Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(28,784 posts)
Mon Aug 26, 2013, 11:21 PM Aug 2013

Leahy Schedules a Senate Hearing on the Federal Response to Marijuana Legalization

posting here to archive for drug policy - with a hat tip/link to bigtree's thread - http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3536348

this thread is a different link, same subject...

Sept. 10th, 2013, Leahy will convene a hearing to examie conflicts between state and federal mj laws and the Senator has invited AG Holder and Deputy AG Cole to testify.


From Leahy:

It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal. I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.

From the reason link -

I trust that Leahy will go beyond the question of marijuana consumption to address production and distribution, which are the real issues as far as federal meddling goes. UCLA drug policy expert Mark Kleiman, who has advised the Washington State Liquor Control Board on marijuana regulation, argues that the administration also should go beyond "guidance about enforcement" by formalizing an agreement that the feds will refrain from interfering in exchange for state help with controlling interstate smuggling of newly legal marijuana. (Stuart Taylor made a similar proposal in a Brookings Institution paper published last April.)

In a new Journal of Drug Policy Analysis article, Kleiman notes that the Controlled Substances Act says the attorney general "shall cooperate with local, State, and Federal agencies concerning traffic in controlled substances and in suppressing the abuse of controlled substances." Toward that end, "he is authorized to…notwithstanding any other provision of law, enter into contractual agreements with State and local law enforcement agencies to provide for cooperative enforcement and regulatory activities." Such a contract, Kleiman says, would provide more assurance of federal forbearance than simple inaction. Alternatively, he says, Congress could authorize the attorney general to issue "waivers" exempting state-legal marijuana producers and sellers from federal prosecution as long as certain conditions aimed at minimizing diversion are met.

Here is Kleiman's response to those who argue that the Justice Department has a duty to vigorously enforce marijuana prohibition even in states that have opted out:

To the immediate objection that the Executive Branch—charged by the Constitution with the "faithful execution" of the laws—has no authority to acquiescein the violation of some of those laws, there is an equally immediate rejoinder; those laws are now being violated and will continue to be violated, in ways the Executive is practically powerless to prevent in any case and still more powerless without the active engagement of state and local enforcement agencies. If "the abuse of controlled substances" can be more effectively suppressed with cooperative agreements than without them, then the mandate to cooperate for the purposes of the Act might be best carried out by explicitly agreeing not to do what the federal government cannot in fact do with or without such an agreement.

more at the link... and, just to note, this article notes Kleiman views Holder's 10 month non-response as a sign the administration may be open to review of federal policy.

hopeful news.
9 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Leahy Schedules a Senate Hearing on the Federal Response to Marijuana Legalization (Original Post) RainDog Aug 2013 OP
And away we go! :D :D :D tridim Aug 2013 #1
let's hope RainDog Aug 2013 #2
I won't gloat. But you can all come over for the party! tridim Aug 2013 #3
LOL RainDog Aug 2013 #4
You know, you've moved your prediction back several times.. Upton Aug 2013 #9
He must have really wanted to change the topic away from the surveillance. JDPriestly Aug 2013 #5
Yea, that's exactly it JD tridim Aug 2013 #6
Even if that were true, I welcome any efforts to end or limit the insane war on drugs. nt. Warren Stupidity Aug 2013 #7
Actually, I think Syria's got that covered RainDog Aug 2013 #8


(28,784 posts)
2. let's hope
Mon Aug 26, 2013, 11:29 PM
Aug 2013

then you can dance around saying... told you so!

(as far as that 2014 date...even if it's not exactly true about supporting mmj so far... ahem...)


(28,784 posts)
4. LOL
Mon Aug 26, 2013, 11:43 PM
Aug 2013

I'm actually an introvert if I'm not writing... sort of.

big parties aren't my thing. little jazz club works for me - but there will, surely, be a party going on when this law is rectified.


(9,709 posts)
9. You know, you've moved your prediction back several times..
Wed Aug 28, 2013, 09:45 AM
Aug 2013

For example, from 2011:


It will be interesting to see your excuse after the 2014 midterms. Perhaps by then you'll get it through your head this administration is no friend of cannabis users..


(45,358 posts)
6. Yea, that's exactly it JD
Tue Aug 27, 2013, 08:35 AM
Aug 2013

Just maybe the Democrats and the Administration are going through the delicate process of ending cannabis prohibition once and for all.

Your Snark doesn't help.


(28,784 posts)
8. Actually, I think Syria's got that covered
Tue Aug 27, 2013, 07:10 PM
Aug 2013

in this case, I think state legislators have a legitimate need to know what to expect as they enact the legislation voted for by their constituents.

Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Drug Policy»Leahy Schedules a Senate ...