The Washington Post Says Obama Should Give States Leeway on Pot but Avoids the F-Word


A Washington Post editorial describes "a few options" for the Obama administration as it settles on a response to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington:

It could enhance its own anti-marijuana enforcement in the states. It could sue to halt the laws' application.

Or the Justice Department could keep its hands off, perhaps continuing the approach the feds have largely taken for some time—focusing scarce resources on major violators, such as big growers that might serve multi-state markets, cultivators using public lands or dispensaries near schools. The last option is clearly best.

The Post takes liberties with English by describing the raids and threats that have put hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado out of business as a "hands off" approach, and it gives cannabiphobic U.S. attorneys too much credit by suggesting they are "focusing scarce resources" on major threats to public order (such as The Grasshopper?). But the Post is right about two things: 1) The feds, who account for about 1 percent of pot busts, cannot enforce marijuana prohibition on their own, and 2) if they merely maintain something like their current level of harassment vis-à-vis pot growers and retailers, it won't be enough to eliminate the newly legal business. In the meantime, says the Post, we might just learn a thing or two:

It's not yet clear how a quasi-legal pot industry might operate in Colorado and Washington or what its public-health effects will be. It could be that these states are harbingers of a slow, national reassessment of marijuana policy. Or their experiment could serve as warning for the other 48 states.

What's that called again, when states experiment with different policies and learn from each other's examples? Never mind, because the Post does not want to formally acknowledge such an arrangement. It warns that repealing federal prohibition and letting states go their own way "could have a range of effects on the U.S. relationship with Mexico that lawmakers should take time to consider fully." Such as weakening the murderous cartels that profit from the arbitrary distinctions drawn by our country's drug laws? Yeah, Mexico would hate that.

The Post does endorse "decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot, assessing civil fines instead of locking people up," which was a cutting-edge reform in 1972, when the Nixon-appointed National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse recommended it; in 1973, when Oregon became the first of a dozen or so states to do it; and maybe even in 1977, when President Jimmy Carter endorsed it at the federal level (a mainly symbolic step, since the feds almost never handle cases involving small amounts of pot). What about commercial cultivation and sale, as planned in Colorado and Washington? Although the Justice Department "does not need to stage an aggressive intervention," the Post says, "it can wait, watch and enforce the most worrisome violations as they occur." If we're lucky, that will turn out to be just as meaningless as it sounds.

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  1. It’s a slippery slope the Post is setting foot on here. Next thing you know states will be trying to set their own abortion limits.

    1. Also, slavery.

      If you support states allowing people to smoke pot, you’re clearly a neo-Confederate who wants to bring back slavery, according to the WaPo.

    2. Gee, I didn’t know the Washington Post was run by racists. Huh. But I’d say the evidence is conclusive.

  2. Decriminalizing small amounts is is like being a little bit pregnant. The black market will still be the only means to supply users.

    It’s really a question of self ownership. Do you own your body or don’t you?

    Apparently not. We are all property of the federal government. Ingesting unapproved chemicals is punishable by kidnapping, followed by random beatings and anal rape.

  3. I would like to believe that Dunphy is right, that this is the beginning of the end of prohibition. The more I think about it the more I see resistance from interests such as the pharmaceutical industry and the detention and rehabilitation sectors. Also this is not enough of course, we must end the drug war period, the only way to do this is to legalize all drugs. Anyone who thinks the cartels will just disappear without full legalization is deluded. Even then the fuckers will still be smuggling people, so in that case if I were you I would build a big fucking wall, 50 feet high ought to do. This will go on for years and not to our satisfaction ultimately.

    1. realistically speaking, we are not going to legalize “hard drugs”. not any time in the near future. the public draws a bright line. pot – meh. hard drugs – bad shit

      the reality is pot is already CLOSE to de facto legalized in seattle. i know SPD cops who go to calls and if they see a joint in an apartment they are there (like DV) NOTHING happens. they don’t care . even their city passed a resolution saying not to give pot priority. but making it OFFICIALLY legal is obviously way better, and especiually in some podunk jurisdictions where they DO take pot seriously.

      1. But surely, Dunphy, I have to ask this question.

        You told me that you are Libertarian. So you DO support legilaztion of all drugs, yes?

    2. Why the hell would Big Pharma oppose legalization? Who the hell do you think is going to be inventing all new kinds of recreational drugs? It will be the biggest boost to their bottom lines in their entire history.

      1. big pharma DEFINITELY opposes medical MJ, since it cuts into their bottom line and their authoritah.

      2. Well, with MJ it’s generally seen as something that would compete with their product, and something they wouldn’t likely get a piece of.

        Same with the alcoholic beverage industry.

    3. I think you would see a legalization of less potent forms of the drugs first. Coco leaves for tea and opium. etc. in lieu of the harder versions.

  4. pretty garden variety acceptable use of force but it’s got some people all a kerfuffle…

    note: don’t resist arrest.

    don’t try to spit on police…..63391.html

    1. And as usual, you are exposed as a liar. The forearm to the face was gratuitous, and completely unnecessary to effect the arrest. Also, as I’m sure you know, they dragged him off the hood of the car so the dashcam couldn’t capture their further illegal use excessive force.

    2. I read in the paper today about someone who faces felony charges for assaulting one of the king’s men. But we’re all equal. Well, except for the king’s men who deal out violence without consequence. On another page a state trooper is still on paid vacation for showing up to work drunk. Some local cops threw a party for underage girls using confiscated booze. After a paid vacation they were put back to work.

      History never changes. There is the political class, the enforcers, and everyone else.

    3. note: don’t resist arrest.

      arrest for what?

  5. They could send in the National Guard.

  6. lol, Gotta love those bought and paid for politicians lol

  7. very super blogos thanks admin sohbet & sohbet odalar?

  8. earned that one “Sharon Levy” cares more for boot licking than the Hip sohbet odalar? & cinsel sohbet

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