2016 Will Be The Biggest Year Yet For Marijuana Policy Reform | rob Kampia

2016 will likely comprise a cornucopia of cannabis policy advances, which I’ll enumerate in the form of predictions. Federal Policies On the federal level, many people are hoping that President Obama will take bold executive actions, but it’s more likely that he’ll continue to chip away at marijuana prohibition in ways that will continue and solidify his administration’s actions thus far. For example, the Obama administration will probably (1) restate its intent to protect from the DEA the Native American reservations that choose to grow and sell marijuana; (2) renew the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policy of not withholding benefits from vets who use medical marijuana in the states where it’s legal; and (3) continue with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) policy of not punishing individuals and businesses that are abiding by state marijuana laws. And, of course, the president will pardon another batch of federal marijuana offenders. But don’t expect the president to reschedule marijuana, because Congress and President Nixon delegated that authority in 1970 to DOJ, which includes the DEA; these rules are clearly delineated in the “Code of Federal Regulations.” In its annual spending bills for fiscal year 2017, Congress will continue to include the pair of amendments that prohibit DOJ from interfering with state medical marijuana laws and hemp laws. In addition, it’s possible that Congress will delete the bad spending amendment by Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) that currently prohibits the local D.C. government from legalizing marijuana. If this federal change occurs, it would take effect on October 1, so the D.C.

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