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Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Can't Stop Marijuana Legalization

But He Can Slow it Down

"The Trump administration can slow down marijuana legalization, but they can't stop it," says Reason senior editor Jacob Sullum.

Trump already endorsed medical marijuana on the campaign trail, and said that states should be free to legalize it, but his appointment of old school drug warrior Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General is cause for concern.

"First of all, the federal government doesn't have the power to force states to make marijuana legal again," explains Sullum. While the Trump administration could sue to knock down state regulations, that would simply leave behind a legal but unregulated market. According to Sullum, the feds don't have the manpower to crack down on the local level, and there's very little upside for the administration to roll back legalization. "They can create a lot of chaos, but ultimately they're not going to reverse legalization and bring back prohibition."

Produced by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg
Edited by Austin Bragg

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  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Can anyone explain why commenting breaks down on such a haphazard basis? Does it have to do with the amount of traffic the Reason servers can handle? Hopefully the web developer they will hire will have some pretense of knowledge.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It reeks of a back end issue. Server authenticating or connecting to a mysql instance. Why it breaks down with such regularity? No idea. I'd have to get in both ends (front and back) and hammer the crap out of it.

  • DenverJ||

    Uh... Phrasing?

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    We're not doing "phrasing" anymore!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's why I support Archer for President! Make Phrasing Great Again!

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    They probably got a virus in their web address from Russian hackers.

  • Jerryskids||

    Commenting breaks down when the little tubes get clogged up with spam because people don't change their spam filters as often as they should. Simply changing the spam filter will not only make the system work better, but it will speed up your internet and make your modem run cooler, prolonging its life by as much as 78%. Many people don't change their spam filters because they think it's costly or complicated, but the Jerryskids Spamaway Universal Replacement Spam Filter is guaranteed to be the best spam filter at the lowest cost available anywhere and it comes with a free set of easy-to-follow instructions that will fit any make or model of computer - Mac or PC - including tablets, smartphones, and internet-capable household appliances PLUS it features a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or double your money back. Just send your credit card information to Jerryskids Spamaway and for a low, low one-time re-occurring charge of $13.95 per month you'll be guaranteed to be spam-free!

  • Jerryskids||

    Note: If clicking on the link does not take you to the Jerryskids Spamaway page, your computer has probably already been infected with a malicious Trojan hacker virus bug and you should post your credit card information here in the comments section where you can access my FREE 24-hour emergency support to have your spam filter remotely installed using my patented system for just such an occasion.

  • JWatts||

    A+, now there's context relevant SPAM.

  • Headache||

    Some People Are Morons.

  • buybuydandavis||

    To aid my spam filters, I use a magnetic ionizer on my cable line from my ISP. Ionizing incoming data avoids data clumps that clog your spam filter.

    Cuts down on Reason comment failures 44%!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Look, their developer is doing the best job he can, OK?

  • buybuydandavis||

    H1B quality!

  • Hank Phillips||

    My guess is that some idiot (or looter state agent provocateur) might type something the looters can leap on as a "threat" to "authority figures" and exploit as the entering wedge of a campaign of harassment (subpoenas, gag rules) of inconvenient libertarian publications. Comrade Chomsky referred to this as "flack." Reason would be silly NOT to be on the lookout for such sabotage.
    Libertarians are in the big league now. That 328% increase in law-changing spoiler votes puts us up there with the Prohibition Party (who with 1.4% of the popular vote made light beer a shoot-first felony for 14 years) and the Populist Party (whose 9% vote in 1892 caused an income tax to promptly pass and wreck the economy). A party with 4 million voters changing electoral vote results in 11 states has honest clout. With honest clout comes dishonest flack and the need for eternal vigilance.

  • John||

    The states can pass whatever laws they want. So in that sense, no the feds can't stop marijuana legalization. They can, however, make it meaningless. As long as you can't sell marijuana without the risk of the DEA showing up and throwing you in prison, any state marijuana legalization is meaningless.

    The bottom line is that as long as marijuana is illegal under federal law, state laws legalizing are symbolic at best. All a state law legalizing pot does is make it okay to possess and sell marijuana just so long as the feds take notice. That is pretty thin gruel.

  • Duncan20903||

    You might find benefit from learning the definitions of, and the differences between the phrases "de jure" and "de facto." While you are correct that regulated re-legalization is meaningless if the DEA might show up, you are incorrect that the Feds have the resources to make that happen. The fact of the matter is that the people who have chosen to become State authorized cannabis vendors without the blessings of the Federal government are fucking crazy, Cole memo or no Cole memo. These people don't just open for business, of those that do get busted by the Feds a significant percentage re-open the next day. This has been going on for more than two decades. California's Compassionate Use Act was financed by proceeds from a gray market dispensary in San Francisco. State authorized dispensaries were created in 2004 when George Bush the lesser was POTUS.

    The long and the short of it is that the Feds don't have the resources required to enforce their law without the cooperation of State and local authorities. That cooperation can't be coerced either. Once you account for the lunatical dedication of the vendors your thesis fails. Personally I'm very grateful that such people exist but that doesn't mean that I don't think them quite mad.

  • JuanQPublic||

    "The states can pass whatever laws they want."

    Unless they are unconstitutional. The primary role of federal government should be nothing more than protecting citizens, businesses and other entities in this regard.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    All congress has to do is amend existing law, exempting federal marijuana laws in states that have otherwise legalized it. They should de-crminialize it completely, but let's be honest, they're a bunch of fucking pussies.

  • timbo||

    No way a guy that looks like that isn't high.
    When he golfs, he looks like he just ate a bag of popcorn with pot butter.

  • Jerryskids||

    In other News of the Evil Retarded, a 4-year old is suspended from daycare and reported to DFCS for bringing a .22 casing to school. Or a "shotgun bullet" as it was referred to by the proud ignoramus informant.

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    That sure seems familiar. How does it feel to be scooped by Robby Fucking Soave?

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    You should post that link in this thread.

  • Snort||

    Based on the picture in the article here on reason.com, this is NOT a .22 casing. Using the fingers as a guide, this appears to be a .32 caliber casing. It's too short for a .32 ACP piston case. I'll go out on a limb and say this is a .32 S&W long. The facts of the 4 year old was being instructed by his grandfather, and the the history of the .32 S&W long only ad to the possibility of this guess being correct.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Absolutely amazing. Wait, it's 2017 in America. Not so amazing.

  • JuanQPublic||

    These fully legal, commercial operations can't even do normal business financial practices because of the intrusive Justice Dept sticking the federal government's fat nose into how they handle their finances, getting in the way.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Anderson Cooper is the Snow Queen.

  • Leaf||

    I hate to sound like a luddite but maybe this shit really does need to be slowed down. I'm not sure letting these corporate douchebags take over the industry is doing anyone any particular favors other than the left-over prohibs, their associated black market goons, prohib-lites, and crotch scratchers anyway.

    Just sayin,

    God

  • Bruce 6225||

    We constantly hear reporters and many others telling us "the reason Trump was elected", "Trump got voted in because the people expect", and many variants of his reason for being president that set up one argument or another. My guess is Trump got elected because the Clinton campaign couldn't stop the constant flow of discovery concerning Hillary's illegal e-mail set up and the amazing Clinton Foundation adventures into crime. In other words, Trump got elected because he wasn't Hillary. That is not a mandate to do anything.

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