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Thu Aug 29, 2013, 05:28 PM

Holder announces fed policy toward CO and WA legalization

since no one cross-posted this here from LN or GD - posting here to archive in the Drug Policy Forum.


The United States Department of Justice announced Thursday that for the time being it will cease pursuing actions against Colorado and Washington over discrepancies in state and federal marijuana policies. The department also issued a memo to U.S. Attorneys with new guidelines for the pursuit of marijuana cases. According to CBS News, Attorney General Eric Holder telephoned Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) around noon on Thursday to inform them that the federal government intends to allow the states to continue with their decriminalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use.

...“This also has major implications for the 20 states that allow medical marijuana,” Reiman (policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance) explained. “The Department of Justice has also directed U.S. Attorneys not to interfere with states that have medical marijuana. Instead the department is going to concentrate on diversion to minors, trafficking, marijuana being used as a front for other activities or diversion into states where it is not allowed.”

When asked what this could mean in terms of dispensaries that have been targeted by the federal government and are currently embroiled in legal action, Reiman said, “What it should mean is that dispensaries in California that are operating within the the confines of state law and their local law should not be subject to federal interference.”

...One hurdle to national decriminalization of marijuana is the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, classified marijuana in 1972 as a Schedule I narcotic. A Schedule I drug is considered to have no medical use, to have a high potential for abuse and to be too dangerous to be used even under medical supervision.

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Reply Holder announces fed policy toward CO and WA legalization (Original post)
RainDog Aug 2013 OP
Upton Aug 2013 #1
Upton Aug 2013 #2
RainDog Aug 2013 #3

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 08:38 PM

2. It didn't go far enough for me...

First of all, it only defers the DOJ's right to go after Washington and Colorado. Second, in just sort of generally identifying eight enforcement areas, it gives the same US attorneys that have been causing so much trouble for MMJ dispensaries way too much leeway to continue doing the same thing...can't he just call off the dogs?

Still, this is way more than I ever expected..so I have to consider it good news.

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Response to Upton (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 08:56 PM

3. Turning the ship of state

is a laborious process sometimes, or so I've heard.

The most horrid and egregious laws and attitudes were allowed to stand in this nation for a hundred years, took a war to overturn, followed by an amendment, followed by a hundred years of de facto denial of the law, followed by an, at last, crisis of conscience among those in political office, after a decade of non-violent resistance, countered by murders and harassment. On a level unprecedented regarding any other issue in American life.

So, I can accept the baby steps along the way as a sign of progress.

At this point, people's focus should be on Congress and what they can do to address this issue by the passage of Polis' legislation to remove cannabis from the oversight of the DEA (thus removing it from the CSA).

If you look at the recent sentencing reform action, both the AG and Congress worked in tandem to create another framework. The AG is signaling to Congress that his office will address the law it is given.

So, at this point, Congress should be the focus.

Let Leahy know you support his actions.

Be polite and encouraging. Emphasize the positive aspects of change, rather than the stubbornness that is so aggravating.

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