Month: September 2020

Justice Delayed: Cannabis Legalization Vote Postponed Until After the Election

It has been widely reported that the United States House of Representatives was going to vote on a cannabis legalization bill this month. Apparently, after a pushback from moderates, no vote will occur this month or next month. A vote on the MORE Act to end federal cannabis prohibition is now expected after the November 3rd election, during the lame duck session.

Politico reported how legislators were starting to get cold feet on holding a vote on legalization, despite broad public support:

Removing federal penalties for marijuana looked like an easy win for Democrats two weeks ago, but the momentum has stalled.

Democrats have been scared off by Republicans’ use of the marijuana bill to bludgeon Democrats on the lack of a coronavirus deal, and moderates in tight races worry it will be linked to hits they’re already taking over the “defund the police” movement. So instead of embracing the progressive messaging of this bill as an election win, House leaders are now thinking about punting marijuana until after November 3.

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Marijuana legalization has far-reaching national support from Democrats, independents and even a majority of Republicans, multiple polls show. Democrats have touted the MORE Act all summer as a criminal justice reform bill, amid ongoing protests over racial equity that a majority of the public supports. A disproportionate number of Black or brown people are arrested for cannabis possession each year, and this bill aims to reduce arrests and erase some marijuana criminal records.

Marijuana Moment got confirmation that a vote had been postponed:

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), cochair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said on Wednesday that she was open to delaying the vote if it meant that more members would sign onto it, but she also told Marijuana Moment that lawmakers would be “doing everything we can over the next week to build broad coalitions of support to ensure that happens sooner rather than later.”

The MORE Act would federally deschedule cannabis, expunge the records of those with prior marijuana convictions and impose a federal five percent tax on sales, revenue from which would be reinvested in communities most impacted by the drug war.

It would also create a pathway for resentencing for those incarcerated for marijuana offenses, as well as protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis and prevent federal agencies from denying public benefits or security clearances due to its use.

It’s a serious shame that election-year politics is complicating a historic vote to end federal cannabis prohibition. It’s a shame first and foremost because legalization is simply the right thing to do. Too many people are still having their lives ruined by cannabis arrests and too many small businesses operating legally under state law, are hindered by federal laws that deprive them of banking services and arbitrarily overtaxes them above and beyond what other businesses must endure.

It’s rather nonsensical that politics is disrupting a vote on the MORE Act because voters overwhelmingly support cannabis legalization. Yes, voters are more concerned about other issues, but a vote to end prohibition doesn’t prevent Congress from passing any other bills. Has anyone ever punished a politician for passing a bill that they actually support? Just a maddening move by the United States House.

The Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) just released the following statement on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act:

“As Americans confront hundreds of years of systemic racial injustice, ending the failed war on drugs that has disproportionately hurt Black and Brown Americans must be front and center. As co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, our goal has always been a vote on federal marijuana legalization and restorative justice this Congress. We have worked to build support for this historic legislation and expected a vote next week. Thankfully, the leadership has now given an ironclad commitment that the House will consider the bill this fall. The public deserves this vote and we will continue to build support to meet our objective of passing the MORE Act in the House and sending it to the Senate, which is one step closer to enacting it into law.”

In spite of the delay, the cannabis community can still take solace knowing that the first legalization vote in history will be held sooner, rather than later. It’s taken a long time for Congress to catch up with the American people on cannabis, another month or two isn’t going to set us back too much. We’ve been fighting for freedom and equality for decades now, we aren’t about to be stopped.

Take 5% Off at Kind Leaf’s Pick-Up Window as Oregon Makes Cannabis Curbside Service Permanent

In its quest to remain Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique, Kind Leaf strives to provide the best cannabis flower and products while always keeping the public safe. Kind Leaf has proven to be ahead of the curve on a number of safety issues, going above and beyond on extract safety standards, air filtration, and protecting staff, patients, consumers, and the public from the coronavirus.

Kind Leaf not only installed a curbside pick-up window to limit physical contact and save time save time, but also has encouraged its use by offering an additional 5% discount to everyone that utilizes the window. Wisely, state regulators caught up with Kind Leaf and made curbside delivery options permanent, not just available during a viral pandemic scare.

From the Oregon Liquor Control Commission:

OLCC Commission Approves Permanent Rules for Curbside Delivery
Continues social distancing approach to prevent spread of Covid-19


Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic started, the OLCC approved temporary rules designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The change encouraged social distancing by allowing licensed marijuana retailers to conduct limited transactions outside but close to their physical location. Under the permanent rule licensed retailers can continue to take orders and deliver product to a person outside the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.

The Commission believes this has proven to be an effective approach to limiting interactions and exposure to COVID.

The cannabis community can always count on Kind Leaf to provide the biggest and best selection in Oregon while always putting health and safety first. There has never been a better, or more important time, to support an Oregonian-operated craft cannabis company, so venture into Kind Leaf, where its air filtration system is key to operating during wildfire season, and its knowledgeable staff can assist you in all of your cannabis needs, including making purchases that benefit other craft cannabis companies.

Always remember that you can utilize Leafly and order online. Check out the menu and regular discounts and deals.

Oregon Fires Threaten 10% of Its Population, 20% of Its Cannabis Businesses

Traumatic event after traumatic event continue to pile on all of us in 2020 and the most important thing is for everyone to be as safe and healthy as possible. After looking out for ourselves, we need to do all that we can for our family, friends, and community. As unprecedented wildfires threaten the entire West Coast, please remember safety first, and to help out those in need, starting with those that have lost loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods.

With over 10% of Oregon’s population living under an evacuation order and unhealthy air flowing throughout the state, this unprecedented fire season has put a strain on virtually all of us. As we look to support one another, let’s remember our entire cannabis community, especially the small-business pioneers that have put themselves on the line for the love of the plant. As an Oregon mom-and-pop, Kind Leaf understands firsthand the difficulties of surviving in this competitive industry in normal times, but when disasters strike, whether it is the COVID crisis, an economic collapse, or environmental catastrophe like wildfires, cannabis businesses that don’t have big corporate backers are hit harder than most. Already paying exorbitant taxes and dealing with burdensome regulations, federal loans and bailouts aren’t available to the cannabis industry.

The Oregonian reported:

Statewide, an estimated 20 percent of state-licensed marijuana businesses – roughly 408 – face some level of evacuation, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission said Wednesday. That includes stores, marijuana processors and producers.

Of those, the agency said 73 marijuana producers, most of them outdoor farms, have been ordered to evacuate.

Many of those operations are in southern Oregon, a region synonymous with outdoor cannabis cultivation. In addition, state officials said a “significant” number of marijuana businesses in Clackamas County are also under threat from fast-moving wildfires.

Kind Leaf prides itself on partnering with businesses doing good work, especially those that are locally-owned. Please remember to be kind to everyone as we large swaths of Southern Oregon and the Willamette Valley fall victim to fire. Most of Oregon’s sungrown is cultivated in these areas and even if the farms survive the fires, the flowering plants can fall victim to smoke and falling ash. Many craft and family farms are saying goodbye to the land they have dedicated their lives to and it is simply heartbreaking. Please remember to support the craft cannabis farms and businesses as they rebuild after this disaster. Kind Leaf will continue to do its part to carry their products and help promote them.

At Kind Leaf, you can order online via Leafly. We have weekly deals and offer OMMP, veteran, and senior citizen discounts. You can also get a discount by utilizing our curbside window.

Help Cliff Robinson’s Family Raise Funds to Combat Cancer

Cancer eventually touches all of our lives. No matter where you live, or how much money you make, the disease will unfortunately impact someone you love. Unfortunately, cannabis medicines that could prove to be helpful, have been stifled by the Drug War and burdensome bureaucratic hurdles that stifle research in the United States. Tragically, the cannabis and professional basketball communities lost the great Clifford Robinson to cancer this week.

Robinson, known affectionately as Uncle Cliffy, played in the NBA for 18 seasons, his best years with the Portland Trailblazers. During his 8 years with the Blazers, he played in two NBA championship series, was voted the league’s best sixth man, and made an all-star team. If a player has better career statistics than Cliff, it is very likely that they are either in the Hall of Fame, or are on the way to the Hall of Fame.

After his illustrious playing career, Uncle Cliffy transitioned to Uncle Spliffy, creating a cannabis brand and advocating for legalization. Robinson made it his mission to utilize his name to help transform cannabis testing policies in the NBA and other sports leagues and to shatter “lazy stoner” stereotypes. On those fronts, Cliff, along with other former athletes like former NFL Pro-Bowl lineman Eugene Robinson and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, helped usher in some major successful reforms. As I told Celebstoner, health issues seemed to derail the launch of various Uncle Spliffy business projects time and time again.

A victim of our racist War on Cannabis, it was good to see Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler apologize to Cliff for a violent SWAT-like arrest that he endured over a personal amount of cannabis back in 1997. I was fortunate to become friendly with Cliff over the last couple of years. His smile lit up the room and his last text to me was to let me know that he was in the hospital.

We can continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Cliff Robinson, and help cancer patients by donating to his family’s fundraising page through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:

We walk for Clifford! 

Clifford Robinson lost his year and a half long battle to Lymphoma August 29, 2020.  He was diagnosed with Diffuse large B cell lymphoma in march of 2019.    Clifford played 18 years in the NBA currently ranking 54th on the all-time scoring list.   He started his professional career with the Portland Trailblazers where he affectionately became known as “Uncle Cliffy”    Clifford was passionate about giving back.  He supported many different charitable organizations using his notoriety to raise awareness and money for causes dear to his heart. Clifford’s vast circle of family and friends stretched coast to coast.  His warm and infectious energy made you feel very special. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.  Please join us in his honor to raise funds to fight cancer. 

Please donate if you are able and spread the word.

U.S. House Will Vote on Cannabis Legalization this Month

When I first became a cannabis law reform advocate about twenty years ago, I figured that I had two decades of fight in me. If we didn’t end prohibition in a state by 2020, I would call it quits and pick up another cause to dedicate my time to. Well, thanks to the hard work and dedication of so many unsung activists, farmers, patients, and heroes, the movement managed to beat my timeline by 8 years and we’ve gained momentum each and every day since then. Most of the action has taken place at the state level, with just a few positive federal accomplishments, but we knew that it was only a matter of time before our successes at the state level would bring about federal change.

While the law ultimately won’t pass this year, it is still a great victory for the cannabis community that a legalization bill will be voted on by the United States House of Representatives this month. Politico was the first to report about the pending vote for H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act:

The MORE Act is not the only bill that would remove cannabis from the CSA, but because it expunges records and creates funding for grants to benefit people who have been negatively impacted by criminal enforcement, this bill has garnered the most support from Democrat leadership and legalization advocates.

“As people across the country protest racial injustices, there’s even greater urgency for Congress to seize this historic opportunity and finally align our cannabis laws with what the majority of Americans support, while ensuring restorative justice,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime champion of marijuana legalization.

Does this mean cannabis will be legal? No, the odds of this bill passing in the Senate are still very slim, given the opposition of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. During this week’s Republicans National Convention, speakers criticized Democrats for purportedly prioritizing marijuana sales during the pandemic over more important services like health care and religious gatherings.

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It will be extremely interesting to see how the Democratic-led House ends up voting on the MORE Act. Very likely, the vote will be largely along party lines, but two Republicans did vote to pass the bill out of the Judiciary Committee. Hopefully, plenty of politicians, on both sides of the aisle will understand that there are both liberal and conservative reasons to be on the right side of history on ending cannabis prohibition.

While the legalization bill is probably dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, passage in the House will be another big step forward for the fight to end the failed and harmful war on cannabis. Very notable, one of the Senate co-sponsors, Kamala Harris, has a decent chance of being the next vice-president of the United States. Regardless of the where you stand politically or how the next presidential election turns out, it is easy to see that the cannabis legalization movement is only going to continue growing stronger and stronger over the coming years.