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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 14,576
Loc: Flag
Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales
    #27327752 - 05/29/21 12:07 PM (20 days, 2 hours ago)

Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales
May 28, 2021 - Marijuana-Moment

President Joe Biden wants to maintain a long-standing policy that’s protected state medical marijuana laws from Justice Department interference as part of his fiscal year 2022 budget proposal—a notable administration decision given that previous presidents from both parties have called for its elimination in their annual plans.

But Biden wants to continue to block Washington, D.C. from using its own tax dollars to legalize adult-use marijuana sales, declining to recommend that current language barring such activity be eliminated.

The budget approach is raising questions about whether the president is drawing a line in the sand by supporting medical cannabis states but denying D.C. the right to implement sales as the mayor and local legislators want. If so, it would reflect his overall marijuana policy position: yes to medical cannabis, no to recreational marijuana.

The medical cannabis rider, which has been renewed in appropriations legislation every year since 2014, stipulates the the Justice Department can’t use its funds to prevent states or territories “from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Past administrations—both Democratic and Republican—have proposed scrapping that language. President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama each called for ending the policy as part of their budget proposals. But Congress has consistently upheld it regardless.

During the 2019 appropriations season, the House approved an even more expansive amendment that would have provided protections for all state and territory marijuana programs, rather than just medical cannabis systems. But the Senate did not follow suit and the provision was not included in final spending bill sent to Trump’s desk.

When Trump signed that large-scale spending legislation in 2019, he attached a statement that said he is empowered to ignore the congressionally approved medical cannabis rider, stating that the administration “will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

Advocates were optimistic that Biden would propose removing the other long-standing rider, which has blocked D.C. from using local tax dollars to legalize marijuana sales—but that did not pan out. And that’s in spite of the fact that he did push to remove separate, D.C.-specific language blocking the city from using its funds to provide abortion services.

“It’s seriously concerning that the will of District of Columbia residents who voted to legalize cannabis years ago continues to be ignored, despite immense support in the city,” Queen Adesuyi, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance’s (DPA) Office of National Affairs, told Marijuana Moment, adding that local officials should be allowed to “deliver on the promises of equity and justice for those disproportionately impacted by racially-biased enforcement of cannabis laws in the District.”

The inconsistency with which Biden’s budget approaches D.C. is all the more interesting given that while the president has said repeatedly that states should be empowered to make their own decisions regarding adult-use legalization—and he also supports statehood status for the District—he wants to prevent it from having that same right.

“The president’s budget is simultaneously positive and concerning. On one hand, unlike his predecessors from both parties, he is the first sitting president to call for continued protections for medical cannabis programs,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal told Marijuana Moment. “But on the other hand, unlike President Obama, this budget denies the right of self-determination to D.C. citizens when it comes to the overwhelming desire of the public and local government to regulate cannabis for adults.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said in April that local officials are prepared to move forward with implementing a legal system of recreational cannabis sales in the nation’s capital just as soon as they can get over the final “hurdle” of congressional interference.

The ongoing blockade is the result of an amendment that was first added by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) when Republicans controlled the House and has since been continued in annual appropriations legislation.

“It is incompatible to support D.C. statehood and simultaneously support the reauthorization of the Harris Amendment,” Mike Liszewski, principal with the Enact Group and a policy advisor to Students for Sensible Drug Policy, told Marijuana Moment. “President Biden’s decision to reinclude this provision in his budget is a slap in the face of every District resident. D.C. voters should not have to beg the federal government to allow us to set up our own marijuana regulatory system.”

The Biden administration is being closely watched by advocates when it comes to any marijuana policy development—especially since the president has maintained an opposition to adult-use legalization even as multiple bills to end federal prohibition are being drafted and introduced.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Biden did not propose gutting the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as Trump did. The former president called for a roughly 90 percent cut in the agency’s budget in his proposals, but Congress did not follow suit. Biden, meanwhile, helped establish the drug czar’s office during his time in the Senate.

Biden’s budget also includes $17 million in funding to support industrial hemp production.


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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: veggie]
    #27327814 - 05/29/21 01:00 PM (20 days, 1 hour ago)

But DC does do rec sales no?

Last time I was there it was all online delivery

Seemed pretty legal to me. Tho they had caveats like it had to be a “gift” (venmo/cashapp) and no physical stores


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InvisibleWyoMX
I'm a teapot

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 1,122
Loc: PNW
Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: Fractal420]
    #27328375 - 05/29/21 09:24 PM (19 days, 16 hours ago)

Those places aren't licensed to do so and it's a Grey area legally. The government doesn't really like those things because there not getting tax $ from them. States that legalized it recreationally but didn't inact a way to set up store fronts right away had those pop up alot as well. As a customer you don't have a big chance of getting in trouble but I have a feeling the operators of those delivery services could.


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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 14,576
Loc: Flag
Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: veggie]
    #27330718 - 05/31/21 09:41 PM (17 days, 16 hours ago)

Related ...

Congresswoman Blasts Biden Decision To Block Marijuana Sales In D.C.
May 31, 2021 - Marijuana-Moment

President Joe Biden’s new budget proposal would maintain a ban on allowing Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales—and the congresswoman representing the District told Marijuana Moment on Friday that it represents a frustrating “inconsistency” that she will work to correct on Capitol Hill.

In a phone interview, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she’s “very disappointed that the president’s budget maintains the marijuana rider,” referring to a longstanding, GOP-led appropriations policy preventing D.C. from using its tax dollars to implement a commercial cannabis program.

“It’s hard to reconcile with his strong support for D.C. statehood—and, for that matter, with the rest of his budget,” she said. “For example, he does not interfere with medical marijuana.”

Biden’s budget plan, released on Friday, maintains language barring the Justice Department from using its funds to interfere in the implementation of state-level medical cannabis legalization. Advocates view that as a significant win considering that past administrations from both parties have moved to delete that rider, which Congress has nonetheless renewed annually since 2014.

But when it comes to D.C., the president made a point to keep the ban on letting the jurisdiction legalize adult-use cannabis sales—something that Norton, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and local legislators have fought against. The administration’s decision is all the more perplexing when accounting for the fact that Biden favors D.C. statehood and has said repeatedly that states should be allowed to make their own decisions on legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Biden did recommend removing a separate provision to block D.C. from using its tax dollars to provide abortion services—a decision that reinforces the notion that the administration took a targeted approach to the cannabis issue.

“That’s the inconsistency that I see,” Norton said. “He’s a strong supporter of statehood and homerule, so this was the time for him to—especially since we got rid of the abortion rider, which is even more controversial—this was the time to get rid of the marijuana rider as well.”

But now, with the president’s budget submission being done for Fiscal Year 2022, the fight moves to Capitol Hill, and Norton said that she believes the Democratic-controlled House and Senate will delete the anti-cannabis provision.

“I’m more hopeful about congressional action,” the congresswoman said. “I’m going to be working very hard to make sure that that rider is not in the budget” that lawmakers ultimately send back to Biden’s desk.

“With Democrats controlling the White House, House and Senate, we have the best opportunity in over a decade to enact a D.C. appropriations bill that does not contain any anti-home-rule riders,” Norton added in a press release.

The congresswoman has been a strong advocate for cannabis policy reform. For example, she recently led a letter to the U.S. Botanic Garden requesting that hemp be displayed at the institution since the crop was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.

This month, she also sent a letter to the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), imploring her to use “executive discretion” to not enforce policies that prohibit cannabis use in federally assisted housing in states that have enacted legalization.

The congresswoman’s letter to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge came two weeks after filing legislation that would legislatively accomplish the same objective.

Asked whether Biden should expect a letter from her on the D.C. budget issue, Norton said “no, he doesn’t need a letter.”

“He’s given me his budget. I need to work from the Congress—that’s what the Congress is for,” she said. “He knew where we stood, and still, in defiance of all of his other policies, he left this in the budget. So no, that’s why we have three branches of government.”

The mayor of D.C. said in April that local officials are prepared to move forward with implementing a legal system of recreational cannabis sales in the nation’s capital just as soon as they can get over the final “hurdle” of congressional interference.


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InvisibleHolybullshit
Stranger
Registered: 01/06/19
Posts: 888
Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: veggie] * 1
    #27330846 - 06/01/21 12:20 AM (17 days, 13 hours ago)

Perfect example of why DC needs statehood.


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Offlinedurian_2008
Cornucopian Eating an Elephant
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 6,399
Last seen: 2 days, 12 hours
Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27331333 - 06/01/21 01:22 PM (17 days, 52 minutes ago)

Medical users report being uncomfortable with drug deals, but corporate weed is several times more expensive than street prices, after taxes and overhead.

Quote:

states should be allowed to make their own decisions on legalizing marijuana for recreational use.




I don't necessarily agree with the statehood argument, when the state is deciding against civil rights.


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OfflineFractal420
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Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 5,855
Last seen: 1 day, 21 hours
Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: durian_2008]
    #27336504 - 06/05/21 06:25 PM (12 days, 19 hours ago)

I don’t understand. I always hear MJ is Recreational Legal in DC just not near the federal buildings.

I kinda like the system these people have come up with, tho. It seems pretty legit and they seem to have all the usual products (just with code, like “candles” for wax, botanical arrangements or whatever)


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



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InvisibleWyoMX
I'm a teapot

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 1,122
Loc: PNW
Re: Biden Budget Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections But Would Block D.C. From Legalizing Recreational Sales [Re: Fractal420]
    #27336560 - 06/05/21 07:09 PM (12 days, 19 hours ago)

I looked up some of the delivery services and holy shit the prices are insane. If they're that high without taxes being paid the black market will still flourish just like it is in every rec state so far. Can't imagine the people paying $80 for an 8th. Also the ones that did have shatter and wax was $50 a gram for what would be considered food grade oil in most rec states. If people are happy with it then it is what it is but I'd never use those services personally.


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