Cannabis Year in Review –

7 November 2020 (Updated 5 December 2020)
Loren W

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Update – 5 December 2020

AROUND THE MORE ACT – PASSED 5 DECEMBER 2020 – & DIES – The MORE ACT passed in the house and then died as the Senate has not addressed it in the last of the 2020 Senate sessions. It now gets reborn in the Biden-Harris 2020-21 administration hopefully with the a Democratic Senate, and if split 50/50 the deciding vote would poetically would be the new VP and co sponsor of the bill herself Kamala Harris. SOme elements include.

Every 37 seconds in the USA there is an arrest for Cannabis, and 330% more likely to be a person of color than a white person, though use is the same”.

In the USA entrepreneurs and politicians make money selling Cannabis, and folks of color languish in prison for the same”.

Veterans are not allowed to have Cannabis vs pharmaceuticals, prefer Cannabis and and lose access to ALL Medication if discovered to be using “federally” illegal Cannabis even in a USA state like California where Cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use but still illegal federally.

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The USA is split close to 50/50 on many issues. Cannabis law reform is not one of them the challenge will be convincing many politicians (as here in Australia) that they should be supporting the will of the the people that elected them not private interests or their own. Not a easy task for those with out the policial ability to tell the truth.

The Legal Cannabis Industry in the USA is worth $23,000,000,000 ($23B) AUD globally yet has no access to federal resources as it is illegal federally. Oddly it makes it easier for money laundering, and tax evasion,

In this crazy political period in the USA and global pandemic issues it is hard to prioritise Cannabis law reform domestically in Australia or globally in hard hit areas like the USA. However, it has been a busy time in Cannabis law reform – the USA has passed the MORE Act.

In the USA more than 50% of the 330,000,000 Americans live in a state where Cannabis is legal. Here is the debate – House Debate on Federal Deregulation of Marijuana | ( – Oddly co-sponsored by Republican dickhead – Matt Gaetz – It shows sometimes the government (Democrat and Republican) have a common goal. As in Australia many of those understand the war on drugs have failed but choose to tow the political lines, in their states NOT in line with the wishes of their electors.
This is where the tides change. As Rep. Hakeem Jefferies D- New York 8th district pointed out quite well in the debate, currently Cannabis is socially acceptable in some neighborhoods and viewed as a crime and entrance to jail incarceration, prison or by accident as happens too often .. something worse along the way.

Those opposed continue to reinforce the lack of relevance, and to support the lost war on drugs. USA Rep. Jim Jordon R-Ohio, I am sure he did not wrestle {sic} long with his attack on the issue. One of the biggest health issues that started before COVID in the USA and globally was Fentanyl the synthetic opioid that is taking over the world.

The Opioid Cannabis Love-Hate Triangle in Australia and Globally

Triangle Part 1 – Opium based OpiatesAustralia, per capita is one the largest producers of pharmaceuticals in the world. In the case of opium based plant opiates Australia produces more than half (54%) of the worlds supply. So large is the impact (and political contributions) of the pharmaceutical industry that the pharmaceutical industry is actually part of the Australian Government, in innovation and economic development. Uniquely, this means when Australia legalised Cannabis for medical use in 2016, the pharmaceutical industry was so instrumental in how the public would access Cannabis it also became involved in changing the definition of the word Cannabis itself in Australia to protect the pharmaceutical industry, demonise REAL Cannabis yet support the pharmaceutical friend imported CBD oil from mostly GMO Hemp via Canada exports. The result is since 2016 “Cannabis” need not include REAL “Cannabis” (>10% THC) only, “Be similar to, and also need “Not come from a plant”. Other countries encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry like Thailand, UK, New Zealand and others have also had their definitions “tweaked” to allow a deviation from global norms like in the the USA and Canada where REAL Cannabis is called Cannabis and high CBD low THC, Cannabis or hemp are called such. The biggest risks to opium based opiates is synthetic opiates and … Cannabis .. The global market on Cannabis (>10% THC ) vs low THC, high CBD (mostly from hemp) is 90:10% high vs low THC – In Australia it is the other way around. 10:90% high THC to low CBD, none of this is by accident.

Triangle Part 2 – Synthetic Opiates – As mentioned Subsys/Fentanyl are synthetic opiates, their market enemy risk is they compete with Australia’s and others opium natural opiates and .. Cannabis – The synthetic opiate industry also has a history of funding anti-Cannabis law reform while also trying to introduce .. synthetic Cannabis for medical use.

Triangle Part 3 – The enemy of my enemy is my friend – In 2018 -2020 Australia and the worlds largest legal supplier of opium products (Australia Tasmanian Alkaloids) got involved in trialing Medical Cannabis as announced. – – The view is simple – CBD aligned with the pharmaceutical industry in 2014 outside Australia, and in 2017 in Australia with the Australian hemp industry lawsuit against the Australian government. EVE Hemp vs Australia – The lawsuit saw the hemp industry side with the pharmaceutical industry ending with Cannabis was not safe but hemp was, and hemp with THC over 2% should not be legislated. The Hemp industry lost, the wedge between hemp and Cannabis remains to this day pretty much globally.

What Next for the USA – The USA voting for the MORE Act, not picked up by the Senate dies. So has to be reintroduced in the 2021 congress perhaps with a Democratic Senate.

What Next For Australia as a Result – The eventual passing of a USA Act to legalise Cannabis federally is huge for the USA as well as Australia down stream . Currently in Australia most of the legal medical Cannabis is as mentioned GMO CBD oil from hemp imported from Canada, or synthetic, vs any Australia domestic product. Likewise REAL Cannabis (>10% THC) usually in a vapable {sic} flower, is less than 5% of the market and 99% of it is imported only. This is the opposite to the USA and Canada where domestic product is over 90% of the market, and 95% of it is REAL Cannabis vs, CBD. CBD was not really legal or on the market in the USA till 2001, where REAL Cannabis was made legal in 1996.

The result is with Cannabis being illegal federally in the USA and Australia no importing takes place. In Canada the largest supplier of Cannabis product CBD and Cannabis is called Canopy Growth, and they also distribute recreational Cannabis in Canada. However, Australia tries it best to prevent real Cannabis sales so little Real Cannabis is sold to Australia.

When the USA legalises Cannabis Federally this will create a new global lobbyist USA Weed, it is hopeful that new player can impact Australia also.

What Next for New Zealand Cannabis Election NO Vote WINS – – Due to Australia-like strong pharmaceutical pressures as mentioned many times and as a result strong Reefer Madness arguments from the NATS (nationals) and without strong pushing back by NZ greens and Labour meant a NO answer was always likely in the recent NZ votes. It will now be up to NZ Labour to pursue or ignore the issue that was voted on out of lies, and misinformation vs facts or science or what the rest of the world is doing.

Specifically, another referendum is always in the works, seeking to decriminalise Cannabis vs making it legal. A step EVERY other country has taken. New Zealand would have been the 1st country to legalise cannabis for recreationally use BEFORE it has been legalised for medical use. A problem the world over. California legalised Cannabis in 1996 but is still illegal federally. Canada legalised recreational [sic} Cannabis over a decade after legal medically. Legal Cannabis medically law reform if done right as in the USA and Canada allows an evolution, from medical use, infrastructure and supply to recreational use, making use of the same regulations, and some of the same infrastructure. etc. When trying to bypass this revolutionary step as Australia has tried and as NZ just dead, it is more likely prone to failure. In fact going form medical to recreational use has taken along time historically.

Before 2020 elections

The Global Cannabis Stock Market – To better understand the global Cannabis picture following stock trends, can be a useful insight domestically and further afield.

In 2020 pharma research is looking to flood the market with CBD as mentioned. To do this they need the support of researchers to help support the government and pharmaceutical e country that CBD is safe and Cannabis is dangerous. That work continues with some due to get rich on giving people what they want them to have, vs what they actually want.

How To Legalise Cannabis in 2021 Australia
A reminder to legalise Cannabis you need…….
1) A legal challenge or ..
2) a Bill sponsored by preferably a senior MP, that can be tabled, debated then pass a lower and upper house vote by 51% or pass 1 house and force a debate that is only best served with strong community support.

Because a 51% vote is needed, and Liberals policy is against law reform it leaves it to Labor, working witth independents and Greens in some cases to legalise but has to include Labor.

NSW has a bill that can pass the upper house by 51% barely, but would fail a lower house vote. This means the NSW Bill could pass then be FORCED to debate, but again without strong lobbying by labor to empower the public to overwhelmingly support and push for law reform then the bill would die again as it has in 2017, and 2018. The general public are strongly influenced in 2020 by the black market, pharmaceutical industry medical industry and government that all want Cannabis to stay illegal. If going the legal path it needs to be politically prioritised over other issues. Not impossible territory ACT pushed a Labor-Greens bill to legalise Cannabis in Jan 2020 almost a year ago.

Other Bills in NSW – MP Rose Jackson promises to introduce a bill to decriminalise Cannabis for recreational use in 2020 no 2021 but has not happened yet. Again would it pass 51% in the upper house and the lower house being real Cannabis is still illegal for medical use…likely not. Again the recipe is medical before recreational and medical Cannabis as the government wants is still a mess. The oxygen level on Cannabis law reform is VERY VERY limited in Australia so anything to push it when it is known will fail, risks real law reform it has to be supportable and passable.

Queensland Government – Labor – has 93 seats in parliament 52 Labor, 34 Libs , & 7 independents including 2 Greens. A friendly MP with Labor support could legalise Cannabis in QLD easier than any other state.

Victoria Government Labor – Lower House 55 Labor – 27 (Lib Nats) – 6 Crossbench
Upper House – 17 Labor, 11 (Libs Nats), and 12 Cross bench – Victoria also could pass Cannabis law reform but has tough laws.

South Australia Liberal – Has 47 in the lower house and 22 in the upper house – Though close based on Liberal support, Cannabis would fail here with no Liberal support

Western Australia – Labor – has a government of 59 in the lower house and 36 in the upper house and coulds pass law reform in the lower and upper house.

ACT Labor – Legalised Cannabis in 2020 at last check the sky has not fallen.

What Could Be a Good Legal Challenge – I was reminded by a Cannabis law reform mentor founder of mine a few years ago NORML funder Keith Stroup when I discussed Australia law reform in more detail. He reminded me when a Bill is not forthcoming small legal challenges are the way to go but a Bill is ALWAYS the end game. Every BBQ, every rally, every event has to be to support a specific end game of a specific bill or there is no reason to do it.

For Australia that could mean crowd funding in 2021, celebrate the wins and use that momentum on to the next. Legal challenges are obviously dependent regardless of funding actual legal challenges. Two that come to mind are c117 and c119 in the Australia constitution. Speaking with barristers on my view of the legal issue around it, it would cost $200k to start and $1m to get to a ruling that has a good chance of passing.
Constitutional law is often about interpretations around the law as much as the law itself. A good argument would force Australia to discuss it further but unfortunately due to fear and apathy, it is hard with no Cannabis lobby in Australia and no wide spread understanding.

Petitions – Are great tools for Bills and legal challenges – UNFORTUNALTEY they only have 2 considerations, 1) They MUST support a bill or a passable “path to law reform” PASSABLE (remember winning by 51%) and need to address ANY issues that the petition would face legally and more importantly that has ALREADY been addressed (e.g. change the record”) This is really only best served by looking at a previous Cannabis petition in the same state and address the resistance to the previous petition(s). EXAMPLE in 2020 – in state QLD a recent Cannabis petition was answered with, “I will answer this with other petitions received with the same issues raised” Then the answer given was copy and pasted with other petitions given the same exact answers after the same exact issues since 2016, all raised in previous petitions and so on what a wasted resource.

To fix this all petitions should ALWAY ALWAYS ALWAYS be personal but be specific to laws and guidance’s already addressed in the recent petitions for the best result. Easy done when looking as all issues raised are all VERY flawed, out of date and has dozens of examples on how things have moved on from their petty ass excuses 🙂 – Again why with no Cannabis lobby in Australia our best hope are others like NZ or the USA where NZ socially will impact Australia and the USA if legal might have a strong lobby that can help get Cannabis across the line.

Cannabis law reform is about creating or riding momentum – The UN / WHO de-scheduling of Cannabis will help CBD not Cannabis unless it is used to pretend it is. Watch the media try to explain its value 🙂

Cannabis Stock Considerations – Nothing has changed in a long time. Most of the worlds largest Cannabis stocks sell hemp CBD not REAL Cannabis – CBD is much more profitable some say 900% than real Cannabis, easier to transport, less issues with longevity of product etc. The result is there are very few countries are exporting REAL Cannabis for medical use and few importing. This means in the short term CBD stocks will flourish in some areas but is a short term win based on global demand. The long game is in REAL Cannabis products with market consolidation expected and perhaps seeing some CBD only stocks look more at demand of REAL Cannabis. Aurora stocks are a good example on the global Cannabis world, where one of the highest grossing medical pharma Cannabis stocks is worth more money ONLY due to owning REAL Cannabis stocks than they are for selling their own CBD. –

In Australia Government created the CBD industry in 2016, then accidentally on preventing supply and high pricing, one assumes accidentally, created the CBD black market in 2016, that has only grown to support the REAL Cannabis black market and why they also do not support law reform, but happy to make money of it.

In most cities, it is easier for a get to get a joint than a beer if under age. Lawmakers might see a path to harm reduction being of interest if nothing else. Time will tell.

Flooding the Australia Market With CBD in 2021
To date I am ware of no research that shows CBD is better for ANY medical condition than REAL Cannabis with THC over 15% unless you care to believe the debunked research used to support Australia Cannabis laws in Australia on the Australia ODC (Office of Drug Chaos (or Control) website. That is to those that made $1B in hemp vs Cannabis, in Australia and controls the Medical Cannabis lobby and is supported 110% by Government, their goal always was to flood the market. In 10 USA states, legal Cannabis can only be medical. Medical can only be CBD, and the only legal CBD is the same one that controls but does not report on sales in Australia. GW Pharma UK. Now others want a share of that market in Australia. Eventually there will be a reckoning when those that claim to support medical users of Cannabis, funded by pharma and the black market that supports them now converged, realise they are helping only the pharmaceutical industry not the people and not themselves. Like the stock market it is a short term view, where it appears many false prophets are only their own false profits off of others.

FROM NOVEMBER 20220 (Pre-edit)

Kamala Harris introduced a new bill to decriminalize marijuana in the USA in June 2020, now as Vice President of The United States, regardless of the view of the New President Elect originally it is already high on the agenda. This because the Biden-Sanders Discovery Project also addressed it and many other things very simply – Referred to by Donald Trump as the “Biden Sanders Manifesto”. On Cannabis it is very simple. This can only help push dialogue in Australia where there is no Cannabis lobby for medical or recreationally use, only medical Cannabis that does not even need to come from a plant in 2020.

1) Expunge previous convictions, for all cannabis “use” cases
2) Legalise (REAL) Cannabis for medical use federally, decriminalise it federally for recreational use, by executive order.
3) Allow states to address law in their own states on recreational use taking it to legalisation from the new decriminalisation, (currently illegal federally even when a state makes it legal)
4) Stop all ongoing federal convictions that are legal at state level.

Currently a lot of Australia Cannabis law reform is based on product imported into Australia mostly from Canada. Canada has a week Cannabis export market but a strong CBD Isolate oil market, that dictates the Australia market by 98%. This means 98% of what is called medical Cannabis in Australia is actually CBD Isolate oil from often GMO hemp from Canada. With the USA changes at a federal level, exporting Cannabis from the USA becomes a reality and can benefit Australians. If we are not able to grow it here legally at home or even industry.

She’s also proposing a federal tax that would generate revenue to help people convicted of marijuana possession in the past.

Kamala Harris speaks on stage at an Essence event on July 6, 2019, in New Orleans.

More than half of all states have taken some action to legalize or decriminalize marijuana, but using the drug is still a crime under federal law. Senators, including 2020 contenders Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have proposed legislation to tackle this disconnect, and on Tuesday, Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined the fray.

Harris’s plan, one that she’s rolling out alongside House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY), would decriminalize the possession of marijuana at the federal level, an effort backed by many of her fellow 2020 Democrats. Harris’s proposal goes one step further, however, imposing a 5 percent federal tax on the sale of marijuana that would be used, in part, to fund grant programs that help individuals who have been disproportionately penalized for marijuana possession in the past.

The introduction of this bill is the latest development in Harris’s shifting position on marijuana legalization, which she had once opposed as San Francisco district attorney. The scope of her proposal is notable, as is her collaboration with Nadler, who could help the measure get more expansive consideration in the House given his perch on the Judiciary Committee. Much like many other Democratic bills, it faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate.

It’s important to note that Harris’s bill isn’t just focused on federal regulation of marijuana. It’s also dedicated to making sure individuals who’ve previously faced marijuana-related convictions have the infrastructure to reestablish themselves: Given the significantly higher conviction rates that people of color and low-income people have experienced for marijuana possession, Harris’s bill attempts to make sure that they would also share in the gains of the growing marijuana industry, now that legalization efforts have spread. This approach is similar to one taken by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose plan would also direct tax revenue to help communities harmed by racist drug laws.

According to Vox’s German Lopez, “a 2015 report from the Sentencing Project … estimated that black Americans are 3.7 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as their white counterparts, but only 1.3 times as likely to use pot.” Harris’s bill aims to acknowledge this disparity head-on, not only through the grants, but also by expunging any prior convictions tied to marijuana from an individual’s records.

It is one of the most progressive options offered by 2020 candidates thus far, says University of Denver law professor and marijuana policy expert Sam Kamin.

“As marijuana becomes legal across the country, we must make sure everyone — especially communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs — has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry,” Harris said in a statement.

What the bill would do

Harris’s bill would give states the flexibility to determine how they intend to approach marijuana possession and sales — or even to continue criminalizing both. Currently, more than 25 states have already moved forward with their own marijuana policies, though they vary quite a bit.

In 11 states and Washington, DC, have now legalized marijuana, while 15 states have decriminalized it. There’s a key distinction between the two:

Under decriminalization, possession of small amounts of pot no longer carries jail or prison time but can continue to carry a fine, and possession of larger amounts, repeat offenses, and sales or trafficking can still result in harsher sentences. Under legalization, penalties for marijuana possession are completely removed, and sales are typically allowed.

Harris’s bill does not prescribe a particular approach to the states, and wouldn’t prevent individual states from banning the drug within their borders — it simply removes the accompanying federal offense.

Her proposal would impose a 5-percent federal tax on the sale of marijuana in the states that have legalized it, a levy that’s similar to the federal tax that currently applies to the sale of cigarettes. Half the revenue from that tax would be funneled into a group of grant programs dedicated to ensuring that communities that have faced discrimination over marijuana possession reap the benefits of its legalization.

Those grants would fund job training, legal aid, and rehabilitation for individuals who’ve experienced marijuana-related convictions in the past. Additionally, they would help those “adversely affected by the War on Drugs” obtain licenses to sell marijuana, and give small businesses involved in marijuana sales and run by “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” a financial boost.

The federal subsidies for marijuana-related businesses stood out to Kamin.

“You see the various candidates positioning themselves on this issue, and this is the most progressive one on that continuum,” he told Vox.

Harris’s bill also includes an important nondiscrimination tenet that ensures that individuals who have used or possessed marijuana in the past will still be eligible for public assistance, and won’t face negative effects under immigration laws. Currently, people convicted of marijuana possession can be barred from benefits, like access to public housing, and could face penalties, including deportation, in immigration cases.

Harris has shifted her position on legalizing marijuana

While running for president, Harris has come under scrutiny for her previous record on criminal justice reform, including her stance on marijuana legalization.

In her recent book, The Truths We Hold, Harris advocated for the end of the war on drugs and emphasized her support for policies legalizing marijuana. “The fact is marijuana laws are not applied and enforced the same way for all people,” she’s also said. “African-Americans use marijuana at roughly the same rate as whites, but are approximately four times more likely to be arrested for possession. That’s just not fair.” While in Congress, she’s backed bills including Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act.

Critics note, however, that these positions aren’t consistent with ones Harris held previously. For example, as Tom Angell writes for Forbes, Harris laughed when asked about another candidate’s support for legalizing marijuana in 2014. She also did not back a California measure in 2010 that would have changed state law in favor of marijuana legalization. The broader conversation about marijuana legalization has shifted significantly in recent years, and Harris’s views on the subject appear to have evolved with it.

“As a former prosecutor who did not endorse legalization in California, this is an opportunity for her to establish a new stance on this subject,” says University of Denver’s Kamin.

Original Story –

The Electoral College, explained

Vox’s guide to where 2020 Democrats stand on policy


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  5. Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman to become vice president

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