Pubdate: Thu, 14 Apr 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Cannabuzz: The Week in Cannabis
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Josh Jardine


WHO LIKES POT NEWS? We like pot news! Come get some pot news before 
it gets cold...

DEA to Reschedule Cannabis... Maybe-Do you need another reason to 
love Elizabeth Warren? Okay, here's one. Because of a letter the 
Massachusetts senator wrote in July 2015 asking the government to 
"facilitate scientific research on the potential health benefits of 
marijuana"-which was signed by not one but two Oregon senators, Jeff 
Merkley and Ron Wyden-the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has 
announced they will decide by July if they plan to reschedule 
cannabis. The government has five different designated categories, or 
schedules, of drugs, and cannabis has always been listed as a 
Schedule I drug along with heroin and LSD, all of which are 
considered as having "no currently accepted medical use" and a "high 
potential for abuse." This current designation for weed has about as 
much credibility as a 1981 Afterschool Special called Timmy Shot Up 
Some Marijuana, Turned Gay, and Died.

Rescheduling cannabis won't make it legal on the federal level, but 
it would allow researchers to actually, you know, research the 
benefits and risks of cannabis.

The US Food and Drug Administration has submitted its research on the 
plant's safety and effectiveness to the DEA, along with its 
recommendations. (I don't know what they suggested.)

But there is hope, as the DEA went into great detail regarding the 
supply of cannabis available at the University of Mississippi, the 
only place where the feds currently grow weed (calm down, it's for 
research). The DEA explained that if there were a greater demand for 
cannabis for research purposes, they would be open to licensing 
additional growers.

This would be fantastic news, because the marijuana Ole Miss produces 
is, in clinical terms, "schwag." Not to mention botanists' cool 
points would be off the charts if they could drop this at their next 
cocktail party: "What do I do? Well, I grow weed... for the feds."

Senator Asshole Says What?-Unfortunately, not all of our nation's 
senators are enlightened. Shocking news, I know. A senator from the 
great forward-thinking state of Alabama, Republican Jeff Sessions, 
dropped some heavy wisdom bombs this week during a hearing titled "Is 
the Department of Justice Adequately Protecting the Public from the 
Impact of State Recreational Marijuana Legalization?" (Answer: Yes. 
Yes, it is. Next question.) This hearing was put together by Senators 
Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (California), longtime 
prohibitionists, so naturally, there was much handwringing and absurd 
testimony. But the low point came from Sessions, who, harking back to 
the good ol' days of Nancy Reagan's remarkably unsuccessful "Just Say 
No" campaign, drawled:

"I can't tell you how concerning it is for me, emotionally and 
personally, to see the possibility that we will reverse the progress 
that we've made.... It was the prevention movement that really was so 
positive, and it led to this decline.

The creating of knowledge that this drug is dangerous, it cannot be 
played with, it is not funny, it's not something to laugh about, and 
trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don't 
smoke marijuana."

Where to begin?

You can't fix stupid, so let's not even try. Passing baseless, 
hate-filled moral judgment upon harmless personal choices made by 
adults is pretty much how Alabama Republicans spend their days. Let's 
all be "not good people" together, shall we?

Well, It Beats "Moda Center"-Finally, let us turn our eyes to our 
cousins in cannabis, the state of Colorado. The stadium where the 
Denver Broncos play is currently named Sports Authority Field at Mile 
High Stadium, which just drips off the tongue.

One problem: Sports Authority recently filed for bankruptcy, and 
announced plans to close 140 of their stores.

It's been reported that they owe more than $3.6 million to the Denver 
Broncos for naming rights, money that's due on August 1.

Enter Native Roots, arguably the state's most successful dispensary 
chain. They blew up from a single store to 14 since Colorado enacted 
legalization in 2014. Native Roots announced their intentions on 
April 1, leading many to believe it was an April Fools' joke, but 
their owner insists it's on the level, and the chain is vying for the 
opportunity to rebrand the stadium as Native Roots Field at Mile 
High. With the strict and asinine anti-cannabis policy held by the 
National Football League, though, don't hold your breath.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom