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September 20, 2021

Voters Duped by Pot Initiative Says GOP Senator

Monday, the Alaska House of Representatives voted to legalize the farming of industrial hemp (the kind that doesn’t get you high). The Senate passed the vote unanimously but only after Sen. Johnny Ellis, the Democrat at the helm retired and gave the bill to a Republican to carry. Because anyone knows that good ideas can NEVER EVER come from Democrats. And by gum, we’d rather stop entrepreneurs from launching new businesses, and stonewall local farmers, let great legislation wither and die in committee, and fold our arms in the corner than give credit where credit is due. Things I learned in Alaska Republican Kindergarten.

But it’s done, and that’s good. Yay.

The legalization of hemp fell on Presidents Day, which would no doubt have pleased former hemp farmer George Washington. As a matter of fact, farmers in our nascent Republic were compelled to grow hemp, which was used to make cloth, sails, and rope, as a patriotic duty. They could even use it to pay their taxes. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it… because nothing would happen!

Thomas Jefferson even came up with new and better strains of hemp, and invented a more efficient way of crushing the stalks to make them easier to use. But he was clever and  **whispers**  a Democrat, so maybe we’re not supposed to talk about that.

Cannabis (the kind that does get you high) is already legal in the state, so this legislation has been ridiculously past-due. And making cannabis legal in Alaska was a whole other story. That was not passed by the legislature, but had to be done by citizens’ initiative on the ballot, which is an incredibly difficult process involving the collection of tens-of-thousands of signatures. And then, once on the ballot it had to pass by a straight up vote of the people. It did. It wasn’t even a squeaker. Cannabis had been in a grey area of legalization in the state for quite some time, but suffice it to say that it grows very well under the midnight sun and there was a thriving albeit black market business.

Now, it’s legal and there are 164 new Alaskan-owned businesses which deal with the cultivation, marketing, and sale of legal marijuana.

But it’s not over yet. Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. States who have legalized and pushed back against what they believe is an overreaching federal government have not been challenged in a significant way by federal law enforcement. Until recently the power of the feds has been focused on juvenile use, street gangs, and cartels – not lawful businesses. It’s been an uneasy truce but with the recent emplacement of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, all that may change. He decided to rescind what is known as the “Cole memo” which limited the conditions of prosecution on state-licensed cannabis businesses.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman Don Young have been falling into line with the will of the Alaskan people, and the State’s Rights argument, and State Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) introduced what’s called a “sense of the senate” which is a statement that basically says, yes, the Alaska State Senate agrees with the efforts of Murkowski and Young and we have a fledgling industry here with lots of people’s livelihoods at stake, and Alaskans decided this through a very arduous process with a very clear result. Many Alaskans have invested their time, talent and treasure to start new business ventures. So, off with you and let us be.

You may be thinking about now that with a Republican Senator, and a Republican Congressman fighting for states’ rights in Washington D.C. that the Republican State Senate would be clamoring to jump on the federal overreach train and add their names. And you would be wrong.

Why? Well, here’s where we get to the part where Senator John Coghill (R-North Pole) pats your widdle head and tells you that this is all very hard for you to understand, which is why the Republicans ALL voted to table that sense of the senate.

“It is true that the people of Alaska have spoken and I think in many ways when they spoke they did not realize how complex the issue was. In fact, I think some people were actually gamed by the initiative.” -Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole)

Yeah, yeah… the people have spoken, but you know the people… they’re kind of unable to understand this complicated stuff, and they need government (aka John Coghill) to tell them what’s best for them. They got tricked, the poor gullible things.

But fear not, you adorable little rubes, John Coghill understands the hard things and he’s right in there fighting for what’s best for you even if you disagree. That’s not being “nanny state” that’s just… well, sorry but you’re not very bright. Coghill is not a fan of choice in a variety of issues. Although Alaska is about 68% pro-choice, give or take, Coghill is the one who introduced a bill recently (SB123) that says if a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy, the abortion provider would be bound by law to attempt to resuscitate the aborted fetus if possible, and then turn it over to become a ward of the state as a “child in need of aid.” I really wish I were kidding, but alas. And yes, you’re allowed to be totally pro-life and still think this is batshit crazy. Now Senator Cathy Giessel has picked up that bill and it passed out of its committee hearing today.

The unofficial uptight school marm of the Senate also hates the weed with a venom. She blames “the hippies of my generation of the 60s and 70s who raised kids who were led to believe that this schedule 1 hallucinogenic drug was harmless, and these are the folks who voted recently to put this drug on the street corners in our neighborhoods… and now we have those old hippies’ grandchildren at risk.” If you want to see the entire jaw-clenching chin-quivering performance, you can check out the Health and Social Services committee meeting starting at 49:50 to about 50:25. Then she starts to talk about middle school kids and high school kids who can’t buy legal cannabis anyway. THEN, she equates marijuana to a tape worm sucking the life out of people.

Coghill and Giessel hold all kinds of morality cards about what you people need to be doing and not doing. Because they love freedom. Just ask them.

It sounds like if Alaskans would like their opinions, their ideals, and their votes to actually matter, they should probably contact Sen. Murkowski and Rep. Young themselves, because if you’re waiting for the Republican Majority in the State Senate to stand up for you, you may need a comfy chair and some snacks because you’re going to be here a while. I, unlike some people, trust that you can figure this one out all by yourself.



2 Responses to “Voters Duped by Pot Initiative Says GOP Senator”
  1. Hmm..well, I have ..herb. Will not share BUT..will blow yer ya wishes.. 😉

  2. Zyxomma says:

    I have snacks, and I’ll share. I’m all out of comfy chairs, however.

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