Colorado Pot Sales Hit $1.3 Billion, Taxes to Pay for ‘Game-Changing’ Program
Colorado is doing something constructive with the millions in marijuana revenue it’s raking in annually.
The Department of Human Services and Governor John Hickenlooper have requested an annual allocation of more than $6 million from the state’s marijuana-tax cash fund for a new program that would offer help to chronic drug users instead of criminalizing and jailing them.
Art Way, senior director for criminal-justice reform and Colorado director with the national Drug Policy Alliance, who worked closely with state agencies in crafting the proposal, believes the impact of this approach is potentially revolutionary for people struggling with addictions to heroin and other heavy narcotics.
In fact, Way believes the project could be a game changer.
President Trump Pledges to Escalate War on Drugs
In a speech to police chiefs and sheriffs at the Washington DC meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association this week, Donald Trump dealt a harsh blow to any activists who may have been hoping for a tolerant stance on drugs from the United States’ new president.
As the conservative RedState.com blog happily headlines: “Trump Promises to Ramp Up the War on Drugs.” With an almost touching innocence, it writes: “Citing his border wall as a solution along with confidence [in his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly], Trump apparently believes he will succeed where everyone else has failed.”
The speech was a mixture of such naïveté about winning a drug-free U.S., alarmingly bellicose bombast and the usual just plain wackiness. The day before, Trump met in the Oval Office with some of the assembled sheriffs, and he cited that meeting in his speech, saying he’s asked them: “What impact do drugs have in terms of a percentage on crime? They said, 75 to 80 percent. That’s pretty sad. We’re going to stop the drugs from pouring in. We’re going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, from poisoning our people. We’re going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice.”
DEA Cracks Down on Colorado Marijuana Doctors
America’s doctors can’t live without drugs. Physicians bending to pressure from pharmaceutical companies and over-prescribing opiate-based pain pills is accepted as one of the root causes of the heroin and opiate overdose epidemic, yet doctors still hand out anything that will fit in an orange bottle with a label to anyone who asks.
Just ask doctors, who admit they hand out antibiotics when it will do no good, oftentimes to fulfill expectations from patients who want something more (read: a pill) than being told to go home and rest (or clean up their diets and exercise).
Whether it’s pressure from patients or from pharmaceutical companies is beside the point. Primary-care physicians can’t survive without drugs, which is why when the DEA revokes a doctor’s ability to hand out pills, their economic livelihood is at risk.
This week, the DEA revoked the licenses to prescribe for two Colorado physicians. As the Denver Post reported, the DEA suspension is a formality, as the doctors, Gentry Dunlop and Janet Dean, have both had their state licenses to practice medicine yanked by the state.
Anti-Marijuana Candidate Jeff Sessions Confirmed for Attorney General
Newly Introduced Legislation Would End Federal Marijuana Prohibition
While it remains uncertain whether newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to unleash the hounds on the high times currently being enjoyed in legal marijuana states, one federal lawmaker is doing his part to ensure the Trump administration has no control over any jurisdiction that has legalized marijuana in their neck of the woods.
On Tuesday, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California submitted a piece of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at preventing the federal government from cracking down on states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. The bill, which is aptly entitled the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017,” would provide the cannabis community with immunity from federal prosecution as long as they remain in compliance with state law.
Although the bill (H.R. 975) would not force Congress to end prohibition in a manner that would allow pot to be taxed and regulated nationwide similar to beer, it would amend the Controlled Substances Act in such a way that state legalization could carry on without the threat of federal interference.
Respect States Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 Introduced by Republican Congressman
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