Chronicle AM: Trump Pressures McConnell on Sentencing Reform, NJ Marijuana Bill Gets Hearing, More... (11/26/18)

The president wants to see criminal justice reform move in the Senate, New Jersey lawmakers take up marijuana legalization today, and more.

Mitch McConnell is getting pressured by the president to move on the First Step Act. (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Minnesota Governor-Elect Says Legalize It. Incoming Democratic Governor Tim Walz says it's time for the state to get on the legalization bandwagon. "I just think the time is here and we're seeing it across the country," he said. "Minnesota has always been able to implement these things right." Wise's Democratic allies control the state House, but Republicans control the Senate.

New Jersey Legislature Takes Up Legalization Bill. Hearings are underway at the statehouse for the long-awaited marijuana legalization bill, S2703. The bill would legalize up to an ounce for adults and set up a system of taxed and regulated marijuana production and distribution. The bill sets a 12% tax rate on marijuana sales, which includes the state's 6.625% sales tax, but also would allow localities to seek up to 2% in additional marijuana taxes.

North Dakota Lawmaker Will File Decriminalization Bill. In the wake of November's failed legalization initiative, one lawmaker says he will file a decriminalization bill during the coming legislative session. State Rep. Shannon Roers Jones (R-Fargo) said her bill would probably decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce. Possession is currently a Class B misdemeanor.

North Dakota Initiative Campaigners Will Try Again in 2020. Legalize ND, the folks behind November's failed legalization initiative says it will be back in 2020. Group leader David Owen said he is "100% certain" the group will try again but with some changes. Next time, the proposal will contain provisions for tax revenues from sales and limits on how much individuals can grow and possess. This year's initiative lost 59%-41%.

Law Enforcement

Detroit Narcs Try to Arrest Each Other in Drug Bust Gone Awry. It was Keystone Cops in the Motor City earlier this month when a group of undercover Detroit narcs posing as drug dealers attempted to arrest another group of undercover Detroit narcs posing as drug buyers. The end result: A shouting match and shoving and punch-throwing brawl among more than two dozen armed police officers. "This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I've seen in this department," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Monday. Two Detroit police officers were killed in a similar incident in 1986.

Sentencing Reform

Trump Urges McConnell to Act on Criminal Justice Reform. In a tweet last Friday, President Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow a prison and sentencing reform bill, the First Step Act (S.2795) to be voted on in the Senate. McConnell said last week there wasn't time to get the measure through this session, but he has faced intense lobbying pressure, not only from the president but also other Republican senators and the religious right. "Really good Criminal Justice Reform has a true shot at major bipartisan support," Trump said in the tweet. "@senatemajldr Mitch McConnell and @SenSchumer have a real chance to do something so badly needed in our country. Already passed, with big vote, in House. Would be a major victory for ALL!"


French National Assembly Approves Fines for Drug Use. The National Assembly last Friday approved a bill that introduces a fixed fine of 200 Euros for the use of drugs, and marijuana in particular. Since 1970, illegal drug use has been subject to up to a year in prison and up to a 3,750 Euro fine, but such sentences were rarely imposed, especially for marijuana. Some ministers on the left criticized the measure as disproportionately affecting poor young people and condemned the lack of involvement of health authorities.

Thai National Assembly Gives Preliminary Approval to Legal Medical Marijuana, Kratom. The National Legislative Assembly has accepted "in principle" amending the country's drug law to allow for the medicinal use of five substances, including marijuana and kratom. Under the amended law, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board will be assigned to designate areas to be used for the production of the drugs and the quantity to be produced.

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Dain Bramage's picture

I thought it was a headline from The Onion for a second!

"Trump Pressures McConnell on Sentencing Reform."

Yeah, I'll bet!!  ...He is specifically interested in the crimes of Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice, and Serial Sexual Assault, no doubt.

This IS A JOKE.  SERIOUSLY.   No good will come from listening to Traitor Trump.

Fuck the lying, thieving, child molesting Republicans.  Fuck'em all.

So sick of it.

I'm so sick and tired of everything being used as an excuse to slam Trump. Here he is, doing what every single one of us has been beeging a president to do for around a century. Now that we have one doing it, we have turds like you still being pissy because he is doing what's best for our country.

Welfare is down, taxes are down, unemployment is down.

Jobs are coming back, consumer confidence is up and the damage our military sustained under Obama is being repaired.

He has said from day one that medical marijuana is a good thing, and that states absolutely have the right to regulate cannabis how they see fit. He has been working this reform for over a year and a half, it gets shot down by McConnil and he expresses upset about it - so that makes the guy a piece of shit?

Give me a break.

Dain Bramage's picture

You're not sick, just a sucker.

Trump is a pathological liar, so... Don't be a sucker. 

Unemployment is down?  Yeah, right -- that must be why I can't afford BOTH food AND rent, you fucking jerk.

Fuck that ass-clown Trump.


Maybe you should talk to someone who owns a small business - the actual people who create jobs. Maybe talk to two, three, four? Maybe you could go so far as to look at how CEOs are doing with their companies now, since their taxes got lowered and are now giving their workers raises and bonuses. You need to turn off MSNBC and get out in the world once in a while.

Try getting a job somewhere in manufacturing and quit your 25 hour-a-week job at Burger King.

Dain Bramage's picture

Fuck Corporate America


Social throwbacks like yourself fail to understand other people who are not only out for themselves.

Try and grasp this idea: It is wrong that I can't afford BOTH food AND rent, even though I am working full-time.  But it is not wrong because it is happening TO ME -- it is wrong because it is happening to ANYBODY.  My goal is social justice; my goal is not to join you, or to be more like you.  I would do just about ANYTHING to AVOID that!

Can your reptilian brain comprehend an idea like "the common good?"

I remember you now, you condescending fuck.  You came into Burger King a long time ago, and talked a bunch of shit to me, and treated me like a second class citizen. 

That's why I put a booger in your burger.


Yeah, and here is something else, asshole... From my very first drug test, I knew Corporate America was a fraud. So, FUCK your whiny, selfish, self-entitled small business community.  I don't care if they all go bankrupt!


Why are you so upset? Why the need for name caling? Does the truth hurt?

The fact that you've never met me before, have no idea who I am and continue to judge me based on my opinion, I'm going to guess that you majored in Liberal-Arts and now can't find a job that pays above minimum wage.

So you march with people from Antifa and demand that the minimum wage go up to $15 an hour and call anyone not for the redistribution of wealth a racist/homophobe/islamaphobe/whatever is hip at the time. On top of that, you want Trump impeached, based on made-up stories about his couin's uncle's roommate in college you heard at the local fruitcake rally about how he's some kind of nazi grand dragon leader guy.

Am I close? I bet I am.

Dain Bramage's picture

It is called "having a conscience"

Nunya, I am upset because I have a moral center -- because I experience moral outrage at Trump's crimes against America and against Humanity.


So.  What's your fucking problem?

My problem

I have no problem with people who put the welfare of others above their own. I actually admire them. But answer me something - if you can't take care of yourself, how can you possibly expect to help anyone else?

Sure, fuck all businesses across the country. I just hope you like catching your own food, growing your own cotton to make your own clothes, and walking everywhere you go.

My problem is when people don't do what is neccessary in order to make it, while not admitting their own mistakes in life, and blaming their troubles on someone else.

Yeah, it's the fault of small business that you either skipped college or majored in something useless and can't make ends meet (I guess the world owes you something).

Go ahead and hide behind putting others ahead of yourself to hide the fact that you either can't or won't make things better for yourself while lumping me in with the likes of the devil in order to make yourself feel better.

How about instead of blaming others for your fucked up life you take a long hard look at the decisions you've made to bring you here.

Trump isn't the reason for your problems, you are.

Dain Bramage's picture

I work to Defeat Trump and the Republicans

I work for the betterment of society.  That is why I work to defeat Trump and the Republicans.

The rewards -- the greatest satisfactions -- in this life come from working toward something more noble than simple self-acquisition;  the greatest satisfactions I have ever known, other than having hot sex with my hot gal as we smoke the very best hash on Earth, have come from working on behalf of Truth and Justice.

It is a glorious life!  I call it "fighting and fucking."  You would be lucky to be me.  You can keep your "small business" corporate horseshit  -- I have better things to do than whore myself out for money, like you do, as a "pro-business" advocate.

P.S. Fuck cotton, White Trash! Hemp!!  

Let's not fight about it

Let's just agree to disagree here. We're on this site for a reason - our love for weed and the hate for its status. Trump, repubs, democrats - who gives a care? The best thing tokers have going for us is that we're all brothers and sisters, just like all Americans.

We got off on the wrong foot here. I'm just tired of politics coming into everything. It's in our music, emmies, movies - everything. This herb unites us all. Let's not allow it to divide us.


Dain Bramage's picture

I fight Trump lies and Republican bullshit

I won't stop doing that. 

I said "Fuck that ass-clown Trump."

Can you handle it this time?

Dain Bramage's picture

You can't legalize marijuana without "politics." Sadly!

Unfortunately, Nunya, people in general are not inherently rational, or decent, actors. If they were, marijuana prohibition would never have happened in the first place.  And, Trump would never be president -- he would have gone into the porn industry instead of politics, and all would be right with the world!

It takes work... Effort! create a livable society, and right now, we are failing BADLY.

Obviously, America cannot unite so long as a traitor sits in the Oval Office.  And yes, Trump IS A TRAITOR.  He is a goddamn Putin operative -- he practically brags about it!!


You want a truce, Nunya?  Then tell your Republican, white supremacist, Russia-blowing buddies to step down.  Otherwise, how can there be peace in America under a treasonous, anti-American Republican GOP?

Marijuana legalization requires a functioning democracy, or it is a waste of effort.  Marijuana legalization cannot occur in a violent, fascist authoritarian banana republic, which is exactly what the Republicans represent, AND DEFEND, as you did at the beginning of this thread. 

Truce?  That's up to you.  What do you really stand for?


Without the hyperbole and rhetoric Trump is an outlaw.

An outlaw is someone who lives outside the rule of law.

He does these things or has in the past, and shows no remorse.

His actions speak for themselves.

His pathology is pedogogical and disturbing.

Just becasue you may like what he is doing, does not change the fact he is an outlaw.

You have to decide for yourself if it is ok for an outlaw to be president?

He is our leader.  If he circumvents the law why shouldn't everyone else?

That is how socielties deteriorate.  When people say fuck the law, I will do what I want,

and then bribe and extort my way out of it if caught, we all will suffer over time.

Dain Bramage's picture

"Love for weed" is not the same as opposing prohibition


I would rather have a friend than an enemy, any day of the week!  So I am trying to give you credit where credit is due.

Yes, apparently we both love weed.  Perhaps we could pass a joint in person, and get along just fine.  I would like to believe that this is true, based on some of the conciliatory things you have said here.

But I must point out, I am not here simply because I love weed (although I do love weed.)  I am here because I oppose marijuana prohibition.   They are not the same thing, as I learned from MPP many years ago.  I am here, primarily because I oppose marijuana prohibition.

Being an old fart, I have spent most of my entire adult life arguing against Reefer Madness.  Reefer Madness was, and is, a bunch of fucking lies told by a bunch of fucking liars.  Well, the same thing goes for Trump's entire universe of "alternative facts."  

Alternative facts are no better than Reefer Madness.  But apparently Putin and the Republicans think that, just so long as we stoners "get a hit", we don't, or won't, care about anything else.

But marijuana legalization is based on opposition to marijuana prohibition, and not simply the "right to party."  I am an unapologetic stoner and pothead -- but I am not a fucking monster, for gods sake!  I still care about the rest of society!  I do not support or endorse the evil that Trump and the Republicans so gleefully inflict on the rest of us.

Another commentor once wrote "Republicans are like clothes dryers... they will smoke some marijuana if you give it to them.  That doesn't mean they actually oppose marijuana prohibition."

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