Monterey Bud: US Senators Are All Aboard the Hemp Train, While Trump is Aboard the Legalization Train For Now
The U.S. Senate passed hemp legislation without opposition, a Senate subcommittee approved medical marijuana for America’s veterans, and President Donald Trump ended the week by saying, “I will probably end up supporting” new legislation to strengthen the 10th Amendment and amend the Controlled Substances Act.
As for California, Tuesday’s primary vote ended with residents of Pasadena allowing the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana within city limits.
Hemp Cultivates Respect in U.S. Senate
During Hemp History Week, the US Senate unanimously approved a resolution that recognizes the economic might of industrial hemp, as well as its “historical relevance.” Passed with bipartisan approval on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, Senate Resolution 532 celebrates “Hemp History Week,” and underscoring America’s lost economic potential.
“The United States is the largest consumer of hemp products in the world, but the United States is the only major industrialized country that restricts hemp farming,” noted to the resolution.
Due to a lack of production in the U.S., America imports roughly $76 million worth of hemp annually. And that’s a problem for Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden. As such, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Wyden provided his colleagues with a little show and tell on the floor of the Senate.
Products made with hemp are perfectly legal, but growing industrial hemp is a federal crime. It’s simple – If you can buy hemp products in a supermarket in America, farmers should be able to grow it in America. #HempWeek https://t.co/HSWLpgkNKN
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) June 6, 2018
Finally recognized by our elected officials as a valuable commodity, the commemorative hemp resolution has thus far cultivated 27 bipartisan cosponsors. A political pacifier or true recognition, the unanimous acceptance of this measure could be potential harbinger for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislation to legalize hemp.
Medical Marijuana for Veterans
A tad late for Memorial Day, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday, June 7, 2018 to permit physicians with the Department of Veterans Affairs to issue medical marijuana recommendations for America’s vets. First reported by Tom Angell, the proposed measure would also safeguard those participating veterans in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs from being denied access to VA services.
Per Section 249, the VA would be restricted from using funds appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs in an attempt to stop veterans from participating in medical marijuana programs approved by the state.
“Sec. 249. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs in this Act may be used in a manner that would —
(1) interfere with the ability of a veteran to participate in a medicinal marijuana program approved by a State;
(2) deny any services from the Department to a veteran who is participating in such a program; or
(3) limit or interfere with the ability of a health care provider of the Department to make appropriate recommendations, fill out forms, or take steps to comply with such a program.”
Advanced by the VA’s 2019 appropriations bill, the proposed amendment could restrict the VA from enforcing its ban on medical marijuana for the next fiscal year, provided it survives the budget reconciliation process.
Will Trump End Federal Ban on Marijuana?
Trump said he will support new marijuana legislation sponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner on Friday, June 8, 2018, but he’s made a lot of promises in the past that have yet to materialize.
On his way to meet with leaders of the industrialized world at the G-7 summit, President Trump on Friday said “I support Sen. Gardner,” the Colorado Republican, when asked about the proposed legislation.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 8, 2018
“I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
Known as the Strengthening the 10th Amendment Through Entrusting States Act, Section 710 of the bill would amend Part G of the Controlled Substances Act to permit adults to grow, possess, or use marijuana where states made it legal. Specifically allowing individuals to participate in the “manufacturing, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana [sic],” in states where it is permissible.
A wonderful and weird week in the world marijuana news. Trump’s renewed support for the 10th Amendment —and ultimately legalization — will likely represent an issue for some. Already loathed by Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be slowly beginning to realize that his preferred dogma is a distinct liability for his boss’s political future.