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Old 11-07-2012, 08:47 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Marijuana Legalized in Colorado and Washington

Sounds like a good thing.

Thoughts?

http://reason.com/blog/2012/11/07/co...26+Run+Blog%29

Colorado and Washington Have Legalized Marijuana. What Now?
Jacob Sullum
Nov. 7, 2012 12:52 am

As Mike Riggs noted earlier tonight, voters have approved marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington—an unprecedented change that could help lead our country away from the unjust, cruel, and disastrous policy of using force to impose politicians' pharmacological tastes on the populace. The latest numbers show Colorado's Amendment 64 winning 53 percent of the vote, while an even larger majority, 56 percent, favored Washington's Initiative 502. What happens now?

The elimination of penalties for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana (if you are 21 or older) takes effect right away in both states. But the provisions allowing commercial production and sale of cannabis for recreational use require regulations that will be written during the next year. The Washington Liquor Control Board has until December 1, 2013, to adopt regulations for marijuana growers, wholesalers, processors, and retailers. The deadline in Colorado, where cannabis businesses will be overseen by the state Department of Revenue, is July 1, 2013. Colorado's law, unlike Washington's, also allows home cultivation of up to six plants and nonprofit transfers of up to an ounce, so Colorado pot smokers will have an immediate state-legal source of marijuana.

How will the federal government react? Allow me to regurgitate some of what I said last week:

Quote:
Marijuana will still be prohibited under federal law. But contrary to an argument made by opponents of Proposition 19, the California legalization initiative that lost by five percentage points in 2010, that does not mean the Supremacy Clause makes these measures unconstitutional. As Jonathan Caulkins and three other drug policy scholars note in their new book Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, "The Constitution does not allow the federal government either to order state governments to create any particular criminal law or to require state and local police to enforce federal criminal laws."

Even under national alcohol prohibition, which unlike the federal ban on marijuana was authorized by a constitutional amendment, states were free to go their own way. They could decline to pass their own versions of the Volstead Act (as Maryland did), repeal them (as a dozen states, including Colorado and Washington, did while the 18th Amendment was still in force), or simply refrain from prosecuting people under them (which was common in the wetter districts of the country). "The question is not whether a state could change its own laws," Caulkins et al. write. "Rather, the question is how the conflict with the continued federal prohibition would play out."

While the feds certainly can make trouble for any state that dares to legalize pot, there is a practical limit to what they can accomplish on their own. According to the FBI, there were about 750,000 marijuana arrests nationwide last year, the vast majority for possession. State and local police departments were responsible for something like 99 percent of those arrests. It simply is not feasible for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)—which has about 5,500 special agents nationwide, compared to about 765,000 sworn personnel employed by state and local law enforcement agencies—to bust a significant percentage of people who grow pot for themselves and their friends (as Colorado’s initiative allows), let alone people who possess it for recreational use.

The DEA can raid state-legal pot shops, as it has done with medical marijuana dispensaries, but the number of potential targets will be considerably larger once the market officially expands to include recreational users. The Justice Department can use asset forfeiture as an intimidation tactic against landlords and threaten banks that accept deposits from pot businesses with money laundering charges. The Internal Revenue Service can make life difficult for pot sellers by disallowing their business expenses (but not, thanks to a tax law wrinkle, their "cost of goods sold," which includes the cost of buying marijuana). The feds could even threaten state regulators with prosecution for handling marijuana or facilitating the trade, although that seems less likely, since it would provoke a direct confrontation with state officials. (Washington's initiative seeks to minimize this risk by assigning the task of testing marijuana for regulatory purposes to private, state-approved laboratories.) The one thing federal drug warriors cannot do, judging from their track record even when they have the full cooperation of state and local law enforcement agencies, is suppress the business entirely.
During the next few years the feds will confront the practical limits on their powers, even as they continue to defy the constititional limits (with help from the Supreme Court). The experiments on which Colorado and Washington are embarking will be instructive for the entire country, not just in terms of drug policy, where new approaches are sorely needed, but also in terms of defining the boundary between state and federal power. No one would ever mistake Barack Obama, who broke his promise to respect state laws allowing the medical use of marijuana, for a federalist. But during his second term circumstances may compel him to step back and let a few states try a little tolerance for a change.

Last edited by Direckshun; 11-07-2012 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:50 PM   #91
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The problem is that the Federal gov can do whatever they want under Gonzales v. Raich. The chance of them doing nothing and allowing legal marijuana shops is nil.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
The problem is that the Federal gov can do whatever they want under Gonzales v. Raich. The chance of them doing nothing and allowing legal marijuana shops is nil.
So the risk remains the same for those who sell. However, those who smoke look to be home free. Sounds like a damned fine start if you ask me!
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:06 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
So the risk remains the same for those who sell. However, those who smoke look to be home free. Sounds like a damned fine start if you ask me!
Pretty stupid approach by the feds if you ask me. It takes away the opportunity of brick and mortar establishments and an opportunity to regulate and tax those establishments. Instead it puts them in the shadows and with shady supply chains.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:10 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
Pretty stupid approach by the feds if you ask me. It takes away the opportunity of brick and mortar establishments and an opportunity to regulate and tax those establishments. Instead it puts them in the shadows and with shady supply chains.
Honestly, I don't see the Feds pursuing these guys any more than they have the medicinal guys. Meaning pay your taxes and you'll be just fine.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
So the risk remains the same for those who sell. However, those who smoke look to be home free. Sounds like a damned fine start if you ask me!
I think that it's still illegal in Colorado to smoke pot outside/in public.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:16 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
I think that it's still illegal in Colorado to smoke pot outside/in public.
Same in Washington. Also in non smoking apartments, etc.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
Honestly, I don't see the Feds pursuing these guys any more than they have the medicinal guys. Meaning pay your taxes and you'll be just fine.
I agree, but until you remove the threat of having someone swoop in and pound your ass, you're not really going to see to much of a committment, imo.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #98
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I agree, but until you remove the threat of having someone swoop in and pound your ass, you're not really going to see to much of a committment, imo.
Honestly, Washington is getting TONS of calls from people who want in. They're slammed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:41 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
Honestly, Washington is getting TONS of calls from people who want in. They're slammed.
They need to be let in, imo.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:47 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
Honestly, Washington is getting TONS of calls from people who want in. They're slammed.
i wish i was slammed...
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:23 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
They need to be let in, imo.
Sorry I didn't catch this before now. They will be. Don't expect WA state to drag their feet. They're almost going out of their way to take this fight to the Feds. They've already come out and said they're dropping charges, and going to pretty much put the possession part of the law into effect immediately. They just have to figure out how they want to set it up and tax it, and boom! It's in.

The problem I have is that they haven't already done that. Yeah the law allows them until the end of next year, but if they're going to be so proactive, they should've been prepared. That said, folks up there are already comparing it to prohibition. And that's the ones who don't use it. At least per their statements on the Facebook news pages up there. Lots of griping, but a lot of folks are saying this has been a long time coming.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:23 PM   #102
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http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/dea-...hington/nY3Lp/

Federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency raided medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Gig Harbor Wednesday.

"It hurts me a lot. This is really hard. This is my life," said a tearful Addy Norton, who works at Olympia's Bayside Collective.

Norton told KIRO 7 the DEA agents arrived at the dispensary about 10:30 a.m., saying, "five guys stuck their guns in my face."

Dispensary owner Casey Lee said the feds took 16 marijuana plants off the shelves along with edible marijuana products, the employees’ cellphones and paperwork.

Lee says it's very disturbing, since he believes he is operating legally under Washington state law.

"I kept saying, ‘We don't feel like we've done anything wrong. Why are you guys here?’ And they said, ‘Well, you guys are state legal, but you are still not federally legal,’ that’s all they could tell me,” said Lee.

The DEA agents told the owner the raid of several dispensaries in Washington was part of a two-year investigation, although they would not discuss details of what they call an ongoing investigation.

Norton says when the feds left the Olympia dispensary she posted a video warning to other dispensaries on Facebook.

Norton's message said in part, "Bayside was just raided and we're not sure if they are going out to the other collectives, but we are just letting you know we were raided we are fine and not in jail."

DEA agents did also raid the Tacoma Cross, Seattle Cross and Key Cross (in Gig Harbor) dispensaries as well.

Both the owner and employees at the Bayside Collective say this raid shows the urgent need for federal and state governments to clarify the marijuana laws immediately.

"This effects everybody -- it effects our family at home. I mean, this doesn't just effect the state and the feds, it effects all of us,” said Norton.

Owner Lee concurs.

"They obviously need to figure something out because they are ruining innocent lives."
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:26 PM   #103
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #104
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #105
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