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The DEA will no longer be raiding medicinal MJ dispensaries

No-QuarterNo-Quarter Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
It's about fucking time, I've had more than enough of this Draconian bullshit:
The other day, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will no longer spend its money authorizing (and conducting) raids and arrests of people and institutions licensed at the state level to produce and distribute medicinal marijuana. Said a spokesperson: “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.” This is dovetailing nicely with another national trend to open up what we tax at the state level. Some cowboys have proposed taxing porn and brothels, while others suggest taxing marijuana sales. In California, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, punned, “We’re all jonesing now for money, and there’s this enormous industry out there.”

From NYTimes:
Betty Yee, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, the state’s tax collector, said that legal marijuana could raise nearly $1 billion per year via a $50-per-ounce fee charged to retailers. An additional $400 million could be raised through sales tax on marijuana sold to buyers.
That’s a lot of money for a state that’s seen better days.
Coming from Canada, I’ve never really understood the big deal about marijuana, specifically its criminalization at the federal level. Laws have been a little confusing, particularly under Bush, when the DEA had authority to conduct raids and prosecutions, even in states where laws have permitted its cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. This could be a real boon to cancer patients and others grappling with chronic pain.
Naturally, our friends at NORML are thrilled. So, too, are stoners—by which we mean “really sick people with official papers sanctioning their use of the chronic”—everywhere.
http://www.good.is/?p=15937

I have to say I'm optimistic this. Many were worried about Biden being a wet-blanket given his drug-warrior scthick.

So where do we go from here? I'm presuming that you'll see more and more states either approve MJ for medicinal purposes, decriminalize it, or both.

Given that NJ just approved marijuana for medicinal use ( http://www.northjersey.com/health/medicalmarijuana022309.html) I'd say that the fog is finally starting to clear...

No-Quarter on

Posts

  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    free at last, free at last

    HOW DO YOU FUCK UP BAGELS. YOU BOIL THE WATER. PUT IN THE NOODLES
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    this will not lead to legal weed.

    props to obama for following through.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fina-fucking-ly.
    “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.”

    In issues where basic rights/Constitutional protections are not involved, I fail to see how anybody can disagree with this.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Fina-fucking-ly.
    “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.”

    In issues where basic rights/Constitutional protections are not involved, I fail to see how anybody can disagree with this.

    I agree, that's a great line.

  • NightDragonNightDragon Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fantastic!

    I'm pretty certain this won't lead to marijuana being legalized, though. That's a whole 'nother issue, and one I can't see people suddenly changing their minds about as a result of the economy, no matter how bad it gets.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    It is a step closer to decriminalization, I think.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • No-QuarterNo-Quarter Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    It is a step closer to decriminalization, I think.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    It is a step closer to decriminalization, I think.

    It would be interesting to see if the policy was continued after a state started licensing growers and dealers for non-medicinal use. Because the reasoning wouldn't have changed.

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fantastic!

    I'm pretty certain this won't lead to marijuana being legalized, though. That's a whole 'nother issue, and one I can't see people suddenly changing their minds about as a result of the economy, no matter how bad it gets.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQr9ezr8UeA&feature=related

    Upon some reflection, this is a pretty huge step in the direction of the federal government giving authority to the states to have their own laws about recreational pot. I can imagine a situation where it's de facto legal, and you just have to get an openly BS medical card. It's like that at least to a degree in California, and I have a friend living there now with a med card for insomnia.

    TLDR2014_zps40439c2c.jpg
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Anyone find it ironic that the Democrats are the ones who end up yielding authority from the federal government to the states in this manner?
    Spoiler:

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Fina-fucking-ly.
    “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.”

    In issues where basic rights/Constitutional protections are not involved, I fail to see how anybody can disagree with this.

    So you believe in Nullification? The idea that state law should overrule federal law is pretty extreme.

    This is also not why dispensaries are not being raided nor is the article accurate when it says
    Obama made it clear in the primaries that he supported states' rights to give out medical marijuana, and that he wanted the DEA out of the raiding game. That same position was taken by both John McCain and Hilary Clinton.
    I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.

    or
    “My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to,” Obama said in November 2007 at a campaign stop in Audubon, Iowa. “There’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.”

    Obama does not support some kind of rewriting of the relationship between the state and federal government, or the legalization of pot. He just doesn't really think that's what law enforcement or the justice system should be focusing on now.
    edit Obama on medical marijuana
    Spoiler:

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.

  • DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Good, now the DEA can focus on shutting down actual harmful drug businesses (aka Meth labs) instead of dicking around in states affairs. I just cannot believe there was any justification at all for going after medical marijuana dispensers (or growers), maybe now they can prioritize these raids to things that are actually dangerous and deserving of helicopter raids.

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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Was pretty much scrolling down to say what PantsB said, less well. I'm all in favor of decriminalizing weed, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with blanket statements about not using federal resources to circumvent state laws. Where they're in conflict federal law should definitely take precedent; however, I'm not bothered that the Obama administration has decided to stop wasting resources enforcing this particular law. I just think they should be allowed to do so.

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.

    This is an extreme position? Up here in Canada it's called Federalism. It's pretty rad.

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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    No-Quarter wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    It is a step closer to decriminalization, I think.

    pipe dream

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.

    The state actually made a law in direct conflict with federal law.

    But regardless, would you feel the same way if it involved workplace safety? The minimum wage? Environmental restrictions? Corporate regulations? Food safety? Drug testing? If this was meth instead of pot?

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.

    The state actually made a law in direct conflict with federal law.

    But regardless, would you feel the same way if it involved workplace safety? The minimum wage? Environmental restrictions? Corporate regulations? Food safety? Drug testing? If this was meth instead of pot?

    Nearly all of those can much more reasonably fall under interstate commerce than marijuana prohibition.

    EDIT: And assuming a state wanted to make meth legal, particularly if it was somehow regulated, i fail to see how this should be a federal matter.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.

    The state actually made a law in direct conflict with federal law.

    But regardless, would you feel the same way if it involved workplace safety? The minimum wage? Environmental restrictions? Corporate regulations? Food safety? Drug testing? If this was meth instead of pot?

    Nearly all of those can much more reasonably fall under interstate commerce than marijuana prohibition.
    Marijuana is prohibited under one of those.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.

    The state actually made a law in direct conflict with federal law.

    But regardless, would you feel the same way if it involved workplace safety? The minimum wage? Environmental restrictions? Corporate regulations? Food safety? Drug testing? If this was meth instead of pot?

    Nearly all of those can much more reasonably fall under interstate commerce than marijuana prohibition.

    Marijuana is prohibited under one of those.

    Right, but the prohibition of marijuana wasn't actually a good faith effort to regulate interstate commerce or even food/drug safety. As such, it should never have stood in the first place. But whatever, I don't so you and I agreeing here.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Obama needs to raise taxes somewhere.

    And what taxes can the progressive liberals support? There aren't really that many. Legalized marijuana might be closer than you think.

  • override367override367 misogynist/MRA/socially irresponsible Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    No-Quarter wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    It is a step closer to decriminalization, I think.

    pipe dream

    If a state decriminalizes smoking pot, I don't believe he won't waste DEA agents circumventing the state's laws.


    I mean what if my doctor decides I can smoke pot for stress? That would be defacto legalization if given enough time unless challenged.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ronya wrote: »
    Obama needs to raise taxes somewhere.

    And what taxes can the progressive liberals support? There aren't really that many. Legalized marijuana might be closer than you think.
    What? Progressive liberals are incredibly hard to convince when it comes to taxation?

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ronya wrote: »
    Obama needs to raise taxes somewhere.

    And what taxes can the progressive liberals support? There aren't really that many. Legalized marijuana might be closer than you think.
    What? Progressive liberals are incredibly hard to convince when it comes to taxation?

    I thought we wanted to take everyone's money and give it to homeless black women who have had 9 kids out of wedlock with 5 different men? Get your talking points straight, man!

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  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited March 2009
    This is definitely a step toward decriminalization and anti-pot types will ineffectually rabble about this.

    The DEA raids were kind of ridiculous in the first place because they were more harassment than anything that actually stemmed the flow of weed to the public. I mean, it's Cali for fucks' sake.

    Finally 'states rights' is invoked by politicians and I'm not cringing.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MalaysianShrewMalaysianShrew Registered User
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.


    I mean, I'm a big fan of state's rights but only because I'm a big fan of local government rights and so on down the line. Basically, like the military, the lowest ranking man capable to carrying out an order does so. There is no reason for our entire country to be homogeneous. However, with drugs, you really can't have them legal in one state and illegal in the next one over. Drug enforcement would fall under the Commerce Clause in my opinion. You can't really have drugs illegal in one country and legal in the next country over either.

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  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I wouldn't go so far as to say I believe in Nullification per se, but I think that in general the federal government shouldn't make a habit of making and enforcing laws that are in direct conflict with state laws, especially not in arenas in which the federal government is not explicitly empowered by the Constitution.

    Yes, I realize that even this is a fairly extreme position. I'm still comfortable with it. I don't think we need federal speed limits, and I don't necessarily think we need federal weed laws.

    At which point this is at least a step in the right direction.


    I mean, I'm a big fan of state's rights but only because I'm a big fan of local government rights and so on down the line. Basically, like the military, the lowest ranking man capable to carrying out an order does so. There is no reason for our entire country to be homogeneous. However, with drugs, you really can't have them legal in one state and illegal in the next one over. Drug enforcement would fall under the Commerce Clause in my opinion. You can't really have drugs illegal in one country and legal in the next country over either.
    Tell that to Canada.

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  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    This isn't really about legality, at least not in the broad sense. It's about state's rights. It's pretty surprising to see power yielded over to states in this era, as it at least seems that the federal government is slowly seizing control, though I admit that's probably just due to sensationalist media presentations. It should fall under laws governing medicine in the state, as that is the issue here, no?

    873342-1.png
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2009

    I mean what if my doctor decides I can smoke pot for stress? That would be defacto legalization if given enough time unless challenged.

    And if that's the case, it would be stupid to not tax it, and the very nature of the "business". I wonder if it could lead to problems with tax auditing and the like.

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  • override367override367 misogynist/MRA/socially irresponsible Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Sheep wrote: »

    I mean what if my doctor decides I can smoke pot for stress? That would be defacto legalization if given enough time unless challenged.

    And if that's the case, it would be stupid to not tax it, and the very nature of the "business". I wonder if it could lead to problems with tax auditing and the like.

    Is medical MJ taxed?

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  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm quite thrilled about this and see it as a positive step in the eventual dismantling of the War on (Some) Drugs, but it doesn't go anywhere near being far enough. The main problem with this is that it's simply an edict being issued by the justice department. There is no actual policy change (meaning legislation), which means that this can be reversed at the drop of a hat.

    What I think is going on is that this is being done to coincide with the bills being proposed at the State level to regulate and tax medical marijuana. The Obama administration is basically allowing them to test the waters to see if it can actually work. Then, whether it works or not, will lead to further policy changes or a reversal of the edict issued by the DOJ. This way it can be tested without any skin being taken off the administration's back.

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    So how can other states do what California did? Specifically Illinois.

  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I don't understand all the skepticism around legal marijuana, I think it's inevitable that it will happen eventually. It certainly won't be during Obama's term though.

  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    So how can other states do what California did? Specifically Illinois.

    In California, medical MJ was done as a ballot initiative several years ago. The new one being proposed right now (to regulate and tax it) is being done by the State legislature, although I don't know if that would lead to a ballot initiative later. If Illinois has the same rules, then I would assume it would be done the same way.

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