Pot Matters: Marijuana and the Grand Old Party

Category: Politics | Posted on Tue, October, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

The latest Republican presidential debate included some discussion of marijuana legalization.  

Chris Christie is against it; Rand Paul is for it; Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina want to increase funding and attention to drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration; and many candidates have expressed their support for states' rights to have different policies than the federal government.

Supporters of marijuana legalization approve and appreciate Paul’s positions on drug policy reform, as well as the support for legalization provided by libertarians now and consistently in the past.

For many in the media, the discussion during the debate suggested that Republicans are warming to the idea of state level legalization. For example, MSNBC published a piece entitled, “GOPers open the door to legal marijuana.” has a piece focusing on how Chris Christie remains the only candidate outright opposed to legalization, promising to apply federal law in Colorado and other legalized states. 

All in all, Republicans are being portrayed as embracing a policy of benign neglect toward marijuana reform. Hands-off, not a priority, got better things to do... Frankly, this is also the policy of many Democrats.

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US Attorney General Expresses Support For States’ Rights On Marijuana Policy

Category: Politics | Posted on Mon, October, 5th 2015 by THCFinder

loretta lynch attorney generalUnless you have lived under a rock your whole life, than you are aware that the federal government considers marijuana to be illegal in all forms. You also know that some states have legalized marijuana in medical and recreational form. This of course has led to a lot of issues and tension between the feds and states. The Obama Administration has issued some limited policy changes that has resulted in less intervention in states that have legalized.

Has the Obama Administration gone far enough? Of course not. There is still A LOT that needs to be done. But things could certainly be worse. The Obama Administration seems to at least be open to states legalizing marijuana, provided that a lot of issues are mitigated. A member of Obama’s cabinet, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, echoed that stance this last week when she did an interview for NBC. Per an article that legendary activist Tom Angell posted on Marijuana.Com:

The nation’s top cop thinks states should be allowed to legalize marijuana, but believes the federal government has a role to play in keeping cannabis away from kids and stopping interstate trafficking in the drug.

“I think states have to make those decisions on their own. They listen to their citizens and they take actions,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Thursday. “What we have said and what we continue to say is that states have to also have a system designed to, number one, mitigate violence associated with their marijuana industries. And number two, and perhaps most importantly, keep young people, children away from the products.”

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Legislation Would Stop Next President From Shutting Down the Cannabis Industry

Category: Politics | Posted on Sat, September, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

While the Obama Administration has been allowing legal marijuana states to operate without much federal interference, there are no concrete laws on the books to prevent the next president from closing down the cannabis industry as soon as he or she is handed the keys to the White House.

Despite the fact that the majority of the 2016 presidential hopefuls haven’t indicated any plans to topple the billion-dollar marketplace upon winning the election, the looming possibility has been enough to inspire one federal lawmaker to take a preemptive strike against any such action.

Democratic Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado announced plans earlier this week to reintroduce the “Respect States’ and Citizens Rights Act,” a measure that would simply prevent the future president from putting a stop to legal pot sales. The bill, which failed to get any traction several years ago, would provide states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes with a shield against federal law.

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Welcome to the marijuana election, where Colorado is the star

Category: Politics | Posted on Sun, September, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

The 2016 campaign is spawning a new axiom in presidential politics: You can't spell POTUS without pot.

For the first time, marijuana is becoming a significant policy issue for Republican and Democratic candidates — thanks in part to softening public attitudes toward the drug and Colorado's prominent place on the political map.

"(Marijuana) is a topic that 2016 presidential candidates will not be able to avoid or dismiss with a pithy talking point," said John Hudak, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, a think tank whose research has focused on the legalization push. "It is one that candidates will have to think about and engage."

In the Republican primary, the candidates are making marijuana an issue on their own. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would enforce federal laws to crack down on pot use in states such as Colorado. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul became the first major candidate to attend a fundraiser with the weed industry in his recent Denver visit.

But pot politics hit prime time with an extended exchange in last week's GOP debate on CNN, which drew an audience of 23 million.

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Republican Presidential Candidates Engage In A Serious Discussion About Marijuana Policy

Category: Politics | Posted on Sat, September, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

GOP marijuanaThe federal government ought not to interfere with state laws legalizing and regulating the use and distribution of marijuana, according to several Republican Presidential candidates who spoke on the issue during tonight’s Presidential debate.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and business executive Carly Fiorina weighed in the issue. Consistent with previous statements, candidates Bush, Fiorina, and Paul expressed support for allowing states to move forward with marijuana policies that are divergent from federal prohibition — with Sen. Paul speaking most strongly in support of states’ authority to explore legalization alternatives. Senator Paul also spoke of the need for Congress to enact the The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act to strengthen statewide medical marijuana protections and impose various changes to federal law.

By contrast, Gov. Christie reaffirmed his desire to use the power of the federal government to override state-approved laws legalizing the retail production and sale of cannabis, which he called a “gateway drug.” Governor Christie implied that he would not take such action in states that have regulated the use of medicinal cannabis, such as in his home state of New Jersey.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who shares Gov. Christie’s position, did not comment.

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More And More Cannabis Advocates Express Support For Bernie Sanders

Category: Politics | Posted on Fri, September, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

bernie sanders marijuanaThe 2016 Election is in full swing, even though it’s still 2015. The stakes are high, and whoever is elected President of the United States in 2016 is going to largely affect the direction that cannabis policy in America goes from then onward. 2016 will be a crucial time for cannabis reform. There have been a lot of cannabis victories this decade, and a marijuana friendly President would only help to increase the marijuana movement’s momentum. A President like Chris Christie would set the movement back quite a bit.

There are a lot of candidates this election cycle for President. On the GOP side, Donald Trump seems to be getting the most attention, although there are still a ton of people in the race. For the most part on the Democrat side things have widdled down to three names – Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. Although, Joe Biden doesn’t seem to be getting much traction, and still seems to be in an ‘exploratory phase’ of his candidacy.

Traditionally, cannabis consumers tend to favor Democrats. No, that does not mean all of the time, so if you are a non-Democrat and consume cannabis, calm down, I’m just pointing out the math. For me, I have never liked Hillary Clinton from a purely cannabis policy standpoint. I have always felt that she is ultimately against cannabis, but realizes that appearing to be neutral on the issue is good for her political career, so she uses classic tactics to make it appear like she’s semi-sympathetic to cannabis. I wrote an article about it last year that you can read if you like.

I don’t know of one cannabis consumer that is voting for Hillary. That’s not to say that they aren’t out there (again, don’t freak out), but I know A LOT of cannabis consumers all over the country, and not one of them is expressing support for Hillary. Maybe they are closet Hillary fans and plan on voting for her on the down low, but they definitely don’t talk about her publicly. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, seems to be really popular among my cannabis consuming friends and colleagues, and that level of popularity is growing everyday.

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