20.01.2018
Open thread for night owls: Sessions' retrograde pot stance isn't worrying legal weed startups yet

Open thread for night owls: Sessions' retrograde pot stance isn't worrying legal weed startups yet

Issie Lapowsky at Wired writes—Legal Weed Startups Aren’t Sweating a Crackdown Yet:

ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF Sessions' decision to overturn an Obama-era policy that allowed legal marijuana to flourish likely won't make him many friends—certainly not among the 94 percent of Americans who support medical marijuana legalization, the 64 percent who say it should be legal nationwide, the thousands of people currently employed by the legal marijuana industry, the parents of kids whose seizures have been mitigated by cannabis, or even members of his own party, like senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, who accused Sessions of going back on his word to members of Congress.

"This is about a decision by the state of Colorado, and we were told that states’ rights would be protected,” Gardner said in an impassioned speech Thursday on the Senate floor.

But while Sessions may not win any popularity contests in Boulder any time soon, the entrepreneurs and investors fueling the legal marijuana boom of the past few years remain, well, pretty chill about the whole thing. Yes, Sessions has rolled back the Obama-era Cole memo, which essentially instructed federal prosecutors to deprioritize marijuana crimes in states where it's legal. That's a setback. But in practice, legal weed purveyors see the move as unlikely to be as disastrous for their businesses—and their customers and patients—as many expect.

"The public gets a little scared, but the reality is, so far, it means absolutely nothing," says Randy Maslow, cofounder of iAnthus Capital Management, which invests in the cannabis industry.

The Department of Justice's announcement Thursday rescinded all nationwide guidance regarding the enforcement of federal marijuana law. And while that pierces that protective shield around legal marijuana companies in states like Colorado, Washington, and as of earlier this week, California, it does not specifically instruct federal attorneys to go after legal weed.

Maslow, a former lawyer, takes that as a positive sign. Before the Cole memo, he says, federal attorneys mostly left the enforcement of these crimes up to the states. Given the way state governments have come around to marijuana legalization, with 29 states legalizing it in some form or another, Maslow predicts it's unlikely that repealing the Cole memo would suddenly turn law enforcement against the industry, or spur US attorneys to buck the will of their own state governments. Especially when legalized marijuana has brought jobs, tax revenue, and in Colorado, one study found, even a decline in opioid deaths. [...]

                    “There should be at least one leak like the Pentagon Papers every year.”
                                   
~Daniel Ellsberg

On this date at Daily Kos in 2008—We Won the Debates:

I'll get the declaration of winners out of the way first: the Democratic voters won tonight.  

All four of our candidates were very strong. They all came across as likable. They are extremely sharp, incredibly well-informed and thoughtful. They have visions for how and where they would lead the country, and the role of America in the world. They want to challenge the American people by appealing to the sense of the common good.  

They didn't attack government and demean its potential for positive change. They showed that they can all inspire Americans to strive for a better future for all of us. There couldn't be a more stark contrast between our tremendous field and the horrible Republican field than the back-to-back debates that just aired on ABC.  

Our candidates also conducted themselves like responsible adults. They showed respect to each other, and in doing so showed greater respect for the viewers and the voters. Unlike the Republicans, who were mean and nasty to each other, the Democrats were almost unfailingly calm, they didn't take nasty tones with each other, they complimented each other, and they didn't interrupt. There was only one moment of significant crosstalk, when all four were trying to interrupt, but they were trying to interrupt ABC's host Charles Gibson, to reject the premise of one of his questions. 

On show Kagro in the Morning today’s: Who would’ve guessed? The “Trump is a criminal, a moron, and a traitor” story has legs! Sure, it was an “open secret,” but the open ones give us fits come accountability time. Armando likes a NYT piece, and reads between the lines to get the real story.