In a just published “exit interview” with Rolling Stone Magazine, President Barack Obama opined that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue, not a criminal matter, and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.” “Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage […]
WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 98 people incarcerated in federal prison serving time under outdated and harsh drug sentences on Wednesday. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 872 people. President Obama has been pushed to do more to release those serving time in prison under harsh drug laws. […]
WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 people incarcerated in federal prison on Tuesday, almost all for drug offenses. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 673 people. Many of those who received commutations today were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine. President Obama has been […]
WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of more than 200 people incarcerated in federal prison, almost all for drug offenses. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 562 people. Many of those who received commutations today were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine. President Obama has […]
Is Hillary Clinton ready for marijuana’s 2016 push?
By Dan Merica
Hemp Is on its Way to Your Car Battery and Many Things You Haven’t Yet …
Huffington Post »
By Doug Fine
“Family Friendly” DIA Plans to Ban Marijuana-Related Souvenirs
Ralph B. Davis [email protected]
FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner says a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice now clears the way for Kentucky farmers to once again grow industrial hemp.
Last week, the Justice Department announced it would not seek to challenge state laws regarding the medical or recreational use of marijuana. On Friday, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said he interprets that announcement as an opening for Kentucky to begin implementing Senate Bill 50, which sets guidelines for the production of industrial hemp, that passed earlier this year.
“It’s about time!” Comer said in a statement released Friday. “This is a major victory for Kentucky’s farmers and for all Kentuckians.”
Comer said the DOJ announcement marks a major change in policy.
“Two years ago, the Obama administration would not even discuss the legalization of industrial hemp,” Comer said. “But through a bipartisan coalition of Kentucky leaders, we forced their hand. We refused to listen to the naysayers, passed a hemp bill by a landslide, and our state is now on the forefront of an exciting new industry. That’s called leadership.”
Comer also announced that Brian Furnish, chairman of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, has called a meeting of the group for Sept. 12, at which Comer and Furnish will urge the commission to move forward with the administrative framework established by the hemp bill.
“My hope is that we can issue licenses and get industrial hemp in the ground within a year,” Furnish said.
Comer said he believes the passage of the hemp bill will allow Kentucky to be proactive, rather than reactive, in creating jobs.
“Had we not passed the framework to responsibly administer a program, we would be lagging behind right now, rather than leading the pack,” Comer said. “I am so grateful to our federal delegation for its support, especially Sen. Rand Paul and Congressmen John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, who courageously testified in support of this job-creating legislation.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Paul issued a statement, supporting Comer’s move.
“I support Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in his efforts to move forward with the production of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth,” Paul said. “This fight has always been about jobs and providing another opportunity for Kentucky’s farmers, and I expect the Obama Administration to treat all states equally in this process. I will continue to fight at the federal level to enact legislation to secure this new industry for Kentucky.”
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney will face off on live television in the first of several debates that could shape the upcoming election.
Medical marijuana professionals should tune in: The candidates will most certainly field questions about MMJ and cannabis legalization in general, given that the debate will be held in Denver.
Colorado has one of the largest medical marijuana industry’s in the country, home to more than 1,000 dispensaries, grow sites and infused-product manufacturers. It also has a measure on the ballot this November asking voters to legalize the general use of marijuana.
Additionally, the debate is focused on domestic policy and will be held at a university, so you can bet that medical cannabis will be a particularly big topic.
The biggest question going into the debates, however, is will either candidate actually shed any new light on their vague positions regarding medical marijuana and cannabis legalization?
It’s possible but doubtful. Both Obama and Romney have been asked countless times about MMJ, and in most cases they sidestep the question or offer vague answers. In an interview Monday with the Denver Post, Romney said he opposes “marijuana being used for recreational purposes and I believe the federal law should prohibit the recreational use of marijuana.” But he didn’t directly address medical marijuana, though a campaign spokesman told the Washington Post today that Romney is against MMJ legalization.
Obama has been similarly vague about medical marijuana in recent interviews, and the current MMJ crackdown under his administration is uneven and unpredictable.
Both presidents, however, seem to be against the idea of general marijuana legalization. Romney has made it crystal clear that he would not allow that to happen under his watch. Obama, while less assertive on the issue, has indicated he doesn’t think it’s the proper path for the country to take. It unclear how the presidents would respond if an individual states such as Colorado legalizes cannabis use.
- How Key Medical Marijuana Measures, Cannabis Legalization Initiatives Are Faring Ahead of Election
- Seattle Mayor McGinn Urges Marijuana Legalization as State Mulls New Medical Cannabis Regulations
- 18 States Considering Medical Marijuana Laws in 2012 Despite Pressure on Cannabis Business