US judicial nominees are no longer dismissed for past cannabis use

Ever since President Obama entered the Oval Office there’s been less drama surrounding politicians and lawmakers that used marijuana in their past, but as of lately, even the Supreme Court Justices are excused for past marijuana use.

There have been many incidents regarding marijuana and other drugs when it comes to politicians and other people engaged in politics, and most often those incidents destroyed the careers of the people in question.

However, not everyone is treated the same, as different positions in the system have different requirements regarding drug use.

One of the most popular comedy sketches on YouTube was based on President Obama’s college years and his use of marijuana, it was made by Key and Peele in their famous online show, which you can see below.


New times call for new policies

With marijuana having a terrible track record and rather low support in the realm of politics, who would have thought that one day Judicial nominees will be allowed past use?

Well, pretty much nobody thought that, as the U.S. Senate has blocked judicial nominees who have used marijuana after taking the bar exam for the past several decades.

However, members of the Democratic party that have seats on the Judiciary Committee complained in a report that this rule should be removed when taking new candidates into consideration.

“Since at least the Clinton administration, Judiciary Committee Republicans did not clear background investigations of judicial nominees who reported to the FBI that they had ever used marijuana after taking the bar exam,” Democrats on the Judiciary Committee wrote in a new report. “Because of this Republican policy, a number of judicial nominees were either blocked or never nominated in the first place.”

So, in accordance with that report from the Democrats, Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) drafted a new policy which would allow candidates two previous occurrences of marijuana consumption after taking the bar exam, if the use was at least five years prior to the date of their nomination to the federal bench.

Democrats argued that the timing of this change seems too convenient for Republicans, as they are currently in control of the House, the Senate, and the Oval Office.

Schedule I due date

Cannabis has been listed as a Schedule I substance alongside with meth and heroin for a while now, meaning that it has no applicable medical use as recognized by the federal government.

Even though the reality tells a different story, and having medical cannabis legalized in 30 states it is still not enough to change, the cannabis stew cooking in the federal chambers is definitely starting to boil.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer has been a longtime advocate for legalizing marijuana and he thinks that the time is right for marijuana to cross into the legal waters and be rightfully rescheduled.

Blumenauer believes that the 2018 election could possibly also determine the legal status of marijuana in the federal court.

“2018 elections could  be pivotal to removing cannabis from the federal list of Schedule 1 narcotics”, said Rep. Blumenauer.”If Democrats control the House of Representatives in the first months of the next Congress in 2019, we will be having hearings on de-scheduling.”

One of the staunchest adversaries of legal marijuana, John Boehner joined the board of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis corporation which advocates for the federal decriminalization, which is a huge shift in his position on cannabis legalization.

This only goes to show how much opportunity legal marijuana offers for everyone who is engaged in that sector, even for those that strongly opposed it.

DEA still stalling research

Ever since marijuana got listed as a Schedule I substance, growing it became completely illegal for everyone in the US, except for researchers at the University of Mississippi.

The DEA has been allowed to approve new cannabis producers for medical marijuana research by a solution proposed in mid-2016, however, no new manufacturers have yet been granted a license.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to be the target of everyone’s wrath when it comes to everything marijuana related in politics. The DOJ declined to comment on the issue.

“The holdup is the Department of Justice,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

Rep. Luis Correa, D-Calif. is pushing for more research in cases of medical marijuana in the VA with a bipartisan bill in the House which, if approved, should allow Veterans Affairs to research marijuana’s ability to treat PTSD and chronic pain.

“Cannabis is good for treating epilepsy, seizures — it is well-documented, we know it works. The question is what else does it work for?” Correa said.

Rep. Gaetz introduced legislation earlier this year, that would force Sessions to approve a certain number of producers every year.

The bill currently has 30 cosponsors, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., House Judiciary Committee chairman, which means that this bill still has a decent chance of making it to the House floor.

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