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New War on Drugs

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Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is preparing for a new “War on Drugs.” Completely opposed to marijuana, Sessions hopes to crack down on the drug that becomes more mainstream with each passing day.

“During a 2016 Senate hearing, [Session] called marijuana a dangerous drug,” explains Wired journalist, Issie Lapowsky. “He also didn’t shy away from Reefer Madness-era moralizing: ‘Good people… don’t smoke marijuana'” (Lapowsky, 2017, n.p.).

The United States technically still bans marijuana in all states, though the drug is allowed for medical and recreational purposes in some. Even with the leniency of select states, marijuana is still considered a gateway drug and is placed in the same category as heroin and cocaine.

“During the November election, marijuana legalization polled better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton” (Lapowsky, 2017, n.p.). In addition, the state of Colorado reported that the marijuana industry played a large role in restoring the states economic and job growth. Even the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott–one of the most conservative government officials–has approved the legalization of medical marijuana use for people that are terminally ill. 

“Cannabis entrepreneurs” are walking on eggshells because of the harsh crackdown on dispensaries, explains Micah Tapman, owner of a Colorado-based cannabis startup. He, along with many others in his field fear the possibility of a new “War on Drugs” that will be harsher than the first. “In other words, to stop pot, the Trump administration may find the answer in what it ostensibly despises most: government regulation” (Lapowsky, 2017, n.p.).

Surprisingly, there are plenty of businesses today that test the quality of different growers’ cannabis: for example, Front Range Biosciences. Adistry then oversees that the cannabis companies abide by advertising regulations. Other startups constantly help businesses track products through the supply chain, manage wholesale orders and handle payroll.

CEO of a payroll and compliance firm, Keegan Peterson, admits that there are several ways to get around handling business matters without having the DEA go after the industry:

“Laws limit where and how marijuana sellers can advertise. They require dispensaries to track and trace all cannabis products from ‘seed to sale.’ Even something as simple as paying employees poses challenges for these businesses, since big banks, still bound by federal law, can’t work with payroll providers that service cannabis companies. If the federal government decides to pile on with a new regulatory war on drugs, marijuana entrepreneurs may need help. And so startups are springing up to provide it” (Lapowsky, 2017, n.p.).

For more information on this topic please read “The Pot Startups.”

References:

Lapowsky, I. (2017, June 02). The Pot Startups Prepping for Jeff Sessions’ New War on Drugs. Retrieved June 24, 2017, from https://www.wired.com/2017/05/pot-startups-prepping-jeff-sessions-new-war-drugs/

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