April Fools or Nah?: Cannabis Federally Legalized as of April 1
In an unannounced Oval Office session, attended by a small, hand-selected group of industry professionals and advocates late Sunday afternoon, President Trump has done the unimaginable by exercising his emergency powers and legalizing cannabis. Wearing a green tie for his first time in office, the president signed Executive Order 4202019, the ACCESS Act, or America’s Compassionate Cannabis Elimination of Stigma Stimulus Act. After more than 80 years of federal prohibition, beginning with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, Americans over the age of 21 in all U.S. states and territories will be able to purchase and consume cannabis in a manner similar to their purchase and consumption of alcohol.
In a short statement released by the White House at 12:01 a.m. today, the president stated:
Pundits awakened early by the news are calling the president’s actions an act of political genius. Early polling is showing that Trump's approval rating has increased by a record amount, jumping from 48 percent to 62 percent, with expectations of increasing popularity. Those contributing to this increase include the bastion of Democratic Party strongholds: African-Americans, people of color, LGBTQ, seniors, single mothers and millennials. Futures markets are anticipating a cataclysmic and record plunge on the Canadian Stock Exchange when it opens this morning, with one market expert calling the president’s actions the long-awaited catalyst for the Pot-Com Crash.
By a single stroke of his executive pen, President Trump has usurped a foundational and core political issue from the Democratic Party and all of its presidential hopefuls. The 25 bills now before Congress, predominantly initiated by Democrats, are to be consolidated under one piece of Republican legislation pursuant to the act.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) expressed anger that the president did not give credit to Native Americans for the first cultivation of the plant in America and its introduction to the original 13 colonies. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), for the first time in his political career, had no comment. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), unaware of the act’s signing, reacted with outrage, stating, “This is just another shameful example of old white men taking credit for centuries of struggle and sacrifice by people of color.”
The reaction from the right was surprisingly quiet, with no Republican at this time willing to go on the record. Jared Kushner’s rabbi, Mordechai Rabinowitz of the Shalom Israel congregation, stated, “In Exodus, 30:22-25, the Lord instructed Moses to gather three spices, cinnamon, myrrh and keneh bosem (cannabis) to make holy oil for incense and anointment. Cannabis has been used since ancient times at the Lord’s instruction. What the Lord provided should never have been taken away.”
Material elements of the ACCESS Act’s provisions include:
Criminal records: All criminal records related to any conviction for a cannabis crime are to be expunged and any penalties related thereto are to be stricken.
Criminality: The purchase and consumption of cannabis will have no criminality for those over the age of 21, thereby making the Controlled Substances Act inapplicable to cannabis.
Research: It is legal and Congress is tasked to appropriate an undetermined portion of health care budgets to scientific and medical research of the cannabis plant.
April 20: 4/20 is declared a new national holiday, with federal offices closed and lights on all federal monuments turned green.
Banking: Any legal state cannabis business is deemed a legal American business with full banking access and privileges.
Tax code: Congress is tasked to legislate a competitive tax structure, which shall include tax incentives for employment. Tax dollars shall be dedicated to research, education, veterans affairs and health care facilities. And cannabis businesses of any kind are deemed exempt from the wrongful burdens of Internal Revenue Code Section 280(e).
Interstate commerce: The phantom border walls between states are removed; as with cannabis sativa, all cannabis may be transported across state lines.
Stock exchanges: All exchanges now are permitted to list cannabis companies for initial public offerings.
As this story unfolds, we will provide full coverage on the behind-the-scenes chronology of these actions, the people involved and the anticipated effects on the economy, the workforce, the American people and our culture.