It has been a huge week for recreational marijuana in the U.S.A. Three things have happened.:
1) The US Justice Department reported that it had informed Indian Country Tribes that they “may propose” to have marijuana legalized on their reservations. So far no tribe has made any such request and if they did the federal government would have the final say on yes or no. However, this announcement opens the door for the possibility that recreational marijuana could be possessed and consumed on tribal lands. Even when tribal lands reside within the borders of a state in which recreational marijuana is illegal.
2) The US Congress ended its federal ban on medical marijuana. This sends a strong message to states that have not yet legalized marijuana and makes the concept even more palatable to voters. It will surely influence politicians to be more liberal in their thinking about legalized marijuana, whether medical or recreational. Furthermore, it shows the federal government is obviously moving, albeit slowly, in the direction of national recognition of the trend to end marijuana prohibition.
3) Just today (December 19, 2014) it was announced that the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma have asked the US Supreme Court to reverse Colorado’s marijuana laws. We will wait to hear what the legal pundits say but in my opinion this is not going to fly. In my opinion it is a thinly veiled attempt to apply pressure and convince Colorado to give their neighboring states a portion of their recreational marijuana tax revenues. According to Nebraska officials they have had an increase in their law enforcement costs at places along the Colorado border and are being asked to bear an increased expense with no increased revenues.
December 12, 2014 — Today the U.S. Justice Department issued a statement saying that it would not interfere with Native American tribes who choose to legalize marijuana on their reservations. No immediate changes are expected but this move by the Justice Department opens the possibility of recreational marijuana being legalized for purchase and consumption on Indian reservations even those located in states where marijuana is illegal. It’s too soon to tell if any Native American tribes will take advantage of this legal marijuana loophole but it creates some interesting possibilities for the future of the marijuana movement and industry.
adminUS Government says Indian Reservations May Legalize Marijuana in Any State
Dec 10, 2014 – There was celebration in Colorado and demonstrations in Washington DC today as local government supported and then betrayed those who have voted for the legalization of marijuana.
In Denver, Governor John Hickenlpooper made an executive order and added Amendment 64 (legalization of marijuana) to the state constitution of Colorado. Celebrations ensued.
However, on the same day, hundreds protested in the streets of Washington DC as Congress got ready to nullify the legalization of marijuana for the Capitol district. This, in reaction to more than 70% of its voters voting for marijuana legalization. This effort to crush legalization in Washington DC is being accomplished in typical political style as Republicans added the marijuana issue at the end of a $1 trillion spending bill. The bill is supported both parties and has nothing to do with marijuana. As such, it will be very difficult for any congressman to vote against the bill and is a kind of a pork barrel spending ploy but in reverse.
Meanwhile, city officials say they have no leverage in this matter and with Republicans set to dominate Congress in 2015 it looks like things may not change for years to come.
December 1, 2104 — In 2013 a bill was passed which legalized marijuana use in Paraguay. The first country in the world to legalize the production and sale of cannabis. This made it a potential laboratory model for the possible legalization of marijuana in other countries around the world. But polls indicate that as much as 65% of Paraguay’s citizens do not support the new marijuana law. One candidate in this weeks national elections says that if elected, he will repeal portions of the legalization bill
Research on the effects of marijuana vs. alcohol while driving are inconclusive. Law enforcement has one view, psychologists have another. What we do know is that recreational marijuana creates chemical changes in the brain and these changes may significantly affect ability to safely drive a car:
* According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC in the body can severely affect the ability to shift our focus. This means reaction to changes in traffic or road conditions is slower and this can be dangerous.
* Recreational marijuana consumption affects a person’s judgement and other cognitive functions. In the case of heavy users, this impairment may last up to 24 hours after their last consumption of marijuana.
* Marijuana relaxes people and most have difficulty concentrating on a single activity and are prone to dreamlike states of awareness according to studies.
* Consumption of recreational marijuana can weaken short-term memory and change perception. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse the THC in marijuana gets processed in the hippocampus part of the brain which is responsible for the brain’s functional memory.
A Washington state traffic safety commission announced that police in Grandview, Moxee, Selah, Sunnyside, Union Gap and Yakima (plus the Yakima and Klickitat county sheriff’s offices) and the Washington State Patrol have stepped-up their driving while impaired enforcement operations through January 1st 2015.
Be careful and be safe. Stay within the law and do NOT operate a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of marijuana or alcohol!