Former Anti-Drug Chiefs Seek To Block Legal Pot
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Former Anti-Drug Chiefs Seek To Block Legal Pot
Posted by CN Staff on September 13, 2010 at 11:20:06 PT
By Janie Lorber
Source: New York Times
California -- Every past administrator of the 37-year-old Drug Enforcement Administration is calling on the Justice Department to sue California if its voters decide to legalize marijuana in November.Peter Bensinger, who ran the D.E.A. from January 1976 through July 1981, said legalizing recreational use of pot, even in one state, would be a “disaster,” leading to increased addiction, traffic accidents and trouble in the workplace.
So, he and the eight other former D.E.A. administrators are asking the Obama administration to step in – much as it did when the Arizona legislature passed its tough new immigration law this spring.“The Justice Department invoked the Supremacy Clause in the state of Arizona and in that case the laws weren’t even in direct conflict,” Mr. Bensinger said in an interview with The New York Times on Monday, referring to the portion of the Constitution that says federal law prevails over any contradictory state law.An Aug. 24 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder signed by the nine former administrators points out that California’s Proposition 19 directly conflicts with the Controlled Substances Act and goes against the administration’s 2010 national drug strategy, which “firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug.”Supporters of Proposition 19 argue that legalizing and regulating marijuana would reduce violence at the border while reaping tax revenue for financially strapped states. The administrators believe it would not bring in a substantial amount of money because anyone trying to pay taxes on the sale of pot would also be declaring themselves guilty of a federal offense.The government, however, could end up turning a blind eye. Mr. Holder directed federal prosecutors last fall not to pursue cases against medical marijuana users and distributors as long as they comply with state law, making a federal legal challenge less likely.“Nothing in the Constitution requires a state to prohibit as a matter of state law and prosecution what the federal government has chosen to prohibit as a matter of federal law and prosecution,” said Bruce Fein, a prominent supporter of the measure, who served in the Reagan Justice Department as an associate deputy attorney general. “Proposition 19 leaves the power of the federal government to enforce federal prohibitions on marijuana trafficking or use unimpaired.”A spokesman for the Justice Department said it could not speculate on what it would do if the measure passes.“The federal government is committed to enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act and the Department of Justice will continue to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, in all states,” he said.The former administrators, who held a news conference in Washington on Monday along with several national law enforcement and substance abuse groups, have not received a response from the department.Meanwhile, on the West Coast, two law enforcement groups supporting the measure spoke out.“This November, Californians finally have a chance to flip the equation and put drug cartels out of business, while restoring public respect for the criminal laws and their enforcement,” said William John Cox, a former Los Angeles Police Department sergeant and Los Angeles County deputy district attorney.Note: From The New York Times Blog.Source: New York Times (NY)Author:  Janie LorberPublished: September 13, 2010Copyright: 2010 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #14 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 14, 2010 at 00:03:39 PT
What do all the DEA heads have in common?
They all failed.In fact, the drug problem is much worse than when they started.There are more drugs, more different kinds of drugs, more potent drugs, and more poisonous drugs, available to more and more and younger and younger people than ever before.And with the exception of the "drug" marijuana, these more dangerous and more available drugs are pretty much cheaper than ever before.
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on September 13, 2010 at 18:25:22 PT
Is the Govmint getting drug money?
The congress gets 129 million in drug money from FDA approved drug dealers, every election cycle.untold billions are channeled through "legit" banks and into campaign funds and lobbying funds.Who knows really how many ways the police and politicians are receiving their funds. They are very creative about it!
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on September 13, 2010 at 18:19:55 PT
The number to look out for!Nice job John!
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Comment #11 posted by kaptinemo on September 13, 2010 at 16:52:42 PT:
The Unasked Question
The question that even most reformers fail to ask, when confronted with stunts like this:Why have we had to have so many Drug Czars at all?You think by now we would have solved the 'problem' with maybe the first or second, but, no, we've had to have nine of them? Nine?I am reminded of an old editorial cartoon from the Viet Nam era. Pictures of the faces of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, their mouths open as though speaking, with the words "Victory is just around the corner" divided between them, the implication being that it was anything but.Cut and paste the pictures of the Drug Czars over those Prezes, and the effect is the same.So, let's hear from our spokespeople, and have them ask the public why we've had to have so many Drug Czars? Didn't Newt Gengrich proclaim we'd be a drug free country in 1995? (Significant look at present calendar year.) Seems we're kinda late aren't we? They were hired to bring about that 'jubilee', weren't they? They failed utterly, didn't they? So, why should anyone pay any attention to these obviously hypocritical, lying, self-serving goofs?Enough of that public chastising, and that particular slime will crawl back into the shadows where it belongs...
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on September 13, 2010 at 16:29:04 PT
Sweet victory in the air.
Things like this will make a win in California that much sweeter.May this anger voters and get them to the ballot box.?!Citizens across the entire United States would do well to help California pass this important legislation.At a time when government seems so out of control and out of touch, this is a unique oppertunity to control government.
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Comment #9 posted by Paint with light on September 13, 2010 at 15:33:32 PT
vested interests
"The former administrators, who held a news conference in Washington on Monday along with several national law enforcement and substance abuse groups, have not received a response from the department.""The former administrators....."Who don't want people to know the truth about how they have lied and persecuted thousands of people for using a harmless herb...."several national law enforcement groups....."Who want to go on recieiving federal state, city, and county money for lying, and also want to remain free to steal, persecute and kill........"substance abuse groups....."Who depend on lies and misinformation to keep stealing money from patients........are getting desperate because they see their cash cow dying of mad cow disease.One of the only times I wish I could embrace other religious views, is when I would like to be assured these guys/gals are guaranteed a special place in hell for what they have done while they are here.Legal like alcohol. 
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on September 13, 2010 at 15:32:23 PT:
How dumb are they, really?
"The winners in a rigged game always get stupid." - Catherine Austin FittsSo, they want a court battle?(Wolf's grin) Bring it on.One of the most important reasons why cannabis prohibition has been maintained for as long as it has been was the opposition's ability to avoid legal repercussions for peddling misinformation using public office.Sue California, and the claimants must bring a truckload of evidence into the courtroom to justify their position. Given that cannabis prohibition started with a lie (and racially bigoted lie at that), and just accreted lies to itself until it was nothing but a gigantic pile of lies, and that every study ever funded by the Gubmint disproved those lies, the prohibs will enter the arena of the courtroom with swords in their hand...pointed at their own throats. Everything they say in justification of cannabis prohibition will be a perjury offense. It's that simple. Each and every article of their 'canon' is false or unprovable. If they dare show up to testify, any good lawyer worth their salt would eviscerate them on the stand within minutes.So, sure, all you sado-moralistic prohib jerks, be my guest. Sue California. I and every other reformer will enjoy seeing your willful ignorance, arrogance and stupidity held up for public revue. It will only hasten the end of all drug prohibition. So, like I said: Bring it on. We're ready for ya, this time...
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Comment #7 posted by Brandon Perera on September 13, 2010 at 14:47:48 PT:
drug cartel
I bet our government is doing business with the drug cartels is why they dont want it legalized.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 13, 2010 at 12:14:40 PT
Related News From The Huffington Post
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Group Of Ex-Officers And Judges, Support California Marijuana LegalizationURL:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 13, 2010 at 12:11:19 PT
Related Article From CNN
Former DEA Heads Unite Against California Plan To Legalize MarijuanaSeptember 13, 2010Washington (CNN) -- California's proposal to legalize marijuana has provoked every former director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to join in urging the White House to block the proposition if it is approved on the November ballot.Proposition 19 is billed as a measure to raise revenue and cut the costs of enforcement. An analysis by the California attorney general's office cites "additional revenues from taxes, assessments, and fees from marijuana-related activities allowed under this measure."Complete Article:
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on September 13, 2010 at 12:05:54 PT
Suing democracy with the money of we, the people!Classic DEA!
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on September 13, 2010 at 11:52:51 PT
I'm shocked, absolutely shocked
The DEA is against something that would cause half of the DEA to get laid off? Shocking! who would have expected this?
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on September 13, 2010 at 11:45:36 PT
9 former DEA administrators
So, they round up 9 losers to comment on their abject failure over several decades and give them the chance to lobby that another several decades will surely revise history in their favor. It's easy to deny reality when you're given near absolute power and endless money to "play" with others lives. All it requires is that you be an ideological robot of willful ignorance.These people have no credibility whatsoever on the issue.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on September 13, 2010 at 11:32:36 PT
A runnruff retort:
Snicker, snicker, snort!Hee Hee Heeeee haww!We got the pigs on the run!
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