Alibi V.29 No.30 • July 23-29, 2020 

Baked Goods

Get With the Program

NORML demands legalization

Baked Goods logo (with correct glasses!)

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws told our presidential candidates what’s what last week.

In a petition to both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, NORML reminded the candidates that the majority of their constituents—on all the points of the spectrum—want cannabis legalization immediately.

“Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition,” wrote the petition’s authors. “According to nationwide polling data provided by Gallup, 67 percent of Americans support legalizing and regulating the adult-use of marijuana, including outright majority support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.”

Just last week we analyzed why Biden was breaking his back to kick himself in the seat over cannabis legalization. Our conclusion was that he hates weed so much that he just can’t help himself. The fear of an America overrun with hippy dope smokers is just too intense for him. The stress makes him woozy, and if anyone catches him taking another mid-afternoon nap, he can just forget about November.

As for Trump: The old vaude-villain has always been cagey about his real feelings regarding legalization. I’ve always suspected that he was holding off on making a commitment to his “real feelings” while his donors decided on theirs. In the meantime he’ll stick his finger out the car window, feel the way the wind is blowing and then makes a noncommittal comment on the side of “states’ rights” or “law and order”—whatever will get him trending on Twitter at that moment.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he legalized cannabis next week, just to make a stab at Biden. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he announced a nationwide, old-fashioned jackboot party and sent the military in to shut down all the dispensaries with extreme prejudice. I likewise wouldn’t be surprised to see him on live television, naked and slathered in ice cream, demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate—“the real one.” It’s been that kind of year.

NORML’s petition seems a little too reasonable in this light. “That is why we call on the two major party candidates to support the following changes in federal marijuana policy: Deschedule. Expunge. Reinvest.”

The petition calls on the candidates to completely remove cannabis from the list of scheduled substances, to review and potentially expunge low-level federal- and state-level cannabis convictions and to ensure that a portion of the revenue made from cannabis sales be reinvested into communities that have been adversely affected by draconian cannabis laws.

Let’s see if Biden or Trump even bother to read it.

In the meantime Democratic US Sen. Ed Markey reportedly promised the Young Jurks’ Mike Crawford that if the Dems take the Senate in November, they’ll legalize cannabis with or without Biden.

“From my perspective, this is another issue that’s just right there on the ballot in November,” Crawford said on the podcast. “We’ll move very quickly in January to change [cannabis] laws to make sure that there are national protections which are put in place. But unfortunately, Trump controls the discretionary use of these personnel, and they’re kind of committed to keeping this crazy non-scientifically based analysis of marijuana front-and-center.”

Producer Sues DOH

Cannabis producer New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health Inc. is suing the New Mexico Department of Health once again—this time over new regulations that were presented last month.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the company filed a petition calling for the agency to rescind the new rules and start over. Ultra Health CEO and President Duke Rodriguez told reporters, “They need to go back, listen to stakeholders and start the entire process over.”

The complaint alleges that the department lifted rules from other states without considering how they applied to New Mexico. The petition calls for the DOH to reconsider testing requirements for pesticides, heavy metals and molds, claiming that the current rules are too strict. It claims that the department’s regulations concerning where hemp is grown infringe on the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s territory. It says that new labeling requirements place too much of a burden on producers. The petition also claims that the new rules allow the agency to suspend or revoke producers’ licenses without clear criteria or a proper appeal process.

Cannabis Provisions Included in Spending Bills

The House Appropriations Committee just released directives that were attached to spending legislation and included a number of cannabis provisions.

Marijuana Moment reports that the Financial Services and General Government spending bill report instructs the Office of Personnel Management “to review its policies and guidelines regarding hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in States where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited under the law of the State.”

The report attached to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill calls on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop “a multipronged strategy wherein basic and clinical scientists and public health specialists work together to address the opportunities and challenges of cannabis in a comprehensive manner.”

The report attached to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies spending bill pressed the US Department of Veterans Affairs to “improve communication with eligible lending institutions to reduce confusion” regarding its policies for lending to veterans who work in the cannabis industry.

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