California Can't Legalize Marijuana

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  California Can't Legalize Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on July 17, 2010 at 20:39:16 PT
By Mark A.R. Kleiman 
Source: Los Angeles Times 

Calif.  -- Now that California's billion-dollar "medical marijuana" industry and its affiliated "recommendationists" have made marijuana legally available to any Californian with $75 and the willingness to tell a doctor that he sometimes has trouble sleeping, why not go all the way and just legalize the stuff for recreational use as proposed in Proposition 19 on the November ballot? Then we could tax it and regulate it, eliminating the illicit market and the need for law enforcement against pot growers. California would make a ton of money to help dig out of its fiscal hole, right?Well, actually, no.
There's one problem with legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis at the state level: It can't be done. The federal Controlled Substances Act makes it a felony to grow or sell cannabis. California can repeal its own marijuana laws, leaving enforcement to the feds. But it can't legalize a federal felony. Therefore, any grower or seller paying California taxes on marijuana sales or filing pot-related California regulatory paperwork would be confessing, in writing, to multiple federal crimes. And that won't happen.True, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced that the Justice Department will not prosecute people who are selling medical marijuana in compliance with California's law. But that's an entirely different matter. The attorney general could cite good legal and constitutional reasons for that policy, because the regulation of medical practice is a state and not a federal responsibility. And if the medical justification for most of the pot sold through dispensaries is sketchy at best? Well, that too is a state problem. The international treaties that require their signatories, including the United States, to ban the production and sale of cannabis have an exception for medical use.Most important, the feds can afford to take a laid-back attitude toward California's medical marijuana trade because it's unlikely to cause much of a trafficking problem in the rest of the country. Because dispensaries' prices are just as high as those for black-market marijuana, there's not much temptation to buy the "medical" sort in California and resell it out of state.Note: No matter what argument you use, the fact remains that the federal Controlled Substances Act makes it a felony to grow or sell cannabis.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:   Mark A.R. KleimanPublished: July 16, 2010 Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #16 posted by Hope on July 19, 2010 at 11:06:40 PT
"starving pit bull with a pork chop."This particular pork chop is far from a boneless one... and you know what will happen when that particular "starving pit bull", that's certainly no friend of ours, or any good or decent person, gets hold of this particular pork chop.Pork chop bones are very, very sharp and dangerous.It's just a matter of time. Maybe quick. Maybe slow. That particular greedy devourer will go down, and go down hard.
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on July 19, 2010 at 07:25:25 PT
I am a cheerleader for failure!
I hate the feds, I hate federal bureaucrats and judges and lawyers.It is a Mecca for the mentally infirmed. There are more sociopaths per square inch in Washington D.C. than there are in Leavenworth only in D.C. they tend to have law degrees which makes the even more dangerous and slippery.I firmly believe that the people who now have the power will not let go any easier than a starving pit bull with a pork chop.I advocate nothing except civil disobedience but I also believe that we as a nation will not move forward until I see pitchforks and torches on the white house lawn! 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 19, 2010 at 04:37:27 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Thank you for understanding. I was so darn tired that night I really didn't see there was a second page.
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Comment #13 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 19, 2010 at 00:33:22 PT
You're welcome, FoM.
Out of the thousands of articles you've posted, your bound to slip up every once in a while.And actually, page 2 didn't help this one to make any more sense than the first page alone did.
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Comment #12 posted by rchandar on July 18, 2010 at 16:54:06 PT:
John Tyler
Yeah, I agree. Think about THAT--suppose the day the UN comes to the United States and says we aren't "obeying international treaties." So what are they going to do, condemn us? Or cut off our funding?Though I never liked him Rumsfeld said the following for invading Iraq: "we don't need anybody's permission."It's appropriate. And we don't.
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Comment #11 posted by rchandar on July 18, 2010 at 09:30:19 PT:

Is This Guy Serious??
Maybe I need to stop taking metaamphetimine. Since I've never taken it, it shouldn't be too tough?Federal felony, eh? So he's saying we can't abolish state penalties because, what? Oh, I see. Is there some law that says state statutes on pot must be the same in spirit with federal rules? Look, this is a sad, pathetic attempt to dissuade people for no reason. In reality, our amendment would necessitate a court case where we would make our case to honor state law. This will come to either the Supreme Court or to Congress.Mr. Kleinman, you're basically saying we don't have a case because the Federal government says we're not supposed to have one. This is a democracy, Mr. Kleinman, and we DO have the right to CHALLENGE Federal law.--rchandar
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on July 18, 2010 at 08:07:21 PT

Lets see here… with regard to the articles already mentioned and Federal law and international treaties. California is a big state with a big economy. They have a huge cannabis industry waiting to be legal. Wachovia, a big bank, launders 380 billions in illegal money and gets off because they are too big. Legalization will get through because it is too big not to. California will get by with it because it is too big not to. Legalization will spread because it is too big not to. The international treaties will be ignored or changed because the US is involved and is too big and can ignore them if it suites us. 
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on July 18, 2010 at 05:24:48 PT:

What do you expect from a prohib?
 In America, money always triumphs over ideology, as the DrugWar amply demonstrates. Enough States following California's lead...and the CSA becomes moot. All the government dictates (and Draconian and bloodthirsty laws) in the world have not stopped usage. And that just burns the control-freak arses of people like Professor Kleiman, who still think prohibition is workable when 5,000 years of recorded human history prove otherwise. And this man's an educator?
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 18, 2010 at 05:20:02 PT

Complete Los Angeles Times Article
California Can't Legalize MarijuanaURL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 18, 2010 at 05:05:35 PT

Part 2 of Above Los Angeles Times Article
By contrast, the non-medical cannabis industry that would be allowed if Proposition 19 passed would quickly fuel a national illicit market. According to a study issued by the RAND Corp.'s Drug Policy Research Center this month, if the initiative passes, the pretax retail price of high-grade sinsemilla marijuana sold legally in California is likely to drop to under $40 per ounce, compared with current illicit-market (or dispensary) prices of $300 an ounce and more. Yes, the counties would have authority to tax the product, but even at a tax rate of $50 an ounce — more than 100% of the pretax price — the legal California product would still be a screaming bargain by national standards, at less than one-third of current black-market prices.As a result, pot dealers nationwide — and from Canada, for that matter — would flock to California to stock up. There's no way on earth the federal government is going to tolerate that. Instead, we'd see massive federal busts of California growers and retail dealers, no matter how legal their activity was under state law.Even without the magnet effect of cheap drugs here, the feds couln't afford to simply ignore a state's flouting of the federal prohibition on marijuana. For one thing, allowing Californians to openly grow cannabis for non-medical purposes would be a clear violation of international law; that's why the Netherlands, which tolerates retail cannabis sales through "coffee shops," still bans marijuana production. As the Dutch say, the front door of the coffee-shop trade may be legal, but the back door is illegal.So, then, should marijuana be kept strictly illicit throughout the United States? Not necessarily. Legalizing cannabis isn't a terrible idea, but I'd very much prefer to do it on a non-commercial (grow-your-own or consumers' co-op) basis rather than creating a multibillion-dollar industry full of profit-driven firms trying to encourage as much cannabis use as possible. The only way to sell a lot of pot is to create a lot of potheads — not casual, moderate recreational users but chronic, multiple-joints-per-day zonkers. (The alcohol industry, for example, gets 80% of its income from people with drinking problems.) A grow-your-own or co-op system would prevent that marketing push.In any case, whenever and however we legalize the Demon Weed, it's going to have to be at the national level (which includes modifying the anti-drug treaties) rather than state by state. Any other approach is a pipe dream.Mark Kleiman is professor of public policy at UCLA and the editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. His latest book is "When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment."URL:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 18, 2010 at 05:02:26 PT

Sinsemilla Jones
Thank you. I can't believe I missed it. I can't edit the article and put it in though. That will teach me to do an article when I am exhausted. I think I will archive it with the complete article though.
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on July 18, 2010 at 02:47:27 PT

It's a fraud!
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Comment #4 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 17, 2010 at 23:01:08 PT

Are they going to do it 1 ounce at a time?
"...pot dealers nationwide — and from Canada, for that matter — would flock to California to stock up."Hmmmm, let's click on the top related article to the left of this story -"The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce for personal use."So, it would still be illegal under state law to buy pounds of it to smuggle out of state, which is where the feds will probably concentrate their limited resources, since there's no way they could afford to bust a significant number of those growing or buying on a personal scale as would be legal under state law.Maybe the LA Times should have their writers read the related stories, before they write new ones.
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Comment #3 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 17, 2010 at 22:43:08 PT

This is just half of the article.
There's a page 2 -
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Comment #2 posted by Brandon Perera on July 17, 2010 at 22:37:53 PT

wachovia/ wells fargo= mexican drug cartel
You GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!! , an there gonna get off scotch free!!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on July 17, 2010 at 21:13:20 PT

And that won't happen
And that won't happen And that won't happen And that won't happen And that won't happen And that won't happen ...Fed's Schmeds. Way
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