Tag: cannabis community

Amazon Reaffirms Commitment to Cannabis Legalization, Reinstates Employment Eligibility

While I do my best to support small, locally-owned businesses (one of the many reasons that the Oregon cannabis community should shop at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique), it’s no secret that corporate giants exert a huge amount of influence in our political system. While we many of us may have our own personal criticisms of Amazon, it is good to see the business behemoth get on the right side of history and support cannabis legalization. The online powerhouse made major waves when it initially announced that it would stop testing (most) employees for cannabis and support federal policy changes, and it has reaffirmed its commitment to the cause by reinstating the eligibility of those previously denied employment for past positive drug tests, according to a new company blog post:

“We made these changes for a few reasons. First, we recognized that an increasing number of states are moving to some level of cannabis legalization—making it difficult to implement an equitable, consistent, and national pre-employment marijuana testing program. Second, publicly available national data indicates that pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacts people of color and acts as a barrier to employment. And third, Amazon’s pace of growth means that we are always looking to hire great new team members, and we’ve found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool.

“Given our previous support for legalizing cannabis at the federal level, as well as expunging certain criminal records and investing in impacted businesses and communities, Amazon recently announced our support for, and began actively lobbying on, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act). We are also pleased to endorse the recently introduced Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Actread our comments on that legislation.

“Pre-employment marijuana testing has disproportionately affected communities of color by stalling job placement and, by extension, economic growth, and we believe this inequitable treatment is unacceptable. As we shared earlier this year, we aim to become Earth’s Best Employer, and as part of that journey, we know that our local communities and future generations need us to be better every day—thus the creation of our new Leadership Principle, Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility. Together, these principles speak to our responsibility to effect change and are our impetus for both driving for societal change and maintaining the right internal policies to ensure a great workplace with equitable and consistent hiring practices for all candidates. That’s why we strongly believe the time has come to reform the nation’s cannabis policy, and we are committed to helping lead the effort.”

Politics often make strange bedfellows, so I personally welcome Amazon and any other business that wants to use its power to end the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. While we always must remain vigilant to ensure that small businesses don’t get completely trampled, starting with our own personal decisions, but also in advocating for regulations that don’t completely squeeze out the mom-and-pops, we can welcome new advocates into our movement for freedom. The days of Reefer Madness prohibition are clearly numbered, but we must continue to work hard to legalize it right.

Kind Leaf is proud to supply the best cannabis community in the world with the best selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest. Please see our menu, deals, and discounts on Leafly and thank you for your support.

Celebrate the Oregon Measure 110 Drug Decriminalization Law and National Recovery Month this September 30th

While prohibitionists, many of whom have been promoting harmful Reefer Madness propaganda, may scoff at mixing cannabis legalization, drug decriminalization, and National Recovery Month, in Oregon they all go hand in hand. During the Measure 110 campaign, I met so many amazing people in recovery that understood the need to stop criminalizing personal drug use. Even though they had come to understand that drug use, or certain drugs that they had used in their past, wasn’t for them, they knew that waging a war on nonviolent people, stigmatizing people, criminalizing addiction, and ruining lives with punitive prison sentences, wasn’t the answer. This September 30th, the Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance is hosting a virtual “Celebrate National Recovery Month,” shining a light on some amazing recovery and harm reduction providers to discuss how they are already utilizing Measure 110 funds to create a reality where anyone who wants recovery can access the care they need.

The Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance is the statewide advocacy coalition working to implement the will of Oregon’s voters. The Alliance understands that the needs of communities most harmed by the War on Drugs — Black, Latinx, Native and tribal communities, remain front and center, and getting the funds that they need. This coalition represents more than 75 community-based organizations from all corners of our great state working to strengthen their local communities: medical associations, culturally-specific organizations, labor, harm reduction and recovery providers and advocates, people in recovery and more.

In Oregon there’s still a lot of work to be done, but also many reasons to celebrate. Drug possession has been decriminalized, the first round of financial grants have been awarded to some great organizations doing life-saving work, immediately infusing our behavioral health system with an additional $30 million to address the overdose and addiction crises in Oregon. Further, the Oregon legislature passed a comprehensive health package that included $302 million in Measure 110 funding over the next two years. The Measure 110 campaign predicted that drug treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs would see over $100 million dollars a year, and that prediction has been exceeded by just over $50 per year. Oregon is leading a movement that seeks to invest in people instead of more prisons, away from criminalizing addiction toward treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal matter.

None of the success of Measure 110 would be possible without the Oregon cannabis community. Legalizing cannabis in 2014 paved the way for M110’s passage in 2020 and the $150+ million plus per year that’s funding treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services has been made possible by excess cannabis tax revenue that has far exceeded original projections. The more that you make purchases at dispensaries, such as Kind Leaf, you are helping save and improve lives throughout the state of Oregon.

The Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance’s Celebrate National Recovery Month is this September 30th from 5:30-6:30pm. You can get more information here.

Kind Leaf is proud to help support important programs that benefit our local community. Please see our menu on Leafly to check out the best selection in the Great Northwest. And don’t forget our weekly deals and everyday discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Enter a Glass Giveaway and See the Best Cannabis Selection in the Great Northwest at Kind Leaf

Kind Leaf is so happy and proud to provide the best selection of cannabis and cannabis products to the best and biggest (per capita) cannabis community in all of the land. If you hurry up and venture into Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique, you will be able to see very best cannabis in the Great Northwest, if not the world, and for the next week, you’ll be able to enter to win some amazing glass to add to your collection. We’ll be announcing the glass winner on September 18th and while you are shopping for cannabis, you’ll be able to pick up a plethora of items, including clothes, chapstick, books, that can satisfy both the cannabis connoisseurs and even those that don’t utilize cannabis.

Until the 13th, you’ll be able to scoop up some amazing deals on this week’s specials:

Flower: 30% OFF – Gelato, Sweet Tartz, Purple Diesel; 15% OFF – MAC 1

Edibles: 30% OFF – Gron Pips, Happy Kitchen Fruit Smackers- Apple & Peach

Extracts: 30% OFF – Siskiyou RSO; 15% OFF – No Label Extracts, All Pax Pods

Prerolls: 30%OFF – Loyal Oil Prerolls; 15% OFF – Blues Brothers 5pack & 6pack

Tinctures: 30%OFF – Siskiyou CBD Mint Tincture

Topicals: 30%OFF- Bud Rub Tins

Happy Selectember!!! Until 9/30/2021, all Select products are 20% OFF ALL MONTH LONG!!

*Everyday Discounts (please make sure to let your budtender know if you are eligible):

Senior Discount – 5% OFF entire purchase

Veteran Discount – 10% OFF

OMMP Discount – Additional 15% OFF for Oregon Medical Marijuana Patients

*OMMP Card must be present at time of purchase

*Excludes all non-cannabis and non-hemp items

*Discounts cannot be stacked, the highest available discount will be applied at the point of sale.

Remember that you can even order online via Leafly and have your order awaiting you and that when you support Kind Leaf, you are supporting a local Oregon business that gives back to our local community. Thank you so much for helping

Not Surprising, Oregon Has the Biggest Cannabis Community Per Capita

The Oregon cannabis community is certainly a proud one, with plenty of accomplishments to be pleased with. Many are understandably proud of the fact that the Beaver State was the first to decriminalize an ounce back in 1973 and one of the earliest states to pass medical and recreational laws, in 1998 and 2014, respectfully. These pioneering cannabis laws then paved the way for the state to lead the nation towards finally chipping away at the failed Drug War by passing a therapeutic psilocybin initiative and eliminating harsh criminal penalties for the personal possession of all drugs in 2020. In addition to changing laws, Oregon is known for producing top-shelf cannabis particularly in the southern portion of the state that helps comprise the “Emerald Triangle” that stretches into Northern California. Some of the most heated debates that I’ve ever heard have been between cultivators and connoisseurs repping their respective West Coast states. (One thing that both can agree on is that each of them outperform Washington, with all due respect to our Great Northwest neighbor).

With Oregon’s rich cannabis culture and history, it shouldn’t be surprising that its residents utilize the most cannabis per capita in the United States. I’m always dubious of the accuracy of surveys when folks are asked if they are using a federally illegal substance that many employers still prohibit its use, but, for per capita purposes, it’s certainly not that surprising that the Beaver State would be at the top of the list. BestLife explained its methodology to determine the most cannabis consumers per capita.

“It wasn’t long ago when using marijuana put you at risk of being arrested—or at least on the receiving end of a pretty hefty fine. But as more and more states decriminalize—and even legalize—cannabis, people in many areas across the country can now toke up in public. In fact, at the moment, in 18 U.S. states and Washington D.C. the recreational use of marijuana is completely legal, and it is widely expected that even more states will join the club in the coming months and years. With that in mind, we wanted to see which state has the most marijuana users.

“In order to find out where marijuana users are the most prevalent, we collected the percentage of adults in each state who say they’ve used cannabis within the last year, according to Statista. We used that data plus the most recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate the number of cannabis users per capita* in each state.”

According to BestLife’s calculations, for every 100,000 Oregonians, 28,560 utilize cannabis. Colorado ranked second with 27,770 as Vermont, Maine, and Alaska rounded out the top 5. Washington State just missed the top 5 while California probably surprises some folks who may not quite understand the sheer size and complexity of the state’s makeup, ranks 14th.

While Reefer Madness prohibitionists may try to denigrate Oregon and other states at the top of the list, the truth is that cannabis use by adults shouldn’t be any more frowned upon as beer and wine consumption, two local industries embraced by many states. With legal cannabis creating jobs, generating revenue, and dismantling Drug War propaganda time and time again, the local cannabis industry should be embraced and nourished like any other homegrown business sector that continues to benefit the local community, including dedicating money to schools and life-saving treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs.

Kind Leaf is proud to serve Oregonians and be Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique. We so appreciate the cannabis community that helps us give back to our local community. Please see our menu on Leafly and check out our deals and discounts.

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.

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.

Will We See Cannabis Legalization within the Next 18 to 24 months?

Debating if we will see the United States end federal cannabis prohibition within our lifetime has really morphed into conversations about “when” Uncle Sam will finally sweep Reefer Madness into the dustbin of history. There are the more optimistic among us who see things falling into place rather quickly, counting on common sense to prevail swiftly, including some important elected officials evolving on the issue. Others are more pessimistic, or realistic, depending upon your perspective, thinking that it’ll be more in the 5-10 year range. I imagine that those that don’t see legalization occurring within the next decade are in the minority. You can count Irwin Simon, CEO of Canadian cannabis company Tilray as one of the more optimistic prognosticators, expectating the U.S. to legalize within the next two years:

“Citing the recent legislative push to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, ‘I see over the next 18-to-24 months that cannabis in some format will have legalization,’ Simon told Yahoo Finance Live (video above), later adding: ‘Trust me: When legalization does happen, we will be ready… to be a part of it.’

“The Canadian cannabis company — listed on both the Nasdaq (TLRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TLRY.TO) — currently has around 14% market share in the medical and adult recreational use cannabis market in Canada, Simon noted, with an objective to reach 30%.

“And while ‘we don’t to anything in cannabis today in the U.S.’ due to the federal prohibition, Simon said, Tilray is preparing for the future ability to further enter the American market.”

While I appreciate folks’ optimism, if you gave me an over/under on two years, I’m taking the over, based upon political realities. I know that it can be extremely frustrating for the cannabis community that such an obvious failed experiment like the war on cannabis can take so long to overturn, but the political realities overturning a position hardened by decades of propaganda and millions upon millions of lobbying dollars are difficult to overcome. Most likely, it’ll take 60 votes in the Senate to pass a legalization bill, as unlike the House of Representatives which can pass a bill with a simple majority, prohibitionist senators have the option of invoking the filibuster to force supermajority support. It’s not even 100% certain that legalization would get 51 votes to farner a majority, but it’s definitely close.

There has been some talk about eliminating the filibuster, so that procedural change would change things and make the 18-24 window more likely. Only time will tell, but if we remain vigilant and continue to speak the truth about cannabis and the harmful consequences of prohibition, the truth will eventually set the cannabis community free.

Kind Leaf has the best selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest and when you shop at Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique, you know that your hard-earned dollars are supporting a small Oregon company while funding important important programs, including our schools and drug treatment services. Check out the menu and deals on Leafly, where you can even order online.

Don’t Buy the Reefer Madness Nonsense About Cannabis and Crime

Just when you think that you have extinguished Reefer Madness propaganda point by point, the nonsense rears its ugly head again. After crime rates in the United States dipped to historic lows the past few years, we have seen an uptick over the last two. While crime rates were dropping while state after state legalized medical and adult-use cannabis, prohibitionists certainly didn’t want to give credit to legalization for lessening crime, but now it seems apparent that they want to try and blame cannabis, but if there is any widespread crime associated with cannabis, it’s caused by prohibition, NOT legalization. Yahoo News covered the most recent Reefer Madness emitting from Washington D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee proclaiming that cannabis is ‘undoubtedly’ a factor in the city’s rise in violent crimes during a recent press briefing:

“Contee held the briefing after two individuals were shot near a restaurant in downtown D.C. A shooting also occurred outside of D.C.’s Nationals Park during a baseball game on Saturday, July 17 which left two people hospitalized with gunshot wounds and one injured. The shooters were never found.

“’We have taken on a mindset that marijuana is not really a big issue in our city,’ Contee said. ‘I can tell you that marijuana undoubtedly is connected to violent crimes that we are seeing in our communities.’

“’When you have something where people get high reward — they can make a lot of money by selling illegal marijuana — and the risk is low, the risk for accountability is very low, that creates a very, very, very bad situation, because those individuals get robbed,’ he added. ‘Those individuals get shot at. Those individuals get involved in disputes all across our city.’”

First of all, it is ridiculous that shootings where the perpetrators were never found are being tied to cannabis, with absolutely zero evidence that the substance had anything to do with the violence. Secondly, when Chief Contee brought up making a lot of money by selling illegal cannabis, that’s the result of prohibition, NOT the cannabis itself. Congress prohibits Washington, D.C., from establishing adult-use cannabis retailers, forcing people to turn to the illegal market. Congress needs to do its job by ending federal prohibition and allowing cannabis businesses access to normal banking services. That’s the real solution, but the prison-industrial complex and other special interest groups that have a financial incentive to maintain the federal war on the cannabis community will seek to exploit any news that they can to demonize cannabis. We must remain vigilant and keep speaking the truth about cannabis and the costs of prohibition.

Kind Leaf is proud to help provide jobs and revenue for our local community while serving the cannabis community with the best selection in the Great Northwest. Check our menu on Leafly for deals and you can even order online to save time. And we always provide discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

With Connecticut Passing Legalization, Nearly Half the Nation Has Ended Prohibition

“We had a chance to learn from others, and I think we’ve got it right here in the state of Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont.

The pace of cannabis legalization sweeping across the nation has accelerated at a rapid pace, with five states ending prohibition within its borders in recent months with Connecticut becoming the 19th state overall to go legal. Over 40% of our nation’s population now lives in a state with legalized cannabis, getting us towards a tipping point where federal prohibition remains even more nonsensical than it already does. As NPR reported, legislators and policymakers in Connecticut are touting the fact that they got to learn from other states when crafting their measure.

“‘I think it will be the most comprehensive and best cannabis legalization bill in the country,’ said House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford. ‘History will tell us if that’s true or not, but I feel confident in saying yes, right now, this is the best bill in the country and it’s going to move us in a direction of ensuring that we provide a well-regulated marketplace for adult-use cannabis for adults who want to participate in that kind of activity.’

“The law allows individuals age 21 and older to possess or consume up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of “cannabis plant material” and up to 5 ounces (141.7 grams) in a locked container in a home or in the trunk or locked glove box in the person’s vehicle. Retail sales of recreational cannabis in Connecticut are not expected to begin until the summer of 2022, at the earliest.

“According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Connecticut is now the 19th state to end cannabis prohibition. The group, which advocated for the bill, noted the legislation sets aside 50% of licenses for equity applicants, which include residents of communities that have been “disproportionately impacted” by drug-related crimes and high unemployment. Also, up to 75% of revenue will be dedicated toward equity efforts and community reinvestment, the group said.”

Here in the Great Northwest, cannabis pioneers certainly would love to have some provisions enacted that later adopters have implemented, such as automatic expungement, equity provisions, the ability to have cannabis cafes and, for Washington State, home cultivation. It’s great to see other states build upon pioneers and those that have gone early must remain vigilant to press for much-needed improvements, shining a light on the advancements shown possible by the newbies. Congratulations, Connecticut cannabis community, take some time to celebrate, you deserve it. You, like all of us seeking to end the Drug War, will be back at work soon enough.

Kind Leaf believes that freedom-fighting advocates deserve to celebrate victories and there is no better place to help you celebrate than Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique.

Mississippi Supreme Court Overturns Medical Cannabis Law, Trampling Voters’ Will, but Hope Remains

The Mississippi medical cannabis community and all voters that believe in direct democracy had their will and intentions trampled by the state Supreme Court this week in a rather ridiculous ruling that strips voters’ ability to act as a co-equal legislative branch of their government on a rather ridiculous technicality. The text of the state’s constitution that determines the number of signatures required for advocates to place measures before the people reads:

“The people reserve unto themselves the power to propose and enact constitutional amendments by initiative.  An initiative to amend the Constitution may be proposed by a petition signed over a twelve-month period by qualified electors equal in number to at least twelve percent (12%) of the votes for all candidates for Governor in the last gubernatorial election.  The signatures of the qualified electors from any congressional district shall not exceed one-fifth ( 1/5 ) of the total number of signatures required to qualify an initiative petition for placement upon the ballot.  If an initiative petition contains signatures from a single congressional district which exceed one-fifth ( 1/5 ) of the total number of required signatures, the excess number of signatures from that congressional district shall not be considered by the Secretary of State in determining whether the petition qualifies for placement on the ballot.”

In a 6-3 decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court determined that since the state went from 5 congressional districts down to 4, that the proper decision was to completely invalidate the entire initiative process. This ruling not only invalidates the state’s newly passed medical cannabis law and all future initiatives, but may also negate ballot measures that have passed after the reduction of one federal congressional district. As Law & Crime noted, dissenting Justice Robert Chamberlain rightly declared such an interpretation of the constitution absurd:

In the dissent, Justice Robert Chamberlin said the majority’s ruling “does not avoid absurdity; rather, it invites it.”

“The constitution is presumed capable of ordering human affairs decades beyond the time of ratification under circumstances beyond the prescience of the draftsmen,” he wrote. “The majority’s holding destroys such an ordering less than a decade after adoption, presumably finding legislative incompetence or malevolence and/or a desire of the people to put a self-destruct sequence into the initiative process they granted unto themselves.”

“The majority confidently and correctly points out that ‘[n]owhere therein does the Constitution allow amendment by the Supreme Court.’ Yet the majority does just that—stepping completely outside of Mississippi law—to employ an interpretation that not only amends but judicially kills Mississippi’s citizen initiative process,” Chamberlin added.

As the Clarion Ledger reported, there’s hope for both the Initiative 65 medical cannabis law, passed by 2/3 of voters, as well as the reinstatement of the initiative process with several legislators calling for a special session to adhere to the wishes of their constituents.:

“We 100% believe in the right of the people to use the initiative process to express their views on public policy,” Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday in a statement that did not mention medical marijuana. “If the Legislature does not act on an issue that the people of Mississippi want, then the people need a mechanism to change the law.”

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Republican Sen. Scott DeLano of Biloxi said lawmakers should be prepared and willing to move forward with establishing a medical marijuana program this year that is “consistent with the spirit of Initiative 65.”

“The only way for us to be able to do that before January of 2022 is if the governor calls for a special session,” DeLano said Monday. “It’s what the public wanted; it’s what our constituents wanted and what they expected. I believe it’s my duty to do my part in making sure that the will of the voter is heard.”

It can be extremely deflating when you take two steps back after a huge step forward for your cause, but there’s hope that the Mississippi cannabis community may become stronger by overcoming this judicially-imposed obstacle. Advocates have already demonstrated overwhelming majority support for medicinal use and now there is an opportunity to find key legislative allies to implement a medical law AND an initiative process that will set the stage for full legalization in the future. Iron sharpens iron, and withstanding these political battles will only strengthen activists fight for freedom and common sense. Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler, who filed the suit to block Initiative 65 because it limits a city’s ability to regulate the location of medical marijuana businesses, may find that she’s won a merely pyrrhic victory as support for ending the war on patients and their providers grows.