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Old 12-05-2020, 01:56 AM #1
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US House passes federal cannabis decriminalisation bill

The title is just a copy/paste from the BBC article from which I found this out, and here's the text of that article.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to decriminalise cannabis at the national level for the first time.

It calls for removing cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and erasing certain federal convictions.

It also supports reinvestment in communities adversely impacted by the decades-long "war on drugs".

The bill is very unlikely to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (More) Act was passed in the lower chamber 228 to 164 on Friday afternoon, with five Republicans - and one independent - supporting the measure.

To become law, the bill needs to pass the Senate and be signed by the president. If that happens, it could help bridge a major disconnect between national and state drug policy in the US.

Why is cannabis not legal federally?

Cannabis is still prohibited by the 1970 federal drug policy known as the Controlled Substances Act and classed as a Schedule I narcotic - defined as having no medical value and a high potential for abuse - but states have made their own laws relating to the drug.

One in three Americans currently live in states where cannabis is legal for adult use, despite the federal prohibition.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have passed ballot measures or initiatives that allow the recreational use of cannabis by anyone over the age of 21.

In addition, 38 states have passed measures that allow its use for medicinal purposes.

Last month, voters in three states - Arizona, Montana and New Jersey - overwhelmingly approved ballot measures to legalise recreational use, with voters in Mississippi supporting its medicinal use. South Dakota, a traditionally conservative state, made history when voters there simultaneously backed initiatives for the medicinal and recreational use of the drug.

Support for federal cannabis legalisation is now at an all-time high, with a Gallup poll last month showing more than two-thirds of American adults support it.

Several lawmakers took to the House floor ahead of the vote, arguing the bill had less to do with legalising marijuana and more to do with how the enforcement of cannabis prohibition has hurt communities of colour, leaving behind "a legacy of racial and ethnic injustices".
Black Americans are more than three times as likely to be arrested for cannabis-related offences as white Americans, despite similar rates of usage, according to a study last year from the American Civil Liberties Union.

What does the bill propose?

It includes measures to expunge the federal criminal records of those charged or convicted for non-violent cannabis offenses and provide cannabis business owners easier access to grants or loans. It would also tax cannabis retail sales and create a trust fund to reinvest in job training and other initiatives for communities of colour harmed by the drug war.

"We're not rushing to legalise marijuana. The American people have already done that," said Democrat Earl Blumenauer, from Oregon, who is the founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and an original sponsor of the bill.

"We're here because Congress has failed to deal with the disastrous war on drugs and do its part for the over 50 million regular marijuana users in every one of your districts."

The bill was drafted in co-ordination with several cannabis justice advocates.

What reaction has there been?

Several Republican lawmakers said the bill had troubling implications that could be potentially harmful to American youth. Greg Murphy, from North Carolina, said the drug was "one of the most abused substances on the planet".

Others called the vote a "waste of time", complaining that they should have instead focused on Covid relief.

Cannabis reform advocates, however, hailed the vote as "historic" and "long overdue".

It came as the National Basketball Association (NBA) released a statement announcing it would suspend random cannabis testing of its players for the 2020-21 season.

What's next?

President-elect Joe Biden has expressed a desire to end federal prohibition through decriminalisation, but neither Senate Republican leadership nor current president Donald Trump have indicated support for the legislation to become law. If Republicans win one or both Senate runoff elections in Georgia next month, the party will retain its majority in the upper chamber.

Following the passage of the House bill, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer urged his colleagues to support the reforms: "These bills are part of a broader movement to address inequities in criminal justice, business and more. Today's bipartisan vote shows just how far that movement has come."

Adding a rare voice of support from across the aisle, Matt Gaetz of Florida - the lone Republican co-sponsor of the bill - said: "The federal government has lied to the people of this country about marijuana for a generation... If we were measuring the success of the war on drugs, drugs have won."
That's a decent summary, but I'd like to look at the actual bill itself. Here's that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by H.R. 3884 summary
Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 or the MORE Act of 2019
This bill decriminalizes marijuana.
Specifically, it removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.
The bill also makes other changes, including the following:
  • replaces statutory references to marijuana and marihuana with cannabis,
  • requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees,
  • establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs,
  • imposes a 5% tax on cannabis products and requires revenues to be deposited into the trust fund,
  • makes Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers,
  • prohibits the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions,
  • prohibits the denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws on the basis of a cannabis-related event (e.g., conduct or a conviction),
  • establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses, and
  • directs the Government Accountability Office to study the societal impact of cannabis legalization.
The vote went 5 Republicans for, 158 against and 34 abstaining, with 222 Democrats for, 6 against and 4 abstaining. The sole Libertarian voted for. I'd go into more detail but the US government apparently makes their votes as hard to parse as possible, since this bullshit is their official record of it. If someone can help me install the correct schema or whatever the fuck to actually view that correctly, I'd appreciate it.


Now that I've reported the dry facts of the matter, my opinion is that it's about damn time the House passed something like this since they keep trying like five times a year to do something sane with decrim. I also think that this is a really dumb time to pass this through the House and move it to the Senate because nothing on God's green earth makes a Republican's dick harder than fucking over minorities and you can bet this is going to be killed either by a 51-49 smackdown in the most likely scenario, or best-case scenario, a veto. Will Biden and a possible Democrat Senate majority make a difference? Fucked if I know, stay tuned to find out!


Please do not interpret anything I've said or shown as an endorsement by me of the Democrats. They'd still kill your mother for a nickel. They just so happen to be the party that knows public opinion and tax dollars will both go their way if they can help us out. I also encourage you lot to comb over the text of the bill to find anything objectionable about it- I'll post ITT later to do the same.
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:08 AM #2
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I don''t have edit perms so sorry for the double-post. Take a look at the actions on this bill, especially the year gap. Basically it was held up for a while, till 11/27. Here's the relevant House Judiciary Committee document (bullshit warning toward the end). Republicans control that committee. The approval was probably strategically timed.
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:32 AM #3
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Whoopidy fucking do! Politics, nothing more! We are going to pay for this virus one way or another!!! We have too! We have a bold new green deal in the works... They are trying to shove that in a Corona stimulus package... Ummm
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:36 AM #4
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Originally Posted by Switcher56 View Post
Whoopidy fucking do! Politics, nothing more! We are going to pay for this virous one way or another!!! We have too! We have a bold new green deal in the works... They are trying to shove that is a Corona stimulus package... Ummm
Politics is beholden to money, so yeah. I take this as a sign that the politicians have realized weed smokers and freeing convicts is worth a lot of fuckin' money. I'll take a win any way I can get it this year.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:04 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pious View Post
Politics is beholden to money, so yeah. I take this as a sign that the politicians have realized weed smokers and freeing convicts is worth a lot of fuckin' money. I'll take a win any way I can get it this year.
It's only a win if you can do your thing Outside of sale tax on hardware & the electricity I use. The govt don't get a friggin cent.

I like some of the ponying up that has been played of late. (Nadler, will give you your bill but we want 5%). Yeah! It's a cash cow... mind you the UN has unscheduled cannabis this week, and pushed for its medical use research. The interest that that may bring is a h dble hockey sticks more important than making money. BP are definitely set against it.
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What is civilization but, a conspiracy,
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:11 AM #6
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The government was never going to let pot just be free. Alcohol and tobacco are taxed crazily. They will start out small and increase the tax on pot. Tobacco and alcohol taxes are going up despite black market activity. Pot will be no different.

The Democrats are useless garbage but at least cannabis is something they kind of get or understand. The Republicans would have been so smart to drop the drug war, mostly against pot, but it is a sin don't you know?
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:27 AM #7
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Originally Posted by Switcher56 View Post
It's only a win if you can do your thing Outside of sale tax on hardware & the electricity I use. The govt don't get a friggin cent.

I like some of the ponying up that has been plaid of late. (Nadler, will give you your bill but we want 5%). Yeah! It's a cash cow... mind you the UN has unscheduled cannabis this week, and pushed for its medical use research. The interest that that may bring is a h dble hockey sticks more important than making money. BP are definitely set against it.
Provide sources please. I shall assume you're in the business, and as such, a Small Business Administration loan combined with the removal of all the nonsense the major banks interpret as a risk should hopefully provide to be such a boon. In 2021 at least, when this bill has a chance in Hell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yesum View Post
The government was never going to let pot just be free. Alcohol and tobacco are taxed crazily. They will start out small and increase the tax on pot. Tobacco and alcohol taxes are going up despite black market activity. Pot will be no different.

The Democrats are useless garbage but at least cannabis is something they kind of get or understand. The Republicans would have been so smart to drop the drug war, mostly against pot, but it is a sin don't you know?
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much of a raging erection they get when they think of denying minorities and poor people opportunities. As far as I know, it's the only thing they like more than money. Democrats on the other hand only get a semi from the same idea, so they like money more. And that works for us. Of course it was never going to be for free.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:40 AM #8
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This is the best news of the frigging decade ! Who cares if weed is taxed as heavily as wine ? Long as I don't face pokey time for blazing up a jay, I don't give a puck how much I pay for weed.
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:43 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesum View Post
The government was never going to let pot just be free. Alcohol and tobacco are taxed crazily.
give me example of what is ''NOT'' taxed... i buy a car 8.75%, i put gas in said car... more taxes... to celebrate i go to blimpie's to buy a sandwich as a blimpie sandwich is all i can afford... i get home, get the
mail, n a property tax bill is enclosed...

so exactly what is NOT taxed
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:57 PM #10
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I see the un have relaxed treaty restrictions, and removed cannabis from the list of dangerous narcotics.
https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/12/1079132
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