If the Feds just keep turning a blind eye, then really we still remain in limbo as the status remains merely a matter of (subject to dramatic change) policy.
I think that's been a somewhat fuzzy, ongoing debate all the way back to the beginning, so I'm not really holding out too much hope on it being clearer any time soon.
A Democrat administration fighting and losing this battle is the best chance it has and we don't want to miss this window.
> The size and profitability of marijuana businesses will still be a factor prosecutors can consider, but there also must be additional illegal activities for prosecutors to take action.
With enough scrutiny (which we know the Feds have the capacity for), it's trivial to find some regulation that a particular business is violating. And as soon as they have their justification, they'll come down on suppliers and vendors like a ton of bricks, using both the official violation and the federal Controlled Substances Act in the prosecution.
Overall, this announcement is a good sign that they're losing the war on public opinion, and I don't suspect they'll crack down unilaterally. I think they're going after a strategy of containment; disincentivizing the experiment from spreading, as well as preventing bales of cannabis from flowing across state lines (which, in fairness, will certainly happen).
I was corrected a while ago on a different site that the Obama administration has been very two-faced about progressive MJ laws. I don't know if a lot of people are aware of that, I certainly wasn't.
War, marijuana, spying, etc.
So a state passes a law that the Federal government or some group of citizens dislike and a lawsuit rapidly ensues, that's a fair enough controversy and it may even be possible to have the law held up by injunction. But going back to challenge a law that has been around for a while is not so easy. Other factors include whether the challenge is coming from above or below (it's easier for a powerful body like the federal government to marshal the resources to sue, so there is less excuse for a delay in doing so) and whether the aim of the lawsuit is to expand or constrict freedoms (in general, expansion is viewed with greater favor).
IANAL, and no citations will be forthcoming for general remarks, since exceptions certainly exist.
The current administration hasn't shown to be all that friendly to marijuana laws, so it could be a blessing in disguise.
When California and enough other states finally legalize it they'll finally have to face the facts.
Right now most state officials want to legalize it in their states, but they are afraid because of the conflict between state and federal laws. This is especially true since the government has not until now said that they would not prosecute government employees for administering state programs. This has dissuaded a lot of state reps from voting for reform who otherwise would. This issue is completely gone as of today, so you're going to see support at the state level going from around 40 percent to around 60 percent overnight. It's impossible of overstate how huge this is.
A fantasy that the United States is an association of state governments ruled by majority vote of the states?
Nothing get politicians to flip faster than money.
By the way, any idea why they are doing it now? Are they planning to tax it later?
Depends on who "they" are.
If you're talking about the Federal government, I don't see them giving up on the War on Drugs(tm) any time soon.
I'm not sure about how Colorado is operating, but the setup in Washington includes pretty steep taxes and quite a bit of regulation.
They're obligated by treaty to keep cannabis illegal
Relaxation of US cannabis laws 'violates UN drug conventions'
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
What's it called when laws are enforced for some people and not others?
So, its really not big news that they aren't challenging the legalization. What will be big news is if there really is a durable consistent accommodation in the way they choose to prosecute (not just a statement or guidelines that seems to indicate a deprioritization, but something that is tangible in terms of differences in action.)
While I think they should change the federal marijuana laws, I do not relish the future prospect of an administration deciding not to enforce federal laws they don't like because of this precedent. Voter ID, Abortion, racial profiling, etc.
Admittedly, though, I'm not sure how the laws will get changed. The Right to Vote took a very long time, so the Right to Toke might take a bit longer than the next couple of years.
"When you mean soldiers, do you mean the US Army?"
No, I mean these soldiers:
What does this mean for other state nullifications of federal law, like attempts to ignore Obamacare or gun control? Can the states use the USG's acquiescence to state nullification of federal powers ensured by the Commerce Clause in this instance to establish precedence for nullifying federal law in other areas?
Most likely, along with most federal restrictions. However, if you're making a constitutional argument, the Commerce Clause only regulates interstate commerce, not intrastate commerce. The federal government has no constitutional grounds to regulate anything created, sold, and consumed within the bounds of a state. Hence why Prohibition required a constitutional amendment. If you're looking for precedent, there it is.
Of course that's what it is. That's what virtually everything the federal government does is.
As someone who lives in Seattle, it's fairly common at this point to walk past people downtown openly smoking pot on the street, without fear of arrest. I mean, the city even has a festival called Hempfest. Tourists may notice this and be shocked at the openness, but Seattle is not overrun by rampaging marijuana addicts, so what conclusion must they draw from it?
I noticed that alcohol is not listed in the controlled substance schedules. That seems like it would be a schedule I or II based on the definition and other drugs that are also on the list. Worse, you can die from an alcohol overdose, unlike cannabis. Why is this dangerous drug legal? Because people are conditioned to believe it is socially acceptable, and know that prohibition doesn't work. The same is now happening for cannabis.
This bit is just as interesting to me:
> Under the new guidelines, federal prosecutors are required to focus on eight enforcement priorities, including preventing marijuana distribution to minors, preventing drugged driving, stopping drug trafficking by gangs and cartels and forbidding the cultivation of marijuana on public lands.
The federal government's interference with state marijuana laws in recent years has not come via grand legal challenges to the laws themselves, but rather through continued and sometimes arbitrary harassment and arrest of medical marijuana providers across the country.
Hopefully this signals that the DEA will no longer go after producers and distributors who are complying with state laws, but instead leave it to the states to enforce their own laws.
My understanding is that legal growing for recreational use cannot begin until around the end of the year, so it will probably be a few months after that when the stores actually have goods to sell and can open.
They may not have bothered to cover that edge-case though, since it is probably only really going to be an issue once (I assume it would be perfectly on the level to sell "recreational pot" to people with prescriptions for "medical pot"... Growing plants specifically for medical use may stop being a thing.)
Then there's the current administration's attacks upon medical cannabis dispensaries in states where medical cannabis is legal.
Is this another example of "flip flopping?"
The second article is a little more interesting, but I'll repeat from my comment above, it is very difficult for the administration not to enforce federal laws, even when they may want to. I would be very worried about operating a dispensary until federal laws change, unless you are ok with going to jail as an act of civil disobedience because you believe the law is unjust.
Are you seriously trying to imply that an alleged pot dealer is more dangerous than an alleged murderess?
I agree that being held without bail seems bad. He does not sound particularly innocent, though, failing to file tax returns, haggling prices on the phone, acting as a dealer, etc.
He's at a crossroads for me, from my viewpoint, marijuana should be legalized, but religions should not be allow non-profit status.
So, yes, they should legalize marijuana.
It should not be ok to sell it to finance your life by being a 'church', or whatver he is, and not pay taxes.
Yes, get angry about no bail, but I don't think he's a poster boy for why marijuana should be legalized.
Who alleged she's a murderess? She may have allegedly killed her boyfriend, but murder implies malice aforethought, while the victim's "lengthy criminal record and history of domestic violence" paints a different picture.
Let's not use terms that aren't justified by the facts, please.
Semantics aside, killing is definitely more dangerous than selling pot
Please, let's just stick to the heart of the matter here.
We see numerous instances where killers, rapists, child molesters, etc, are granted bail, so why not a mid level pot dealer?
The big banks get caught laundering billions of dollars in cartel drug money yet not one bank employee ever saw the inside of a federal detention center, much less held without bail for over 3 years!
All the more insulting when sending kids and innocent people to jail for simple cannabis use in other areas.