The Marijuana Muddle
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The Marijuana Muddle
Posted by CN Staff on September 13, 2013 at 05:36:55 PT
New York Times Editorial Board
Source: New York Times
USA -- On marijuana policy, there’s a rift between the federal government and the states. It started with California’s allowing marijuana for medical use in 1996, widened as several other states followed suit, and became too big to ignore 10 months ago, when voters in Colorado and Washington decided to legalize the drug for recreational use. Under federal law possession is still a crime. After conspicuous silence, the Justice Department announced in August that it wouldn’t try to put the toothpaste back in the tube — it wouldn’t sue to block the Colorado and Washington laws as long as those states put in place “strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems.” 
But this policy hasn’t cleared up all the confusion arising from this tricky situation. Many practical questions remain, as became obvious at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday about conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws. At the hearing, James Cole, a deputy attorney general, said the Justice Department expects Colorado, Washington and the 18 medical marijuana states to prevent the distribution of the drug to minors, its diversion to states where it is illegal, and its possession or use on federal property, among other restrictions. Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, rightly asked how, exactly, the Justice Department would evaluate whether the states were holding up their end of the bargain. If a 17-year-old was caught smoking a joint in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, would federal prosecutors argue that the state wasn’t sufficiently tough on enforcement? Common sense says no, but guidelines are necessary. Mr. Grassley suggested, and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats, agreed, that the Justice Department should establish clear rules and explain what violations would trigger a crackdown. Senator Patrick Leahy, the committee’s Democratic chairman, pointed out that the Justice Department has yet to deal with financial issues related to state-legalized marijuana. Because federal laws make it illegal for banks to handle proceeds from drug sales, most marijuana businesses don’t have access to financial services and have to operate on a cash-only basis. That’s a problem for local law enforcement — where there are piles of cash, there’s armed robbery — and for the Internal Revenue Service, too. As Sheriff John Urquhart of Washington’s King County said, “cash-only businesses are very difficult to audit, leading to possible tax evasion, wage theft and the diversion of resources we need to protect public safety.” The Justice Department has taken a step toward figuring out this peculiar dance between the federal government and the states. If it wants its “trust but verify” approach to work, it will have to start filling in the details. Source: New York Times (NY)Published: September 12, 2013Copyright: 2013 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis  Archives 
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Comment #14 posted by mexweed on September 16, 2013 at 17:25:09 PT:
Thanks, Sam
Good comment by Sam Adams, in the other article today a writer comments on how developing the endocannabinoid system 600 million years ago (in pre-vertebrate species) may have help precipitate a busy evolutionary period 580 million years ago.And today, in you and me, a little 25-mg toke may precipitate a discovery, an invention...
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on September 16, 2013 at 08:37:48 PT
cannabinoid system
this is a great article! The decision to reject one paradigm is always the simultaneous decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other… [T]he transition of a paradigm in crisis to a new one from which a new tradition of normal science can emerge is far from a cumulative process, one achieved by the articulation or extension of the old paradigm. Rather it is a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals, a reconstruction that changes some of the field’s most elementary theoretical generalizations.We may be in for exciting times.The cannabinoid system is an ancient one. Life organized around it. The illegal status of marijuana is less than 100 years old. Political institutions and economic interests organized around it.How the cannabinoid system functions may be a door to more secrets about the workings of our physiology. And, as when we figured out that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, it might shake up some faulty premises and challenge the work of authorities.Marijuana medicine and science will change things. New information that conflicts with the prevailing paradigm always does.
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on September 16, 2013 at 08:33:41 PT
Did I hear someone say "dower??
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on September 16, 2013 at 08:30:08 PT
Where have all the dowers gone?
Long time passing!Where have all the dowers gone, long time ago?Where have all the dowers gone? unemployment lines everyone.When will they ever learn? When will they eeeeever learn?Don't fear the reefer!What does Santa and Scooby Doo have in common? They're both stoners! 
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on September 16, 2013 at 06:28:20 PT
Judith Renaud Educators for Sensible Drug Policy 
•CN BC: PUB LTE: Ticketing Pot Users Is A Wrong-headed Cash Grab, Vancouver Sun, (10 Sep 2013) posted on one of the cannabis boards, a well-thought opinion piece on changing cannabis policy.Also, a report, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research: 
•UK: Legal Cannabis 'Would Save UKP1.25bn A Year', The Observer, (15 Sep 2013)
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 16, 2013 at 05:17:36 PT
It seems so strange that there just isn't any news worth posting. I guess no news is good news.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on September 14, 2013 at 20:39:52 PT
You're right.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on September 14, 2013 at 20:38:42 PT
Comment 6
I hate using the word "Sucks". It sounds so unladylike and coarse. But these deaths... any deaths, over these plants... in any way... sucks. They really suck. In the worst way.It's just so stupid, so wrong that any one is willing to risk their very life, literally, willing to die, to keep anyone from using cannabis. It's so foolish. It's crazy. They've got to stop.Even worse. Too many of them are willing to kill others to keep anyone from using the plant, too.All this "War" on people's use of any substance, especially a substance like cannabis, is just insane. The longer it continues, the more insane it is.It's wickedness, iniquity, and true evil, disguised as some sort of righteousness and goodness.
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on September 14, 2013 at 11:03:07 PT
Bla, bla, bla, 
Ok, now I'm angry (again) just read this:"POT CLEANUP CREW LEADER DIES IN FALL FROM HELICOPTER SACRAMENTO - A California outdoorsman who led crews of volunteers through the Sierra Nevada mountains repairing trails and cleaning up marijuana grow sites has died after falling from a helicopter, authorities said. Shane Krogen was being lowered in a harness to a remote cleanup site in Sequoia National Forest when he fell Thursday, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Krogen fell about 50 feet. "We just don't know what happened yet," Foy said."I know what happened we are persecuting people for a silly plant that makes you feel good and cures cancer and we can't have it and by golly we got to prevent you from getting it and even though it never killed any human being in the HISTORY of mankind, we are willing to DIE for this sillingness!OMG! Marijuana muddle? Har, har, very funny! People get killed, wake tf up folks?!
Another Death for Prohibition!
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Comment #5 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 13, 2013 at 17:08:12 PT
The real fear
Law enforcement always feared the gray area. After their marching orders, it would be so much easier for the troops to just round them all up, and arrest them. But now these new policies force them to work harder, to spend more time sorting out who's allowed, and who's not.As far as the banks go, policy in this country works for the wealthy classes. Bank$ always looked the other way when it comes to busine$$. As far as I know, bankers were not arrested for causing the suffering resulting from great depression part II.
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Comment #4 posted by mexweed on September 13, 2013 at 14:01:42 PT:
Control and regulate with long-stemmed Choomette
The conflicts and confusion are in trying to set up all those new regulator bureaucrat jobs that are being demanded. Men dressed differently than guards in the pen, but essentially paid to watch and keep track rather than do something productive. Now allow me to suggest there is a much cheaper, mainly technical, material way to control and regulate cannabis use, and that is by standardizing the 25-mg. single vapetoke (instead of the obsolete carelessness of 500-mg-per-lightup H-ot Burning O-verdose M-onoxide rolling papers) and by distributing (worldwide) several billion long-stemmed one-hitters with a quarter-inch-diameter screened crater and a 20-inch drawtube (hookah hose without hookah). Hand(f)workers google article, "12 Ways to Make S---- Pipes from Everyday Objects" (first two sections).
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on September 13, 2013 at 10:28:35 PT
more BS scare tactics
oh yes, decriminalization here was so "muddling" for the feds as well! They arrested some guy for smoking a joint at the National Seashore after decrim, he went public, the feds got embarrassed, and now they leave people alone. Decrim won 65 to 35 in the ballot box.leaving people alone is always very simple, isn't it? This is the new propaganda against legalization - it's so "confusing" and "wild" and "muddled".  Very similar to global warming. They know public opinion is in favor. But it's all so "conflicting" and "confusing" for them.  They just have to keep raiding and jailing and seizing assets to deal with their terrible confusion.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 13, 2013 at 06:36:34 PT
Feds Seek To Corral Medical Marijuana Wild West
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 13, 2013 at 05:42:21 PT
Opening Banks To Marijuana Business
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