In December of 2014 there were laws put in place that were supposed to protect legal medicinal marijuana from backlash from the DEA. The law only protected legal businesses and patients – or at least it was supposed to. Leave it to the DEA to find a loophole in any situation – they were still seizing crops, inventory and more from perfectly legal (within their state’s rights) marijuana dispensaries or patient homes.
In order to not let them get away with the same thing twice, this year it seems the government will be taking a slightly different approach. Instead of offering only to protect the businesses under specific circumstances they will simply lose around half of their budget.
The main reason for this? There is around $18 million each year being spent on eliminating cannabis crops. Though this money is supposed to be spent to take down large drug rings and cartels, it instead gets spent on eliminating naturally occurring cannabis crops that are mostly descendants of industrial hemp (which means this weed won’t get you very high, if at all).
A group of House representatives proposed that half of this money – $9 billion – would be much better off being spent elsewhere; the provided example was programs that support victims of domestic and/or sexual assault. Personally, this sounds like a much better use of our countries funds rather than mindlessly killing a harmless plant off the face of the country (or trying to).
This hasn’t been the best of years for the DEA – and they might want to consider getting things together a little bit and sitting down to talk about the future of our country and cannabis. With over half of the country offering some form of legal marijuana we have come to a point that the federal government needs to step away.
Will they do so willingly though? Doubtful. They have been looking for back-doors since the day they entered the government – and that won’t change simply because we ask them to. Taking their budget down to half would require them to put money where it needed to go to make the most impact – and the rest can be spent on bettering people who need help.
Maybe this time the DEA will finally get it when all’s said and done.