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Changes to U.S. federal authorities relating to production and marketing of hemp (fda.gov)
536 points by sahin-boydas 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 164 comments



This is an extremely misleading headline for people to read and the mods should change it. Hemp has been legal for a long time and the DEA has stated that CBD products produced solely from hemp plants are federally legal.

It is still illegal to produce or own cannabidiol derived from Marijuana. Emphatically, this statement from the FDA does not mean that cannabidiol as a chemical is legal.

(2016, usdoj.gov) https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/marijuana/m_ext...

Nothing has changed here except that the FDA is claiming authority to regulate the small subset of CBD products that are legally produced from hemp. The above DOJ article goes somewhat into the science of how these products, if they exist and are produced legally, contain such trace amounts of CBD that they're surely ineffective. Point being: either it's produced from real flowers and it's still illegal, or it's produced from hemp and present in such small amounts that it's of absolutely no benefit. The FDA is merely saying that they want to regulate the latter case.


Ok, we belatedly replaced the title with representative language from the article.

It would have been helpful if someone had let us know at hn@ycombinator.com that this was needed. We don't come close to seeing all the problems here, or the comments pointing them out.


Industrial Hemp is just cannabis with a THC content under 0.3%. This has been illegal to produce, but people have been doing it in states like CO, OR, etc, that have state-legal cannabis. Until now, CBD has been in a gray area because selling hemp has generally been accepted because of the <0.3% THC.

But now that the 2018 Farm Bill has legalized growing hemp, federally, the FDA is saying, “slow down, CBD is a drug.”

How this affects the CBD industry will be the thing to watch. On the one hand it just got a lot easier to farm the plant. But it’s about to get more regulated. Which is good for consumers who might be taking products that are toxic without realizing it. But it also will probably make it harder to get legit CBD oil to consumers without jumping through a lot of expensive regulatory hoops.

(Agree about the headline being very misleading – this should be changed.)


I don't really know what the regulatory deal is, but on my block there's a 7-11 and a fancy organic store. The 7-11 sells CBD gummies (and kratom, and Soylent...), and the fancy organic store sells CBD coffee.

Has there been a problem with CBD toxicity? Is it likely that it'll be regulated out of corner-store availability?


(My opinion)

I'm generally against any form of regulation, but as long as we live in a society where drug laws already don't make sense, regulating the headshop CBD industry is going to do good things.

The industry around cannabidiol is disgusting, particularly when it comes to products sold outside of states with medical or recreational marijuana. Outside of your average stoner looking for holistic medicine, a great deal of people interested in CBD are cancer patients or family of cancer patients. At best, these companies are making money selling snake oil to dying people. At worst, they're introducing dangerous toxic chemicals to immunocompromised individuals and actively harming them.

I can't find the article but there was news a few years ago about a head chemist stepping down from one of the largest (at the time) legal producers of CBD. She wrote an exposé about how their leadership was pushing for higher purity at the cost of safety, and how it forced her to resign.


Agreed but the government is to blame for a lot of this. People are super thirsty for CBD, it is very effective for many people. Especially elderly people that have been anti-pot most of their lives.

These people don't have any good ways of making good buying decisions, let a lone having a regulatory body to rely on to test this stuff. So they just choose stuff with good marketing and high concentrations.

Not to say your article isn't making a good point -- just that these nasty companies being successful is due to a vacuum created by decades of complete head-up-our-own-ass marijuana policy.


There’s no regulatory body testing most things, especially chemicals. It’s tragic.


I find the premise that consumers need ahead-of-time protection insulting and limiting. If wrongs are made, we have a system for remedy: tort. The FDA is an adjacent regulatory body. Through its risk adverse behavior, the FDA causes unseen deaths: https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/18/fda-poli... Also, the FDA performs poor data collection and sharing. When I analyzed one of the FDA'S most important datasets, I was surprised to find such low quality: https://github.com/statwonk/FDA-adverse-drug-reactions/blob/... What's tragic to me is that so often folks feel safety or wealth comes from the government rather than our own minds. Maybe if there's no safety facade they'll demand private labs certify safety?


What do you think about Thalidomide then? http://broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/them...


The views above share a similarity to the anti-vaccine crowd. Basically the FDA does such a great job at keeping our drug supply safe that people fail to properly understand the risks, just like vaccinations have done such a great job of preventing devistating illnesses.

The most telling clue is he said the remedy for bad drugs is tort... Showing he clearly doesn’t understand the severity of the problem.

Sorry our drugs killed your kid, but now you can sue us so everything is ok.

They did have one good point, which is what is the opportunity cost of slowing down drug development with regulation and which way does the least harm. I don’t have the data to back up either side, but I’m not seeing a ton (there are some though) of medical breakthroughs in less regulated countries.


If they're great, why not publish the work to GitHub?


A back pat for a function the market would have provided immediately. Drugs can definitely be poison. I'd much prefer safety analyses have a GitHub sha1 publicly accessible than secretively behind the FDA's closed doors.


> a function the market would have provided immediately.

This opinion would seem to be at odds with reality at large.

The reason the Food, Drug and Cosmetic act was passed in the first place is because of all the harm that the (then unregulated) pharmaceutical industry was doing. The market had centuries' worth of time to correct for people taking all sorts of drugs that actively kill people, and it didn't. It was only regulation that started to get the mess under control.

And it's the loopholes in regulation where things are worst. The supplement industry continues to do far more harm than good.

It's just possible that, despite the best efforts of some economists to argue that everyone is perfectly knowledgeable, rational, and emotionless in order to simplify their models, people continue to be merely human.


What? The FDA openly publishes stuff. From long before GitHub was around.

Here's a good overview of how they go about making sure that approved drugs are GRASE (Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective): https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm14353...


Even more than that, the FDA requires openness in a way that I'm not sure would be accomplishable without.

Publication bias is a real thing, and drug companies do know how to use it to their advantage. Take a look at what drug trial results looked like before and after the FDA started requiring pre-registration. The difference is, to put it mildly, staggering.

I'm pretty hard pressed to come up with a market equivalent to drug trial pre-registration. Given everything I've seen of Adam Smith's writings, I'm pretty sure that, were he alive today, he'd probably say something like, "Duh, of course. Do that. That is some excellent regulation, and obviously in the service of the public good."

Tangentially, I'm guessing that, if CBD had to go through pre-registered drug trials, it wouldn't be such a big deal. The funny thing about things that are widely believed to help with every last ailment is, they tend to all be about equally good at treating pretty much everything.


Your Freedom Markets™ position doesn't account for information asymmetry, aka power imbalance.


Diffuse or latent injury is hard to protect against with tort. And afaik a judge can’t declare some chemical illegal. Moreover, forced arbitration has destroyed tort in the US. The only source of broad accountability is government. An individual case in arbitration is insufficient deterrence and arbitrators tend to lowball plaintiffs relative to juries and public courts. There is virtually no ability to appeal.


[flagged]


There is no credible, replicable, evidence that CBD does anything for anyone

There are studies that show it is reasonably effective for some intractable forms of epilepsy

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618

Indeed there is an official licensed medicinal version called Epidolex and the FDA recently approved it https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/u...

(however this often gets overblown somewhat by the pot lobby, so I share your concerns about snake oil in general)


Maybe a more accurate statement is the efficacy of the doses available for retail purchase.

The paper you cited used “cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight”

So for a young adult of 50kg this is 1000mg/day.

Amazon’s maximum dose I could find is 1000mg for $50 [0]. So to get these kinds of benefits someone would need $1500/month.

I would like to see more studies at the kind of doses these retail doses marketed to grandmas (mine in particular).

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Hemp-Drops-Relief-Essenzia/dp...


So you went from

>Placebo is a hell of a drug. There is no credible, replicable, evidence that CBD does anything for anyone, and it's done nothing for many people duped into buying it, it's likely acting as a placebo.

To "it works, but it's too expensive." Ok.


I never said that.


Well you're right. I assumed it was the same person, my mistake.


Thanks for the response.


Yes, it is expensive. I don't know what to tell you other than you are wrong. If you look at your own statements, you will see you stated unequivocally that CBD isn't effective.

Now you are backpedaling saying its expensive. Yes, it is expensive. And I promise you it's not hard to see that it absolutely works for some people. If you understood how well cannibinoids fit into our brains, this may not surprise you.

Having looked into pricing and done quite a bit of research, the cheapest I have seen for pills is 50c for 25mg. But this is still $600/month for a 1000mg dose.

I think most people are taking less than this. But still 300-600mg is expensive. But, its not much more expensive that other "mediciine" that needs to be taken every day.


You might be confusing me with someone else. I never said equivocally or unequivocally that cbd wasn’t effective. I said at retail doses it’s not effective because it’s different than what the study says.

A $600/month otc treatment is not realistic. I’m really familiar with retail cbd use. I don’t think it’s harmful. But these retail offerings are not advertising 1g/day doses and instead include droppers and market small doses.

I haven’t read any studies that show these low doses having the anecdotal impact.

If it absolutely works for some people, then we’ll have RCTs and published results for us both to discuss. That will be great.

There’s lots of expensive medicine. There’s also medicine that’s dirt cheap ($6/month metformin, $3/month ssris, etc).

With research cbd will be very affordable as well. Because now, it’s only available in the doses in the referenced papers to rich people. Which is nice, but if it is as amazing as folks feel it is then prices really need to come down.


Apologies. I thought it was the same person.

However you are wrong that a $600/month otc treatmnet is not realistic. It's certainly not ideal, it's certainly out of the financial range of many people. .

And certainly there are people right now spending $600/month for CBD because it works.

Prices will definitely come down, and I agree they "need" to. I suspect we will have synthesized CBD quite soon). Minus the black market, and then minus the hype, and then plus the increase in production, prices have a long way to go down.


Assuming the stuff is actually safe, I've seen 1000MG for $15.


Please share that link. That would still put the price at $450/month.

I don’t know of anything that shows a risk or danger.


To what extent has it been properly studied? If you're asserting it's a placebo effect, shouldn't that mean you have significant proof no other effect is involved?

I haven't tried it, but I have friends with chronic pain that prefer it to both opiates and OTC painkillers and have for years. That certainly could be placebo, but having seen them cycle through a variety of approaches and stop on CBD, I'd be surprised there's absolutely no effect.


> If you're asserting it's a placebo effect, shouldn't that mean you have significant proof no other effect is involved?

Thats not how scientific research into drugs works. The null hypothesis that you hold by default is that the substance being studied has no effect. The purpose of research is to demonstrate that an effect exists and until that has been shown the null hypothesis is held to be true.

https://info.umkc.edu/drbanderson/null-hypothesis-testing/


Perhaps you could try assuming that I knew about the null hypothesis already and still wrote what I wrote.


there is credible, replicable, evidence that CBD is effective for a number of problems. You do need to be an expert in drugs and scientific literature to appreciate this. I don't generally use appeal to authority, but this is a case where I am knowledgeable (20+ years in drug discovery, interest in CBD) and have read enough literature to see that there is enough evidence to pass the necessary bars.


Repeating the same reply near verbatim doesn’t make it any more untrue, it just proves to other readers you have an agenda to push.


I absolutely have an agenda, that of the scientific method and skepticism. Show me peer-reviewed, widely accepted, research that supports that CBD is a miracle panacea, you can't, it doesn't exist.

What does exist is lots of link-farm SEO ad copy, people claiming on forums that along with their mega-dosing iodine and salt lamps they've seen drastic changes in their cancer/aids/anxiety/pain, and then gobs and gobs of people claiming anyone that says CBD isn't a cure-all 'has an agenda to push' and/or is being paid 'by big pharma'.

Most sellers of CBD oil are outright committing fraud with claims they make, they have paid influencers (that often don't disclose clearly they are doing a paid endorsement), with fake reviews and almost certainly with armies of fake advertorials on forums.

If CBD does have valid medical benefits, it's almost certain that it will not have anywhere near the current alleged number of applications.


> Show me peer-reviewed, widely accepted, research that supports that CBD is a miracle panacea

That's clearly a strawman: nothing is a panacea. But here are some links from the first page of Google when I searched for "CBD research":

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189631/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

Each have dozens or more citations and are from reputable scientists at large universities. If your agenda is "the scientific method," hopefully that Google search helped.

We should regulate CBD so that salespeople don't make absurd claims about what it can or can't do. But claiming that it's on par with megadosing iodine or salt lamps is pretty uneducated.


Citing a part of the first paper's Conclusion:

> Until data from well-designed clinical trials are available and reliable, and standardized CBD products that are produced using GMP are available, caution must be exercised in any consideration of using CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. In the meantime, based upon promising preliminary data, further clinical research should be wholeheartedly pursued.

Citing a part of the second paper's Conclusion:

> Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile. Current preclinical and human findings mostly involve acute CBD dosing in healthy subjects, so further studies are required to establish whether chronic dosing of CBD has similar effects in relevant clinical populations. Overall, this review emphasizes the potential value and need for further study of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

So the second one says it seems good for acute dosing. Both say more research has to be done. Let's hope this is being done in the near future.


> Both say more research has to be done. Let's hope this is being done in the near future.

Things have changed some in recent years, but it’s still very difficult to do accredited scientific research when something is a scheduled narcotic.


You are not arguing in good faith. WHile I agree with the statement, "Most sellers of CBD oil are outright committing fraud with claims they make", the legitimate scientific establishment has demonstrated several valid applications. The scientific community never claimed it was a cure-all.


Most of the claims about CBD are, to put it mildly, bogus.

This is why the FDA is stepping in.


>At best, these companies are making money selling snake oil to dying people. At worst, they're introducing dangerous toxic chemicals to immunocompromised individuals and actively harming them.

This statement would make a lot more sense if our government did not currently have ignorant and draconian regulations and restrictions around this substance.

The snake oil salesman knows it does nothing and sells it anyway. Snake oil is not banned from being studied.

CBD absolutely helps with seizures and anxiety. I don't need some retroactive scientific study to show this because the evidence is already there, vouched for by those who use it. There is no placebo effect for seizures.

You have an opinion that someone with a PHD needs to sign off on everything you put in your body, that's fine. But that does not equate things that are untested to fucking snake oil, my guy.


See, this is where "snake oil" claims give us problems - in trying to knock down criticisms of the industry, you're making a false claim.

> There is no placebo effect for seizures.

"A positive response to placebo administration, manifesting as a decrease in seizure frequency, can be observed in epileptic dogs." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19912522

"For unknown reasons, placebos reduce seizures in clinical trials in many patients... Strangely, a meta-analysis found placebo effects in epilepsy trials increased steadily from 1989 to 2010, with decreasing apparent drug treatment effects." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4546516/


>See, this is where "snake oil" claims give us problems

I agree.

The claim I'm making about placebo and seizures is that a seizure is dangerous, and anything that reduces the seizure is a medication. Sugar pill or no.

If the claim is that CBD compounds are more dangerous than seizures, or that what is in CBD compounds is dangerous at all (fear of the unknown, if you will) then the burden of proof should be on the poster to show examples of dangerous chemicals in CBD tinctures.

My proof, empirical or no, is that CBD reduces anxiety and seizures. I have not seen evidence to the contrary.


Sorry, but that's not what you claimed.

> I don't need some retroactive scientific study to show this because the evidence is already there, vouched for by those who use it. There is no placebo effect for seizures.


> CBD absolutely helps with seizures and anxiety. I don't need some retroactive scientific study to show this because the evidence is already there, vouched for by those who use it. There is no placebo effect for seizures.

there is a huge issue with quality control for cbd -- it varies wildly between products and is totally impossible to control for. i'm sure it can be medically useful but you must be able to buy a legitimate product first.


Ok, cool. I totally agree.

I'm just not sure how "it's good that CBD is regulated" is similar to "every company that makes CBD is selling snake oil or putting people's lives in danger."


Nearly all regulation is to protect the public from something bad that someone did in the past. Why would you be against that?


There is the ideological argument that a lot of regulation comes out of Congress ceding its lawmaking authority to un-elected and largely unaccountable Executive branch officials. So it's not necessarily a desire that the regulation not exist, but that it come out of Congress so there are faces and names attached to it.

And while some regulation is certainly a response to bad actors to say that "nearly all" of the tens of thousands of new pages of regulations written every year are that is going to need some sort of citation.


Being "generally against regulation" doesn't imply any specific mitigating rational as you would suggest. Being against poor, mishandled, or unnecessary regulation... yes. But if that was stated, there'd be nothing to argue with.


Ideologically you can be "generally against regulation" because you think it's unnecessary, or because you think more optimal positions will come out of the free market, or because you think corporations having free reign to do whatever they want is not an inherently negative thing. Some of those seems more reasonable than others, of course.


Because seatbelts, airbags, building codes and things like that are just a huge burden on society.


/s Here you dropped this


[flagged]


You are being amazingly toxic without contributing meaningfully to this conversation, ryanmercer.


Hemp (according to the FDA[1]) is just cannabis with very low THC. It can look nearly identical to "marijuana". Hemp is to marijuana as Dachsunds are to Golden Retrievers.

Super "dank" CDB plants already exist (see "Ringo's Gift"). Its not a stretch to get them under .3% thc.

1. https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm421168.h...


Scientifically, sure. But legally these are all totally different. "Marihuana" is different from "Cannabis" in the eye of the DEA.


The legal definition (I believe) is split by THC concentrations.


It's dependent on what part of the plant it's derived from --- whether it's fiberous or not. Notably, flowers are marijuana.

> The term 'marihuana' means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.


Can you explain exactly how "Hemp has been legal for a long time"?

Individuals and businesses were able to grow and sell hemp in this United States? When did this begin and what federal action made it legal?


Hemp started to get federally deregulated in 2014 with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill - this bill properly defined hemp as "cannabis sativa with <0.3% THC" and allowed states to start pilot programs to farm hemp. The Appropriations Act also prohibited law enforcement (including DEA) from interfering with hemp.

However, there was still a lot of confusion as DEA published statements that sent mixed signals to the industry and customers. For instance, the 2014 farm bill legalized hemp & farming, but what about its derivatives (i.e. seeds, extracts)? The 2018 Farm Bill clarifies all this by including hemp and all its derivatives.


No he can't because it's factually inaccurate. Hemp growing had been considered production a Schedule 1 controlled substance for decades. CBD was also in a weird gray area of semi-legality. Despite lax enforcement of the laws, it was could have technically been brought up under the Controlled Substances Act but it didn't seem like anyone had any interest in doing that.

In addition, while people may have been running grey area hemp production, they would have had to be entirely uninsured and cash funded as most banks and insurance companies wouldn't touch someone violating federal law with a ten foot pole. This changes that as well, allowing for greater expansion.


That’s all this “farm bill” did for hemp? What a shame


More importantly even though it is legal at the federal level now there are still states where it is illegal.


So this means that the FDA is now regulating the chemicals as drugs. The implications are:

- you can't claim to cure/heal anything unless your product undergoes FDA formal approval. Then you can market it as a drug.

- you can't mix the chemicals into food and call it food. If they are present, it's classified as a drug.

- THC and CBD are considered "active" therefore you can't slide them into supplements or market supplements with those chemicals. The use of those chemicals as supplements is still being evaluated and they haven't issued a regulation on it.

- other subtances of the plant are recognized as generally safe so they can be used for other food / cosmetic applications

Finally they put out a FAQ: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm421168.h...


It's very interesting how this whole period of cannabis prohibition has played out. First the UN says cannabis is bad on advice from the US. My country, Sweden, bans the THC cannabinoid. And institutes a zero tolerance policy.

So CBD was never banned and people have been selling CBD oils in shops, and even pharmacies, for a while now.

The US leading the way in decriminalization apparently banned CBD on a federal level.

This just shows how little governments knew about cannabis when it was banned.

And finally; I used to be dependent on cannabis. It has been a very hard struggle to stop smoking so much cannabis and focus on working, sober instead. I can't imagine what that struggle would be like if cannabis was being sold for recreational use where I live.

Someone somewhere once said that cannabis makes it fun to be bored, and that's the real danger with it. It's not toxic, it's not terribly addictive but you get addicted to feeling good when doing nothing at all.

Edit: Just to clarify if anyone is curious, CBD was being handled by the Swedish quivalent of the FDA. While THC was being handled as an illegal narcotic. So our FDA could approve the use and sale of CBD based products without affecting the legal ban of THC.


> Someone somewhere once said that cannabis makes it fun to be bored, and that's the real danger with it. It's not toxic, it's not terribly addictive but you get addicted to feeling good when doing nothing at all.

I think that was South Park


Yep, Randy Marsh.


A lot of people have had problems with alcohol too and that’s not illegal.


Speaking as someone who definitely doesn't want alcohol banned, this is kind of a specious argument. Bad-for-you-X is not banned therefore bad-for-you-Y should not be banned either, is not really sensible. A better argument, should you wish to produce one, is to describe the societal benefit you get that offsets the potential negative consequences. Or perhaps you can explain how banning does not produce the desired societal effect in the first place (I'm visiting Canada at the moment and it's amusing how legalisation of cannabis seems to have led to a dramatically reduced availability...) I think these kinds of arguments are going to be more effective in getting your message across.


> Someone somewhere once said that cannabis makes it fun to be bored, and that's the real danger with it. It's not toxic, it's not terribly addictive but you get addicted to feeling good when doing nothing at all.

Well, like social media or watching TV. It is not clear what is your point.


It's just the middle paths fallacy. Acting as if you "see the perspective" of the lawmakers because you used to use the substance but are now evolved enough to see its triflings. But when the triflings are cheetos eating and alleviating boredom, any legalese doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Marijuana is simply illegal because of history and bad leadership in government. Things are changing - but make no mistake, whatever vices MJ has are not any reason for the law to be involved


> whatever vices MJ has are not any reason for the law to be involved

first of all you are relativizing because you are not even sure. And then the law get's involved in much more trivial issues like littering. That's oranges to apples, but the point is I guess that law exerts control not just to protect the active individual.


And just like all of those, everything should be enjoyed responsibly.

Cannabis can quite easily be abused when just consumed "out of boredom", which sadly tends to happen quite often.

Imho it should enable or enhance what one does, and not be the sole reason one does anything at all.


I think people should eat dinner before dessert, but that's not really my prerogative except at my own dinner table. If someone wants to consume cannabis "out of boredom" that's completely fine.


I didn't see the comment you replied to as an attack on personal freedom, but as a commentary on what they think is and is not a poor life choice. Of course you're free to do as you wish with your own body and mind, provided it's legal and doesn't infringe on others' freedoms. But there's no denying that a lot of things you could choose to do to yourself would be pretty stupid by any reasonable standard.

Just because you can get stoned whenever you feel bored doesn't mean you should. The fact that nobody has the right to tell other people what to do to themselves shouldn't preclude discussion.


Those are also harmful when taken to excess.


Breathing oxygen is harmful when taken to excess. Try breathing 100% oxygen at 33ft underwater and you very likely won’t live long. The point I’m making is something can be BOTH very vital to our health as well as a cause of death if misused. Hence outright prohibitions of things that “can be bad if misused” is just silly.


The argument isn’t in favor of prohibition; the argument is that marijuana has risks.

The argument also isn’t, I think, that marijuana, or television, or social media, is “very vital to our health”. So I’m not super clear on what you’re arguing against, here.


> The argument isn’t in favor of prohibition

Then you didn’t do a very good job of communicating your argument, as it could easily be assumed you were against it existing.

> the argument is that marijuana has risks.

As does almost everything in the world, especially when misused. I gave one concrete example of this, happy to provide a lot more. Sugar has significant health risks when consumed in excess, there’s a world wide obesity pandemic in fact, should we ban sugar or otherwise inhibit it’s consumption?

> The argument also isn’t, I think, that marijuana, or television, or social media, is “very vital to our health”.

This shows your lack of knowledge on the subject. For those with Crohn’s disease (a debilitating auto-immune disease), CBD is more effective at controlling symptoms than any Rx drug or diet plan. The most commonly prescribed drug is Humira and costs patients / insurance $11,500 per month (assuming weekly injections). The company behind Humira has made more money on Humira sales (it’s closing in on $100B in sales) than any other prescription drug in history (including Viagra). Yet it’s not as effective as taking CBD when it is properly extracted and can be done so at a significantly lower patient cost.

I’m not advocating for the “CBD head shop” explosion we are seeing, as many sell utter crap, and in rare cases crap so bad it could be dangerous. I am advocating instead for us ending a century old racism influenced law and getting proper labs and real scientists working on quality products for all.


You are responsible for the assumptions you make. You also make a good argument for CBD as a prescription drug.


> You are responsible for the assumptions you make.

Very true! But the one who leads someone to make a false assumption with vague statement on a thread with other folks advocating for that, also share some culpability.

> You also make a good argument for CBD as a prescription drug.

Yup, I am. But until we can overturn almost a century of regressive policies and public perception based on a terribly corrupt “war on drugs”, not likely to happen. Sometimes we have to go radically the other direction before we can then correct course into the middle ground that always should’ve been.


Is there anything that is not harmful in excess?


The dose makes the poison.


Moderation?


Too much moderation causes atrophy


> you get addicted to feeling good when doing nothing at all

That I will say again and again is a placebo effect, perhaps mediated through some active ingredients, the taste, or just lack of oxygen, but this euphoric image that it has, that's mediated through social engineering.


What you say may be true of CBD, I don’t know, but your quote is from the grandparent comment’s description of cannabis, i.e. marijuana. It is an accurate description of that drug’s effect.


It's trivially not an accurate description, if you read the comment again that I quoted from. If we resort to simplification, I would say stoners feel good because they do nothing. But some feel paranoid, because they maybe want to do something and they can't manage. I mean, the inability to do anything demanding, that's actually an accurate description of the effect. Whether people feel good about it or not is a coin toss.


Nah, you don't smoke CBD so OP is clearly talking about pot. "Pot is all placebo effect" is a novel, wacky theory I've never heard from the legalization opposition before, so that's sorta fun.


CBD can be and is commonly smoked, it can be in flower form or concentrate


No, CBD is most commonly used in oils, tinctures, and salves.


Where do you think CBD oil comes from? (Hint: it's the flower of the hemp plant)


GP was talking about how it’s commonly consumed, not how it’s made. I was clarifying on the actual way it’s commonly used.


It's also commonly consumed by smoking the flower.


[flagged]


Kindly freshen up on the rules of this site: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

moate 32 days ago [flagged]

Brah, IDK what your street corner pharmacist told you, but if you're smoking "CBD flowers", you're smoking weed.


Not necessarily. You can buy concentrates to vape that are very CBD rich and contain almost no THC (<0.1%).


As JUUL has been advertising, vaping is not smoking. That's a whole different thing. You could also aerosolize CBD oil particles with a mister and breath them in. That's not smoking "CBD flower".

CBD flower is just jank weed that has a higher CBD and lower THC levels. If that's what you want to burn, fine, but that doesn't make it not weed.


Please don't do this here.


Bruh, it's almost as if hemp and "weed" are both cannabis plants ;)


THC (and smoking marijuana) show no scientific evidence of chemical dependence (aka, physical addiction.)

That's to say, THC is less physiologically addictive than nicotine, alcohol, caffeine -- even cheese.


To add one more to your list, “sugar”.


That's just totally ridiculous.

Cannabis clearly effect the cannabinoid reseptors.


Please don't call names in arguments, regardless of how wrong another comment is. This is in the site guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

Your comment would be fine without the first sentence.


More specifically (but hopefully not too specific and turn away lay folks), THC affects the CB1 receptors and CBD affects the CB2 receptors. CB1 is mostly in the brain / nervous system and thus when modulated gives you a euphoric effect (the being “high” sensation). CB2 however is more related to the immune system and your gut. It thus when modulated has pain killing and other therapeutic effects. For those with auto-immune diseases, modulating the CB2 receptors with unadulterated CBD/CBN/CBG are very beneficial and doesn’t give you the “high” sensation commonly associated with MMJ. Same goes for those who have chronic muscle and joint pain. And unlike opioids, isn’t habit forming and mostly is side effect free.


> hopefully not too specific

> CB1 is mostly in the brain / nervous system

I was worried for a sec, but nope, quite the opposite. Could you be a little more specific?

> ... are very beneficial and doesn’t give ...

Look, everytime I post this it gets a handful of down votes and nefarious comments like yours from people who would have recommended cigarettes for a cold and all kind of ailments. Heard the term "snakeoil"? It burns because it affects the heat receptors. Doesn't mean it's actually warm.


I think the argument is about what exactly those receptors do and which compounds have which affinities for which separate cb receptor complexes


Topic modification? CBD is not legalized, apparently. Hemp (<0.3% THC) is, but CBD is not.

“It is true that section 12619 of the Farm Bill removes hemp-derived products from its Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act, but the legislation does not legalize CBD generally. As I have noted elsewhere on this blog CBD generally remains a Schedule I substance under federal law . . . The Farm Bill ensures that any cannabinoid — a set of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant — that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, association state regulations, and by a licensed grower. All other cannabinoids, produced in any other setting, remain a Schedule I substance under federal law and are thus illegal. (The one exception is pharmaceutical-grade CBD products that have been approved by FDA, which currently includes one drug: GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex.)”

Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2018/12/20/hemp-o...


“Additionally, it’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived. This is because both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements. Under the FD&C Act, it’s illegal to introduce drug ingredients like these into the food supply, or to market them as dietary supplements. This is a requirement that we apply across the board to food products that contain substances that are active ingredients in any drug.”


I've tried reading this release and this page https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm421168.h... but still can't figure out if CBD oil is legal or illegal. Are CBD gummies suddenly illegal? Or are they suddenly 100% legal (and no longer in the gray area)?


Are CBD gummies a food or a medicine? They might be treated differently depending on how they're classified.

Something else to consider is that there are plenty of products that don't have to prove their safety -- products which the FDA blesses as "GRAS" ("Generally Recognized As Safe"), though it's unlikely that CBD will fall under this classification either.

Both alcohol and some medicines (like quinine[1], which is added to tonic water) the FDA apparently has no problems with, despite some of these ingredients (like alcohol) being very far from safe, much less proven to be safe in "substantial clinical investigations".

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinine


Alcohol is special. We didn't merely undo prohibition. With that constitutional amendment, we removed most federal authority over alcohol. The commerce clause does not apply anymore (State Board of Equalization v. Young's Market Co.), and thus can't be abused to regulate alcohol. About the only thing the federal government can do about alcohol is arm-twist the states into regulating it via things like highway funding being conditional on the existence of state regulations.


Thats not exactly accurate - the feds do have various rules about booze, including what constitutes bourbon, for example.


> With that constitutional amendment, we entirely removed federal authority over alcohol.

Where are you getting that from?


OK, mostly

Section 2 of the 21st amendment was ruled on in State Board of Equalization v. Young's Market Co. and shown to give states unusual control of alcohol.


I think you might be reading Young's Market a little too broadly. And in any case, it's questionable whether Young's Market is still good law after Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (2005).

"If a State chooses to allow direct shipment of wine, it must do so on evenhanded terms. Without demonstrating the need for discrimination, New York and Michigan have enacted regulations that disadvantage out-of-state wine producers. Under our Commerce Clause jurisprudence, these regulations cannot stand." Id. at 493.

So yeah, Amd. 21, §2 gives states Constitutional force behind some of their alcohol laws, but it doesn't usurp the Commerce power entirely.


Products advertised to contain CBD are schedule 1 unless the FDA grants them marketing approval, in which case they're schedule 5. Products that incidentally contain CBD but aren't advertised as containing it may be more of a grey area, but IANAL.

But yeah this is terribly written, they should really hire the SEC to write their press releases for them.


Yeah, I have to agree. I read it the same way you have. Especially ...both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements. Under the FD&C Act, it’s illegal to introduce drug ingredients like these into the food supply ...

I may be totally wrong here, but I feel like the FDA, rather than easing up on the regulation of marijuana, has just stated that it's about to clamp down on all these products currently being marketed at your local medicinal pot store.


Actually, I think you just have to read this in its beurocratic context. The new law has removed hemp from the schedule 1 list. So it is no longer completely illegal. But at the same time, this press release from the FDA is trying to make sure everyone knows that the FDA still maintains their jurisdiction over it within their umbrella of power. And the FDA has power over any medicine or product that makes a therapeutic claim AND all food products.

The thing they don't mention (and this is the most important part) is that hemp products can now be sold legally. Because they are no longer a controlled substance. BUT you can't advertise them as being for human consumption or having therapeutic value.

This is why you can't buy antibiotics without an RX. It falls under FDA authority. But you can buy those same antibiotics for fish, without a license. Because some types of animal products don't fall under their authority.

So I'm betting you will be able to buy CBD oil "not for human consumption" to fix squeeky wheels or as an air freshener or whatever. But the FDA will have to go through their normal review process before a product can be sold in food or in a supplement.

As for all the products already out there, I have no idea. Because my understanding of FDA regulations is that they were already in violation since they were being sold as dietary supplements or something with therapeutic benefit.


This has to do with section DSHEA and section 343, particularly as it has to do with New Dietary Ingredients. In a nut shell, DSHEA said that anything produced after 1993 but has been used as, or in, a dietary supplement prior to 1993 for it to be legal. If it's not, then it is considered a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) and thus must submit an NDI notification to the FDA. This is to notify that the ingredient was not present as, or in, a dietary supplement prior to 1993.

It's super tedious because it's been 25 years since DSHEA and the FDA has yet to produce a final guidance or rule on dietary NDI submissions.


Where "interstate commerce" := all commerce.


Hemp farming is a win aside from just the CBD product possibilities.

Hemp can be more lucrative for farmers [1] making feed instead of alfalfa/others.

Hemp also uses less water than other crops [2], it can help with water usage in agriculture heavy states that are tighter on water in the west (CA, AZ, NV, UT).

Hemp for textiles is also more efficient than cotton which uses 50% more water and requires more land [2].

Hemp oil possibilities are also interesting to restart and explore.

Hemp being legal opens up farmers to switching to it more and give them more markets for a crop that us more lucrative and uses less water. It was used like this a hundred years ago, sad it was caught up in the drug wars for so long. Much farther to go on the ending drug wars but this is a welcome market opening back up that has benefits all around in hemp.

[1] https://psmag.com/environment/hemp-is-the-future-of-agricult...

[2] https://slate.com/technology/2011/04/hemp-versus-cotton-whic...


If hemp is widely grown and a part of that is production of widely available low-level painkillers then there is, I imagine, a massive challenge to the pharma-corps -- a good deal of their income is probably low-level pain medications?

FWIW I've had hemp beer (quite good) and used compostable "plastic" cups made from hemp (no different in appearance or use to regular plastic cups).


Yeah it was irrational and nonsensical to keep hemp out of markets for so long in the war on plants, but the upside to that is there are many market uses for it and will provide explosive growth in lots of sectors and jobs in the economy. Hemp legalization definitely challenges Pharma a bit but hard to stop market opportunities and benefits, they will be in on it but hopefully not cornering the market via bribes/force.

Production (farmers and eventually more products/companies/uses), consumers, the environment and the market love the product, finally free to innovate. Hemp shall get its revenge after being thrown in the Château d'If and locked up for no reason, it is coming back as the Count of Monte Cristo to exact revenge and take over.


That, and carbon recapture


For those interested in learning more about CBD use: https://www.projectcbd.org

(I'm not affiliated)

I suffered with seasonal hayfever for 25 years. Cured it completely with CBD this year. Was inspired to try it after I cured my cats seasonal asthma with a tiny CBD dose. It was so effective on me I thought the season hadn't started till it was over. Weirdly effective.

I've been a huge skeptic of medicinal marijuana. I am now a convert and I think CBD in particular is an exciting area.

Sounds like the headline above may not be entirely accurate. But we will get there.

In Washington state the FDA came after CBD manufacturers for making miracle cure claims. As part of the investigation they tested various products. Turns out many had little or no CBD. The industry is rife with snake oil salesmen. But in states where it is legal you have the benefit of accurate lab testing with results published on the packaging.

Source for CBD related warning letters from FDA. The WA cases were 2015. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm484109.h...


Out of interest what CDB product did you use (e.g oil, crystals) and what strength was it? Did you experiment with dosing to get find what worked best for you?


The 2018 Farm Bill made growing hemp legal under federal law. This will allow farmers to grow hemp and participate in USDA programs, get greater accsss to banking, etc.

Hemp, specifically “industrial hemp”, is just cannabis that has a THC content under 0.3%.

There are a lot of products that can be made from hemp; a popular one is CBD oil. There are different methods of extracting it, CO2 extraction being popular, but it’s also sometimes done with solvents.

The CBD oil industry is currently unregulated and basically the Wild West. People make bold claims, and it’s not always clear what you’re buying. Though, some companies post 3rd party testing results that correlate with batch numbers on the product label.

What this article is really saying is that now that there will be a lot more hemp in the US, the FDA will be taking an active regulatory role. This will likely have a big impact on the CBD oil industry which currently markets as a cure-all in many health food stores.

This is good for consumer safety in the long run — hemp is an effective soil cleaner and the heavy metals in the soil can end up in th CBD oil you’re consuming. But it will likely make it a harder process to legitimately sell CBD oil, and require going through a more expensive process involving FDA approval. We’ll see.


Hopefully we'll see some studies about the effectiveness about CBD come soon. I've heard a lot of anecdotes about it's usefulness for things such anxiety and minor inflammation, it would be good to learn more.


I have a family member that was increasingly crippled with intense joint related pain. He was eating large quantities of NSAIDs just to get through a day (up to 10x the suggested dose). CBD oil removed more than 3/4 of the pain, returned him to normal function with no more pain killers needed. I've heard people talk about it for years, it was something else to see it dramatically improve the life of someone I know.


I have smoked weed since I was 16. Back then, I was just rebelling. Also weed made me feel good. I took a break from weed from 24 - 30, doing it EXTREMELY occasionally.

Recently I moved to Oregon and got a vape pen, and I learned something. I sincerely love how weed makes me feel.

It's not just the taboo of it being illegal. It just feels nice when I want to take the edge off. It helps me relax in the right dosage. It makes me tired at the right time of the night so I do not stay up late.

Is vaping weed good for me? Probably not. Is it worse for me than alcohol, eating too much meat, having a sedentary job, or not doing regular weight training? Absolutely not.

End the prohibition. Let adults do what they want with their bodies.



From the FDA statement:

> This is because both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements.

Wow, this is unfortunate history. So if someone had marketed CBD as a food ingredient prior to the FDA's approval of CBD drugs, then putting it in food now would be OK. Does the FDA even have the facts correct? Were there food products before the CBD drugs were approved?


So hemp products such as protein powder weren't legal in the U.S. before?


I worked at an animal feed store in the early 90's while in school.

We would receive shipments of big bags of hemp seed, like 25 pound clear bags of pot seeds (which I always laughed about) for birds, so apparently hemp seed was legal at that point at least.


My mom in California has been buying hemp seeds for the past couple years at the local health food store, so I'd say no.


California doesn't care about what's legal or not, they've legalized selling weed which is still super illegal (federally, which is what we're talking about).


Exactly. While someone in CA was probably able to access hemp items (and straight out pot items obviously) it was still illegal to produce. That doesn't mean you couldn't obtain it through mail orders or lax enforcement, but I mean I can go buy heroin from a guy I know, that doesn't make it legal.


I wouldn't say that California's legalization of marijuana sales indicates a general disregard for the law in California, considering multiple states across the country have the same laws and California wasn't even the first to do it.


This is because both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements.

I would disagree on the term marketed (yes, I know the FDA has a specific definition). THC and CBD have been used medicinally long before they were approved by the FDA as drugs.


My issues with CDB/THC legality is that I think its ridiculous that they are requiring for the cultivation, packaging, sale and consumption of it all to be limited to local state regions.

Meaning; If you have a legal cultivation license in California - and you grow or manufacture flower/oil/edibles - you cannot legally transport them A) THROUGH any federal land (like along HWY 80 between the bay area and Lake Tahoe) -- as that traverses a federal forest. and B) From California to Nevada - in which both states THC products are legal now.

Further, if you obtain a license for your cannabis operation in Nevada in addition to California - you have to fully duplicate your entire operation.

Imagine if every single state required every alcohol manufacturer to have a full operation in every state in which Whiskey was to be sold. Its an absolute joke.

Finally - the BCC regulations state that a delivery truck cannot leave the facility it is licensed at until 6pm, must be tracked by GPS, and must be back at the same facility by 10PM.

So you cannot manufacture goods in northern california, deliver them to southern california and be back in your facility on time.

Instead you have to establish licenses POPs along the route / work with other licensed distributors to hand off between locations.

The local jurisdiction can supercede any BCC state regulation with whatever they want - which is going to be either the county, or the local city council. City councils are all duplicating effort to determine what their local tax requirements will be - spending money on external consultants to help them figure out tax revenue projections, and then selecting which local parcels are allowewd to operate a business.

For example - Truckee california has chosen to only allow delivery operations from a set number of parcels - and rather than the state regulation of 600' between facilities and schools - they have chosen that your property lines cannot be within 600' from eachother && your operation must be on a second story office unit if it is zoned as commercial general.

But in order to get a license from the state you must:

A) Have a sign-off from the property owner that it is OK to have any cannabis operations from the commercial space you're leasing from (and landlords with loans from the big banks will not allow this due to the stipulations from the federal loans that say they cannot operate cannabis businesses if they have a loan from that bank)

B) You have to be able to get the local city cannabis business license (some cities charge many thousands, want freedom to fully audit you at any time, and want $XXX/month or as much as 10% of your revenues whichever is greater.)

There is a bunch more -- but its specifically being regulated to prevent the small cultivators from getting into the business - and Monsanto is already secretly operating under shell company names and coming in in a big way. So are the canadians -- and the canadians are low-balling offers to cannabis growers here, pretending to do due diligence - then walking away with the information from the smaller growers and spending money to execute on the business vision plans they glean from the smaller entities.


> Imagine if every single state required every alcohol manufacturer to have a full operation in every state.

You should try running a startup that hires remote workers. We already have to deal with this when it comes to taxation, filings fees, nexus laws, and health insurance. It makes it extremely difficult to run a "remote only" organization without utilizing a PEO.


What is a PEO and have you had this problem with remote workers in other countries?


I didn't want to come across as advertising any particular entity but they are organizations [1] that are registered in every state, provide benefits, retirement plans, payroll, etc. They technically hire your employees for you, and then contract them to you while taking a fee on top. It's a good way for remote-only companies to expand within the states, or simply companies that don't want to deal with HR/Payroll/etc.

All of our non-US hires have been as contractors entirely to avoid potential complexities.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_employer_organiza...


I've had good luck with TriNet

https://www.trinet.com/company/


>the BCC regulations state that a delivery truck cannot leave the facility it is licensed at until 6pm, must be tracked by GPS, and must be back at the same facility by 10PM. //

Weird legislation, how is it serving the people?

Can you have more than one facility, so you have a lockup 2 hours out, and step-stone product across the state?


You can have more than one facility -- but the process to get approval for just one is a tedious quagmire of dealing with all the various steps just to get to apply for a BCC state license.

First, finding a landlord who will rent to you - then securing that agreement with them such that they sign off on it (which can mean entering a lease)

Then getting the local (county or city license) which include application fees as well.

Then applying for the state license.

I have been mapping this process out -- and there are certain counties which like to think of themselves as "big government" and thus err on the side of the old thinking (Contra Costa and Placer are two examples of counties which are anti cannabis)

Then there are all the regular thing that one has to deal with in a hyper competitive market. There are a lot of shady characters in the weed industry. Its not all happiness and hippies.


THC is soon to follow, I hope. - From Wisconsin


So CBD and THC products are illegal if they cross state lines unless the FDA decides otherwise. Wonderful...


The FDA also allows Tylenol to be sold OTC


Excited to see CBD since it's been shown to be great for treating pain


Now that it's legal in Canada I recently used CBD for my back pain... it's been quite helpful. Whereas THC (smoking pot) does nothing for me.

CBD really needs to be available to anyone with chronic pain (cancer treatment, epilepsy, etc, etc).


Are you using it topically or orally?


Not the original poster, but have used CBD - it works both topically and orally. Shop around, the vast majority of outlets for the paste are rip-off merchants, so do a deep dive and find one that is "honest"


at the very least the title should say "legal in January" instead of "now", but the CBD part is also a hazardous exaggeration.


Fast facts:

- Hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa L., inc. parts and derivatives, with no more than 0.3% THC on dry weight basis.

- Hemp is excluded from the definitions of "marihuana" and "tetrohydrocannabinol" under the CSA. Therefore, it is no longer a violation of federal drug (controlled substances) laws to produce, distribute, or use hemp.

- The THC threshold appears to apply at all times--ie. it is unlawful to extract and concentrate THC from previously legal low-THC sativa. Conversely, CBD oil derived from sativa strains would appear to become unscheduled once concentrated such that the THC content falls below the limit--however, the interim production and possession would remain unlawful without a DEA license.

- This Farm Bill will in one year phase out the 2014 FB research hemp program, and replace it with a full blown legal hemp production program. Under agriculture laws, the only penalties at hand for negligent violations are CAPs and program suspension. The law provides that intentional violations are to be reported by Ag to State/Federal LE.

- The intentional production of cannabis sativa >0.3% THC would be readily punishable under state, federal CSA. However, because the definition of hemp, which is excluded from the CSA, only takes into account the THC content and not the registration status of the grower, it isn't readily apparent how one could be punished for commerce in unregistered, but THC-threshold compliant, Cannabis sativa. However, an unregistered grower has no shield against accidental/negligent over-THC drug charges.

- As the linked press release notes, food and drug law will apply to the interstate commerce in hemp. Thus, it will not be lawful to distribute CBD oil as a "supplement," for example. While FD&C Act violations can result in serious charges, they won't be charged as "drug crimes" ie. controlled substances offenses, and will not have the same impact on federal employment, student loans, etc.

- I'm no expert in this, but it seems to me that it would not be possible to tell legal hemp from >0.3% THC sativa. Thus, it would appear that visual identification of marijuana may no longer be a valid basis for a search/detention by law enforcement.

TL;DR: All Cannabis sativa L. is no longer a controlled substance, provided that it contains no greater than 0.3% THC. States may authorize a legal, tested method of production, for which no one may be penalized for accidental/negligent violations. The FDA will regulate the interstate commerce in hemp products, including CBD oil, because they are considered drug products. The FDA will not be involved in industrial hemp (ex. hemp ropes) because they are not marketed as food, drugs, or cosmetics.

edits: formatting. nb, the law text is at https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Agriculture..., do a ^F for "hemp"


Legalizing CBD, pulling troops from Syria & and it looks like we're leaving Afghanistan soon too. It's a good week for America.


With Mattis resigning and Kelly also leaving... I'd argue it's very bad week for America.


They're war hawks, pillars of the military industrial complex, hell bent on keeping us at perpetual war in places like Syria and Afghanistan. Mattis resigned because he's at odds with Trump's push toward ending disastrous foreign military entanglements. In his resignation he openly admitted he was not aligned with Trump's views on such matters. Mattis was one of the top representatives for the system of global military deployment that has nearly bankrupted the US Government after ~50 years of it. If Trump is going to continue to pull us back from the policy of military involvement everywhere, then both Mattis and Kelly leaving is a great start. That outrageous $750 billion military spending proposal should go too, we plainly can't afford anything near that, which also means Syria and Afghanistan should naturally go, which means Mattis should go.


> They're war hawks, pillars of the military industrial complex, hell bent on keeping us at perpetual war in places like Syria and Afghanistan.

And they'll be replaced by exactly the same type of people (although many won't say as much until they quit a year down the road)


> the system of global military deployment that has nearly bankrupted the US Government after ~50 years of it.

Huh?


First there was Vietnam, which broke the US Government's finances so badly it had to abandon the weakened gold peg entirely and shift to fiat only. Immediately after that, inflation skyrocketed, the price of all commodities skyrocketed, oil went vertical, the dollar tanked, and the median American standard of living has never recovered back to where it was before that erosion began. The US fiscal position has never been sound since then either.

The gold peg stood in the way of the war machine. If you have to actually pay for your perpetual war with taxes, it's not going to work. You'll never get the support of the people to fund the insanity. Instead you pay for it all by not asking permission, you abuse the currency to fund the wars (artificially low interest rates, so you can afford the debt, which destroys the purchasing power of Americans by pushing the dollar down over time, so everything they buy costs them more; all without anywhere near enough of an export increase to offset it).

The huge pile of debt Reagan ran up - which back then was the largest accumulation of debt in US history outside of a major war time - is still sitting on the books effectively, perpetually costing us interest forever. That spending explosion was partially focused on unnecessary military spending. Reagan's military spending debt will never be paid off, the true cost of that over time (it'll still be sitting there costing interest 50+ years after it was first accumulated) will be dramatically beyond what occurred during his Presidency years.

Then there was the second Iraq war and the spending explosion during the Bush years. That debased the dollar and spurred an immense commodity bubble. Pick 20 random countries and google "xcountry GDP" and then look at the chart of each (then match it with gold and oil charts). What you will see is syncronous soaring of GDP figures and commodities, far beyond anything that is ever seen in normal terms. Most of that isn't actual GDP growth, what that is, is the dollar plunging (vs the other currencies) due to idiotic spending policies during the Bush years, specifically the trillion plus in unnecessary spending during those eight years. That debasing of the dollar mauled US standards of living for the middle class, which was then compounded by the housing collapse and recession.

The $750 billion we're about to spend on the military - while not being at war with anybody - is a continuation of roughly five decades of failed policy around our global deployment of military forces and routine foreign adventurism re military action in places like Syria or Libya.

That $750 billion should be a lot closer to $450 billion instead. We could just about balance the budget right now, if you combined that with letting the tax cuts reset, slightly raise taxes on the top 10%, and have the Fed push interest costs very slightly down. Instead they're going to keep burying us in mistakes.

So now here we are, looking to spend $8 trillion plus over the next ten years just on the military budget (again, while not at war). Meanwhile, we've got about $600 billion per year in debt interest to pay. Soon we'll be paying interest on $30 trillion in public debt. That's the global military machine being partially responsible for bankrupting the US Government. We're not spending $750 billion because we're at war with Nazi Germany or the USSR or some immense foe, it's because we're deployed globally and that's wildly expensive to maintain.


[flagged]


That's a weird, vindictive way to expend your energy.


It's bad that it took this long.

There, did you love that?

Also, what happens to people who are currently incarcerated because it wasn't? It'd be nice to address that, too.


n00b question: Does this make Marijuana legal as well or just hemp?


Marijuana remains illegal according to the US Government (even though it's not being actively enforced against states that have legalized). I'd expect we'll need to see at least a dozen more states legalize before they're essentially forced into official national legalization. Every state that legalizes gets us closer, like dominos falling. Sometime in the next decade, the sooner the better obviously.




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