Obama Administration Issues New Policy on MMJ
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Obama Administration Issues New Policy on MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on October 19, 2009 at 08:28:47 PT
By Carrie Johnson, Washington Post Staff Writer 
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- The Obama administration delivered new guidance on medical marijuana to federal prosecutors Monday, signaling a broad policy shift that will mean fewer crackdowns against dispensaries and the people who use them. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. instructed government lawyers that in 14 states where medical marijuana use is legal, federal prosecutors should focus only on cases involving higher level drug traffickers or people who use the state laws as a cover story. 
"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal," Holder said. "This balanced policy formalizes a sensible approach that the Department has been following since January: effectively focus our resources on serious drug traffickers while taking into account state and local laws." The Justice Department action is the latest in a series of developments in President Obama's approach to drug policy. It follows by only a few days the introduction of a Senate bill that would eliminate the disparity between sentences for cocaine possession in powder versus rock form, a change long sought by drug reform advocates, judges and civil rights activists. During last year's election campaign, Obama and his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr., backed an overhaul of the nation's treatment of drug offenders, supporting more education, treatment and drug courts for people caught in the throes of addiction. They handpicked former Seattle police chief R. Gil Kerlikowske, who shares many of those views, as their drug czar. In Monday's memo, first reported by the Associated Press, authorities make clear that in states with medical marijuana laws, federal prosecutors should train their aim on bigger cases involving violence, money laundering, sales to juveniles and the unlawful use of firearms. Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, who sent the policy directive to U.S. attorneys Monday morning, cautioned that marijuana distribution in the United States remains the highest profit source for powerful Mexican drug cartels whose violence increasingly spills over the Southwest border. In the document, posted on the department Web site Ogden makes clear that the department is not "legalizing" marijuana or creating a new legal defense for people who may have violated the Controlled Substances Act. Instead, the memo is intended to guide prosecutors on where to train their scarce investigative resources. URL: Angell, a spokesman for the advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said in an e-mail message that the shift appears to be a "major step" in the right direction. The issue has flared in several states, particularly California, where drug-control agents raided dispensaries earlier this year. Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:   Carrie Johnson, Washington Post Staff Writer Published: Monday, October 19, 2009Copyright: 2009 Washington Post Contact: letters URL: CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by museman on October 19, 2009 at 10:02:18 PT
who are these 'people'
the government claims to work for, and the US Constitution claims to support?Its certainly not you or me, not the millions who are struggling to catch up with the latest theft of their resources and life-savings. It certainly is not within the parameters of the major percentage of the population -including the ethically and intellectually challenged 'moral right' who have been the fodder for republican rule for decades.These 'people' have identifiable markings;Over 100 thou a year intake.
Nice houses (as in more than 1- and by 'nice' I mean REAL nice) Nice cars. Nice clothes. Nice, upkept faces (lol). And very few actually do anything except collect interest on their fake system of economics.These 'people' make up less that 3% of the population, yet they continue to make 99% of the rules, the money, and the global conditions rifling the planet. They continue their trips down limo-lane, first class (or private jet) air to Rio or Club Med, while the rest of us feed their voracious appetites for materialist gluttony, every day in our jobs and consumer lifestyles.When faced with the choices of personal sovereignty and responsibility, the majority defers to the 3% on a regular basis, and the perpetuity of false authority, false values, and false belief systems continues with little resistance.Well, irregardless of the lies of cops, lawyers, DAs, judges, and their politician bedfellows, they all -under constitutional intent, letter, and spirit- work FOR US! Never let them forget that. Never.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on October 19, 2009 at 09:28:41 PT
Sam Adams Comment 1
The wheels and cogs of justice grinding, dragging on. I know they go slow. Wastefully slow.A year and not one real cog movement. Only a couple of weak squeaks.Still. Past administrations jerked the cog backwards instead of forward like we hoped they might.A faint squeak, and no "in your face" stance reversal, after a president takes office, is the best thing we've ever gotten out of one.
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Comment #4 posted by herbdoc215 on October 19, 2009 at 09:07:43 PT
This will make it worse not better! false security
This is just another one of those blurry lines that allow the pigs to legislate on the ground and gray as hell delaying tactic so cops and lawyers can continue sucking blood from sick folks. Follow which version of twisted byzantine law that what prosecutor interpreted? DOJ Directives are not worth the paper their written on, what was DEA and cops response the last time this directive was given...raids? What happened to executive orders that Bush signed so many of? What about actually writing a state law that's not written by teenagers or for the pigs so we can have something to follow. These same directives are causing pure hell with the situation here in Washington because everything was the product of backroom deals and never codified. It would be ever better if they just told them to let us present a full defense in federal court when they end up dragging half of us in there so we can at least try to explain why we do what we do, to a JURY! I don't think all those folks celebrating understand the finer details of the law but then again we as a group have consistently underestimated the lengths our opponents would go to hold on to their money and more important their power! peace, steve 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 19, 2009 at 08:50:55 PT
Feds To Issue New Medical Marijuana Policy
October 19, 2009Excerpt: "This is a major step forward," said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality."URL:
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on October 19, 2009 at 08:43:58 PT
All This Is:
a guide to the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion.This will not do much, IMO.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on October 19, 2009 at 08:35:09 PT
apologism in full swing
"The Obama administration delivered new guidance on medical marijuana to federal prosecutors Monday, signaling a broad policy shift that will mean fewer crackdowns against dispensaries and the people who use them. "This reminds of what Bill Maher said recently. Can you imagine some activists chanting for change:What do we want?FEWER Raids!When do we want them! 12 MONTHS after he takes power! Yeah!
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