Photo by Mike Sikora

The fate of state legalized medicinal marijuana in the United States was in a precarious place last week. Every appropriation passed by both Houses in Congress since 2014 included an amendment that explicitly denied the Department of Justice funding for a federal crackdown on marijuana in the states where it has been legalized.

Suddenly after intense lobbying by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, the House rules committee which has approved the attachment in four previous congresses said they would not allow the amendment to be attached to the current appropriations. Recall that Sessions had actually formally written a letter to Congress asking them to vacate the previously passed amendment by not attaching the rider.

Things looked bleak.

Fortunately, with the support of President Trump and Senator Schumer, in a bi-partisan move, the amendment was attached to the emergency appropriation for Hurricane Harvey.

I was in Washington, embedded on Capitol Hill, working with Democrats, making calls and meeting with pro marijuana confederates in both parties. This Amendment has the effect of protecting millions of Americans legal access to cannabis for medicinal purposes, but only until December.

Sessions’ aggressiveness and his obvious plan to reignite the war on drugs which has already cost taxpayers billions, destroyed families and lives and had no impact whatsoever on the level of illegal drug activity in the United States, is clear.

Sessions makes no bones about his plan to roll back the clock and abandon the ‘Cole Memo” put in place Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder and named for the Deputy Attorney general who wrote it, which had the effect of ordering the DOJ to stand down on enforcement of contradicting Federal law regarding possession, distribution and sales in the States where cannabis has been legalized by the state under President Obama.

Session’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was only slightly more coy than his boss. “We are reviewing that policy. We haven’t changed it, but we are reviewing it. Rosenstein said. “The Attorney General has been very clear. Our position and the position of the United States, because it’s reflected in law, is that marijuana is illegal… even if, under the terms of the memo, you won’t currently be prosecuted, that doesn’t mean what you’re doing is legal, or that it’s approved by the federal government or that you’re protected from prosecution in the future.”

It is also clear this is in direct contradiction to the position of candidate and President Donald J Trump who very clearly said he supported state’s rights when it came to the question of legalizing marijuana particularly for medicinal purposes.

The new White House Chief of Staff General Kelly has been a cheerleader for the coming Sessions crackdown. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tipped his hand as to the disinformation they will try to sell the president when he said. “And I think there is some significant evidence that marijuana turns out to be more harmful than a lot of people anticipated, and more difficult to regulate than I think was contemplated by some of those states.” This is of course nonsense. Kelly excises any story about the coming crackdown from the President’s Daily News Summary. The new FBI Director is also in on the Sessions crackdown plan.

The President needs to be reminded of millions of dollars in revenue the state legalized marijuana industry is generating, the thousands of jobs it has created and the millions of Americans who are utilizing cannabis as an alternative to opioids-and he has to be reminded TODAY.

Recently, with Orlando Trial Attorney and Democratic fundraiser and activist John Morgan (you’ve probably seen his TV ads law firm Morgan and Morgan), I launched a bipartisan effort –The United States Cannabis Coalition – to persuade President Donald Trump to honor this pledge made during the presidential campaign to respect the states’ rights to legalize marijuana. We also want the President to take cannabis of the Schedule 1 drug list so doctors can prescribe it to their patients.

Partnering with us in this important endeavor are HBO’s Bill Maher, Fox News Legal Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, Former California Superior Court Judge and 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President Jim Gray, Congressman Matt Gaetz R- Fla., Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), Omar Navarro Republican Candidate for Congress 43rd District – CA, NY State Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten island), Christian Josi, Former Executive Director American Conservative Union, Assemblyman Ron Castorina, Chairman Staten Island Republican Committee, Director of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition Jeff Doctor, Elizabeth Everett Texans for Trump, longtime columnist and activist Deroy Murdock, Pastor Mark Burns, Easley S.C. , CATO Institute Scholar Doug Bandow, State Rep. Shamed Dogan R- Mo, Guardian Angels Founder and Chairman of The New York State Reform Party Curtis Sliwa,  Sgt Gary Wiegert St. Louis Police Dept, State Rep. Ethan Orr (R-Tucson)- and the list is growing.

I am not a newcomer to this cause. As a libertarian Republican I have written, spoken, marched and rallied for drug law reform for 20 years. I spoke at a “Countdown to Justice” rally along with Russell Simmons and Rev. Al Sharpton demanding reform of New York’s draconian Rockefeller drug laws, among the most racist in the nation. I actively wrote and spoke for reforms to the New York law in 2006 and 2008. I am also a witness in a new lawsuit filed against the Federal government to overturn the feds classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.

I watched both my father and grandfather suffer and perish from terminal cancer. Cannabis was the one thing that alleviated my father’s agony, so I made sure that he had access to it, an act of mercy that turned me into a violator of prohibition law.

Without hesitation, I would do it again, because at the core of this cause are compassion and a desire to see all human beings afforded the dignity and the essential right of self-determination, especially in the most personal of health and lifestyle choices.

I am committed to using every private and public channel of communication to the President to urge him to order Sessions to stop this misguided effort to reignite the war on drugs in violation of the state’s rights. A crackdown would target state legalized growers and dispensaries. Users would be at risk for possession if the “new drug warriors” go that far.

We need to buy targeted TV Advertising on Cable and Direct TV (which serves the White House) in Washington DC. We need to praise President Trump for standing out from EVERY other Republican candidate for president when he said he would respect states’ rights in the states that had legalized marijuana. “Medicinal?” asked the President. “Absolutely “he said.  Above all we must remind  him to keep his solemn pledge to protect public access to state legalized marijuana.

Now we must let him know what Attorney General Sessions and White House Chief of Staff General Kelly backed by the FBI Director Christopher Wray want to do to legalized cannabis and remind him to keep his promise to protect legal access to marijuana to the millions of citizens in veterans who use it as medicine every day.

This television advertising blitz can be done for $250,000 including production.  A companion Digital campaign will target and saturate the same target. General Kelly can’t stop the President from watching Cable TV.

Will you send a contribution to the US Cannabis Coalition, a project of the United States Freedom Coalition today? Your contribution of $1000, $500, $100, $50 or even $25 to fund this vital TARGETED MEDIA BLITZ  will be generously matched dollar for dollar up to $125,000 by “Big Mike” Straumieitis, founder of Advanced Nutrients and a supporter of our effort. That’s 50% of our budget!

Will you help us raise the other 50%. You can contribute HERE.

We have nine weeks before the Congressional protection of state legalized marijuana expires and state legal cannabis Industry will be dismantled and closed.  We need to use every public and private channel to the president to convince him to keep this promise.

Please help us get these hard-hitting cable TV ads where the President can see them by rushing us your maximum contribution today. Please contribute HERE.




United States Cannabis Coalition

PS- We have only 63 days until the Congressional protection of state legalized marijuana expires and Attorney General Sessions can begin a crackdown on the legalized cannabis industry. Please rush me your answer today.

The United States Cannabis Coalition is a bi-partisan pro-cannabis advocacy group dedicated to protecting state’s rights and state mandated marijuana laws while influencing federal level decision makers to reform our antiquated and failed federal drug laws.


Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. The United States Cannabis Coalition is an organization of The United States Freedom Coalition, a non-profit advocacy organization chartered under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions from corporations are acceptable, and donations are not limited as to amount. Contributions or gifts are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal Income Tax purposes.

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