Action Alerts: Farm Bill Hemp and Drug Testing, Mayors Marijuana Resolution

We sent out two action alerts on our email list yesterday. If you've not a subscriber, you can sign up here. (The page says "user account," for participating non-anonymously on our comment boards, but it also gets you subscribed to our list. Subscribing gets you action alerts as well as the email editions of the Chronicle.

As of the time of this writing, both alerts seem to still be current.

[Update: The Hudson SNAP drug testing amendment has passed the House, and the Farm Bill of which it's a part is expected to pass. Efforts to block it now move to the conference committee.]

[And another update: The hemp amendment PASSED! The full House of Representatives!]

I'm pasting them both below. One is about two amendments (one good, one bad) to the federal "Farm Bill" that are likely to be voted on by the House of Representatives sometime today. We have a Chronicle story online here. The other is an alert we sent out for the group Marijuana Majority that asks mayors to support a resolution at the US Conference of Mayors meeting calling on Congress and the administration to respect state marijuana law reforms. The mayors meeting is happening this week, so the resolution will also get voted on anytime. Both alerts target your own elected officials, e.g. the congressmen and mayors for whom you may have voted (US only). Here they are (farm bill first, mayors below):

 


 

 

Dear reformer,

I'm sorry for the double email today, but a lot is happening. We've just gotten word that there are two amendments coming to the floor of the US House of Representatives, possibly as soon as tonight and almost certainly this week. We really want one of the amendments to pass; we really don't want the other to pass. So we're asking you to CALL YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE'S OFFICE ON THE PHONE AS SOON AS YOU GET THIS MESSAGE. Info for doing so is below.

Both amendments are being offered to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (H.R. 1947). The good one, Amdt. #37 by Reps. Polis (D-CO), Blumenauer (D-OR) and Massie (R-KY), would allow industrial hemp growing for research or other academic purposes in states that allow it. One state that passed a hemp bill recently is California.

The bad one is Amdt. #22 by Reps. Hudson (R-NC), LaMalfa (R-CA) and Yoho (R-FL), which would allow states to require drug testing of all new applicants to the federal SNAP food assistance program. States that have tried this (before it being struck down on constitutional grounds) have found it cost far more than it saved, partly because welfare recipients don't use drugs at higher rates than the general population, as surveys have found. And of course when a low-income parent loses access to food stamps, the entire family is harmed.

Please call your US Representative's office as soon as you get this message, asking for a "Yes" vote on Amdt. #37 (hemp) and a "No" vote on Amdt. #22 (drug testing of food assistance applicants), both to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act. You can reach your Rep (or find out who your Rep is) through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Or, you can look up information about your Rep, including the direct phone number for the office, in our online legislative center.

 


 

 

Dear StoptheDrugWar.org supporter:

Later this week, the US Conference of Mayors will vote on a historic resolution calling on Congress and the President to respect state marijuana laws. StoptheDrugWar.org is working with the group Marijuana Majority and others to encourage mayors to support the resolution.

Please visit http://marijuanamajority.com/mayors/?source=drcnet to send an email to the mayor or your town or city supporting this important resolution. When you're done, click on the "call your mayor" link to call your mayor's office on the phone and for talking points to use when you do, and use the share links to let others know about it too. The text of the resolution, and list of mayors already supporting it, are online here.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Extreme Pacifist's picture

Call your Representative Now.

I just called the office of my representative Patrick Murphy (D-18). Spoke to an aid named Jacob. Asked to speak to Mr. Murphy. He was in a meeting, so I asked Jacob to pass my request to him. Please vote for and co sponsor H. Amdt. 37, industrial hemp amendment to the farm bill. Research hemp, it is not harmful to people and the environment, it is different than marijuana, and politicians have used the excuse that marijauna growers would use hemp to hide there marijuana but that is not true because marijuana plants would be less potent grown near hemp. The US imports billions of dollars worth of hemp from Canada and other countries, it has many uses, and should not remain illegal. I asked for a written statement from Rep. Murphy explaining why he believes hemp should remain illegal.

How about exempting ONLY cannabis?

Would it make sense to let these three Republicans have their drug testing bill, provided cannabis (and its traces, THC etc.) is NOT included as a drug tested for, is not defamed by designation as a "drug" etc.?  Are there partisans for any substances (beyond cannabis) probably covered by such a drug testing law who would argue that those-- heroin? cocaine?-- also need to be exempted?  If those substances are truly harmful, wouldn't it be an acceptable idea to use this opportunity to build in a legal encouragement for users to switch from any of them to  SAFER cannabis?

Now I wonder if that idea runs up against the profit interest of the marketers of tobacco $igarettes (6,000,000 deaths/year, WHO), alcohol (2,500,000 deaths/year) and various pharmaceuticals ("side-effects" etc.) who pay Republicans to keep trying to fight off especially cannabis legalization because more than any of those "drugs" cannabis threatens their drug sales empire.

That Defeats the Purpose

Cannabis is the ONLY drug they really care about.  Don't test for it, and there's really no point.  Other drugs leave your system after only a few hours, so they rarely show up in drug tests.  Drug tests are really just about catching pot smokers.

You're arguing against what

You're arguing against what is likely the most popular political opinion on Reddit, and you're doing a very good job of it. As someone who is/was in favor of legalization (albeit only tentatively, as I know little about the issue), your points have given me pause and much to consider. You've convinced me this issue is much less black and white than Reddit (and other 18-25 demographic websites) has painted it. So you should be proud of yourself.

A whole group of people

A whole group of people making a living off of the brutal and inhuman incarceration of their fellow citizens at rates higher than any country in history. Yes, there are a lot of people who will need to seek alternative employment, but you have to ask: Is what they are doing right in the first place?

Would you really suggest that it is worth keeping around a practice that costs hundreds of thousands of lives and incarcerates millions more for the simple fact that it employs a few people?

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