While mainstream media heaped adoration on the $1 trillion dollar spending bill, sure to please talking heads that profit from government excess, it was silent about the inclusion of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act which further decimates privacy rights.
The incessant appetite for perpetuating a warfare-welfare state off the backs of industrious individuals is nothing to cheer about, but even in this monstrous spending bill, there is some encouraging news.
Congress reaffirmed its end to the war on medical cannabis by renewing an amendment passed last year. The spending bill prevents the Department of Justice (DoJ) from blocking implementation of state medical cannabis laws.
“The renewal of this amendment should bring relief for medical marijuana patients and business owners,” said Michael Collins, Deputy Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “For decades Congress has been responsible for passing disastrous drug laws,” continued Collins. “It’s encouraging to see them starting to roll back the war on drugs by allowing states to set their own medical marijuana policies.”
The impact of this amendment was felt by federal agencies whose role is to enforce the government’s misguided, immoral war on drugs. In October, the DEA got smacked down when a federal court, citing the amendment, threw out a medical cannabis case brought by the agency, saying its argument “defies language and logic.”
However, as can be expected from government run amok, the bit of good news is shadowed by the bad. Congress continued to deny freedom and medical treatments to large sectors of the US populace. It prevented Washington DC from taxing and regulating cannabis, and continued to deny banks from doing business with the cannabis industry.
More shockingly, the House stripped an amendment that would have allowed veterans access to medical cannabis through Veterans Affairs doctors, despite the Senate voting to approve such an amendment.
This is a slap in the face to those for whom lawmakers profess to have the greatest compassion. Politicians will gladly send other people’s kids to their death, but won’t let those who suffer from debilitating physical and mental injuries receive the best care. Considering that 22 veterans commit suicide a day, the government should be putting all options on the table for reducing this number.
As Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access points out, medical cannabis is an effective treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where other drugs fail. Veterans are successfully treating themselves despite the federal government’s prohibition.
Many politicians are still locked in a primitive mindset, and can’t handle it when veterans speak the truth. Last week, combat veteran Dakota Serna was kicked out of a Senate meeting when he began explaining how a bill being debated would place a huge tax burden on veterans using medical cannabis legally under state law.
It is truly mind-boggling that Congress would end its war on states recognizing the power of medical cannabis, but deny these benefits to returning soldiers who fight in their military crusades overseas.