Tag: Law & Politics

United States Cannabis Coalition: Stone and Morgan Cultivate Bipartisan Group

If nothing else, there’s one thing that Roger Stone and John Morgan agree on…

President Trump should absolutely keep his 2016 pledge to support a state’s right to legalize medicinal cannabis.

On Wednesday, Roger Stone and John Morgan issued a press release announcing the creation of a bipartisan coalition – with one primary goal:

“To urge President Trump to honor the pledge he made during the 2016 campaign to support the states’ authority to legalize possession and distribution of cannabis.”

Currently, in the U.S., 29 states have exerted their 10th Amendment right to legalize medicinal cannabis to “various degrees,” and these two political heavyweights want those state rights preserved and protected.

Stone and Morgan come from different sides of the political aisle. Stone, a Republican, has long been an advisor to Pres. Trump; John Morgan, a Democrat, is credited with successfully helping to pass Florida’s constitutional amendment to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Reschedule, legalize, and prescribe

Now on the same team – legal marijuana – this bipartisan odd couple has just rolled out the United States Cannabis Coalition.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Chief of Staff John Kelly

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Chief of Staff John Kelly

Adamant that legalization would equate to national madness, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Chief of Staff John Kelly have both lobbied for “a crackdown on marijuana and resumption of the enforcement of Federal laws prohibiting marijuana possession and distribution in the states that have legalized cannabis.” A move of that nature would directly contradict the stated position of candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign.

“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.” ~ Donald J. Trump, Reno, Nevada, 2016 campaign stop

Morgan noted, “The Obama Administration wisely suspended aggressive enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana possession and distribution,” explaining that, “Attorney General Eric Holder’s directive on the subject chose to respect states’ rights. Unbelievably, now Sessions and Kelly, egged on by the likes of Governor Chris Christie and the new FBI Director, want to void the Holder directive, revive the war on drugs.”

United States Cannabis Coalition

The following is a partial list of individuals who have joined the United States Cannabis Coalition:

  • Randy Credico, US Senate Candidate (D-NY)
  • Jeff Brandes, Senator (R-St. Petersburg)
  • Omar Navarro, Congressman (R- Congress 43rd District)
  • Norm Kent Chairman (NORML)
  • Matt Gaetz, Congressman (R- Fla.)
  • Diane Savino, NY State Senator (D-Bronx)
  • Christian Josi, former Executive Director American Conservative Union
  • Ron Castorina, Assemblyman Chairman Staten Island Republican Committee
  • Jeff Doctor, Director of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition
  • Jim Gray, former 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President
  • Elizabeth Everett, Texans for Trump
  • Deroy Murdock, columnist and activist
  • Mark Burns, Pastor, Easley S.C.
  • Doug Bandow, CATO Institute Scholar
  • Shamed Dogan, State Rep. (R- MO)
  • Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels Founder
  • Sgt. Gary Wiegert, St. Louis Police Dept
  • Ethan Orr, State Rep. (R-Tucson)
  • Judge Andrew Napolitano

Intended to rally the troops and mobilize “millions of pro-cannabis voters,” Morgan concluded, “in the event that the Trump administration does not keep faith with the millions of voters whose medicinal marijuana he promised to protect, we are prepared to take our bi-partisan effort to both houses of Congress to legalize cannabis and its sale federally.”

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Photo Courtesy of Stone Cold Truth

 

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Ohio Politician Bans Marijuana in His Town But Wants Grow License Nearby

Back in April of this year, Fairfield became the second city in Ohio to ban businesses aiming to either sell, grow, or produce medical marijuana products of any kind within its borders. Fairfield city council members came to a unanimous decision on the matter, voting 6-0 to exile the cannabis industry before it even had a chance to flourish.

However, one of the Fairfield city council members who voted to ban marijuana businesses from operating within the city limits isn’t as philosophically opposed as originally perceived.

Chad Oberson, who is serving his first term on city council, applied for a cultivation license on behalf of his privately held company in the town of Monroe a few short months after killing the possibility of others doing the same in Fairfield.

Why would someone vote down such a seemingly beneficial proposition for thousands of potential medical marijuana patients in the state of Ohio, yet want to get so heavily involved in the same industry just a short 20 miles away?

fairfield-monroe

“Economics behind it, you have to produce,” Oberson said of his application to add a multimillion-dollar indoor marijuana grow facility to his existing nursery, asserting that it was purely a “business decision.”

Oberson is one of four businesses to throw their name in the ring for one of 12 Level I licenses that are up for grab. The top-tier medical marijuana cultivation license would allow Oberson to construct up to a 25,000-square-foot grow facility on his farm’s 32-acre property.

Hopefully, the business decision pays off handsomely for Oberson, as the new politician’s days in office may be numbered after constituents detect a whiff of hypocrisy in the air.

Ohio is set to begin allowing the sale of medical marijuana products in September — offerings will be limited to edibles, topicals, and other non-smokable forms of cannabis. Doctors will be able to issue medical marijuana recommendations for 21 different conditions including Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, epilepsy, chronic pain, PTSD, and more.

 

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Bill Introduced to Decriminalize Marijuana in Texas

Texas Representative Joe Moody introduced a bill yesterday morning calling for the decriminalization of “marihuana” possession. The proposed bill would also create “an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia.”

Under HB 334, possession of over one ounce of marijuana would still be punishable with a misdemeanor, while five pounds or more would still garner a felony charge.

Should the bill pass, police would cite the person caught in Texas with under one ounce of cannabis with a civil penalty of up to $250. It is important to note that these civil penalties for marijuana possession cannot be considered a “conviction” on someone’s criminal record.

The court can waive the civil penalty in favor of issuing up to ten hours of community service or admittance into a substance abuse education program at the judge’s discretion.

If someone is issued three separate civil offenses for marijuana possession, the fourth instance would make the accused eligible for a Class C misdemeanor charge rather than a fine.

Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) has a long history of attempting to usher in marijuana reform in Texas, having submitted a similar decriminalization bill earlier this year as well as a bill aiming to regulate industrial hemp licenses.

While his state tends to be on the tail end of progress when it comes to ending the War on Drugs, Joe Moody offers a bastion of hope for the future of reform in the Lonestar State. In an article Moody penned for the El Paso Times earlier this year, he said the following about decriminalization:

…it’s a better way to deal with this issue. Right now, Texas is spending $734 million every year on enforcement, not to mention the time and attention of police, prosecutors, and courts that could all be better spent dealing with other issues.

On top of that, the current punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Arrestees — mostly young people — are being saddled with permanent criminal records that can make them almost unemployable later.

They also face driver’s license suspensions, housing and student financial aid denials, and immigration consequences over this pettiest of petty “crimes.”

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

 

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