Cannabis / Marijuana, STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
How Sane Cannabis Policy is Blocked by the Machine
By The Daily Bell Staff - April 24, 2017

The federal ban on cannabis is one of those policies which make living in Americ feel like the dark ages. It wastes tax dollars with enforcement, and it tramples states’ rights to make their own laws.

Worst of all though, it threatens legal businesses in states which are pot friendly and threatens the life, liberty, and property of countless individuals who harm no one while using marijuana for recreational or medical purposes.

That’s why it is an exciting development to see Congress taking steps towards solving these issues. But it’s not all cut and dry yet. A provision expires next week that needs to be renewed in order to:

…prohibit the Justice Department from cracking down on medical marijuana companies that follow state laws. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) are teaming up to push the renewal of those protections, which will otherwise expire at the end of April.

This could spell trouble if the provision is not continued as it is hard to tell how the Trump administration will treat businesses in states that have legalized marijuana.

But at the same time other provisions are being introduced to expand these protections for marijuana companies to not just medical, but recreational cannabis businesses as well. If both provisions pass it would mean all businesses in the 29 states which legalized medical marijuana, and the 8 states which legalized recreational use of marijuana, would be safe from federal prosecution.

But again, it may not be as easy as it sounds. If these bills are attached to other more controversial bills they might get caught up in the fight over funding things like a border wall. While the marijuana bills each have bipartisan support, there is no guarantee they will pass in a hostile legislative environment.

McClintock and Polis want to attach their recreational marijuana amendment to the Justice Department’s funding bill later this year — and they believe it has the votes to pass — but if GOP leadership elects to lump all of the government spending bills together in what’s known as an “omnibus,” that could spell trouble for pot advocates.

So they’re hoping the Justice Department’s spending bill get its own vote.

“If the bill comes to the House floor, the McClintock-Polis amendment will pass,” said Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Root Issues

This whole marijuana fight highlights some deeper issues with the USA’s entire legislative and government process.

First, there should be only one subject per bill. A bill was introduced in January which would do that, but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet, and past bills have likewise floundered. But if this bill passes, it would not only bolster good reforms like allowing states to make their own pot laws, it would also stop bad bills hidden in the depths of other bills, like funding laws.

But it also points to the fact that states have lost basically all their power to govern. It’s not like their policies would be necessarily saner or just if states were released from their federal tethers, but there would at least be more competition to attract residents with better government policies.

So even though the majority of states clearly believe it is time to stop treating the use of marijuana as criminal, the federal government that these states supposedly control keeps them from allowing businesses to operate under normal conditions. Things might be different if the Senate was still controlled by state legislators electing representatives, as opposed to electing Senators by popular vote, which went into effect in 1913.

It is also still difficult for marijuana businesses to find banks to accept their money, based on federal regulations against cannabis. And furthermore, businesses cannot plan ahead, crippling long-term success. The worst thing for a business is uncertainty, and the federal and state sparring over pot laws creates massive uncertainty in the marijuana market.

The bottom line is that the federal government needs to back off states and back off businesses. Marijuana should not be restricted, as basically, everyone agrees. Yet despite the widespread approval of cannabis, government policies prevent individuals and businesses from being able to go exercise their basic rights.

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Posted in Cannabis / Marijuana, STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • Rosicrucian32

    I don’t have a problem with the legalization per se. I think the tax revenue is long overdue on a legal distribution like they charge alcohol, cigarettes, or any other sin tax. I don’t see a viable way of detecting those individuals that are too high to drive, and the establishment of what the lower control limit would be. Ultimately there will still be companies that do not want their employees partaking and will continue to administer testing under their current protocols.
    People are going to use, the government should tax it and keep it fully legit as a business. The government could significantly stifle drunk driving by installing breathalyzers in ALL vehicles. It would prevent ANY operator from operating under the influence, not just those under adjudication. The reason is the high amount of revenue a DUI generates for court, probation, and mandatory treatment. The same could be established for weed creating yet another revenue stream. If you are going to do it, do it good. Tax risky behavior, it won’t be the burden that it is on folks that don’t require an escape and for me it works. There are many that prefer a sober lifestyle (reality versus chemical running away). Reality is a good place to be, it is hard to tax adult behavior. Childish irresponsible behavior on the other hand…………

    • georgesilver

      As soon as someone mentions that something should be taxed it makes my hackles rise. Tax is stealing at the point of a gun.

      • MetaCynic

        I agree. Out of desperation to save their failing extravagant public pension systems, politicians are flailing around, taxing anything within reach. The city of Chicago is now taxing both plastic and paper grocery bags at 7 cents apiece! That’s a tax of several hundred percent on the value of plastic bags. Of course, as we all know, there’s no such thing as a static tax. Once entrenched, a tax heads in only one direction – up.

      • Rosicrucian32

        I understand your point however dope, booze, and cigarettes serve no useful purpose and are compensation tools that have a negative impact on society. Since the underground economy of drugs has enjoyed a tax free environment up until now yet society has paid the price in health care and counseling for addicts. Tax revenue could be mandated to apply for the treatment aspect that the left so badly cries for. Think of it as insurance for the dope head. He pays taxes on his junk so he can receive treatment from a progressive gubment in the future. If you want to avoid sin taxes on booze and cigarettes and ultimately drugs…..abstain. There is the tax break.

        • Mstrjack

          I believe what georgesilver was getting at was … put down your gun. Stop advocating for violence. Stop forcing people to do what you want them to do. If you don’t want to drink, smoke, or ingest something you think is bad, then don’t do it. If you don’t want to pay for the health care of addicts … then don’t. Just don’t point a gun at me forcing me to pay because you believe society will benefit from it somehow.

        • Charlie

          one tax leads to another always and they are never rescinded.

        • In addition to other replies to your comments, I would point out that NOWHERE in the USA Constitution is there authorization for the Federal Government to tax or regulate or restrict booze (the 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment), cigarettes or drugs, nor is there authorization for Government to declare those items “sinful”.

        • G Anderson

          You are pretty shallow minded to think booze and cigarettes serve no useful purpose. To many people, it is a form of medication and stress relief. To you, that is meaninglessly passed off as “compensation tools.” You need to rethink the establishment of taxes and gov’t oversight into non-constitutional areas.

          • Rosicrucian32

            They are crutches, there is no medicinal value in either substance. Tax the booze and cigarettes and when the cirrhosis from being a drunk and smoking related lung cancer kick in good riddance. Natural selection. I have no shallow mind and have no need to self medicate or relieve stress by ruining my health. By making such an accusation I can only say “Have another smoke and a drink. I’ll say a prayer for your soul. May you find peace in the real world some day”

          • G Anderson

            Some people don’t abuse the substances. You are shallow minded, in your assumptions. Bad assumptions lead to bad conclusions. How many people are on harmful prescriptions? Go whine about big pharma, why don’t you?

    • Charlie

      great another damn tax.

  • Rich A

    The article touches briefly on the 17th amendment which turned our country in a “democracy” and it has been down hill ever since. We lost our constitution on that fateful day. Let’s restore our constitution and repeal the 17th amendment so that states can have a real voice in Washington D.C.

    • Charlie

      I agree. The COS is a great place to start controlling the feds.

  • georgesilver

    Just grow it yourself and ignore governments.

  • Praetor

    The only issue that needs solving, reduce government to the bare minimum in every ones live. Government is the greatest threat to human life on planet earth.

    Ask you’re self, who in government is getting payed-off by the drug cartels or any cartel for that matter.

    Anyone who thinks government is the solution to any problem is a dam fool.!!!

    • What a beautiful lead-in to my favorite subject! (The check is in the mail.)

      What *IS* the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM that two people need to agree upon, in order to live together peacefully and productively?

      The Bare Minimum
      A new form of Governance*
      Based on the Non Aggression Principle

      * Government is only one possible form of Governance. Conflating the two demonizes the use of NON-government, free market solutions.

      bit.ly/The-Bare-Minimum
      tinyurl(DOT)com/The-Bare-Minimum
      http://tinyurl.com/The-Bare-Minimum

  • InalienableWrights

    “Sane Policy” …. What an insulting characterization to our God given rights!

    Instead of “sane policy” we should be talking about how in the spirit of the principles that this country was founded upon, allowing the free market to determine where things go. Government should be 100% hands off. They have no Constitutional, moral, or natural law authority at all in this matter.

    The sole legitimize purpose of government in case you were not taught it, in that government school, is to protect your rights. Not to trample them as they do with “policy” and “regulations”.

  • It is also still difficult for marijuana businesses to find banks to accept their money, based on federal regulations against cannabis.

    THIS is actually a blessing in disguise! Why would anyone put their money where the government and the IRS can easily confiscate it, and have an established record of doing just that?

  • Don Duncan

    If viewed from a broad political perspective, a title might be:

    “How Peace, Prosperity, and Civilization are Blocked by the Machine.”

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