Here's How the Obama Administration Is Considering Responding to Legal Pot in Colorado and Washington

The Obama administration is strategizing how to fight legal pot in Colorado and Washington, reports Charlie Savage of The New York Times. While "no decision" is "imminent," Savage reports that senior level White House and Justice Department officials are considering "legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives."

A taskforce made up of Main Justice, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is currently considering two courses of action, reports Savage:

One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

A more aggressive option is for the Justice Department to file lawsuits against the states to prevent them from setting up systems to regulate and tax marijuana, as the initiatives contemplated. If a court agrees that such regulations are pre-empted by federal ones, it will open the door to a broader ruling about whether the regulatory provisions can be “severed” from those eliminating state prohibitions — or whether the entire initiatives must be struck down.

Option one could possibly mean that Obama would break a campaign promise he's already split hairs over: That his administration will not go after people who smoke marijuana for medicinal reasons. Savage makes it seem as if there are people in Washington who are more than happy to take that route: Apparently some law enforcement officials are so "alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly," that they "are said to be pushing for a stern response."  

UPDATE: Jonathan P. Caulkins, one of the co-authors of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, challenges my speculation that DOJ would necessarily go after a medical marijuana user: 

Why would it have to be a medical user?

The federal government could arrest someone possessing for personal use for non-medical reasons. Not everyone is a medical user. (In CO roughly 1 in 4 past-month users have a medical recommendation.)

They could also arrest someone who is growing more than personal consumption amounts or selling. Granted, to arrest someone licensed to do that, they'd have to wait until later in 2013 when the licensing and regulatory regimes have been set up, but it may well be that it's the licensing of commercial for-profit production and sale that is really what the DEA et al would object to.  After all, as far as I know, the Alaska SC rulings about what is protected under its privacy guarantees have not elicited an energetic federal response.

Duly noted! On Nov 12, Jacob Sullum answered the question, Can the Feds stop Colorado and Washington from legalizing pot? 

According to the Supreme Court, a "positive conflict" exists "when it is impossible to comply with both state and federal law." But neither Colorado's Amendment 64 nor Washington's Initiative 502 requires anyone to grow or sell marijuana. One can readily comply with both state and federal law simply by choosing not to go into the cannabis business. Both laws are written so that they merely explain the criteria people must satisfy to avoid prosecution for marijuana offenses under state law. "Notwithstanding any other provision of law," begins the section of Amendment 64 dealing with marijuana growers and sellers, "the following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law." I-502 likewise says "the production, possession, delivery, distribution, and sale of marijuana in accordance with the provisions of this act and the rules adopted to implement and enforce it, by a validly licensed marijuana producer, shall not be a criminal or civil offense under Washington state law."

In other words, both laws define what counts as a crime under state law, a power that states indisputably have. "You're not actually creating a positive conflict with the federal [law]," says Alison Holcomb, director of the Yes on I-502 campaign, "because the federal government remains free to enforce federal law within the state, and you're not requiring anybody to perform an act that would require a violation of federal law. You're simply setting out what the rules are for avoiding arrest and prosecution under state law."

Nor does either law compel state employees to violate the Controlled Substances Act by "possessing" marijuana for regulatory purposes. Under I-502, testing of marijuana will be handled by private laboratories. Amendment 64 likewise envisions "marijuana testing facilities" that will be "licensed to analyze and certify the safety and potency of marijuana."

What about collecting tax revenue from marijuana sales? Legally, those provisions could be the most vulnerable aspects of these laws (although it looks like Colorado's pot tax may never take effect). Jonathan Caulkins, a drug policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University, tells Politico, "The argument has been made— and I’ve never heard anybody successfully rebut it—that the federal government can seize the proceeds of any illegal activity. By that logic, it could seize the tax revenues—even from the states." But in Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, Caulkins and his three co-authors observe that although "it has been argued that the federal government could confiscate such revenues as proceeds of illegal transactions...as far as we know the federal government has not touched a penny of the fees and tax revenues generated from medical marijuana."

And here's Ethan Nadelmann, head of the Drug Policy Alliance, hoping against hope that Obama will get on board

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  • John C. Randolph||

    The Obama administration is strategizing how to fight legal pot

    They'll do it by breaking the law, obviously. The 18th amendment has been repealed, and there is no remaining constitutional authority for the federal government to ban any drug.

    -jcr

  • robc||

    One more piece of evidence that America was fatally wounded when the 17th Amendment was ratified. Its been a slow death, but inevitable.

  • Calidissident||

    I think people majorly overestimate the effect of the 17th amendment, or the state legislature election of senators. That's obviously true, considering the amendment was ratified by the state legislatures, and in fact Congress had been pressured into passing the amendment because the states were going to call for a convention to pass it, and they didn't want other amendments to get through. There are countless people in state legislatures who are perfectly ok ideologically with a powerful federal government, and more practically, want to inflict their will on other states (whether it's taxing other states to pay for spending in that state, passing laws regulating personal behavior in other states, etc).

  • RightNut||

    I agree, although it would be nice to repeal the 17th amendment, a lot of people make it out as some sort of panacea for government.

    Consider that Scott Brown would never have been elected from Massachusetts if the state legislature chose Senators. Senators from one-party liberal states would probably be even more statist than they are now.

  • ||

    Only to a certain point. They'd be much more interested in their own states' interests.

    Federalism would have a shot.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe if it is a relatively rich state. Otherwise, it seems that having the feds make everyone else share your costs might look pretty attractive to a state government.

  • Calidissident||

    Why? If state legislators 100 years ago were willing to call a constitutional convention to give up this power, why would state legislators today be interested in pressuring senators to respect federalism?

  • juris imprudent||

    By that logic, it could seize the tax revenues—even from the states.

    Oh please, please, PUH-LEASE, pretty PLEASE! Bitch slap them states - show them that they can't work without The Pimp getting his share.

  • VG Zaytsev||


    One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

    Please, please do this DEA.

    I so want to see Obama publicly persecute his loyal voters. The more high profile the better.

  • Rich||

    I so want to see Obama publicly persecute his loyal voters.

    That'd be great, VG. But watch the administration just go after wealthy Republican pot smokers.

  • juris imprudent||

    In Seattle???

  • Aresen||

    Hard to find, but there has got to be one there.

  • Beezard||

    I saw More Ron Paul signs in Seattle in 08 than anywhere else I'd been.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    But watch the administration just go after wealthy Republican pot smokers.

    That's good too.

    It'd get the retarded SoCons to back MJ legalization just to spite Obama.

  • Bruce Majors||

    That's actually happening if you listen to conservative talk radio. Rand Paul is wooing them.

  • Robert||

    No, the usual deal is to have a friend deliberately break the law, turn hirself in, and litigate it.

  • XM||

    Their loyalty to the dems goes well beyond the pot.

    I'm afraid lame duck Obama has little to worry about losing some of their support. 96% of blacks and 70% of Latinos will be in Dem bag. Those white pot smokers aren't really gonna sock it to'em by joining the GOP or the LP.

    The drug cartel and the US government - an unbeatable combination.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're not suggesting that 96 percent of Blacks vote, are you? And if you meant that 96 percent of the Blacks who do vote, will vote for Obama, then I posit that those White pot smokers who do vote probably outnumber them.

  • XM||

    Lots of white people probably smoked pot, and might be sympathetic to legalization. Just not enough to switch their allegiance based on that one issue (And yeah, I meant 96% of eligible black voters).

  • Bruce Majors||

    Black pot smokers are less likely to vote, since they are more likely to be in prison than white pot smokers. Maybe the Obama DEA-DOJ will make a move toward racial equality and start arresting more white pot smokers until the arrests are not racially inflected.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I live in Washington State.

    Last time it went Red - 1984, when only Minnesota went Blue.

    It will be interesting to see how they respond to this. I suspect they'll find a way to give the Dems a pass. Power is more important than any particular issue.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Dunphy swore there was zero chance of this ever happening.

  • ||

    it hasn't happened. yet.

    stand by to stand by. I also said there would be posturing. this CERTAINLY qualifies as posturing.

  • Hyperion||

    It ain't posturing, bro. We told you this already. Now get a response ready and get some support for it. Stop fucking around thinking that the feds aren't coming, because they are. You've been warned. Now do something besides putting your head in the sand, cause big brother is coming for those who you are sworn to protect and serve.

  • honeybadgerman||

    Read this in Handsome Jack's voice.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    So Obama is going to forgo alt-text to punish the people for legalizing pot? That bastard.

  • toxic||

    Option one is pretty weak. They don't have the logistical ability to make that a serious threat without the local cops. Nor would the amount of time they could hand out for mere possession of a bit of weed be all that serious. And I don't think the judges as a whole would like it.

    Option 2 would be a temporary reversal. I suspect the citizens would be pretty pissed off about a cheap trick like that and would vote simply to legalize the next chance they get. If anything it would harden support for legalization. Actually either option would probably do that.

  • ||

    local COPS, at least here in WA, aint doing jackshit to help the feds. I can't speak for Colorado. I know my union has already made it clear, as has our chief, that we stand behind the people of WA.

  • Hyperion||

    We're going to see, that is one thing that is as sure as the sun is coming up again tomorrow morning. When it goes down as you say, I'll be the first here to commend you on your efforts. We're watching.

  • ||

    seattle to their credit, has issued plenty of releases stating the same. heck, they are even giving advice to people to get stoned, just do it in privacy. pretty amazing

  • wingnutx||

    That statement about staying home and watching a 'Lord Of The Rings' marathon was pretty cool.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    They only need one.

  • RightNut||

    Chances of a crackdown on MJ forcing people in WA and CO to take another look at federalism?...Bueller?

  • Robert||

    No help from local cops would be necessary. Not even necessary to do it in one of those states. Joe Biden goes to a DEA office in Del., says, "Hey, I have a joint, here it is, do something." Then they take it to court, Joe demands a bench trial, loses, sentenced to 10 mins. probation, and appeals it. Etc.

  • toxic||

    Does anyone think state law trumps federal law? Of course you could get arrested by the feds, but for that to be a realistic threat they have to have the agents to do it.

    At least how it works now is that the local cops basically feed info to the feds, who use their resources to wire tap and otherwise investigate the conspiracy. They aren't going to be any good at tracking down a guy with a few pot plants in the closet. Just not enough of them. If Obama wants them to replace the local cops he's going to have to find a lot of agents willing to waste time popping individual smokers.

  • egnilk66||

    Resources? Don't they only have about 5000 agents? If so, this is going to get out of hand for them pretty quickly. It's two states now...soon will be five. Their position will become untenable.

  • Zeb||

    In scenario #1, the point is not to be a credible threat to pot smokers, but to have a test case where the state law will get overturned. I think that the main problem there is that there is no conflict between the state and federal law, so there would be no grounds to overturn the state law.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Wouldn't a federal arrest, even if thrown out or lightly sentenced by the courts, create a permanent record that would hurt your employment and participation in politics etc.? And what if the federals combine it with all their agencies - IRS, FBI, ATR etc - to do property and account seizures etc., claiming that perhaps you were selling it.

  • Robert||

    The volunteer to be convicted would be an insider whose career would not be hurt by it in the slightest. That's why I gave Joe Biden as an example. This sort of thing is known as sham prosecution. In fact, the person's career would probably be helped by it. Understand that the sort of career this person would have is not of the kind you or I would have, i.e. where you have to apply to strangers for work.

  • Hyperion||

    Dear Obama, please stop these dangerous potheads, by stomping all over the rights of WA and CO citizens, and prove that you truly are a King who is above the lowly peasants. If you don't do it, just put on a little pink leotard and go dance around on the Whitehouse lawn so everyone can laugh at you, because you are a fucking pussy. Well? What's it gonna be, tough guy?

  • dax||

    u have a 3rd option one i don't even see posted O_o its called House bill 6608 removing cannabis from the substance act witch was filed 2 weeks ago for the 2013 legislation

  • dax||

    opps house Bill 6606 not 6608 sorry

  • fried wylie||

    Execute Order 6606

    (that'll teach those goddamn potsmoking jedi)

  • Hyperion||

    Oh me gawds! It's da debils bill! 666! Don't you see, the devils weed that will send your childins to hell!

  • ||

    yup, and it will offer the fed posturers, an "easy out".

    oops., it's no longer a controlled substance! nevermind, cheddar!

  • Aresen||

    Option one could possibly mean that Obama would break a campaign promise...

    Impossible! The Obamessiah Break a Promise?

    I would die of shock!

    /snark

  • dax||

    http://blog.norml.org/2012/11/.....uana-laws/

    link if this site lets me do that :)

  • fried wylie||

    as the initiatives contemplated

    Contemplated? How about MANDATED, bitch? You do understand mandates that don't originate from you, right?

    If a court agrees that such regulations are pre-empted by federal ones, it will open the door to a broader ruling about whether the regulatory provisions can be “severed” from those eliminating state prohibitions — or whether the entire initiatives must be struck down.

    Challenging obamacare only gave him ideas. Fucktarded, brainshit ideas.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Darkenss descends upon a cold land.

  • fried wylie||

    The election was last month...

  • General Butt Naked||

    I swear that Bettman was sent undercover to destroy the NHL to give the NBA a bigger market share. What a piss cunt fucking puke of a fuck that piece of shit is.

    That man has just about destroyed hockey. I'm predicting a rival league.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Fehr doesn't seem to be innocent either.

  • ||

    Isn't that the guy that killed baseball in 1994?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I agree, but....

    I just get the feeling that Bettman is the sort of negotiator that backs his opponent into a corner where compromise is impossible. You must give your opponent the ability to give you what you want without losing face.

    Besides, he's the commissioner and this is a lockout, not a strike, so I'm more inclined to favor the players. Why are these negotiations had at the last moment? Why isn't there contingency plans for a season without a CBA? I think he thinks he can starve the players out, which is fine and well, but nobody is making money during the siege.

    Besides, does he really think that "winning" the negotiations for the owners is worth the damage done to the league that lockout after lockout has caused?

    The NHL's brand is becoming close to irrepairable under Bettman.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Don Cherry: ‘I have never seen Bettman so livid

    Cherry theorized on Twitter as to what happened with the owners behind the scene.

    “There were owners who I’ll call doves who were against the hawks. The hawks said ok we’ll do it your way and the doves put an extra 100 million on the table and when the association said ok but… The doves turned into hawks themselves,” said Cherry. “I believe the hardliners said to the doves ok we did it your way and the association thinks we are weak..

  • General Butt Naked||

    I theorize that Don Cherry will say just about anything to keep eyeballs on him even if there's no hockey.

    Even if Cherry is correct, why weren't any steps taken to have a season if a deal wasn't reached? Is the league's plan really to have a season lost for every CBA?

    If so, that is the dumbest business model I've ever fucking heard.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I was thinking similar. Nobody's answered why they couldn't keep going under the old CBA until a new one is reached. Isn't that how most places work?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Even if one side felt the old CBA was unfair, moneys above what was needed for operations could be put into escrow and distributed per a new deal at a later time.

    The problem with this situation is that there is no way to count the money lost by having work stoppages. How many new fans did you lose? What bout old fans?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Apparently they started talking back in February

  • General Butt Naked||

    That's longer than I thought, but not much longer. I thought they started at the end of the regular season.

    The amount of contention between the sides, they should start a couple of years earlier. Seems like these knuckleheads need all the time they can get.

  • Ted S.||

    Fehr wasn't responsible for the cancelled season, or the Fuck You Marty Brodeur Trapezoid. Or the abomination that is the shootout.

  • kmar||

    the federal government can seize the proceeds of any illegal activity

    Well that's nice. States aren't allowed to possess proceeds from an illegal activity, but... the Feds can. "It's immoral (or something like that) for states to profit from illegal sources, so uh, we'll just take those 'illegal' earnings off of you and uh, keep it stored away in an evidence locker somewhere.."

    Like what are they going to do with the money? Burn it? Oh, right, they'll use it to pay court costs associated with fighting the states over the money.. As long as nobody profits from it, right?

  • ||

    as mentioned earlier, 6606 will offer obama a shame saving "out". he can simply say "whoops, it's no longer a controlled substance" . nevermind, cheddar.

    medical MJ was a kludge. recreational is not. the feds are recognizing this.

  • R C Dean||

    Seeing as he would have to sign the bill, I don't see it as an "out" for Obama.

    If he wants to "evolve" on legalization, why doesn't he start by telling the WODders who work for him to back off on WA and CO? Apparently, he doesn't want to, so I would expect him to veto a federal legalization bill.

  • Bill||

    In his first term, I assumed he did not do anything libertarian so as to not hurt his chances of re-election. If he had cut military, been "weak" on any terrorism or any chance to intervene, or increased taxes, or pulled in the DEA, or cut back on Patriot Act, the republitards would have been all over him. You know how it works.

    I'm still waiting to see if he improves on any of this. They may decide not to do much this term either if they want to protect the Dems chances in 2016. But, I'm hoping in his 2nd term he will go more with his heart. If he doesn't, it may be because he has one that 3 sizes too small.

    If he just listens to all his generals and defense dept. folks and the DEA, etc. he won't be any better.

    But if this bill makes it through congress with a majority, it would give him an out to pass something that he agreed with, so I would see him signing it.

  • Robert||

    Option 1 would be interesting, because there's never been a possession case litigated all the way up over the interstate commerce power. Raich was said to be about the "economic activity" of manufacturing a commodity.

    Option 2 I think has no chance of the feds winning, but if they did, they would risk invalidating the regulatory requirements of the state law and leaving nothing, i.e. total laissez faire, in their place.

  • Paul.||

    Apparently some law enforcement officials are so "alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly," that they "are said to be pushing for a stern response."

    There are union jobs at stake here. Fight it they will.

  • Ted S.||

    marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly

    Respect mah authorituh!

  • honeybadgerman||

    We have a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    They have the right to promote the general welfare.

    Promote. Not enforce.

  • ||

    Pretty sure their progressive taxation does more than "promote."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    “It’s a sticky wicket for Obama,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, saying any aggressive move on such a high-profile question would be seen as “a slap in the face to his base right after they’ve just handed him a chance to realize his presidential dreams.”

    Barack. Obama. Does. Not. Give. Two. Shits.

    He knows they will love him no matter what. And they will. Those who won't outright ignore this will understand that it was Republicans who forced him to do this.

  • egnilk66||

    ^^^^THIS.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    This guy needs to be slapped twice in the face, hard. Once for saying something so stupid when a "political science professor" should certainly know better, and another for using the term "sticky wicket."

  • Zeb||

    I think that the Obama love is overstated. It is just partisanship. Obama spent most of his first term with low approval ratings. But the republicans just hate women so much that there was no alternative. No Alternative!!

  • waaminn||

    Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude.

    www.AnonHide.tk

  • Mike Parent||

    JMHO, but I believe they're waiting on the court decision about rescheduling marijuana. A Rescheduled marijuana will give them an out.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "But neither Colorado's Amendment 64 nor Washington's Initiative 502 requires anyone to grow or sell marijuana. One can readily comply with both state and federal law simply by choosing not to go into the cannabis business......etc, etc..."

    All together now....

    Fuck you, that's why.

  • Bruce Majors||

    No Tenth Amendment allowed!

  • LibertarianAmazon||

    Ah, but with gay marriage, Obama says that's a state's rights issue. So he is playing both sides of the fence.

  • LibertarianAmazon||

    Obama says gay marriages is a state's rights issue. And with marijuana - medical or recreational, he says it's a federal issue.

    PICK ONE OR THE OTHER, NOT BOTH!

  • beel420@yahoo.com||

    I have just TWO WORDS for Obama & Co. on the subject:

    SHAFER COMMISSION

    ``The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug.''

    http://www.druglibrary.org/sch.....ncmenu.htm

  • Windowgecko||

    This guy has enough kettle to call his balls black

  • Windowgecko||

    Sent: 9/28/2012 5:04:05 P.M. Pacific Daylight TimeSubj: Fwd: Barry...the dope dealer.

    Barry The Dope Dealer; one reason Obama's school files are SEALED.
    Barry was quite the accomplished marijuana addicted enthusiast back in high school and college. Excerpts from David Maraniss' Barack Obama: The Story "Barry the Dope dealer" with the elaborate drug culture surrounding the president when he attended PunahouSchool in Honolulu andOccidental College in Los Angeles . He definitely inhaled, a hell of a lot of smoke.
    1. The Choom Gang
    Description: 1. The Choom Gang
    A self-selected group of boys at PunahouSchool who loved basketball and good times called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb, meaning "to smoke marijuana."
    2. Total Absorption

  • Windowgecko||

    2. Total Absorption
    Description: 2. Total Absorption
    As a member of the Choom Gang, Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends. The first was called "TA," short for "total absorption." To place this in the physical and political context of another young man who would grow up to be president, TA was the antithesis of Bill Clinton's claim that as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled.
    3. Roof Hits
    Description: 3. Roof Hits
    Along with TA, Barry popularized the concept of "roof hits": when they were chooming in the car all the windows had to be rolled up so no smoke blew out and went to waste; when the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling.
    4. Penalties
    Description: 4. Penalties
    When you were with Barry and his pals, if you exhaled precious pakalolo (Hawaiian slang for marijuana, meaning "numbing tobacco") instead of absorbing it fully into your lungs, you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around. "Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated," explained one member of the Choom Gang, Tom Topolinski, the Chinese-looking kid with a Polish name who answered to Topo.

  • Windowgecko||

    5. The Choomwagon
    Description: 5.. The Choomwagon
    [Choom Gang member] Mark Bendix's Volkswagen bus, also known as the Choomwagon. … The other members considered Mark Bendix the glue, he was funny, creative, and uninhibited, with a penchant for Marvel Comics. He also had that VW bus and a house with a pool, a bong, and a Nerf basketball, all enticements for them to slip off midday for a few unauthorized hours of recreation...
    6. Interceptions
    Description: 6. Interceptions
    Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "Intercepted!," and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.

  • Windowgecko||

    7. Slippers
    Description: 7. Slippers
    Choom Gang members often made their way to Aku Ponds at the end of Manoa Stream, where they slipped past the liliko'i vines and the KAPU (keep out) signs, waded into waist-high cool mountain water, stood near the rock where water rushed overhead, and held up a slipper (what flip-flops are called in Hawaii) to create an air pocket canopy. It was a natural high, they said, stoned or not.
    8. Ray The Dealer
    Description: 8.. Ray The Dealer
    He was a long-haired haole hippie who worked at the Mama Mia Pizza Parlor not far from Punahou and lived in a dilapidated bus in an abandoned warehouse. … According to Topolinski, Ray the dealer was "freakin' scary." Many years later they learned that he had been killed with a ball-peen hammer by a scorned gay lover. But at the time he was useful because of his ability to "score quality weed."
    ...
    In another section of the [senior] yearbook, students were given a block of space to express thanks and define their high school experience. … Nestled below [Obama's] photographs was one odd line of gratitude: "Thanks Tut, Gramps, Choom Gang, and Ray for all the good times." … A hippie drug-dealer made his acknowledgments; his own mother did not.

  • Windowgecko||

    Their favorite hangout was a place they called Pumping Stations, a lush hideaway off an unmarked, roughly paved road partway up MountTantalus . They parked single file on the grassy edge, turned up their stereos playing Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, and Stevie Wonder, lit up some "sweet-sticky Hawaiian buds" and washed it down with "green bottle beer" (the Choom Gang preferred Heineken, Becks, and St. Pauli Girl).
    10. Veto
    Description: 10. Veto
    One of the favorite words in their subculture revealed their democratic nature. The word was veto. Whenever an idea was broached, someone could hold up his hand in the V sign (a backward peace sign of that era) and indicate that the motion wash not approved. They later shortened the process so that you could just shout "V" to get the point across.. In the Choom Gang, all V's were created equal.

  • Windowgecko||

    11. Maui Wowie, Kauai Electric, Puna Bud And Kona Gold:
    Description: 11. Maui Wowie, Kauai Electric, Puna Bud And Kona Gold:
    In the Honolulu of Barry's teenage years marijuana was flourishing up in the hills, out in the countryside, in covert greenhouses everywhere. It was sold and smoked right there in front of your nose; Maui Wowie, Kauai Electric, Puna Bud, Kona Gold, and other local variations of pakololo were readily available.
    12. The Barf Couch
    Description: 12. The Barf Couch
    The Barf Couch earned its name early in the first trimester when a freshman across the hall from Obama [in the Haines Hall Annex dorm at OccidentalCollege ] drank himself into a stupor and threw up all over himself and the couch. In the manner of pallbearers hoisting a coffin, a line of Annexers lifted the tainted sofa with the freshman aboard and toted it out the back door and down four steps to the first concrete landing on the way to the parking lot. A day later, the couch remained outside in the sun, resting on its side with cushions off (someone had hosed it clean), and soon it was back in the hallway nook.

  • Windowgecko||

    13. The Annex Olympics
    Description: 13. The Annex Olympics
    (The main hallway at Haines Hall was called the Annex,) home to the impromptu Annex Olympics: long-jumping onto a pile of mattresses, wrestling in underwear, hacking golf balls down the hallway toward the open back door, boxing while drunk. There were the non-Olympic sports of lighting farts and judging them by color, tipping over the Coke machine, breaking the glass fire extinguisher case, putting out cigarettes on the carpet, falling asleep on the carpet, flinging Frisbees at the ceiling-mounted alarm bell, tasting pizza boxes to the floor, and smoking pot from a three-foot crimson opaque bong, a two-man event involving the smoker and an accomplice standing ready to respond to the order "Hey, dude, light the bowl!

  • Bill||

    I like the old Barry better!

  • ||

    It looks like the good people in these states who wanted simply to enjoy their constitutional rights without running afoul of the law have fallen victim their own trusting nature. They believed that the feds would actually have some respect for their state's sovereignty. In order for any drug legalization measures to be meaningful, it would need to include language that makes it felony for anyone to engage in enforcement efforts against the activities they wish to allow. The feds actions on other issues of late have sent the message that they are under no obligation to enforce anything, so really, there would be no conflict in putting a fed in state prison for 20 years per incident.

  • ck55@verizon.net||

    Sure wish the government would spend their time on the big problems happening all around us instead of a plant!

  • AlgerHiss||

    Certainly a fantasy on my part, as there are no more American heroes anywhere, but it would be beautiful if just one elected Sheriff in one of those states issued this warning:

    If any federal agent, from any department (FBI, CIA, DEA, etc…) attempts to arrest any person within my jurisdiction for anything related to marijuana, you will be arrested and charged, at minimum, with attempted kidnapping.

    But like I said, there are no more American heroes.

  • jili5||

    I've heard of a few sheriff's arresting FDA and USDA agents when they came to harass farmers for selling raw milk. Actually I think the sheriff's just had to threaten to arrest them and the bureaucrats stayed the heck away.

  • jili5||

    Lets give thanks to the federal government. I for one know everytime someone eats or smokes a plant Obama says is bad for us that God kills a kitten.

  • ||

    The federal government has exactly the same amount of federal supremacy over state laws when it comes to prohibition of intoxicants now in 2012 as they did in 1918.

    If the feds have the constitutional authority to prohibit alcohol or any other intoxicant, why did they need to amend the constitution with the 18th amendment at all? Put simply, if they could do so without the 18th amendment now, they would have been able to then too.

    They couldn't then. And they had to pass the 18th amendment in order to override the 10th amendment which reserves prohibitionary powers to the states. The 21st amendment repealed the 18th, returning the law on prohibition to mostly where it was in 1918, but granting the feds the ability to interdict shipments of alcohol into states where it was illegal under state law.

    As long as all states prohibited marijuana, the Controlled Substances Act existed in a constitutional gray area. That gray area no longer exists, and the black & white of the matter is the feds simply lack the authority to prohibit marijuana without a constitutional amendment.

  • wanderlustmisfit||

    I hope they crack down on Washington and Colorado with an iron fist and enforce federal law over state initiatives. This will inevitably piss off lots of people and we'll get to hang these effing despots all the sooner.

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