The United States Marijuana Party

The United States Marijuana Party – is a motivated group of Americans who are tired of living in fear of their government because of marijuana prohibition. We are fed up with the intrusion into our personal lives, with urine testing at work and at school, with armed home invasions, and with the possibility of prison because of a plant. WE are Americans and WE do not piss in a cup for anyone!

WE feel it is time for the 20 million Americans who smoke marijuana on a regular basis to stop hiding their love for this plant and unite as one large body of voters to demand an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana and the drug war. The U.S. cannot lock up 20 million people.

The War on Drugs causes more harm than the drugs themselves ever will.

United WE are a potential 20 million vote political machine. WE want to live free and WE must be determined to stand up, be counted, demonstrate, rally, and write.

Waiting for the government to silence us all in the American prison system is not an option! Too many of our brethren are there, in prison right now.

More Americans are in jail today for marijuana offenses than at any previous time in American history. The war against marijuana is a genocidal war waged against us by a government determined to eradicate our plant, our culture, our freedom and our political rights.

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Time Magazine Reports: U.S. Marijuana Party

U.S. Marijuana Party

By Christina Crapanzano Monday, Mar. 29, 2010
Top 10 Time Alternative Political Movements
Andrew Holbrooke / Corbis

Long before Loretta Nall campaigned on her cleavage, the activist’s cause was cannabis. The Alabama resident gained national attention during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign when she produced T-shirts with the caption “More of these boobs …” (with a photo of Nall in a low-cut shirt) “… And less of these boobs” (next to photos of her opponents). But the write-in candidate’s political roots date back to 2002, when a misdemeanor arrest for possession was the spark behind her forming the U.S. Marijuana Party (USMJP). The group — which demands “an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana” — has official party chapters in seven states, including Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky. While Nall left the USMJP to be a Libertarian Party governor nominee, the group continues to back candidates in local, state and national elections under the leadership of Richard Rawlings, who is currently running for Congress in Illinois.

Read more:

#FREEDAREN DAREN MCCORMICK IS OUT!

He’s out!

Here is the latest update on #FREEDAREN !!!

Released with “conditions” today!

Here is a live video of his release, thanks to EAST-CanadaFriends !

Daren OUT

Daren is out 9.11.17

Free Daren outside courthouse pt. 3

He’s out!

Updates to follow!

RELATED:

“I think I had an undercover Cop in my driveway yesterday”…

Congressman Heck Introduces Marijuana Banking Amendments

by NORML September 2, 2017

Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) with Representatives Perlmutter (CO-07), Lee (CA-13), and Titus (NV-01) have submitted two amendments to the financial services division to be included in the House appropriations bill. Both of these amendments focus on banking services for legal marijuana-related businesses and would be a temporary fix until the current legislation, the SAFE Banking Act, is passed into law.

The first amendment prohibits any funds in the bill from being used to punish banks for serving marijuana businesses that are legal under state law. The second amendment prohibits the Treasury from altering FinCEN’s guidance to financial institutions on providing banking services to legitimate marijuana businesses. These amendments, if included, would allow for legal marijuana-related business to operate according to state laws and enjoy access to the banking system.

Currently, hundreds of licensed and regulated businesses do not have access to the banking industry and are unable to accept credit cards, deposit revenues, or write checks to meet payroll or pay taxes. This situation is untenable. No industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult use of marijuana and more than half the states have implemented medical marijuana laws, so it is both sensible and necessary to include these proposed amendments so that these growing number of state-compliant businesses, and their consumers, may operate in a manner that is similar to other legal commercial entities.

You can click here to send an email in support of the SAFE Banking Act to your federal elected officials now.

CONTINUE READING…

Uncertain legal status of financial transactions in marijuana industry lead to bitcoin, cryptocurrency development

By Steve Brachmann
September 2, 2017

On July 27th, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations held a hearing of the full committee to markup several pieces of legislation, including S.1662, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2018. News reports indicate that, during that hearing, the Senate appropriations committee approved an amendment which would reduce the ability of federal-level law enforcement agencies to interfere with state laws on the medicinal use of marijuana. This amendment comes at a time during which the nascent medical marijuana industry looks as though it’s turning to cryptocurrency in response to the questionable legal status of medical marijuana businesses.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) proposed the amendment to allow states to implement medical marijuana laws. The amendment would ensure that none of the funds made available through the appropriations act would be used to prevent any of 46 of the 50 United States from implementing any law authorizing the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana. The amendment does not include the states of Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska or South Dakota, but it does include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

An article on the medical marijuana amendment published by Congressional blog TheHill quotes Leahy as saying:

“The federal government can’t investigate everything and shouldn’t, and I don’t want them pursuing medical marijuana patients who are following state law… We have more important things for the Department of Justice to do than tracking down doctors or epileptics using medical marijuana legally in their state.”

A press release issued in early August by financial news and publishing company NetworkNewsWire reflects the positive response of the medical marijuana industry to the news of the amendment to the 2018 Commerce appropriations bill. The press release discusses the business activities of medical marijuana firms across the world and cites to polls conducted by both Gallup and CBS News which reflects the changing views of the American public on the legality of marijuana, a sentiment which has become more positive as more states move to legalize either the recreational or the medicinal use of marijuana.

One of the companies cited by the NetworkNewsWire press release as being an innovator in the field of marijuana payments is SinglePoint Inc., a full-service mobile technology provider headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, which also operates a cannabis dispensary hub subsidiary known as SingleSeed. SinglePoint reportedly closed upon a $1 million promissory note with an institutional investor this June and plans to invest the proceeds into the development of a bitcoin solution to conduct non-cash transactions for marijuana products. Bitcoin transaction solutions are also being developed by ChineseInvestors.com Inc., a Chinese-language financial information firm with an increasing presence in the global marijuana industry.

Bitcoin payments for marijuana and related products seem to be developing in response to an industry-wide issue regarding the bankability of marijuana business activities caused by tensions between state and federal level laws on the subject. Even as states increasingly vote for the legalization of marijuana, the plant is still considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) which is enforced by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The tenuous legality of marijuana at the federal level has led to the growth of an industry in which many businesses have to sit on cash without being able to open business accounts with banking institutions which have been concerned with their federal-level legal liability if they accept deposits from marijuana businesses.

The concerns of financial institutions over federal regulations on marijuana don’t seem to be unfounded given the effects of the CSA and marijuana’s Schedule I status on intellectual property owners in the space. The uncertain status of federal registrations for marijuana trademarks is the result of the confluence of the CSA along with 37 CFR 2.69, the statute governing trademarks sought on the sale or transportation of any product which is regulated by an act of Congress. No such regulatory restrictions seem to affect the patenting of medical marijuana-related technologies, however. Through this January, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued dozens of patents, and published almost as many patent applications, on medical marijuana technologies, including a patent covering a controlled-release chewing gum containing cannabinoids developed by AXIM Biotech.

Increasingly, bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies are becoming the choice for most financial transactions within the nascent marijuana industry as the sector increases in value. North American marijuana sales reached $6.7 billion during 2016 and were expected to rise up to $20.2 billion annually by the year 2021. This June, Bloomberg published an article discussing how SinglePoint and Seattle, WA-based cannabis point-of-sale firm POSaBIT were utilizing bitcoin strategies to conduct transactions for cannabis products while taking steps to comply with federal and state regulations.

For marijuana and other industries that may face regulatory risks which could impede their ability to conduct business, bitcoin offers various benefits. A blog post published by payment processing company Bankcard Brokers discusses bitcoin’s anonymity and availability to high risk industries, as well as the fact that bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed except by the party receiving the bitcoin.

Bitcoin can be exchanged into a variety of other cryptocurrencies and one such cryptocurrency is designed specifically for the cannabis industry. PotCoin is seeking to position itself as the standard form of cryptocurrency payment for transactions in the legalized marijuana industry. PotCoin has proven to be a volatile investment, seeing a 23 percent dip this March in response to news that PotCoin sponsored a recent trip by Dennis Rodman to North Korea; this major decline came one day after PotCoin’s value increased by a dramatic 97 percent. Other types of cryptocurrencies being developed for the marijuana industry include CannabisCoin and WeedCoin.

Bitcoin’s status as a decentralized system for financial transactions stands in some contrast to the current activities being undertaken by a variety of entities seeking patents in the sector. A recent article published by CoinDesk notes that the USPTO published 390 patent applications related to blockchain tech, the underlying distributed ledger technology supporting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, between January and July of this year. That represented a 90 percent increase over the number of blockchain-related patent applications published during the same period in 2016. A recent U.S. patent application filed by bitcoin exchange company Coinbase discusses an innovative security system for digital assets such as bitcoin. This March, Reuters reported that the man claiming to be bitcoin’s creator has filed more than 70 patent applications in the UK to protect blockchain-related tech like medical document storage and WiFi security systems.

CONTINUE READING…

RE: International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Ocfentanil, Carfentanil, Pregabalin, Tramadol, Cannabidiol, Ketamine, and Eleven Other Substances; Request for Comments

The information contained herein is from the Government website of REGULATIONS.GOV.

They are currently seeking comments on the scheduling of the above named substances.  After browsing through the information I did not see CANNABIS included in this request.

 Cannabidiol, IS INCLUDED. 

I will submit my comments and will post my response here on the website.

Image result for psychotropic substances

Summary

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of 17 drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).

Dates

Submit either electronic or written comments by September 13, 2017.

Supplementary Information

I. Background

The United States is a party to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances (Psychotropic Convention). Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention provides that if a party to the convention or WHO has information about a substance, which in its opinion may require international control or change in such control, it shall so notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations (the U.N. Secretary-General) and provide the U.N. Secretary-General with information in support of its opinion.

Section 201 of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811) (Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970) provides that when WHO notifies the United States under Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention that it has information that may justify adding a drug or other substances to one of the schedules of the Psychotropic Convention, transferring a drug or substance from one schedule to another, or deleting it from the schedules, the Secretary of State must transmit the notice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary of HHS). The Secretary of HHS must then publish the notice in the Federal Register and provide opportunity for interested persons to submit comments that will be considered by HHS in its preparation of the scientific and medical evaluations of the drug or substance.

Links to further information and to post comments:

Docket ID: FDA-2017-N-4515

Agency: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Parent Agency: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

*View all documents and comments in this Docket

*Public Comments that have already been received and posted.

*SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT THROUGH THIS LINK

*LINK TO DOCUMENTATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER

“I think I had an undercover Cop in my driveway yesterday”…

If you didn’t already know him, meet Daren McCormick

He lives in Nova Scotia Canada and is one of “Canada’s new oilmen”.

He heals the sick, illegally.

He is prosecuted, illegally.

He has and is being detained in an Amherst facility, most likely illegally, as no signed search warrant was produced before his arrest.

The following is the information which I have been able to collect about the ongoing situation.  There will be updates as they are available and I urge you to visit the included links for more in-depth information.

His garden was destroyed.

But he is NOT!

FREEDAREN

“…they were antique guns…”

There are many people on both sides of the border that are watching the developments here.  The East Canada Friends Group was created on Facebook to let people follow the information forthcoming and show their support.

I have spoken with Donna Thibodeau and Kevin James by messaging.  They are both following this case closely and will forward updates as needed.

Kevin James, founding member of Canadian Medical Marijuana Association,  has been a promoter of Rick Simpson and RSO from the beginning.  He was also involved with the Marijuana Party of Canada in Ontario during 2003.  He also works with Americans for Cannabis. 

Donna Thibodeau is a avid follower and patient of Daren as well.  She is doing all she can to help the situation.  This morning she sent this message to me concerning his last appearance in Court:

“I almost put charges on the first prosecutor, if they didn’t remove him.  They changed prosecutors for the afternoon.  I told them that he made me feel creepy and uncomfortable.  Daren has a pending case on both of them.  The head drug unit was also in the room and is also on Daren’s list…”

Additionally, this was posted yesterday:

Brendan Quinlan

Yesterday at 2:48pm ·

Just got of the phone with Daren Mccormick …The cops will not let him have his law books or for him to see the Warrant to see witch house it was for…The cops raided his home and his Mothers House

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#FREEDAREN

21077287_752603988255114_3386159007268808656_n

“I think I had an undercover Cop in my driveway yesterday”…

These were the last words that I heard from Daren McCormick before I found out that he had been arrested and his Cannabis garden destroyed on August 23rd.

an-28082017-daren.jpg

Daren McCormick was growing medicine to try to help save people from Cancer in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He had been successful quite a few times and has patients that will testify to the fact to prove it.

He was a member of Phoenix Tears, a Rick Simpson group out of Nova Scotia Canada.

He was/is a grower.  A grower who believes in the healing power of Cannabis and has spent his adult life fighting for this cause and being persecuted for it.  Yet he does not give up.

Right now, as he sits in a Amherst, Nova Scotia jail awaiting Court with no bond set as of yet, his followers are watching fervently to see what is going to happen next.

Federally, Cannabis is a legal commodity in Canada IF you are a patient – which the plants that Daren was growing was definitely for patients! 

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, outdoor and text

“He was going to people with hemp oil, not charging anybody for nothing, and saving people’s lives,” Albert Dwyer said.

Dwyer said he suffered from colon cancer and used marijuana oil in place of radiation and chemotherapy with positive results. According to Dwyer, McCormick’s arrest was keeping medicine from those who need it.

“Why should they put someone in jail who’s saving people’s lives,” Dwyer said. LINK

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CURRENT CANADIAN CANNABIS LAWS

The following is a summary of the case that Daren McCormick has filed against Justice Moir for his previous 3 1/2 imprisonment :

EAST-Canada friends The following is a summary of the negligence of Justice Moir of the Supreme Court in Nova Scotia, Canada. Full copies of the direct examination can be found on the website at the bottom. Specific pages that support the allegations are listed by allegation number, volume and page at the end.
Mr. Moir had an unusual case before him involving a person in Canada who had a different belief system. Mr. Moir, while he sat on the bench and made decisions involving this self-represented individual (SRI), was willfully or negligently blind to his responsibilities.
During the trial, Mr. Moir observed several problems, and his response to each calls into question his capacity to fulfill his office.
1. Disclosure was given up to the final moments before trial. Furthermore, the SRI had limited ability to read the disclosure. Finally, the SRI had not finished reviewing the disclosure. Mr. Moir responded to these issues by ignoring them, and continuing with the trial.
2. The SRI attempted to introduce a defence of Officially Induced Error, but did not have the background in law to distinguish Officially Induced Error from Entrapment. Mr. Moir responded to this by helping support this mistake, and by explaining that entrapment was a process taken upon appeal. Further, he made several claims that if he saw an error, he would stop the proceedings himself.
3. Mr. Moir reviewed case law on the SRI and his group prior to hearing from the SRI at trial, and Mr. Moir claimed to have decided on several issues he suspected he would hear. (Due to issues, the PDF containing the main support for this may not be uploaded.)
4. The SRI brings to Mr. Moir’s attention on several occasions that the arrest was made without a warrant, and the police arrested the SRI with drawn firearms. Mr. Moir ignored these repeated remarks, and neither addressed them in open court properly or in a voir dire (a different sort of court hearing).
The evidence on arrest, if excluded, would have negated the evidence in several charges. Based on the case law and facts of the warrantless arrest, there appeared to be a good chance of success in challenging the arrest and evidence taken at the arrest if Mr. Moir had acknowledged the existence of the issue.
From the time the police claim to have made the decision to arrest the SRI, they applied for and were given a search warrant for the SRI’s father’s home. The claim that the decision was made to arrest the SRI is contradicted by police documents. This begs the question of why they did not also apply for an arrest warrant. Furthermore, based on the behavior of the SRI immediately prior to arrest, there did not appear to be any reason to arrest the SRI.
5. The SRI, when asked if he was prepared to stand trial, stated that he was not ready. This was due to an inability to review disclosure sufficiently and due to new disclosure being received ten minutes before the trial. Mr. Moir proceeded with the trial regardless.
6. During jury selection, Mr. Moir challenged a juror on behalf of the SRI, and without consent from the SRI.

For other public services offered by POLS and the PDFs to support the above, please see here:
https://www.patreon.com/POLS
References (volume and page)
DE(*) stands for Direct Examination(volume letter). For example, DE(A) 12 is Direct Examination A PDF page 12.
1. Disclosure issues:
i) DE(A) 7,84
ii) DE(C) 264, 266
iii) DE(F) 824, 871-872, 891,
iv) DE(G) 1066
v) DE(J) 1568
vi) DE(K) 1873
2. Officially Induced Error:
i) DE(D) 533
ii) DE(K) 1782
3. Predetermines Matters Before the Court:
I) DE(F) 950 (This is a small example. Due to issues, the main support cannot be uploaded)
4. Warrantless arrest:
i) DE(A) 50-60, 1,
ii) DE(B) 121-125, 127
iii) DE(C) 264, 266, 361
iv) DE(D) 444, 477
v) DE(F) 803, 823, 835
vi) DE(G) 1144-1145
vii) DE(J) 1609, 1681-1682, 1700
viii) DE(K) 1879, 1913
5. Not Prepared to Stand Trial:
i) DE(A) 14
6. Jury Selection Issue:
i) DE(A) 28
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This is the story of a man who gave away Cannabis Oil (later to be known as RSO or Phoenix Tears). Daren was charged and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison the day after this video was made. Daren is out of prison now, and despite having done hard time, is back in full production and continuing to grow cannabis and help those in need.  CLICK ON PICTURE BELOW!

The charges are as follows, according to cumberlandnewsnow.com :

McCormick is charged with:

•   Production of marijuana

•   Possession of marihuana for the purpose of trafficking

•   Possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition

•   Eight counts of unsafe storage of a firearm

•   Eight counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm

•   Eight counts of possession of a firearm knowing possession is unauthorized

•    Two counts of possession of a firearm while prohibited.

Daren has never been charged with a violent crime with a firearm to my knowledge.

In other words, there was no need to charge him with firearms violation except for the fact that they weren’t legal for him to have in possession. HOWEVER, as a person who lives in the country around a bunch of farmers, I KNOW that it is NECESSARY that anyone who is growing any kind of crops whether it be corn, potato’s, hemp or cannabis – needs to have access to a firearm! So in my opinion those charges are bogus – he is not a violent person and should not be treated as such! 

No one should lose their right to possess a firearm because of a violation of the law unless it is a violent offense

Please take the time to read about what is going on in Canada.  The “legalities” of legalization are overwhelming.  At any time you can become a target for arrest.  For growing a plant!  The same thing is happening here.  The only chance we have to be a free people is to insist upon REPEAL of the regulations and Statutes that have been enacted – just to enslave us.

With that, I will leave you with this famous quote:

Kissinger: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” US strategy deliberately destroyed family farming in the US and abroad and led to 95% of all grain reserves in the world being under the control of six multinational agribusiness corporations LINK


There are a number of informative links that I have included for your convenience.  It’s a long story…


Phoenix Rising Series: Webisode, 1 (The Story of Rick Simpson and RSO) A film by Chris Harrigan LINK



http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/marijuana/law-loi.html

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&q=rick+simpson+arrested+by+dea+&oq=rick+simpson+arrested+by+dea+&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i160k1l2.11124.31434.0.33392.31.26.0.0.0.0.552.4082.0j5j6j2j1j1.15.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..16.14.3892.6..0j35i39k1j0i131k1j0i131i67k1j0i67k1j0i20k1j33i22i29i30k1._wwek-lu7Bc

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_Canada

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4br_6V-LScc

http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.com/news/2017/8/28/supporters-of-marijuana-advocate-protest-outside-amherst-courtho.html

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10159185925730361&set=a.10150348531565361.578995.587095360&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/MsKellysGrapevine/photos/a.753547831494063.1073741833.746569962191850/753547811494065/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/MsKellysGrapevine/photos/a.753547831494063.1073741833.746569962191850/753547811494065/?type=3

http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.com/news/2017/8/28/supporters-of-marijuana-advocate-protest-outside-amherst-courtho.html

http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.com/news/2017/8/28/supporters-of-marijuana-advocate-protest-outside-amherst-courtho.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ghPyUFlS9A      LISTEN TO THIS VIDEO – IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhpeMZ0Utvw  INFORMATION ABOUT RICK SIMPSON AND PHOENIX TEARS STORY.

http://phoenixtears.ca/

http://investmentwatchblog.com/kissinger-control-oil-and-you-control-nations-control-food-and-you-control-the-people-us-strategy-deliberately-destroyed-family-farming-in-the-us-and-abroad-and-led-to-95-of-all-grain-reserves/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemen_on_the_land

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That’s right you can buy the oil at the dispensaries made famous by Daren and the other Phoenix Tears members for about $70 a gram, but try giving it away for free…watch the video. Also for more on Daren you can follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4br_6…

opheucus

Published on Aug 29, 2017

Canadian man, and my friend, arrested for saving lives with cannabis oil.

#FREEDAREN

#GODBLESSTHEACTIVISTS

smk

Pot Was Flying Off the Shelves in Uruguay. Then U.S. Banks Weighed In.


Pot Was Flying Off the Shelves in Uruguay. Then U.S. Banks Weighed In.

By ERNESTO LONDOÑOAUG. 25, 2017

A line outside a pharmacy selling legal marijuana last month in Montevideo, Uruguay. Credit Matilde Campodonico/Associated Press

The pharmacies selling pot were doing a brisk business.

After Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana sales for recreational use last month, some of the pharmacies struggled to keep up with the demand.

Then came the stern letters from American banks.

The letters immediately sent officials in Uruguay scrambling to make sense of the Patriot Act and other American laws that could doom an essential part of their country’s new marijuana market.

American banks, including Bank of America, said that they would stop doing business with banks in Uruguay that provide services for those state-controlled sales.

Afraid of losing access to the American banking system, Uruguayan banks warned some of the pharmacies over the last couple of weeks that their accounts would be shut down, potentially signaling a broader international impasse as other countries, including Canada, set out to legalize marijuana.

“We can’t hold out false hope,” President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay told reporters this week, adding that his administration was trying to come up with a solution.

Uruguay’s Marijuana Law Turns Pharmacists Into Dealers JULY 19, 2017

The snag mirrors challenges that such businesses have faced in American states that have legalized medical and recreational cannabis. Under the Patriot Act, which was passed weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it is unlawful for American financial institutions to do business with dealers of certain controlled substances, including marijuana. The provisions were designed to curb money laundering and drug trafficking.

American banks, including Bank of America, said they would stop doing business with banks in Uruguay that provide services for the country’s state-controlled marijuana sales. Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Obama administration indicated in 2014 that banks were unlikely to face penalties for offering services to marijuana businesses in states where the trade is legal, as long they screened accounts for signs of money laundering and ensured that customers followed state guidelines. This enabled some of the businesses to get accounts at credit unions, but major banks have largely stayed away from the expanding industry, concluding that the burdens and risks of doing business with marijuana sellers were not worth the hassle.

“Banks are businesses, and they can pick and choose who they do business with,” said Frank Robison, a lawyer in Colorado who specializes in marijuana regulation. “From a banking industry perspective, the marijuana industry might be perceived as a flea on a dog’s back.”

Several pot businesses in states like Colorado and Washington — the first to legalize recreational marijuana — have opted to remain cash-only businesses. Others have found small banks willing to take a calculated risk.

But finding a workaround in Uruguay may be hard. Sales of marijuana represent a small share of business for pharmacies, which are currently the only merchants licensed to sell it, and the pharmacies say they need banking services to operate.

Similarly, bankers in Uruguay will probably find it much more important to remain in good standing with American financial institutions than to preserve the accounts of a small number of pharmacies.

The threat of losing their bank accounts has led some of the roughly 15 pharmacies that initially signed up to participate in the new market to give up on marijuana sales, said Pablo Durán, a legal expert at the Center of Pharmacies in Uruguay, a trade group. Twenty other pharmacies that were expected to join the market are holding off while the government explores solutions, he said.

The American regulations are counterproductive, supporters of the legal market in Uruguay contend, because they may inadvertently encourage, not prevent, illicit drug sales.

Fighting drug trafficking was one of the main reasons the Uruguayan government gave for legalizing recreational marijuana. Officials spent years developing a complex regulatory framework that permits people to grow a limited supply of cannabis themselves or buy it at pharmacies for less than the black market rate. Lawmakers hoped that legal structure would undercut illicit marijuana cultivation and sales.

“There probably isn’t a trade in Uruguay today that is more controlled than cannabis sale,” Mr. Durán said.

As a candidate, President Trump said that American states should be free to chart their own courses on marijuana, and he promised to pare back regulation in the financial sector. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, has been a sharp critic of legalization and has compared marijuana to heroin.

Now, some members of the cannabis industry wonder whether the United States government will resolve the conflict between its banking laws and the expanding patchwork of measures to legalize recreational and medical marijuana use around the world. The guidance from the Obama administration, issued by the Justice and Treasury Departments in a pair of memos in 2014, addressed the matter domestically but not for international banking.

“Uruguay may be the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr. Robison, the Colorado lawyer who specializes in marijuana regulation.

Pharmacists in Uruguay were incredulous to learn that their bank accounts could be shut down, considering the years of study and planning that preceded the start of retail marijuana sales last month. The country’s marijuana law was passed in 2013.

“We can’t understand how the government didn’t have the foresight to anticipate this,” said Gabriel Bachini, a pharmacy owner in the coastal city of Colonia.

Buying marijuana in a pharmacy in Montevideo. Credit Andres Stapff/Reuters

Since sales began, the number of registered buyers in Uruguay has more than doubled. As of Aug. 15, more than 12,500 people had enrolled in a system that verifies customers’ identities with fingerprint scanners and allows them to buy up to 40 grams per month (at a price of about $13 for 10 grams, enough for about 15 joints, advocates say). Under the law, only Uruguayan citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to buy or grow marijuana.

“Demand has been very strong,” Mr. Bachini said. “People are thrilled that they no longer have to go to private homes or venture out into neighborhoods” to get marijuana.

In emailed statements, the Treasury and Justice Departments said that their earlier guidance was still being applied. But banking and legal experts say the Trump administration has yet to lay down clear markers on this area of policy.

Officials in Uruguay are hopeful that American lawmakers will pass legislation allowing banks to do business with marijuana sellers in states and countries where it is regulated. Representative Ed Perlmutter, Democrat of Colorado, introduced a bill in April that would do that, but marijuana advocates say they do not expect a prompt legislative change.

“It is ironic that laws aimed at fighting drug trafficking and money laundering have created a roadblock for a system that intends to do just that,” said Hannah Hetzer, an analyst at the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports decriminalization of marijuana. “Uruguay is creating a legal market that displaces the illicit marijuana market.”

Mr. Bachini, the pharmacist, said he had not yet heard from his bank. But if it threatens to shut down his account, he said, he will not think twice about giving up marijuana sales.

“This pharmacy has been around for 30 years,” he said. “I’d just stop until this issue with the United States is resolved.”

Correction: August 26, 2017

An earlier version of this article misidentified the state that Ed Perlmutter represents in the House. It is Colorado, not Oregon.

Mauricio Rabuffetti contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on August 26, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Uruguay’s Legal Pot Is Imperiled by U.S. Banks. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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Why the Marijuana Justice Act legalizes marijuana the right way

MJA CB

By Jim Patterson, Opinion Contributor – 08/16/17 02:10 PM EDT

Earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act. To some, this bill may look like another liberal attempt to push for widespread legalization of marijuana across the country. But for those of us who work in this industry and understand the complexities and inequities of current marijuana policies, the bill is a bold step forward in transforming the industry as we know it.

I recommend that anyone who questions why marijuana should no longer be illegal under federal law, take the time to watch Sen. Booker’s three-minute video explaining his legislation. It will shine a light on how marijuana policies have negatively impacted targeted communities, specifically low-income communities of color. This bill seeks to undo some of the damage that Booker aptly describes as, “the unjust application of the law and economic bias.” For example, the bill would expunge convictions for those with marijuana use and/or possession charges at the federal level which, in turn, will allow for greater access to education and economic opportunities.

As CEO of a company which works in the legal marijuana industry, it is a priority for me that this industry gives everyone a fair and equal playing field. On a daily basis, I meet and speak with entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in becoming a part of the marijuana industry because of its huge growth potential and opportunity.

However, with opportunity come risks, and in this industry we take financial, legal and professional risks. That said, there is a large segment of the population that is not at the table for these types of discussions because they were previously targeted during the war on drugs and now cannot fully participate in the state legal boom of this business.

For them, the risks are still too high under marijuana’s current federal classification as a Schedule I drug. The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to change this by taking steps to fix the system so that marijuana is not just legal, but that the industry as a whole can move forward in a direction that we can be proud of.

Additionally, this legislation is important because it would also address a number of challenges marijuana businesses face such as lack of access to ordinary banking services. It would also move towards regulating the marijuana market as a whole and by regulating legal access, it would discourage and replace illicit drug activity.

I applaud Booker for introducing thoughtful legislation that would legalize the industry in the “right” way and that truly has the ability to move the ball forward on some of the historically negative aspects of this industry. Now is the time for the federal government to acknowledge that marijuana should be legal and removed from the list of controlled substances.

A recent CBS News poll showed that 71 percent of Americans oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana sales and use in states that have legalized it, and 61 percent of Americans want marijuana legal across the country. Additionally, in the first six months of this new Congress, over a dozen bi-partisan bills have been introduced aimed at moving marijuana policies and regulations forward. Like Booker’s legislation, these bills acknowledge that updated marijuana laws and policies will bring a plethora of economic and social benefits to our country through increased job opportunities and tax revenues.

Congress must acknowledge the position of the majority of the American public and respond accordingly. I call on lawmakers to support this legislation and will be doing my part to raise this bill as a priority in the technology, transportation, policy and marijuana business communities eaze is a part of.

Jim Patterson is the CEO of eaze, a cannabis technology that connects people to doctors and dispensaries for on-demand consultations and deliveries.


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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Commentary: Support states’ rights on cannabis

Joey Gilbert

As a Nevada citizen, a marijuana special use attorney, and advocate for veterans, I write today to discuss important issues related to states’ rights, federalism, and cannabis regulation.

The Constitution of the United States codifies federalism, protecting the power of the states to speak, act and legislate in a constitutionally guaranteed and sovereign manner. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” I agree!

Currently, 29 states have legalized some form of cannabis. Individual states must be allowed to determine their own policies for the regulation of their legal, state-based cannabis industries.

The concept of federalism cannot and should not be selectively applied by D.C. policymakers. It is politically and philosophically lazy to be a selective federalist. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The people of Nevada have spoken. We favor legalized, regulated, adult use cannabis. Constitutionally speaking, the Federal government must respect our duly enacted laws and regulatory regime for cannabis. Federal intrusion into states that have medical or adult use cannabis is an assault on our constitutional system.

So the question is – what can be done? I urge Congress to adopt the McClintock-Polis amendment preventing the Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with state cannabis laws. Authorization of this amendment will remove uncertainty and ambiguity from our state-based, state-legal, and state-regulated cannabis industry.

I also support H.R. 1810, authored by Representative Carlos Curbelo, reforming IRS Section 280(e), allowing for cannabis businesses to be treated like any other legal, state-based business. Congress must also reform federal banking laws so that legal cannabis operations have access to traditional banking services.

Since cannabis is still illegal under federal law, any profit by companies in the marijuana sector is considered illegal. Banks who accept accounts from cannabis businesses become open to government seizure and criminal prosecution. This banking reform is currently part of the CARERS Act of 2017.

These policies, if enacted, will allow our state to prioritize limited law enforcement assets and curtail the cash and cartel-based operations of the marijuana black market.

If you believe in Federalism, the Tenth Amendment, and the power of the states to regulate and grow their own economies, within their own borders, let your federal officials know that state-legal, state-based cannabis laws should fall under state jurisdiction. Also, let them know that you support commonsense reform of federal laws in order to provide for state-first regulation of these burgeoning cannabis industries.

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With much gratitude from the USMjParty, Thank You, Sen. Booker!

THIS is what I’ve been praying for!

cory booker

Above:  Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announces the “Marijuana Justice Act” live on Facebook, August 1, 2017.  Follow link to view video!

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Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) took a giant leap to the front of the legalize Marijuana train and did, in fact, introduce what I consider to be a genuine attempt at ending the failed drug war on all of our people.

The MARIJUANA JUSTICE ACT would correct the long-standing goals of the prison industrial complex.  It is asking to do the following:

*Remove Marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act at the Federal Level,

*Give incentive to States via Federal funds to discontinue prosecuting for Marijuana,

*Retroactive – to provide for a review of Marijuana sentences,

*Expunge – Federal Marijuana use and possession crimes,

*Create Community reinvestment through various programs,

“Descheduling marijuana and applying that change retroactively to people currently serving time for marijuana offenses is a necessary step in correcting this unjust system. States have so far led the way in reforming our criminal justice system and it’s about time the federal government catches up and begins to assert leadership.”

The legalize Marijuana movement has been gaining strength for a number of years now throughout the U.S., and when Attorney General Jeff Session announced his requiem of a failed (and inhumane) war on Marijuana it turned enough heads to say enough is enough!  We cannot continue to let our Government lock us in cages for no good reason. 

There has been numerous Bills introduced so far this year concerning Marijuana, according to GovTrack.us.  I am including a few of the links here for convenience.

H.R. 3534: To make the Controlled Substances Act inapplicable with respect to marihuana in States that have legalized marijuana and have in effect a statewide regulatory regime to protect certain Federal interests, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3391: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to make marijuana accessible for use by qualified marijuana researchers for medical purposes, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3252: Second Chance for Students Act

S. 1374: CARERS Act of 2017

H.R. 2920: CARERS Act of 2017

S. 1008: Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2017

H.R. 2273: Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2017

H.R. 2020: To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

The only way to truly end the war on marijuana is to remove it from the CSA and then continue down through the individual States.  This is what Sen. Booker is trying to make happen with the Marijuana Justice Act and I certainly hope that everyone gets behind him on this most important endeavor.

Here is a link to his Twitter where you can send him a message to congratulate him on this awesome step his is taking!

We cannot continue to let our people die on rogue street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl because they have to pass a drug test for Marijuana.  End the madness now!  End the war on drugs!  REPEAL PROHIBITION!

https://www.facebook.com/corybooker/videos/10157111094132228/

https://www.scribd.com/document/355207910/Marijuana-Justice-Act-of-2017#user-util-view-profile

https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=638

https://twitter.com/SenBookerOffice?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?text=marijuana#sort=-introduced_date

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/medical-marijuana-bill-aims-to-fight-sessions-war-on-drugs-w488311

http://www.wlky.com/article/sen-booker-introduce-marijuana-justice-act/10396905

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2017/07/23/the-children-left-behind/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2017/07/11/dying-with-francis-and-learning-to-live-again/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/24/all-roads-in-kentucky-lead-you-through-hell/

http://kyusmjparty.weebly.com/usmjparty-platform.html?fb_action_ids=10154004928797994&fb_action_types=og.comments

DeKalb father sues AG Jeff Sessions over marijuana

Christopher Hopper, WXIA 11:45 PM. EDT July 27, 2017

A DeKalb County father is suing the federal government, namely Attorney General Jeff Sessions over marijuana.

Sebastien Cotte, Stone Mountain, is named in a federal lawsuit filed Monday, July 24 in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan challenging the Controlled Substances Act.

Cotte has a 6-year-old son Jagger who suffers from a terminal neurological disorder called Leigh’s Disease.

Cotte has been giving Jagger cannabis oil for nearly three years and believes it has extended his life.

“Usually 95 percent of them do not make it past 4-years-old,” said Sebastien Cotte, suing the federal government.

In September Jagger will turn seven.

Around the time most kids die from this chronic disease, Cotte moved his family to Colorado and Jagger started cannabis oil.

He no longer takes oxycontin or morphine.

“It’s been game changing for him it’s one of the main reasons he’s still alive today,” he said.

Cotte said marijuana’s medical benefits are keeping Jagger alive, and that’s why he’s a plaintiff in this lawsuit.

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It’s 90 pages long and is against Attorney General Jeff Session and the federal government for classifying marijuana in a category with heroin and LSD, highly addictive drugs with no accepted medical use.

Cocaine and methamphetamine are Schedule II drugs and are considered less addictive and dangerous compared to marijuana.

Cotte said that Schedule I status is what’s keeping Georgian’s who can legally use cannabis oil from being able to buy marijuana grown here.

“To be able to get it here in Georgia, get a safe legal tested product here in which we could get if cannabis wasn’t a Schedule I substance, that would be life changing for Jagger and thousands,” he said. “You know we have over 2,000 people on the registry right now.”

There are several plaintiffs in the lawsuit in addition to the Cotte’s including a former NFL player and a combat veteran with PTSD.

PDF DOCUMENT OF LAWSUIT HERE

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"Overgrowing the Government"

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