Month: August 2021

New Cannabis Lounges in Illinois are Flourishing, Oregon Needs to Take Note

“We get 60- and 70-year-old dudes walking in with their tie-dye. I love that,” Holly Roeder owner of the Luna Lounge told the Chicago Tribune.

It’s one thing to see Colorado and California move forward with legalized and regulated cannabis lounges as they were the first states to pass adult-use and medical laws, respectfully. With its libertarian culture on a variety of fronts, it makes sense that Nevada would be a pioneer on lounges and other tourist attractions as well. But allowing Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, in America’s Heartland, to pass Oregon as a pioneer in anything cannabis-related is just blasphemy.

While Oregon’s cannabis industry has exceeded initial projections in both job creation and revenue generation, helping fund schools, drug treatment providers, harm reduction services, and recovery programs, we can still do better. Small businesses, the backbone of our great nation, need assistance, and that’s more true within the cannabis industry than in most other business sectors, as entrepreneurs often face burdensome regulations, unnecessary banking fees, and an effective federal tax rate over 60%. As the Chicago Tribune reported, some of the first cannabis lounges are off to a successful start:

“When Holly Roeder opened the Luna Lounge in rural Sesser in July, she expected to get some young stoner customers. As she discovered, the clientele turned out to be older — typically over 40, up to 90, most of them medical marijuana patients.

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“More than a month after opening, the Luna Lounge is thriving, sometimes drawing capacity crowds around 70 people to hear bands on weekend nights. It isn’t licensed to sell cannabis or alcohol, but customers can bring in their own weed and rent or buy pipes or bongs to smoke. Officials say there have been no problems there.

“At another college town, DeKalb, Aroma’s Hookah Bar serves tobacco and also allows customers to bring in their own marijuana. Since opening in June, the store has offered promotions such as a $12 fee for unlimited time smoking cannabis in its lounge, or $5 on Wednesday, with free arcade games. They serve snacks and nonalcoholic drinks, and customers can play board games.”

Just like a lot of people don’t like the smell of tobacco smoke, plenty of people don’t want to smell cannabis smoke on the streets. A very simple solution is to give the cannabis community safe, regulated locales to utilize their cannabis away from the general public. Tourism dollars are extremely important to a lot of Oregon communities and cannabis cafes, lounges, tasting rooms, and other consumption-friendly businesses would generate more jobs and revenue for the state. There are obvious safety and health concerns to adopt as Oregon looks to follow in the footsteps of other states, but there shouldn’t be anything holding back the Beaver State from fully embracing the cannabis industry like it has with its wine and microbrewery industries.

In the near future, Kind Leaf would love to open the best cannabis cafe in Pendleton, but in the meantime, we are happy to operate the premier craft cannabis boutique with the best selection in the Great Northwest. Please visit us, or check out our menu, deals, and discounts via Leafly.

Featured photo courtesy of Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance.

Missouri Cannabis Legalization Law Will Expunge Records and Fund Veterans’ Healthcare

“This is really one of the most profound criminal justice reforms that’s been proposed here in Missouri. What we’re talking about here is ending the prohibition on the adult use of marijuana and expunging records, in many cases automatically, so those people are no longer suffering the consequences of an arrest or conviction from five, ten, twenty years ago and are able to move on with their lives,” John Payne, campaign manager for Legal Missouri 2022, told the Riverfront Times.

When I was first working to decriminalize cannabis within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, nearly two decades ago, I didn’t think that the entire state would have legalized medical cannabis by 2020, and I certainly didn’t think that the Show-Me State would be on the verge of voting to end prohibition as early as 2022. I remember hoping that just one state, probably California, would legalize by 2020, or I was just going to give up. Thanks to hardworking advocates across our great nation, and a now-majority voting population that has been educated to see through Reefer Madness propaganda, 19 states have legalized for adults, along with our nation’s capital and the U.S. territory of Guam. Now, Middle America voters in Missouri may have an opportunity to legalize cannabis while automatically expunging old convictions, as the Riverfront Times reported:

“’Cannabis reform is about more than establishing a safe and legal market,’ Jamie Kacz, executive director of a cannabis reform nonprofit organization called NORML KC, said in a press release. ‘It is about righting the many wrongs prohibition has caused to our communities, especially to communities of color.’

Beyond criminal justice reform and creating a safer market for marijuana sales, Legal Missouri 2022’s campaign would also help give back to the community in the form of a six percent sales tax. The money gained would first be used to pay for the expungements, then distributed equally to veterans’ healthcare, the public defender’s system and drug addiction treatment.

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Medical marijuana has already proven successful since sales began in October 2020. The industry surpassed $90 million in sales in July and more than 136,000 medical marijuana cardholders in Missouri.

While it may come as a shock to some that Show-Me State voters end prohibition in 2022, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Cannabis has proven to be extremely popular at the ballot box, with legalization winning majority support across all political persuasions. With the good folks in Missouri already seeing that the sky hasn’t fallen after legalizing medicinal cannabis, it’s an easy step forward to create even more jobs and generate even more revenue for important programs. With all of the craziness in this world, it’s nice to have so many positive developments in drug policy reform as state by state freedom and common sense are on the march. Good luck to the advocates working hard in my ol’ stomping ground.

Kind Leaf is pleased to see so much progress ending cannabis prohibition across the country. Once federal legalization ends unnecessary regulations, fees, and taxes, we look forward to passing savings onto our great customers. In the meantime, please check out some amazing deals at Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique where military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients always receive discounts.

Colorado Makes Game-Changer Moves for the Cannabis Industry, Oregon Should Eventually Follow Suit

Virtually all of the states that have legalized cannabis have seen bigger-than-expected revenue and job numbers, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story, especially for locally-owned craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf as the federal tax burden and other regulatory hurdles really squeeze profit margins. It is imperative that states continue to look to ways to help mom-and-pops survive and thrive in a highly-regulated and competitive market that gives advantages to out-of-state multinational corporations traded on stock exchanges. One way to benefit locals who know their community the best is to open up avenues that will boost tourism for those visiting the state and entertainment options for residents, especially with more states ending prohibition within their borders. Colorado, the first state to vote to legalize, has moved forward with some common-sense moves allowing localities to regulate smoking lounges, tasting rooms and tour buses, as the The Denver Post reported:

“Denver and Aurora are among the first cities in Colorado to adopt on-site and mobile cannabis consumption, according to Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, and the new rules mark what could be the rollout of the final phase of pot legalization in the state.

“According to CannaCon, which puts on cannabis expos across the country, seven U.S. states — including California, Nevada and New York — have passed laws or are considering legislation allowing gathering places for weed users.

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“Mobile venues would have to have a partition separating the driver from the passengers — and their pot smoke — as well as separate filter systems for both the front and back of the bus. The cannabis buses won’t be allowed to stop outside schools, hospitals or in-patient substance abuse facilities.”

One Colorado cannabis entrepreneur rightly called these new cannabis hospitality options a “game-changer” for the industry. It is simply nonsensical to allow travelers to purchase from retailers but then prohibit them from having any legal place to utilize their cannabis. Tasting rooms can be a boom for Oregon’s farms like Green Bodhi and Siskiyou Sungrown, and so many other excellent cultivators producing the best cannabis in the world. Just like wineries and distilleries can have tours and tasting rooms, so should Oregon’s cannabis farmers. The Beaver State has long been a leading pioneer on cannabis, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from others and legislators and policymakers should certainly monitor the advancements Colorado and other states are making in cannabis hospitality options and follow suit in due time.

Kind Leaf is looking forward to a future of hosting an on-site consumption lounge in beautiful Pendleton, but in the meantime, please swing by the best craft cannabis boutique in Oregon and peruse the greatest selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest. As always, we have special deals and discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Advocates Seek to Make Fungi and Plant Medicines the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority in Portland, Oregon

I recently blogged about how Ann Arbor, Michigan, was leading the way on the decriminalization of entheogenic plants and fungi, such as ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms after demonstrating similar leadership decriminalizing cannabis back in the 1970s. Fellow cannabis law reform activists and I in Columbia, Missouri, in the early 2000s were inspired by Ann Arbor and now, advocates in my current hometown of Portland, Oregon, are following a similar path on natural psychedelics medicines by seeking to make fungi and plant medicines the lowest law enforcement priority in the progressive city. Marijuana Moment reported:

“Portland, Oregon activists are mounting a push to have local lawmakers pass a resolution decriminalizing the cultivation, gifting and ceremonial use of a wide range of psychedelics. It’s a move that they say would fill the gap between historic statewide drug policy reform initiatives approved by voters in November.

“While those successful ballot measures legalized psilocybin therapy and decriminalized possession of all currently illicit drugs, the Plant Medicine Healing Alliance (PMHA) says the policies leave some important activity at risk of criminalization. The new local resolution they are asking the the City Commission to pass would make it so that activities such as gifting and community-based ceremonies involving entheogenic substances like ayahuasca and ibogaine would be made among Portland’s lowest law enforcement priorities.

“PMHA has emphasized the importance of working with indigenous groups to craft the proposal. And that outreach led them to exclude peyote and DMT derived from toads from the measure, as there are sustainability concerns.”

While some may understandably characterize PMHA’s proposal as a “decriminalization” measure, I personally believe that “lowest law enforcement priority” more accurately describes the policy initiative because Portland doesn’t have a city court to actually enforce a change in the criminal punishment. Because people could still be charged in Multnomah County Court by law enforcement, I’m afraid that people could still be sentenced under state law even if this change to city code gets enacted.

However, if Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who endorsed the Measure 110 decriminalization law (implementing it early) and has called for reforming the failed Drug War, instituted a decriminalization procedure within his office, then there would be a type of de facto decriminalization policy in effect. If the City of Roses had its own city court like Ann Arbor and Columbia do, then a Portland ordinance could definitely order local law enforcement to follow city code and there would be a court to enforce those provisions. It should be noted that while I have experience drafting laws and once worked as a criminal defense attorney, I no longer practice law, so my opinion certainly isn’t the end-all-be-all of the matter. But keeping nonviolent people out of prison when they aren’t harming anyone else has always been at the forefront of my drug policy activism, so I err on the side of folks being cautious when their freedom is on the line.

While it is a little complicated how a city’s lowest law enforcement priority measure interplays within the judicial system when there isn’t a city court to carry out the policy and cases get sent to county count instead, I believe that the work of the Plant Medicine Healing Alliance has an opportunity to move the drug policy debate forward in a positive manner. The more that the public, elected officials, and policymakers learn about the benefits of plant and fungi medicines and the ills of the War on Drugs, the better. The PMHA has a prestigious group of folks that I respect working on this effort, including, but certainly not limited to: Dr. Rachel Knox, chair of the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (among other titles), East Fork Cultivars co-founder Nathan Howard, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps CEO David Bronner, and Chad Luske, a retired Navy SEAL who was so instrumental in helping pass the Oregon Measure 109 therapeutic psilocybin law.

You can read the full policy here and I encourage everyone to support efforts like this across the country. Decades of propaganda and the money and influence of the prison-industrial complex make ending the Drug War a monumentally difficult task that will take a village and then some. Local efforts like this one and others is one way that activists can make a big difference in our fight for freedom.

No matter the kind of trip you enjoy or have planned, Kind Leaf should be on your agenda. Come visit Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique with the best cannabis selection in the Great Northwest. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you with whatever you need. There are always great deals and discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Ann Arbor’s Entheo Fest Will Celebrate Entheogenic Plant and Fungi Awareness Month Every September

Ann Arbor, Michigan, first decriminalized cannabis back in the 1970s and the town’s progressive policy was one of the inspirations behind my first political campaign experience co-authoring cannabis law reform measures three decades later while attending law school in Columbia, Missouri, another forward-thinking college town. It’s great to see Ann Arbor now helping lead the way on sensible psychedelics legislation by first making entheogenic plants and fungi, such as ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority, effectively decriminalizing them. The Ann Arbor City Council followed up the lowest law enforcement provision by officially declaring September to be Entheogenic Plant and Fungi Awareness Month, and a yearly psychedelic mushroom festival has been established to celebrate, as MLive.com reported:

“City Council voted 10-0 to approve the resolution Monday night, Aug. 16, in hopes of increasing awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelic plants and fungi ‘for mental health, personal and spiritual growth, as well as honoring the longstanding ancestral practices and relationships with these entheogens.’

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To celebrate the anniversary of Ann Arbor’s decriminalization move, there will be a ‘sacred plant and mushroom festival’ called Entheo Fest every September in Ann Arbor, starting next month on Sept. 19, states the resolution City Council approved Monday night.

“’We’re going to have Entheo Fest here in Ann Arbor and I think it’s kind of exciting that we’re exploring these new boundaries, that we’re looking at alternatives to mental health solutions, improvements to mental health solutions, and so on,’ said Council Member Jeff Hayner, D-1st Ward, the resolution’s lead sponsor, adding he’s been moved by people’s personal stories of how psychedelics bettered their lives.”

It’s no coincidence that cities like Ann Arbor and states like Oregon that have been pioneers on cannabis policy are also leading the way on drug policy. It’s very fitting that Entheo Fest will be held at the the University of Michigan Diag, the same venue as the long-running Hash Bash that occurs every April. With scientific developments demonstrating the medicinal benefits of psychedelics and more and more people realizing that the Drug War has been a harmful failure, we will start seeing more and more jurisdictions follow in Ann Arbor’s footsteps. A sincere thanks to the Ann Arbor City Council and all advocates, concerned citizens, and elected officials who are helping lead the way towards a more sane, sensible, and compassionate healthcare model that invests in people instead of more prisons.

You Are Not Alone: Highest Percentage of Adults Have Tried Cannabis in Gallup Poll History

It’s been clear that the cannabis community has grown in strength and numbers over the years, with state after state rejecting Reefer Madness propaganda and moving towards more sane policies, such as decriminalization, medical use, and full legalization for all adults. The shattering of stereotypes perpetuated by decades of misinformation has finally led to strong majority support to end federal prohibition, culminating in the United States House of Representatives passing a legalization bill twice, while we all wait for the Senate to match the will of their constituents. It’s not surprising that as the laws have changed for the better and the public is better informed about cannabis that a nearly half of American adults will admit to Gallup that they have tried marijuana, an all-time high, as the polling agency reported:

“The percentage of U.S. adults who say they have tried marijuana has ticked up to 49%, the highest Gallup has measured to date. More than 50 years ago, just 4% said they had tried the drug, but that percentage surpassed 20% in 1977, 30% in 1985 and 40% in 2015.

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“Generational patterns explain the increase in marijuana experimentation over the last five decades. The oldest Americans living today, those born before 1945 whom Gallup calls ‘traditionalists,’ are much less likely than those in other birth cohorts to have tried marijuana, with just 19% saying they have done so. That compares with about half of millennials (51%), Generation Xers (49%) and baby boomers (50%).

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“While Americans born during the Baby Boom era or later differ little in whether they have tried marijuana, younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to say they currently smoke marijuana. The combined 2015-2021 data shows that 20% of millennials smoke marijuana, compared with 11% of Gen Xers, 9% of baby boomers and 1% of traditionalists.”

Gallup noted that they expect a majority of Americans will soon be stating that they’ve tried cannabis, with the Generation Z determining how much above 50% of the public will admit to trying the increasingly-legal-under-state-law substance. The polling company also stated that usage numbers are expected to level off as their data seems to show that people tend to stop smoking marijuana as they get older. However, I imagine that we’ll see Gallup announce record-breaking numbers for awhile as more states legalize and won’t peak until cannabis is legal federally.

While Gallup assures respondents that their answers will remain confidential, so long as prohibition remains in place, there are always gonna be people unwilling to admit to breaking federal law, especially when they fear that their job or child custody rights could be in danger. I also think that we’ll start seeing older generations continue to utilize cannabis in greater numbers for medical reasons, particularly to help alleviate chronic pain that unfortunately seems to go hand-in-hand with getting older. Far too often, Reefer Madness prohibitionists have tried to stigmatize the cannabis community as outcasts, the data shows that the American people are waking up to the lies that have been peddled for far too long. Cannabis community, you are not alone.

No matter your generation, Kind Leaf has your back. Let our trained staff help you find the right cannabis strain or product to fit your needs from the best selection in the Great Northwest. While we love every generation of the cannabis community equally, the “traditionalists” and more experienced among us always receive a senior citizens discount, as do all military veterans, and OMMP patients. Check out our menu and deals online via Leafly, where you can make an order and conveniently have it ready to be picked up.

Featured image courtesy of Darren Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance.

Rest in Peace and Power, Cannabis Legend Eddy Lepp

The cannabis community lost another legend as Eddy Lepp, one of the most famous prisoners from the war on cannabis, passed away from cancer early this morning. Lepp was arrested three time for cultivating cannabis from 2004-2007, finally sentenced to a mandatory ten-year sentence in federal prison in 2009. Medical cannabis and then full legalization would never have been possible, without cultivators like Lepp who provided medicinal cannabis to those in need, contrary to unjust cannabis laws that sometimes posed draconian sentences. All of us today that enjoy various forms of legalization can thank those of us that came before us, and Eddy Lepp was one of those pioneers that paid for his activism with his freedom. I had the opportunity to meet Lepp in Portland when we were both scheduled to speak at a Portland Hempstalk following his first first arrest in 2004. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and everyone mourning the loss.

Fellow activist Russ Belville talked to Lepp back in 2017 about his experience in federal prison for Freedom Leaf:

What was it like in prison?

Well, you know, you kind of put every-thing on hold when you go to prison. For example, I had to deal with quite a few deaths—my wife, Jack Herer and a lot of other people. You can’t deal with that aspect of your life, you have to kind of pretend it didn’t happen and get on with the day-to-day. Now that I’m out, I’ll cry for everybody I’ve lost. But you can’t show that kind of weakness in there.

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There have been big changes in that area, too, with Colorado, Oregon, Kentucky and other states beginning to legally grow hemp. That must warm your heart a bit.

I was told time and time again, when I was in prison, by various prison employees, that my problem was that I was 15 or 20 years ahead of my time. So, it wasn’t really a surprise to me, because I did see it coming many, many years ago.

From Steve Bloom in Celebstoner:

“Unfortunately, Lepp was unable to resume his life as a cannabis grower. After his release, he married Heidi Grossman, Together, they founded the Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church of Cannabis Love. The marriage and the church didn’t last long. The couple divorced, the church disbanded and then Lepp married Sandra Castaneda. Lepp developed a form of cancer over the last few years and lived longer than was expected. Tributes are being made at his OG Eddy Lepp Facebook page.

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“Lepp was among the last of the activists who paid the price with jail time during cannabis prohibtion. Industry newbies may not know the tales of Eddy Lepp and others who preceded them when the government was quick to lock people up for pot and throw away the key.

“Other notable canna-personalities who’ve passed away in 2021 include Wayward Bill ChengelisSteve Fox and Frenchy Cannoli.”

As Bloom notes in Celebstoner, 2021 has seen some important advocates leave this mortal plane. While it is sad for everyone feeling the loss of these activists, we can be heartened by the fact that their work and legacy continue today. The cannabis law reform movement is at its peak, so close to finally sweeping Reefer Madness prohibition into the dustbin of history, thanks to the many giants like Eddy Lepp who laid the foundation for us to stand on their backs. Rest in peace and power, cannabis legende Eddy Lepp.

Provide Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Convictions Now

With limited resources available to combat the multitude of crises facing our nation, we need to prioritize our resources and hard-earned tax dollars. It has become apparent that waging a war on our own nonviolent citizens for the drugs they choose to utilize when they haven’t done anything to harm anyone else. We are never going to arrest and jail our way out of any of the issues caused by drug addiction. The Drug War ruins lives and creates a stigma that prevents people from seeking help that they need while wasting dollars that could be better utilized to fund other programs. Thankfully, Oregon voters realized that Reefer Madness prohibition didn’t work and voted to legalize cannabis back in 2014 and, in 2020 made it known that the War on Drugs has clearly failed and passed Measure 110 to invest more in treatment, harm reduction, and and recovery programs instead of just building more prisons. However, even in a drug policy pioneering state like Oregon, there is much more work to be done, starting with automatically clearing the records of all nonviolent drug offenders. Thankfully, as Marijuana Moment reported, there are rumblings that such a move could be imminent for some at the federal level:

“President Joe Biden is looking into using his executive authority to grant clemency to people with certain non-violent drug convictions, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.

“Asked about plans for federal inmates who were released to home confinement during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic but who will have to return behind bars, Psaki said the administration is ‘working hard every day to reform our justice system in order to strengthen families, boost our economy, give people a chance at a better future.’

“’As part of this, the president is deeply committed to reducing incarceration, helping people successfully reenter society. And he has said too many people are incarcerated—too many are black and brown,’ she said. “And he is therefore exploring multiple avenues to provide relief to certain nonviolent drug offenders, including through the use of his clemency power.’”

Each positive step towards a more sane drug policy gets us closer towards the next positive step as we work towards the ultimate goal of fully dismantling the failed, racist, and classist Drug War. Oregon made expunging cannabis convictions more available following legalization, but taking advantage of the process depends upon having the requisite knowledge to fill out the forms and access to the funds necessary to pay filing fees or lawyer costs. There are great organizations like RecordSponge Oregon, a nonprofit service delivered by Code for PDX in collaboration with Qiu-Qiu Law, that are assisting people, but the program is still out of reach for too many, including nonviolent folks charged with felonies that would be misdemeanors or even non-criminal infractions today. Oregon and other states should automatically expunge the records of nonviolent drug offenders automatically so they can get on with their lives. Hopefully, we get progress on the federal level and success there will motivate the Oregon Legislature, and other legislatures across the nation, to do the right thing as well.

Kind Leaf is proud to serve a great state that has led the way on cannabis legalization and fighting the failed Drug War. Please visit our store for the best selection, discounts, and deals in the Great Northwest or visit us online via Leafly.

BIG!!! Texas Medical Cannabis Program Expands for PTSD and All Cancer Patients

I’m one to celebrate every single victory for the cannabis community, and when Texas makes progress it can have an outsized impact beyond its borders, so even seemingly incremental change is actually big news for the movement. While some that have had the privilege of living in states that legalized medical use all the way back in the 1990s, increasing the THC limit to 1% and just now enrolling all cancer patients and PTSD sufferers into the state’s medical program may not seem like much, this progress will inevitably set the stage for future positive reforms in the Lonestar State as well as helping in other states, especially conservative ones that see Texas as a leader on important issues. As the Texas Tribune reported, improving the state’s medical system will be a life changer for folks like 64-year-old Desert Storm veteran David Bass who has “had nightmares almost every night for six years about being back on the warfield:”

“Bass was prescribed several kinds of medications to ease his hypervigilance after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. But those medications didn’t help him sleep. Instead, they caused him to have “flat emotions” — and, eventually, suicidal thoughts.

“It wasn’t until he tried marijuana that he was able to ease his mind and get a good night’s rest. But since the state’s medical cannabis program is restricted to those with neurological disorders or terminal cancer, Bass had to get his hands on marijuana illegally for years.

“Starting on Sept. 1, however, the Texas Compassionate Use Program will expand to include people with PTSD and cancer of all stages, allowing them to use ‘low-THC cannabis.’”

Texas’ sheer size and influence allows it to impact the actions of other states, just as we’ve seen former Governor Rick Perry getting attention in Wisconsin when talking about a medical psilocybin bill he championed for military veterans or even the textbooks used in schools across the nation. I fully expect advocates, likely led by military veterans, to expand the class of medical and increase the THC content of cannabis and other products allowed in the state’s medical program. One day, the fog of Reefer Madness will dissipate and Texas will have a truly functioning and effective medical program and this small step in the right direction should be viewed as a major advancement in that important journey. And as Texas progresses towards a more sane cannabis policy, that progress will reverberate across the nation and throughout the halls of Congress.

Kind Leaf is proud to be Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique who goes the extra mile for OMMP patients, military veterans, and senior citizens with discounts available on top of weekly deals.

Military Veterans Leading the Fight for Medical Cannabis Access in Prohibition States

As I just blogged, military veterans have a way of helping cross the political divide on drug policy, so it’s no surprise to see that they are helping lead the fight to legalize medical cannabis in the few prohibition states that still don’t have any medical programs. Veterans and their families sacrifice so much for our nation and it is unconscionable that they can be prosecuted and persecuted for using a relatively safe medicine recommended by their doctor to alleviate their severe and debilitating medical conditions, whether they are suffering physically or mentally. As USA Today reported, military veterans are key in helping sway more conservative voters and elected officials:

“In a state that’s home to eight military bases, one of the largest veteran populations in the country and a Republican-controlled legislature that prides itself on supporting the troops, they hope their voices will act as a crucial lever to push through a bill that has faced opposition in the past.

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“Successes are already evident. In Texas and Louisiana, veterans played a key role in the recent expansion of medical marijuana programs. In Mississippi, they supported a successful ballot initiative for medical cannabis in 2020, though the result was later overturned by the state Supreme Court. And in Alabama, the case of an out-of-state veteran arrested and jailed for possession of medical marijuana incited national outrage and calls for legalization. The state legalized medical marijuana earlier this year.

“To be sure, not every veteran supports these efforts, and the developments in red states have been influenced by other factors: advocacy from cancer patients and parents whose children have epilepsy, lawmakers who see this as a states’ rights issue, a search for alternative pain relief amid the opioid epidemic and a push from industries seeking economic gains.”

“I’ve lost more men to suicide since we went to Afghanistan in ’01 than I have in combat,” veteran Chayse Roth, told USA Today, adding that, “It’s just unacceptable for these guys to go overseas and win the battle and come home and lose the battle to themselves.” Roth stated that he personally doesn’t use cannabis but that he supports his fellow vets that could benefit.

A sincere thanks to all veterans who have given so much of themselves and their lives to our nation. And a huge thanks to those that advocate for the well being of all of us by standing up for the truth when they come home. By advocating for medical cannabis, these veterans are taking heat for many others that are unable to speak out due to their occupation or societal pressures. In 2021, it’s odd for many of us living in legal states to even imagine people’s lives ruined because medical cannabis remains illegal, but that is the case for far too many people. The day of fully ending Reefer Madness prohibition from sea to shining sea in the land of the free and the home of the brave inches closer each and every day because people are speaking truth to power.

Kind Leaf is humbled and proud to provide discounts every single day to military veterans, as well as all senior citizens and OMMP patients, in addition to offering amazing weekly deals. You can even view our menu online and order via Leafly to save time. Or come on into the the premier craft cannabis boutique in Pendleton, we’d love to see you.