Monday, September 24, 2012

Okay, it's legal in your state: now what?

The Seattle Times' editorial board says yes on Initiative 502.

Washington is just one state where cannabis legalization is on the ballot: she currently sanctions some medical use. Montanans certainly learned how unwieldy and fleeting initiated law can be. The Department of Justice and its enforcement fist, Drug Enforcement Agency, doesn't comment on pending state law.

Here is a splice from Sharon Salyer's awesome read in the Everett Herald:
If voters in Colorado and Oregon also approve similar measures this November, it is unlikely the federal government will simply sit on its hands and watch the drug be sold from storefront businesses. Hugh Spitzer, who teaches state and federal law at the University of Washington's law school, said a growing legalization trend among states could set off a tug-of-war over enforcement of marijuana laws with the federal government.

In part, Initiative 502 would allow people 21 and older to buy an ounce of marijuana from stores regulated and licensed by the state, where it would be taxed at 25 percent. Voters approved an initiative to end prohibition in 1932. The federal constitutional amendment repealing prohibition wasn't ratified until December 1933, he said. If three or four states pass marijuana legalization initiatives "it will be as hard to enforce federal marijuana laws as it was to enforce federal alcohol prohibition laws in 1932 and 1933," Spitzer said.
Franklin Roosevelt won on a repeal platform in 1932: President Obama is leading in Colorado. It's hard to forget the hot mic episode between the American President and Russia's: message trumps principle in an election year.

From Reuters:
Nine former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday to take a stand against possible legalization of recreational marijuana in three western states, saying silence would convey acceptance. "Anyone who is objective at all knows that current marijuana policy in this country is a complete disaster, with massive arrests, wasted resources, and violence in the U.S. and especially in Mexico," said Jill Harris, managing director of strategic initiatives for Drug Policy Action, which has poured money into legalization campaigns.
Here is why is DEA is supporting a global black market: it sustains a budget-fat revolving door that finances war against our enemies:
We have an increasing number of for-profit prisons in the United States, and the Corrections Corporation of America, for instance, which is, I think, the biggest, signs contracts, and they have to have a guarantee, basically, that 90 percent of the prison beds will be filled. So you have Michelle Alexander, who wrote The New Jim Crow and I interviewed for Truthout, is very eloquent about this.

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