Image of President Obama
~
As more states legalize or decriminalize pot, it could pressure Congress to reconsider classifying it as a Schedule I drug, a category it shares with heroin and LSD, the president said during an interview with VICE News on Monday.
 
“We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side,” the president said. “At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule marijuana.” 
 
Fifteen states in the U.S. have decriminalized marijuana, including 10 that have also legalized medical marijuana. An additional eight states allow medical marijuana but have not decriminalized the drug for non-medical patients; four states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized cannabis. Hundreds of local municipalities across the country have adopted their own ordinances decriminalizing pot possession. Despite those laws, the drug remains illegal at the federal level.
 
As of March 9, there were 13 states with pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana in 2015. Bills meant to allow patients access to medical pot were defeated in Mississippi and North Dakota earlier this year.
 
President Obama went on to distinguish between decriminalization, which typically means first-time offenders caught with small amounts of marijuana won’t get prison time or a criminal record, and encouraging its use. “Our criminal justice system is so heavily skewed toward cracking down on non-violent drug offenders that it has not just had a terrible effect on many communities…it costs a huge amount of money to the states and a lot of states are starting to figure that out,” Obama said. He said such laws particularly affect communities of color, which makes it hard for them to get work because of a felony record. “Legalization is not a panacea, [but] locking somebody up for 20 years is probably not the best strategy,” the president said.
 
Supporters of federal marijuana reform applauded the president’s comments, but said that the issue is more important than Obama let on. “The president is right that as voters force more and more changes to state marijuana laws, national policymakers will have no choice but to catch up,” Tom Angell of MarijuanaMajority.com said in an emailed statement. “On average, there's a marijuana possession arrest in the U.S. about every minute. Billions of dollars are wasted on enforcing prohibition laws that don’t stop anyone from using marijuana but do ruin people’s lives with damaging criminal records.”
 
He added that “this is a serious issue, and the president needs to treat it as such.”
 
~
April 25, 2019

Canada: Alcohol and cannabis companies form pot-beverage…

A group of alcohol and cannabis companies have formed an industry alliance to push for changes to proposed rules governing…
April 25, 2019

Inside the Only Pot Research Farm in…

Verda Bio won the state's first pot research license last November, giving the company special privileges to study cannabis and…
April 25, 2019

How to Grow Marijuana Sustainably With Korean…

Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is a blueprint for an alternative way to farm outdoors among nature.
April 25, 2019

USDA Accepting Applications For Hemp Intellectual Property…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Wednesday that hemp cultivators can officially apply for intellectual property protection for…
April 24, 2019

Social Life Network's MjLink looking to shake…

Social LIfe Network (OTCQB:WDLF) CEO Ken Tapp and MjLink President George Jage sat down with Steve Darling from Proactive Investors…
April 24, 2019

Five Ways to Reduce the Cannabis Industry's…

The cannabis industry has a packaging problem. In fact, more broadly speaking, it has a sustainability problem.
April 24, 2019

Keeping Score: Major League Sports’ Stance on…

in Sports

When players from the Stanley Cup winning team skate off the ice after their final game in June, they will…
April 24, 2019

Uganda set to export marijuana to Canada…

Though it is still illegal to use marijuana in Uganda, the government in its bid to claim a stake in…
April 24, 2019

As Cannabis Goes Mainstream, Are Celebrity Brands…

The rush of celebrities to the cannabis space shows how cannabis is now accepted in the mainstream and how lucrative…
April 23, 2019

When It Comes to Cannabis Workplace Injuries,…

In Colorado, one of the state’s largest worker’s compensation insurance firms has released some unique data regarding the cannabis industry’s…
April 23, 2019

Hawaii founders of biodiesel firm unveil their…

Earth Day blessing fetes Maui’s first state-licensed industrial hemp farm.