Let’s make Obama regret his war on weed

The president’s Justice Department won’t let Washington and Colorado smoke up in peace. Can we change his mind?

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A crowd of people all exhale marijuana simultaneously at the University of Colorado in Boulder on April 20, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Mark Leffingwell)

From Salon By

Barack Obama has pissed off the stoners again. He always does. In 2009 a question about marijuana legalization made him laugh, a hard to miss sign that he didn’t take the issue seriously. Worse than laughter has been his DEA, and its increasingly heavy-handed war on legal marijuana dispensaries. Now that recreational marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington, his Department of Justice is weighing its options, and, reportedly, none of their options seem to be “just let people smoke their marijuana, because it’s harmless.”

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Here’s How the Obama Administration Is Considering Responding to Legal Pot in Colorado and Washington

Screen shot 2012-12-07 at 3.39.00 PMFrom Reason The Obama administration is strategizing how to fight legal pot in Colorado and Washington, reports Charlie Savage of The New York Times. While “no decision” is “imminent,” Savage reports thatsenior level White House and Justice Department officials are considering “legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives.”

A taskforce made up of Main Justice, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is currently considering two courses of action, reports Savage:

One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

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Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Deals Drug War Major Blow

From Huffington Post

By Matt Sledge

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in the prohibition era on Tuesday, dealing a major blow to the war on drugs. Medical marijuana was also legalized in Massachusetts, underlining long-running trends in public opinion toward more permissive attitudes on drugs.

“To put this into historical context, there is no historical context,” said Tom Angell, spokesperson for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “It’s the first time any state has ever voted to legalize marijuana — and two of them did it.”

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A rude federal awakening for medical pot dreams

Source: The News Tribune, Washington)

The feds have come down – hard – on the Legislature’s plans to expand medical marijuana far beyond the voters’ original mandate. Marijuana enthusiasts have only themselves to blame.

Gov. Chris Gregoire did the state a favor Wednesday by trying to clarify how the U.S. Department of Justice might react to the free-wheeling dope industry many lawmakers having been pushing to legalize with a new bill.

The two U.S. attorneys who cover Washington quickly spelled out their likely response: fines, property forfeitures, lawsuits and possible criminal prosecutions. Individual state officials might be targeted if they licensed grow operations and dispensaries, as the measure proposes.

Later Thursday, Gregoire said she would veto the legislation as written.

Read the U.S. attorneys’ letter and you’ll see where they’re coming from. The Justice Department, they said, isn’t interested in pursuing “seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law.”

But marijuana profiteers – be they enabling doctors, retailers, wholesalers, processors or growers – are a different story. Continue reading

California, Oregon … and Now Washington State May Vote on Legal Pot This November

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By Phillip S. Smith, Drug War Chronicle
Alternet – April 6, 2010

There is a chance, albeit an outside one, that the entire West Coast could go green in November. Last week we noted that the California tax and regulate initiative had made the ballot, and reported on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act initiative’s ongoing effort to make the ballot. This week, we turn our attention to Washington state, where yet another marijuana legalization initiative campaign is underway. Continue reading