The Short Version: Federal Rules on Marijuana

The Short Version: Federal Rules on Marijuana

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, determine why an issue is important, and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story.
Recently Cleo addressed the subject of labor unions and asked: Should companies be required to negotiate with contractors’ unions? She also produced a video about sexual harassment in the fashion industry. (In addition to being brilliant and working for Vox, Cleo is beautiful – and a model – so this is an insider story.)

Today Cleo turns her attention to the new federal rules on pot, asking whether the federal government should allow states to legalize weed without interference. (Guess what we here in Telluride think.)

Note: If you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

What’s happening?

The Trump administration is cracking down on marijuana, using uncertainty and fear.

Early this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the federal guidelines that let states choose to legalize marijuana without federal interference.

Now, it’s up to individual federal prosecutors to decide whether to go after people and companies in states where weed is legal under state law.

Why is it important?

Marijuana has been illegal under U.S. federal law since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1934, which prohibited its sale and distribution. More recently, marijuana regulation played a large role in the “war on drugs,” which began in the 1970’s—and in turn contributed to the ballooning U.S. prison population. Under the Trump administration, the debates continue to escalate.

Marijuana is legal for medical use in 29 states and recreational use in 8. Though they have not fully legalized the drug, 13 states have decriminalized it.

Americans are quickly warming to legalization: 64% believe the drug should be made legal, up from only a third in 2001 and half in 2011. The trajectory closely mirrors changing beliefs about gay marriage over the same period of time.

Debate it!

Should the federal government allow states to legalize weed without interference?

Continue reading here.


Why The Short Version on TIO?

About 10 ago, Telluride Inside…and Out began as a lifestyle webzine. Today, in the full knowledge that Telluride is a window on the world, we continue to bring the “zazz” (short for “pizzazz) of the region to a local, national, and global audience by covering everything from Telluride’s robust cultural economy – major events and festivals – to health and fitness and outdoor adventure. When Telluride travels, we write about places to go, people to meet too. (That’s part of the “Out” part of our handle, the other, obviously, Outdoors.)

And now, this weekly column, “The Short Version,” which offers simple summaries of issues of national and global importance.

“The Short Version” is written by Cleo Constantine Abram, the daughter of Telluride locals Eleni Constantine and Jonathan Abram (and therefore an honorary local and regular visitor) and a digital strategist.

Why “The Short Version”? Because, though we live in Shangri-La, our bubble is not impermeable and the rest of the world is only a click away. Because there is no inconsequential action; only consequential inaction. And because information is power in a moment so many of us are feeling powerless.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:


Cleo Abram 2

Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist now working at Vox, a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news. Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, and more.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Recently, Cleo returned to school, studying video storytelling at Columbia Journalism School.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski.


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