What is the federal government’s current position on cannabis? - Willie Wonky

Sigh. Just last week, President Trump was asked about federal legalization efforts and this is what he said: “We’re going to see what’s going on. It’s a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision. A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.”

This is a non-answer. Of course states are making decisions – largely to legalize cannabis. Cannabis legalization means jobs and tax revenue and keeping people out of jail. The question is: When are the feds gonna come around? Because at just about the same time Trump was giving his non-answer, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams released an advisory on cannabis use, stating: “Marijuana’s increasingly widespread availability in multiple and highly potent forms, coupled with a false and dangerous perception of safety among youth, merits a nationwide call to action.”

Listen: There is nothing wrong with strong cannabis. Stronger weed just means you smoke less of it. Less smoke in your lungs is better for you. Also, the “weed is a gateway to stronger drugs” theory has been debunked umpteen times. Recent federal studies show that teen cannabis use decreases in states with legal weed. So do opiate overdoses. By any objective measure, cannabis prohibition (and the entire “War on Drugs”) is a failure. It is way past time for the federal government to get it together and do the right thing.

There may be a little bit of good news in the mix: Last week the DEA also announced it would finally begin to process requests from science labs seeking to grow their own cannabis for research purposes. Of course, the DEA isn’t doing this because they believe in doing the right thing. They are doing this because they have been compelled by a court order to stop messing around with legit research proposals. We will see how long it takes for them to process these applications. I am not optimistic. The feds move slowly. And who knows, the DEA might process the applications and deny every single one. We shall see.

So as it stands now, the administration isn’t doing anything new for cannabis. Surprise. Fortunately, just about every Democrat in the running for president in 2020 understands that cannabis legalization needs to happen. It is not too early to get involved. And don’t forget to vote.

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