marijuana at transportation safety facilities such as rest areas and truck stops.
• It does not allow for the distribution or sale of marijuana to persons under the age of 21 other than for medical purposes.
• To address financial issues caused by federal prohibition, the bill clearly states that compliant transactions are not trafficking and do not result in proceeds of an unlawful transaction.
• Sen. Warren: “Outdated federal marijuana laws have perpetuated our broken criminal justice system, created barriers to research and hindered economic development. States like Massachusetts have put a lot of work into implementing common sense marijuana regulations—and they have the right to enforce their own marijuana policies. The federal government needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana.”
• Sen. Gardner: “In 2012, Coloradans legalized marijuana at the ballot box and the state created an apparatus to regulate the legal marijuana industry. But because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at odds with the federal government. The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 46 states have acted. The bipartisan STATES Act fixes this problem once and for all by taking a states’ rights approach to the legal marijuana question. The bipartisan, commonsense bill ensures the federal government will respect the will of the voters—whether that is legalization or prohibition—and not interfere in any states’ legal marijuana industry.”
SEN. WARREN: “The federal government needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana.”
• Rep. Blumenauer: “For too long the senseless prohibition of marijuana has devastated communities, disproportionately impacting poor Americans and communities of color. Not to mention, it’s also wasted resources and stifled critical medical research. It’s past time to put the power back in the hands of the people. Congress must right this wrong.”
• Rep. Joyce: “We should trust the people of the states, like Ohio, who’ve voted to implement responsible common-sense regulations and requirements for the use, production and sale of cannabis. If the people of these states have decided to provide help for those veterans and others suffering from pain and other health issues, we should allow them access without government interference.”
The Act has been endorsed by NORML, Drug Policy Alliance, National Cannabis Industry Association, Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access, National Cannabis Bar Association and a number of other organizations.
• Erik Altieri, executive director, NORML: “President Trump made a commitment to Senator Gardner that he was willing to support a federalist approach to state marijuana laws. Now Congress must do its part and swiftly move forward on this bipartisan legislation that explicitly provides states with the authority and autonomy to set their own marijuana policies absent the fear of federal incursion from a Justice Department led by militant cannabis prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
• Jolene Forman, staff attorney, Drug Policy Alliance: “The STATES Act represents a landmark moment in the movement to end the decades-long war on marijuana. It creates a workable framework for approaching the future of marijuana policy. The STATES Act is a first step toward ending the harms of marijuana prohibition. This bipartisan proposal clears the way for states to develop their own marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention. This will give states more opportunity to restore communities that have borne the brunt of the drug war and mass criminalization.”
ERIK ALTIERI: “Congress must do its part and swiftly move forward on this bipartisan legislation.”
• Don Murphy, conservative outreach director, Marijuana Policy Project: “The STATES Act is the most significant piece of marijuana-related legislation ever introduced in Congress. With its bipartisan backing in the Senate, it symbolically signals the eventual end of marijuana prohibition at the federal level. This legislation reflects the position President Trump took on marijuana policy during his campaign, and it comes shortly on the heels of the positive comments he made to Sen. Gardner. The president has a unique opportunity to get behind historic legislation that enjoys solid support on both sides of the political spectrum. While we look forward to the day when there is full acceptance of cannabis at the federal level, we heartily embrace the states’ rights approach proposed by this bill.”
On April 13, Sen. Gardner revealed that he had brokered a deal with Pres. Trump that would allow recreational marijuana businesses in the nine legal states to operate without federal interference. Gardener stated: “Late Wednesday (April 11), I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole Memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix the states’ rights issue once in for all.” In exchange, Gardner said he would no longer block Trump’s Justice Department nominees.
• Schumer Calls for the Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana
• McConnell Introduces Hemp Legalization Bill
• Four Major Marijuana Bills on Capitol Hill
The post High on the Hill: New Pro-Pot STATES Act Introduced in Congress appeared first on Freedom Leaf.
Original Post: Freedom Leaf: High on the Hill: New Pro-Pot STATES Act Introduced in Congress