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November 2012
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And some better reporting

bullet image Cannabis legalisation in Washington and Colorado: A game changer at Transform Drug Policy Foundation Blog

Thirdly, there is the clash with international law. The new Colorado and Washington legislation puts the states in clear breach of the general obligation of the 1961 UN drug convention requiring the criminalisation of non-medical supply and use. The US, perhaps ironically now, has historically been the biggest cheerleader for such prohibitions on the global stage. A complete U-turn from this position isn’t realistic, but it will be interesting to see whether, at the international level, they at least tone down their “tough on drugs” rhetoric now that they themselves are the first to do the previously unthinkable.

Even if there isn’t much of a change in the US’s posturing about drugs in international forums, the hypocrisy of demanding that other nations carry on enforcing prohibition while they themselves are retreating from it, could be enough to encourage a range of countries to start agitating for reform. What is to stop the Netherlands, for example, from finally solving its “back door problem” and legally regulating production and supply to its cannabis coffee shops, which have for decades operated in a quasi-legal paradox. Change is already well under way in Latin America, and the developments in Colorado and Washington will only help the region’s case for the need to explore alternatives to the war on drugs.

Finally, while drug policy reformers – particularly those in the US who did such an incredible job mobilising support – should all be delighted that these measures have passed, we should refrain being smug about these victories. Although this news adds to the stream of positive developments over the past couple of years, there is still a long way to go.

bullet image What Tuesday’s Marijuana Victories Mean for the War on Drugs by Erik Kain in Forbes.

I asked Marijuana Majority’s Tom Angell if the success in those states signifies a shift away from medical marijuana arguments toward full legalization. Not exactly, he told me.

“I think the two-track model will continue for some time with activists leading efforts to legalize marijuana in places where polling suggests significant support, while advocates in other places try for the somewhat easier win of allowing medical marijuana and at least getting ill people off the battlefield of the “war on drugs.””

bullet image U.S. votes to legalize pot may encourage Latin American challenges to drug war by Tim Johnson

Others who push for global decriminalization of marijuana laws also said that U.S. efforts to pressure foreign nations over marijuana would weaken.

“It really is a game changer. It places the U.S. in a very different place,” said Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, the director of the global drug-policy program of the Open Society Foundation, a New York-based group funded by liberal financier George Soros. “This clearly says the paradigm is shifting.”

Jelsma said that if U.S. states such as Colorado and Washington could impose a regime of control on marijuana that didn’t cause usage to soar, “it could mark a snowball effect on Latin America.”

Among those unhappy with moves to legalize marijuana are likely to be Mexican organized-crime groups, which earn billions of dollars a year smuggling pot to the United States. A study published last month by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a nonpartisan research center that examines the effects of globalization, said that as much as a third of crime groups’ revenue came from smuggling pot.

bullet image Next Mexican administration: US legal marijuana vote changes ‘rules of the game’ in drug war – Associated Press

Alejandro Hope, now an analyst at the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, added that a key factor would be the reaction by the U.S. federal government to the votes. A strong federal crackdown on legalized pot could negate all but the smallest effects on Mexico’s cartels, he said.

Hope said a flourishing legal pot market in Colorado could reduce Mexican cartels’ estimated annual income from roughly $6 billion to about $4.6 billion.

If U.S. states start developing a marijuana industry, “This will not be a super-lucrative business proposition for a criminal enterprise,” Hope said. “This will not be a cash cow.”

The loss of income to cartels might lead them to branch into other criminal activities at home like kidnapping, Hope said, but he said such crimes were much more difficult to carry out than marijuana smuggling, so he considered that relatively unlikely.

He said he believed it was more likely the loss of income would force cartels to shrink and even cut into their smuggling of other drugs, because they have been using income from marijuana smuggling to pay the costs of other illegal operations, such as bribes to officials.
“It might produce a reduction in cocaine and heroin smuggling if the effect was large enough,” Hope said. “… How much, and in what directions, beats me at this point.”

bullet image Victory for Pot Means Beginning of the End of Our Crazy Drug War – Martin Lee at the Daily Beast takes us on a brief walk through the history of cannabis prohibition.

With the voters in Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana, Martin A. Lee argues that the war on pot may be over—and good riddance to decades of bad science, scare-mongering, and harsh laws.

Residents of Colorado and Washington made history on Election Day by voting to legalize the adult use of marijuana. For a country punch-drunk on decades of anti-marijuana hysteria, it felt like a momentary jolt of sobriety. It might even go down as a long-term game-changer. The passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington could herald the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition nationwide.

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55 comments to And some better reporting

  • claygooding

    These articles are still guessing,,and we are still wondering,,I keep hoping someone finds verification of DARE removing marijuana from their National curriculum because that would give us proof positive that the feds are pulling out of the propaganda business,,it means most of the leaches that have lived off tax dollars for distributing propaganda against marijuana will now have to find a job,,,stirring compost heaps at pot farms would fit for Calvina,,all she knows how to do is stir up shit.

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  • divadab

    I normally don’t watch teevee (no cable), but on election night, we watched CNN. What a revelation! The announcers like auctioneers or carnies, brilliant eye-catching colors and moving graphics that are impossible to keep your eyes off, and amidst all the sensory assault, sly insertions of political opinion memes presented as fact.

    This is pure marketing, using sophisticated technique to capture peoples’ minds and insert approved messages. Product placements and Idea Placements.

    Yikes! It’s dangerous to submit my brain to this crap. And not surprising that an industry that is controlled by only 6 corporate entities (!!) (a monopsony, or cartel) will be wedded to the status quo that guarantees its profits exploiting the public airwaves. A status quo that includes prohibition of cannabis, a prohibition that benefits other monopsonistic cartels (big cotton, big pharma, and others, and the well-paid prohibition enforcers and their mouthpieces).

    “The revolution will not be televised” applies to our own slow-moving revolution also. We are the vanguard and the MSM are part of the enforcement of the status quo. Teevee has trained us well to discount anything not on teevee – I resist this, but it is so ingrained. I have to keep reminding myself that reality is what is NOT on teevee and that teevee is a clever marketing slant on reality.

    They don’t call it programming for nothing.

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    • nicely said… good to see the Gil Scott-Heron ( http://gilscottheron.net/ ) mention, what a poet/musician/artist this man is. His music in my college days really fed my political fire. Heavy doses of Marley and Tosh helped too…

      As for TV… please see: Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. A fine book by Jerry Mander, again from my college days.

      Not only was I a really disgusted racist (I hated white people and I are one) but I was learning that I also have Luddite tendencies and became a TV hater.

      When I was going thru the my-parents-found-my-pot stage of young adulthood and had that conversation, when my mother said, “you’re escaping reality” I said no “no, watching TV is escaping reality.

      I firmly believe that if we’ve made many people squirm with this election, we’ve done a fine job indeed. The giggles about the Emperor’s new clothes will soon enough start to turn to open laughter and public derision. And then, when Prohibition’s excesses (what we know but is not yet mainstream knowledge) are brought into the daylight… watch out.

      Huzzah!

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    • claygooding

      Most of my tv time is the Discovery,Animal Planet and History channels,,,and some movies,,mostly as a back ground noise maker.

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  • steves

    I have a question – if the Fed tries to “crackdown” on Washington, Colorado or both, what enforcement resources do they have at their disposal? Wouldn’t all state employed LEO be bound to the laws of the state and therefore not be usable by the government? If that is the case, I find it hard to believe that this would even be doable…

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    • Liam

      Dollars.

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    • divadab

      Yer right – the feds have to be invited by local law enforcement. Your Sheriff is your law enforcement officer and the feds operate only with his permission.

      That’s why some CA counties are friendly to cannabis dispensaries, and some not. Local control.

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    • pfroehlich2004

      State and local law enforcement are bound by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they operate. A cop in Colorado cannot arrest you for growing 6 plants any more than he can arrest you for lying on your federal tax return.

      The feds are well within their rights to nail you for those same six plants, but since the DEA has only 5,000 special agents to police the entire world, they’re going to have a mighty tough time enforcing prohibition by themselves.

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    • claygooding

      After busting some licensed grower and distributors in CO or WA the federal prosecutor then has to use a jury made up of the voters that made those growers and distributors legal,,I would say that plea bargaining on this issue should be ignored,,,jury trial them to death,,,

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  • […] expect a marijuana boomCNNFox 31 KDVR.com -National Review Online (blog) -Drug WarRantall 2,238 news articles » Filed Under: Google News Top Stories Tagged With: Top […]

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    What breech? The States are precluded from being a party to an international treaty by the U.S. Constitution. The Federal government can not force the States to adopt laws that they don’t like. The only obligation under the Single Convention treaties is to maintain the Federal laws criminalizing cannabis. It’s not even that cut and dried. Switzerland is in compliance with the treaties despite having limited legalization of heroin. The treaties allow exceptions for medicinal use as long as the government is the source.

    You know, the thing about this dual sovereignty that we Americans live under confuses a lot of people. That and a general lack of understanding that we live in two separate places simultaneously.

    Regardless, using treaties with other countries as if they actually have any authority over the U.S. drives me apeshit. Fuck the United Nations. What are they going to do, arrest us? Especially since these treaties were created at the behest of the U.S. in the first place?

    The treaty is a toothless paper tiger. How hard would it be to cancel that excuse? Just copy, paste, print and mail the letter below.

    Dear United Nations, this letter is notification that the United States of America is exercising it’s rights under the Single Convention treaty of 1961 to withdraw from said treaty as of July 1, 2013.

    Regards,

    Uncle Sam

    P.S. pack up your shit and get out of New York.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Oh for the love of god, did you people know that Roseanne Barr got just under 50,000 votes in her campaign to be elected POTUS?

    Gary Johnson did become the first Libertarian candidate to break a million votes (1,139,562) but Ed Clark (1980) still holds the record for highest percentage.
    http://www.google.com/elections/ed/us/results

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    • claygooding

      Neat,,and right on time,,,now to hint that the first states that legalize will be the only states to make any real money from it,,,tee-hee.

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  • pfroehlich2004

    A treatment industry shill making an ass of himself at the NYT. Sadly, no comments section, so you’ll have to fire off some emails. Have at it :)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/opinion/a-bad-trip-for-democrats.html?ref=opinion

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  • Klay

    I wish Gary Johnson had broken 5%. I find it hard to believe that people would vote for someone who advocated or signed NDAA, the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, drone attacks, etc. I hope Obama changes his attitude towards marijuana, but I doubt that will be the case.

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    • I’m with you Klay. But I see 1.3 million people that voted not just for a highly qualified candidate but also for an end to Prohibition. 1.3 million people get it and vote it.

      – Had he gotten the nod from Ron Paul (wtf RP? whaddaya thinkin’ dude?) and picked up a celebrity friend, like a Willie Nelson or Samuel L Jackson, 5 million mighta been realistic.

      – Had he not been totally excluded from the debates and the mainstream media…

      – Had any other number of small bits of universal serendipity landed upon his campaign…

      I’m still waiting to hear Prez Choom weigh in. He can’t hide behind Droop Dogg forever.

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      • claygooding

        Since the Republican party(according to the talking heads)is now looking to “restructure” it’s basic beliefs in subjects such as women’s issues and immigration policies,,is it time to remind them that if they had nominated Gary Johnson when he ran with them,,they would have beaten Obama?

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  • Servetus

    Another unfriendly force in the fight for marijuana freedom will come from capitalism itself. The corporate sector will continue to force legal undercuts to herbal remedies in favor of their own inferior concoctions that happen to be patentable, if nothing else.

    The underlying economic dynamic will be what Karl Marx called primitive accumulation, wherein a capitalist economy limits the resources of its citizens to possess or obtain their own goods and services. Instead, citizens are expected to become dependent upon centralized sources for products and services, sources like Big Pharma, big banksters, synthetic fiber companies like DuPont, or wealthy corporatists in general. Self-sufficiency regarding anything is considered a major evil by today’s capitalist power brokers.

    We’ve seen this process before in the case of the destruction of small-scale farming in the United States, beginning in the mid-1980s, and the corresponding shift of food production to big agribusiness. President Ronald Reagan and the federal government were instrumental in making Reaganomics the deceptive and disruptive boogeyman designed to send people from the farms into the cities to become meager wage earners. A recent offending burp from Big Agribiz was its complaint about Michelle Obama growing a vegetable garden on the White House grounds. The same principles apply, whether it’s Agribiz or Pharma.

    Any defense against such tactics must recognize the right of the citizen to grow one’s own cannabis as legal medicine, or as legal farm produce for whatever purpose, such as hemp fiber and oil production. Legal possession of less than an ounce of psychoactive product isn’t enough. The threat of primitive accumulation will focus on production and distribution, meaning these problems will remain as obstacles until a clear victory for marijuana is achieved.

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    • Opiophiliac

      I would add to that the freedom to grow coca, opium poppies, khat and any other plant or fungus consumed for its drug effects.

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      • Servetus

        Right on. Self-sustainability regarding any drug or plant usually favors the plant. The opium pipe and opium dreams instead of Demerol®, the coca plant instead of processed cocaine, mushrooms instead of psychotherapy at $200-per-session, and a general respect for the traditions and customs of other cultures concerning their drugs of choice.

        When Tim Leary was introduced to heroin, he said he’d never criticize another person’s drug again. If we’re to have drug peace, drug freedom is the only solution.

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  • NorCalNative

    My position on international treaties that prohibit legalization is this: As long as the U.S. ignores treaty obligations in regard to torture then treaties on cannabis are MEANINGLESS.

    No two-tiered justice!

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    • darkcycle

      Exactly. The U.S. Government sees no problem discarding established treaties when it suits us. Just ask a Native American.

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  • stlgonzo

    The feds and local cops raiding homes.

    Authorities target pot grows in southwest Santa Rosa sweep.

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120926/ARTICLES/120929653/1033/news?p=all&tc=pgall

    “We just looked into this neighborhood and, literally, probably every backyard but two or three have a (marijuana) grow,” O’Leary said. “Our goal is to go in there to rid the neighborhood of these, what we think are probably illegal grows.”

    “By late morning, the FBI assault team and a big-wheeled SWAT vehicle had left the neighborhood. But people still sat, detained in their front yards, some holding their babies while young children played nearby.”

    “O’Leary, the sheriff’s lieutenant, said the show of force by authorities and their tactics were deliberate, selected in part because there is a heavy gang presence and lots of children in the neighborhood.”

    I see use assault teams where children are know to be present. This just makes me sick.

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  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    -The 9th Amendment, from the US Bill of Rights.

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  • claygooding

    Colorado and Washington Legalized Marijuana Tuesday, What Happens Now?
    by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

    http://tinyurl.com/ao9l8ne

    “”Tuesday night, the states of Colorado and Washington sent a loud and clear message to the federal government that they no longer wish to enforce the futile prohibition on cannabis. The symbolic impact of these victories are immediate, but what are the practical effects on the ground now that these two initiatives have been approved?

    In Washington State, regulations for the marijuana retail outlets are going to start being drafted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. This process is expected to last about a year. The immediate impact of passing I-502 is on the state laws regarding possession.

    Starting on December 6th, Section 20 of the initiative will take effect. This section effectively states that any person over the age of 21 is legally allowed to possess up to 1oz of dried marijuana, 16oz of marijuana solids (edibles), and 72oz of cannabis infused liquids (think oils and lotions). It is also no longer a crime to possess marijuana paraphernalia.

    Law enforcement representatives in the state have already released some statements on this matter. Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, from the Seattle Police Department, said, “For us, the law has changed, and people can expect no enforcement for possession.””

    Here is Erik’s take on the next move by the feds.

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  • darkcycle

    “”Law enforcement representatives in the state have already released some statements on this matter. Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, from the Seattle Police Department, said, “For us, the law has changed, and people can expect no enforcement for possession.””This is pretty much what I have heard all over the State.

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  • stlgonzo

    You think Barack would wear it if I sent it to him?

    http://6dollarshirts.com/product.php?productid=12128

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    • Irie

      Oh plz do, tell him he could use the next time he is playing a little b-ball with his cronies, or lounging around the white house with the fam! Green is definitely his color! LOL

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    • I think… (really)… I think that the word “choom” should be used publicly as much as possible. Strategic placement, whether visual like the T-shirt or in print could very serve as a flea under the collar type of irritant. I mean who could blame us for being a bit puckish for the next 4 years.

      The thought of CO and WA still makes me grin…

      I was born in WA and when going to the USAF photo and electronics schools at Denver, CO’s Lowry AFB, my cannabist tendencies were becoming solidly established. (I also learned that occasionally you can salute a 2nd Lieutenant w/ your left hand and not be noticed.) So I feel a real connection, in fact I hear a whisper in the wind… oh, nope, just gas, sorry…

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      • stlgonzo

        Alan I agree, I use “choom” all the time now. I love when people ask me about it. I can then tell them about the pot smokin club our president was in. If he had grown-up a poor black kid in Chicago, instead of sheltered, well-to-do black kid in Hawaii I bet he would have a criminal record for possession.

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      • i went to intel school at lowry from jan – mar 1977. i lived in the barracks just across the street from your school. i had made it to very dedicated cannabist by then — and even smoked a joint with several of my classmates while walking to the movie theater one night.

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        • really… I was there twice. The second time I wasn’t just a recruit out of basic. I was an E3 and TDY, didn’t have to put up with formations or anything much else other than school and barracks’ inspections. And I was a full fledged pot head by then. Had a TV, and kept my waterpipe in my locker. An old Spinada bottle, a metal film canister with aluminimum foil screen and aquarium hose for drawing the smoke. Had a room to myself…

          I’d lay by the barely opened window and blow my smoke outside. Break it all down, rinse the bottle and put change in it… no drug dogs on base back then. Cheap 3.2 Coors off base, girls that called us, great rides in the mountains and a pizza truck on-base! Hippies in the parks… concerts and places to dance with live music. And quality LSD!

          Which reminds me… I’ve been doing (certain and limited) drugs since before Nixon declared war on me. Except for the occasional breakdown in retail supply lines I can safely say that the drug war has never successfully kept drugs from my reach.

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        • cool! and hell yeah, it’s way more fun when you aren’t there as an AB. i was back a second time myself around 4 years later, but for a totally suck-ass reason: to visit my best friend from my time in germany who was in the jail there. he got busted in 79 for selling hash to the narc they brought in after yet another story in a national magazine describing near-by ramstein ab as a “drug-hub” in europe.

          when i went through, the drinking age was 18, and believe it or not we actually had a coors machine in the lobby of our barracks. i don’t remember if it was only 3.2 — but i kind of doubt it since we could legally buy booze as well.

          and i actually made it back there yet again in 82 — to re-enlist after not being able to find a decent enough job to support my family. it was a time of high unemployment and the fact that the real world had no use for intelligence analysts.

          i agree 100% on availability — a bit of effort is all that’s really required. but the drug war has certainly had impacts here and there on quality: the quality of pot has continued to improve, but sadly enough, the quality of acid has gone totally to hell!

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        • darkcycle

          Aw, Brian. You need to know some of the people I know down in the bay area. Good acid is back in a big way. In fact, I have some saved for the end of the Mayan Calender. (Solstice is my usual time)

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  • Wow… I wonder what this means for next year’s Seattle HempFest? Could we see the world’s largest ever column of ganja smoke? (we rolled up the paper from Cheech and Chong’s Big Bambu album when I was in Thailand, took nearly an ounce, and the cloud produced by that had the neighbors coming out to see what the hell. When they saw it was just those crazy GIs they laughed and went about their day)

    I might have to start making plans to attend for sure in aught 13.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      It doesn’t count unless you processed that choom through a dog’s digestive tract first, and it has to be a Labrador dog to be truly authentic.

      ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

      No, using the word choom just isn’t going to work for me. Carry on.

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      • darkcycle

        Yeah. I tried it too. Doesn’t roll off the tongue the way “Ganja” or “high Grade” or even “Chronic” does.

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    • Hope

      Allan, I wanted to say I’m so sorry about Oregon.

      But wow, the rest is good, isn’t it? Even Arkansas being so close was good.

      We see it. We DID live to see it. Just like we said we would.

      Hey, Kap?

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      • kaptinemo

        I knew we would, just didn’t know when. The ‘when’ came a lot sooner than I expected. But it had to come.

        Been saying it for years: the DrugWar is a rich man’s hobby, like yachting. It takes an enormous amount of ‘discretionary funding’ and ‘expendable income’ because it is a loss, no matter how you slice it. The taxpayer winds up footing the entire bill…and gets nothing concrete from it but prisons they have to pay for.

        And Uncle, despite continuing his profligate ways in order to keep up appearances, is flat broke. And printing more paper money (‘quantitative easing’)to keep up the illusion of solvency will only worsen things. Something’s got to give. This past Tuesday, in Washington State and Colorado, it finally did.

        In addition, a constellation of factors (the economy, Latin American nations getting their backs up and saying “No mas Yanqui DrugWar!”, etc.) have arisen in such a way to act like the tumblers in a combination lock; almost all of them have fallen now, and the lock is opening.

        In short, as I said way back in 2009 with the Mark Phelps incident, OUR TIME IS NOW. It’s come, it’s finally come, and it’s time to press home the advantages we have.

        It’s no time for complacency. We can’t afford to do what my generation did and wait for common sense to prevail. All that got us was the Reagan phase of the DrugWar. We’ve been suffering increasingly ever since.

        We have the momentum, now; we’ve proven we can do it. Time to go all out, and end-run around and isolate the opposition, State by State by State. The Beast is wounded, and we can expect it to flail about and cause more casualties, but those wounds are ultimately fatal. Time for the coup de grace.

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        • Hope

          We didn’t just wait for things to change, mi Kaptin, we changed them! Remember when the prohibs would smirk and say, “If you don’t like it. Change the law.”?

          They were so smug in their belief that it couldn’t be changed… and I’m not saying I never hit bottom and worried we couldn’t… but we did change it!

          Lol! We did!

          I know it’s just the beginning and we have a fight ahead of us… but this is the Wall separating us from sensible, sane policy being completely broken. Wow.

          I’m so excited about all the hemp possibilities. The utilitarian aspects. The medical and health aspects. The world and humanity is never going to be perfect… but this is going to make it better. And better is good.

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  • someguy

    All I can add is:

    Beware of phony stoners pushing endless joints at parties in an effort to overdue a good thing. They did it in the 70s and it had a generally negative effect on many people.

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    • darkcycle

      Huh? None of the parties I went to back in the ’70s had phony stoners pushing endless joints! Damn! I must have been going to the wrong parties!

      Well-liked Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      • someguy

        We’re all entitled to our opinion. You don’t have to agree with me and I don’t have to agree with you. So let’s just leave it at that, okay?

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  • kaptinemo

    Rat leaving a sinking ship? You decide:

    Holder suggests he may resign

    With the passage of laws that stand to directly challenge – via popular vote, no less! – Federal suzerainty, with all that that implies (deep, deep ramifications all around) would you want to head the DoJ at a time when the first real challenge to Fed authority in over a century stands to actually win?

    I’d say the smartest of the prohibs will exhort their dimmer brethren to keep flying the crashing aircraft that is prohibition, while they secretly pack their golden parachutes. And Holder looks like he might be the first to jump from the burning plane…

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  • Opiophiliac

    Interesting question posed by someone leaving a comment on this article in Huffington:


    Suppose the feds tell the state government that if the state government issues these licenses that they will prosecute the civil servants responsible for conspiracy to produce and distribute marijuana. I think we both are aware that this is a possibility. So suppose the state then just declines to issue licenses for that reason.

    In your view, would that open the way for full marijuana legalization through the courts as far as state law goes? I mean if I apply for a license to grow pot and my application is not even reviewed, nor is anyone else’s, for fear of federal prosecution, can the state then prosecute me for growing pot or does that violate due process?

    I think this is worth thinking about and discussing because if the answer is that it would violate due process to prosecute in that case, then that’s a very important message to convey to the feds, namely, “if you do this, we can’t prosecute anybody.”

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    • I think outright legalization makes this option (which was probably already considered) not as viable as an option anymore. Its not a good path for the Government to follow as it puts them in direct opposition to the State and it is not a position taken lightly. When only medical marijuana was represented as legal this may have been rosier looking.

      Its only my opinion, but I don’t think the Government would proceed in this fashion.

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