Categorized | National

The Hazy Future of Legal Weed

 

“We’re Waiting for the Smoke to Clear”

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Election night, two states — Colorado and Washington — passed historic measures to legalize using and selling small amounts of recreational pot, effectively challenging the federal law that classifies the
drug as an illegal narcotic.

In Colorado, adults 21 and older will now be able to legally buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow as many as six plants. In Washington, the measure authorized the state liquor control board to regulate and tax the drug.

This would apply not only to state residents, but visitors, too.  Tourists won’t be able to pack their weed along with their bags to go back home, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they won’t violate any marijuana laws.

Colorado’s measure specifically bans public use of the drug.  But guidelines for commercial sales are still to be worked out.  The state’s 536 medical marijuana dispensaries are banned from allowing on-site consumption, meaning patients have to take the drug home with them.  But lawmakers could set different rules for recreational marijuana shops, including the possibility of marijuana cafes.

Another marijuana measure, which would legalize the practice for medicinal purposes only, also passed in Massachusetts on Tuesday.  18 states plus Washington, D.C., now have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana in some form.

While it may take some time for the remainder of the country to follow suit, there has been much debate over the costs and benefits of legalizing the drug.  With state coffers running low, some wonder if it makes sense economically to flip arrests, fines and expensive incarceration into jobs, tax revenue and small businesses.

But don’t fire up the bong quite yet.  The future of legal marijuana is hazy.

This is all assuming the recreational marijuana measures will take effect at all.  That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal
supremacy over drug law.  Despite state voter referendums, marijuana is
still illegal under federal law.

“There’s a lot that remains to be seen,” one Colorado resident said with a chuckle. “I guess you could say we’re waiting for the smoke to clear.”

The Feds don’t like it one bit– as evidenced by their recent efforts cracking down on medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in California while being legally permitted under state law.  They’ve tossed people into jail and court, gone after landlords, and threatened publicly elected officials with lawsuits.

They have also vowed to pull FDIC protection for banks doing business with the ‘industry’, including processing credit card transactions.  One thing legal
marijuana producers and distributors can’t do is use the bank.

These businesses have resorted to becoming cash-only businesses, fraught with frustrations and danger due to the Fed’s intervention.  Not only is it dangerous to have so much cash in one place, it’s also next to impossible to pay employees, bills, and taxes.  It’s an effective technique as many dispensaries have shut down as a result.

“Banks are afraid of losing their FDIC protection,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, owner of Denver Relief, one of the oldest medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver. “Therefore, we can’t open a bank account.”

Wherever the federal government stretches its long arm of the law, strings can be pulled for intimidation and persuasive compliance.  The issue, we believe, will be tangled up, thwarted, and stymied by the Feds for the foreseeable future– just as we’ve seen happen in the Emerald Triangle and throughout California.

We expect the issue to be heard eventually in the Supreme Court– long before any Presidential administration or the DEA takes the bold and risky move of changing their longstanding policy and stance otherwise.

In addition to the CNBC talking heads yakking above for an oddly curious 4:20 minutes, there’s more interesting tidbits about tourists
and tourism
 lighting up here.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Word: An Atlanta mother writes Barack Obama about testing
    Washington Post - The policies currently promoted by your Department of Education are actually hurting – not helping– schools like ours. It is clear we will reduce schools’ efficacy if public education remains fixated on tests that only measure limited concepts – tests that regularly relegate less advantaged children into the “bottom half” and limit their ac […]
  • Government highway trust fund almost broke
    Washington Examiner - On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: The government's Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. If allowed to run dry, that could set back or shut down projects across the country, force widespread layoffs of construction workers and delay needed repairs and improvements.Antho […]
  • Jazz break
    John Pizzarelli plays "I Got Rythmn […]
  • The key-door formula
    Futility ClosetAfter observing security measures at a number of organizations, University of California psychologist Robert Sommer reflected that a person’s status seems to be tied to his keyring:S is a person’s status within the organization, D is the number of doors he must open to perform his job, and K is the number of keys he carries. A janitor who can […]
  • Gravestones of note
    And the epitaph of Dr. Fred Roberts in Pine Log Cemetery, Brookland, Ark.:OFFICE UP STAIRS […]
  • Furthermore....
    Passings:  John Judge […]
  • Feds to make $12 billion a year off of student loans
    Popular Resistance - The U.S. Department of Education is forecast to generate $127 billion in profit over the next decade from lending to college students and their families, according to the Congressional Budget Office.Beginning in the 2015-16 academic year, students and their families are forecast to pay more to borrow from the department than they did pri […]
  • Young in rich, western world more pessimistic than those in developing countries
    Guardian - An Ipsos Mori survey released  has found that young adults in rich, western countries are less optimistic about the future than their counterparts in developing countries. While people in Europe, Australia, North America and Japan largely felt that the younger generation were unlikely to be better off than their baby boomer predecessors, those pol […]
  • Census revisions will make Obamacare stats more muddy
    The New York Times: Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law EffectsThe Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said. The cha […]
  • Terror Alert
    Onion - Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its num […]
  • How Canada controls election rigging
    Vox - "Canadian reapportionment was highly partisan from the beginning until the 1960s," writes Charles Paul Hoffman in the Manitoba Law Journal. This "led to frequent denunciations by the media and opposition parties. Every ten years, editorial writers would condemn the crass gerrymanders that had resulted." "Independent commissions […]
  • Federal judge strikes down most restrictive abortion law
    Common DreamsA federal judge struck down North Dakota's "fetal heartbeat" law, seen as the most restrictive abortion ban in the country.The law, House Bill 1456, essentially banned abortions at six weeks. Barring a medical emergency, the law said that an abortion could not be performed if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen as […]
  • Another Clinton crook pal pleads guilty
    PoliticoA prominent New York hotel magnate who was a top bundler for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign pled guilty in federal court Thursday to making more than $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions and to witness tampering.Sant Chatwal, 70, admitted using employees and vendors for his hotels as straw donors to avoid limits dic […]
  • Trouble in the Commons
    Daily MailCommons Speaker John Bercow has claimed that women MPs have stopped attending Prime Minister’s Questions because of the rowdy atmosphere.He said that several female politicians have been put off by the ‘histrionics and cacophony of noise’ when David Cameron is quizzed every Wednesday.Mr Bercow suggested that ‘seasoned parliamentarians’ boycotted th […]
  • Word: A worried teacher
    Alan Jones, Progressive - Worrying is not my thing.  That’s my wife’s department.  And she’s really good at it.  She tells me I am a Pollyanna, an unrealistically optimistic person, and for the most part, she’s right.  But, I’m worried.I’m worried about our country.  I don’t like to believe that people deliberately do things that will cause other people harm […]