Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

New York Times Editorial Board Nods Toward #Marijuana Legalization

marijuanaIt’s been a big week for marijuana legalization in the Americas– with a Mexican court allowing limited cannabis growing rights, new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing he intends to make recreational use legal, and Presidential Candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introducing a legalization bill in the US Senate. Whew.

Also this week– the editorial board of the New York Times published a pro-legalization piece, in which they strongly encourage President Obama and the Congress to consider Sanders’ legislation which would remove marijuana’s Schedule 1 (no redeeming medical value) designation under the Controlled Substances Act. This would allow states to make their own laws and open up interstate commerce. (I am assuming that this bill also would allow pot monies to be banked. Currently, since pot is illegal on the federal level, the Federal Reserve System won’t allow pot growers and dispensaries to deposit their funds in banks. This would be a huge boon to the economy on many levels– sales tax, savings from reduced incarceration, and flooding banks with previously stored cash.)

From the New York Times

What’s needed now is responsible leadership from President Obama and Congress. They ought to seriously consider the kind of legislation Mr. Sanders has proposed. His bill would remove marijuana, or “marihuana” as it is called in federal law, from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which is meant for drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no medical use.

This change would allow states to decide if they want to make the drug legal and how to regulate it without being limited by federal law. Mr. Sanders’s bill would also make it illegal to transport the drug across state lines. If Congress is unwilling to act, Mr. Obama should move on his own by ordering the attorney general to request a study by the secretary of health and human services, which would be needed if the administration is to remove the drug from Schedule I on its own.

A growing group of activists, judges and lawmakers is showing the world a path to more sensible drug policies. Mr. Obama and Congress should join them.

It’s time.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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