Pelosi Makes New Bailout About Pot!
Kent Emmons: So Nancy Pelosi coming out with her new big three trillion dollar bailout package. The only thing I've seen more spectacular than this was the last showcase showdown with Bob Barker on The Price is Right.
Barry Nussbaum: Except wait to hear where she wants to spend the COVID-19 bailout money from this round. I'm going to read it because I don't want to get this wrong. The Nancy Pelosi bill would allocate 50 million dollars for environmental justice grants to prepare for and respond to Coronavirus. The word cannabis, you know, pot appears sixty-eight times in the text of the bill.
Kent Emmons: Let me ask you this. You're an attorney. You know bills, and you know politics. How does the word cannabis wind up in something that's supposed to be a relief bill for the COVID crisis?
Barry Nussbaum: You know, I used to work years ago helping write legislation. A common thing is you find an emergency where everybody wants a bill for a certain thing. Like right now, all the Republicans and all the Democrats agree, and the president agrees we need more of a bailout. But you put stuff in there at the end hoping to get it through. It's called pork. And you say, "Well, I'm a little bit negotiable. Maybe we don't need cannabis in there 68 times." How in the world does supporting cannabis have anything to do with people not having any money to buy food? But it's worse. It's going to force federal banking regulators to issue diversity reports and inclusion reports. It's going to entice minority-owned, and women-owned cannabis-related businesses. It's going to have new federal guidelines regarding hate crimes. It proposes funding federal grants to train employees to identify and classify hate crimes. This is just pork. These are things they want to get done, and they're stuffing it into the bill at the last minute, thinking no one is going to read it. The last bill was this thick. I wonder who read it. Thank goodness she leaked it early because you've got everybody diving in to find all the stuff that doesn't belong in a bailout bill, Kent.
Kent Emmons: Well, it's interesting. The last bill was eight hundred pages. This bill is over eighteen hundred pages. One and a half times more expensive. Eighteen hundred pages. And actually, it doesn't have as much in this bill in, a three trillion dollar bill, as the last one had for the people in a two-point two trillion dollar bill.