Excitement is growing as the Drug Enforcement Administration decides whether or not to reschedule cannabis, which it's expected to do in the next few months. But as Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine's School of Law, explains in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, federal rescheduling won't end prohibition. That's because it won't change state drug laws.

"Completely legalizing marijuana in the United States would require the actions of both the federal government and every state government," Chemerinsky noted. Absolutely right! Did you know that, here in Washington State, weed is still listed under Schedule I of our state's Controlled Substances Act? I-502 legalized the possession, manufacture, and distribution of pot simply by creating exceptions to the CSA. (In December, Washington pharmacists voted to recommend de-scheduling medical cannabis at the state level.)

Things are even more complicated when you consider tribal law. Every tribe operates under its own set of laws, and many of them have adopted drug laws that are similar to the federal government's. In fact, when the Suquamish Tribe wanted to get into the pot business, they had to change their tribal laws and sign a pact with state regulators in order to do so. South Dakota's Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe didn't have it so easy. Last year, the tribe attempted to open the nation's first cannabis resort, but federal officials threatened them with a raid. The tribe ended up torching their crop.

In other words, even if the DEA has a sudden change of heart and reschedules cannabis, it might be worth double-checking your state (or tribal) laws before you light up a fatty in celebration.

Cannabis Reform Efforts Ramping Up Nationwide

Even if the DEA decides not to reschedule cannabis, there may still be reasons to celebrate this year. California, Maine, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona, and Florida are all considering legalization in 2016.

In Maine, a citizen initiative to legalize recreational cannabis was just cleared to appear on the November ballot. A similar initiative was certified in Massachusetts, although opponents recently got the green light to challenge it in the state's supreme court in June, reports the Boston Herald. California, Nevada, Missouri, Arizona, and Arkansas are also considering legalizing for recreational purposes, and two of those states (Missouri and Arkansas), plus Ohio and Florida, also have medical marijuana initiatives. (In Alaska, where recreational cannabis is already legal, regulators are closer to approving public on-site consumption at existing retail stores.)

But even though voters in many of those states overwhelmingly support legalization, there are fears a few wealthy opponents could kill the efforts. According to the East Bay Express, GOP fundraiser Mel Sembler has vowed to raise $10 million to fight Florida's medical marijuana amendment. From 1976 to 1993, Sembler ran Straight, Inc., a drug-rehab program that was forced to shut down after multiple allegations of abuse. (Sembler also bankrolled the opposition to legalization in Colorado in 2012.)

Straight, Inc. is no more, but it now exists as the Drug Free America Foundation, a nonprofit organization that champions punitive, shitty drug policy under the guise of "harm reduction." (For the record, arresting people, even if you send them to drug court or rehab, is not what actual harm reduction is about.)

Sembler's involvement in the Florida MMJ fight is a chilling reminder that certain people made boatloads of money off the war on drugs—for-profit cannabis rehab programs anyone?—and they're fighting tooth and nail to keep the drug war raging.

There Are Now Three Songs About Uncle Ike's

Ike Eisenberg has certainly inspired a lot of musicians lately—although probably not in the way he would like. In addition to Draze's "Irony on 23rd," we now have Spekulation's "Uncle Ike" and Filthy Fingers United's "Able Fader - 23rd and Union." They're all critical of Eisenberg's pot shop, Uncle Ike's, and its location in the historically black Central District where for years young men of color have been arrested for nonviolent drug offenses.

But Eisenberg doesn't seem fazed by all the attention. In fact, he said he was fond of Filthy Fingers United's track. "I like this one," he said. "Old-school wiki wiki hiphop."

Although the tone at some of the Uncle Ike's protests has gotten nasty, Eisenberg relayed one chant from the protesters that's an undeniably great roast. While protesting his DJ's choice of playing rap at his 4/20 party, the activists offered an alternative: "Coldplay! Coldplay! Coldplay!" they chanted.

He wanted to play the Rolling Stones, he said, "but all the young people who work here rolled their eyes and made fun of me."

King County Issues Moratorium on New Pot Businesses in Rural Areas

On April 23, the Metropolitan King County Council issued an emergency four-month moratorium on applications for legal growers, processors, and retailers in unincorporated areas of King County, reported the Seattle Times. The moratorium was drawn up in secrecy, without public notice, in order to avoid triggering a last-minute flood of applications for pot businesses, according to Council Member Reagan Dunn. The action was the result of community opposition and concerns that weed businesses are clustering in unincorporated areas of the county, which Dunn represents.

Complaints include the usual suspects: vague fears of increased crime and poor "air quality." Longtime cannabis supporter Jeanne Kohl-Welles cast the lone "no" vote. recommended