Podcast available at https://www.patreon.com/posts/18429153.
Four-term California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is being attacked for her anti-marijuana positions in a new ad from her primary challenger, Alison Hartson. [HARTSON CLIP: “Dianne Feinstein has the same position on marijuana as Jeff Sessions. She’s against research, she’s against legalization, she’s against criminal justice reform.”] In the 1960s, Feinstein worked on the state women’s parole board, where she came to believe criminals “began with marijuana and went on to hard drugs.” When California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, Feinstein was openly campaigning against it, arguing that Prop 215 would “encourage recreational drug use among teenagers.” When it comes to legalization, in 2010, Feinstein chaired the campaign against Prop 19, calling it “a dangerous experiment based on false arguments and fake promises.” In 2016, Feinstein was out front again, this time opposing California’s Prop 64, and was called out by POLITIFACT for her false claim that Prop 64 “allows marijuana smoking ads in prime time, on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers.”
The state of Michigan officially certified that marijuana legalization will be on the November 2018 ballot. While the GOP-controlled legislature could enact the measure within 40 days, the Speaker of the House told Michigan Public Radio they would not, thus putting the measure before the voters. Count Michigan’s senior US Senator, Debbie Stabenow, as a supporter. [STABENOW CLIP: “I do support decriminalizing both medical marijuana – which voters already said they wanted to so – and recreational marijuana.”] Stabenow noted the continuing trend toward state legalization and that conflict with federal drug law. [STABENOW CLIP: “At some point the federal government is going to have to act in order to make it uniform across the country.”] In the current congress, however, Stabenow has failed to sign on as a sponsor or cosponsor of any of the 14 marijuana law reform bills before the Senate.
A bipartisan pair of US Senators from legal marijuana states are teaming on a bill to exempt state marijuana reforms from the Controlled Substances Act. Colorado Republican Cory Gardner, who recently secured a pledge from President Trump to keep the federal government’s enforcement arm out of his state’s legal marijuana industry, spoke to Yahoo! News on his work with Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren on what he calls “a states’ rights bill – that says if a state like Colorado decides to move forward on medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, CBDs, hemp, that that activity is going to be lawfully, legally carried out.” For observers concerned that Donald Trump’s word is far from his bond, Gardner responded that Trump “has made it very clear what his objectives are.”
Of the seven Democratic challengers to Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, only one does not support the legalization of marijuana. At a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said that there needs to be more study of recreational marijuana and offered concern about its effects on health insurance and employment. Baker has an 11-point lead in the latest polls. In second place, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said he’s still considering his position, noting drug-related violence in Baltimore. The other five candidates all believe Maryland should legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. State Sen. Rich Madaleno called marijuana “a gateway drug to the criminal justice system.” Baltimore attorney Jim Shea said marijuana charges put young people, “on a rollercoaster in and out of prison.” Tech entrepreneur and author Alec Ross also called for expungement of the records of people previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes.
The Conservatives in Canada are responding to a resolution adopted by the Liberal ruling party calling for the decriminalization of all drugs. Tory MP Marilyn Gladu: [GLADU CLIP: “If it’s not bad enough that thousands of Canadians are dying from the opioid crisis, which the Liberal government is not adequately addressing, now it wants to add crack and heroin to the mix.”] Other conservatives continued to conflate decriminalization with legalization of drugs. Tory MP Steven Blaney. [BLANEY CLIP: “Marijuana hasn’t even been legalized yet, and now the Liberals want to open up to cocaine, crack, and heroin? What kind of bad trip are the Liberals looking for?”]