Marijuana News Roundup: VP Candidates Pence, Kaine Just Say No

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The race to replace Barack Obama has just entered the final turn as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have named their vice-presidential picks. Trump’s choice, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and U.S. Senator and form governor of Virginia Tim Kaine, Clinton’s choice, have at least one thing in common: neither supports marijuana legalization.

According to Marijuana Politics, Pence’s views on marijuana are “ridiculous, actual ‘reefer madness’ silliness with hideous consequences.” The state of Indiana continues to hand-down “severe penalties” on cannabis users and discourages its use for medical purposes.

Democrat Tim Kaine is cited as having said, “I wouldn’t vote for a law at the federal or state level that would decriminalize marijuana.” Kaine was one of four Democratic senators to join 22 Republicans to receive a grade of “F” last month on a Congressional scorecard released by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

The Republican Party rejected a proposal to endorse medical marijuana use as part of the party’s official platform. This is the platform’s single mention of marijuana:

The progress made over the last three decades against drug abuse is eroding, whether for cultural reasons or for lack of national leadership. In many jurisdictions, marijuana is virtually legalized despite its illegality under federal law. At the other end of the drug spectrum, heroin use nearly doubled from 2003 to 2013, while deaths from heroin have quadrupled. All this highlights the continuing conflicts and contradictions in public attitudes and public policy toward illegal substances. Congress and a new administration should consider the long-range implications of these trends for public health and safety and prepare to deal with the problematic consequences.

That view supports Pence, but presidential nominee Trump has said that he backs medical marijuana use.

Kaine’s position is diametrically opposed to the Democratic Party’s recently adopted platform plank on marijuana legalization. As approved earlier this month, the plank reads:

Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, has been a long-time supporter of decriminalization and was president and CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc. before beginning his run for the Oval Office.

A Colorado Town Tests Positive for Marijuana (in Its Water)
There are no marijuana dispensaries or greenhouses in the tiny railroad town of Hugo, where Theodore Roosevelt once ate breakfast with the local cowboys. But this week, Hugo’s 740 residents were told to stop drinking the water after the town’s water supply tested positive for THC, the psychoactive chemical in Colorado’s most famous cash crop.

The trouble started when a local company trying to calibrate its employee drug tests pulled a positive reading from Hugo’s tap water. The town’s Public Works Department investigated and found signs of tampering and “forced entry” at one of the wells that supply the town’s drinking water, a spokesman for the Lincoln County sheriff told reporters. The town sealed off the well that seemed to be the source of the tainted water.

No one has reported feeling sick or intoxicated from drinking the water, though people around the high-plains town joked on Friday that perhaps they should be drinking more water. On the town’s Facebook community page, Hugo Happenings, people joked about Hugo’s new “healing waters,” and said that its ice cubes could be the tiny town’s answer to marijuana brownies.

Read more at The New York Times.