Is the Rohrabacher’s Amendment Dead?
For those of you who don’t know what the Rohrabacher Amendment is, let me summarize it for you. Essentially, it’s a rider that was included in the fiscal budget that prohibited the Department of Justice to use one single penny on prosecuting legal cannabis businesses in medical marijuana states. In other words, it was the little piece of paper that protected the industry from the Federal government.
Notice I said “was”, because that amendment is about to expire and the U.S House Rules Committee decided ‘not to vote’ on it because it ‘divided the house too much’. In other words, the inconvenience of voting on an amendment that protected a multi-billion-dollar industry could soon allow the drug warriors free reign to do what Jeff Sessions has been touting about since he got his position as “asshole of the year”.
But wait…all is not lost!
The scenario above is obviously not something the cannabis industry wishes and fortunately there still is a slimmer of hope on the horizon. While the House found that it was ‘too much for them to handle’, the Senate still has to vote on the issue and there is a lot more support for it there.
A few powerhouses from both sides of the political spectrum most likely will endorse the idea such as Corey Booker and Rand Paul who might have varying opinions about cannabis, but can agree that the drug war is an epic fail.
We can only hope that in the Senate this amendment gets approved tying the DOJs hands once more and allowing the cannabis industry to flourish.
What happens if it all goes to shit?
Of course, we can’t assume that it is going to pass. So what happens if it fails? Well, Mr. Sessions told us about his plans time and time again. He wishes to resurrect Raegan era policies and crack down on “drug dealers” (growers and dispensaries) and users alike.
It is interesting though that despite the fervent claims by Sessions, the DOJ actually prosecuted fewer cannabis related cases than the previous year under Obama. It’s kind of mind boggling when you think about it. Despite the current administration vehemently opposed to cannabis, they are doing less about it than Obama (currently).
However, let’s say that Jeff Sessions gets his way and starts utilizing the Federal government to crack down on the cannabis industry. For starters, the DEA only has roughly 500 agents worldwide, meaning they would need the cooperation of local law enforcement to conduct the crack down. Many states that have legalized are opposed to this idea since cannabis has generated a significant revenue stream for them.
In all likeliness, there will be some resistance to assisting the federal government on taking away their cash cow. Of course, some of the law enforcement agencies will play ball, however even then I personally think it would be highly counterproductive to the agenda of Sessions.
Why a Crackdown would fail
Currently, the United States has record support for cannabis in all forms. 66% of people believe we should get rid of laws against cannabis. 95% is in favor of medical cannabis. More than 45 million people toked up last year. Hell, a show about a weed dispensary was recently released on Netflix.
So what do you think would happen if the government suddenly decided to crack down on legal businesses supplying Americans the cannabis they so love?
OUTRAGE is what will happen.
Right now we’re at a stage within the cannabis revolution that any action against the industry would only strengthen the commitment of the people advocating legalization. It would be like killing Jesus. You thought you shut him up…now there’s a fucking religion about him.
Similarly, the cannabis industry would utilize the martyrdom strategy to reinforce the concept that the Federal government’s laws are simply not working and contrary to the alleged ethos of the United States, the drug war is the antonym of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
What to do if the Amendment isn’t renewed
Let’s say that the Amendment isn’t renewed, then what? Then it’s time to get up, put down the joint and spam government officials with complaints about the lack of protection of an industry that has not produced the negative results prohibitionist claimed it would.
Call your representatives in mass. Be like the snotty bitchy kid and don’t stop until they all say, “Fuck it, let’s legalize…I can’t handle these emails, letters and phone calls anymore!”
As mentioned, there were 45 million people who toked up last year. That’s 1 in 4 adults. No longer is the cannabis consumer population a fluke…it’s a serious demographic with tons of money. We all know that the prohibition of cannabis is coming to a close…it’s no longer a matter of if but when. If the government tries to block progress, it is your duty as a cannabis consumer to raise your voice in unison and say ‘no more!’