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Trump’s U.S. Attorney General Nominee Could Destroy Current Cannabis Policies

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When I went to MJ Biz Con  last month, I attended a panel called “Win, Lose, or Draw: 2016 Election Post Game” that featured various cannabis policy experts.  One of those experts was Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of The Drug Policy Alliance.  When Nadelmann was asked about post election presidential results, he actually stood on the stage and addressed the audience and stated, “This administration that we have just voted in to our 

fullsizerender-3federal government is going to be the biggest test of the American democracy since the Civil War. We should all be profoundly concerned, and what we did is the most devastatingly destructive thing we could’ve done on a national front.”  He stated this during a portion of the panel discussion where the speakers were urging people in the cannabis industry (or entering the cannabis industry) to work together on collaborative efforts in order to keep the ground we have made so far and also to, hopefully, gain more.

It appears that Nadelmann and other panelists, such as Dale Sky Jones, Exectuive Chancellor at Oaksterdam University, who followed up Nadelmann’s statement and urged cannabis industry professionals to stand in a unified voice, were spot on about this being a critical time for us to stand together, since now we are facing an anti-marijuana U.S. Attorney General.  Yes, Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Senator whom President-elect Trump nominated to this position, seems to have some kind of cruel plan in store to modify the way our federal government approaches states that legalized marijuana.  

According to this article posted today from Merry Jane::
U.S. Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Likely Changing Federal Cannabis Policy 
“Pete O’Neil, CEO of Empire Cannabis Brands and Co-Chair Cannabis & Hemp Industry Task Force, recently shared an email with MERRY JANE suggesting that Trump’s transition team was in San Francisco over the weekend to discuss with government officials the “new path” a Sessions controlled Justice Department would take with respect to legal marijuana.

Although the details surrounding the alleged meeting are in no way clear, at least not at this point, industry experts do seem to think it is possible that the new U.S. Attorney General could be planning to void the Cole Memorandum – a set of guidelines used by the Obama Administration to explain its “hands off” approach to the legal cannabis trade.

“It looks like the Trump administration is going to move forward with their new plan without any public input or overview,” O’Neil said in an email.

Some of the latest speculation surrounding the Trump Administration’s possible newfound approach to the legal cannabis industry is that it will have the biggest impact on the recreational sector. While still only rumors, there are some who believe that the entire scope of the recreational pot market, which allows adults 21 and over to purchase weed regardless of medical necessity, will be forced to shutdown once Trump takes over the White House – eliminating the cultivation and sales of the cannabis plant in all eight states that have brought an end to prohibition.”

This is certainly frightening and frustrating to the many activists and industry professionals who have given years and sometimes decades of their lives to get us all to where we are now.  

As Dale Sky Jones also mentioned in the MJ Biz Con  panel I referred to, “If you’re not involved on the federal front supporting national organizations, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Your business plan might as well go in the shredder if we don’t’ have sound policy first.”

This is a story that TWB will be keeping a close eye on, and we urge everyone in the movement and industry to stand together in a unified voice now more so than ever.  Thanks to Mike Adams at Merry Jane for bringing this to our attention!

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About Author

Leah Maurer

Leah Maurer is the happily married mom of 3 young boys in Portland, Oregon. She is a co-owner of The Weed Blog and contributes regularly to the site. Leah also serves as the Branding and Outreach Manager for Yerba Buena Farms, the first recreational licensed cannabis cultivation farm in Oregon. A cannabis legalization activist, she hopes to see the prohibition of cannabis end on a federal level, and to see the cannabis conversation normalized across America.

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