Obama administration won't sue Colorado or Washington state over pot laws

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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Nearly a year after Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the Obama administration announced on Thursday that it won't sue the states to comply with federal laws, though it reserves the right to in the future.

The administration also issued new guidelines for all U.S. attorneys on the dynamic issue of marijuana law, recommending that they only focus on prosecuting major cases. Specifically, the Justice Department laid out eight high-priority areas for enforcement, including preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing revenue from marijuana sales from going to criminal enterprises, and preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

In effect, the Obama administration is -- for now -- letting states carry out their experiments with loosening marijuana regulations.


Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., in a phone conversation around Noon on Thursday to inform them of the administration's decision. Last November, voters in both Washington and Colorado approved ballot initiatives allowing anyone over the age of 21 to use marijuana.


Marijuana, however, is still prohibited under the federal Controlled Substances Act. It's listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug, which are described as substances with a high potential for abuse and with no accepted medical use.

In a press release today, the Justice Department said it expects Colorado and Washington "to establish strict regulatory schemes" that protect the federal interests in the memo issued to U.S. attorneys on Thursday.

"These schemes must be tough in practice, not just on paper, and include strong, state-based enforcement efforts, backed by adequate funding," the release said. Leaders in the two states have assured the government that they will impose strict regulations. However, the Justice Department added, "if any of the stated harms do materialize--either despite a strict regulatory scheme or because of the lack of one--federal prosecutors will act aggressively to bring individual prosecutions focused on federal enforcement priorities and the Department may challenge the regulatory scheme themselves in these states."

The administration's approach to these laws is similar to the approach it's taken to medical marijuana, which is also illegal under federal law. Twenty states and the District of Columbia over the past decade and a half have legalized medical marijuana.

In 2009, Mr. Obama's Justice Department released the Ogden memo, explaining it would not make going after medical marijuana users a priority. That however, didn't stop the administration from cracking down on marijuana dispensaries, particularly in California -- including sites that were in full compliance with state laws. In a 2011 memo, the Justice Department clarified that the Ogden memo was meant to apply only to individual medical marijuana users -- "not commercial operations cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana."

Drug policy reform activist Tom Angell, the founder of Marijuana Majority, expressed cautious optimism about the Justice Department's latest guidelines.

"It's nice to hear that the Obama administration doesn't at this point intend to file a lawsuit to overturn the will of the voters in states that have opted to modernize their marijuana policies, but it remains to be seen how individual U.S. attorneys will interpret the new guidance," he said in a statement.

Angell pointed out that the Obama administration closed down more state-legal marijuana businesses in one term than the Bush administration did in two terms.

"The real question is whether the president will call off his federal agencies that have been on the attack and finally let legal marijuana businesses operate without harassment, or if he wants the DEA and prosecutors to keep intervening as they have throughout his presidency and thus continue forcing users to buy marijuana on the illegal market where much of the profits go to violent drug cartels and gangs," he said.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162...e-colorado-or-washington-state-over-pot-laws/
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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And yet the DEA is still running around with its leash off.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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How nice of them. They'll probably still threaten to arrest people. Fucking liars.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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And yet the DEA is still running around with its leash off.
That's because this is complete bullshit... as shown by this line:

Specifically, the Justice Department laid out eight high-priority areas for enforcement, including [...] preventing revenue from marijuana sales from going to criminal enterprises...
If you still count ANY use of marijuana illegal, then every dollar earned from its sale is going to a criminal enterprise. They are going to keep going after fucking dispensaries and everyone else, just like they have during Obama's entire time in office.
 

lajikal

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Aug 6, 2009
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The government is just looking more and more ancient.

 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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Look. The "Greatest" Generation came in last on a civil liberties issue... again.
I don't even hold it against them. They were sold a bill of goods, too.

You have to remember how much more educated, through the internet and such, we are compered to our parents and especially grandparents. That's why I want firm term limits on all offices. Once you've been in office for 8 years, you are already out of touch.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#11
Police Groups Furiously Protest Eric Holder's Marijuana Policy Announcement
Posted: 08/30/2013 10:02 pm EDT | Updated: 09/02/2013 2:55 am EDT



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Eric Holder, Colorado, Law Enforcement, Marijuana, Police, Police Eric Holder Marijuana, Police Groups Eric Holder, Police Groups Pot, Police Holder Pot, Washington, Politics News

WASHINGTON -- A broad coalition of law enforcement officers who have spent the past three decades waging an increasingly militarized drug war that has failed to reduce drug use doesn't want to give up the fight.

Organizations that include sheriffs, narcotics officers and big-city police chiefs slammed Attorney General Eric Holder in a joint letter Friday, expressing "extreme disappointment" at his announcement that the Department of Justice would allow Colorado and Washington to implement state laws that legalized recreational marijuana for adults.

If there had been doubt about how meaningful Holder's move was, the fury reflected in the police response eliminates it. The role of law enforcement is traditionally understood to be limited to enforcing laws, but police organizations have become increasingly powerful political actors, and lashed out at Holder for not consulting sufficiently before adopting the new policy.

"It is unacceptable that the Department of Justice did not consult our organizations -- whose members will be directly impacted -- for meaningful input ahead of this important decision," the letter reads. "Our organizations were given notice just thirty minutes before the official announcement was made public and were not given the adequate forum ahead of time to express our concerns with the Department’s conclusion on this matter. Simply 'checking the box' by alerting law enforcement officials right before a decision is announced is not enough and certainly does not show an understanding of the value the Federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partnerships bring to the Department of Justice and the public safety discussion."

The missive was signed by the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the National Sheriffs’ Association,
the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Narcotic Officers Associations’ Coalition, the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Law enforcement, the police groups said, "becomes infinitely harder for our front-line men and women given the Department’s position."

The Justice Department declined to respond.

Local law enforcement agencies rely heavily on the drug war for funding. Police departments are often able to keep a large portion of the assets they seize during drug raids, even if charges are never brought. And federal grants for drug war operations make up a sizable portion of local law enforcement funding.

The letter warns that marijuana can cause suicidal thoughts, impairs driving and is a "gateway drug." The missive does not, however, address the failure of law enforcement generally to reduce drug use, even while tripling the number of people behind bars. Instead, the police warn that liberalizing pot laws will lead to an increase in crime.

"The decision will undoubtedly have grave unintended consequences, including a reversal of the declining crime rates that we as law enforcement practitioners have spent more than a decade maintaining," the officers write.

Worse, they warn, more states are likely to follow Washington and Colorado.

"The failure of the Department of Justice to challenge state policies that clearly contradict Federal law is both unacceptable and unprecedented. The failure of the Federal government to act in this matter is an open invitation to other states to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal law," they write.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/...ana-_n_3846518.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037

Hey police groups, shut the fuck up.

And lets be clear here, it's not cops that are against this. It's these fucking groups and higher ups that speak for them. The average cop on the street doesn't want to deal with this shit.
 

tattered

Uber-Aryan
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Georgie

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Damn these guys are flip flopping more then Microsoft.
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
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Legalization of marijuana is a 50 percent to 65 percent in favor proposition for everybody born after 1945.
Just a matter of sweet time. Why does 80 percent of health care go to the last 10 percent of these dingbat's lives?
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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Legalization of marijuana is a 50 percent to 65 percent in favor proposition for everybody born after 1945.
Just a matter of sweet time. Why does 80 percent of health care go to the last 10 percent of these dingbat's lives?

End of life 'healthcare' is a racket. They (the system) milk a shit-ton of money out of everyone to pay for the illegals ER visits for the sniffles. It is disgusting.
 

Aftermath

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Aug 29, 2009
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They got more important things to worry about then some recreational drug use
It's not about that. It's about these ridiculous drug laws that aren't based in fact and reason, that rob us of out freedoms. Especially in regards to weed. It's utter horseshit. Anyone who stands back and looks at it can see that, but most still just coast along indifferent to the matter, or laugh when someone brings up marijuana legalization to a politician, and it shouldn't be that way. It's a very legitimate issue...