The confusion in government policy as regards marijuana may be on the way out, and a better policy on the way in.
In the first post we noted that what Obama indicated as a candidate compared to what his DOJ was doing to medical patients was incoherent.
ObamaCare was taking a prominent place in American society which indicated to many people that those who needed medical marijuana were going to be safe from DOJ prosecution.
The massive DOJ war on medical marijuana dashed that expectancy.
Now with the breaking news, today, there are indications that things may be getting more clear in that regard:
The United States government took an historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.(Eric Holder Says). I think like all government pronouncements these days, we will have to wait and see.
A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a "trust but verify approach" to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states' regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole also issued a three-and-a-half page memo to U.S. attorneys across the country on Thursday outlining eight priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. According to the guidance, DOJ will still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:
The eight high-priority areas leave prosecutors bent on targeting marijuana businesses with a fair amount of leeway, especially the exception for "adverse public health consequences."
- the distribution of marijuana to minors;
- revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
- the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
- state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
- violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
- drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
- growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
- preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
The previous post in this series is here.
We Ain't Got Nuthin' Yet, Blues Magoos (lyrics here):