Last Wednesday, members of Congress did something that they had never done before.
In a historical move, a body of the U.S. Congress voted to end cannabis’ nearly century-long status as a federally prohibited substance. By a vote of more than two to one, members of the United States House Judiciary Committee passed legislation, House Bill 3884: The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
The MORE Act removes the marijuana plant from the federal Controlled Substances Act, enabling states to enact their own cannabis regulations free from undue federal interference similar to the type 11 license in California.
The vote marks the first time that members of Congress have ever voted to federally deschedule cannabis.
The decision to move forward with the MORE Act is significant; this act is the most comprehensive marijuana reform bill ever introduced in Congress, backed by a broad coalition of civil rights, criminal justice, drug policy, and immigration groups.
This legislation intends to address millions of Americans who suffer from the stigma associated with a low-level marijuana possession conviction. It provides funding and inducements to states to enact policies that expunge these criminal convictions from citizens’ records so that they can successfully move on with their lives.
And it also seeks to assist America’s military veterans by, for the first time, permitting physicians associated with the Veterans Administration the authority to recommend medical cannabis therapy to patients who reside in legal marijuana states. It also permits players (in the existing state-legal marijuana industry), to access banking and other necessary financial services.
Currently, federal law mandates that this multi-billion dollar industry operate on a cash-only basis – an environment that makes businesses more susceptible to theft and more difficult to audit. Growing a successful business is hard enough. Doing so without access to banking and credit is even tougher. The MORE Act ensures that these state-compliant businesses, and those millions of Americans who patronize them, are no longer subject to policies that needlessly place them in harm’s way.
This is a huge step forward, but now it’s even more critical that members of the full House now take up this issue. Not only does this bill reverse the failed prohibition of cannabis, but it also provides pathways for opportunity and ownership in the emerging industry for those who have suffered the most under federal criminalization. It is time for Congress to right those past wrongs of the federal war on marijuana and for every member to show their constituents which side of history they stand on; to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and to reform this nation’s laws to no longer discriminate against its consumers.
This Thanksgiving we have much to be grateful for, with these, and other big changes on the horizon!
But to really enjoy the holiday, you must first simplify the day. Celebrate being with those you love. Don’t overdo the cooking – and truly savor what you make. Linger over dessert, play games, watch football or a favorite movie, take a walk. There’s no need to buy Thanksgiving decorations. Head out to your yard with a pair of shears and find tree branches, stems loaded with berries and flowering grasses to fill tall vases, hollowed-out pumpkins, and autumnal baskets.
And as it’s now officially time to begin making the dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner, and considering this year’s family gathering is bound to be filled with heated political conversations leading to potential emotional melt-downs, I think it’s best to keep Turkey Day chill by imbibing low levels of cannabis all day long. Thanksgiving turkey is even better when it’s infused with weed, but presuming children are in attendance as well, it’s best to keep your cannabis out of the bird. I’ve come up with a few other ideas to help you keep calm and carry on through the weekend!
Remember, if you want to enhance your uptake of cannabinoids, you can add terpenes in distillate and other cannabis products to give you the entourage effect. Terpenes are a great addition to cannabis products as they complement the effects of major cannabinoids, making them more energizing or more relaxing, depending on the strain. Just ensure that you are consuming your cannabis away from any children especially if you are using cannabis vape carts, a family row should not be started as you’re trying to relax.
Spiking hot cider with a couple of bottles of cannabis infused lemonade is one way to get the party started, while adding a tablespoon of cannahoney to a dish of sweet potatoes, is another way to take the edge off the day. Just be sure to keep both away from the children.
My favourite way to ensure a mellow time, is to whip up two gravies; one for the kids and one for the stoners at the table, should do the trick nicely.
cup Cannabutter (butter infused with cannabis, easy to make in a crockpot, Google a recipe.)
turkey, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
⅓ cup flour
cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Melt Cannabutter in skillet over medium-low heat. Be careful not to burn.
Add onions and saute for 10 minutes.
Add rosemary and sage. Saute for 10 more minutes.
Add flour and whisk vigorously for 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in enough stock until gravy thickens. Stir frequently.
Add vinegar to gravy and let simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 8 to 12 Servings
To keep things carbon friendly, turn down the heat. If all your holiday cooking doesn’t heat up your house, your guests will. Turn your thermostat down 3-5 degrees – no one will notice the difference, and plan to send guests home with leftovers in glass jars rather than wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil.
Remember to keep a bin for glass, plastic and paper trash you can recycle rather than toss. Make soup from vegetable peelings, leftover meat and bones. Picked-over vegetables can be composted, though remaining meat and bones will need to be thrown away. Keeping the holiday simple (and green), will add to the attitude of gratitude, by making the day as stress-free as possible!
And there’s one more thing to be grateful for: Southwest Wellness have a great sale on this weekend so you can keep the party going long after the dishes have been done!
– “J-Stack 6 pack” (6 Slim Pre-Rolls + Lighter + Hempwick = $35)
– $1 off ALL Flower (different strains at each store)
– 20% off select edibles (varying depending on store)
– 25% off Lemonades
All specials run Today – Sunday (closed for Thanksgiving.)
For more information on Southwest Wellness and all the services they provide here in Taos and in Albuquerque (with a Santa Fe location opening soon), please visit their site linked below this post.
All images Stock Files