A number of cannabis-related bills were introduced at the federal level last week, amid what seems to be a news storm that's built up over the past few months. It looks like cannabis is on everyone's mind—lawmakers and constituents alike. Recent political fisticuffs over the right to use CBD and the legalization of hemp has made the topic inescapable, and at every turn, it appears our leaders are coming over to the pro-cannabis side.
But the wheels of law can move slowly, dear reader, and we might not see federal cannabis legalization discussed seriously for a few years. According to Business Insider, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey—a noted friend of marijuana reform—said he was “absolutely disappointed” that the issue wasn't discussed at the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate, held last Wednesday. It's disappointing to me, because I expect the Dems to recognize a golden opportunity when it arises. Giving the 62 percent of Americans who approve of legalizing cannabis—according to a 2018 Pew Research poll—a reason to vote for your party could go a long way in keeping certain people from being reelected president.
In any case, three big pieces of legislation were introduced last week that could have a drastic effect on the marijuana industry and its consumers, if passed.
The first was a bill brought by our buddy Booker that would protect immigrants from being deported or denied citizenship over marijuana infractions. It's called the Remove Marijuana from Deportable Offenses Act. In April, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services pulished a memo that defended the current policy of denying citizenship to those involved in the cannabis industry. According to the memo, “an applicant who is involved in certain marijuana-related activities may lack good moral character if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws.” Yes. The USCIS believes those involved in the legal cannabis industry “may lack good moral character.”
Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon introduced a bill that would allow states that have legalized cannabis to export the drug to other states where it's legal. This might sound crazy as hell, but it comes in the wake of state legislation passed in Oregon that makes it possible to export marijuana to other states. Apparently, oversaturation is damaging the market there, causing cannabis prices to drop dramatically.
Most notable, though, is new legislation that would authorize federal research into the medical efficacy of marijuana. The bill is the result of a bipartisan effort by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Brian Schatz and Chuck Grassley. It would make it easier for researchers to apply to study the drug, encourage the US Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs derived from cannabis, allow doctors to discuss marijuana with patients and require the US Department of Health and Human Services to make a report on the health benefits and risks of marijuana. The HHS will also be required to report on how to overcome obstacles to effective cannabis research.
A New Mexico law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis went into effect this week. Senate Bill 323 was signed by the illustrious Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last April. The law states that offenders caught with less than a half ounce of cannabis or paraphernalia in their possession will be subject to a $50 fine and issued a penalty assessment (which is not considered a criminal conviction). First-time offenders with more than half an ounce but less than an ounce will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and punished with a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $100 or by imprisonment for no more than 15 days. First-time offenders with more than an ounce but less than eight ounces will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and punished with a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for less than a year. Anything more than that will be a fourth-degree felony.
This law went into effect this past Monday, and I'm sure it left many sighing in relief. According to NORML’s blog, New Mexico police made over 3,600 marijuana possession arrests during 2016.
This week we dropped by CG (6614 Gulton Ct. NE) and found a crazy deal we couldn't pass up. An eighth of an ounce (3.5 grams) of a fresh new strain, Lemon OG (THC: 19.42%, CBD: 0.36%), was being sold for $20. It was a weekend-only special, and the budtender said he wasn't sure what the final price point would be.
This hybrid smelled sweet—sort of like a grapefruit—but with a hint of cat piss. It tasted like sour berries and went down smooth. The sativa side shined through with a most elevated mood, even bringing on a case of the giggles.
This strain is perfect for those suffering from depression or malaise. It was relaxing, but not overly heady or sedating—great flower for daytime use.