Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) once again took part in his annual “airing of grievances” as part of his celebration of a fictional holiday. This year his grievances included a complaint over Democratic lawmakers’ failure to pass the SAFE banking bill, which would have protected financial institutions that choose to work with cannabis companies.
“Democrats control the House, Senate and White House, and we still can’t get cannabis banking reform bills passed. This should be a complete no-brainer, as so many states have legalized now and we need business to operate,” tweeted Paul in his annual Festivus Twitter thread. “I would go much further and end the federal war on a plant entirely, but at least let legal business operate as legal business.”
Later in the thread, the senator appears to blame Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the bill’s failure. “It probably doesn’t help that the two Democrat leaders are almost as old as the movie Reefer Madness, and clearly gave it two thumbs up when they watched it,” he tweeted.
Festivus is a fictional holiday invented by the writers of the sitcom “Seinfeld.” It is celebrated as an alternative to Christmas.
Feds to Study Decriminalization
A federal agency is looking to fund studies into policy models for drug-use harm reduction—including decriminalization.
Last week the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requested funding for studies to address the national overdose crisis. The agency is seeking to establish a Harm Reduction Network consisting of several research projects and a single coordination center. The network is expected to “increase our understanding of the effectiveness, implementation and impact of existing and new harm reduction practices to address the ongoing opioid crisis and substance use disorder more broadly.”
The agency says it’s accepting applications for projects researching the development and testing of new harm reduction strategies, the implementation of new and existing harm reduction strategies, the expansion of delivery models for deployment and examining new policies’ impact at state and local levels.
San Miguel Zones Out
San Miguel County commissioners recently passed the county cannabis zoning ordinance.
“We all believe this could be beneficial to the county, even small, local producers,” San Miguel County Planning and Zoning Director Amanda Salas told the Las Vegas Optic.
The county’s ordinance was passed days after the City of Las Vegas passed its own cannabis ordinance. The county ordinance requires a 200-foot buffer between cannabis operations. It will allow businesses to operate cannabis consumption sites on a conditional-use basis. The county has reportedly received many more producer applications than retailers and expects to make lower tax revenue than other counties in the state. To offset those losses, producers will be required to pay an additional $2 per plant on top of the $10 paid to the state. This requirement will not apply to microproducers.