Upcoming Elections and Cannabis

The number of states, counties, and cities considering some limits on marijuana prohibition this season is quite remarkable. And there has never been such a rush by candidates to jump on the bandwagon declaring their support, although some of the politicians might be trying to fool you. Sometimes things go wrong, like these examples.

I’ve written about Calaveras County (CA) before. An economically-distressed county issued licenses, collected fees, imposed and collected taxes on cannabis businesses, and then changed their mind a year later, prohibiting all such operations including licensed operations. Legally what they did was a crime, then there are the civil issues. They took a chance on a guaranteed growing industry and forced themselves into probable bankruptcy.

Josephine County (OR) is in SW Oregon, just north of the California border, in primo marijuana-growing land. They,and their neighbors, grow the bulk of the nation’s weed. Josephine can easily claim fame to high-quality pot just like Humboldt or Mendocino. But somehow they thought it in their best interests to sue the State of Oregon for forcing it to break federal law. Their beef was that they wanted to prohibit growing cannabis in rural areas (a NIMBY thing), but growing is legal in Oregon. So they sued the state.

This was a dangerous move because it was in federal court, and might have grown legs, perhaps shutting down the state’s entire legal system, but the suit was tossed out the other day for obviously flawed arguments.

The lessons here are pay attention to the local issues, no matter what they are, but carefully watch the marijuana candidates and issues to avoid any stupidity. The “Green Rush” is on not only for capitalists, growers, and sellers, but politicians, too.

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