Cannabis Democratic candidates

Published on March 25th, 2019 | by I Am Awake

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The real reason why leading Democrats want marijuana legalized

Once a controversial talking point, marijuana has now become a mainstream issue and presidential candidates, many of whom were previously against it, are rushing now to support its legalization. On the surface, it appears a simple case of supporting something that will win votes. However, closer examination reveals a far more sinister reason.

To anyone keeping tabs on the 2020 Democratic Party candidates, the recent rise in prominence of the debate about marijuana has been apparent, with one candidate after another eager to display their staunch support for its legalization.

With both major parties always scrambling to adopt policies to bolster their favourability, it could simply be a logical way of getting voters on board given marijuana’s popularity, with one in seven U.S. adults using the plant either recreationally or medicinally.

However, on closer inspection, there could be a far more sinister plan behind the growing support for marijuana from certain notable politicians given some recent revelations.

The pro-pot bandwagon

California senator Kamala Harris made headlines as she gleefully announced, last month, live on a New York radio show that she smoked pot as a student. Democratic senator Cory Booker of New Jersey kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign by calling for legal marijuana during his first radio interview after announcing his candidacy.

Among Democratic candidates, Booker has been seen as a leading pro-legalisation voice. In February, he reintroduced legislation that would, in effect, legalize marijuana at the federal level. His Marijuana Justice Act would take cannabis off the DEA schedule of controlled substances which would allow for proper research into the plant, but it would also punish states that do not legalize it by withholding some federal funds.

Harris, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and the New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, all rivals for the nomination, are co-sponsors of Booker’s legislation.

In the past, it was seen as a taboo issue for presidential candidates to discuss marijuana, now it has become a mainstream matter where politicians are trying their hardest to appear as though they are massive supporters. And, given that many of the same individuals were against it not long ago, one might be curious as to why this shift.

Not always the case

In the First Massachusetts Senate Democratic Primary debate held in 2011, Warren was asked whether she supported legalizing and regulating marijuana to which replied with a cold “no”.

but has said she voted to legalize it in Massachusetts in a 2016 referendum. As San Francisco district attorney, in 2010, Harris opposed legalising marijuana in California, saying it would encourage high drivers and workplace drug use.

Harris again opposed marijuana in her Attorney General re-election campaign in 2014, when she notably lost support from the marijuana industry after she laughed at her Republican opponent for supporting legalization.

Now in favour of legalisation, she says marijuana “gives a lot of people joy”.

Don Murphy, director of federal policy at the pro-legalisation Marijuana Policy Project (MPP): “I can’t help but look through some of their records and wonder if this isn’t a position of convenience”.

Why the sudden change?

Reports have surfaced which reveal that authorities are now preventing medicinal marijuana cardholders from purchasing firearms.

The fact that all of the aforementioned candidates who have made marijuana legalization a priority are also vocal advocate harsher gun control measures, another one of the main Democrat objectives and campaign points, raises a serious red flag.

In 2018, gun-loving Pennsylvania became the latest state to operate a medical marijuana program, but authorities warned patients that federal law would prevent marijuana users from having guns or ammunition.

“They’re going to have to make a choice,” said John T. Adams, president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. “They can have their guns or their marijuana, but not both.”

More than 800,000 guns are sold or transferred in Pennsylvania annually, and more than 10,000 people in the state have signed up for medical marijuana.

Further shocking insight into the extent of the clampdown on guns via marijuana legalization was revealed by Sam Wood for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Twenty-nine states have legalized marijuana in some form. But under federal law, all forms of marijuana remain strictly forbidden. The DEA considers it a Schedule 1 drug, on par with heroin and LSD

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates the sale and ownership of guns and ammunition across the nation. ATF spokeswoman Cherie R. Duvall-Jones said any use of marijuana is a disqualifier.

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law,” said Duvall-Jones.

A dealer who even suspects that a customer may be using cannabis is obliged to stop a sale, ATF’s Duvall-Jones said. Federal regulations bar firearms ownership to anyone who illegally uses a controlled substance or might be addicted to any drug.

More than 10,000 people in the state of Pennsylvania have signed up for medical marijuana.

More than 10,000 people in the state of Pennsylvania have signed up for medical marijuana.

 

Another ATF spokeswoman, Janice L. Kemp, left no doubt about where it stands: “Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medical purposes … is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,” she told the Associated Press.

The AP piece went on to say that “between 1998 and 2014, nearly 100,000 prospective gun purchasers went home empty-handed because they were flagged as using illegal drugs, according to the ATF. But the agency could not say how many of those used medical or recreational marijuana”.

The idea that someone smoking a joint, despite all those who have ever smoked knowing that there is never going to be an impulse to pick up a gun and become a sudden danger is absurd. Quite the opposite.

Alcohol, however, is a very different story. On average, around 40 percent of inmates who are imprisoned for violent offenses were under the influence of alcohol during the time of their crime. Many of these criminals had an estimated blood alcohol content (BAC) level of more than three times the legal limit at the time of their arrest.

However, Alcohol is not considered a controlled substance, Duvall-Jones said. “Therefore, a person who is addicted to distilled spirits, wine or malt beverages would not be prohibited” under the law.”

“If you’re a (medical marijuana) card holder, you’ll be flagged,” said Pennsylvania state police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski.

Patients also may be required to surrender guns and ammo bought before joining the marijuana program, whether they are using the medicine or not. Police in Honolulu fired off letters in December to patients ordering them to turn in their weapons. The following outcry had the department put the order on hold two days later. No other jurisdiction has made a similar request.

A more recent case that took place could be a warning sign of things to come. On 6 February 2019, a bill proposed by state Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, to keep Coloradans authorized to use medical marijuana from being deprived of the right to own and carry firearms was rejected by Democrats.

In February, Senate Bill 93 died along party lines in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. Marble said the Democrats’ decision to kill the bill was unfair to medical marijuana users, but not unexpected. “They don’t want to pass a gun bill,” Marble said of the committee, on which she also sits. “Anything to do with guns they’re not going to vote on.”

Interestingly, one prominent Democrat standing somewhat apart from the rest is the man who presided over one of the first legal recreational marijuana marketplaces in the nation, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Hickenlooper doesn’t think the federal government “should come in and tell every state that (marijuana) should be legal” before saying that his “worst fears” about legalization haven’t been realized and considers the system better than when the drug was illegal which could imply that there is more to the motives of those who want legalization than meets the eye.

Even though Hickenlooper passed gun legislation as governor, he said: “Colorado is a state where we have a long tradition of a relationship with guns and hunting and that traditional approach from father to child. So we tried to tighten up a little bit things like universal background checks which clearly make a significant difference, that’s where we put our initial focus.”

It has also been stated that, heading into the 2020 elections, Democrats in Colorado are planning a renewed push to adopt further gun controls in the state with 88,946 medical marijuana patients.

IAA’s final word

Its many health properties, along with the obvious hypocrisy of far more harmful drugs like tobacco and alcohol being openly legal, makes the case for marijuana’s full legalization perfectly logical.

Firearms cause significant number of deaths per year in the US, but the factors run far deeper than the weapons themselves. The fact that most mass shootings are carried out by gunmen who are on mind-altering anti-depressants, use weapons that are outlawed by the particular state and, in the case 90 percent of public mass shootings, take place in “gun-free zones” are evidence of this and so any attempted gun-grab would be met with resistance.

The fact that many Democrats have now emerged as staunch marijuana supporters just years after fighting against it is enough to raise some suspicion.

With recent information and genuine testimonies revealing that medicinal marijuana card holders are now being denied purchases of firearms, it appears to be that the Democratic Party’s pro-pot stance is not due to some awakening but a potential instrument to usher in widespread gun control, which would replace the war on drugs with what would become an equally disastrous war on guns.

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