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September 2013
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Single Convention threatened?

Well, no, not really, but it’s fun to actually see articles suggesting that the U.S. should withdraw…

To Make Marijuana Legalization a Reality, This Should be Obama’s Next Step by Jessie Bullock at PolicyMic

Firstly, the U.S. should withdraw from the convention. Withdrawing from the convention is an action recognized by international law, and means that the country no longer wishes to abide by the international guidelines set forth, such as criminalizing the sale or production of marijuana. […]

Secondly, the United States should select which clauses they wish to opt out of. A forward-thinking president, knowing that legalization of marijuana is imminent, might consider opting out of not only the clauses that prohibit the production, sale, and consumption of marijuana, but also opting out of the clauses that require marijuana possession to be punished. Opting out of all clauses that require marijuana possession to be punished means that the United States wouldn’t have to substitute a criminal penalty (i.e. time in jail, on a criminal record) for a civil penalty (i.e. a ticket or civil fine, which is what most individuals receive when caught using marijuana in states that have decriminalized weed).

Of course, that’s true — a forward-thinking President might do such a thing, and it would be great, but I can’t see it ever happening. Considering that the United States heavily dominates international drug policy even to the point of being the world’s drug cop, it seems much more likely that if and when the U.S. reached a point where the single convention was in its way, change would be done by amendment rather than withdrawal. Sure, Sweden and Russia would oppose amendments, but by the time the U.S. was ready to go there, I can’t imagine that they’d have much trouble making the changes.

I do, however, enjoy with some amusement the image of a United States that has exempted itself from the marijuana provisions of the single convention while the rest of the world still follows it. But if withdrawal for this purpose is going to occur, it’s much more likely that it’ll be done by Latin American and European countries.

Oh, and by the way… the opening paragraph of this piece:

Last week, the Department of Justice announced that the federal government will not prosecute marijuana-based offenses in states that have already legalized marijuana. This is a victory for the marijuana legalization movement, but it does not go far enough.

Um, yeah, you might want to go back and look at what the Department of Justice actually said. It wasn’t this.

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19 comments to Single Convention threatened?

  • Jean Valjean

    There is an assumption by this journalist, along with Andres Oppenheimer two posts back and the rest of the MSM, that the United States administration is composed of rational, “forward thinking” people who might feel the drug laws place them in an “awkward situation.”
    This is of course a fantasy and the government is entirely controlled by those who pay for it, (excluding the tax-payer of course.) The drug-war has always been a rationality-free zone and the usual laws of political discourse cannot be applied to any of its operatives. To imagine otherwise is just naivete.

    • Greg Smith

      Seems you missed this. “Of course, that’s true — a forward-thinking President might do such a thing, and it would be great, but I can’t see it ever happening.” The assumption you say the journalist makes, I don’t see at all, based on this statement. I think you might want to re-read the article.

    • Howard

      This is exactly the problem with the vague generalities of Holder’s recent announcement. Melinda Haag declaring that the cases she’s been pursuing are in accordance with the new ‘guidelines’ should come as no surprise. But you what is most galling about Ms. Haag’s pursuits? She claims that any medical cannabis dispensary that is ‘big’ is by default ‘criminal’. Does she define what big is? No, it’s her own private definition and she has decided she will go after whomever she pleases. Of course, I suspect it’s best to pursue the ‘big’ ones since more assets can be seized.

      If the current administration is at all serious about what their recently stated guidelines are supposed to mean, ALL cases being brought against medical cannabis dispensaries should be suspended — immediately — and reviewed (Haag’s first). Actually, they should be dropped. If Holder had any cojones he would contact the Haag’s of the world and tell them to stand down. Yeah, I know, good luck with that.

      I’m not sure what the marijuana policy hearing being hosted by Senator Leahy in a week is going to resolve. I’d like to think he’s going to push for greater clarity and understanding. I’d like to think cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic (absurd to infinity) will be discussed. I’d like to think that what polls are showing regarding the shift in attitude Americans have toward cannabis in particular and the War on Some Drugs in general would resonate in some way. But, what the hell, I used to think (a very long time ago) that dirtbag politicians actually used cogent thought processes. I was a very naive 4-year-old.

      • Howard

        Bad sentence, I meant to say “But you *know* what is most galling…”.

        I try to remain even keeled, but DAMN, am I irritated.

    • B. Snow

      “And crackdowns have been vigorous, particularly at the hands of U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, who covers the Northern District of California.”

      (Pardon my language) I say Frak that political whore If legal and/or medical cannabis bothers her so badly – she should move the hell out of Northern California.

      You know – that whole “vote with your feet” thing…
      For the love of Cthulhu – she should get herself the hell out of “The Emerald Triangle”, and let the rest of the folks that moved up there from Southern California (or other states/parts of the country/world) knowing full well it’s a notorious/historic hippy-haven.

      IIRC, There are plenty of uptight folks down around San Diego, and supposedly there are other “Republican strongholds”, some of whom might even welcome her crap… At least until senile dementia catches up with them, and the next generation gets rid of their Nixon/Reagan Era social-conservative *mainly spiteful* backlash to the counter-culture of 60’s & 70’s…

      But, Noooo = she has to force her teetotaler “values” on other people, Most of whom (I’m betting) who’d just love to see her get flattened by a natural gas powered city-bus & then cleaned-up off of the street w/ a water-hose & a broom = preferably the one she rode in on!

      • B. Snow

        Oops, that should’ve read something more like:

        ‘and leave be – all the rest of the folks – *that moved up there from Southern California (or other states/parts of the country/world) knowing full well it’s a notorious/historic hippy-haven* = they are Americans with the right to liberty & to pursue happiness as they see fit.’

        This still doesn’t read very ‘pretty’ but, I its better than the half-written unfinished thought, that I seem to have edited out – in the course of my grumpiness.

    • Servetus

      Maybe Melinda Haag will testify at the Leahy hearing on September 10. The entire country would like to know what motivates her, what makes her believe she’s accomplishing anything useful or productive exercising her own personal weed war.

      Hollywood could turn it into a movie: “Haag’s War”, featuring Ms. Haag’s law career and its epic crash and burn in the pot war hearings, starring Lindsay Lohan as Melinda.

  • claygooding

    I don’t know why anyone worries about the STC at all,,if the UN had checked with Native Americans they would never enter into any treaty with the US govt.

  • strayan

    Wed., September 4, 2013

    Note: You’re receiving this update because you’ve previously signed a We the People petition on the issue of marijuana.

    Last week, the Department of Justice released their guidance in light of ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington — we thought you’d want to see the news:

    Justice Department Announces Update to Marijuana Enforcement Policy

    Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an update to its federal marijuana enforcement policy in light of recent state ballot initiatives that legalize, under state law, the possession of small amounts of marijuana and provide for the regulation of marijuana production, processing, and sale.

    In a new memorandum outlining the policy, the Department makes clear that marijuana remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act and that federal prosecutors will continue to aggressively enforce this statute. To this end, the Department identifies eight (8) enforcement areas that federal prosecutors should prioritize. These are the same enforcement priorities that have traditionally driven the Department¹s efforts in this area.

    Outside of these enforcement priorities, however, the federal government has traditionally relied on state and local authorizes to address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws. This guidance continues that policy.

    For states such as Colorado and Washington that have enacted laws to authorize the production, distribution and possession of marijuana, the Department expects these states to establish strict regulatory schemes that protect the eight federal interests identified in the Department¹s guidance. These schemes must be tough in practice, not just on paper, and include strong, state-based enforcement efforts, backed by adequate funding. Based on assurances that those states will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system, the Department has informed the governors of both states that it is deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time. But if any of the stated harms do materialize — either despite a strict regulatory scheme or because of the lack of one — federal prosecutors will act aggressively to bring individual prosecutions focused on federal enforcement priorities and the Department may challenge the regulatory scheme themselves in these states.

    Tell us what you think about this update.

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  • Windy

    Hubby came home with this article from WND, which he received when he went to have his MMJ license renewed today. The article’s author thinks the fed gov is encouraging legalization efforts so they can use cannabis use as a reason to steal people’s legally owned guns and bar users from their right to own and carry arms, forever.
    Marijuana laws new tool to ban gun ownership
    FTA:
    The website for the Office of National Drug Policy includes this warning: “Marijuana and other illicit drugs are addictive and unsafe especially for use by young people. … Marijuana contains chemicals that can change how the brain works. And the science, though still evolving in terms of long-term consequences of marijuana use, is clear: marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects.”
    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/marijuana-laws-new-tool-to-ban-gun-ownership/#3Lst2Vl3FIueIjPA.99

  • Duncan20903

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    .

    I don’t believe that the SCT requires punishment for petty possession. There are just too many countries that have decriminalized petty possession without a peep from the U.N. for that to be true. Just off the cuff I can list Uruguay, Mexico, Portugal and of Switzerland. Switzerland is of particular interest because the Swiss are nothing if not meticulous in complying with the SCT.

  • Duncan20903

    .
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    Perhaps it isn’t always a bad thing that jack booted thugs are going to act like jack booted thugs? Oh crud, now I’m rooting for police brutality, sheesh. Prohibition does indeed pervert the very fabric of reality. This one is from the “thud!” category:

    Senator Leahy: Feds Shouldn’t ‘Waste Time’ on State Marijuana Laws
    The Judiciary Committee chair worries that a “dysfunctional” Congress won’t press for needed drug reforms.

    /snip/
    Mr. Cohen: What can you do, what are you prepared to do, if the Justice Department allows these states to proceed right up until the date of the first legal sales and then moves in and arrests and indicts folks. Have you thought about that scenario?

    Senator Leahy: I have.

    Senator Leavy: I think that would be a bad mistake. And I think that would probably be enough to get a number of members of Congress, from both the right and the left, to say, “We have more important things to do. Let’s change the law.
    /snip/

    A friend sitting as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, whodafeckin thunk it possible? Hmm, that factoid is worthy of my list of differences between the late 1970s/early 1980s and today.

  • OT, FYI:

    Yosemite Rim Fire definitely NOT caused by marijuana grow; mystery remains
    http://tinyurl.com/lly6rzq