Could Recreational Weed Help Compensate America’s Worst Paid Teachers?
States with legal recreational weed all report doing fabulous things with the revenue they generate from this new and lucrative industry—fund schools, hospitals, rehab centers, shelter the homeless. The list is long.
Now, South Dakota’s voters are contemplating the same savvy move: boost funding for schools and teachers and reduce the sales tax burden by supporting a ballot measure to legalize recreational weed.
Under the proposal, South Dakotans (over 21) could legally possess and use one ounce of cannabis or grow five plants; non-residents would be limited to a quarter ounce. It’s a start.
As part of the measure, if enough petitions are signed in time for the 2018 ballot, sales and excise taxes could flow to the Department of Education for teacher’s salaries and school supplies; the Department of Health for drug prevention and abuse education; and to law enforcement agencies to help police illegal drug use and sale.
Legislative strategies may prevent federal crackdown on marijuana
We're about two months into the era of Republican-controlled federal government, and the sky hasn't yet fallen on legal marijuana. The new attorney general, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer have both rumbled about a coming crackdown, but the industry is steadfast nonetheless, forging ahead into new markets, adding more businesses and investors.
That's not to say that everything is hunky-dory, though — lawmakers are scrambling at both the state and federal levels to insulate the industry from potential legal troubles.
In Congress, two legislators from Colorado's delegation have introduced measures to resolve certain points of tension in marijuana policy as part of a "Path to Marijuana Reform" legislative package brought by the new, bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
This Is Marijuana Legalization’s New Enemy Number One
For many years, the biggest threat to marijuana legalization and fledgling legal cannabis businesses was the police.
Fears of DEA agents breaking down the front door at dawn, prosecutions in federal court with its accompanying mandatory minimums or warrantless visits from helicopter-riding police who merely cut down plant and leave—such things happen and are legal—was what kept people involved in cannabis up at night.
But now, with legalization sweeping the country and a vast majority of Americans in support of medical marijuana, the real enemy is revealing itself.
How to Enter the U.S. as a Marijuana User
The Trump administration’s crackdown on marijuana has begun, but it’s not in Colorado, Washington or anywhere else in America where cannabis is legal. Instead, the “greater enforcement” around marijuana, hinted at by officials in the White House and Justice Department, has been at the border.
As Leafly News reported at length in a three-part series last week, foreign nationals, green-card holders and would-be U.S. citizens have been denied tourist and business visas and rejected for U.S. citizenship after admitting marijuana use to customs and border officials—even if the marijuana was legal medical or recreational marijuana, used in accordance with state law.
This was going on when Barack Obama was still president—and was the cause of tension between the U.S. and Canada, after a Canadian citizen was denied entry into the U.S. after admitting to a border guard that, yes, he’d once smoked marijuana.
A 'massive undertaking' as California races to regulate marijuana so legal sales can begin Jan. 1
The passage of California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act in November left a 14-month gap before businesses could begin selling marijuana to recreational users.
For residents eager to purchase and use cannabis, that may have seemed like a long time. But that period is almost half over — and for the state, which has been tasked with regulating the sprawling cannabis industry, there's a lot more to do.
"In order to start issuing licenses on Jan. 1 or Jan. 2, we need people in place and we need them to be up to speed," said Alex Traverso, chief of communications at California's Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, or BMCR. "From everything we've seen and heard, there's an amazing amount of interest. We expect to be busy on that Jan. 2 date."
Kinder Pot Cops? Police Experiment with Alternatives to SWAT Raids on Marijuana
The thing with raiding a medical marijuana dispensary is that it’s really easy. Here’s how you do it:
Visit the dispensary, preferably during business hours, as opposed to 6 a.m. or in the middle of the night. To get there, walk, bike or drive in a police car, rather than sending in a helicopter. Open the door, instead of smashing it down with a battering ram. You may need to knock or to ring a buzzer, but get this—you’ll be let in! Enter the dispensary, normally, in the fashion of how most people choose to maneuver through open portals, as opposed to a reenactment of SEAL Team 6’s visit to Abbottabad. Announce your presence, like, “Hello, we’re the authorities, and we have business here,” rather than drill-instructor decibel shouts, punctuated by aiming firearms at almost certainly unarmed and absolutely unsuspecting customers and workers (and/or killing their dogs).
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