Washington, cannabis, and the secret public high

united states marijuana legislation

During Obama's presidency the laws related to marijuana, or pot, weed, dope, burrito, rope, ganja, schwag, became ... let's say, softer. They removed the bureaucratic obstacle to privately-funded medical marijuana research, making medical marijuana research easier. Previously, if you wanted to study medical marijuana, you had to submit your proposal to FDA for review, you also needed to submit the proposal to PHS (Public Health Service). Then, if they both approved your proposal, you needed to get a marijuana permit from DEA, only after which you were able to get medical marijuana through Drug Supply Program run by NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse). So the change Obama made was huge, removing lots of bureaucracy.

"The president has often said that drug policy should be dictated by unimpeded science instead of ideology, and it's great to see the Obama administration finally starting to take some real action to back that up," - Tom Angell from Marijuana Majority.

Truth be told, during his first term he wasn't much for marijuana and one could say that he actually launched an all-out assault against medical marijuana providers. But during his second term things changed.

"President Obama has given the marijuana legalization movement a historic gift by allowing the various states to experiment with different models of marijuana legalization without federal interference," -- Keith Stroup, the founder of NORML.

He also commuted federal sentences of thousands of non-violent drug offenders.

While overall he didn't take a strong stance on descheduling marijuana, nor on legalizing it on the federal level, he did support the rights of individual states to make their own decisions about marijuana policy. In general, his office was pro decriminalizing it but not legalizing marijuana.

Tom Angell from Marijuana Majority has said that "Obama has been the best president ever for marijuana policy," adding that "though it's an extremely low bar."

A recent article that appeared on Huffington Post suggests that his Office of National Drug Control Policy actually wanted to ease federal regulations as well, but both political and legislative restrictions made it impossible to take their case public.

While marijuana is illegal at the federal level, 29 states have some sort of medical marijuana legalization on the books and recreational marijuana is legal in eight states.

Now let's get current world where Obama has been switched with a sad man called Trump. A man who most of the time has no idea what he wants to do, nor is he unable to articulate it. So basically a man who seems to be constantly under a bad high. From a positive side though, during his election campaign in 2016 he did say that "In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state." He also told Bill O'Reilly that he is "in favor of medical marijuana 100%" and "I know people that have serious problems and they did that they really - it really does help them."

But, that was then. And we can never be certain he was in his right mind when he said. Or if he ever is. And while 73 percent of Americans want Trump to respect state marijuana laws, Trump's administration might not keep it that way. There are different ways Trump can shut down legal cannabis and his administration has already started steps towards it. One of the most vocal people from his administration on topic of marijuana legislation is his Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has called marijuana "only slightly less awful" than heroin. He has tasked Justice Department's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety to "undertake a review of existing policies" regarding marijuana law enforcement. This report is expected around July 27, 2017. In May Sessions also rescinded Obama-era memo that allowed prosecutors to use their discretion when it came to sentencing drug offenders to mandatory minimums.

While Bill Clinton didn't inhale, Barack Obama inhaled frequently, and even George Bush has admitted to smoking weed when he was young; there are dozens of US presidents who have admitted to using it, and logically, way more than that have done it but have not been willing to admit it; why should such a 'drug' be criminalised when even presidents are getting secretly high in public?

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