Where Do The 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand On Recreational Marijuana Legalization?

Well, the good news is this: all but two candidates running for president in 2020 support efforts to legalize marijuana at the federal level. But here’s the bad news (there’s always bad news): the two candidates who don’t support legalization are Joe Biden and Donald Trump. In other words, if either of the two people most likely to win the White House in 2020 actually get in office, they almost certainly won’t do anything. 

Literally anyone else will. Whoopty-do.

If you’re visiting our website you probably know where we stand regarding the war on drugs and the apparent facts that have determined its disastrous outcome for decades. Joe Biden has been a long-time proponent of this war, and he continues to support it now. He’s the only 2020 Democratic candidate who wants to keep marijuana illegal — but at least he wants to reclassify the drug as Schedule II. That’s hardly good enough, but it would pave the way to more scientific research.

He said in 2010: “There’s a difference between sending someone to jail for a few ounces and legalizing it…The punishment should fit the crime. But I think legalization is a mistake. I still believe [marijuana] is a gateway drug.”

Logically, caffeine and alcohol are “gateway drugs” — because it’s nothing more than a fictional term made up to support nonsense propaganda disseminated to support the drug war decades ago.

That’s not to say Biden isn’t changing policy somewhat now that he’s realized he’s the only Democrat in the field still staunchly opposed to legalization: he wants a period of reform aimed at preventing drug use and racial profiling for drug use crimes. He also wants to end the absurd practice of constructing and funding privately owned prisons, and increase training by correctional officers in public facilities.

Not surprisingly, Bernie Sanders supports legalization (marijuana is already legal in his home state of Vermont as of 2018). Unlike almost all the other candidates, he’s supported legalization for at least two decades. He’s sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act as a senator in Congress. 

He said in 2015: “Right now, marijuana is listed by the federal government as a Schedule I drug — meaning that is is considered to be as dangerous as heroin. That is absurd.”

Elizabeth Warren is another late-comer to the legalization game. Her home state of Massachusetts legislated an adult-use bill for cannabis, a bill for which she did not lend her support. Since then, she has sponsored a number of bills aimed at cannabis reform — but that could be an obvious effort to do as much as possible as quickly as possible to make it seem like she’s always supported these efforts. It’s a facade.

She said in 2018: “No one should go to jail for a joint. But more Americans are arrested for marijuana possession than all violent crimes combined.”

What To Do If You Are Charged With Marijuana Related DUI

Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense. Prosecutors at the attorney general’s office are more likely to push for significant penalties if they think you might be a danger to society. That’s part of the reason those penalties include community service and drug treatment programs. They want to make sure you will not make the same mistake twice. We all know how DUI works with alcohol — but what happens when you get pulled over and charged with a marijuana-related DUI?

The most basic fact is that marijuana-related DUI charges work exactly like alcohol-related DUI charges. The arresting officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of the drug when behind the wheel to make an arrest. At the station you will likely be asked to take a blood test. This test will show the authorities exactly how much THC was in your system when you were driving.

If a driver is found to be over the state’s legal limit, then the driver will be considered “impaired” in the eyes of the law — even if the marijuana did not affect the driver’s ability to perform that function. This is called a “per se” marijuana DUI. Saying you weren’t really encumbered by smoking a little weed is not a valid defense.

States also define the word “impairment” in different ways. Impairment marijuana DUIs work a little differently for that reason. The prosecutor must sometimes prove that the driver was significantly affected by the marijuana to prove impairment.

Visit our website to learn how prosecutors might make mistakes in your marijuana-related DUI case in Florida. There are a number of defense strategies an attorney might use. If the arresting officer did not follow protocol (you’d be surprised how often it happens), then you might find safety. 

Part of the reason that these DUI cases sometimes fail to be prosecuted correctly stems from the fact that field sobriety tests are less accurate in determining a person’s ability to drive than they are when alcohol is a factor. There is no breathalyzer for marijuana — not yet, anyway.

The good news is this: marijuana laws and related offenses are changing due to the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. Sometimes this gives defense attorneys a good opportunity to poke holes in current regulations. Regardless of how you think the law applies to your case, it is always a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can always help lay out the facts better than anyone else.

Can Marijuana Use Affect Divorce Proceedings When In Court?

Marijuana is on its way to legalization; no one can argue with that fact. Dozens of states have already legalized the drug for medical use, while others are moving directly to recreational legalization. But in states where marijuana is still an illegal drug, many spouses are asking themselves if smoking could impact an upcoming court case related to their divorce. And unfortunately the answer is yes.

An uncontested divorce lawyer named Aaron Reynolds commented on the reality of illegal drug use for married couples who are separated. “Most people don’t really think about the consequences — even a joint or two can have a direct impact on a person’s ability to find an equitable solution to divorce,” Reynolds said. “In states where the substance is illegal, the court treats it that way. A spouse can use it against you. Seeking an uncontested divorce is the best way out of this, but they aren’t available to just anyone.”

Marijuana is especially damaging for parents seeking shared custody of children. The court will be extremely hesitant to award custody to a person who is knowingly breaking the law, especially since a number of publications continue to openly assert that marijuana is a gateway drug (which is an assertion long since debunked, but that doesn’t seem to matter).

Judges will claim that marijuana use leads to impaired judgement, memory loss, and reduced reaction time, all of which might affect a person’s ability to safely care for kids. Second hand smoke is especially dangerous in the eyes of the law, and no one wants children exposed to drugs. Regardless of whether or not these claims have any merit (most of them don’t in a society where everyone and their brother still cracks open a beer in front of the kids), a spouse who doesn’t smoke will always have an edge over one who does.

Additionally, married couples hold communal property. Often, the finances included in that communal property go to the purchase of any marijuana used by one spouse, and then the other spouse can use that fact to influence the court’s decisions regarding the distribution of property. 

If a spouse smokes marijuana but knows a court date is coming up, it’s time to stop. Without proof, the court can’t render judgement in favor of one person over another. In most cases an immediate court-ordered drug test will be rendered when a party accuses the other of using marijuana. These tests are accurate for a period of about 90 days.

Is Marijuana Use On The Rise In The United States?

Legalization of medical and recreational marijuana has led to a surge of users–especially senior citizens. About 12 percent of Americans aged 50 to 59 report toking up, while about 8 percent of Americans aged 60 and up report the same. Both demographics have seen substantial growth in usage over the last decade, but the 60+ demographic has taken a wild upswing in the past few years, while the 50 to 59 demographic seems to be leveling off. But why?

It’s hard to say for sure before more research is done, but part of the reason seems to be the shift in social attitude between the era during which the drug war began and the era during which acceptance has become more common.

Simply put, fewer people feel compelled to lie when taking a survey. Even while anonymous, researchers long ago concluded that survey and poll takers aren’t always 100 percent truthful when answering questions about taboo or controversial topics (sort of along the same lines as why the number of homosexual or “mostly” heterosexual people is on the rise).

We’re becoming a society in which fewer people are frowned upon for reasons that never made much sense to begin with.

Back in the 80s, the statistics were quite a bit different. Today, senior citizens are about twenty times as likely to use marijuana for medicine or recreation.

Because medical marijuana is a big part of the equation, it should be noted that more senior citizens are allowed to legally benefit from those medicinal qualities as more and more states all doctors to legally prescribe the drug. That’s part of the reason for the uptick.

Surprisingly, legality hasn’t really stopped anyone else. The rate of marijuana use for Americans aged 18 to 29 has basically remained stagnant since 1984, hovering at around 29 percent. That means changing laws are allowing states to reap the taxation rewards of recreational marijuana without having even the remotest impact on young social attitudes toward pot. The attitudes of older citizens in general, meanwhile, are shifting towards legalization. When everyone else is enjoying the drug, why not?

Social attitudes are in part driven by what our parents did or didn’t do. Teenagers rebel simply because they can. Because rebellion is the biological constant, no one really knows if marijuana use will continue to rise, taper off over the next few years, or decline in a decade or two.

NFL Denies its Players the use of Medical Marijuana

It feels as if this issue is resurfacing more and more these days. The NFL has once again denied a player with chronic pain of the purest pain medication out there, medical marijuana. Instead, the professional football league would rather expose players to the harm and possible addiction that can come with using opioids for this purpose. The ruling against players using medical marijuana comes after opioids were the cause of about 64,000 deaths in 2016.

The latest player to apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) is running back Mike James. Mike James has put together a decent NFL career. As with many professional football players, Mike suffered an ankle injury that has left him with chronic pain. In order to be an effective player, he needs to manage this pain. He wants to do so in a way that he believes will not destroy his body in the process.

The 27-year-old running back told NJ.com “I am hopeful that I’ll be able to keep playing football.” James went on to say that he is aware what he’s doing may make some people uncomfortable and it is going to come off as an anti-establishment move, but he thinks it will benefit other players as well as himself in the future.

Mike James’ request for a TUE was denied by the NFL.

James is not alone in the fight to allow NFL players to use medical marijuana as a pain management medication. Other players, like veteran linebacker Derrick Morgan, have requested that the NFL takes a deeper look into the benefits of medical marijuana use.

Technically, if a player wants to smoke marijuana during the season as a way to manage their pain, they can get away with it. The NFL has a preseason testing period that ranges from late April until early August. Mike Florio from NBC Sports supplied some insight on this, he stated: “if they stop smoking in approximately the middle of March and refrain until their once-per-year test, they can smoke with impunity throughout most of training camp, most of the preseason, and all of the regular season and postseason.” In other words, as long as a player isn’t careless, they should be able to pass the drug test and continue on getting high as they wish.

Just like most major corporations, the NFL isn’t willing to go against the federal government on this one. As long as the feds say that using weed is illegal, major corporations are likely to say the same.

Could Legal Weed Cause Trouble at the US-Canada Border

As Canadian officials gear up for the soon to be legal recreational use of marijuana, there are questions that have been left unanswered. Candian officials recently met with U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss Canada’s plans. Unfortunately, the Canadian officials returned home unhappy with the outcome of the meeting.

In a press release, the Canadian senator’s were not satisfied with the meeting. According to an interview with VICE News, one of the senators stated that the meeting lasted 45 minutes. They discussed the pot bill with Jeff Sessions and the higher ups of Homeland Security. Sessions and Homeland Security warned the Canadian officials that there could be an increase of security at the border if this bill passes. Sessions also stated that the increased security would lead to more screenings than before. A result of these screenings can cause a potentially extended wait time to enter the U.S.

The Fear of Trafficking

Since taking office, Sessions has tried to crack down on the illegal trafficking of legal marijuana. He has advised government officials to look into marijuana practices, even if the sale for recreational use is legal in that state.

Since the fear of trafficking has been noted within the country, it is an obvious concern for the Candian-American boarders. This a concern of both parties and it was discussed during the meeting. The Canadian Senators plan on taking the information they gained during the meeting and using it to make recommendations on how the new bill should be constructed.

Will This be an Issue for Canadians Entering America?

Well, the answer to the question above depends on who you ask. A conclusion from the last committee hearing was the precautionary tale that Canadians can be turned down at the border and possibly barred from entry into the U.S for life if they admit to ever using marijuana.

According to Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, said that Canadians should not worry about the difficulties legal marijuana may cause for Candian citizens crossing into the U.S. Goodale also stated that there isn’t a need for Americans to tighten the security as the rules of the border have not changed.

Pot Stocks: 2018

In the past, we highlighted the top performing cannabis stocks of 2017. Some of which have seen continued success through the first few months of 2018. However, their prices have leveled off with their production.

The key to making money in the stock world is finding value. Many times, this comes from a low priced stock that performs well over a period of time. The Motley Fool picked two stocks that are trending upward; quickly. Their potential for growth in 2018 is skyrocketing with every move the companies make.

Two Pot Stocks Looking at a Big 2018

Namaste Technologies

Namaste Technology is a budding marijuana hardware company based in Toronto, Canada. Marijuana hardware includes vaporizers and other instruments that are used to consume the herb. The company’s hardware is currently featured on over 30 e-commerce sites across 20 countries.

Namaste Technologies is broadening their horizons as they attempt to take advantage of the growing number of countries that are legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. For Namaste, the larger the number of legal users, the larger the prospective market is.

One way that Namaste is expanding is by acquiring weaker companies and forming partnerships with stronger companies. One of the companies Namaste Technologies acquired was CannaMart in April 2017. CannaMart is a cannabis distribution company. Namaste Technologies also plans on launching a medical dispensary of their own called Namaste MD in 2018. Further, Namaste Technologies came to an agreement with Aurora Cannabis for the exclusive rights to sell Namaste Vaporizers.

Emerald Health Technologies

If you follow our blog, you know that we highlighted Emerald Health Technologies in our 2017 round up. After a strong year, Emerald Health is poised for an even bigger 2018. The company is planning to take advantage of the expected legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada.

After a deal with Village Farms International in 2017, Emerald Health now has the potential growing capacity of 5.8 million square feet across Canada. This gives Emerald Health the largest growing capacity of any single company in Canada.

More recently, Emerald Health Technologies has come to terms on a joint venture with DMG Blockchain Solutions. DMG Blockchain Solutions also goes by CannaChain Technologies. The firm is hoping to ease the process managing supply chains as well as managing taxes on all levels of government.  

When you invest in a company, you are investing in the long term. While we can not guarantee the success of these companies, we can highlight what they are doing well. If you decide to invest, we wish you the best of luck. At the end of the day, we hope our advice helps you make smart and thought out financial decisions.

The Difference Between A Joint And A Blunt

If you have ever smoked marijuana before, you are probably aware of what a joint is. It is simply marijuana contained within normal rolling paper, the same type that you would use if you roll your own cigarettes. The only difference is that instead of putting tobacco, you are putting in marijuana, and you smoke both of them in the same way. Where some people get confused is when they hear people talking about a blunt, and they are not sure what the difference is. Let’s discuss the differences between joints and blunts, and help you decide which one might be the better choice for you. It’s not like getting the two mixed up can lead to death, but it’s always good to know

What Is A Joint?

A joint is the name given to a marijuana cigarette, thought to have first been used back in the 1930s. It was simply a way of referencing the difference between a cigarette with tobacco and one that contained marijuana. People tried to use different names such as a spliff, but the term joint is the one that has lasted. These are handrolled cigarettes, using marijuana instead of tobacco, and can come in many different sizes.

What Is A Blunt?

A blunt is very similar to a joint. It is also a rolled up cigarette, one that contains marijuana. The difference is in the size of this rolled up cigarette which does not have any tobacco inside. However, the paper that is used is not simply paper, but is actually pressed tobacco leaves. Very similar to the wrapper of a cigar, it is sometimes made with very expensive tobacco leaves that can produce a very unique flavor. When used together, not only will the taste be different when you inhale, but it’s also going to produce a much different effect. Tobacco can actually cause your brain to work at a higher rate, whereas marijuana tends to slow down cognitive processes. This, combined with the THC, can create a very unique experience.

Is This A Better Way To Experience Marijuana?

Many of the people that smoke marijuana also enjoy cigarettes. They may also smoke cigars. If you are the type of person that tends to smoke both marijuana and tobacco products during the same session, then a blunt will probably re-create that experience all at once. If you have never smoked tobacco before, then you may not like the overall effect, especially if you prefer the way that marijuana makes you feel. You may even find yourself experiencing a state that is too calm or relaxed, depending upon how the cannabinoids and the components of tobacco that can actually produce dopamine. Either way, you have a choice and you may want to try a blunt to see how it affects you. If you already smoke both, then it simply a matter of seeing if you prefer using one at a time, or both simultaneously.

If you have never used a blunt before, it could be a very unique experience. You may actually prefer the combination of tobacco and marijuana at the same time. It may take a little bit of practice to get used to rolling your marijuana with tobacco paper, but once you learn how, this may become the primary way that you get nicotine and THC into your system on a regular basis.

Here is a video detailing the difference between joints and blunts:

Is Marijuana A Gateway Drug?

Marijuana has become a hot topic of contention in recent years as authorities look to gain control over it.

Some believe it is a major problem and others think other drugs are wreaking greater havoc on the streets. This is why it has become important to understand marijuana’s role in the community and whether it is a gateway drug as some call it.

So, is it a gateway drug or is that a myth that has been passed around in recent years? This article will take a deeper look into the question.

What Is A Gateway Drug?

Before looking at marijuana, a good starting point is understanding what the term “gateway drug” means.

In essence, a gateway drug is the starting drug people take to enter this world of narcotics. It is a drug that might not be addictive but is one that gets you hooked to the habit of taking drugs. This alone can lead you towards stronger drugs that will be addicting.

We’re an intellectual property law firm and we think we’re well-informed on this topic. Let’s take a look at marijuana to see if it fits the bill of being a gateway drug among the masses.

Marijuana Isn’t Addictive

Since gateway drugs aren’t supposed to be addictive, marijuana does fit the bill.

The drug itself isn’t addictive, and a person can quit whenever they want. Of course, this doesn’t mean the habit doesn’t settle itself into a person’s life where it becomes harder to get past the idea of smoking. However, this is still a drug that is more of a gateway option in comparison to what else is out there for people to take.

A lot of work has gone into the subject by researchers who are trying to understand what marijuana does. Here is more on that part of the subject.

Studies on Marijuana

The main thing to back this notion is the amount of reporting that has gone into the subject.

Gateway drugs are supposed to make a person vulnerable to exposing themselves to these drugs. Marijuana does fit the bill according to research since it makes the person vulnerable and they start to seek out stronger drugs to cash in on their dopamine centers.

The brain wants those rewards, and it does veer towards stronger options to get it. It is a primer of sorts where the brain is prepared to face such encounters with other drugs on the market.

Social Environment A Bigger Influence

However, one of the things that goes against this notion is the idea of social environments being a greater problem.

Studies reveal while people are primed with marijuana, they still don’t end up going towards harder drugs. So, the risk goes up, but that doesn’t mean they follow through on it. However, social environments do play a role and can act as a gateway setting for drug abusers.

So, there are two sides to the story, and in most cases, marijuana is a gateway drug, but only when united with other realities such as the social environment one is in.

If you would like to hear more from the side who thinks marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, please watch the video embedded below:

What Is CBD? Is It the Same as Marijuana?

The laws governing marijuana have begun to relax in the past twenty years, with many states having legalized it for recreational use and even more for medical use. While these state laws have yet to impact the federal stance on pot, it will happen. As a result of this growing legalization, more is known about the plant at a scientific level than ever before recorded in history.

This has led to the development and sale of various products, including different types of weed and ways to ingest it. Most people who have an interest in the marijuana industry have likely heard of CBD though they might not know what it is. If you fall into this group, you can start learning today and make better choices as a result.

The plant itself has multiple cannabinoids, the most well-known being THC. This is the component that gives people the “high” feeling associated with smoking pot. During the study for medical uses of marijuana, it was discovered that this benefit could aid those with excessive mental and emotional disorders to restore a greater sense of calm.

However, scientists also discovered a wide range of other cannabinoids and have been testing to see how they can be of benefit to patients. The most research thus far has gone into CBD studies. Unlike THC, CBD does not get you high. No matter how much you ingest of it alone, you will never get stoned. Likewise, you will not fail a urine analysis if you have CBD in your system.

In order for the federal government to regulate pot, they had to give a clear difference between possession of the hemp plant used for making stuff and a plant designed to get you high. The factor they used was THC. Although it is still very difficult to legally grow hemp in the country, legislation and enforcement is lightening up.

However, any product containing THC is still considered illegal by the federal government. Substances free of THC but containing CBD are legal to consume across the country. There are many benefits associated with CBD use, and countless patients have been able to improve their quality of life thanks to it.

If you suffer from pain and other medical symptoms, you don’t have to relocate to the west coast or one of the other legalized states in order to enjoy the benefits of CBD. There are some great online retailers who sell high-quality products at reasonable prices. Look for one that has good reviews and that provides excellent product descriptions. Ones from most legalized states are subject to third party testing to ensure that the quality matches what is stated on the package.

While there are other cannabinoids in the plant, they have not undergone the same rigorous testing as of yet. But, you can depend on a high quality CBD distributor to provide excellent choices for your medical needs. The more people who learn about it, the better for everyone!