President Trump will push for marijuana legalization after the upcoming elections, according to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.
“I do. I think he’s going to legalize marijuana,” Scaramucci told Succeed.com founder Charles Peralo in an interview this week. “I think he’s waiting for after the midterms. I think he’s on the side of legalization.”
Whether Scaramucci is basing his prediction on a hunch or insider knowledge is unclear. He might have only lasted 10 days at the White House, but he still claims to talk with the president on occasion. In any case, “The Mooch,” as he is known, did not respond to a Marijuana Moment request for clarification via Twitter DM.
If he is right, though, he didn’t reiterate his previously expressed concerns about legal cannabis leading to a “zombie apocalypse.”
What they leave out is the the overuse of these drugs is creating a zombie apocalypse in their cities https://t.co/UowggluLvM
Other GOP Insiders Say Federal Marijuana Reform Is Coming Soon.
The Mooch isn’t alone in his belief. Last month, marijuana-friendly Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said in an interview that cannabis reform would be on the White House agenda after the midterms and that legislation would be in the works “as early as spring of 2019.”
“I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real,” the congressman said.
The Embassy also launched a frequently asked questions page, which responds to queries about how consuming marijuana or investing or working in the cannabis industry could impact admissibility to the U.S.
Perhaps of most interest to Canadians involved in cannabis businesses, the document reiterates and confirms that “a Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the United States for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the United States.”
“However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the United States for reasons related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible,” it says.
While one of the questions—”Do you anticipate more American tourists crossing into Canada due to the change in legalization?—seems to acknowledge that many U.S. citizens support and would like to take advantage of Canada’s new marijuana laws, the Embassy doesn’t really provide a direct response.
The FAQ also covers issues related to visa applications.
“If you plan to use marijuana in the United States then you will be found ineligible for a visa based on intending to engage in unlawful activity in the United States,” it says. “It does not matter if you use doctor-prescribed marijuana. If you smoke cannabis in Canada, you may also be found ineligible…if a physician determines that you have a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior – for example, impaired driving – or are a drug abuser or addict.”
When it comes to working or investing in the marijuana industry, the Embassy says it will only affect visas if the person is “found to be coming to the U.S. for reasons related to the cannabis industry.”
The page also says that while “legalization of cannabis in Canada will not have any impact on cannabis’s legality in the United States,” American officials “have discussed legalization of cannabis at various levels” with their Canadian counterparts.
Despite the relatively polite and level-headed response to the new legalization law of its neighbor to the north, the American government isn’t exactly excited about it.
A top U.S. Customs and Border Protection official, for example, said that Canada’s move to grant pardons for past marijuana offenses wouldn’t necessarily shield those individuals from being denied entry into the U.S.
It remains to be seen how President Trump himself, key White House staffers or Department of Justice officials will respond to Canada’s legalization of marijuana if asked about it publicly.
Which party is going to take a leadership role in advancing marijuana reform after the midterm elections? It depends on who you ask.
On Thursday, both Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) indicated that their respective party would be backing legislation to change federal cannabis laws in the months after November’s critical election. Rohrabacher said that he’d received assurances that the White House would support reform efforts during the 116th Congress, which begins in January.
“It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session,” he said, noting that President Donald Trump planned to keep his promise to support a bipartisan bill to protect legal states from federal interference.
Later, Blumenauer—a close colleague of the Republican congressman when it comes to cannabis reform efforts—said that Democrats would promote legislation to change cannabis laws in the first half of 2019 if his party retakes the House.
“With Democrats in control, we will be able to have the legislative process work and we’ll see more progress in a relatively short order, I think.”
“These will be some of the easiest things to do in the first six months of a new Congress because they’re supported by the public, the legislation is already teed up and ready to go,” Blumenauer said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s one of these areas of progress that will show we can get our act together and move forward.”
“It doesn’t have to be the top priority. It’s simpler than health care or global warming. And it’s supported by the public. I think it’s a no-brainer. I think it moves in the next six months.”
Watch the full interview here:
Blumenauer seems to be breaking somewhat from his party’s leadership. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), for example, said last month that top Democrats haven’t yet “talked about” promoting federal marijuana legislation if the party retakes the House in the midterm elections. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also suggested that the fate of federal cannabis reform would depend, in part, on the will of the president.
“I don’t know where the president is on any of this,” Pelosi said. “So any decision about how we go forward would have to reflect where we can get the result.”
Marijuana reform will likely be on the Trump administration’s agenda after the midterm elections, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said on Thursday.
In an interview with Fox Business, Rohrabacher said he’s been “talking to people inside the White House” and members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle about ending cannabis prohibition. The congressman said he’s been “reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise” to protect local marijuana policies from federal interference.
Though Rohrabacher didn’t point to specific legislation that the president is reportedly interested in advancing, he said that details would likely begin to take shape after November 6.
“I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real.”
Trump has previously voiced support for a bipartisan bill, introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to protect states that legalize cannabis from federal interference. He also embraced medical cannabis during his presidential campaign, saying that he knows people who have benefited from using it.
Rohrabacher, in the new interview published Thursday, laid out a vague timeline for anticipated congressional action on marijuana reform.
“It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session,” he said.
What remains to be seen is which party will ultimately take the lead on marijuana after the midterms. Though Democrats are generally more supportive of cannabis reform and multiple bills have been introduced to achieve that end, a top House Democrat recently conceded that the party hasn’t been actively discussing plans to pass marijuana legislation.
Asked last month whether Democrats would bring cannabis legislation to the floor if the party retakes the House in November, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) admitted “[w]e haven’t talked about that.”
And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who is expected to seek the speakership again if Democrats win control of the chamber in the midterms, indicated that the prospects for marijuana legislation would depend on support from the president.
“I don’t know where the president is on any of this,” she said. “So any decision about how we go forward would have to reflect where we can get the result.”
Based on polling, either party stands to benefit from taking on a marijuana friendly agenda. Fewer Republican voters support full legalization, compared to Democrats, but when it comes to medical cannabis, there’s sizable majority support on both sides of the aisle.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
The governors of 12 states are calling on congressional leaders to enact far-reaching marijuana legislation that would let states enact legalization without federal interference.
“Our states have acted with deliberation and care to implement programs through thoughtful and comprehensive legislation and regulations,” the bipartisan collection of governors wrote. “Our citizens have spoken, we are responding. We ask that Congress recognize and respect our states’ efforts by supporting and passing the STATES Act.”
It was introduced on Thursday in the House and Senate.
Signing the new letter to congressional leaders are the governors of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey,New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State. Six are Republicans and six are Democrats.
“As of today, 46 states permit the use of some form of medical marijuana and 8 states have made it legal for adult-use. These programs reflect the will of the people as expressed through ballot initiatives and legislative action,” the governors wrote to House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders.
The governors said that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rescission earlier this year of Obama-era guidance protecting state marijuana laws “has complicated the marketplace for businesses that states now deem legal.”
“This return to one-size-fits-all federal prohibition is incongruent with reality, undermines the 46 carefully-crafted regulatory structures and impedes states’ ability to be effective laboratories of democracy.”
Legalization advocates say it makes sense that the governors would ask Congress to pass the new bill.
“The STATES Act is the most significant piece of marijuana-related legislation ever introduced in Congress,” Don Murphy, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment in an interview. “These governors understand the difficulty of implementing medical and non-medical programs with the heavy boot of the federal government on their necks.”