Can it really be true the War on Drugs is ending? OMG, Obama can quit now and go on vacation. That's enough of a legacy. [btw, that means no bombing Syria either!]
so, if states can do cannabis legalisation (against federal law) can they also re-introduce segregation/abortion bans/etc. (against federal law)?

i'm pro-cannabis and anti the others, but it does beg the question - if state rights are states rights then what can/should the feds enforce? selectively enforcing federal law is gonna raise eyebrows. . .
Umm -- not such a big deal. This is at the whim of the Attorney General, and is a direction to the local US attorneys. It is not the law. It can be changed any time they Attorney General feels like it. It can be ignored by the US attorneys. You still can't get a bank account if you say you're dealing pot. And, if you are arrested and tried for abiding by this guidance, you will not be able to bring that up at your trial.

We need legalization on a national level, or at least a law from Congress saying that the feds will only have power over interstate movement of pot. Until then, you are playing with you life.

After all, if they really meant it, Obama would release all the legal dealers in medical pot. But he won't. So, until then, I'm not holding my breath.
@2 the legality of abortion and the illegality of segregation are not the result of federal statutes, they are the result of the Constitution. The Constitution does not prohibit cannabis legalization.
@3 All or nothing, huh? Keep that ideological purity! Everyone knows that political progress is made in swift and immediate bursts, right?
Wow. Some good news for a change.
Obama is crafty. Andrew Sullivan is right watching Obama is like watching Road Runner cartoons. I wonder if the Republicans will figure out what he just did. Meep Meep.

thanks. good point, but there is still a now established wiggle room on non-constitutional issues here, right - be they for the public good or public harm. just waiting to see what texas does with this kind of federal hands-offed-ness. . .
Yea because Obama and Holder are not filthy scum liars or anything.

Obama has waged the biggest war against medical marijuana of any president, which was the opposite of what he had promised

In May 2008, Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that Obama would end DEA raids on medical marijuana in states where it’s legal. Also in 2008, Obama said that he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs” and that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.”

However, in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana grower in Highlands Ranch in Colorado, a state where medical marijuana is legal. Also in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Culver City in California, a state where medical marijuana is legal. In July 2010, the DEA raided at least four medical marijuana growers in San Diego, California. Also in July 2010, the DEA raided a medical marijuana facility in Covelo, California. Then in September 2010, the DEA conducted raids on at least five medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, where medical marijuana is legal. In 2011, the DEA conducted raids on medical marijuana in Seattle, Washington, West Hollywood, California, and Helena, Montana, all places where it is legal. In April 2012, the DEA carried out several raids on medical marijuana in Oakland, California.

In February 2012, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Obama’s war against medical marijuana went “far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.” In April 2012, Mother Jones magazine wrote: “The president campaigned on the promise that he’d stop federal raids on medical marijuana operations that were in compliance with state laws, a vow that Attorney General Eric Holder repeated after the election. But then the Obama administration raided more than 100 dispensaries in its first three years and is now poised to outpace the Bush administration’s crackdown record.” In May 2012, the Washington Post wrote: “Obama has become more hostile to medical marijuana patients than any president in U.S. history.” In May 2012, U.S. Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said she had “strong concerns” about Obama’s forced closure of five medical marijuana facilities in Pelosi’s congressional district. In April 2012, commenting on Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said, “I’m very disappointed… They look more like the Bush administration than the Clinton administration.”

In July 2012, federal prosecutors filed civil forfeiture actions against Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, CA, which claims to be the world’s largest, and which claims to serve more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients. In April 2012, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, an educational institution in Oakland, CA, which teaches people about medical marijuana. In April 2012, federal agents raided a medical marijuana facility which had been serving 1,500 patients near Lake Elsinore, CA. In June 2012, the Obama administration filed asset-forfeiture lawsuits against two landlords who rented their buildings to medical marijuana stores in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The Obama administration also sent warning letters which threatened similar legal action to dozens of other, nearby landlords. During the first seven months of 2012, the DEA shut down40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, all of which had been operating in compliance with state and local law.

In July 2013, the DEA conducted multiple medical marijuana raids in Washington state, including the cities of Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle.

In May 2012, ABC News reported that during Obama’s youth, he often smoked large quantities of recreational marijuana. Obama’s marijuana smoking wasn’t even medical – it was recreational. And yet now, he is taking large scale, widespread action to prevent people with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other illnesses, who have prescriptions from their doctors, from using their prescription medicine – how cold hearted can a person be?
Agreed, this is a huge shift and not just here in the US. It has international ramifications as well. At the last round of meetings of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (in March) the head of the International Narcotics Control Board was apoplectic at the votes in WA and CO and the possibility the US govt might let them go forward.

Thanks to you Dominic for the role that you played in this as an activist and reporter.

Side thought: wondering if today's announcement and the recent departure of Gil Kerlikowske as head of ONDCP are connected. His move over to customs really has to be seen as a demotion.
So Dom, are you going to call the mayors of municipalites like the tri-cities, Bellingham and Olympia and ask them if they're going to drop their moaratoriums since Federal reprisal is no longer an issue?
it only takes 1 crack in the dike.
Holder for President 2016. He's been out front on so many issues (this is important but probably the least of them).
Only they can still bust you. This changes NOTHING.
Yea issues like domestic spying, violating civil rights and selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

@16 Yep all Executive branch actions that a functioning legislative branch should be pulling back against.

Yes I have problems with all of those things. I also have listened to Obama's speeches, unlike Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and Nixon, Obama has said, much as FDR said, "yes I agree with you, now go out there and make me stop".

It is a harsh sleet wind to face but if the Executive branch has a power the President is going to have access to it. Even if they believe they shouldn't have that power. Those agencies are going to produce product and a President can't just turn them off.
This also means that national drug policy will pretty much have to be discussed in a meaningful way in the context of presidential politics, I.e., "if elected, will you continue your predecessor's policy of non-interference in states where marijuana is legal?" Given the way opinion polls have trended nationally, this is probably a very good thing.

That wasn't even an issue in the election we just had, when state level legalization was imminent.
So what happens legal first does everyone think?

Marriage equality at the federal level?

Or marijuana legalization at the federal level?

Or perhaps a better phrasing, which one is your old grandma less afraid of? The demon weed, or those demonic gays?
Seems we have heard that song before.... We'll see.
Where the heck did this come from? Less sensationalism makes you a more reputable source of news: "states decriminalizing hard drugs, cities opening safe-injection sites"
Is this going to affect the problem with the banking situation? My understanding is that a lot of banks/credit unions won't do business with individuals/companies that deal with marijuana. I'd be interested to see if this announcement from the AG might sway some of the local banks to shift positions on that.
How is discussing decriminalizing hard drugs and safe injection sites sensationalist?
For people who believe the feds are giving in to pot legalization in Wash. & Colo. remember this part of the conversation, "The weightiest of those conditions are: preventing pot from leaking outside state borders, not allowing unregulated cannabis commerce, and banning access for minors." My guess is that they won't be able to prevent it from leaking outside state borders and use that as the excuse to step in with the DEA and confiscate massive amounts of money and product!!

Please wait...

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