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Chronicle AM: IL, NY Governors Embrace Pot, PA Bid to Punish Drug Using Pregnant Women, More... (1/15/19)

William Barr suggests he'll keep hands off of state-legal marijuana, New York's governor unveils his marijuana legalization plan, government witnesses in the El Chapo trial undercut Trump's drug justification for his border wall, and more. 

Governors are seeing dollar signs in marijuana legalization. (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

US Attorney General Nominee Says He Supports Federal Pot Prohibition, But Won't Go After State Law-Compliant Operations. During his confirmation hearing Tuesday, attorney general nominee William Barr said he would support banning marijuana “everywhere,” but that he did not want to “upset settled expectations” in states that have already legalized marijuana. “I’m not going to go after companies that have relied on the Cole Memorandum,” Barr told the committee. “However, we either should have a federal law that prohibits marijuana everywhere, which I would support myself because I think it’s a mistake to back off marijuana. But if we want a federal approach, if we want states to have their own laws, let’s get there and let’s get there the right way.”

Ilinois Governor Reiterates Pledge to Legalize Marijuana. In his inaugural address Monday night, incoming Gov. JB Pritzker (D) confirmed that he will indeed move ahead with a plan for marijuana legalization. “In the interests of keeping the public safe from harm, expanding true justice in our criminal justice system, and advancing economic inclusion, I will work with the legislature to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois,” Pritzker said. A placeholder bill has already been filed in the Senate.

New York Governor Unveils Marijuana Legalization Plan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday unveiled his plan to legalize marijuana in the state. His plan calls for a 22% tax on wholesale sales and a per-gram tax on growers. It would also set up licensing programs for growers, distributors, and retailers, with growers barred from opening retail shops. The plan would allow cities and counties the option of banning marijuana sales in their jurisdictions. Cuomo also vowed to institute expungement for past pot possession convictions.


Pennsylvania Senator Wants to Punish Women Who Use Drugs While Pregnant. Late last month, the state Supreme Court ruled that pregnant women who use drug cannot be charged with child abuse because a fetus is not a child. That was too much for state Sen. Don White (R-Indiana County), who issued a press release Monday announcing plans to file a bill that would allow the state to punish them. "Regardless of what the court may rule, a mother's responsibility begins before her child is born and that should not be erased by a perceived ambiguity in the law," White said in a press release. The move is opposed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, which said the issue is much more complex.

The Border

Government Witnesses in El Chapo Trial Testify That They Trafficked Drugs Through Tunnels, Ports of Entry, Not Over Wall-less Border. Sinaloa cartel members testifying as government witnesses at the trial of imprisoned cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman testified that most of the drugs they smuggled into the US came in fishing boats, trains, semi-trucks, and passenger vehicles entering the country at ports of entry. They testified that they've also used tunnels under the border, but none testified that they pushed drugs across an unwalled border. 

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Dain Bramage's picture


"I think it's a mistake to back off marijuana."  -- William Barr



Why is NORML giving Barr a pass?  He "SUPPORTS FEDERAL PROHIBITION!"

Here's the REAL headline: "William Barr is just another throwback, another right-wing nut job, another old white male conservative, another vicious Republican Drug Warrior who advocates for marijuana prohibition, and mass incarceration, nationwide!"


I call BULLSHIT -- William Barr is a clever liar, but a liar nonetheless.  William Barr is willingly joining A FASCIST TAKEOVER OF AMERICA BY PUTIN!!  He knows it, and he's down with it!  Is fascism bad for marijuana legalization?  Yes!!  It is axiomatic!  That's not MORE rights, that's NO rights at all, under fascism!

The problem is Trump and the Republican Party, which protects him.  I have said it before and I will say it again: If The Resistance fails, fascism follows; then, marijuana legalization itself fails. 

Here's the original paragraph from Newsweek, by Alexandra Hutzler, 1/15/2019:

 Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr appears to have a similar stance on marijuana as his predecessor Jeff Sessions, telling lawmakers on Tuesday that he would support federal prohibition of the drug across the United States.

Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would support prohibiting marijuana “everywhere” but also said that, if confirmed, his approach would be “not to upset settled expectations” in states that have already legalized weed for medical or adult use.

“I’m not going to go after companies that have relied on the Cole Memorandum,” Barr told the committee. “However, we either should have a federal law that prohibits marijuana everywhere, which I would support myself because I think it’s a mistake to back off marijuana. But if we want a federal approach, if we want states to have their own laws, let’s get there and let’s get there the right way.”

Dain Bramage's picture

Phillip Smith's headline is accurate. Thank you.

Phillip Smith's headline accurately represents Barr's position, as represented by Newsweek.  Thank you.

But, why is NORML giving William Barr a pass?  Here is THEIR headline:  "Attorney General Nominee Commits To Leave State-Legal Marijuana Programs Alone."  

Nothing about the fact that Barr is openly hostile to marijuana legalization!  Why the free pass?  And why has Marijuana dot com been blatantly censoring their comment section in support of MAGA propaganda?

I say PUTIN has hijacked the marijuana legalization movement, just as he hijacked the US Government!

Here's how it works:

1.  Fact: Putin owns Trump. 

2. Fact: Putin, Trump, and the GOP conspire to rig, and steal, the 2016 presidential election. 

3. Fact: Now Putin owns Trump, the GOP, and the US Presidency.  Rank-and-file Republicans fall in line because they are nutless and corrupt, and "falling in line" is just what they do.

4. The marijuana legalization movement prides itself on being bipartisan.  It welcomes all US POLITICAL PARTIES.

5.  BUT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS NOT A US POLITICAL PARTY.  IT IS THE PARTY OF PUTIN!  (See point #3.)  And so, if you are being bipartisan with Trump, you are not being bipartisan at all -- you are being played for a sucker; or worse, you are collaborating with PUTIN, TRUMP, AND THE GOP!

6.  And so, the marijuana legalization movement, forced to choose between American Democracy and Republican participation in the marijuana legalization movement, chose "bipartisanship" over Truth itself. This was a fatal mistake, and we are going to pay for it once fascism consolidates power.

7.  Thus Putin has waltzed right in the front door of the marijuana legalization movement, with Trump clinging to his arm.  And the Republicans within our movement are saying "They're with me -- Trump's fine, Putin's fine, everything is fine."  But "alternative facts" and fascist propaganda are no better than "Reefer Madness!"

8.  That's how PUTIN infiltrated the marijuana legalization movement... Simple!  It's the Republicans.  But they are TRAITORS. 

Dain Bramage's picture

My apologies to the "nuts-free"

I called Republicans "nutless and corrupt", but that was insensitive of me -- I really should have said "cowardly and corrupt", because, as a Democrat, I would be delighted to see a woman become President of the US (again), and perhaps a nuts-free President is exactly what The United States Of America needs right now!

Dain Bramage's picture

I like many Democratic presidential contenders!

Kamala Harris is smart, strong, and motivated for Justice.

So is Elizabeth Warren, who has a magnificent track record of speaking Truth to Power.

Sherrod Brown of Ohio fights mightily and unapologetically for workers' rights, and their safety, and their dignity.

I like others, as well!  And that is healthy, I do believe, certainly at this early point in the 2020 election season.  Let us hear more about their policy positions, and their ideas on banishing Trump and the Republican party to Siberia!

Let the debates begin!

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