Not So Fast, Tokers, Jokers, and Midnight Smokers

This story is sad in a number of ways:

Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations.

Even as marijuana legalization supporters are celebrating their victories in the two states, the Obama administration has been holding high-level meetings since the election to debate the response of federal law enforcement agencies to the decriminalization efforts.

Marijuana use in both states continues to be illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. One option is to sue the states on the grounds that any effort to regulate marijuana is pre-empted by federal law. Should the Justice Department prevail, it would raise the possibility of striking down the entire initiatives on the theory that voters would not have approved legalizing the drug without tight regulations and licensing similar to controls on hard alcohol.

Some law enforcement officials, alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly, are said to be pushing for a stern response. But such a response would raise political complications for President Obama because marijuana legalization is popular among liberal Democrats who just turned out to re-elect him.

“It’s a sticky wicket for Obama,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, saying any aggressive move on such a high-profile question would be seen as “a slap in the face to his base right after they’ve just handed him a chance to realize his presidential dreams.”

First, a heavy-handed response from the Administration would just infuriate me. But what makes me even angrier is this news story, which serves as yet another sign of our failed media experiment. If you look at the part of the snippet I have bolded, you’ll see that they have even managed to turn this issue into a political horse-race story. It’s all about the politics and the optics.

Noticeably absent from the discussion is the morality of locking up millions of Americans for using a harmless weed. No mention of the overcrowding in prisons or the wasted lives our laws have created. Also conspicuously absent is any discussion of the billions we have wasted on the drug war while having ZERO success stopping people from using drugs. Also missing, any analysis of the positive effects of marijuana use for certain medical conditions. No mention of the millions of people who spoke at the ballot box. No discussion of how criminalization of marijuana is the root cause in the rise of violence associated with drug gangs.

Good grief, our war on the harmless weed has failed so spectacularly that D.A.R.E., the most propagandistic organization this side of Fox News, has decided to stop preaching the evils of the sweet leaf to school kids. It turns out that when you lie your ass off to a bunch of kids that if they take one toke of pot they will jump out of windows and go into a pcp-induced mania, it piques their curiosity and then takes exactly one kid getting high and telling his friends you are full of shit. Hoocoodanode?

Just depressing.

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282 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Hoocoodanode?

    You’re right of course. It’s not like the public has been signaling for years now this was a deeper issue. I wonder who’s now laughing off the question during an open conference call?

  2. 2
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m not arguing with you about the wisdom of Federal laws regarding doobage. So let’s get that off the table right now.

    The bigger, more important issue is that there’s this thing in the Constitution called the Supremacy Clause. The short verson of which is that we are one country, and when Congress legislates on a topic that is within its Article I powers, that Federal law trumps any inconsistent state law.

    If you want to go back to the Articles of Confederation, or if you want to make common cause with teabaggers who mistakenly think the Tenth Amendment trumps everything else in the Constitution, that’s fine. We can have that conversation. But in that context, dope is a funny choice for a hill to die on.

  3. 3
    Superking says:

    I’m not a fan of the framing here that legalization supporters are “Obama’s base,” as if Democrats are just a bunch of pot smoking hippies.

  4. 4
    the Conster says:

    @Superking:

    Pot legalization in Colorado got way more votes than Obama got.

    ETA: Also, that Ask a Mexican feature on the OC news website is very helpful.

  5. 5
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    For once I agree with Burns. I’m still in favor of the Administration doing nothing, but there are also deeper issues of federalism to consider.

  6. 6
    Spectre says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It’s not about “dope”. It’s about the real human cost of jailing people over weed, of wasting resources, and of further keeping the market in the hands of violent drug cartels.

    As for supremacy, it’s not a question of Obama acting unconstitutionally, so much as it’s a question of a terrible decision to enforce a bad policy.

  7. 7
    Schlemizel says:

    @burnspbesq:

    So you are OK with Obama telling officials to ignore immigration law but his hands are tied on dope because of the Supremacy clause?

    Its been nearly 40 years since I last smoked dope so its safe to say I don’t see this issue as personal. But really, like immigration and gays in the military or getting married, the nation has moved beyond the place the laws would have us. Obama can continue to sit on the lid of progress until he is blown off or he can let WA and CO run their little experiment and see how it turns out.

    This is a Dem issue because, generally Dems want the government to do as little harm to individuals as possible. Dope laws do a lot more harm than good therefore Dems generally would like to see them do something different. Nobody forced President O into this position he stepped ‘up’ and into it himself.

  8. 8
    SatanicPanic says:

    @burnspbesq: This. These should be little more than symbolic votes until something gets passed nationally. Sucks, but then if some state tries to opt out of Obamacare, what would we have the feds do?

  9. 9
    Marty says:

    Pot legalization has been just one big joke in the media, with not much difference in the way it is covered by ABC or CNN versus The Onion.

    I am unfortunately deeply skeptical about medical marijuana, but that doesn’t mean I think a kid should get a criminal record because he smoked a joint.

  10. 10
    campionrules says:

    Sorry, while I don’t agree with the Feds stand on legalized marijuana I refuse to adopt an anti-supremecy clause attitude just because I don’t like the particular law.

    This needs to be addressed on a federal level and I’m not going to whine about ‘states rights’ when I feel it suits me.

    Not that I’m implying that this is what you’re doing here John – just that this seems to be a feeling in a particular area of the Left.

  11. 11
    Dan says:

    With the stroke of a pen, the President can make this issue go away. Do it Mr President, we have more important things to focus on. The earlier you do this, the less it will be in the minds of people four years from now.

  12. 12
    Snowwy says:

    Yeah because that was a *terrible* choice for states to fight alcohol prohibition way back when.

    Gods, the complete rejection of the historical parallel case just boggles me.

  13. 13
    Jewish Steel says:

    @burnspbesq: I see the wisdom of this. Next we have miscegenation laws coming back on the books in AL.

    But if the Justice Dept revise its thinking on DOMA, why can’t it do the same with weed? Aren’t there any number of laws on the books that the JD just ignores?

    Is allowing precedent the only consideration here?

  14. 14
    Citizen Alan says:

    The thing that exasperates me most about this is the hypocrisy of it all. Obama has admitted to past drug use in college, as did Clinton before him (Bush, of course, lied like a rug about his drug use which was well known). For all the good that he has achieved, Barack Obama would NEVER have become President or even a Senator if he the guy he got cocaine from had been a narc and had busted him for possession. My heart breaks at the thought of all the people who could have gone on to achieve greatness if only a single youthful indiscretion hadn’t destroyed their lives due to our idiotic drug policy.

  15. 15
    Spectre says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Absolute nonsense. This is not an administration that has shown absolutist commitment to upholding every law congress has passed.

    Any action taken here cannot be defended on such grounds.

  16. 16
    japa21 says:

    Mixed feelings on this.

    First is that I am glad they are debating how to respond. It means they are avoiding a knee-jerk reaction. This a matter of significance as burnspbesq points out.

    The article, however, is basically a way of just riling folks up. Obviously nothing has been decided and there are probably several options being decided.

    One I heard of is that the Feds would only enforce the law in those states where MJ is now legal when the violation takes place on Federal property. This actually isn’t a bad compromise.

    OTOH, it is definitely possible that a legal action may be taken just to clear the air. Where does the Federal government supersede the state governments in cases such as these.
    \
    Doing nothing can create a precedent to allow states to do other things that would run counter to Federal law that may not be looked favorably on by a lot of people here.

    This is not an issue that has a simple solution. The decisions made can have significant impacts down the road, no matter what is done.

    Of course, the easiest solution would be to start by removing MJ from the banned substance list in Federal law.

  17. 17
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @burnspbesq:

    But in that context, dope is a funny choice for a hill to die on.

    To me, the context is not the supremacy of Federal law. The context is that this administration’s DOJ can choose to take no action what so ever against those states and the Supremacy Clause will suffer little injury thereby.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    @Schlemizel:

    So you are OK with Obama telling officials to ignore immigration law but his hands are tied on dope because of the Supremacy clause?

    False dichotomy. Making hard decisions about where to spend finite law enforcement resources is why we pay Obama and Holder the big bucks. If you think they’re making the wrong call, let them know your feelings.

    the nation has moved beyond the place the laws would have us

    I’m not quite as sure as you are that that’s true, but regardless, what Satanic said. If you want the laws about dope changed, the place to do it is Congress.

  19. 19
    Joel says:

    @burnspbesq: This is correct. Obama doesn’t have that much say in this, unless 1) congress takes the lead and scales back the federal restrictions or 2) even more states challenge federal supremacy on this issue. He’s basically trying to play it politically safe, here, and I don’t blame him. The DEA isn’t going to start busting small time dealers on the streets of Denver and Seattle unless they secure a huge bump in funding, so the main benefits of the laws (reduce the incarceration rates for minor offenders) are going to be realized all the same.

  20. 20
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    If you want to hand the Confederate States the ability to ignore federal laws they don’t like – oh, like voting rights laws to take just one example – then by all means pretend like the votes in Colorado and Washington mean anything more significant than a protest.

    There’s a right and a wrong way to go about this shit. “Medical Marijuana” and the Colorado/Washington votes are the wrong way. The law against marijuana (and just so I leave no doubt about where I stand on the subject, I think criminalization of marijuana is not just wrong but utterly insane, period, no ifs ands or buts) is a federal law and solving “the problem” is something that must be undertaken at the federal level.

    But, you say, the red states will never allow it!

    Well, now you know how they feel about voting rights laws.

    Maybe we can hash something out.

  21. 21
    Peter says:

    Here’s what I think is behind their thinking on this: suppose Taft-Hartley is amended to make right-to-work illegal nationwide (work with me here, it’s a hypothetical). Inaction on this could encourage states to defy that Federal law, too. Or, say, a state decides that Federal contractors don’t have to pay Davis-Bacon wages, inadequate though they often are?

    There are differences, of course, but they have to be thinking of other attempts at nullification down the road.

    I hope that they thread the needle by appealing to prosecutorial discretion, along the lines of the DREAM Act order. I think that this would preserve federal supremacy while not endangering Federal power. But they do need to think carefully about their response.

  22. 22
    Joel says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: How are referenda the “wrong way” to go about pot legalization? With these referenda, the state government can effectively cease all prosecution of minor “pot offenders” from the state attorney general on down. That’s a big win. I don’t think the feds are going to step in to “fill the void” either.

  23. 23
    some guy says:

    remind me again why it was OK for the states to legalize gay marriage when DOMA was in effect, but 502 is unconstitutional?

  24. 24
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Didn’t Bush do some selective ignoring of Civil Rights enforcement?

  25. 25
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: But I do think these laws have value in terms of building support for a national solution. Politicians are herd animals.

  26. 26
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @some guy: Because DOMA didn’t prevent the states from recognizing gay marriage. It just prevented the federal government from recognizing it.

    ETA: It was specifically designed to only apply to the federal government.

  27. 27
    Zifnab25 says:

    Noticeably absent from the discussion is the morality of locking up millions of Americans for using a harmless weed. No mention of the overcrowding in prisons or the wasted lives our laws have created. Also conspicuously absent is any discussion of the billions we have wasted on the drug war while having ZERO success stopping people from using drugs. Also missing, any analysis of the positive effects of marijuana use for certain medical conditions. No mention of the millions of people who spoke at the ballot box.

    Yeah, I absolutely don’t get what the DoJ or the DEA would expect the end-game to be here? Are states that just legalized bud and are as-we-speak nixing all that anti-drug police funding from their budgets expected to… continue enforcing a non-existent state law? Does Obama plan to requisition several hundred million dollars per state to send in swarms of federal officers to police and prosecute in lieu of state inaction?

    It’s like the old philosophical question: “What if a (Drug) War was declared and no one showed?” Other than inviting anarchy by knee-capping the whole “regulate and tax” provisions of the new state laws, and handing libertarian-minded Republicans a fantastic issue to campaign on in 2014, what could Obama possibly hope to accomplish here? The state has clearly made its intentions apparent on the willingness to enforce this particular law.

  28. 28
    Joel says:

    @some guy: Because there are no criminal penalties outlined for non-DOMA sanctioned marriages?

  29. 29
    burnspbesq says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Maybe we can hash something out.

    I saw what you did there.

  30. 30

    What bullshit that bolded paragraph is. Here’s Radley Balko serving up his own brand of crap yesterday (emphasis mine):

    But there were also all of these progressive pundits who kept telling drug war reformers that they should go ahead and vote for Obama anyway . . . because they just knew, or at least they were pretty sure, or at least they had heard rumors, that maybe, possibly, Obama would turn the corner and show some leadership.

    Look, motherfucker. Suggesting that drug policy is a make-or-break point on whether to vote for Obama is a complete fallacy. Are you suggesting that a Romney administration would have gone easier on drugs? Or were you deciding between Obama and Gary Johnson? Either way, what nonsense.

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    As wickets go, this is as sticky as they come. I too believe the feds should adopt a mitts-off policy WRT states’ medical and now, recreational [that the right term?] statutes and further, should reschedule it at the federal level.

    There remain very big problems with cultivation on federal lands (quite serious in California, and I’m sure elsewhere) and the whole cartel trafficking thing, which still require enforcement. How to fight these macro issues and not bother with the micro issues? I’m guessing it’s damn complicated.

  32. 32
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I am speechless that you would draw that comparison between marijuana criminalization and voting rights laws! The purpose, the real, honest-to-god PURPOSE of our drug laws is to provide a mechanism to use drug use as a pretext to strip minorities of their constitutional rights, including the right to vote. I would venture to guess that the number of people of color who were prevented from voting last November by GOP voter suppression efforts is DWARFED by the number of minority voters who don’t even have the RIGHT to vote because thirty years ago they pleaded guilty on a minor drug charge! Marijuana laws have ALWAYS been a means to suppress minorities. Why do you think we refer to cannabis as “marijuana” except as a way to associate it with “dirty Mexicans”?

  33. 33
    Cargo says:

    I’m just sick of the media snorting and chuckling over this like a bunch of 12 year olds. If I hear one more reference to “munchies” or “maui wowie” or buzzkills or harshing mellows or 420 I am just fucking done. Did they cover Prohibition with nothing but guffaws about bending the elbow and tipsiness?

  34. 34
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    I really have a hard time seeing where the Feds can say to a state “you MUST have a law to prohibit this!” The lack of a state law does not invalidate the Federal law; but it’s up to the Feds to enforce Federal law, not the states.

    Now, putting pressure on the state, sure…pull their highway funds if they don’t enforce DUI laws, okay, but according to Scalia & Co (re: ACA and expanding Medicaid) states now have more flexibility in rejecting Fed pressure while keeping existing funding streams.

    The fun part will be when Federal Courts, law enforcement, and prisons, all of which is geared towards fewer, more serious offenses, get hit an influx of very low-level offenders. Fed. judges have very little tolerance for having their time wasted.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    @Cris (without an H):
    Willard would have totally gone for legalization of pot, instead focusing on the evil that is coffee!

  36. 36
    japa21 says:

    @some guy: DOMA was not a Federal law banning same sex marriage.

    Those that say Obama can just order the Feds not to enforce miss the same thing they missed with DADT. If he does so, it only matters while he is President. There is no actual change in the law and the next President can undo it, possibly with more significnat damge.

    The law of unintended consequences needs to be taken into account. This is not a clear cut issue.

  37. 37
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Didn’t Bush do some selective ignoring of Civil Rights enforcement?

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Exactly my point. Obama and Holder may choose to ignore pot laws entirely. Fine by me, I think that would be great.

    Then President 2016 comes in and decides that the most important issue on his/her plate, no matter what, is to bust every pot user in the United States.

    There’s nothing to stop that, and if President 2016 is a Republican you could very well get that. Stop pretending that any other solution save a federal one is in any way a solution. It isn’t.

  38. 38
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    How do we push Congress to repeal the drug laws?

  39. 39
    Tractarian says:

    Being a card-carrying Obot, I usually defend the president on everything, but if the DOJ cracks down on pot users in CO and WA, I will be sorely disappointed.

    There’s no reason – political or legal – that the Feds can’t direct resources to more pressing concerns than marijuana use.

    No legal reason, because the DOJ has discretion as to where to spend its resources.

    No political reason, because there are exactly 0 voters who both (1) are clamoring for a strong federal response to the CO and WA laws, and (2) might possibly vote for a Democrat at any level, ever.

  40. 40
    trollhattan says:

    @Cargo:

    They simply can’t help themselves, can they? At least it gets Peter Tosh’s heirs a lot of royalty checks.

  41. 41
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Spectre:

    DEA was raiding in California for quite some time, that is, to just before 2012. They continued to put pressure on the locals to close dispensaries, below the radar.

    Now that he’s in the catbird seat, all those practical considerations have been forgotten.

  42. 42
    Tonal Crow says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The bigger, more important issue is that there’s this thing in the Constitution called the Supremacy Clause. The short verson of which is that we are one country, and when Congress legislates on a topic that is within its Article I powers, that Federal law trumps any inconsistent state law.

    Federal legislation that conflicts with state legislation does not automatically pre-empt it. To pre-empt, the federal legislation must:

    1. Be supported by an enumerated power of Congress; and
    2. Not contravene any negative right, such as the 10th Amendment’s reservation of powers to the states and the people, the 9th Amendment’s reservation of unenumerated rights of the people, etc.

    While the Court has upheld the prosecution of a person for growing a plant in her own backyard as being supported by the Commerce Clause and not contravening any negative right, I think the time has come to re-examine that doctrine. If the decision to purchase health care via insurance (or not) — a clear interstate market activity — isn’t regulable under the Commerce Clause (ACA decision), why is backyard pot-growing? Because hippies like it and say so, and prudes like it but won’t admit it because hippies like it?

  43. 43
    Lee says:

    Of course the NYT seems to have disabled comments on this article.

  44. 44
    Tractarian says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Stop pretending that any other solution save a federal one is in any way a solution. It isn’t.

    Pretty sure no one is saying that non-enforcement is a solution for anything more than the next four years.

    You’ve got to admit, though, it would be nice if the Administration committed to non-enforcement while we wait (and wait and wait) for Congress to get off its a$$ and amend CSA to remove cannabis from Schedule I.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    The purpose, the real, honest-to-god PURPOSE of our drug laws is to provide a mechanism to use drug use as a pretext to strip minorities of their constitutional rights, including the right to vote.

    Say what, now?

    Where do you come up with this stuff?

  46. 46
    Smartypants says:

    Tim Dickinson has a much better summary of all this at The Rolling Stone.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    If the decision to purchase health care via insurance (or not)—a clear interstate market activity—isn’t regulable under the Commerce Clause (ACA decision), why is backyard pot-growing?

    Now, wait a sec. You’re defending Roberts’ Commerce Clause analysis? Seriously? If you’re throwing in with Randy Barnett, then dope makes even stranger bedfellows than politics in genera./

  48. 48
    Pathman says:

    This was entirely predictable. Why the fuck would anyone be shocked by this response?

  49. 49
    Spectre says:

    The logic by Obama partisans is remarkable.

    “HE HAS TO ENFORCE THIS!!! OTHERWISE HE CAN ENFORCE NOTHING!1111”

    No. Obviously either extreme is bad. You can…wait for it…simply not go after these states, yet continue to use your resources to enforce the the remaining body of Federal law.

  50. 50
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @Citizen Alan: Comfy on your fainting couch?

    Don’t like my comparison then pick one of your own. Voting rights, pollution laws, minimum wage, whatever. Let’s take minimum wage since you’re so offended by my use of voting rights.

    If you insist that a state has the right to ignore a federal law, you’ve just opened the door for black Wal-Mart employees in Mississippi to get paid $1.50 per hour, while their white managers make ten times that. Congratulations. Let’s add some staircases to those stores to make sure those unpleasant wheelchair people can’t get in. ADA, you say? Wal-Mart says fuck that federal shit!

    Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how this mindset could go horribly to shit. Apparently you’re unwilling to even try to think it through.

  51. 51
    Cassidy says:

    Why does anyone think the DOJ is gonna start cracking down on pot users? Is this something they’ve been doing? Sure, state and local cops love targeting them some minorities and arresting them on drug charges, but I was unaware that the DEA was harassing people for a dimebag.

  52. 52
    Lawnguylander says:

    There’s a lot of reasons that you listed for why legalizing pot is the sane and moral thing to do, its nonexistent harmlessness is not one of them. You can realize and acknowledge that it’s a mind altering, potentially addictive drug and still win the argument. In fact, be in a better position to win the argument because you’re not fighting on the wrong ground and not sounding like a bullshitter. A comparison to alcohol makes sense because then you can move on to people should be able to do whatever the fuck they want to harm themselves if they’re not fucking with others. And if they do fuck themselves up, we treat them not lock them up. Because it’s humane and practical. A large majority of voters will get behind that kind of view if all the Nancy Reagan vs. Wavy Gravy bullshit can be left behind.

  53. 53
    Jennifer says:

    Agreed on most points, but:

    …criminalization of marijuana is the root cause in the rise of violence associated with drug gangs.

    …is pretty much a bullshit argument. For the most part, “drug gangs” and certainly the organized cartels south of the border don’t make their scratch from pot. They deal more with cocaine, heroin, and meth. You know, truly dangerous drugs that share Schedule 1 felony status with marijuana.

    That’s the real issue here: the ridiculousness of classifying pot in the same category with heroin, cocaine, meth, and other addiction-causing and truly dangerous drugs. If the Obama administration wants to address the marijuana “issue” in some way, the place to start is by removing it from Schedule 1. It never belonged there in the first place.

    Glad to hear that DARE has given up on preaching to the kids about pot as a “gateway drug.” That shit was so ridiculous that when my niece was in junior high school, I just flat out had to tell her, “look, the cops are going to come to school and give you a lecture about how drugs are bad and will ruin your life, and they’re going to tell you that if you ever try pot you’re going to end up as a heroin junkie. And then you’re going to have some friends who smoke pot and still manage not only to not become heroin addicts, but who will also continue to manage to come to school, on time even, and perhaps make straight A’s. So, when they tell you how pot will destroy you, yes, that’s bullshit. It doesn’t mean it’s a GOOD idea to go around smoking dope, because it does make a lot of people really stupid, and it is illegal and can get you into trouble. But what you most need to know is: just because you know they’re full of shit when they tell you how smoking pot will destroy your life, it doesn’t mean that everything ELSE they tell you is full of shit. YES, cocaine will fuck up your life; so will meth and heroin. STAY AWAY from that shit – it’s bad news. They aren’t bullshitting when they tell you it is.”

    Several years later, after her parents had caught her smoking dope a couple of times, I reminded her about our talk, and told her “remember how I said that you’ll know some people that can smoke pot regularly and it doesn’t have any bad effect on their lives, because for whatever reason they can handle it? Well, you’re not one of those people. If you were, you wouldn’t have gotten caught twice already. So, you’d be better off to just STOP DOING IT.”

    Sheesh. All this over a little ol’ weed.

  54. 54
    Turgidson says:

    I have the same Supremacy Clause concerns as others raised, as well as the “pot being illegal is fucking stupid in the first place” thoughts.

    I’m basically hoping the DOJ will kick up a lot of sand in public (like this article) about how weed is still illegal under Federal law for appearances’ sake, then just kinda…not do anything about it. In effect, do what Seattle did before this law passed – instruct the police to put pot possession as their lowest enforcement priority.

  55. 55
    Spectre says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Which part of not going after weed smokers in these states would prohibit Obama from stopping your hypothetical?

  56. 56
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    The thing that exasperates me most about this is the hypocrisy of it all. Obama has admitted to past drug use in college, as did Clinton before him (Bush, of course, lied like a rug about his drug use which was well known). For all the good that he has achieved, Barack Obama would NEVER have become President or even a Senator if he the guy he got cocaine from had been a narc and had busted him for possession. My heart breaks at the thought of all the people who could have gone on to achieve greatness if only a single youthful indiscretion hadn’t destroyed their lives due to our idiotic drug policy.

    This, this, one million times this.

  57. 57
    Spectre says:

    Also worth examining is how in the Obot “mind”, the argument never changes:

    “WE MUST SUPPORT OBAMA’S CRACK DOWN ON WEED SMOKERS OR ELSE THE RACIST REPUBLICANS WILL WIN!!”

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    Bunch of fucking firebaggers. Listen, how do you expect President Obama to get re-elected in 2016 if he gives the appearance his admin is being soft on this devil weed?
    Purity trolls, all of you.

  59. 59
    cermet says:

    Once more I lost sight of this countries’ greatest threat – not Saudi terrorist or even repug-a-thugs but the police – both fed and local; no one benifits from the police State like the real thugs – cops. These asswipes are determined to destory all our freedom in the name of profits for their vast police empire and forces that serve only the 1%. These real criminals of our country put vast numbers of non-crimnals behind bars enforcing fake drug laws. These animals are the greatest threat and worse, many right wingers knew this, too and tried to warn all of us but we often ignored them.

    So, besides fighting the 1%, we should vote funds away from these dangerous thugs and see to it that they are controlled by the people for the people – not their own perverted money hungry power mad selves or their true masters, the 1%.

  60. 60
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Joel:

    The DEA isn’t going to start busting small time dealers on the streets of Denver and Seattle unless they secure a huge bump in funding

    Another argument for going over the “fiscal cliff”: cuts in DEA funding.

  61. 61
    Persia says:

    @Corner Stone: There have actually been multiple studies over the past 20 years discrediting DARE and other similar tactics that don’t work. People just…still keep doing it. The wrecked car out in front of the school? Doesn’t work. I bet there was one out at prom season in front of at least one school in every state in the Union. It’s about putting faith in front of science – this is just non-religious faith.

  62. 62
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre: Again, what’s this chicken little shit about the DEA going after pot smokers? Is there some new radical plan to eliminate drug use by taking out the consumers?

  63. 63

    @Spectre: Jesus that’s disingenuous

  64. 64
    hueyplong says:

    It seems like the most reasonable path is for the administraton to decline to allocate its limited resources to enforcement of federal drug laws related to marijuana in the states that recently passed legislation. [We ought to be able to agree that this decision would in no way implicate Supremacy Clause concerns, to the extent that “concern” in this case isn’t of the troll variety.]

    Then the administration sits back and watches what happens in those states. Exactly as will the politicians and populace in those states.

    If it goes “well” from our POV, then that is the time to go to Congress with supporting stats and policy arguments and attempt to get federal legislation passed that amends drug laws to exclude marijuana from the list of controlled substances.

    If it goes very, very poorly, see why and then decide if we want to rethink the idea of marijuana being as harmless as we say. [I don’t see it playing out that way, but refusing to consider the possibility of inconvenient fact patterns is a decent part of why GOPers are execrable people.]

    Vigorous federal prosectution in the affected states in the short term doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I might go so far as to call it stupid.

  65. 65
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Climb down off the preznit’s nuts. He just doesn’t want some poor kid growing up to be like him.

  66. 66
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    What’s this clueless shit where you don’t read?

    The federal government is considering actions to get the ENTIRE INITIATIVES revoked. Forcing states to enforce their old drug policies.

  67. 67
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Joel:

    The DEA isn’t going to start busting small time dealers on the streets of Denver and Seattle

    Especially if those two states withdraw their police cooperation with the DEA. There’s precedent for this happening in other states, basically the cops say “we have to follow state law, you’re on your own”.

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre: Two times, that I’ve counted, you have associated Obama and cracking down on weed smokers. So, I want you to point me to the relevant information that would suggest that the Federal Government, specifically, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is starting to go after pot smokers.

  69. 69
    Tonal Crow says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Now, wait a sec. You’re defending Roberts’ Commerce Clause analysis? Seriously? If you’re throwing in with Randy Barnett, then dope makes even stranger bedfellows than politics in genera./

    Well, Roberts/Scalia/Thomas/Alito/Kennedy all concluded that the decision of how to buy healthcare was not regulable under the Commerce Clause, so that’s the law now. If that’s not regulable, why is growing pot in one’s backyard?

  70. 70
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Don’t forget asset acquisition…….one of the prime motivators; the hidden tax.

  71. 71
    Spectre says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    It’s the exact argument being given by the usual Obama apologists. Apparently if he doesn’t make better use of his resources than cracking down on voter-approved weed, the Republicans will be able to enact evil masterplans to re-institute slavery.

  72. 72
    cermet says:

    @japa21: So DOMA can be enforced over any State (like MD) that passed full marriage by the vote of the people in the State … no; there is no slippy slope here unless the feds with the cop thugs try to override the will of the people in a State as voted by the people and for the people.

  73. 73
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    Are you slow or cynical?

  74. 74
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Cassidy:

    going after pot smokers

    They dry up the source. What don’t you understand about that.

    It’s like a bounty on buffalo hides. Indirect…get it?

  75. 75
    Tonal Crow says:

    @hueyplong: Well said.

  76. 76
    Schlemizel says:

    @burnspbesq:

    But instructing officials to ignore immigration laws is OK?

    Instead PBO says ‘make an effort to enforce laws that the majority of Americans don’t want enforced. He could have said nothing or he could have instructed them to spend those precious resources on higher priority issues

  77. 77
    General Stuck says:

    I can’t say pot smoking is harmless, cause it isn’t. But neither is it reefer madness. And this from a hippy that for years the only movie he could understand starred Cheech and Chong.

    As far as Obama fearing or owing the so called left anything what so ever, that makes me laugh out loud. It is another case of folks not understanding how the constitution works, as well as the mindless gears of the federal government, that really works for Congress, and not the president. The president can manage the human resources, but cannot safely choose which laws to enforce and which not to. If he or she decides to do such, like Obama did with DOMA, then it is crawling out on the high crimes and misdemeanor ledge. He had better have most of the optics and politics on his side.

    I think it is stupid to criminalize pot smoking, not to mention costly. But I know for a fact, as with alcohol, it is not harmless.

  78. 78
    lacp says:

    Sounds like it’s time to set up a bipartisan commission to study the legal implications….maybe give it, say, 5-6 years to report out….

  79. 79
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Spectre: No one is arguing he can’t enforce nothing. What’s being argued is what’s the difference between Obama not enforcing this federal law and a Republican not enforcing Civil Rights laws.

  80. 80
    Spectre says:

    @General Stuck:

    Obama cannot spare pot smokers, otherwise he will get impeached by the Democratic controlled Senate?

    Are you high?

  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @lacp:

    Sounds like it’s time to set up a bipartisan commission to study the legal implications

    I can’t think of anyone better suited to this task than a man named Bowles.

  82. 82
    ericblair says:

    @hueyplong:

    It seems like the most reasonable path is for the administraton to decline to allocate its limited resources to enforcement of federal drug laws related to marijuana in the states that recently passed legislation. [We ought to be able to agree that this decision would in no way implicate Supremacy Clause concerns, to the extent that “concern” in this case isn’t of the troll variety.]

    Could anybody here who stayed awake during their Con Law classes weigh in on how much forbearance the feds have with this sort of matter? The current federal laws suck, and the drug schedules are written into the law and can’t be changed unilaterally by the executive branch, and the possibility of the law being changed in the upcoming Congress is approximately fuck-all. But completely ignoring federal law wasn’t a real good thing when Dubya did it, either.

  83. 83
    Spectre says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Besides the fact that the other will never happen, I’ll cite the words of this guy:

    “Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Ben Franklin says:

    John;

    We have all agreed not to critique Obama until Inauguration…..please respect that procrastination for what it represents……our commitment.

  86. 86
    General Stuck says:

    @Spectre:

    Yes, I am high, on life. And the senate does not impeach anyone, the House of Reps does. Are you stupid? don’t answer that.

  87. 87
    lacp says:

    @Corner Stone: Now I’ll never be able to think of smoking a Bowle in the same way again.

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I can’t think of anyone better suited to this task than a man named Bowles.

    We should call our Congresspeople and demand they pass the Simpson-Bowles Marijuana Reduction Plan. Because it will magically and simultaneously alleviate the harmful effects of marijuana while increasing the amount of marijuana out there to unprecedented levels.

  89. 89
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre: No, I’m expecting you to explain how the DEA is suddenly going to change it’s decades long tactic of going after suppliers and supply chains and suddenly start going after people who smoke pot. So, I’ll be patient. I mean, there has got to be some basis in fact for your sudden chicken little routine, right? OBAMA IS COMING TO GETZ MY WEEDZ CUZ I SMOKE POT isn’t just some hysterical bit of emoprog cutting before a decision has even been reached, right?

  90. 90
    hueyplong says:

    ericblair: This is how I’d do it. I’d prosecute the coke, heroin, etc., dealers and if marijuana was involved too, that would be their tough luck for doing the “bad” stuff. Marijuana-only prosecutions simply wouldn’t happen, though you’d see federal convictions that involved mj counts.

    Then no one would know that marijuana, alone, was unofficially no longer illegal as a federal matter.

    And if a stink were raised, the answer would be that prosecutorial discretion called for taking on the most important cases first, blah, blah.

    In fact, you could do this while claiming that vigorous prosecution is in fact going forward, dammit.

    You know, like they’re actually saying right now.

  91. 91
    Spectre says:

    @General Stuck:

    So Obama cannot spare pot smokers, because the Democratic controlled Senate will find him guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors”?

    Crawl back under your bridge.

  92. 92
    Cassidy says:

    @Corner Stone: Right. Against the states and the laws they’ve passed. I get that. What’s this sudden asshattery about coming after pot smokers?

  93. 93
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    States go after the low level users. Thus, if the Federal government forces one of these states to revert back to the previous status quo, what do you think happens?

  94. 94
    shortstop says:

    @Cassidy:

    isn’t just some hysterical bit of emoprog cutting before a decision has even been reached, right?

    Weed-induced paranoia. It happens even to people who’ve heretofore avoided it.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cassidy: I…I…
    Shit, I have to admit it. Your question is so stunningly dense I can’t even come up with any snark as a reply.
    Nicely done.

  96. 96
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    First they came for the pot-Smokers, and I did not speak out– Because I was high, and every time I tried to speak, I got the giggles.

  97. 97
    Citizen Alan says:

    @burnspbesq:


    Although depriving people convicted of felonies of the right to vote has a long history, the modern laws in many states are rooted in racial discrimination. In these states, the laws were enacted after the Civil War and designed to deny the vote to African-Americans, and continue to have that effect today. More than five million American citizens are now denied the right to vote, including 13% of the African-American population, because of felony convictions. Black Americans are imprisoned at 39 times the rate of whites for non-violent drug offenses. In total, more than 60% of people in prison are racial and ethnic minorities, despite being only 28% of the U.S. population. Every state except Maine and Vermont prevents inmates from voting while in prison for a felony. Once released from prison, voter eligibility depends on the state a person votes in, with laws varying widely. Most states deprive parolees and probationers of the vote, and a few states permanently deny the right to vote to all ex-offenders. Ex-offenders in most states have to go through a wide variety of application processes, and some may never regain the right to vote.

    Our existing drug policy fails utterly at its supposed purpose and unquestionably has for decades. However, it has had the “unintended” effect of stripping millions of Americans (overwhelmingly people of color) of the right to vote, to run for public office, to sit on juries, and to have access to benefits ranging from subsidized student loans to welfare. Our drug policy was driven mainly by racist Democrats until the 60’s and has been driven mainly by racist Republicans since then. When a policy is obviously incapable of achieving its purported objective but succeeds marvelously at achieving an invidious purpose that is beneficial to the proponents but for which they don’t want to be blamed, I think I’m justified in my cynicism.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    This fucking mod filter’s been hitting the bong.
    FYWP

  99. 99
    djork says:

    @Jennifer: Sorry, but you’re 100% incorrect on your first point. The cartels still make tons of scritch from weed. It is, after all, the most poular recreational drug in the country. They’re even cultivating it on Federal lands now to avoid having to smuggle it over the borders.

    I will grant you that the heavy stuff is easier to smuggle and is more lucrative on a pound to pound basis. However, if you think the cartels are no longer making, at the least, hundreds of millions of dollars from the pot trade per year, you are mistaken.

    I’m at work so I can’t /won’t do any googling on the issue at the moment, so either trust me on thisor do some reading on your own. It is a huge market that they haven’t given up.

    That’s not to say the argument it will cut their profits isn’t flawed. I would imagine some would try to go legit in the industry, while others would continue just due to the large amounts of tax free revenue that can be made.

  100. 100
    General Stuck says:

    @Spectre:

    So Obama cannot spare pot smokers, because the Democratic controlled Senate will find him guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors”?

    Way to twist my words to cover up your ignorance. I said nothing about getting impeached or convicted in the senate for anything. All I said is any president that does not enforce, or execute the laws written by congress, puts him or her self out on a limb for those actions to become plausible/possible. And he better have the politics on his side. I don’t think any president has those politics on their side right now, with drug legalization.

    If you want to change the public opinion on pot or drug legalization, then agitate for it, through the democratic process. Not expecting a dem president to act against his oath to defend the constitution. But that is what firebaggers do. And why they are firebaggers to begin with,.

  101. 101
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Spectre: What sort of mechanism would the feds have to enforce this? Place quotas on the # of people the states arrest and tie that to funding? Are DEA agents going to descend on CO & WA? I just don’t see either of these happening. This isn’t school desegregation we’re talking about here.

  102. 102
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    I’m tired of the emo. The Republicans, Issa, for example would be writing up Articles of Impeachment if Obama allows the federal law to be broken.
    This is a stinker for Obama.

  103. 103
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    About the polling support for marijuana, I wonder if the pollsters asked “How would you feel about the law if your 14, 16, 18, 20 year old child came home with some?”

  104. 104
    Montysano says:

    I sure that someone up above already touched on this, but: we don’t lock up people because of our Grave Concern over pot smoking. In the USA, we imprison people because it’s good for business. The corporate corrections industry is an affront to the bedrock values upon which the USA was founded.

    On 60 Minutes last week, we learned that the corporate health care industry pressures doctors into admitting people to the hospital for no reason other than their bottom line.

    This is who we’ve become.

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @djork:

    I’m at work so I can’t /won’t do any googling on the issue at the moment

    No biggie. Your IT folks won’t mind. Just type in something innocuous like, “profits from grow lights in basement locations”. Could be anything, really.

  106. 106
    Zifnab25 says:

    @burnspbesq: http://www.newjimcrow.com/

    You’ll want this right here, I think.

    Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy. Cotton’s family tree tells the story of several generations of black men who were born in the United States but who were denied the most basic freedom that democracy promises—the freedom to vote for those who will make the rules and laws that govern one’s life. Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.

  107. 107
    wasabi gasp says:

    It’d also be nice if states would stop pussyfooting this issue with stuff like Washington’s one ounce limit. Stop feeding the danger fairy.

  108. 108
    ericblair says:

    @General Stuck:

    If you want to change the public opinion on pot or drug legalization, then agitate for it, through the democratic process. Not expecting a dem president to act against his oath to defend the constitution. But that is what firebaggers do. And why they are firebaggers to begin with.

    ‘If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.’ -Some presidentin guy, I forget which.

  109. 109
    rea says:

    One option is to sue the states on the grounds that any effort to regulate marijuana is pre-empted by federal law.

    Oh, surely they are not going to argue that!

    Look, the feds don’t have the resources to go after users or small-time dealers except in unusual circumstances. Preempt all state drug law, and drug enforcement becomes an exclusively federal task, and the net result is far less drug enforcement.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck:

    If you want to change the public opinion on pot or drug legalization, then agitate for it, through the democratic process.

    That is exactly what happened and is happening.

  111. 111
    Spectre says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Do you people even read the article?

    “Another potential avenue would be to cut off federal grants to the states unless their legislatures restored antimarijuana laws”

    “One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with”

    “Federal officials have relied on their more numerous state and local counterparts to handle smaller marijuana cases. In reviewing how to respond to the new gap, the interagency task force — which includes Justice Department headquarters, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the State Department and the offices of the White House Counsel and the director of National Drug Control Policy — is considering several strategies, officials said.”

    “Some law enforcement officials, alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly, are said to be pushing for a stern response.”

    Likewise, if your argument is that Obama’s action will change nothing, that they’ll force these states to repeal their laws, and continue to focus on their own enforcement, all while states turn a blind eye, then that’s stupid too.

  112. 112
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Zifnab25: Yes We Klan!

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    @Maude:

    The Republicans, Issa, for example would be writing up Articles of Impeachment if Obama allows the federal law to be broken.

    Everyone! Quick, assume a defensive crouch on a position the public is way out in front of! Quickly now!

  114. 114
    Spectre says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Probably the same as they would feel if their 14 year old came home with alcohol. Therefore let’s ban alcohol?

  115. 115
    Jennifer says:

    @djork: Sorry, gotta beg to differ. In fact, just a few days ago there was a guy on NPR, I think he may have been DEA, but he had done study on the impact of legalized pot on the cartels and the conclusion was that it would be rather minimal. For the reasons I already mentioned, but also for the reason that a good bit, perhaps most of the marijuana consumed in the country is grown here in the country. It’s not being imported, for the most part. So you don’t have South American or Mexican cartels mixed up in it.

  116. 116
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    OT – but David Frum’s twitter feed is a pretty good follow: @davidfrum: Senator Coburn questions whether DHS needs to prepare for zombie apocalypse. http://t.co/NfEzAxzp In the movie, he’d be the first guy eaten

  117. 117
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre: @Corner Stone: Ahhhh, so it’s the states…and not Obama and the DEA. So it is emoprog cutting. Got it.

  118. 118
    General Stuck says:

    @Maude:

    This is a stinker for Obama.

    Potheads rarely vote. Hell, when I was a doper, I usually had to ask what month it was. Sometimes what year. I did manage to show up to vote in presidential election years, but my friends had to drag me to the booth with promises of a party. That is an exaggeration, but not a big one.

  119. 119
    Spectre says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s truly remarkable isn’t it? Obama’s the one who is sending state agents to ensure weed smokers will continue to be jailed, yet he’s the one who’s at risk here LOL.

  120. 120
    Tonal Crow says:

    @General Stuck:

    If you want to change the public opinion on pot or drug legalization, then agitate for it, through the democratic process.

    You mean as by contributing to, arguing for, and voting for state legalization initiatives? Sounds “democratic” to me.

    Not expecting a dem president to act against his oath to defend the constitution.

    Oh, we can’t argue that the President should or should not do such-and-such? That’s not part of the “democratic process”? Or is it not part of the “democratic process” to hope that the President will see sense on laws that have destroyed millions of peoples’ lives?

  121. 121
    ericblair says:

    @Spectre:

    “Some law enforcement officials, alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly, are said to be pushing for a stern response.”

    So some reporter said that some unnamed lawn forcement dude said that some unnamed federal sources are brainstorming the available options for response, and you’re having an aneurysm? There’s some plant that you can smoke that will calm you down a bit; I’ll remember what it is in a minute.

    Meanwhile, you can go next door and hide into the basement next to the guy who’s worried about Obama grabbing all his guns.

  122. 122

    I’m not going to argue the immorality of jailing pot users or particularly the stupidity of Class I while cigarettes and alcohol are legal. But… this idea that politics invading the scene is unseemly is about fucking ludicrous. Pot is illegal thanks to the politics of that era (and plutocratic interests) and it is still illegal because of the politics around it. Cripes, if its illegality hinged on rational evaluation this wouldn’t be an issue, at all – at least not beyond other legal substances.

    I do have one distinct quarrel here, the idea that any consciousness altering substance is harmless ignores a shit ton of reality. Some people get away with the use and some don’t and that is just how it is. Now the addiction factor of pot sure the hell is a lot lower than cigarettes so…

  123. 123

    @lacp:

    Sounds like it’s time to set up a bipartisan commission to study the legal implications

    This is actually not a bad idea, though the reporting deadline should be January 2015.

    I wouldn’t expect much from the commission’s ultimate findings or recommendations, but I would expect a helpful and healthy airing of grievances.

    I do not think the average person knows how much money is spent on the War on Drugs, how little is accomplished, and how much it affects everything else that law enforcement, the courts, and the corrections systems are trying to do.

    We need one of those ‘national conversations’ about the War on Drugs. For reasons having mostly to do with the ready availability of pitchforks and torches, elected officials are never going to be honest or reasonable on this matter. Somebody else needs to lead the discussion, somebody not running for office.

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cassidy: You didn’t even read the linked article, did you?

  125. 125
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Then why are you and your Obama hating buds wasting our time bashing Obama for doing his job, or not standing in the way of others doing their jobs? I say the bashing comes first, the issue second, or not at all. Amirite????

  126. 126
    Spectre says:

    @General Stuck:

    It.is.not.possible.

    His party controls the senate. He can literally have Joe Biden execute a man on live TV if he wanted to.

  127. 127
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Maude:

    @General Stuck:
    I’m tired of the emo. The Republicans, Issa, for example would be writing up Articles of Impeachment if Obama allows the federal law to be broken.

    So? The Republicans are going to find some trumped-up “reason” to impeach no matter what. Also too, every prosecutor has to set priorities, because she cannot possibly investigate and prosecute every violation of criminal law.

    This is a stinker for Obama.

    Sometimes doing justice is politically difficult. So?

  128. 128
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    About the polling support for marijuana, I wonder if the pollsters asked “How would you feel about the law if your 14, 16, 18, 20 year old child came home with some?”

    From a moral/ethical standpoint, I would feel about the same as if I caught my kids with a bottle of Jack Daniels. I would lecture them and ground them but I would not immediately send them to rehab and then join DARE or any nonsense like that. From a practical standpoint, I would also give them a long talk about how America is irrational to the point of derangement about drugs and that even though I consider marijuana to be harmless, if they got busted, it would have the potential to damage their future job and/or college prospects seriously, assuming of course, that prison time could be avoided. Luckily, my hypothetical kids would be white, Middle Class and well-educated on their civil rights, so they would be much better off than most of the kids who get ground up by our stupid racist/classist drug policy. The experience would not change my feelings about legalization in any way except to increase my fervor on the topic.

  129. 129
    Spectre says:

    @ericblair:

    That’s just one of many bits. The blatant bit, the part we’ve spent all day discussing, is that they’re trying to restore the previous status quo, thus getting state law enforcement to resume the persecution of pot smokers (especially young black ones).

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: Are you invoking the Chewbacca Defense?
    Because your question does not make sense.

  131. 131
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Spectre: Yeah, I got all that. But beyond sending the DEA to knock on some users’ doors, they don’t have much to work with. What are they going to say “you’re not arresting enough people!”? I just don’t see that happening.

  132. 132
    lacp says:

    @James E. Powell: I wouldn’t expect any conclusions – in fact, I’d be a bit disappointed if there were any. But this really seems like the perfect issue to consign to Bipartisan Commission Purgatory: turn on the fog machine and blow a lot of smoke about all the deep legal complexities to be studied, then dump the whole mess down the hole and let it ferment for a few years until the public forgets about it.

  133. 133
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is confusing to me. Why is this a ‘sticky wicket’ for Obama? Why can’t he just do… nothing? Why is this even an issue? There are many things which are not addressed by state law; in certain states, marijuana is now one of them. The states did make pot legal, they removed it from state criminal laws. So it’s still illegal under federal law. If the feds want to arrest someone for pot possession, they can go ahead and do it. With their limited resources.

  134. 134
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    The State populations voted for legalization. It’s Obama that’s trying to force them to do something they very clearly don’t want to do.

    Keep sucking him, though.

  135. 135

    @Chuck Butcher:
    As an aside to my comment, I find the entire spectacle hilarious. There is a distinctly political aspect to states legalizing in the face of the Feds, it raises the issue in national consciousness and forces people in power to react. Those reactions are political fodder – for both sides. If you want an at least semi-rational policy around pot then you’ve got to expect a lot of yelling and thrashing around – and hell, encourage it. Stupid thinking gets amplified and more noticable in such situation and more exploitable.

  136. 136
    Culture of Truth says:

    I don’t see how the Supremacy clause is terribly relevant, but if the states did purport to make pot legal in their state, then yes it would override.

  137. 137
    cathyx says:

    Why isn’t the DOJ going after same sex marriage?

  138. 138
    Turgidson says:

    @Gordon, the Big Express Engine:

    Don’t zombies feed on brains? In that case, Coburn is probably safe from harm until the first 5.5 billion or so of us are gone and only the scraps are left.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m waiting to see some jackbooted thugs come down the zip lines out of their black helicopters and HUT HUT HUT their way to a courthouse in WA, then rip marriage licenses in half as people come out the door.

  140. 140
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    You mean as by contributing to, arguing for, and voting for state legalization initiatives? Sounds “democratic” to me.

    And that it is. But it is the equivalent of the minor leagues at the state level. In our democracy we have federal primacy over state law, that liberals are always saying, thank the lard. Except when it involves a law they don’t like nor want.

    Oh, we can’t argue that the President should or should not do such-and-such? That’s not part of the “democratic process”? Or is it not part of the “democratic process” to hope that the President will see sense on laws that have destroyed millions of peoples’ lives?

    Stop whining with strawmen. You are voicing your opinion on this thread. And No, it is not part of the democratic process for the president to ignore enforcing public law in this country. In fact, in principle, it is dereliction of duty to execute the laws of the country. The ones he swore an oath to enforce. Saying he wouldn’t enforce DOMA is one thing, refusing to enforce drug laws is something else entirely. On a political and law enforcement level.

  141. 141
    Culture of Truth says:

    Obama’s the one who is sending state agents to ensure weed smokers will continue to be jailed

    Do you have a link for this?

  142. 142
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre:

    thus getting state law enforcement to resume the persecution of pot smokers

    This is what I was getting to and @SatanicPanic: response is pretty accurate. Next time can you avoid sounding like one of those “OBAMA IS COMING TO GETZ MY GUNZ! people? Let’s not be hysterical for no reason.

  143. 143
    General Stuck says:

    @Spectre:

    His party controls the senate. He can literally have Joe Biden execute a man on live TV if he wanted to.

    This is Too stupid for a response.

  144. 144
    SatanicPanic says:

    @General Stuck: Yeah, some people here are having a tough time figuring out that some of the people who get polled on this issue won’t or can’t vote. California just held a vote on this 2 years ago and it didn’t pass.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck:

    And No, it is not part of the democratic process for the president to ignore enforcing public law in this country. In fact, in principle, it is dereliction of duty to execute the laws of the country. The ones he swore an oath to enforce. Saying he wouldn’t enforce DOMA is one thing, refusing to enforce drug laws is something else entirely. On a political and law enforcement level.

    Like deciding not to further defend DADT? The law is the law, by your argument cited here.

  146. 146
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m not saying this isn’t complicated. But the article seems way, way off legally speaking.

  147. 147
    Cassidy says:

    @General Stuck: Yeah. I think I saw Corner Stone fapping away in agreement.

  148. 148
    KG says:

    The DEA will continue to do what it does, which is generally go after the supply chain, trying to get as high up it as it can. There aren’t going to be DEA agents walking around the streets, sniffing the air for the smell of weed. If any end users get popped by the feds, it’s probably in connection to something else (like how they eventually got Al Capone not on being a mobster but on being a tax evader).

    Now, where it’s a problem is this means the DEA is likely to go after dispensaries and Pot Lounges or whathaveyou. Just because those businesses are operating under state business licenses and not in violate of state law doesn’t mean that they aren’t in violation of federal law and subject to prosecution under federal law.

    It’s sort of like tax law. Nevada, Florida, and Texas (if I’m remembering right) don’t have income tax. That doesn’t mean that you don’t still have to pay federal income tax, because I’m pretty sure if residents of those states decided they were going to stop paying income tax, they’d be prosecuted.

  149. 149
    General Stuck says:

    @cathyx:

    LOL. Did you really compare same sex marriage with dope smoking? Aren’t we precious :)

  150. 150
    Spectre says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    In which case the Federal government would be, under Obama’s logic, obligated to intervene.

    The idea here is that he has to intervene because these states are refusing to enforce.

    If he forces them to re-enact their laws, and they still refuse to enforce, then he has to intervene, under his own logic.

  151. 151
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    Hey, at least you were in the right decade., I hope. Kinda hard to tell when one is in a hazy state.I am so glad McCain isn’t president, never mind Mitt.
    Nothing has happened yet and the screaming has started.

  152. 152
    Culture of Truth says:

    If he forces them to re-enact their laws, and they still refuse to enforce, then he has to intervene, under his own logic.

    Do you have a link for his logic?

  153. 153
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    What you’re getting at is moronic. That it’ll be state agents persecuting pot smokers after the Obama coerces these states, as opposed to the DEA, is irrelevant to the people being thrown in the cages.

    It’s Obama’s doing.

  154. 154
    Corner Stone says:

    @Maude:

    Nothing has happened yet and the screaming has started.

    I always find this a curious argument. When, exactly, is the appropriate time for loud activism? For support or rejection of a proposal to be heard?
    I wonder why Tim F. is always exhorting people to contact the representatives before a bill comes to a vote?

  155. 155
    Culture of Truth says:

    It seems like some agents whined to the newspaper that people will feel free to do something that remains against federal law because it’s no longer against state law.

    Well boo-fucking-hoo that’s just too damn bad. Live with it.

  156. 156
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Corner Stone: what? The Obama administration enforced DADT right up until the second it was repealed.

  157. 157
    Spectre says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Link at the top of the page.

  158. 158
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s Obama’s doing.

    You keep switching from present tense to future tense. I find that curious.

  159. 159
    japa21 says:

    @Corner Stone: But it was continued to be enforced.

  160. 160

    The executive branch can decide how it wants to allocate resources and it can certainly decide to or not to defend a law in court. It cannot just say, “you Washingtonians are right so we’ll just forget about Fed law.” That doesn’t mean they have to allocate a cent to WA enforcement. The reality is that illegal supply chains will encompass everything from pot to heroin and any connection will get rolled up.

  161. 161
    Corner Stone says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Ack. That should be DOMA, as quoted in the comment I put there. My mistake.

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    So now you clowns are reduced to ragging on Obama for standing down on DADT and DOMA, cuz O won’t let you smoke some weed. LOL.

    I am for legalizing marijuana for users, and not against civil disobedience, even by a president. But the nature of the cause matters, and short of the feds changing their laws, it just isn’t worth such a stance for PBO, so people can get loaded.

  163. 163
    Joel says:

    In Soviet Russia, nut picks you!

  164. 164
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Spectre: Are you referring to the anonymous specualtion about hypothetical actions? Just checking.

  165. 165
    Spectre says:

    @General Stuck: No one is ragging on him for DADT and DOMA. Rather they’re ragging on him for being a hypocrite.

  166. 166
    Hoodie says:

    That story sounds long on speculation and designed to gin up firebagger outrage. The DoJ has to consider the effect of initiatives, like Washington’s, that actually involve the state in licensing marijuana distribution and sales, where state officials might arguably be accessories to violation of federal trafficking laws.

    This, however, it pure speculation:

    One option is to sue the states on the grounds that any effort to regulate marijuana is pre-empted by federal law. Should the Justice Department prevail, it would raise the possibility of striking down the entire initiatives on the theory that voters would not have approved legalizing the drug without tight regulations and licensing similar to controls on hard alcohol.

    Really? One could equally assume that voters well knew that federal law would prevent states from actively regulating marijuana distribution and that the effect would be simply the end to enforcement against small time users.

    This is also questionable:

    Some law enforcement officials, alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly, are said to be pushing for a stern response.

    Casual users are probably not the type of flaunting they’re worried about. The feds are worried about flaunting by big producers and distributors, and the DEA would go after them. So this “concern” is also possible horseshit, and this “story” is more an editorial than news. Which I think was Cole’s point.

  167. 167
    Tonal Crow says:

    @General Stuck:

    Saying he wouldn’t enforce DOMA is one thing, refusing to enforce drug laws is something else entirely.

    I call bullshit. Either he’s bound to enforce all federal law in every case, or he is allowed to select how to use scarce enforcement resources. You argue the former for drug laws, and (apparently) the latter for DOMA, citing no reason for the distinction. What’s the reason? You dislike DOMA and like drug laws?

  168. 168
    Spectre says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Not really anonymous:

    “The Obama administration declined to comment on the deliberations, but pointed to a statement the Justice Department issued on Wednesday — the day before the initiative took effect in Washington — in the name of the United States attorney in Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan. She warned Washington residents that the drug remained illegal.

    “In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance,” she said. “Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6 in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.”

    Ms. Durkan’s statement also hinted at the deliberations behind closed doors, saying: “The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.”

    Federal officials have relied on their more numerous state and local counterparts to handle smaller marijuana cases. In reviewing how to respond to the new gap, the interagency task force — which includes Justice Department headquarters, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the State Department and the offices of the White House Counsel and the director of National Drug Control Policy — is considering several strategies, officials said.”

    Oh the stupid, how it burns.

  169. 169
    Laertes says:

    Note: NSFW ads at the DARE link.

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: I would argue that the damage done to individuals, families and society by our outrageously biased and corrupt War on Drug laws is related to the damage done by loss of equality laws regarding the LGBT community.
    Not the same type damage. but incredibly harmful and needless, in both very, very broad scenarios.
    If a President can make a moral case for “evolving” in same sex marriage, et al, then what’s to stop the moral argument for changing something that the public is already ahead of you on?

  171. 171
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Spectre: Again, how does he go after users? Hire thousands of DEA agents to break into people’s living rooms? I find that a little far-fetched

  172. 172
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @Maude:

    Nothing has happened yet and the screaming has started.

    I always find this a curious argument. When, exactly, is the appropriate time for loud activism? For support or rejection of a proposal to be heard? I wonder why Tim F. is always exhorting people to contact the representatives before a bill comes to a vote?

    The appropriate time for loud activism is exactly when Maude & Co. say it is, neither earlier nor later.

  173. 173
    Baud says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    DOJ stopped enforcing DOMA because they concluded it was unconstitutional. There is no argument that federal drug laws are unconstitutional.

  174. 174
    hueyplong says:

    Am I being overly protective if I worry that Spectre has had a stroke if I go 20 straight minutes without seeing a post in which he gets get angry at someone’s stupidity or cowardice on this issue?

    We Obots obsessively worry about GOTV, and we don’t want to lose a reliably anti-Republican vote in the already problematic off-year elections.

  175. 175
    Real American says:

    I think marijuana should be legal for adult recreational use, period.

    But I think the DoJ is right to continue enforcing federal drug laws in CO and WA.

    States don’t have the power to nullify federal laws, which is utterly intrinsic to our legal and political system.

    What if two states–say, Alabama and Mississippi–passed referendums legalizing poll taxes and literacy tests for voting? Would folks still argue that the DoJ should stay out of it and respect the will of the people? Or would they argue that the DoJ go in there and enforce federal law, in this case the Voting Rights Act?

    Legal systems can’t be arbitrary. Otherwise, if President Obama lets CO and WA nullify federal drug laws, President Rubio can let AL and MS nullify federal voting laws. Yes, anti-marijuana laws are bad and voting rights laws are good, but they’re both laws passed by Congress–they have the same legal status. If you let one be nullified, the other can just as easily suffer the same fate, but now backed with the force of precedent.

    In regards to the folks trying to draw parallels between this and the DoJ refusing to enforce DOMA or federal immigration laws, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Those are disputes between co-equal branches of government (Congress and the executive). Here, this is a dispute between a superior government and in inferior government (federal and state) where it’s well-established whose law has precedence.

  176. 176
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre:

    That it’ll be state agents persecuting pot smokers after the Obama coerces these states, as opposed to the DEA, is irrelevant to the people being thrown in the cages. It’s Obama’s doing.

    Wow. As you mentioned, yes, the stupid does burn. Oh well, emoprog being emoprog. This is not new. Just another brand of authoritarian.

  177. 177
    lacp says:

    @SatanicPanic: Well, if he privatized the DEA, he could pitch it as a jobs-creator.

  178. 178
    Spectre says:

    @Baud:

    And his immigration policies?

  179. 179
    KG says:

    @General Stuck: too stupid yes, but still, it’d be irresponsible not to speculate… I mean, I’m not sure Joe Biden has the wherewithal to execute a man. Now, Obama ordering him to beat down McConnell with the help of the Sargent-at-Arms of the Senate? That I could see happening… and I’m not sure you’d get a majority in the House to ratify Articles of Impeachment or 67 (66 if McConnell couldn’t appear?) for conviction

  180. 180

    @Tonal Crow:
    DOMA? The DOJ refused to defend the law in a court challenge which is something completely different. They did not suddenly make Federal approval of gay marriage.

    They did show up in court and said they didn’t have an arguement.

  181. 181
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Baud:

    @Tonal Crow:DOJ stopped enforcing DOMA because they concluded it was unconstitutional. There is no argument that federal drug laws are unconstitutional.

    Oh? 5 justices recently held that the Commerce Clause does not support regulation of an individual’s decision on how to pay for healthcare — an activity that squarely involves interstate commerce. If that’s not regulable, why is growing pot in one’s backyard regulable?

    [Looks like more WP fail.]

  182. 182
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I’m just going to say that it’s funny to hear Americans use the term “sticky wicket”.

  183. 183
    Corner Stone says:

    @lacp:

    Well, if he privatized the DEA, he could pitch it as a jobs-creator.

    As a funny tag line, the fact is that everything about the WoD is a job creator and a profit center.

  184. 184
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    It’s authoritarian to argue for decriminalization?

    You don’t have a clue, do you?

  185. 185

    @Tonal Crow:

    What’s the reason? You dislike DOMA and like drug laws?

    Apart from sophistry, is there ever any other reason?

  186. 186
    ericblair says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I call bullshit. Either he’s bound to enforce all federal law in every case, or he is allowed to select how to use scarce enforcement resources.

    No, the ability not to enforce law in every case is called “forbearance”, and I believe the amount of forbearance that the government(s) can assert depends on the statute and case law. It’s quite possible for it to be different from one area to another. You can go to court to force governments to act. I’d like to get a read from one of the legal beagles here about roughly how much leeway the DOJ has in this area.

  187. 187
    Maude says:

    @Corner Stone:
    The bill isn’t up for a vote. Obama hasn’t said anything about this yet.
    This is about Congress and the drug laws.
    People can contact their Congress member and tell them to decriminalize pot.

  188. 188
    Culture of Truth says:

    No, not stupid, I’m just not a mind reader. Just asking what support you had for your statements of fact, because I’m genuinely interested. Such as these, “Obama’s the one who is sending state agents to ensure weed smokers will continue to be jailed”; “It’s Obama that’s trying to force them to do something they very clearly don’t want to do.” And “In which case the Federal government would be, under Obama’s logic, obligated to intervene”

    If you were referring to ongoing policies I’m not aware of, or the speculations, anonymous and otherwise, in the article. Is something is actually happenig, or might happen. I don’t disagree with everything you write, by the way, just checking.

  189. 189
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre: No, it’s authoritarian to demand selective enforcement of federal law based on your personal beliefs. You don’t have a clue, son.

  190. 190
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I call bullshit. Either he’s bound to enforce all federal law in every case, or he is allowed to select how to use scarce enforcement resources.

    Yea right. You don’t offer a distinction, do you dislike Obama not enforcing DOMA? And your purity is noted, and laughed at for its selective use to make an argument out of pureness of pure purpose. I am not a purist, and don’t have a problem with the president choosing to not enforce a DOMA, because it is basic discrimination.

    My reasons for opposing pot laws is simply out of practicality and common sense. And my reason for not wanting Obama to crawl out on a limb right now to refuse enforcing drug laws, is that drugs are not harmless, like gay marriage. There is no meaningful discrimination involved, save for the sanctity to get stoned and die behind the wheel.

  191. 191

    Ask the lawyers here if there is a “capricious and discriminatory” basis for suit on Fed law. I was thinking there was some such thing…

  192. 192
    Tonal Crow says:

    @ericblair:

    No, the ability not to enforce law in every case is called “forbearance”, and I believe the amount of forbearance that the government(s) can assert depends on the statute and case law. It’s quite possible for it to be different from one area to another. You can go to court to force governments to act.

    That’s called a suit in mandamus, and generally it’s allowed only to compel a governmental officer to do something in which the law gives her no discretion. It’s often used to compel an official to issue a permit or license when the plaintiff asserts that all the licensing requirements have been fulfilled. I have never heard of it being used to compel a prosecutor to undertake a prosecution or class of prosecutions. If you have, please cite your authority.

  193. 193
    Spectre says:

    @Cassidy:

    Even if we accept your mischaracterization, that still wouldn’t be “authoritarian”. Words have meaning, numpty.

  194. 194
    Culture of Truth says:

    There’s no easy answer on Presidential obligations to enforce a law. Of course, the President takes an oath to execute the laws, but he also swears to preserve the Constitution. And the Constitution trumps any law.

  195. 195
    Tonal Crow says:

    @General Stuck: Thank you for admitting that your personal preference — and not constitutional principle — guides whether you call for Obama to enforce the law (drug laws) or not (DOMA).

  196. 196
    Maude says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    That takes us back to Congress. It has to start there.

  197. 197
    Cassidy says:

    @Spectre: Yes they do. Seeing as you can say something like that with a straight face after all your emoprog whining over nothing, disingenuous statements, and factually deficient assertions says a lot about the mental might. AAMOF, it speaks well to the assertion that you are, in fact, an authoritarian, as it’s all about how you feel, your little fee-fees, and whether or not Obama gave you a reach around and tickled your bum. People like you don’t have a problem if the authority figure flexes his/her muscle as long as they’re on your side.

    Pro tip: when you find yourself making the same arguments as the pro-life murderers, militias, and bigots, you might have gone a little too far down the rabbit hole. HUTAREE!

  198. 198
    General Stuck says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    There’s no easy answer on Presidential obligations to enforce a law

    True, imo. The distinctions I make in such cases is more political, with the possible consequences involved in weighting what Obama should do. I don’t think there is any way to claim a constitutional door that would allow mind altering substances to not be severely regulated by the state. The only question is how to deal with people getting stoned, or drunk in a legal way. That also has adverse social results for some that imbibe. Or, to operated machinery while under the influence. and put others and self at risk.

    I think there is a door, or several of them in the constitution, that are open to allow as a fundamental right for folks to legally marry whoever they want to. No comparison with drug use. imo.

  199. 199
    Culture of Truth says:

    Indeed, my preference would be for Obama and Co. to respect the state action, ease up on enforcement in those states, and start (gah!) a national confab on pot and the whole misguided war on drugs, and whether at least, states should have leeway to experiment, so to speak, with legalization.

  200. 200
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    So, who here has written the president or their congresscritters to let them know your preferences?

  201. 201
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    And thank you for admitting you are pure and that DOMA should be enforced in it’s entirety by Obama, for the sake of purity, and that drug laws should not be enforced, due to being way more important to you than gay marriage .

  202. 202
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: I also agree. But I support the state legalization laws for their symbolic power. If enough states passed them it would give the Feds such a headache that hopefully they’d give up. But for now just a sign of how the times they are a changing. States however don’t have to have their own laws above and beyond the Controlled Substances Act. Here in (Newark) Jersey, pre trial inmates in the federal system are held in state institutions. I don’t think anything stops the state from giving them the finger by not letting them do this for drug crimes if at all.

    Since the CSA is federal, can states say, fuck you Feds, you wanna prosecute people for possession, distributing, do it yourselves. I.e. we won’t stop you from waging the drug war or obstruct you, but we won’t help you?

  203. 203
    Tonal Crow says:

    @General Stuck:

    @Tonal Crow:And thank you for admitting you are pure and that DOMA should be enforced in it’s entirety by Obama, for the sake of purity, and that drug laws should not be enforced, due to being way more important to you than gay marriage .

    It’s cold outside, so keep burning those strawmen. I’m so sorry that I don’t believe any of that stuff, except that Obama should refrain from enforcing drug laws, especially where drug use is legal under state law.

  204. 204
    burnspbesq says:

    Breaking news: the Supremes granted cert in two marriage-equality cases, Windsor (the estate tax DOMA case from New York) and the Prop. 8 case. In both cases, in addition to granting on the merits issues, they have asked the parties to address standing issues.

  205. 205
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    except that Obama should refrain from enforcing drug laws, especially where drug use is legal under state law.

    LOL. So you are invoking the STATE’s RIGHTs argument. Now Where have I heard that before? mmmmm!

  206. 206
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    A news story says that changes in state law are sparking consideration of a variety of options by federal officials. Okay. Shouldn’t federal officials consider options? Some of these options are stupid and/or counterproductive. One hopes that those options will not be pursued.

    Suggesting that the discussions mentioned in the article have become government policy is absurd.

  207. 207
    Tonal Crow says:

    @General Stuck: That’s pure trollery, and defamatory besides. You’re back on my ignore list. Tata.

  208. 208
    Cassidy says:

    So you are invoking the STATE’s RIGHTs argument. Now Where have I heard that before?

    Man, if only there was some precedent of the states saying they’ll do what they want and forcing some sort of showdown, a war if you will, with the Federal government!

    Do any of these jackasses really think that a President Santorum or Jindal or [insert talibangelical name here] wouldn’t see this as precedent to allow states to blantantly outlaw abortion or civil rights, etc.?

  209. 209
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    That’s pure trollery, and defamatory besides. You’re back on my ignore list. Tata

    Oh noes!! the Tonal Crow is defamed.

    I was just parroting back your own words. You gonna ignore yourself as well?

  210. 210
    Fair Economist says:

    @Tractarian:

    You’ve got to admit, though, it would be nice if the Administration committed to non-enforcement while we wait (and wait and wait) for Congress to get off its a$$ and amend CSA to remove cannabis from Schedule I.

    The DEA can reclassify marijuana without any action from Congress. In fact, if you get your THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) from a pill manufactured by a pharmaceutical company (with a steep profit margin) it’s already Schedule 3. It’s pure unadulterated hypocrisy that the same ingredient with the same administration route (oral) is Schedule 1 if if comes as a pot brownie (i.e., minus the big pharm profit).

  211. 211
    burnspbesq says:

    Here’s the order in Windsor:

    The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In addition to the question presented by the petition, the
    parties are directed to brief and argue the following
    questions: Whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the
    court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and whether the Bipartisan
    Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of
    Representatives has Article III standing in this case.

    The Supremes gave themselves a big escape hatch in both cases that they granted.

  212. 212
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Maude:

    People can contact their Congress member and tell them to decriminalize pot.

    Sure, like the fascist teatard assholes that have Boner by the balls will allow such DFH stuff to happen.

  213. 213
    General Stuck says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I say 6 to 3 for striking down DOMA. The tide has turned, and there is no good argument to keep it.

  214. 214
    MacKenna says:

    What is stopping the federal government from treating the legalization in the two states as a pilot. Leave it alone and see what happens. Give it five years.

    If crime doesn’t increase, if no harm is done, if the State benefits, then hell…it will be a model for the rest of the country.

  215. 215
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Once RJ reynolds gets behind it though…we’ll be getting free pot in the mail.

  216. 216
    Cassidy says:

    @MacKenna: That’s a great idea. The issue is that the Administration can’t just come out and say “go on with your bad selves” as the Executive Branch and DOJ are responsible for enforcing Federal Laws. Personally, I’m not surprised that they’re discussing it and that it was made public. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they “discuss” it for a while. But, the end result is that the gov’t has to function and as much as most of us here are for decriminilization of being a minority marijuana, this current group of republicans have shown us what they’ll do with executive power and it ain’t pretty. Eventually, one of these assholes is going to win. The less precedent they have to fuck us over, the better we can fight them.

  217. 217
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Also absent is that for the federal government to take over for the state in terms of investigating, arresting, prosecuting and jailing all tokers in the states of Washington and Colorado would be HUGELY expensive, and this at a time when the town in abuzz with “deficit reduction” talks.

  218. 218
    Citizen Alan says:

    Look, I acknowledge that federal law is federal law, and I don’t expect Obama to ignore federal drug laws just because states pursue avenues of legalization. What I DO expect from a Democratic president — who, as I have mentioned, would have probably never become president if he had been busted by cops for any of the drug use he admitted to in his book — is some acknowledgement that perhaps legalization advocates have some valid points that deserve consideration.

    Hell, I would be thrilled by something as simple as “As president, I am obligated to see to the enforcement of all federal drug laws regardless of the feelings of the citizens of the individual states. However, as the successes of the medical marijuana and the legalization movements suggest that the national consensus on our drug policy may be changing, I am appointing a bipartisan presidential committee to assess the state of our present drug policy and to advise Congress as to whether and what kind of reform is appropriate.” If nothing else, it would show that he’s at least open-minded enough to consider the issue from all sides as opposed to his current strategy of openly laughing at legalization advocates because he’s afraid of being tarred as a “soft-on-crime” Democrat.

  219. 219
    Citizen Alan says:

    Look, I acknowledge that federal law is federal law, and I don’t expect Obama to ignore federal drug laws just because states pursue avenues of legalization. What I DO expect from a Democratic president — who, as I have mentioned, would have probably never become president if he had been busted by cops for any of the drug use he admitted to in his book — is some acknowledgement that perhaps legalization advocates have some valid points that deserve consideration.

    Hell, I would be thrilled by something as simple as “As president, I am obligated to see to the enforcement of all federal drug laws regardless of the feelings of the citizens of the individual states. However, as the successes of the medical marijuana and the legalization movements suggest that the national consensus on our drug policy may be changing, I am appointing a bipartisan presidential committee to assess the state of our present drug policy and to advise Congress as to whether and what kind of reform is appropriate.” If nothing else, it would show that he’s at least open-minded enough to consider the issue from all sides as opposed to his current strategy of openly laughing at legalization advocates because he’s afraid of being tarred as a “soft-on-crime” Democrat.

  220. 220
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Given the (lack of) prosecutrions of robo-signing et. al., and that the state LE has just beeen given a free pass to look the other way in most cases, I can see one case asking for superintending control straight to SCOTUS over whether the FDA can trump state regs-especially given the 1990s acts.

  221. 221
    burnspbesq says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Say that again in English, please.

  222. 222
    KG says:

    @burnspbesq: that standing issue might end up being more important than the decision on DOMA. I mean, if the Executive can agree with a lower court opinion and cut off jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, that could be a very interesting result. Particularly if the Executive agrees with the second decision in a Circuit split that favors a plaintiff when the first decision favored the government. And it does raise an interesting “case and controversy” issue.

    I think if they find jurisdiction, then they find standing. If they don’t find jurisdiction then standing is moot.

    As for DOMA itself, probably 6-3 or 7-2 on equal protection grounds.

    Anything special in the Perry order?

  223. 223
    burnspbesq says:

    @General Stuck:

    You’re more of an optimist than me. If they reach the merits instead of flushing the case on jurisdictional grounds, it’s likely to come down to what they decide about standard of review. And that’s hard to predict.

  224. 224
    kdaug says:

    Prison-Industrial-Complex puff-piece.

  225. 225
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MacKenna:

    Sure, like the vermin of the Village will ever see the common sense in that approach.

    John’s right…they turn everything into one of their fucking horse race stories.

    Wipe them out.

    All of them.

  226. 226
    Face says:

    @General Stuck: Can we please hear from eemom first, so I will know the opposite of what’s going to happen?

  227. 227

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned but Republicans in Texas just shot themselves in the fiscal foot and are now trying to stop the bleeding.

    The state’s Health and Human Services Commission projects that — in the aftermath of stripping Planned Parenthood from over $70 million in funds that used to go toward its family planning services, in Texas lawmakers’ ongoing crusade to target the women’s health organization — low-income women will deliver an estimated 23,760 additional babies during 2014 and 2015 than they would have otherwise. The HHS credits the sharp rise in the birth rate to the state budget cuts that have reduced poor women’s access to affordable birth control, and estimates that taxpayers will be shouldered with an estimated additional $273 million in medical expenses and Medicaid coverage for those infants.

    Oh Nose wimmins are going to have babies if we take away their birth control! Hooocoodanode! Idiots.

  228. 228
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    First, a heavy-handed response from the Administration would just infuriate me

    It’s been happening throughout the Obama Administration with respect to California medical marijuana dispenseries.

    This may have been covered before here, but I am posting quickly on the fly.

  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: If this Court reaches the merits, I am rather pessimistic about the results. Any trust I had that Kennedy is not a hack was wiped out last spring. And I don’t think Roberts will on the good side of this one.

  230. 230
    burnspbesq says:

    @KG:

    Anything special in the Perry order?

    The parties are specifically ordered to brief and argue standing. The standing issue is really interesting here.

    If you recall, the State defended Prop. 8 in the district court; the proponents were intervenors. When it lost in the district court, the State declined to appeal, and the case went to the Ninth Circuit with only the intervenors as appellants. If the intervenors don’t have standing all by themselves, then I think what happens is that the narrlowly crafted Ninth Circuit opinion goes away and Judge Walker’s much more sweeping opinion becomes the law of the case.

    If the Supremes find standing, then the intervenors are going to have a really hard time explaining how Romer v. Evans isn’t directly controlling authority.

  231. 231
    Punchy says:

    If crime doesn’t increase, if no harm is done

    As someone mentioned yesterday, whaddya gunna do about all those pesky positive drug tests? Pot may be obstensibly legal in those states, but I’m pretty sure national companies are not going to rewrite their drug testing handbooks for just those 2 states.

  232. 232
    MCA1 says:

    Along with the framing bullshit and the other issues Cole and others have pointed out here, that article is also factually wrong about the basic thesis: that this is an especially pertinent problem for Obama. Supremacy clause vs. non-enforcement issue aside (and I think the process of not having DEA agents step into the street level possession policing in Seattle is not that difficult a needle to thread, probably), this is more of an issue for the next Republican who becomes President (assuming that happens in 4 or 8 years; large assumption, I know). Because the public is starting to get behind the decriminalization of marijuana, medical or not, and in 7 or 8 years from now, there will be at least 60% support for decriminalizing pot. The heat on a Republican President to take enforcement action to please his base, despite that lack of support, would be a lot hotter than the heat on Obama to just laissez-faire it or move for a federal level rescission of narco law relating to pot.

    My guess is that the Obama team is actually gaming out not only how they turn a blind eye on Colorado and Washington without looking like they’re giving up federal power, but also at what point in this process there’s sufficient evidence of voter support that it’s worth making this an actual electoral political issue and pushing for removing marijuana from the illegal substances list.

  233. 233
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cassidy:

    Do any of these jackasses really think that a President Santorum or Jindal or [insert talibangelical name here] wouldn’t see this as precedent to allow states to blantantly outlaw abortion or civil rights, etc.?

    Do you really think that a President Santorum or Jindal would require a precedent to do just that?

  234. 234
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Do you really think that a President Santorum or Jindal would require a precedent to do just that?

    This.

    They won’t bother with a precedent if they don’t have one, they’ll make one.

    After all, they’ve got the asshole invisible sky buddy of goatherders on their side, amirite?

  235. 235
    👽 Martin says:

    @Citizen Alan: I don’t think he even needs to go that far. I think he should just (publicly) ask the DEA to review whether marijuana still classifies as a schedule I drug given that multiple states have approved it for medicinal use with prescription and there is peer reviewed research out there supporting it’s medical use. That’s the only reason why marijuana is scheduled where it is now. I don’t think they need Congress to weigh in at all on this.

    Now, it may not move it significantly on the schedule and may still preclude states from legalizing it in any way, but it would open things up quite a bit if only to get that far.

  236. 236
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They won’t bother with a precedent if they don’t have one, they’ll make one.

    Exactly. And, they’ll have an excuse note from their Liberty U grad AG to bolster them.

  237. 237
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I dunno. Windsor’s a funny case, because there’s an alternative way of looking at it that allows you to hold for plaintiff and duck the Constitutional issue.

    There’s a long line of Supreme Court cases that says that for tax purposes, property interests are defined by state law and the tax consequences of those property interests are determined under the Code. It’s pretty easy to get from there to a holding that says (1) there’s nothing in the legislative history of Section 3 of DOMA that indicates that Congress intended to overturn that long-standing principle of our tax jurisprudence and therefore (2) if state law says you’re married, you get the marital deduction.

    Do I think that’s the way it will play out? No. And I think the argument for some form heightened scrutiny is compelling, but I doubt that five Justices will. So it comes down to whether raising more money by screwing same-sex couples out of the marital deduction qualifies as a rational basis.

  238. 238
    LanceThruster says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Well said.

  239. 239
    Raven says:

    @LanceThruster: Ah shit, it’s more fun when it’s illegal.

    eta Of course I haven’t sparked one up in 20 years so maybe it’s not anymore.

  240. 240
    Maude says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Said that in yesterday’s thread on this topic. Just as they will want to tax the rich.

  241. 241
    wvblueguy says:

    Where I live in WV and in most sensible states I have traveled to over the last 20 or more years most police jurisdictions have stopped messing with casual pot smokers. Basically if you are arrested for possession of a small amount of weed here in Bluefield, WV you will likely be ignored and turned loose cause the cops have bigger problems with pill heads and pill dealers. The answer to the so called pot problem is to get the product off the Class I drug list, pass legislation legalizing the stuff and then tax it at the point of manufacture (users would pay the tax) with tax stamps. The street price of high grade marijuana would drop and my home state of WV would have a windfall profit in taxes.

  242. 242
    Yutsano says:

    I can haz new thread naow plz? Kthxbai!

  243. 243
    Keith G says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Look, I acknowledge that federal law is federal law, and I don’t expect Obama to ignore federal drug laws just because states pursue avenues of legalization. What I DO expect from a Democratic president—who, as I have mentioned, would have probably never become president if he had been busted by cops for any of the drug use he admitted to in his book—is some acknowledgement that perhaps legalization advocates have some valid points that deserve consideration.

    Why not ask our Prez to go to Congress with a plan to change federal law so that possession of less than 2 grams of weed is treated the same as getting a speeding ticket on the Grand Canyon Parkway. If there are states that want to go hard core on such a small amount, they sure can still do so.

    That would be a start that would protect the low-end users from getting their futures uprooted by a simple pot bust by the federals. That would be a start while the broader issue is being thought through.

    FWIW 1)Legalization of weed troubles me. There are going to be a lot more social problems than supporter care to faithfully examine, and yet the war against young pot smokers is more damaging.

    2) I never thought Obama would treat weed any different than DADT. Remember he stayed in the background expending no capital until Biden forced his hand. And weed is a much tougher issue. I expect Sully will find no comfort in this issue from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

  244. 244
    KG says:

    @burnspbesq: oh yeah, I forgot about that tidbit. Both cases are going to be very interesting on the standing issues then. Now, quick question, sort of a quasi-Erie question, has the Cal Supreme Court ruled on standing in a similar manner for State Court challenges to referendums? I know the standing issues are likely different in state and federal court, but since this is a unique question dealing with a State Constitutional Amendment put on the ballot by petition, you think that’ll have some play? Sorry, don’t think I’ve actually read the Ninth’s opinion on Perry, it’s outside my practice area and standing is always such a tedious issue.

  245. 245
    burnspbesq says:

    @KG:

    Yes. From Wikipedia:

    On January 4, 2011, in the appeal by the defendant-intervenors, the Ninth Circuit certified a question to the California Supreme Court. Because California officials had declined to defend the law, the federal court asked the state court to decide whether the backers of a challenged initiative had “a particularized interest in the initiative’s validity or the authority to assert the State’s interest in the initiative’s validity” that would permit them to defend the law when state officials refuse to do so.[126][127] The Ninth Circuit stayed the appeal pending a response from the California Supreme Court.[126] The California Supreme Court heard oral argument on the certified question on September 6, 2011,[128] and on November 17 ruled that the non-governmental proponents of Proposition 8 have the legal standing to defend it.[129][130] Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in a unanimous opinion, “[I]n the past official proponents of initiative measures in California have uniformly been permitted to participate … in numerous lawsuits in California courts challenging the validity of the initiative measure the proponents sponsored” and a concurring opinion was written by Justice Joyce L. Kennard.[1

  246. 246
    General Stuck says:

    Here is my marker. And prediction. President Barack Obama will call for decriminalization of mar y jane at the fed level, before his term ends. tata

  247. 247
    👽 Martin says:

    @Keith G:

    Why not ask our Prez to go to Congress with a plan to change federal law so that possession of less than 2 grams of weed is treated the same as getting a speeding ticket on the Grand Canyon Parkway.

    There’s two sets of laws competing here.

    One is how the drugs are scheduled – which is what makes them illegal or not. Drop marijuana to Schedule II and you can prescribe it for medical use in all 50 states. Done. The DEA generally schedules sensibly to what science and the medical community suggest, but on particularly political ones (like LSD, pot, ecstacy) they are willing to ignore all of that (which is wrong).

    The other is sentencing and there’s a host of mandatory minimum sentences that congress has approved. This is really the more insidious part of the drug war, and only addressing just pot while leaving the other bits in place is really to skirt the whole problem.

    A more rational approach would be to tell the DEA to go back to the medical community and review all drugs on the schedule (and any they feel should be on the schedule) and set them independent of political considerations.

    Then go to Congress and tell them to repeal all minimum sentences, or to limit the existing minimum sentences to violations outside of state jurisdiction (customs, federal land, etc), and leave sentencing to the states.

    If that happened, pot would fall to be more strict than Schedule II and most likely land at IV, and states like WA and CO could set sentences for possession to nothing, while other states could make it a fine, while others could keep it with jail time. It’d be unfortunate to have so much variation, but with 50 laboratories at work, some real progress might be made.

  248. 248
    👽 Martin says:

    @Punchy:

    As someone mentioned yesterday, whaddya gunna do about all those pesky positive drug tests? Pot may be obstensibly legal in those states, but I’m pretty sure national companies are not going to rewrite their drug testing handbooks for just those 2 states.

    That’s why DEA needs to address it. If you drop it just down to Schedule II and people get a prescription, then there’s fuckall companies can do except prohibit you from using heavy equipment and such. They can’t fire you for taking a painkiller that makes you a bit loopy.

  249. 249
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin:

    One is how the drugs are scheduled – which is what makes them illegal or not. Drop marijuana to Schedule II and you can prescribe it for medical use in all 50 states

    the DEA could drop it to Sched II but the FDA would still have to approve it before pharmacies could sell it.

    As for passing drug tests, doctors prescribe Marinol right now. I wonder if it has ever been an issue.

  250. 250
    BethanyAnne says:

    …harmless weed…

    Harmless? You have heard the Grateful Dead, right?

    :-D

  251. 251
    mak says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If you want to go back to the Articles of Confederation, or if you want to make common cause with teabaggers who mistakenly think the Tenth Amendment trumps everything else in the Constitution, that’s fine. We can have that conversation. But in that context, dope is a funny choice for a hill to die on.

    It is hardly making common cause with the teabaggers to state that enforcement of ganja laws falls squarely within the police powers of the several states. Here, I’m pretty sure that Justice Brandeis would find that this is one of those cases where it’s best to let the laboratories of democracy do their thing.

  252. 252
    Paul T says:

    Another doofus “hippie doper” marijuana headline. Drop this useless “make a cute doper reference headline” habit, and maybe this subject may be taken a bit more seriously.

  253. 253
    Baud says:

    @Spectre:

    The immigration policy is a better example than DOMA because it involves tailored use of enforcement discretion, which I think is similar to what we’ll see in this case. There is a slight difference, however, since immigration laws are generally civil, while drug laws are largely criminal.

  254. 254
    Baud says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Before the health care ruling, the Supreme Court had already upheld federal drug laws against a commerce clause challenge. In fact, many thought that the drug ruling would bode well for the health care ruling, but that assumed that conservative justices cared about things like consistency.

  255. 255
    Bokbokbok says:

    @japa21: Here in California especially, we’d love it if the Feds kept the eradication efforts to their own property. there’s plenty of work for INS and DEA out in the Sierra, Plumas, Angeles, etc. national Forests. No need to be putting locals out of business when foreign nationals are on Federal land breaking Federal laws.

  256. 256
    redshirt says:

    The issue of reclassifying marijuana from Schedule 1 is in a Federal Court in DC right now – I recall reading that there should be a decision this month. Does anyone know how to find out the specifics of this case?

    This is key. Because marijuana can be a valid medicine to some (to others, yes, it’s a cover for recreational use). But having the drug on Schedule 1 prevents all research on its affects, which is mind numbing.

    So, Obama can avoid this sticky wicket entirely by letting the court case go through and/or re-scheduling marijuana to IV. That takes away the DOJ/DEA enforcement issue, and states woud be free to do what they want.

  257. 257
    Tight white Pussycat says:

    While attending the White House Correspondents’ dinner Attorney
    General Eric Holder admitted to the Huffington Post that President
    Obama misled Rolling Stone about federal marijuana law. From the
    Huffington Post:

    Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the
    correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to
    Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading
    because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its
    “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use.

    “That’s right,” Holder said.

  258. 258
    DFH no.6 says:

    @General Stuck:

    Potheads rarely vote.

    I’m gonna have to disagree with you on this point, General.

    Not that “legalizing pot” is a stand with significant electoral advantage, particularly at the national level.

    In fact, taking that stand is still – in most places – much more likely to be politically toxic than helpful in any way, or even neutral. So not holding my breath waiting for Congress to reform federal drug laws vis-à-vis weed.

    However, most of the pot smokers I know do vote. In fact, most of them vote Republican, because they are mostly middle class, middle-aged, white guys. How do you think a crazy-ass cracker red state like AZ voted for a referendum to legalize “medical marijuana”? (the first dispensary opened in Glendale today, actually)

    Nearly half our Lexus/Infiniti/giant overdone pickup truck driving sales force smokes pot. In fact, one of them is my usual source for the occasional eighth of Blue Dream or Purple Kush when needed (lotta business trips to CA).

    Not the most representative sample of the overall pot-smoking demographic nationwide, I suppose, but not particularly rare, either, I don’t think.

    My wild-ass guess is the pot-smoking voter demographic closely follows the general electorate: younger pot-smokers vote in lower percentages than older pot-smokers, with each age cohort voting in about the same percentage whether pot-smoking or not.

    Wait, what were we talking about?

  259. 259
    Ben Franklin says:

    Man. Things are gonna heat up around here come January.

  260. 260
    General Stuck says:

    @DFH no.6:

    I’m gonna have to disagree with you on this point, General.

    I was kinda being tongue in cheek, and related to my shiftless misspent youth. I know most or many pot smokers now days, do vote, but shit, we and I used to roll joints using pages out of the phone book. All day long.

  261. 261
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Good grief, our war on the harmless weed has failed so spectacularly that D.A.R.E., the most propagandistic organization this side of Fox News, has decided to stop preaching the evils of the sweet leaf to school kids. It turns out that when you lie your ass off to a bunch of kids that if they take one toke of pot they will jump out of windows and go into a pcp-induced mania, it piques their curiosity and then takes exactly one kid getting high and telling his friends you are full of shit.

    Story of my life . . .

  262. 262
    redshirt says:

    @General Stuck: Should have used bible pages. Way better.

  263. 263
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If you want to go back to the Articles of Confederation, or if you want to make common cause with teabaggers who mistakenly think the Tenth Amendment trumps everything else in the Constitution, that’s fine. We can have that conversation. But in that context, dope is a funny choice for a hill to die on.

    Who is “you”? You know damn well that the feds can choose to ignore this without our government collapsing. The administration can choose to do what Obama said he would do back in 2008. Don’t be pedantic. Quiet double standards sustain our system through its many blatant contradictions. There’s a reason why Homeland Security doesn’t do the sort of mass detention and deportation that the lunatics want.

  264. 264
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @General Stuck:

    As far as Obama fearing or owing the so called left anything what so ever, that makes me laugh out loud.

    Look, I’m going to say this one more time: this is dumb as hell. Y’all right-wing Democrats spent an entire year attacking the left, pointlessly, and freaking out over Jill Stein(!) Then the left went in and voted for the Democratic candidate anyway, doing your goddamn job of consolidating your base for you – no, in spite of you.

    If you want to truck along with the fantasy that the left doesn’t matter to the Democrats, that’s fine. Note that your President isn’t as stupid as you are. See also: “har har let the South secede”. Obama is much, much smarter than some of his supposed “supporters”, who like to attack their fellows on the slightest pretext to prove their worth to Daddy or something. Thank God that Obama is so much smarter.

  265. 265
    General Stuck says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The administration can choose to do what Obama said he would do back in 2008.

    Really? Obama said he wouldn’t enforce marijuana laws if elected presnit. Jeebus, you got a link?

  266. 266
    General Stuck says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    LMAO. So it was the firebaggers that saved Obama from the right wing Obots. That is far out man. No. Really, it is.

    If you want to truck along with the fantasy that the left doesn’t matter to the Democrats

    The left I am speaking about, the democrats and their candidates way sure do need. To point at and say, we ain’t crazy like those clowns, so it’s okay to vote for us.

  267. 267
    👽 Martin says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Obama is much, much smarter than some of his supposed “supporters”, who like to attack their fellows on the slightest pretext to prove their worth to Daddy or something. Thank God that Obama is so much smarter.

    Huh.

    So, the left attacks Obama’s compromises for the greater good when it includes moderates and then praises Obama for taking that strategy when it includes liberals.

    I so did not see that coming.

  268. 268
    Ben Franklin says:

    @General Stuck:

    See, there’s this thing called Google….

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....ma-on-weed

  269. 269
    Ben Franklin says:

    Whoops ! Flippity-floppity

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/spea....._wants_arr

  270. 270
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I am well aware of Obama’s position on pot and the drug war in general. Saying in 2004 that he supports decriminalizing pot use, is not claiming in 2008 that he would not enforce the nations drug laws as president.

    The man isn’t a god, before or after being elected president. It is congress that passes our laws, duh

  271. 271
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    from your link

    “If you’re convicted of a crime, you should be punished, but that we are sending far too many first-time, non-violent drug users to prison for very long periods of time, and that we should rethink those laws,”

    Which is precisely what a liberal candidate for president should say.

  272. 272
    DFH no.6 says:

    @General Stuck:

    but shit, we and I used to roll joints using pages out of the phone book. All day long.

    Can’t say I’ve ever rolled one with phone book paper, but I have employed the empty-beer-can-as-emergency-pipe routine.

    Recently, even.

    And all day long, you say? I couldn’t do that with today’s product, no way.

    There isn’t really any such thing as “one-hit weed” (that I’ve ever found, anyway) but there is a lot of two- and three-hit shit out there. Thank you, Humboldt County.

  273. 273
    magurakurin says:

    Main problem with this thread is that it is a discussion of NYT article. A better article from Rolling Stone

    Nothing has happened yet, and a lot of the crack down rhetoric appears to be coming from the DEA, Bush-hold overers. It looks like Joe Biden is more against pot than Obama, and Holder hasn’t said anything yet. An awful lot of outrage in this thread for scant amount of actual knowledge about what is going to happen.

    Call the Whitehouse, that’s probably the best thing to do. Better than calling each other dickheads in a 300 plus thread, I reckon.

  274. 274
    Mnemosyne says:

    @magurakurin:

    An awful lot of outrage in this thread for scant amount of actual knowledge about what is going to happen.

    Which website did you think you were on, again? ;-)

  275. 275
    General Stuck says:

    @DFH no.6:

    From what I can tell, the quality these days is far superior to my day, though the price was cheap, and occasionally you ran across some really potent product. An ounce would cost just 20 bucks, sometimes thirty. The last bag I bought was for 50 dollars in 1984

  276. 276
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, to come in at the very very end of a thread I haven’t read all the way through:

    IMO, the person who figures out how to accurately screen people for addictive tendencies ahead of time so those people can be aware that they need to moderate their intake of, well, everything (including shopping and gambling) should get a frickin’ Nobel Prize on the spot.

  277. 277
    Ben Franklin says:

    @General Stuck:

    That explains your ambivalence about pot. In 1982 sinsemilla, the best at that time , went for 200 per qtr oz.

    You’ve been smoking authentic shite.

  278. 278
    redshirt says:

    @magurakurin: Damn. Biden’s a narc. He seemed so cool, too.

  279. 279
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I have no ambivalence about pot. And think it should be decriminalized at a minimum, and treated more like alcohol with emphasis on treatment rather than jail for users. I just don’t believe in political self immolation at this point in time. Obama has had some good instincts on when and how to deal with issues like this, with some pretty astute timing for when to propose changes that garner the needed support.

  280. 280
    Tom says:

    Did it really take 280 comments to correct the headline ?

    It’s “I’m a Joker, I’m a Smoker, I’m a Midnight Toker. . ”
    I Control-F’d but didn’t see anything prior

    I do appreciate the throwback reference — I’m not being an ingrate –

    Also, This is not my application for Balloon Juice Ombudsperson or Public Advocate

  281. 281
    Steve Finlay says:

    John’s original post is exactly on target. For the federal government to waste its limited resources on enforcing cannabis prohibition, probably the stupidest and most unjustifiable law on the books, would be ridiculous.

    People vastly underestimate the cost (billions of dollars, tens of thousands of lives, and enormous corruption and crime) of drug prohibition. It is like alcohol prohibition, but amplified 20 or 50 times. Most of the support for the Washington and Colorado votes came not from smokers, but from people like me: We don’t smoke. But we refuse to suffer the costs of prohibition any longer.

    John’s point about the failure of the media is equally significant. Like the last election, this is not a “he said, she said” horse race. Prohibition is the worst social policy since slavery (Norm Stamper, former police chief of Seattle), and cannot be justified on any grounds.

  282. 282
    Dilapidus says:

    @Joel:

    He could reschedule marijuana. Currently, and ridiculously, it is classified as schedule I :

    The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
    The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
    There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision

    He could immediately re-schedule or order a review.

Comments are closed.