Open Thread

bullet image Absolutely outstanding response to the Big Marijuana nonsense: Marijuana Legalization: The Big Tobacco Smokescreen by Jon Gettman

Big Marijuana? It’s catchy, but comparing legalized marijuana to the tobacco industry misleads both the public and policymakers about the challenges of regulating this industry. […]

However, marijuana regulations need to be devised on solid information and experience, and not on the basis of superficial analogies, and most certainly not based on hypocrisy. Big Marijuana already exists — it’s also called the Black Market. Public concern over a large, unregulated, socially irresponsible marijuana market is, and should be, argument number one in support of marijuana’s legalization.

bullet image Native American reservations now free to legalize marijuana

The Justice Department said Thursday it will no longer prosecute federal laws regulating the growing or selling of marijuana on reservations, even when state law bans the drug.

The government will let tribal governments decide what to do about pot.

bullet image So, apparently Congress blocked the implementation of Washington DC’s vote for legalization. Or maybe they didn’t. Depends on who you read and how they interpret the language of the amendment. I’ll wait and see.

However, it’s always interesting to follow the money. Why Is This Maryland Republican Really Trying to Block D.C.’s Pot Legalization?

As for why Harris has made this fight against D.C. democracy his primary cause, the Attn. blog looked into the congressman’s biggest donors and found that a Maryland-based company called Emergent BioSolutions near the top of the list.

Attn.’s Matthew Seagel reports:

One of Emergent’s products is epsil, “a fast-acting treatment that reduces the pain associated with oral mucositis,” which is a common complication of chemotherapy from cancer treatment. According to its website, “by reducing the pain associated with OM, episil® may help you maintain proper nutrition and a level of comfort—and may allow you to continue your cancer therapy uninterrupted.”

So what does any of this mean?

Marijuana (cannabis) is a huge combatant against many of the deleterious effects of cancer and chemotherapy, and thus a hugely disruptive threat to Emergent’s business model.

No surprise there.

bullet image U.S. marijuana foes discuss launching tax-exempt funding body

Marijuana legalization opponents could launch a tax-exempt fundraising body as early as next year that would let them shield donors, part of a broader 2016 election strategy aimed at raising more cash and merging political factions, activists said on Wednesday. […]

Smart Approaches to Marijuana President Kevin Sabet, who said he pushed for the tax-exempt group, said there was a moment of relief over a U.S. spending bill that bars the nation’s capital from using funds to implement legal pot.

Sabet said the group also discussed lobbying 2016 presidential candidates and appealing to wealthy donors like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent some $4 million campaigning against Florida’s medical pot initiative, as well as corporations concerned about stoned workers and liability.

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