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Chronicle AM: Trump VA Rejects Vets' MedMJ Bills, Philippines Drug War Called Out, More... (5/2/19)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #1065)
Consequences of Prohibition

The Trump VA rejects medical marijuana bills for veterans, DC's mayor unveils a bill to allow for taxed and regulated marijuana sales, the Louisiana legislature is moving on medical marijuana issues, the Philippines is in the hotseat as global harm reductionists gather, and more.

sending a message to Duterte (Steve Forrest/HRI/Workers' Photos)
Marijuana Policy

Alaska Regulators Approve Draft Changes for Onsite Consumption. The Marijuana Control Board has given initial approval to draft changes in the state's recently-approved onsite consumption regulations. The new draft would allow stores to seek an edibles-only endorsement, which would allow for onsite consumption without the business having to build a separate building for smoking marijuana.

Colorado Marijuana Delivery Bill Heads to Governor's Desk. The legislature gave final approval Wednesday to HB 19-1234, which would allow deliveries for medical marijuana patients beginning in 2020 and for recreational users beginning in 2021. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis (D).

Connecticut Legislative Panel Advances Marijuana Tax Proposal. The Finance Committee voted Wednesday to approve a measure setting taxes for a system of legal, regulated marijuana commerce. The tax proposal will be merged in coming weeks with an overall bill to legalize and regulate marijuana. The General Law and Judiciary committees have previously approved legalization in bills that focused on regulatory and legal aspects.

DC Mayor Unveils Legal Marijuana Sales Bill. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Thursday announced legislation that would legalize and regulate marijuana sales in the District, potentially setting up a confrontation with the federal government. The city approved the legalization of possession and cultivation in 2014, but has been blocked from full-on legalization by a federal budget provision that bars the city from enacting or enforcing full legalization. The mayor doesn't want to wait for Congress to remove that anti-marijuana language. The bill is the Safe Cannabis Sales Act and would impose a 17% sales tax on marijuana products, allow for expanded marijuana production in the city, and would allow regulators to okay onsite consumption at pot shops and hookah lounges.

Seattle Mayor Calls for Nationwide Evaluation of Marijuana Legalization. Mayor Jenny Durkin (D) wants a nationwide review of marijuana legalization and prohibition, she said Wednesday. "We need to have a real evaluation nationwide," she said. "We need to make sure we do it in a way that decriminalizes people, doesn't have a criminal justice intervention when its not appropriate, and focus those criminal justice resources on those things that are real threats to communities," she continued. She added that states need a "unifying force" to ensure consistency in state laws.

Medical Marijuana

Trump Administration Opposes Bills Easing Medical Marijuana Access for Veterans. In testimony before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs said the agency opposes three bills aimed at easing medical marijuana access for vets. The bills are the Veterans Equal Access Act (HR 1647), the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (HR 712) and the Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act (HR 2191).

Louisiana Bill Allowing Vaped Medical Marijuana Advances. A bill that would allow medical marijuana patients to vape their medicine was approved by the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday. HB 368 would also do away with the list of qualifying conditions and allow physicians to recommend it for any debilitating medical condition. It now heads for a House floor vote.

Louisiana Bill to Ease Access to CBD Advances. A bill that would ease access to CBD products by removing low-THC hemp from the state criminal code passed the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice Wednesday. HB 138 now heads for a House floor vote.


Arizona Governor Signs Kratom Regulation Bill. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Tuesday signed into law the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, HB 2550. The bill prohibits the sale of kratom to minors and creates requirements for product labels. Selling kratom products in violation of this law would be a class two misdemeanor.


Human Rights Advocates, Harm Reductionists Rally Against Philippine Drug War. Attendees at the 26th Harm Reduction International Conference in Porto, Portugal, gathered to send a message to the government of the Philippines: Stop the killings carried out in the country'' bloody anti-drug campaign. "The Philippine government's barbaric campaign against the drug trade is severely harming the health and security of its communities. The evidence that punitive drug policies don't work is irrefutable. People around the world have sent a clear message to the government today -- stop the killings and invest in the health and human rights of your people," Naomi Burke-Shyne, Harm Reduction International executive director, said.

Philippines Rejects Call from Ex-New Zealand Prime Minister to Decriminalize Drug Possession. The Malacanang palace on Thursday rejected a call from former New Zealand prime minister, former UN Development Program administrator, and current member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy Helen Clark for the country to decriminalize drug possession. "The suggestion of former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to decriminalize the use of drugs as an alternative to the drug war, similar to the proposal by the European Union made two years ago, had already been thumbed down by the President," said a presidential spokesman. "The other countries' experiences in addressing illegal substances while educational relative to their method of solving their own drug menace, decriminalizing the use of drugs in the Philippines will not only aggravate but multiply the problem. Take out the criminal liability of those involved and you induce and encourage others to be a part of the dreaded evil," he added.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Dain Bramage (not verified)



NOVO-OGARYOVO (Moscow Region) (Sputnik) – Russia is against the legalization of recreational drugs that some countries are allowing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

“Of course, we must take into consideration in our current work that a range of governments have begun a true campaign on the legalization of certain types of narcotics, or so-called recreational drugs. We, of course, are against such approaches and this point of view needs to be more actively moved forward on all international platforms,” Putin said during a government council meeting.

The Russian leader added that copying the previous system of drug abusers' compulsory treatment should not occur, but a system of social rehabilitation based on modern approaches is necessary.

Putin noted that up until 1994 the rehabilitation of drug abusers was handled by treatment-labor agencies that operated under the Interior Ministry’s system.

“Of course, that system wasn’t perfect, it was compulsory, and as we remember it had a lot of problems and it would be an obvious mistake to try to copy or recreate it in its pure former form. But, obviously, a system of social rehabilitation needs to be created on a new base and with modern approaches, but this needs to be created,” Putin said.

Sun, 05/05/2019 - 6:49am Permalink
Dain Bramage (not verified)

In reply to by saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

Trump is a lying sack of shit, and that's a fact!

But I've set my crosshairs on the Republican party.  

Trump, by himself, would be just another demented, sick-fuck, New York City street hustler.  But, it is the Republicans who put him in power, and it is the Republicans who protect him and cover for his violence and his treason against America -- against us.

The only way to destroy Trump is to COMPLETELY ANNIHILATE the Republican party at the ballot box in 2020, all across these great United States of America. 

Vote as if your freedom depends on it, because it does!

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 2:11am Permalink
William Buehlman (not verified)

Nothing new here...We've come to expect nothing less than out-and-out lies, lies by omission, 'misrepresentations', distortions, exaggerations (he loves this one!), propagandizing, false innuendo, etc. ad infinitum.  This is a great article documenting his extensive lying behavior right at the beginning of his presidency.

This orange troglodyte is truly an emotionally stunted man-child with a micro-penis syndrome.  I don't think the imbecile realizes that everytime he does/says yet one more hypocritical thing, we are there to catch him! (and enjoy doing it, because he's human sewage, period.)  It is so easy, thnks to technology/the internet, to juxtapose him spewing another lie right next to something/someone disproving it.  Or, even better and this one is OFTEN:  in two side-by-side frames, in one frame, Orangey-the-Clown talking smack about something Obama or someone else did, then in the next frame, trumpy-kins doing the EXACT thing he was talking shit about! LMFAO!

Oh look!  Here's some examples!  (These are good ones, but there's many more):


Politifact is awesome--widely understood to be politically neutral:

Over 10,000 lies/false/misleading claims and counting:

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 2:24pm Permalink
Dain Bramage (not verified)

In reply to by William Buehlman (not verified)

There is a point to all these lies.

The goal, from the Trump propagandists' perspective, is to bury the truth alive.

There is an important distinction to watch for, and that is the difference between lies and bullshit.

a) Lies are designed to trick the listener into believing something that is factually untrue.  Thus, in order to be effective, the lie must sound credible -- that is, the listener must not suspect that he or she is listening to a lie, or else the gig is up.

b) Bullshit, on the other hand, is not designed to persuade the listener of anything; rather it is designed to dissuade the listener from listening at all, and thereby to make the listener's questions stop.  For this purpose, the lies need not sound credible at all, in fact, the more blatantly and obviously false they are, the better.  They need not be credible, but they must be numerous and exhausting.  They must make smoke come out of the fact-checkers' computers!

This is what Trump and his fuckwad Republican Nazis are doing.  No autocratic, banana republic dictator wants to be questioned, obviously.

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 7:42am Permalink
treedesigner (not verified)

Thanks for your distinction which has merit, I thought I'd share this psychophonemic comparison data.  Surely the sound (or fact) of bullet-shooting achieved the listener exhaustion you mention in a centuries-old traditional way.  (Seeing through old tradition is a particular specialty of cannabis wisdom that every user can and should practice on a daily basis.)

Advertising history: in the 60's a TV program, "Gunsmoke", had a jingle which went ,

"Winston tastes good,

like a !!!! !!!! cigarette should."

The sound of gun shots heard right before the word "cigarette" echoed the placement of the word "gun" before "smoke" in the title of the program.  This was watched by families including the 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds, in a period when advertising succeeded in achieving a 40% rate of adult $iggerette addiction in the USA.

Reminder: Richard Nixon signed the bill making television advertising of $iggerettes illegal from Jan. 1, 1971.  But despite some exceptions like that, there is truth in Dain's appraisal of Republicans, who over the years have received twice as much campaign finance money from the $iggerette companies as the Democrats and have responded by blocking cannabis legalization.

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 5:58pm Permalink
Dain Bramage (not verified)

In reply to by treedesigner (not verified)

Treedesigner, I think you're onto something there...

First, I commend your advocacy for public health, and against manipulative and deceptive marketing (a triple redundancy) in reference to cigarettes, the nation's number one preventable cause of death.

But underlying that observation is a deeper principle, which is this: for Republicans, every issue is a marketing tactic, designed to promote one thing: Republicanism, and every fascist Nazi thing that the Republican party now represents.

From the progressive/mainstream issues they absurdly try to take credit for (like women's rights and marijuana legalization,) to their own stated values, which they routinely violate with total disregard (like fiscal responsibility, and family values, and national defense,) the Republicans have no integrity; it's all a marketing campaign to them -- a straightforward, if immoral and unethical, approach to getting what they want, that being more power, and ultimately -- you got it -- more money.

In some ways, when you think about it, the motives of Evil are not all that complicated.

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:43am Permalink

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