• Cannabis News

Marijuana and The Green Party

With the 2016 elections quickly approaching and Green Party candidates like Jill Stein coming onto the radar of an increasing number of disillusioned voters, many in the marijuana industry are wondering, just how green is the Green Party? What is the party’s stance on marijuana reform, and would the marijuana industry find some safeguards under Green Party leadership? Would marijuana dispensaries in Colorado and other legal weed states face fewer regulations or more? While Presidential candidate Jill Stein isn't expected to get anywhere near the number of votes she needs to win, she may very well get enough votes to earn the Green Party a spot in future election debates. The Green Party already holds over 100 positions across the nation at the city and county level, and with more and more states opening up to legal marijuana, the party is definitely gaining supporters as well as attention. Here is the lowdown on where the Green Party stands on the green.

Protection for the Marijuana Industry

The Green Party platform includes powerful protections and safeguards for the legal marijuana industry, which is important to states like Colorado where marijuana is big business. Not only does the party platform call for the legalization of cannabis possession, sale, and cultivation, but also the DEA would be instructed to not interfere with or harass legally operating cannabis businesses, from marijuana cultivation centers to marijuana dispensaries and marijuana social clubs. Marijuana entrepreneurs would have some assurance that their businesses could continue, while new marijuana entrepreneurs would have the protection needed to open new businesses and industries.

Amnesty for marijuana offenders

The Green Party platform also calls for serious reforms to how the criminal justice system handles drug offenders. Drug use and abuse would no longer be handled as a crime but as a medical issue, and anyone currently being held on charges for non-violent marijuana crimes would be released.

Opponents worry that the Green Party's stance on drugs goes too far, not only legalizing cannabis but also paving the way for the decriminalization of extremely dangerous drugs such as crack and heroin.

Running on Reefer

Green Party candidates are outspoken in their support of marijuana legalization. Throughout her campaign, Presidential candidate Jill Stein has made reference to the need for drug reform and has voiced her support for marijuana legalization at the national level. Other Green Party candidates are also using marijuana legalization to gain supporters. Vanessa Tijerina, who is running for a congressional seat in southern Texas, has made a point of bringing medical marijuana into the spotlight, campaigning to raise public awareness about the medical benefits of cannabis.

The Future of the Green

With a majority of Americans now supporting marijuana legalization, the Green Party with its pro-cannabis platform could soon become a prominent feature of our country’s political landscape. While they're unlikely to win many races this time around, the mere presence of Green Party candidates on the ballot brings needed attention to marijuana legalization and the millions of citizens who support it. With dispensaries and other marijuana businesses on the line in states like Colorado, the sharp divisions that have separated political parties for decades have already begun to blur.

Continue Reading

States across the US are changing their views on cannabis, and they have been doing so for some time. That’s why it was monumental to see movement at the federal level, and not just the state. On December 4, 2020, the US House of Representatives passed H.B. 3884, titled the “Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2020”, or the MORE Act for short. But when will weed be federally legal?

When will weed be federally legal

While it is likely to be blocked in the Senate, the passage at the House of Representatives comes after 50+ years of strict federal prohibition of marijuana. While it may have taken a lifetime, and we still are not there yet, this is hopeful - and not just because it would make marijuana federally legal. 

The bill is loaded with resolutions that reach across political parties and offers some compassion for the mistakes and tragedies our criminal justice system has placed on consumers, growers, and non-malicious purveyors. 

Let’s take a look.

50 Years in The Making: Removing Cannabis From The Controlled Substances Act of 1970

The Wall Street Journal reports “The vote was largely along party lines. Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and five Republicans voted in favor of the bill, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) who was a cosponsor. Six Democrats voted against the bill, all centrist lawmakers.” 

The bill passed the House with 228 Congressperson's voting in favor and 164 votings against the Bill, marking the first time since 1970 a measure for reforming cannabis laws that make marijuana federally legal was passed by either chamber of Congress.

What Would The MORE Act of 2020 Change?

There are several high-impact components in the Bill, most of which can stunningly reduce the past, existing, and future harm individuals and communities have faced from criminalization. 

Given these harms are and have always disproportionately impacted minority communities, the push to right the wrongs of our systems is front and center in the minds of many voters - and it seems most US House representatives support change as well. See some of their remarks below.

  1. The MORE Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act

If signed into law, the MORE act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively leaving it to states to determine how they want their residents to engage with the plant.  

“Across this nation, thousands of men and women have suffered needlessly from the federal criminalization of marijuana, particularly in communities of color and have borne the burden of collateral consequences for those ensnared in criminal legal systems that have damaged our society across generations.” - Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

  1. Like the states already do, The MORE Act would allow the Federal government to tax cannabis

The legislation would impose a five percent federal tax on cannabis products. These funds would be used by programs in communities hurt by the war on drugs.

According to Marijuana Moment, “As now structured, the MORE Act would make it so cannabis would be federally taxed at five percent for the first two years after implementation and then increased by one percent each year until reaching eight percent. After five years, taxes would be applied to marijuana products based on weight rather than price.”

If passed, the MORE Act would both make cannabis federally legal - or at least states can choose without fear of a federal crackdown - and would create a Community Reinvestment Grant Program. 

The program would use tax dollars for job training, literacy programs, and youth recreation and mentoring services, and numerous other community services and organizations.

“This is about allowing states and localities to self-determine what their marijuana policies should be.” - Justin Strekal, political director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, to WSJ.

weed federally legal

  1. The MORE Act expunges criminal records for most offenders

Within the bill, there are measures to resentence individuals currently incarcerated for criminal offenses related to cannabis. While ‘resentence’ means that the individual may still be sentenced for a crime, under the MORE Act, a majority of low-level cannabis offenses will be expunged. 

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2020 clarifies that not all marijuana offenses are eligible for expungement. More specifically, violent marijuana offenders and “kingpins” will be barred from resentencing/ expungement under the MORE Act. 

Under the rules making cannabis federally legal, the number of incarcerated individuals for nonviolent marijuana charges would see a substantial drop. 

  1. The MORE Act does not require that federal positions be tested for THC or other cannabis-derived compounds, except in limited circumstances

The rules go on to say that the Transportation Department and Coast Guard may continue to include marijuana in drug testing programs, but most federal employees (and applicants) would no longer be ineligible for work because they got high on holiday. Hurray!

If you didn’t know, marijuana testing was a federal employee requirement. And since THC can be detected in urine for 2-4 weeks, people seeking federal employment had to worry about their employment, and their activities outside of the office would collide in a negative way. The MORE Act would allow this anxiety to disappear. 

  1. Immigrants would have broader marijuana protections under the MORE Act

The bill, passed Dec. 4, 2020, aims to further protections for immigrant individuals and families. With regard to immigration laws, the MORE Act, in making marijuana federally legal, states the following:

....an alien may not be denied any benefit or protection under the immigration laws based on  any event, including conduct, a finding, an admission, addiction or abuse, an arrest, a juvenile adjudication, or a conviction, relating to cannabis, regardless of whether the event occurred before, on, or after the effective date of this Act.

BONUS: The MORE Act minimizes barriers to entry for small business owners through loan program access

Under the MORE Act, a Cannabis Justice Office would be started. The Office would have appointees under the Justice Department. This individual or office would be responsible for distributing funds provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provide loans for small cannabis businesses owned and controlled by socially and/ or economically disadvantaged individuals. These loans seek to reduce inequality by minimizing any existing bias or discrimination in current borrowing practices. 

federally legal weed

Making Marijuana Federally Legal: What’s Next?

While the MORE Act passed the House of Representatives, the Senate is less favorable. The reasons for this are largely political and civil. However, since criminal penalties are being discussed, it is likely to cause a bit of frothy conversation first. 

The passage of the MORE act in Congress marks a first, but also a half-way point. There is more political and social support for changing the law than ever before, but it is not yet enough. When will weed be federally legal?

Not yet, but we're almost there.

Continue Reading

Deals Near You

Cookies Flower $50 1/8ths
Cookies Flower $50 1/8ths
Wheat Ridge - Recreational
$39.99 - 1/2 OZ's (Select Strains)
$39.99 - 1/2 OZ's (Select Strains)
Denver - Recreational
1G of CEC Rosin for $30 OTD!
1G of CEC Rosin for $30 OTD!
Colorado Springs - Medical
$7.99 100mg N-FUZED GUMMIES
$7.99 100mg N-FUZED GUMMIES
Denver - Recreational
Xiaolin Goomah $70 OTD
Xiaolin Goomah $70 OTD
Denver - Medical
$98 OZ - Select Strains
$98 OZ - Select Strains
Denver - Recreational
$99/oz Strains of the Day
$99/oz Strains of the Day
Pueblo West - Recreational

Archive