US Defends Decision Not To Challenge States' Laws
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US Defends Decision Not To Challenge States' Laws
Posted by CN Staff on September 10, 2013 at 16:44:17 PT
By Warren Richey, Staff Writer
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Washington, D.C. -- The Obama administration’s decision not to challenge the legalization of recreational marijuana use in two states is not an abdication of its responsibility to uphold federal narcotics laws, a senior Justice Department official told a US Senate subcommittee Tuesday. Deputy Attorney General James Cole told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that federal prosecutors and agents are prepared to focus aggressive efforts on interstate and national enforcement of marijuana trafficking laws.
“We are not giving immunity. We are not giving a free pass. We are not abdicating our responsibility,” Mr. Cole testified.He spoke two weeks after the administration announced that it would not seek to challenge or otherwise undercut voter initiatives passed in Washington State and Colorado last November that legalized the possession and use of personal amounts of marijuana.Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Six of those laws were enacted this year.Only Colorado and Washington have gone the extra step to decriminalize recreational use of personal amounts of marijuana.Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa objected to the Justice Department’s posture. “These laws flatly contradict federal law,” he said. “Some experts fear they will create a Big Marijuana industry, including a ‘Starbucks of Marijuana,’ that will damage public health.”“These policies do not seem compatible with the responsibility Justice Department officials have to faithfully discharge their duties,” he said. “Prosecutorial discretion is one thing. But giving the green light to an entire industry predicated on breaking federal law is another.”Cole said federal officials would aggressively enforce federal drug laws when the illicit conduct implicated one of eight enforcement priorities embraced by the Obama administration.The priorities include preventing distribution to minors, preventing revenue from the sale of “legal” marijuana from being diverted to illegal drug traffickers, and preventing smuggling of “legal” marijuana to other states where it remains illegal. He said other priorities include preventing drugged driving, preventing violence and the use of firearms in the “legal” marijuana trade, and preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands.Cole said that outside these defined federal priorities, Justice Department officials would rely on state and local authorities to enforce their own marijuana laws.Grassley said the new marijuana enforcement policy was another example of the Obama administration ignoring federal laws that it considers inconvenient or doesn’t like. He cited the administration’s lax enforcement of immigration statutes and failure to abide by deadlines in the health-care reform law.“What’s really striking in this case is that the Department of Justice is so quick to challenge state laws when it doesn’t like or want to enforce them,” Grassley said. “States that change their voting laws to require an ID? See you in court. States that try to secure their borders when the federal government won’t? Expect a lawsuit. But if some folks want to start an industry dedicated to breaking federal law? Well, then the Department’s position is to wait and see how it all works out.”Also testifying at the hearing was King County Sheriff John Urquhart, the chief law enforcement officer in Seattle.The sheriff said he has 37 years experience as a law officer, 12 of them investigating narcotics crimes. “My experience shows me the war on drugs has been a failure,” he said.Sheriff Urquhart said he was a strong supporter of the marijuana ballot initiative and believes it will help divert drug proceeds from criminals in a way that can be regulated and lead to better enforcement.The sheriff told the senators that during a short walk from his hotel to a restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. he and a colleague watched and listened as a small-time drug transaction took place nearby on the sidewalk. The sheriff noted that he was not in uniform at the time.Urquhart said that kind of illegal street transaction would no longer occur in Seattle, where the law permits an adult to buy personal amounts of marijuana legally and openly in regulated stores.“What we have in Washington State is not the wild, wild West,” he said.The sheriff asked the senators to consider a change in federal law that would permit commercial banks to service legalized marijuana stores. He said money-laundering regulations were forcing the stores to operate as cash-only businesses, raising the risk of armed robberies.Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)Author:  Warren Richey, Staff WriterPublished: September 10, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Christian Science Publishing SocietyContact: letters csmonitor.comWebsite: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by mexweed on September 11, 2013 at 16:44:31 PT:
"... some folks want to start an Industry Dedicated to Breaking Federal Law..."To some voters that sounds truer than it is, but anyway, what cannabis growers truly want to do is:1. start a hempfibre handwork industry, dedicated to preventing deforestation by displacing wood-based paper and other tragic tree-wasting product-entities from the market; 2. personally use vaped inhalant cannabis to enhance both physical and mental exercise and develop new ideas and invent new products (especially made from free, cheap or scrap materials), dedicated to preventing consumer waste and deforestation.Unfortunately for Grassley (Conflict Of Interest), cannabis-based ethanol fuels could soon DISPLACE from the market a similar product made out of CORN made in IOWA...Well, Senator, here's what "some folks" figured out for you to support for Iowa: 1. CORN is known to be a good precursor crop for HEMP. HEMP is known to be a good precursor crop for TREES. Let Iowa lead the way in planting a couple of years of HEMP where all that CORN used to be (until humans learned to restrict their exposure to deceitfully-named High Fructose Corn Syrup).* 2. Let the dense litter from the crowded hemp-planting accumulate and turn into good topsoil, then seed with fast-growing invasive trees like cottonwood, ailanthus etc. 3. Finally after a decade or two of vigorous "junk-tree" growth and droughtresistance-buildup, seed the noble hardwoods and pines everyone longs to live among! 100-foot or higher forest canopy on 95% of all Iowa land by 2222.
_______________________*"syrup" means a thicker less runny stuff, irrelevant, the issue is whether it's sugar or not, 5-year-old kids, just learning to read, see the word "syrup" but don't see the word "sugar"-- so they get taken in by the huckster corps, get hooked on SHBS Sudden High Blood Sugar ("sugar hits") from pop and eventually from $igarettes (note phonemic pun). So our third Truly Intended Industry: provide 25-mg-serving-size inhalant vaporizing devices to eliminate kids getting hooked on H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarette $moking.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2013 at 17:18:56 PT
Please give it up.
Sorry Wrong Link, My Bad!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2013 at 17:17:08 PT
When are you going to retire? Please the whole country is begging you!
Rocky! Please give it up!
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