Facing a full federal agency assault on most cannabis policy, VA head Dr. David Shulkin seems to be the only Trump cabinet member with an open mind on medical cannabis treatment options. As an Obama agency head hold-over, Shulkin has written that medical marijuana should be further examined as a veteran option for help with PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury).
DC reports say President Trump may now be seeking to fire Shulkin and replace him with former Texas governor Rick Perry. The American Legion’s full executive body has twice voted to encourage Congress to make medical marijuana available to vets, and to allow Veterans Admin doctors to address adding medical cannabis to stem the combat-vet suicide epidemic.
With a margin of just 600 votes, Democrat Conor Lamb may have been helped by his pro-medical cannabis stand, beating Republican Rick Saccone who remained opposed to medical marijuana. This is contrary to the Pennsylvania electorate which has reported a favorable-to-medical marijuana standing surpassing 80 percent.
During a political debate, Saccone made a crucial blunder and spoke against legalizing recreational marijuana, reminding voters that he opposed Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law.
For his part, Lamb wisely stated, “I support medical marijuana as it exists right now as long as its carefully done and well-regulated. Too many doctors have told me that their patients need it. Too many parents have told me that it’s the cheapest and best treatment for their kids, especially kids who have seizures, so I think that’s where we start. People on both sides seem to agree on that. That’s a good way to take care of our people and I’m for it.”
A recount on the Lamb victory is likely.
Colorado saw January sales of $117 million in total recreational and medical marijuana sales, a strong showing topping prior January reports. Total state tax revenues and fees exceeded $21 million. Meanwhile, at the Colorado State legislature, sources said to expect another 20-25 bills to be introduced as “late bills”, joining already pending bills on safety, social consumption, and cannabis delivery rules. A new insignia that designates MMJ products in Colorado has been approved.
California’s office of the state treasury are examining a plan to create a state-backed cryptocurrency to serve the legal cannabis industry. Code-named “The Nugget”, sources say officials would like to create a program whereby legal cannabis revenues (paid in cash) would be traded for Nuggets created that could pay licensed marijuana firms to pay for taxes, wholesale product, rent or other non-payroll expenses. The state of California would store the collected cash in a secure state vault, and ensure that federal officials understood the state would be the biggest provider of “money-laundering.”
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, 70, a conservative Long Beach Republican and one of the strongest proponents of pro-cannabis policy, is facing a primary challenger. Rohrabacher, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, has been in the US House since 1993. He will face a GOP challenge from Scott Baugh, chair of the Orange County Republican party — in addition to a long-list of Democrats running in that party’s June’s primary.