Tag Archives: Marijuana

DC legalizes pot in capital, despite threats from Congress

DC legalizes pot in capital, despite threats from Congress

By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, posters encouraging people to vote yes on DC Ballot Initiative 71 to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use are readied in Washington. Possession of marijuana will become legal in the nation's capital, Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated Wednesday, defying a threat from Congress that she and other city leaders could face prison time for implementing a voter-approved initiative. Bowser, a Democrat, said the city's plans haven't changed despite a letter from two leading House Republicans warning of repercussions if the city moves forward with legalization, which was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP / AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia defied threats from Congress and moved forward Thursday with legalizing possession of marijuana after a voter-approved initiative.

Despite last-minute maneuvers by Republican leaders in Congress and threats that city leaders could face prison time, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city was implementing marijuana legalization as approved by voters. The new law took effect at 12:01 a.m.

Bowser, a Democrat, said the city’s plans haven’t changed despite a letter from two leading House Republicans warning of repercussions if the city moves forward with legalization.

Congress has final say over the laws in the District of Columbia, and the two sides disagree about whether Congress acted quickly enough to block an initiative legalizing pot, which was approved by nearly two-thirds of city voters in November.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee, urged Bowser in a letter late Tuesday to reconsider her plans to implement the initiative, saying that doing so would clearly violate federal law.

“Bullying the District of Columbia is not what his constituents expect, nor do ours,” Bowser said. “We do disagree on a matter of law. There are reasonable ways to resolve that without us threatening him or he us.”

The District becomes the first place east of the Mississippi River where recreational pot is legal. Alaska also legalized pot this week, joining Colorado and Washington state.

The initiative legalizes possession of up to 2 ounces for use at home, and people are also permitted to grow up to three mature plants. Smoking marijuana in public remains illegal, as does buying or selling the drug.

Congress approved language in December that appeared to block the initiative. District leaders argued it was enacted before Congress took action, even though it had yet to take effect. Chaffetz said that interpretation was wrong and that the mayor and other District employees would face possible prison time by moving forward.

“The penalties are severe, and we’re serious about this. Nobody’s wishing or wanting that to happen, but the law is clear,” he said in an interview.

It would be up to the Justice Department to prosecute District officials, a scenario that appears unlikely. However, Congress could sue the city over its actions. House Republicans could also retaliate by pulling funding for other District programs.

The letter from Chaffetz and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina warned that by spending money to change pot laws, Bowser and other District officials would violate the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits spending of federal dollars that have not been appropriated. The committee also launched an investigation, demanding that the District turn over all documents detailing money that’s been spent and time that’s been put in by city employees to implement the initiative.

No one has ever been convicted of violating the Anti-Deficiency Act, although government employees have been punished administratively for violations.

Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor at American University, characterized the threat of criminal prosecution as “a lot of huffing and puffing on Capitol Hill.”

“The real power Congress has is the power of the purse,” said Raskin, who’s also a Democratic Maryland state senator. “They can exact their retribution financially against the District.”

Congress hasn’t struck down a specific city law in 25 years. Instead, members often add language to critical pieces of federal legislation to undo city policies they don’t like. The language on pot was included in a spending bill that was needed to keep the government running.

The city has already decriminalized possession, and under legalization, police officers would no longer issue $25 civil fines for people caught with pot.

Bowser said that by implementing the initiative, she was simply doing her job, and she said she hoped she could work more productively with Congressional Republicans on other issues.

“We would encourage the Congress to not be so concerned about overturning what seven out of 10 voters said should be the law in the District of Columbia,” she said.

Alaska becomes third state to legalize recreational marijuana

Alaska becomes third state to legalize recreational marijuana

Associated Press

Alaska Marijuana_Cham640360022415.jpg
Alaska Cannabis Club CEO Charlo Greene smokes a joint at the medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Alaska on Tuesday became the third U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but organizers don’t expect any public celebrations since it remains illegal to smoke marijuana in public.

In the state’s largest city, Anchorage police officers are ready to start handing out $100 fines to make sure taking a toke remains something to be done behind closed doors.

Placing Alaska in the same category as Washington state and Colorado with legal marijuana was the goal of a coalition including libertarians, rugged individualists and small-government Republicans who prize the privacy rights enshrined in the Alaska state constitution.

When they voted 53-47 percent last November to legalize marijuana use by adults in private places, they left many of the details to lawmakers and regulators to sort out.

That has left confusion on many matters.

The initiative bans smoking in public, but didn’t define what that means, and lawmakers left the question to the alcohol regulatory board, which planned to meet early Tuesday to discuss an emergency response.

That’s left different communities across the state to adopt different standards of what smoking in public means to them. In Anchorage, officials tried and failed in December to ban a new commercial marijuana industry. But Police Chief Mark Mew said his officers will be strictly enforcing the public smoking ban. He even warned people against smoking on their porches if they live next to a park.

But far to the north, in North Pole, smoking outdoors on private property will be OK as long as it doesn’t create a nuisance, officials there said.

Other officials are still discussing a proposed cultivation ban for the Kenai Peninsula.

In some respects, the confusion continues a four-decade reality for Alaskans and their relationship with marijuana.

While the 1975 Alaska Supreme Court decision protected personal marijuana possession and a 1998 initiative legalized medicinal marijuana, state lawmakers twice criminalized any possession over the years, creating an odd legal limbo.

As of Tuesday, adult Alaskans can not only keep and use pot, they can transport, grow it and give it away. A second phase, creating a regulated and taxed marijuana market, won’t start until 2016 at the earliest. That’s about the same timeline for Oregon, where voters approved legalizing marijuana the same day as Alaska did but the law there doesn’t go into effect until July 1. Washington state and Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012 and sales have started there.

And while possession is no longer a crime under state law, enjoying pot in public can bring a $100 fine.

That’s fine with Dean Smith, a pot-smoker in Juneau who has friends in jail for marijuana offenses. “It’s going to stop a lot of people getting arrested for nonviolent crimes,” he said.

The initiative’s backers warned pot enthusiasts to keep their cool.

“Don’t do anything to give your neighbors reason to feel uneasy about this new law. We’re in the midst of an enormous social and legal shift,” organizers wrote in the Alaska Dispatch News, the state’s largest newspaper.

Richard Ziegler, who had been promoting what he called “Idida-toke” in a nod to Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, reluctantly called off his party.

There’s no such pullback for former television reporter Charlo Greene, now CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which is having its grand opening on Tuesday in downtown Anchorage. She’s already pushing the limits, promising to give away weed to paying “medical marijuana” patients and other “club members.”

Greene — who quit her job with a four-letter walkoff on live television last year to devote her efforts to passing the initiative — plans a celebratory toke at 4:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, Alaska Native leaders worry that legalization will bring new temptations to communities already confronting high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

“When they start depending on smoking marijuana, I don’t know how far they’d go to get the funds they need to support it, to support themselves,” said Edward Nick, council member in Manokotak, a remote village of 400 that is predominantly Yup’ik Eskimo.

Both alcohol and drug use are prohibited in Nick’s village 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, even inside the privacy of villagers’ homes.

But Nick fears that the initiative, in combination with a 1975 state Supreme Court decision that legalized marijuana use inside homes — could open doors to drug abuse.

Initiative backers promised Native leaders that communities could still have local control under certain conditions. Alaska law gives every community the option to regulate alcohol locally. From northern Barrow to Klawock, 1,291 miles away in southeast Alaska, 108 communities impose local limits on alcohol, and 33 of them ban it altogether.

But the initiative did not provide clear opt-out language for tribal councils and other smaller communities, forcing each one to figure out how to proceed Tuesday.

TN Legislators Introduce Bills to Decriminalize Cannabis Oil, Legalize Marijuana

TN Legislators Introduce Bills to Decriminalize Cannabis Oil, Legalize Marijuana

The battle over marijuana prohibition is heating up in the Volunteer State, as legislators have introduced two new bills that would weaken the ban — one to legalize up to a half ounce of pot and the other to decriminalize the medical use of cannabis oil.

Photo of Tennessee welcome sign.

Following news that TN NORML has launched a petition drive to place a referendum on Nashville’s upcoming August mayoral ballot that would allow voters to decide whether to defund enforcement of low-level marijuana arrests for possession of less than two ounces, state-level lawmakers have also introduced two new bills that, if they were to become law, would weaken Tennessee’s ban on pot.

According to WATE-TV, State Representative Harold Love (D-Nashville) introduced HB0873, which would legalize possession and the casual exchange of a half ounce of marijuana or less. The bill would also modify Tennessee criminal code by adjusting the penalty for the possession, distribution, or casual exchange of over an ounce of pot to a misdemeanor punished by a $100 fine. A companion version of the bill, SB 1211, has been introduced in the Tennessee Senate by Senator Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville). If it were to pass, the bill would go into effect on July 1 of this year.

From the other side of the aisle, Republican State Representative Jeremy Faison from Cosby, TN introduced a bill last month that would decriminalize the possession and use of cannabis oil for medical purposes. BenSwann.com previously reported on two Tennessee parents who were forced to move to Colorado to obtain cannabis oil treatment for their two-year-old daughter Piper who suffers from Aicardi Syndrome, a seizure disorder.

According to WBIR-TV, Faison’s bill would allow individuals suffering from intense seizures to use cannabis oil. State Senator Becky Duncan-Massey (R-Knoxville) has introduced a companion bill in the Tennessee Senate.

Said Faison of the bill, “Cannabis oil has shown evidence to help children who suffer with seizures, and I strongly believe that if the legislature joins me in passing this bill, it will be one of those times that government does get it right.” Faison pointed out the fact that his bill would stop short of legalizing medical marijuana, as it would only allow oils with less than .9% THC content.

Back in September of 2014, Ben Swann released an expose on the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana and cannabis oil. Despite the fact that the federal government claims that marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs with no medical use, it also holds a patent on medical marijuana. Watch Ben Swann’s Truth in Media episode on medical marijuana in the player below.

Federal Judge May Declare Pot’s Classification As Schedule 1 Narcotic Unconstitutional

Federal Judge May Declare Pot’s Classification As Schedule 1 Narcotic Unconstitutional

By: Barry Donegan

Federal Judge Kimberly Jo Mueller pot unconstitutional illegal legal
While hearing a criminal case in which 9 California men are accused of illegally growing medical marijuana, federal Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said she is seriously considering the defense’s argument that the charges should be dropped and that marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 narcotic is unconstitutional.

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Sacramento Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California just made some comments in court that signal that she might be preparing to declare marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 narcotic unconstitutional.According to Reuters, defense attorneys representing nine California men who are accused of illegally growing medical marijuana on federal land argued before Judge Mueller that the charges should be thrown out under the rationale that federal medical marijuana prohibition is unconstitutional.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Judge Mueller indicated that she is seriously considering the merits of the defense’s position and said to prosecutors, “If I were persuaded by the defense’s argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?” At stake is whether or not the federal government has overstepped its bounds in declaring marijuana a Schedule 1 narcotic, which categorizes it as one of the deadliest drugs and as having no medical use.

The defendants in the criminal case are facing a $10 million fine, property seizure, and up to life in prison for what their lawyers characterized as an effort to cultivate medical marijuana for people in need of treatment. During the defense team’s closing arguments on a motion to throw out the charges, defense attorney Zenia Gilg said, “It’s impossible to say that there is no accepted medical use.” The defense team also pointed out the facts that 23 US states have already legalized marijuana for medical use and that Congress recently voted to block the Department of Justice from interfering in state-level efforts to legalize medical pot.

Assistant US Attorney Gregory Broderick, a prosecutor in the case, argued that Congress, rather than a judge, should determine whether marijuana belongs on Schedule 1. However, he stopped short of arguing that it does, saying, “We’re not saying that this is the most dangerous drug in the world. All we’re saying is that the evidence is such that reasonable people could disagree.” Meanwhile, he says the defendants should face punishment for growing medical pot on federal land as federal law still bans such activity. Despite the facts that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and that many business owners rely on firearms to protect valuable merchandise, Broderick cited the men’s status as firearms owners as evidence that their marijuana grow operation was not for medical use. He said, “They had weapons. These guys were not producing medicine.”

The hearing included testimony by doctors as to whether marijuana is useful for medical purposes, which prompted Broderick to admit in comments cited by The Leaf Online, “If Congress heard all the testimony you have heard in this hearing, they may very well decide not to put marijuana in Schedule I.” However, he stood firm in his argument that Judge Mueller lacked the authority to rule on the issue, which he said should fall in the hands of Congress instead.

The Leaf Online‘s Jeremy Daw wrote, “Judge Mueller, who has already scheduled nearly a week of court time to the hearing, did not give any indication of sympathy to [Broderick’s] position,” noting that she did appear to give some pause to the notion that “Broderick’s argument that even if she could properly hear the case, the ultimate outcome is irrelevant” had “more credence.”

Judge Mueller said that she would consider the motion to drop the charges and issue a written ruling within 30 days.

In September of last year, Ben Swann released an expose on the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana, as it holds the patent on medical cannabis while also declaring that it has no medical use. Watch it in the embedded video player, seen below.

Marijuana Backed By More Studies Than Most FDA Approved Drugs

Marijuana Backed By More Studies Than Most FDA Approved Drugs

Many pharma drugs have only one clinical trial

Jamaica marijuana ganja

Marijuana and its use has been studied over the course of the last few decades more so than even many leading FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs, with researchers categorizing the effects of marijuana to a much greater degree than many of the pharmaceutical drugs you or your family may currently be taking.

In a revelation that really demonstrates our scientific focus in the United States, where marijuana is still considered by federal law to be a dangerous and illegal substance placed in the same class as hard drugs like heroin, even mainstream media publications have begun calling out the strange doctrine of the medical community that pushes pharma drugs on the public at warp speed. This, all while scoffing at the use of ‘no high’ marijuana alternatives like the juicing of cannabis oil.

A quick search within the PubMed National Library of Medicine database for ‘marijuana’ turns up a host of studies, highlighting every aspect imaginable regarding the plant in its many forms. Some advocacy websites have even compiled hundreds of studies in an easy-to-read format surrounding marijuana, which has led numerous journalists to ask the obvious question: “why are we spending so much time researching an illegal drug for its numerous benefits while stamping side-effect-riddled drugs with the FDA stamp of approval with far less research?”

An analysis of 200 FDA-backed pharmaceutical drugs even found that almost 33% of approved drugs were granted the approval over a single piece of clinical study.

And to be clear, the uses of the cannabis plant far extend beyond ‘getting high’ — to the degree that it was ultimately ruled to be illegal in all forms thanks to mega billion dollar corporations fearing its many uses that extend even into the realm of construction and agriculture. Because, as you are probably aware, industrial-grade hemp (a high-growing variety of cannabis) can be used in protein shakes, building materials, oils used for the prevention and treatment of disease, and actually does not get you high.

In fact, it’s ultra rich in fiber and is all around an amazing superfood. Even sources like the Livestrong foundation agree that hemp packs a powerful fiber-based punch of protein and essential nutrients that can enhance your overall health, reporting:

“Fiber is a nutrient many Americans do not get enough of in their diet, according to the Dietary Guidelines. Women need 25 grams of fiber a day, and men 38 grams. Whole hemp seeds are comprised of 10 to 15 percent fiber, or about 1 gram per 3 tablespoons. Fiber in food like hemp seeds improves bowel function by helping prevent constipation. The fiber also increases feelings of fullness so you eat less.”
But it’s still banned in the United States under federal law thanks to the Controlled Substances Act (P.L. 91-513; 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.).

When considering that the average drug label contains 70 side effects, and have not been thoroughly studied for long-term effects in many cases, it’s easy to see the scientific oddity that exists around the use of non-THC containing hemp (at the very least). Many popular pharmaceuticals have even been found to contain 100 to 125. Some pharma drugs come with over 525 negative reactions.

Ritalin, for example, has been linked to conditions including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased alertness
  • Suppressed appetite

As the realization within the United States comes into focus surrounding the practical and health-related uses of marijuana, especially in its ‘no high’ non-THC form that only serves to enhance one’s health and state, it’s becoming more clear than ever that a serious role exists for hemp within the US and beyond.

Click for a full-size version.
This post originally appeared at Natural Society

Marijuana Is Still Illegal By Federal Law, But This Venture Capital Firm Doesn’t Care

Marijuana Is Still Illegal By Federal Law, But This Venture Capital Firm Doesn’t Care

A woman smokes marijuana during the 4/20 Rally at the Civic Center in Denver, Colorado, April 20, 2014. (REUTERS/Mark Leffingwell)

One of the top venture capital firms in the world is taking advantage of the increasingly hazy realm of marijuana law.

Founders Fund is pouring money into Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm in Seattle, Wash. Privateer Holdings was first launched in 2010 and directs investments into medical and recreational sectors of the marijuana industry. The undisclosed investment from the fund run by Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, is listed as being in the millions.

“Founders Fund is known for making some of the most lucrative and radically transformational investments of the past decade,” said Privateer Holdings CEO Brendan Kennedy in a press release Jan. 8. “With this investment they are signaling that they, like us, believe that the end of prohibition and the social harms it causes is inevitable.”

The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, like of heroin and ecstasy, but is facing increasing pressure from states as they move to legalize medical and recreational marijuana. The large investment could represent a watershed moment for the growing marijuana industry, which many investors have deemed too risky in the past. Legal marijuana saw sales last year totaling up to $2.6 billion, according to The ArcView Group, a company that conducts research on the marijuana industry.

“This investment from Founders Fund is just another marker that we’ve probably reached a tipping point for the industry. From a historical perspective, there are a lot of similarities between the end of alcohol prohibition and our current trajectory with marijuana. We’re probably going down a similar path,” Leslie Bocskor, managing partner of Electrum Partners and founder of the Electrum Report, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Yes, there were investors that have backed out the industry in the past and there will be more. This is still a battle. These next two years will be a battle. But we’ll also see many more investors come in. The positive news will outweigh any negative news. They’ll be following the Founders Fund.”

According to Bocskor, one of the best indicators that the federal government won’t start cracking down on marijuana is a recent memo from the Department of Justice regarding Native American reservations in the U.S. It stated that if they were to engage in cultivation or production of cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, the federal government wouldn’t seek enforcement action.

“I have not been able to find a single instance in the last 40 years where the federal government has given the Native American governments anything and then subsequently taken it back,” Bocskor said.

Terra Tech founder and CEO Derek Peterson reflected on the announcement and how much the cannabis industry has changed since he started his company in 2010, at a time when it was one of the first firms to enter the medical marijuana industry.

“The reality of waking up one morning and getting arrested for assisting to the cultivation of a Schedule 1 narcotic doesn’t seem to exist anymore. In 2010 that existed. Any one of us could have been picked up. A lot of people are still going to sit on the sidelines until federal regulations change. But now that name-brand people are putting money in, people are going to want to join the ball game. That’s Wall Street 101.

“Before, the only investors were people really willing to speculate. It’s transitioned from that into an environment where we’re seeing more institutional money. Now, we’re seeing a better risk appetite.

“It took us a year to raise a million dollars back in 2010. This year, we’ve raised close to 10 million dollars this year alone,” Peterson told TheDCNF.

Others, however, were skeptical of what large investment from top funds might mean for the drug moving forward.

“There is so much money now entering the field that has no interest in pot’s medicinal purposes and the well-being of the people who are consuming it. They are just looking at ways to make more money,” Anthony Franciosi, founder of Ant’s Organic marijuana, told TheDCNF. “That said, it is very important that the investing is done with finesse and with a focus on high quality cannabis and the consumers’ final well-being, not just on producing high yields of product to make more money.”

“Pot Challenge”: Okla., Neb. sue to stop Colorado marijuana law

“Pot Challenge”: Okla., Neb. sue to stop Colorado marijuana law

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska and Oklahoma on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado’s legalization of marijuana unconstitutional, saying the drug is being brought from Colorado into neighboring states.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the states have filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to prevent Colorado from enforcing the measure that was approved by voters in 2012. The complaint says Colorado’s Amendment 64 runs afoul of federal law and therefore violates the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which says that federal laws trump state laws.

“This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state,” Bruning said at a news conference in Lincoln. “While Colorado reaps millions from the sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost.” Some law enforcement agencies in western Nebraska, along the Colorado border, have complained that marijuana from the neighboring state has drained their resources.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday that Colorado’s decision has hindered his state’s efforts to enforce its anti-marijuana laws. Pruitt said marijuana poses health and safety risks to children and teens. “As the state’s chief legal officer, the attorney general’s office is taking this step to protect the health and safety of Oklahomans,” Pruitt said in a statement.

Washington state also has legalized marijuana, but Bruning said Washington wasn’t included because it doesn’t share a border with Nebraska or Oklahoma. In a statement, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the lawsuit was without merit but that he was not totally surprised by it because neighboring states have expressed concerns about Colorado marijuana crossing the border.

“However, it appears the plaintiffs’ primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado,” said Suthers, who said Colorado would vigorously defend its law. Bruning, a Republican, blamed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for failing to enforce the federal law’s ban on drugs in Colorado. Bruning leaves office in January but said he coordinated with Nebraska Attorney General-elect Doug Peterson, also a Republican, who will continue to pursue the case.

Congress Takes Steps Toward Ending War on Medical Marijuana

Congress Takes Steps Toward Ending War on Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana drugs illegal states rights

On Saturday, the United States Congress approved a landmark $1.1 trillion spending bill in a 56-40 bipartisan vote. The bill, which was created to avoid another government shutdown, and to allocate funds for the next year, grants a new form of security to medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

The Huffington Post reported that the spending bill “includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-legal medical cannabis programs.”

The spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Erik Altieri, told VICE News that he was “very encouraged to see Congress begin to take some legit steps to resolving the state and federal conflict with marijuana law.”

There are issues that still need to be resolved with banking and taxation, but this at least shows they can come together in a bipartisan way and stop raiding state-approved medical marijuana,” Altieri said.

Mike Liszewski, the Government Affairs Director from Americans for Safe Access, an organization working to ensure safe and legal access to medical marijuana, released a statement saying that by passing this bill, Congress is acting in favor of the majority of Americans.

We applaud this Congress for doing the right thing by protecting the rights of patients, and ending a years-long attack on the medical marijuana community,” said Liszewski. “By approving this measure, Congress is siding with the vast majority of Americans who are calling for a change in how we enforce our federal marijuana laws.”

Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, sponsored the amendment, which first passed in the House in May. It prohibits “funding for DOJ to prevent states from implementing state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

The Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Neill Franklin, released a statement saying that this legislation was great for both patients and public safety.

Congress has finally listened to the vast majority of Americans who believe the federal government has no right to interfere in the personal decision to use medical marijuana made by a patient in consultation with his or her doctor,” Franklin said.

VICE News reported that while the measure will not go into effect until the end of the present fiscal year, which is on September 30, 2015, medical marijuana advocates are currently working to “formalize the policy with standalone legislation,” such as a bill titled the “States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act,” which would “remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, and allow funding for therapeutic research.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states and Washington D.C. have legalized the use of medical marijuana. The states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

In a recent episode of Truth in Media, Investigative Journalist Ben Swann looked into the government’s involvement in the field of medical marijuana, and discovered that while the U.S. government claims that cannabis is not medicine, it currently holds the patent to cannabis as medicine. Watch the episode below:

DEA Claims Drug Cartels are Now Smuggling Marijuana from The U.S. into Mexico

DEA Claims Drug Cartels are Now Smuggling Marijuana from The U.S. into Mexico

On Monday, a report was released from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which claimed that following the legalization of marijuana in certain states, it is now being smuggled from the U.S. into Mexico, instead of the other way around.

U.S. News reported that according to the DEA, the alleged smuggling is being conducted by Mexican cartels, and it “involves top-notch marijuana grown by American entrepreneurs.”

According to NPR, while at one time “virtually all the weed smoked in the States” came from south of the border, times have changed, due to the fact that marijuana plants from the U.S. are much more potent than the plants grown in Mexico.

RT reported that “instead of making $60-$90 per kilogram,” marijuana growers in Mexico are now making “between $30 and $40 per kilogram,” which could eventually make the growers “abandon the drug altogether.”

The Communication Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, Mason Tvert, is uncertain about the accuracy of the DEA’s claim.

It’s certainly interesting if it is actually the case, but we should probably wait until there is confirmation that it’s even happening before we jump to conclusions,” said Tvert. “Unfortunately, the DEA doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to providing objective information about marijuana.”

Lawrence Payne, a spokesman for the DEA, told U.S. News that the majority of the trafficked marijuana is “being grown and obtained in states that have relaxed their marijuana laws, such as Colorado.

Payne said that although they believed the trafficked marijuana is “much higher quality and more expensive for the purpose of smuggling back into Mexico for sale and distribution,” they have not been able to gauge the level of the trafficking.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific information or numbers to quantify other than to say we know that it’s happening,” said Payne. “It’s too early to really know the level or scale of the trafficking southward.