A flood might be coming to the legal weed markets of the U.S., coming from Hurricane Trump and Tropical Storm Attorney General Jeff Sessions, two pro-Drug War, anti-cannabis politicians. If these storms do come, there is a good chance they might wipe out the progress states have made in legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. As cannabis advocates try to figure out what kind of ark to build to survive the coming flood, one storied advocate has an unorthodox solution: repeal legalization.
Alison Holcomb is an ACLU attorney party responsible for recreational marijuana in Washington, having both drafted I-502 and spearheaded the campaign to pass it. But now she says the best thing might be to stop any regulation of marijuana. “The most effective way to defeat federal interference in cannabis regulatory systems may very well be for state legislators to repeal all laws and regulations relating to cannabis,” Holcomb told The Stranger.
The logic goes basically like this: There’s no law that a state can pass than can stop a federal agent from arresting someone who handles a federally controlled substance, which is anyone who participates in the marijuana industry. But what is in a state lawmaker’s power is abolishing laws which help federal agencies track cannabis.
Holcomb proposes that repealing any law pertaining to marijuana, whether it decriminalizes, monitors, or regulates the business, would blind the federal government from the cannabis industry.
The marijuana advocate says that this suggestion is in the same spirit as legalizing recreational marijuana in the first place. “The point of I-502 was to stop arresting people for using marijuana,” she says. “And I-502 was the right vehicle at that time to move us in that direction, and depending on what happens now, we may have to move in an entirely new direction. But the North Star is the same North Star: Don’t arrest people… because they use marijuana or grow it and want to share it with others.”
Not everyone agrees with Holcomb. Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project at the UW School of Law, says the tactic would as if “We’re going to burn down our house so the robbers won’t rob it.” “I am just as terrified of the Trump administration as anybody else is,” he adds, “but it behooves the industry to work with the administration to at least keep a status quo rather than start a war.”
Photo via Flickr user Aram Vartian