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The STATES Act Could Be the Biggest Win for Federal Marijuana Reform in 12222

An American flag flies atop the stage at the first day of Hempfest, Friday, Aug. Thousands packed the Seattle waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival.

I had been trying to track down Vivian McPeak all week, and I finally reached him Wednesday afternoon. Upwards of , guests are expected. I wanted to talk with McPeak because Hempfest has always intrigued and confused me. He and some friends started the event in , when cannabis was extremely illegal.

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Hempfest is set up like a three-day marathon of Hyde Park soapboxers or a never-ending series of five-minute TED Talks. Comedian Ngaio Bealum will riff on edibles. Rolling Stone writer Amanda Chicago Lewis will discuss cannabis media. Grow guru Kyle Kushman will go off about cannabis seeds. Or they may talk about something completely different. Who knows? Each speaker gets four minutes and change to say their piece. The schedule, parsed in five minute increments, is insane. Another point of confusion: Hempfest actually did start out with a focus on hemp , not smokable sativas. Hemp is the same cannabis sativa plant that produces the flower you can buy in legal cannabis stores today.

To be considered hemp it must contain, by law, less than 0.


Emperor went on to become one of the best-selling underground books in publishing history. The farm bill Congress passed last December contained a provision removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. A further twist: Hemp reform was led by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, an ardent cannabis prohibitionist who set hemp free because the farmers in his home state of Kentucky see it as a promising cash crop.

So you can thank Sen.

Weed in What to Expect – Rolling Stone

Mitch the next time you pop that CBD gummy. Along came Hempfest to say, Why not? At first it was kind of funny.

Go ahead and dream, you crazy hippies. Then Hempfest stuck around, year after year. People of good faith — both in the industry and outside of it — are at risk of being a federal felon despite complying with state law.

Weed the People The Future of Legal Marijuana in America

And the cash on the streets is a big public safety and law enforcement concern. Warren, who is a presidential candidate hopeful, said in a statement, "Our federal marijuana laws are outdated and pose a threat to our public health and safety. Marijuana should be legalized, and we must reverse the harm of these failed policies by wiping clean the records of those unjustly jailed for minor marijuana crimes. It's very similar to a version of the bill introduced in the last Congress. But now, those in favor of marijuana reform can use the Democratic majority in the House and the bipartisan support in the Senate to shepherd it through, or so they think.

President Trump even " really " supported the earlier version. His Marijuana Justice Act calls for the full federal legalization of weed, as well as clean records for people who committed marijuana-related offenses, and reinvestment into the minority communities targeted the most by the War on Drugs.

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He netted some of the biggest Democratic names to back it, but there's next to no chance he'll get it past the Republican-controlled Senate. Whether or not Congress can get its shit together to make big marijuana moves, the cannabis movement is churning through the states. New Jersey came maddeningly close to legalizing weed last month, and New York is looking at its own legalization effort this year. Georgia just voted to allow the sale of medical marijuana, which ought to help a lot of Georgians out.

Fancy cannabis dispensaries are popping up in Vegas , NYC , and other big cities. This is going to be a big year for weed. It's what the people want. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. The Washington Post Getty Images.

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