President Trump Compliments Leader Who Executes His Citizens for Drug Charges

If the latest comments and memos coming out of Attorney General Sessions’ Department of Justice didn’t raise concerns about the Trump Administration’s potential plans to reignite our nation’s failed war on drugs, his recent call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte should sound alarm bells.

A reminder: President Duterte has extrajudicially executed thousands of his own citizens on drug charges during his tenure leading the country.

The Washington Post received a transcript of the phone call and describes Trump’s comments on Duterte’s drug “policy” as follows:

Read more at NORML

WATCH: Trump’s First Statement On MMJ – Just More Smoke?

Donald Trump has gone from a candidate who supports medical marijuana “100%” to a president whose first official statement on the topic has decriminalized states anxiously eyeing the DOJ. Will the White House take some actual action? Or is its strategy to confuse and frustrate the budding bud industry into submission?

If there’s one clear message to take away from Donald Trump’s first official statement on medical marijuana, it’s that there’s still no clear message on cannabis from the White House.

In a single paragraph within his official statement on the $1 trillion spending bill that will fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, Trump turned sharply from his campaign trail statement that he was “in favor of medical marijuana 100%.”

Read more at Cannabis Now

HED: Sessions good, Sessions bad? Stand by…

By now, everybody in the cannabis industry knows there is a big issue with the new attorney general, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, an avowed cannabis prohibitionist.

Before he was summoned as Trump’s pick, he famously said in a 2016 Senate hearing that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and that “we need grownups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized..”

He then testified in his confirmation hearing that he would follow federal law when it comes to marijuana, seeming to agree with the status quo.

Read more at Dope Magazine

GLOBAL CANNABIS REVOLUTIONS—BERLIN ICBC: Dispatch #3

The Berlin ICBC concludes as Germany launches it’s legalized framework for medical cannabis.  In other words, a cannabis generation opens up in 2017 with a crack that is more of a friendly grin than a roar of disapproval.  This was not a conference of Euro-hipster youngsters gone crazy. Instead, these are adults as consumers, advocates, innovators, investors, scientists, rain-makers, and corporate ninjas, from every continent except Antarctica.

Globally, the access-to-cannabis movement is as divergent as each nation’s disproportionately unique law that allows or prohibits possession, cultivation and usage. Germany is one new beachhead. The buzz now extends to the two old flames of democracy: France, in light of its presidential election, and the United States, due to its light-headed president.

Notoriously, France has been seen as one of the most rigid against drugs of any kind.  Hell, I remember backpacking around Europe 25 years ago, recalling fellow travelers freaking out when our train crossed into France, boarded by submachine gun toting gendarmes looking for people who forgot to unload their pot in Holland.

Read more at Dope Magazine

How Trump’s War on Weed Could Start on Saturday (And Why It Probably Won’t)

The most important Congressional action on cannabis — ever — is set to expire this Friday at midnight; chances are, you won’t even notice.

Depending on who you ask, the next few Saturdays will see the cannabis industry waking up to just another day in Donald Trump’s America — or the beginning of the end.

Ongoing squabbles in Congress mean the country is veering towards a temporary shutdown of the federal government. Unless lawmakers can agree on a new federal spending bill, the nation will run out of money and the government will shut down: National parks will close, in-process government loans will be frozen, and all “nonessential” government employees will be sent home.

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The National District Attorneys Association Is Lying About Marijuana

A recently released white paper published by the National District Attorneys Association is calling for the federal government to strictly enforce anti-cannabis laws in states that have regulated its production and distribution for either medical or recreational purposes.

The working group, which consists of D.A.s and prosecutors from more than a dozen states (including representatives from adult use states like California and Colorado), hopes to influence the Trump administration to set aside the 2013 Cole memorandum. That memorandum, authored by former US Deputy Attorney General James Cole, directs state prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale, provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, among other guidelines.

“To maintain respect for the rule of law, it is essential that federal drug enforcement policy regarding the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of marijuana be applied consistently across the nation,” the NDAA paper concludes.

Read more at NORML

Does Trump Even Have a Cannabis Policy? Signs Point to No

Initial cannabis industry responses to Trump’s election and subsequent promotion of avowed “drug warriors” ranged from cautious optimism to abject horror. But after repeated mixed signals and false starts on a potential federal cannabis crackdown, a new picture is emerging: the Trump administration may not have any official policy plans when it comes to cannabis.

Apart from using the power of his office to promote his own businesses and enrich his children — and delaying Twitter’s free-fall into cash-bleeding irrelevancy — President Donald Trump has had a hard time actually getting anything done. Whether this relative policy gridlock is the result of an inexperienced cabinet, a lack of organization or an internal mutiny is difficult to say, but the record speaks for itself: not much is getting done.

Even basic functions of office like presenting cogent (or at least consistent) messaging has proven difficult for the Trump team. On top of the almost daily scandals plaguing its communications department, the White House can’t even be sure where its own (presumably GPS-tracked, hopefully very hard to lose track of) ships at sea are located.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Trump Should Abolish the Drug Czar’s Office

The Trump Administration is widely expected to pick Representative Tom Marino for Drug Czar.

Representative Marino is a longtime, rabid drug warrior who has a consistent record of voting against marijuana law reform legislation — a position that runs counter to that of the majority of voters and his own constituents. His appointment to this office highlights the fact that this administration remains committed to the failed 1980s ‘war on drugs’ playbook.

The Trump administration promised to eliminate bureaucratic waste. It should start by eliminating the office of the Drug Czar.

Read more at NORML

THE PREJUDICES OF POT PROHIBITION: Tracing the Racially-Charged History of America’s Drug War

One of the more disturbing developments of Donald Trump’s presidency has been his appointment of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions—a man who once joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana”—to the post of Attorney General.

It’s alarming to think of our nation’s chief law enforcement officer espousing such antiquated prejudices, but perhaps not altogether surprising—for race has always been a central feature of America’s marijuana prohibition.

“Rarely do you see that kind of candor about it, though,” Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says of Sessions’ Klan remarks. A primary sponsor of Washington’s Initiative 502 to legalize recreational cannabis, Holmes recognizes that the federal government’s ongoing war on drugs has had questionable, even sinister, motives dating back to its inception.

Read more at Dope Magazine

How America’s Drug War Is Affecting Illegal Immigration

The firebrand opponents of undocumented immigration currently agitating for a looming wall on the U.S.-Mexico border—and calling for mass deportation of the people whose labor cares for our children, produces our food, builds our houses, and otherwise keeps the economy going—are also generally fans of the drug war.

The alt-right think-tank that generates what passes as policy for the Trump Administration is a prime example of this. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has harsh words for both marijuana legalization and “illegal immigrants.”

But in a twist, the drug war is making the immigration “problem” worse—in an unexpected way. Over the past year, there’s been a drop in the number of would-be migrants apprehended at the border, as The New York Times reports. Instead of people coming north, it’s money flowing south.

Read more at High Times