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Politico: Why 2019 Could Be Marijuana’s Biggest Year Yet

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A green tide in Congress raises hopes that pot could be legal under federal law by year’s end.




On November 7, the day after Democrats seized control of the House with what would become a 40-seat swing, President Trump fired his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. That day, at his home in California, Smoke Wallin’s phone blew up with congratulatory calls from friends and associates celebrating the political demise of the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Sessions had spent good parts of the preceding two years looming menacingly over a booming industry that is caught between a tidal wave of popularity at the state level and an implacable wall of illegality in Washington. Wallin, the president of Vertical, a cannabis company with a 1,500-acre ranch outside of Santa Barbara and operations in four states, was not unmoved by Sessions’ departure, but he saw an even more welcome development in the election results.


“People kept saying that with Sessions no longer attorney general, a major obstacle was removed from the cannabis movement’s progress,” Wallin told POLITICO Magazine. “I had to remind them that Jeff Sessions was not really the major problem. He had been all bluster and no action.” Instead, Wallin was focused on the departure of another Sessions — the all-powerful chairman of the House Rules Committee.


Republicans had taken such heavy losses on Election Night, it would have been easy to overlook Texas Congressman Pete Sessions’ defeat to Colin Allred, a former professional football player and Obama administration HUD attorney, but Wallin understood that it had been Rep. Sessions, not Attorney General Sessions, who had almost-singlehandedly blocked marijuana reform in Congress by denying votes on marijuana-related amendments. With Pete Sessions gone, and Democrats in charge, the backlog of small-bore changes that marijuana advocates have been clamoring for since 2016 — clarification of banking rules; permission for veterans to talk to their VA doctors about medicinal marijuana; protections against federal interference for state-legal programs (medical and recreational) — are all due to appear in upcoming appropriations bills. Two hundred and ninety-six members of Congress (68 percent) represent the 33 states with at least medical marijuana, which means the votes are there to pass these amendments. In the words of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the Oregon Democrat who is the dean of the Cannabis Caucus: “Cannabis reform is inevitable.”


Reform certainly didn’t seem inevitable two years ago.


If the STATES Act passed the House, it would land in the Senate Judiciary Committee, now chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham, where, admittedly, hope for it dims.








Lindsey Graham and Mitch hold the cards for a permanent change in law. Otherwise we are looking at just appropriation amendments.

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3 hours ago, 2user1cup said:

haha way to take credit for decades of progressive work now that there's $$$ involved.


That's how it works sometimes, doesn't change the facts though.


Yes to the $$$ though; since the bill was first announced, my larger family took steps to take advantage of this, and possibly legal mj. You'd be surprised who (and how many) comes knocking when you offer up for lease (and profit sharing) ~400 acers (around  8% of the total) of fairly accessible old farm land, in a depressed area that garner local and federal benefits, exclusions, and subsidies... On second though, no you wouldn't be surprised.


Great great great Granddad knew what he was doing all those years ago.


2 hours ago, Jason said:


Read it, so what you really meant is.......





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