Well that certainly clears things up

Obama won’t sue Colorado or Washington state over pot laws

Nearly a year after Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the Obama administration announced on Thursday that it won’t sue the states to comply with federal laws, though it reserves the right to in the future.

Update: Reactions To DOJ Marijuana Memo: Dismay, Exuberance, Skepticism

Dismay: Kevin Sabet

Skepticism: Tom Angell

Update 2:

Some of you surely are questioning the sanity of those who are releasing statements of exuberance about this announcement. However, I do understand at least one reason for doing so. Since the administration is playing the “game” of appearing to be reasonable while not actually committing to anything real, a tactic by the other side can be to publicly accept that “appearance” as something real, in order to cement that impression with the public. Thus, when the administration acts in a contrary manner, the public will view the administration as double-dealing once again.

The game doesn’t always work, and I certainly have no need to pursue such things here, but I understand it as a legitimate political tactic.

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97 Responses to Well that certainly clears things up

  1. allan says:

    they’re a funny lot:

    The guidance lists eight federal priorities that prosecutors should consider when deciding whether to undertake a prosecution.

    • Preventing marijuana distribution to minors

    oooh… Prohibition of cannabis does that. Prosecute the feds

    • Preventing money from sales from going to criminal groups

    oooh… Prohibition does that. Prosecute the feds

    • Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to states where it is illegal

    • Preventing criminal groups from using state laws as cover for trafficking of other illegal drugs

    • Preventing violence and the use of illegal firearms

    • Preventing drugged driving

    • Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands

    • Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property

    ditto, ditto, ditto… all dittoes. Prohibition breeds all those conditions, prosecute the feds!

    oh, the bitter irony of this could make a fella cry.

    • Dante says:

      Now, Allan,

      “prosecute the Feds”? That seems kind of far-reaching.

      Didn’t somebody smart tell us not to paint them all with the same brush?

      Wouldn’t be the first time somebody did that, though.

      So, carry on.

    • Tony Aroma says:

      It also says these are the same priorities that have always been in place. This new memo is just a reaffirmation of the previous memo. It’s only “guidance,” just as before, and their priorities haven’t really changed much. It refers to the previous memo throughout, and says over and over that nothing has changed: “These priorities will continue to guide the Department’s enforcement of the CSA.”

      So where are people getting the idea that this is something new? It sounds to me like more of the same. Prosecutors can, and will, continue to do as they please. This is just another pass-the-buck non-response.

      And it says nothing about medical states, so the assumption is nothing changes there either.

    • Freeman says:

      Allan, that’s exactly the response I had. I also noticed this little tit-bit of hypocrisy in the DOJ memo regarding expectations that the states take measures to prevent the “8 harms”:

      A system adequate to that task must not only contain robust controls and procedures on paper; it must also be effective in practice.

      “Effective in practice”??? Compared to what — the DOJ’s prohibition approach? Don’t make me laugh!

    • Plant Down Babylon says:

      Just curious, does a state Gov have the power to kick out a federal prosecutor?

      Say Michael Ormsby in eastern WA gets out of hand like that wench Haag in norcal, can the Guv give him the boot?

      Or would he send state police/sheriffs to defend said dispensaries against fed agents?!

      A kind of state vs fed armed standoff. Didn’t that happen at Kent state (forgive me if i got my history wrong, i’m a bit younger)

      • Plant Down Babylon says:

        Could the city of Oakland surround Harborside with state police to stop fed thugs from entering/looting/forfeiting?

        If so, would the police stand up to the “almighty” feds as everyone seems to think the feds have the ‘final say’.

        Would it then be a job for the Sheriff’s?

        Could we see this happening one day?

      • darkcycle says:

        No, PDB, Federal prosecutors are appointees at the Federal Level.

        • Plant Down Babylon says:

          I understand this, but if Oakland wants their tax revenue out of a completely legal state operation that the feds want to shut down, what’s to stop the city from placing their own police force there to protect it?

          If it doesn’t interfere with the ‘commerce clause’, I don’t see what jurisdiction the feds have over it. Wouldn’t it be ripe for a challenge?

          I’m not for/against dispensaries, I just hate the feds picking/choosing who to raid based on their own stupid whims. I heard some city’s are erecting ‘schools’ next to dispensaries so that they fall under the 1000′ distance.

          All that being said, when are the states going to physically stand up to the feds if they continue their bullying?

          Not to sound crass, but the first person to bitch slap laura duffy or melinda haag gets my ‘hall of fame’ vote.

      • War Vet says:

        Ohio attacked the students via the Ohio National Guard, Plant Down. Kent State was about the State attacking its citizens and not Fed vs state.

        Why would you want the State to fight the Feds in regards to keeping one’s water bong loaded and pot shops open –un-raided? Aren’t there more important things to seek after in regards to politics/policy i.e. the Federal Government wants to aid and arm drug dealers in Syria (oops, I mean drug money financed rebels)and we are sending our Navy there for the possibility of another big war. Don’t take this as a gripe to you Plant Down, but as my own awkward way of positing questions/getting the ball rolling . . . you are after all on Pete’s couch, which means you are not a special needs activist like many (not all) on Cannabis Culture and High Times and dare I say, NORML (though not all) . . . because you are on Drugwarrant Plant Down, you are a lot smarter than the average bear (and I claim that for everyone of us on here). I’ve been arrested for pot and I care more about 9/11 and our economy and our War on Terror than getting arrested for pot again. Did you know that illegal marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth, MDMA can be processed into gun powder and explosives? (yes, you want to laugh at that, but here me out and don’t take me as literal)

        Did you know that 9/11 and the whole War on Terror is far more important than the DEA raiding dispensaries? Each raided dispensary costs less than one billion dollars, though the War on Terror costs a few trillion dollars (it’s not cheap, easy or a short war fighting non-stop drug money).

        As you know, Federal Law makes it illegal to aid your nation’s enemy during a time of war. That’s why we have no proof that cops can (legally) arrest you for heroin or pot in America, since arresting a drug user is obeying the CSA laws and the CSA laws create drug money and drug money finances terrorism and America’s drug laws influence and dictate foreign drug laws. That is one reason why it’s illegal for a police officer to arrest you for cocaine, just like it’s illegal for a police officer to help Al Qaeda. Its well know that the CSA creates illegal drugs and illegal drugs are sold by gangs and terrorists and cartels, which means the consequences are known and if the consequences are known and yet still acted out, its called intent . . . the CSA law intends for terrorism to strike America and her troops because its creation of drug money has done so time and time again (known results plus willingness equals intent). Sadly, most states and feds don’t obey State and Federal Law (since I would say treason is illegal under state law as well . . . inventing illicit laws that drain the economy are illegal as well). The War on Drugs invented the War on Terror since all we did in Afghanistan, 9/11 and Iraq was fight or be attacked by drug money or try to fix drug money destroyed nations/buildings/civic government/corruption etc . . . all of which cost America trillions of dollars, which makes dispensary/pot shop busts seem pother and rather lame (history will remember 9/11 more than a dispensary bust –so why is it important?).

        When I write to newspapers, politicians and friends/family on FB on regards to legal cannabis, I don’t mention cannabis when writing about legalizing pot. I mention how Federal Law clearly states that cannabis, meth etc are not illegal and should be treated as the legal drugs they are due to the CSA’s ability to finance/aid terrorism . . . since drugs are not illegal because laws regarding treason trumps the CSA laws every time. Not enough Americans see the War on Drugs through the right set of lenses because all they know is how it affects jails, prisons, fines, busted dispensaries, loss of the 4th and 5th amendment, urban crime, loss of job/children etc . . . too much micro analysis and not enough macro. Yet the war on drugs isn’t being fought against on all fronts. Do you see how the War on Terror and 9/11 has given the Feds more power via Homeland Security arming/financing cops, SWAT, DEA, NSA, Patriot Act etc . . . do you think Americans care more about the Boston Bombing and 9/11 and Iraq and Syria and our war crippled economy than legal weed in Washington and Colorado? Make Americans see that the War on Drugs is why the War on Terror is the most pressing issue for those of our generation. Ask your Governor/Senator/Congress/city council to respect Federal Law since there is no proof Federal law makes drugs like pot illegal since treason trumps all other laws.

        Ask yourself this Plant Down: the DEA can go globetrot in many nations like Iraq and Afghanistan. If I was in Iraq fighting drug money and organized crime (since war has to be funded and illicit funds are far more covert and tax free/worker pay free than legal funds like oil), why isn’t the Ohio Highway Patrol doing their job in Iraq? Why isn’t the Atlanta PD doing what they get paid for in Afghanistan? Why isn’t the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and SWAT doing what they promised to do in protecting Benghazi or wherever American interests are? If the DEA can go around the world and fight crime, than surely the U.S. military shouldn’t have been sent to fight crime in Afghanistan or Iraq. If the States/Feds/DOJ are unwilling to send their Law Enforcement boys and girls to fight crime worldwide from drugs (that harm us via drug money), then they are no longer legally capable to stop crime in America, hence there is no physical proof or any legally written down law that makes any drug illegal in America. We’ve got to fight this war on drugs on all fronts . . . the CSA is a hydra of many heads and we must chop them all off at once and not slowly as seen in medical pot and a few legal states.

        I want the Feds to obey the real drug laws to protect me against the illegal state drug laws and vise versa.

        • Plant Down Babylon says:

          War Vet,
          I always appreciate your opinion and definitely some of your angles on subjects. I’m just amazed how many people think the feds are the ‘authority’ and have final say in all matters.

          I believe the reverse. I’m scared where this country is heading in the next cpl of years and the war on drugs is just an excuse for a domestic army (this might be the wrong couch for this subject).

          I wouldn’t be surprised to see a state try to succeed from the union in the near future. I’m just upset at how easily everyone rolls over for the feds. The only way that will change, is if a state decides it can operate on its own (california 7th biggest economy in the world, as an example) and breaks free.

          Actually, my biggest fear is the totalitarian state that is building at a rapid pace.

          I just try to provide good organic for me and my medical neighbors, grow non GMO food, take care of the family and do unto others as I wish they’d do unto me.

          This is one of my favorite sites. Thanks to all couch mates for your wisdom and patience. I do miss wiggles sometimes…

        • War Vet says:

          Nope Plant Down, you are right on cue when talking about a domestic army coming to this nation. If the Constitution drove the Feds, then making them the final word might be a good thing (since we needed the Feds to protect the people against the States in 1861). But an experiment is what we are . . . what if our experiment could work for a single one nation world/new world order that looked nowhere like a totalitarian nation (but that’s for a thread to be debated on 60yrs from now)? Maybe it’s from all the shots the Army gave me and thus making me feel angelically patriotic, but I’d like to think our melting pot of a nation can withstand this DOJ/partisan coup –this synthetic Federal Government. In the Army, I saw those belonging to the KKK or Skinheads have strong ties and close friendships with Mexicans and Blacks and if that can happen with those extremities, then surely our unification can withstand (fingers crossed). We are the great human rights experiment constantly in the process of learning what is humane and what constitutes as humanity. Sadly, secession is as possible as the possibility of Rome ever existing. But then again, we are the front line fighters . . . we unveil policies and show the people that it has its roots in the War on Drugs i.e. Obama exists because of drug laws . . . drugs gave politics and policy and the DOJ extra power; drugs invaded America on 9/11, thus sending us on a very long double edged expensive war that helped shatter the bank, while giving the Feds even more power; the people wanted a change from the Republican’s war/lies/confusion and thus Obama seemed optimal, while being more powerful than Bush ever imagined. Maybe we are programmed to fail and life is only about fighting for what is right, while never achieving full victory . . . kind of like no one has the right to enjoy the garden without back breaking work and constantly fighting off the crows, vines, weeds, insects and bad weather . . . all that work for but a bit of fruit and a bit of beauty and a few acres of heaven out of the hundreds of acres we toiled against the elements for –while only succeeding with a few random plants and acres of garden at a time . . . never to be a completed utopia –just a dot or two of lush vegetation that will try to wilt away.

          Earthquakes are the only thing that would keep me from California, though I’d love to visit Venice Beach, Big Sur and Haight Ashbury. I’d hate to think how messed up it could be for us here if my state left the union.

  2. Steve Finlay says:

    And armoured car companies are still not allowed to serve dispensaries, right?

    • darkcycle says:

      Nothing in there undoes anything they have already initiated. AFAIK Banks can’t do business with pot businesses still, too.

      • Dave in Florida says:

        I don’t know why someone does not open a private state bank in California or Colorado just for pot clubs..

  3. darkcycle says:

    Am I alone in thinking this is just as vague and cryptic as the Ogden Memo? I am SEARCHING for a reason to trust them, and I just don’t find one.
    I just ran back here with this version from the L.A. Times.

    • stlgonzo says:

      Ha. I made my comment before yours showed up for me. Only, like normal, you outdid me by siting sources. Thanks DC, keep up the good work.

    • Marv Ellis says:


      Gosh DC, it feels like it was just the other day when I mentioned the importance of the story’s spin here inside the beltway.

      It’s like my dear old dad said to me, he said Duncan, don’t be a schnook. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you look.

  4. stlgonzo says:

    This really doesn’t sound like anything new. Actually it sounds allot like what they told the MMJ states before. We all know that they stopped those raids…..

  5. divadab says:

    “As the Department noted in its previous guidance, Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. The Department of Justice is committed to enforcement of the CSA consistent with
    those determinations.”

    SO long as the feds continue to base their actions on this absurd, stupid, and cruel lie, they will have no credibility in this regard. How intolerable to know that our government is comprised of liars who spy on us.

    • Tony Aroma says:

      Are you talking about this lie?

      “Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug.”

      Congress never determined anything about marijuana. It’s the DEA that has and continues to determine that marijuana should be a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Holder is trying to make this sound like it’s strictly the Legislative branch making the rules and there’s really nothing the Executive branch can do.

    • War Vet says:

      If the CSA created the drug black market and if the removal of the CSA would undo the vast majority of the drug black market (since moonshine still exists), then the nullification of the Fed endorsed/created CSA would destroy many gangs. Because it has been documented that the CSA directly helps such groups as the Crips and Zetas and the CSA is funded and protected by the Feds, we have no proof that the Feds don’t belong to or at least ally with the Bloods and the Crips and Los Zetas etc. There is no physical evidence to support that the Feds don’t use gang signs and tag the sides of buildings with gang logos . . . most cops pay gang members to do drive by shootings through the CSA . . . most cops are affiliated with street gangs and Latin American cartels because of the CSA. If the Feds supported the removal of the drug black market, then we might have evidence that most of our politicians and drug warriors aren’t gangbangers and cartel members . . . Fast and Furious proved that the Feds participate in executions and street shootings in Mexico and support the drug lords via the CSA.

  6. claygooding says:

    I love the part:

    Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to states where it is illegal.

    As if the DOJ/DEA has been really successful at stopping anything.

    Until they remove cannabis from schedule 1 and remove the bounty money from marijuana arrests it is still war on.

  7. darkcycle says:

    …and here’s the link to the actual memo:
    You guys (and gals) need to read this…

  8. darkcycle says:

    Well. I’ll be dipped in dogshit and deep fried. This looks real. (Don’t quote me.)

    • darkcycle says:

      Yep…don’t quote me indeed. If it looks too good to be true…it is. See my new comment at 2:53pm

  9. DdC says:

    Logic 101

    Big Pharma is NOT giving up profits. Patents on cannabinoids and sublingual spray will be sold in drug stores. Keeping Dispensaries outlawed and most important for the war brokers, keep Hemp outlawed from family farmers. As in the beginning, Obombo NEVER said he would not bust buyers clubs under the commerce clause and Raich. He said he would permit individual patients in states with laws legalizing them. I say he has no authority on individuals and states with limits are setting up Catch 22’s no different than before. Also, I’d bet many reading his new memo are as determined to blame him when he continues busting buyers clubs as are confused about Holders authority or political clout to thwart an act of Congress. Or his bread and butter at Wall St, who sponsors this prohibition as they have all prohibitions. Incremental retardation giving the appeasers and profiteers owning the will of we the people.

    Catch 22²

  10. DonDig says:

    Well, that’s all lovely, doobious as always, but lovely. 🙂

    Now they need to let the NIDA, FDA, NIH, whatever alphabet soup agency, allow, support, and finance research looking for the medicinal benefits of cannabis, including applications in curing cancer, (including hash oil, RSO), as information in a public trust, freely available. Even letting academia freely study its possible benefits would be huge. It should not be like pulling teeth to get this done, (although I expect it will be). Getting out of the way, and out from behind that Schedule 1 no medical benefit nonsense would greatly benefit their credibility, us all, and would truly be something to celebrate.

  11. darkcycle says:

    Ya know, this announcement happened on a Thursday, all the talking heads will be Locked into this as Sunday’s topic already. The cynic in me says watch for a Syria attack between now and Monday.
    Now, back to our topic at hand: Investors wanted. 😉

  12. darkcycle says:

    Well…get all the way down to the last paragraph and look what happens:
    “Neither the guidance herein nor any state or local law provides a legal defense to a violation of federal law, including any civil or criminal violation of the CSA. Even in jurisdictions with strong and effective regulatory systems, evidence that particular conduct threatens federal priorities will subject that person or entity to federal enforcement action, based on the circumstances. This memorandum is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter civil or criminal.”

    “Finally, nothing herein precludes investigation or prosecution, even in the absence of any one of the factors listed above, in particular circumstances where investigation and prosecution otherwise serves an important federal interest.”
    It’s Ogden v2.0

  13. Will this stop the DEA from dismantling medical marijuana states infrastructure (dispensaries)? I don’t trust the word of prohibition liars. Where is the acknowledgement of the years of Federal deceit about the nature of marijuana? Its a start, but a feeble one. We need new law, not someones word. Marijuana is still prohibited by Federal law. Its Ogden 2.0 like Darkcycle says. How did the last Ogden memo work out? Holder threw out a bread crumb.

  14. Plant Down Babylon says:

    Has anyone tried the new Sanjay Gupta Kush strain yet?

    I’m surprised it’s not mentioned on any mainstream internet news.

    I thought for sure Huffpo would put it next to a miley cyrus twerking story or something.

    The bud looks sweet. I like Kush

  15. allan says:

    no offense to MPP’ers but why are they saying this about Holder/DOJ’s puff of bad gas:

    “Today’s announcement is a major and historic step toward ending marijuana prohibition,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The Department of Justice’s decision to allow implementation of the laws in Colorado and Washington is a clear signal that states are free to determine their own policies with respect to marijuana.”

    Ass-kissing works out well for very few (unless your name is Kev-kev) and to see this kind of hyperbolic fawning is disturbing.

    • claygooding says:

      someone read the headline and got excited more than they would have if they had read the actual memo..I was really excited when I saw it pop up on FB but it cooled somewhat when I got the chance to read the memo,,,,
      It is till very positive even if the DOJ is just blowing smoke,,they just handed a golden apple to any state looking for more funding,,,greed will rule the day and I will still be grinning at them sitting on my sack of seeds.

  16. Freeman says:

    I did get a grin out of Seebat’s misleading reaction.

    After the Ogden memo was released, medical marijuana stores skyrocketed, and public health consequences soared.

    You mean people’s health was improved due to greater availability of medical marijuana, right? Of course you do!

  17. Matthew Meyer says:

    Some fellers in Colorado with 200,000 square foot warehouses are jumping for joy right about now:

    “the existence of a strong and effective state regulatory system, and an operation’s compliance with such a system, may allay the threat that an operation’s size poses to federal enforcement interests.”

  18. ezrydn says:

    Just more doublespeak BS from our esteemed agencies. That memo says absolutely nothing new. It just shows a new scriptwriter is all. Fresh words for a tired old lie.

    • Nunavut Tripper says:

      Until it’s legal Federally they can change their mind on a whim and start to crack down on Colorado and Washington
      cannabis people.Hope their not just baiting the warehouse growers so the DEA can swoop down in a couple years from now for a new crop of drug bust photo ops.
      I’m sorry but I don’t trust them at all anymore.

      • Windy says:

        “Hope the[y’re] not just baiting the warehouse growers so the DEA can swoop down in a couple years from now for a new crop of drug bust photo ops.”
        And the oh, so lucrative forfeitures.

  19. darkcycle says:

    So….can we have a little vote on this? I’m really interested in what everybody thinks. If ya don’t feel like commenting, how about those who think it’s legit, and signals a true sea change give this post thumbs up, and those that think is it a ruse, or bait to take the media off the topics of Syria and the NSA, or Ogden v2.0 give a thumbs down?
    Lets give the justice department the thumb.

    • claygooding says:

      I voted down on purely historical evidence,,I also agree with Pete’s update because this could blow up in their face if enough states pass legalization bills in their legislatures because the DOJ gave them even a fake nod.
      We have a lot of states still hurting from this economy,,cutting budgets,mostly in education and community programs but some in prisons and state agencies budgets.
      Legalization now hangs out there like a carrot on a string and many legislators have said they only opposed it because it conflicted with federal law,,now an alleged non-issue.

      • allan says:

        it’s a shame they see the need to play this stupid ass “well… o k … but… uh… we can change the tune anytime” game.

        I’m sorry but I call bullshit.

        You, Mr Holder, are the one who will find the rules change. You sir, are the one upholding corrupted and traitorous policies. You sir, deny history, deny science and deny the reality on the streets and in the homes of this country. You sir, perpetuate institutional racism on a level that exceeds even that of So Africa at the peak of their hated apartheid.

        We, the people, sir, will be the final arbiters here. For there to be real justice, you Mr Holder, will eventually be bound to and by and pay for your own deceits.

        In simple folk talk, sir, this be our house. That Constitution y’all seem so bent on reducing to insignificance is not yours to deface. Cannabis Prohibition, sir, is a fraud of governance on a scale that makes it one of those threats from within that we – the people – are duty bound to eliminate.

        And I very much understand the point Pete makes, that the feds are creating more ammunition against themselves. Indeed… but this drug war is a dance macabre that is so entrenched within the system that unless those federal employees and elected representatives responsible for its operation and perpetuation have their feet held to the fire. Giving a thumbs up and “atta boy!” is just massaging their feet and asking for more of the same foot dragging obfuscations.

        This isn’t a waltz, it’s a very nasty back alley brawl. It might behoove some among us to remember that.

        • Windy says:

          Well said, allan.

          So well said, that I sent it to “my” Senators and Rep in congress (not that I expect it will have much of an effect on them, even though all three are Dems and also, apparently prohibitionists — judging by their previous votes and responses to my emails on this subject).

    • darkcycle says:

      Hidden due to Low Comment Rating….I guess that about says it all. Ha.

    • Freeman says:

      DC, I never thought I’d have a reason to thumb down one of your comments, and it sure was a shocker to see no thumbs up and so many down that your comment was hidden. Clever use of the rating system to take a poll!

      I voted down too because of the memo’s legalize disclaimer and the history of similar memos, though I won’t deny that it is a (very small) step in a positive direction.

  20. N.T. Greene says:

    I think the hope here was to avoid a particularly uncomfortable conversation in September. It wasn’t nearly enough splash to displace Syria, and it sure as hell wasn’t anything earthshakingly new.

    See you at the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, Mr. Holder.

  21. Jean Valjean says:

    As the Prohibition-industrial complex starts to unravel and all those time servers at the DEA and elsewhere have to look for real jobs, expect a flurry of compensation claims for hurt feelings and damaged career prospects. Don’t expect anything though for those whose careers never even got off the ground because of a “felony drug” conviction in their past.

  22. kaptinemo says:

    Normally it’s “Once burned, twice as shy”, as reformers have been burned again and again by each incoming Administration, but here we see the Feds may be (finally!) admitting their Constitutional limits.

    To try to abrogate the will of the electorate of WA and CO would cause them to pay too high a price…in more ways that one.

    So they grudgingly admit they lost this one, while threatening a lawsuit that becomes ever less likely due to the potential outrage from that cohort that comprises that generational shift that has brought us to this point to begin with. A cohort the mainstream parties need to replace those they could always count upon for many things, not to mention blindly supporting the DrugWar and its’ gravy train. With this latest cohort, that last bit is a clear thumb’s-down. And the pols are starting to get it.

    No, I’m not about to dance a jig in the streets, by no means. (You wouldn’t want to see that, anyways…) President Choom is as slippery as they come. But if Mr. “Eleventh Dimensional Chess” has run the political calculus properly, he’ll see he has little choice but to accede to that new electorate’s demand to end cannabis prohibition…or face mass exodus of the Dem Party’s foot soldiers, a defection that it cannot afford, as they are real pavement-pounders, the real ‘activists’.

    This is just more seemingly shrewd gamesmanship, but the game has changed, and the professional Fed prohibs are trying to stay relevant when they can no longer effectively dictate the rules. Reality has, as usual, out-distanced them.

    • kaptinemo says:

      Oh, and Leahy’s promised hearing has the same potential to blast the CSA to pieces as does ASA’s lawsuit. Challenging the historical rationale for cannabis prohibition will dredge up lots of very old political explosives…that are still armed and ready for the next careless handling.

      For example, imagine Holder, an African-American, at Leahy’s hearing being publicly exposed to the racist history of the DrugWar…and then imagine him trying to defend the DrugWar when it’s revealed to have been based largely upon the stereotypes held about people of his lineage by long-dead racist crackers like Anslinger or Hamilton Wright. To do so would be the equivalent of licking decades-old ghostly spittle from his face, smiling, and asking for more. He knows that, as do all the ‘players’ on the Fed side of the table. Expose the minority public to the truth regarding the racist origins of the DrugWar, and you’ll have mass outcry for change…the real kind.

      • N.T. Greene says:

        I hope Leahy goes for the brass ring. The ground beneath our foes is unsteady at this point.

        I believe remaining adamant and sustaining our advance will yield dramatic results.

        “It is not a question of if, but of when and how.”

      • allan says:

        hmmm… a working example of that old saw about painting yourself into a corner…

        If we… whack! swing… whack! just a little… whack! harder… whack! … this wall will collapse upon itself like the life-sucking black hole it is.

        me t’inks mon, we can use some vibration, some rhythm for those hammers, Rastafari


  23. Jean Valjean says:

    Yet more ways the drug war distorts and corrupts the criminal justice system:

    New Study Finds That State Crime Labs Are Paid Per Conviction


    “Every analyst knows that a test result implicating a suspect will result in a fee paid to the lab. Every result that clears a suspect means no fee. They’re literally being paid to provide the analysis to win convictions. Their findings are then presented to juries as the careful, meticulous work of an objective scientist.”

  24. allan says:

    hey! there’s Tom Angell! Wow… CBS Evening News… dude! I don’t see many folks I know on the national evening news. (Altho’ I did host Chris Wallace and his 20/20 crew for a cuppla days back in the early ’90s and saw many folks I knew in his piece on Opal Creek…)

    I’ll sit back down now…

    Oh… Tom was interviewed for the CBS piece on Holder’s DOJ announcement.

  25. Servetus says:

    Typically, the feds don’t give up power until you pry it from their cold, dead fingers. Or change the laws through revolutionary uprisings. The latest memo rattles the same swords as before: we [the feds] retain the right to do whatever we want.

    Absolute freedom to prosecute may lead to a situation where the eight standards are set so high no one can achieve them all. For instance, how are the pot shops supposed to police ‘drugged driving’? A minor slipup or failure can be used as an excuse to shut down the entire merchandizing system once it’s up and running, which would come at the worst possible time for entrepreneurs.

    One objective of the government may be to prevent a pot business from achieving a cash reserve sufficient to challenge the power of the federal government in the courts, referendums and other elections. This would explain several recent moves.

    I do think the DEA will work to preserve their fiefdom. They’ve already revealed their hand by restricting the use of banks and security services for dispensaries and growers. Until Congress can change some laws and put a leash on their dogs, everyone remains vulnerable.

  26. Duncan20903 says:


    I’ve been working up a list of things that are different today from the political landscape in 1979 when “everyone” was just plain certain that State and Federal authorities would be granting us decriminalization of petty possession.

    This is a work in progress. Suggestions and constructive criticism alway very much appreciated:

    One of the things that is different (by several orders of magnitude) is that in 1979 nobody thought that establishing a retail supply chain was even remotely possible.

    Why did I pick 1979? Because it’s generally accepted that it was the year when the highest number of people who choose to enjoy cannabis happened.

    In 1979 we didn’t have two States that re-legalized in 1978 by popular vote.

    There were no countries which had a President pushing for re-legalization, with that country’s lower legislative house voting to implement re-legalization and their higher legislative body seen as a done deal.

    We never saw a City file suit against the Feds because the City wanted them to back off that city’s authorized cannabis vendors.

    We didn’t have approaching 100,000 dead bodies on the southern border.

    We didn’t have a police agency handing out free Doritos at a pro cannabis gathering

    We didn’t have pro cannabis gatherings which were attended by crowds numbering into the 6 figures.

    We didn’t have an extra almost three and one half DECADES of this epic failure of public policy.

    We didn’t have more than 33% supporting re-legalization. We almost hit 60% in November of 2012 briefly. The highest figure in a nationwide poll for public support for re-legalization in the late 1970s was just under 35%.

    We didn’t have any practical State level medicinal cannabis patient protection laws.

    We didn’t have any medicinal cannabis storefronts.

    We didn’t have the Internet.

    • jean valjean says:

      most of all we didnt have ronnie and nancy reagan. yet

    • Servetus says:

      1979. The year of the Quaalude®. I remember it well. It was when I discovered that those on coke and those on Quaaludes did not mix well at parties.

      Drugs were a status symbol. Coke especially. Contact a woman and tell her you had some cocaine, and she would be there, instantly.

      DEA propaganda and the major media networks convinced everyone that drug dealing was the path to instant riches. One of the best recruitment schemes for the cartels ever devised was anti-drug propaganda embodied in major TV doses of Miami Vice. The bad guys were always rich, always residing in waterfront condos, with a speedboat at their disposal, when in reality most drug merchandizers were economically disadvantaged people pursuing the ephemeral American dream.

      Today’s drug enforcement recruitments suffer from exposure to the cold reality of prohibition politics, as well as a total disrespect for the drug laws, which attracts a certain breed of sadomoralist to drug law enforcement. And yet drug use, including marijuana, is down. Not because of the clueless efforts of prohibitionists, but because of personal experiences with certain drugs in question, and because cultures share their common experiences with other individuals.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Servetus, I was there in 1979. but now you’ve refreshed a memory by mentioning Quualudes. As green as I was in that day I still managed to deduce that the only reason that ‘ludes were so ubiquitous was because their corporate maker was selling them out the back door of the Quualude factory. That was baseless speculation on my part. Just because it was true doesn’t change that fact.

        But wait a second, it gets better. Did you know that re-scheduling ‘ludes to Federal schedule I occurred only a couple of years before the turn of the century? Just by coinkydink that was right around the time that Oxycontin took its place as a popular substance in the hearts and minds of people who enjoy getting high. But in this case it isn’t baseless speculation to deduce that the corporate maker of Oxycontin is selling them out the back door of the Oxycontin factory. First, I have the benefit of hindsight because of Quualudes being diverted to the recreational market. Then there’s another 634 million reasons to consider it safe to make that presumption.

        So tell me, are you sure that the rates of use for popular substances on the naughty lists are actually down? The article you linked used the qualifier “illegal” for the rate of other drugs use. The prohibitionist parasites typically won’t include diverted pharmaceuticals in that category meaning that it almost certainly doesn’t include oxycodone.

        • Servetus says:

          Re ludes, the last Quaalude was sold out the front door of a licensed manufacturer in India. The DEA bought them out and shut the lude operation down.

          Re lower drug use, I’m not able to cite anything but the usual NIH/NIDA/DEA propaganda, which claims drug use was down for 2012 (compared to year 2000 stats, of course). Your question made me realize no reliable U.S. drug statistics exist if all the numbers come from government propagandists. It’s just like the old Soviet Union.

  27. Scott says:

    Our public servants will basically continue to avoid serving the public by pissing in the ‘righteously restoring cannabis legality’ wind as long as they can get away with it. Public pressure is on and rising, but public servants are milking Cannabis Prohibition for all it’s worth to them (despite how utterly unethical that value is against society) and this message from the feds is another lame addition.

    I understand laws are enforced with prioritization, but how is effectively saying that states can break federal law in and of itself legal?

    Allan commented about possibly making a fella cry over the bitter irony caused by horrible law and I agree. Moreover, a patriotic man could also be reduced to tears over the dismantling of constitutional law in the public record (and effectively supported by mainstream media outlets) that spans decades on top of ignoring the unalienable right to liberty, due in large part to the illegal judicial redefining of the Commerce Clause from “To regulate Commerce” to ‘to regulate any activity having a substantial effect on commerce’ (e.g. the reason why Cannabis Prohibition does not require a federal constitutional amendment similar to the one for Alcohol Prohibition).

    “We the people” no longer have an actual rule-of-law, but a recklessly expanding guise of one. The ramifications of this are profoundly negative, including destabilizing our nation to what common sense concludes is likely a violent public backlash at some sad point.

    Clearly our public servants are winging it when concluding what laws are constitutional, need enforcing, etc.

    Clearly “We the people” are in serious trouble as a result.

    Clearly I wish I could do my patriotic duty to help restore legit laws that focus solely on direct rights infringement (i.e. actual harm), including replacing all risk-based laws with the needed risk-based education to avoid further opposing unalienable rights.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      You need to post some examples of State governments breaking Federal law because I’m unaware that such an event has occurred.

      Laws like A-64, I-502, the Compassionate Use Act and similar are well within the rights of the States to adopt and implement. The Feds don’t have the power to dictate a State’s criminal code.

      In the Federal Controlled Substances Act State and local authorities are exempted from criminal liability for performing the mundane bureaucratic tasks required by State law to implement and administrate laws in this category.

      21 U.S.C. § 885(d)
      Burden of proof; liabilities




      Part E–Administrative and Enforcement Provisions

      Sec. 885.

      Burden of proof; liabilities

      (d) Immunity of Federal, State, local and other officials Except as provided in sections 2234 and 2235 of title 18, no civil or criminal liability shall be imposed by virtue of this subchapter upon any duly authorized Federal officer lawfully engaged in the enforcement of this subchapter, or upon any duly authorized officer of any State, territory, political subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States, who shall be lawfully engaged in the enforcement of any law or municipal ordinance relating to controlled substances. (Pub. L. 91-513, title II, Sec. 515, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1279.)

  28. Atrocity says:

    Durkan: Wash. medical pot system ‘untenable’

    Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement Thursday that the “continued operation and proliferation of unregulated, for-profit entities outside of the state’s regulatory and licensing scheme is not tenable and violates both state and federal law.”

    U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby in Spokane issued the following statement after the DOJ announcement:

    Here in the Eastern District of Washington, the United States Attorney’s Office has and will continue to enforce the Controlled Substances Act. My office will continue an aggressive focus on the promotion and sale of drugs to minors, violence and the use of firearms, and the trafficking of marijuana across state or international lines.

    [blah blah blah blah blah…BLAM!]

    • divadab says:

      “Untenable’ because it doesn’t collect tax revenue for the State. And they want to protect the high taxes (and necessary high prices) of the I-502 regime.

      How can $368/oz legal weed compete with free (medicinal) market prices of less than half that? By suppressing medicinal weed and keeping it off the market.

      Good luck with that, boys. Prices for legal product that are too high GUARANTEE the illegal market will continue.

      • darkcycle says:

        I’m getting the impression that legalization has simply given those who hate the idea of medical marijuana an excuse to attack the medical laws…again. The people most vocal about medical undercutting the State’s scheme are the self-same people who have fought MMJ all along. It’s an indication of how irrational their hate for MMJ is, since by BOTECS own numbers, medical patients make up only 3% of the market (and, I might add, it’s pathetic desperation move by losers). If it makes any sense at all for a casual smoker to go to the trouble of seeing a doctor and paying 250 bucks once a year to smoke more cheaply, I just don’t see it. If you only smoke once or twice a month, there’s no percentage in it.

    • Tony Aroma says:

      There you have it. Within hours of the memo’s release, we have a federal prosecutor saying that it changes nothing. All a prosecutor has to do is claim the state’s regulatory system is inadequate, and continue as before, without even violating the memo’s “guidelines.” I wonder if Holder was surprised his memo was dismissed by one of his prosecutors so quickly. Or maybe that was the intention.

      • primus says:

        If that was the intention, why? Without a discernible motive, this idea must be dismissed. What we are seeing is the mad scramble to appear to do something without actually doing something. That way, one can point with pride to (non-existent) progress while at the same time keeping the conservatives at bay by changing nothing.

      • primus says:

        If that was the intention, why? Without a discernible motive, this idea must be dismissed. What we are seeing is the mad scramble to appear to do something without actually doing something. That way, one can point with pride to (non-existent) progress while at the same time keeping the conservatives at bay by actually changing nothing.

  29. claygooding says:

    The DOJ just allowed banks and armored car companies to do business with state compliant dispensaries and retail outlets quoting public safety as the reason,
    Huffpo has it.

    • B. Snow says:

      I’m gonna say this was Holder’s attempt at evading Sen. Leahy’s upcoming, “Boot To The Head” = I think he might have out-faked himself, By leaving in the – “we reserve the right to revoke all this at any time crap” – I just don’t believe that Leahy, Polis, Cohen, etc. will let this go – in this nebulous state.

      That shit simply won’t stand…

      Hell, I even bet they’ll call it “Ogden 2.0” in that Senate Judiciary Committee. IDK – if I’d put my money on Polis being the one to use that term first – (presuming he’s there), or if it will be Cohen?

      Either way, I don’t see that (rather apt) phrase going unused. There will definitely be some Ti Kwan “L.E.A.P.” going down – I just wonder who the sacrificial “Ed Gruberman” is going to be?

    • Tony Aroma says:

      They just mentioned banks, nothing about armored cars. That threat to the armored car companies came from the DEA, not the DOJ. As we know, the DEA do as they please and answer to no one, certainly not to the DOJ or the president.

      The only positive thing I got from this article is that banks would be prosecuted by WDC, whereas dispensary and other prosecutions are carried out by local prosecutors. So the DOJ might actually have some control over that situation, if they choose to exercise it.

      • Citizen Teus says:

        Well, technically “the DEA is headed by an Administrator of Drug Enforcement appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Administrator reports to the Attorney General through the Deputy Attorney General”.

        Of course, what they REALLY are is Richard M. Nixon’s own personal-jackbooted storm-troopers and have operated as if the “D” in their acronym stood for Department.

        (Note: I had thought DEA had been swept under DHS post 9/11, but was actually surprised to learn they’re still under DOJ.)

  30. allan says:

    I’m contacting Sen Leahy, suggesting strongly he bring in Neill Franklin from LEAP and Doc Aggarwal to hear their testimony. I’m also suggesting he bring in Sanjay Gupta and let him testify about how he was mislead by the DEA, et al.

    Maybe if enough of us do it…


  31. DdC says:

    This may only be superficial but at least it’s getting the dung worriers nervous and maybe a little pissed off instead of always pissing on liberty.

    California Marijuana Opponents Blast Obama

    “Decades from now, the Obama administration will be remembered for undoing years of progress in reducing youth drug use in America,” Dr. Paul R. Chabot of the Coalition for a Drug Free California said in a statement.

    Have they no shame?

    Money Grubbing Dung Worriers

    • claygooding says:

      Send that man donuts,,I fully expected Calvina to be the first to show how much stupider prorehabs could get,,you can bet the pharmaceutical companies are spending bucks like crazy right now,,,remember talking about hidden expense of the drug war,,the expenses corporations spend keeping the drug war in place,,they are skyrocketing right now and will continue to climb the closer the JC hearing gets,,

  32. thelbert says:

    i think the message holder was trying get across was accurately interpreted by wonkette:http://wonkette.com/527110/total-hippie-eric-holder-says-smoke-em-if-you-got-em-washington-and-colorado

  33. Duncan20903 says:


    I’ve seen some people speculating that the Feds announcement was designed for sneak something through without the body politic noticing the other event. I can certainly see the story linked below getting a ton of public discussion except for the shitstorm brouhaha generated by the Feds response to I-502 and A-64.

    Off topic in specific very much on target for essential liberty: Now the Feds aren’t just giving gay people equal rights, they’re giving them a not insignificant sum of money.
    Gay Marriages in All States Get Recognition From the I.R.S.

  34. Jean Valjean says:

    dont know if you’ve seen this yet:

    “Department Of Justice Paves Way For Banks To Work With Pot Shops, Citing Public Safety”


    (oh, i see you have!)

  35. aged uncle g says:

    I understand the disappointment expressed by many that this was ‘more of the same ol’ obama/holder rhetoric’ or ‘cole 2.0’ and there is certainly truth to that line of thinking, but it is SOMETHING @ least. I prefer to view the DOJ statements with a bit more optimism. It has taken many steps to get to this point and this is just one more step in the right direction. More states _ who were unwilling to jump onto the legalize bandwagon because of the threat of federal action against them – will now look more closely at the possibility of getting a piece of the jobs/tax revenues and the more states that get in on the game the harder it becomes to take it away.

  36. DonDig says:

    All the news outlets have their own take on the ‘news’, so I thought it might be interesting to see if the VOA had a different take, or if what we’re hearing and think makes sense to us from the release, seems to make sense to them as well since they are an arm of the gov. (Maybe that’s over-thinking it a little bit: whatever.)
    Apparently it sounds real enough to them though.


  37. Tony Aroma says:

    Anybody seen Gov. Christie’s response?

    Christie: U.S. Attorney General Holder wrong for not challenging pot law in Colorado, Washington”

    I especially like the quote:

    “That’s to be decided by the congress and president, not by the Attorney General,” Christie told reporters.

    Perhaps the governor should familiarize himself with the Controlled Substances Act, which explicitly gives the power to schedule controlled substances to the AG.

    And I guess it’s no longer any secret why NJ has the worst mmj program in the country:

    “There is no such thing as medical marijuana, it’s just marijuana,” Christie said.

    • B. Snow says:

      Is that quote from Before or After, He was facedown buy the dad who asked if Christie was going to let his daughter die?
      The next day or so (IIRC), He sent back the bill to the NJ State House/Senate – w/ the bit about making changes to it and then he’ll sign it…

      Notable changes included – allowing more than 3 strains, not just “3 Strengths” = 3 with different THC %’s. (This was AFTER much public shaming for ignoring the aforementioned Dad) = apparently someone, Explained the concept of CBD’s and the basics of “medical marijuana” to him) & He proved he didn’t quite listen 100%, *Because edibles will now be allowed but for kids only*(???)

      I’m guessing that either he watched the Documentary or maybe Christie called Gupta (or some other Dr that confirmed for him “Yes, this is a real thing. Don’t be a Moralistic Moron, this is a Democratic State remember?” *NAnd or someone handed him Pew Polling and stats on socially tolerant Independents, Generational-Demographic Data Trends, and some quotes from the more libertarian Repubs -Like Rand Paul who are going to probably be moderate on this issue “states rights” and all…

      And, maybe it finally “clicked” that after the 2016 Repub Primary – IF he wins it, He’s gonna HAVE to tack back to the middle where issues like medical marijuana have 75-80%+ approval – aside from a block of old white social-puritians… who would outlaw anything & everything “fun” occurring outside a church if they could!

      [That’s all just guessing on my part, but surely it was some combination of stuff like that…]

      • B. Snow says:

        Yeah, that article/story contradicts the Video, and “Jenna Portnoy” didn’t make it very clear – Christie was bitching about Holder effectively legalizing marijuana for uses other than medicinal uses.

        It was cut and pasted, & to be fair taken out of context & if Jenna didn’t catch Christie’s recent reversal on medical marijuana = the quote that “there is no such thing” is purely a semantic/rhetorical one… I wonder if she even realized that OR just read what she wanted to – if that? (Could’ve been a *Skim, cut, copy, link, paste, and Post!* thing on her part.)

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Darn it Tony, how many times have I told you that it’s just plain cruel to confuse the prohibitionists with facts? If you do it too much their heads will explode and there will be shit for brains scattered near and far. I think it’s safe to presume that the stench would gag a maggot. Be careful what you wish for!

      If you insist on traveling down that road I have it on good authority that coating your upper lip with Vick VapoRub will make such smells tolerable.

  38. DdC says:

    Me thinks too damn many people confuse right and wrong with legal and illegal. Humans can not be trusted. We know that. They’d be happy to just kill each other over dirt and they outlaw plants. For money they can’t eat. Wingnuts. They have to have checks and balances and accountability for what they say to legislate what will effect us all. When lies are used as a means to an end it is built on air and gossip. Not strong foundations to hold up truth down the line. Perpetuate the profits of prohibition and keep renewable competition off the shelves. That is their only point in existing. Even debating them is bartering with insanity.

    Ideals and morals are words the same as honest or “guvmint” or Hemp censorship to saved the kids nonsense. The majority of cannabis eradication is wild ditchweed. Saveding the kids from burlap and canvas and nutritional seeds, can’t have that. The dung worriers conduct for a profit, piss-tastes and rent tax paid cages and rehabilitation asylums. Some let you out as soon as you find Jesus. Or keep you til ya do. All for the kids they just orphaned or placed with the foster care racketeers, forfeit their homes and confiscate their car. Out of work and closed down mills and outlawed plants to fill the mills and employ the unemployed. Hungry kids and illegal food. Affordable home grown homes and health care grown in the herb garden, oh heavens can’t have that. What would the message be to the hungry homeless kids and unemployed and sick parents?

    DARE and SWAT come from the LAPD’s Gates. Nancy didn’t think that a little queer or funny to her ear? A little jumbled and maybe even jivey? SWAT teaching kids about drugs didn’t bat a bitty eyelash. The humans filling the slots are employees of Wall St who run the wars. Those who sell the war toys, and NRA guns and more uniforms. More cops protecting us from a police state should have been a clue. Until we cut the cord we have to remove it from the CSA and grow and produce locally. Bypassing Walmartians sweatshop undercutting and cheap crap. Especially the Iraqi crude oil plastic flags kids make in Chinese sweatshops pseudo patriots jerk and spasm at the out of work kids signing up for a paycheck. Going to fight Iraqi’s who they just bought bullets for buying crappy flags at Walmart.

    Obama’s Perplexing Potpocalypse

  39. skootercat says:

    Not so far OT, check out Howard Wooldridge’s latest DC news and email-your-House member-request: http://www.citizensopposingprohibition.org/2013/08/cop-on-the-hill-stories-from-the-week-of-august-16-2013/
    Great news about LEAP’s more formal entry into the DC scene, better news than Holder’s.

    B. Snow-I believe Christie’s quote came after meeting Mr. Wilson.

  40. Tim says:

    Meanwhile in Canada, the government-friendly news channel tries to defend prohibition. Fish. In. A. Barrel. This is embarrassing for them.

    Government shills Sun News defend marijuana prohibition

  41. Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are Still Targets According To Feds


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