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April 2009
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Sometimes, I’m clueless

“bullet” “Why is AB 390 being delayed until next year?” No idea.
AB 390 is the bill for legalizing marijuana in California, introduced by Ammiano.
This page suggests that the first hearing was cancelled by the author, and other sources do say that it has been delayed until next year. It could be that he wanted to get more ammunition together, or more co-sponsors, or see what happens with dispensaries, or he simply knows that it doesn’t have a chance of passing now, so he’s extending its life to get more coverage next year.
If anybody has better information, I’d love to hear it.
“bullet” What’s going on with this report in the New York Times about AG Holder’s meeting with the AG of Mexico?

And with marijuana sales central to the drug trade, Mr. Holder said he was exploring ways to lower the minimum amount required for the federal prosecution of possession cases.

You got me.
Eric Sterling thinks that somebody (possibly the NY Times) confused “possession with importation, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute.” Which makes sense, because using federal prosecutors to go after mere marijuana possession would be a particularly stupid thing for Holder to suggest as a means for assisting with the Mexican drug war.
I’ve got an email out to the reporter, but I haven’t heard back yet.
I think Eric’s right on this – it’s the only thing that makes sense. Now that doesn’t make us particularly happy, because we don’t feel that marijuana should be illegal at all, so any proposed increase in enforcement seems terrible. And yet, I’m not particularly surprised.
What’s Holder supposed to do? The only solution related to the Mexican drug war that would actually make any difference is off the table — legalization. This administration is not going to suggest legalization as a solution. Period. We never expected them to. If you can’t suggest a real solution, what do you have left? You have to make a big show about there being some aspect of prohibition that hasn’t been done, or hasn’t been done enough, or enough in the right way, and pretend that it’ll make the difference (even though you know full well that it won’t).
It’s not like Holder can say “Well, with all those people dying, we’re just going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. Maybe a little less.” Of course not — he’s got to at least appear to be kicking some ass and making a difference, even though what he’s suggesting, upon closer examination, appears to be nothing more than finding some marijuana smuggling offenses and prosecuting them in a federal court instead of a state court — like that could possibly have any effect.

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