Congress smacks Russia about Marijuana

Congress smacks Russia about Marijuana

In a rare bipartisan act, Congress smacks Russia over marijuana prisoners, now if they could be this united here at home.

Nothing brings people together than a common enemy. Congress, which delights in fighting among themselves has united in issuing another message to Russia. Now if they can bring the same support back home for SAFE Banking and rescheduling.

Russia has been a thorn for decades but with the recent invasion of Ukraine, they have been at the forefront of foreign policy.  From threats of withholding energy to veiled insinuations of nuclear attacks, Putin has been rattling the global stage.

Like their frenemy China, Russia has a conservative view of marijuana. Possession of up to 6 grams (or two grams of hashish) is an administrative offense, punishable by a fine or detention of 15 days. Possession of larger amounts is a criminal offense and being an important US, UK, or EU citizen caught bring additional complications.

Russia has become isolated in part of the world and is seeking allies in their war. Moscow has wrote off the debts of African states worth more than $20 billion. Many who also have very conservative views of marijuana.

Russia is also the home of vodka with the regular citizen taking 17 shots of vodka per month, the highest in the world. So, the population of the country does like forgetting its troubles and enjoying a little chill time.

The U.S. House unanimously passed a resolution calling for the release of Americans wrongfully detained in Russia and expressing support for those imprisoned like Marc Fogel.

The resolution, from Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), calls for the immediate release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and BorgWarner executive Paul Whelan. It also expresses support for people like Marc Fogel and sympathy for and solidarity with the families of citizens wrongfully detained.

Now if Congress would just look inward toward federal marijuana laws in the United States. Currently there are two key issues facing Congress and the White House. First is the bi-partisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which the cannabis industry sees as a financial necessity. The bill was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have strongly expressed support and in Congress and Nancy Mace (R-SC) has championed the bill in the past.

Rescheduling marijuana has been something this administration has committed to doing but so far has not made a major move.  Showing the grassroots bipartisan support, GOP Representative Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced a bill to push the democratic White House and Biden forward.

The American Medical Association and other global science and health organizations recognize the value and data of cannabis as a medical health and agree on it as a less dangerous recreational activity than alcohol or cigarettes.  Congress’s move toward Russia is to be applauded while the industry waits for quicker, positive stuffs on US soil.

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