Another whirlwind week for weed—just as the industry recovers from the stock hit they took after Sean Spicer’s enforcement announcement, here comes Attorney General Jeff Sessions with some ‘fightin’ words,’ hinting, again, at a possible federal attack on legalized weed. Well, the states with recreational marijuana are ready—lawyering up for four long years of possible raids and litigation. Read on.
Sessions Warns America About Weed Being Sold in Grocery Stores
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who by now, must have far more pressing matters on his mind, had some choice words for marijuana earlier this week. First, at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General on Tuesday, Sessions said he was “dubious” about marijuana legalization, adding:
“I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.” (But will there be room if there’s already a taco truck though?)
Fact check: possibly true, if people also buy Cheetos, chips, and other snacks in anticipation of their munchie needs. But, good for the economy, right? It’s funny though, how suddenly concerned Sessions is about the nation’s health after all the money he’s gotten from Big Tobacco over the years.
On Monday, Sessions told reporters that “Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think, and there’s big money involved.” Who are these experts? Are they Russian? Do tell.
Sessions was vague about the “hows,” but promised a "significant shift in the priority given to prosecuting...drug offenders at the federal level," saying that under his "leadership at the Department of Justice, this trend will end."
Yeah, but how long will that last?
Legalized States Are Already Fighting Back
Before the supposed federal crackdown on weed even happens (and here’s a few ways that might go down), states like Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, and Alaska are already doubling down on their efforts to shield their stash.
In a letter to Sessions, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson vowed that this office will “use every tool at our disposal to ensure that the federal government does not undermine Washington’s successful, unified system for recreational and medical marijuana.”
And Governor Inslee, who is looking into “litigation options” to protect Washington’s legal and medical marijuana industry, was all eye rolls: “Of all the chaotic fights that the administration is having, this is not one that they need right now,” he said.
Comedian Nick Offerman put it another way:
Hey guys we smoke weed in every state of the union and that's part of why we're more chill than you cheez dick chickenshits
Bring it on https://t.co/LdFm1sE5am
— Nick Offerman (@Nick_Offerman) February 24, 2017
Federal Legislation to Legalize Cannabis Introduced in Congress
The bipartisan “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” bill aims to do just what its title says—by removing marijuana from the list of the federally controlled substances all together. The bill was originally introduced by Bernie Sanders in 2015 but has been picked up again in part by (gasp!) a Republican from Virginia, Tom Garrett, who indicated that narcotics crimes disproportionally affect areas of lower socio-economic status. “I have long believed justice that isn’t blind, isn't justice,” he said of the bill.
No Cannabis at Cannabis Cup?
Say what? The Moapa Paiute Tribe in Nevada, whose reservation is hosting the 2017 High Times Cannabis Cup received a letter from their district's U.S. Attorney, Daniel Bogden, who told them that they may have misunderstood the Department of Justice’s previous messages (in the form of the Cole Memorandum and Wilkinson memo) regarding the right of Native Americans to grow and sell cannabis on tribal lands, clarifying that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. It’s not the first time that confusion around these mixed messages have caused tribal and federal disputes.
Marijuana Researchers Face Many Obstacles
Including bureaucratic federal regulations, poor quality product, and a lack of funding, according to this article.
Horror Movie-Themed Cannabis Brand Launched in Washington State
New product alert: “Star Leaf” is a brand of flower strains named after the 2015 sci-fi/horror film about hikers who find a secret alien marijuana plant in the woods of the Olympic Peninsula. Consume while camping at your own risk!
Ham Radio Operators Are Pissed
Because cannabis grow lights, which can produce as much interference as a 1,000-watt AM radio station, are messing with their signals. The American Radio Relay League filed four complaints with the FCC, but says they haven’t heard back yet. After noticing static, one of the hobbyists drove around side streets for hours to try and trace the source with a spectrum analyzer. I want this kind of time.