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DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect 

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Old 08-29-2013, 03:55 PM
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DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

Interesting, could this be the beginning of legalization of marijuana throughout the country? Maybe, we will see. It's a small step and maybe this will lead to more states legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

WASHINGTON -- The United States government took a historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.

A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a "trust but verify approach" to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states' regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole also issued a three-and-a-half page memo to U.S. attorneys across the country. "The Department's guidance in this memorandum rests on its expectation that states and local governments that have enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct will implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems that will address the threat those state laws could pose to public safety, public health and other law enforcement interests," it reads. "A system adequate to that task must not only contain robust controls and procedures on paper; it must also be effective in practice."

The memo also outlines eight priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. According to the guidance, DOJ will still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:

the distribution of marijuana to minors;
revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

The eight high-priority areas leave prosecutors bent on targeting marijuana businesses with a fair amount of leeway, especially the exception for "adverse public health consequences." And prosecutors have shown a willingness to aggressively interpret DOJ guidance in the past, as the many medical marijuana dispensary owners now behind bars can attest.

U.S. Attorneys will individually be responsible for interpreting the guidelines and how they apply to a case they intend to prosecute. A Justice Department official said, for example, that a U.S Attorney could go after marijuana distributors who used cartoon characters in their marketing because that could be interpreted as attempting to distribute marijuana to minors.

But the official stressed that the guidance was not optional, and that prosecutors would no longer be allowed to use the sheer volume of sales or the for-profit status of an operation as triggers for prosecution, though these factors could still affect their prosecutorial decisions.

The Obama administration has struggled with the legalization of medical marijuana in several states. Justice Department Officials had instructed federal prosecutors across the country not to focus federal resources on individuals who were complying with state laws regarding the use of medical marijuana. But the U.S. attorneys in several states that had legalized medical marijuana rebelled, and what was known as the Ogden memo faced stiff resistance from career prosecutors.

"That's just not what they do,” one former Justice official told HuffPost. “They prosecute people."

As a result of the internal pushback at DOJ, a new memo was issued by Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2011 that gave U.S. attorneys more cover to go after medical marijuana distributors. Federal prosecutors began threatening local government officials with prosecution if they went forward with legislation regulating medical cannabis.

After recreational marijuana initiatives passed in Washington and Colorado in November, President Barack Obama said the federal government had “bigger fish to fry” and would not make going after marijuana users a priority.

Holder said back in December that the federal response to the passage of the state ballot measures would be coming “relatively soon.”

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told HuffPost his office was preparing for the “worst-case scenario” of a federal lawsuit against the law.

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Old 08-29-2013, 04:49 PM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

fuck yeah!!

"High moral character is not a precondition for great moral accomplishments."
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:41 PM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

I don't know why they don't just let this go. It was voted on...approved...the voters spoke. Damned government. Hopefully, this will help, but there are some simple minded prosecutors who won't let this go. (and some Atty Generals)

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Old 08-29-2013, 11:21 PM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

Well this is the bee knees. Even Indiana is looking at a reduction of penalties. The tides are changing friends.

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Old 08-30-2013, 01:07 AM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

Weed should have never been illegal. Booze and cigs are responsible for way more deaths than marijuana, yet that shit is legal and considered normal to the everyday "square".

My stupid Aunt voted no on legalizing it, yet she smokes cigs...yea that makes sense.

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Old 09-02-2013, 11:15 AM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
(the Byrds)

Thankfully, the evolution of US law is a process. As a process, it requires time to develop. This is an interesting study of how the law evolves in steps and stages. Its not simple and its not "stupid".

This is a snapshot in time of the evolution of a cool "field" of law that is trying to determine where SHOULD BE the limits of federal power so that the best interests of ALL American people can be served. In this process, self-imposed Federal restraint is being exercised to recognize the rights and roles state (law) liberties and state laws are exercised to recognize the rights and roles of individual liberties....

Watch as cannabis law continues to develop across the country at both the federal level and the state level to give access to people using it medicinally, recognize liberties of recreational users, allow for the commerce of local cultivators and enterprises while setting public health and safety guidelines and, equally important: protect the rights of society and individual citizens to lead lives free from the adverse effects of cannabis use or any associated criminal influences.

Isn't it a good thing that laws exist to protect you and the little kids in your life from drugged drivers and that your public lands aren't being "re-purposed" for farming cannabis? Likewise, employers will probably always be free to drug screen applicants and discriminate against controlled substance users (unless the applicant or employee can confirm that they have a prescription for the substance) and to drug-test employees in certain jobs.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

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Old 09-04-2013, 02:49 AM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

About fucking time!!!

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:45 AM
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Re: DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

Now to just outright legalize it in ALL the States.

All these other States getting on board with it and my State is ramping up the pot busts and they seem to find a grow house every other day.

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