Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Economist: keep cannabis rules tight

Recognizing the eventuality of the feds relaxing control, regulating Big Dope out of legal cannabis is going to be up to individual states. Interstate commerce is just a matter of time.
Canada’s government plans to legalise cannabis next year, making it the first G7 country to do so. As far as anyone has been able to establish (and some have tried very hard indeed) it is as good as impossible to die of a marijuana overdose. When the prohibition of alcohol ended in 1933, Joseph Choate of America’s Federal Alcohol Control Administration recommended “keeping the tax burden on legal alcoholic beverages comparatively low in the earlier post-prohibition period in order to permit the legal industry to offer more severe competition to its illegal competitor.” But those that legalise early may prove to have a lasting influence well beyond their borders, establishing norms that last for a long while. But as alcohol and tobacco show, tightening regimes at a later date can be very difficult indeed. [excerpt, The Economist]
A gaming compact already exists between tribes and the state just like in other states. The revenue generated should be shared: how hard is that to understand?

South Dakota's legislature can write a bill that would adopt legislation similar to Minnesota's medical cannabis law but worthy of Federal Drug Administration scrutiny where real medicine could be sold by pharmacies. Legalize for adults then allow Deadwood and the tribes to grow under California organic standards then distribute on reservation and off-reservation properties under a compact putting the gaming commission as the administrative body to tax and regulate.

In my view edibles should only be available to patients suffering from debilitating diseases, disorders or conditions then be dispensed by pharmacists and taxed like other prescriptions.
It remains illegal in many states in which the NFL operates, but cannabis has been shown in various studies to help people in two areas of common concern to every NFL player—pain management and the effects of head trauma. [Sports Illustrated]
Home growing for personal enjoyment should look like South Dakota's beer home brewing and wine making laws.

Illegal cannabis growops on national forests cause "significant harm to the land, water and animals."

Just as the federal government has a treaty obligation to provide access to safe and competent medical care for tribes western states have responsibilities to include tribal nations in economic growth.

For the record, I would write very restrictive legislation and present it to Gov. Daugaard before even showing it to the legislature. There was a time when I thought legal cannabis for any application could not pass the legislature and get signed into law. Now, there’s a real chance for all of the above.

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