Obama and The Marijuana Legalization Initiatives 
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Obama and The Marijuana Legalization Initiatives ');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Obama and The Marijuana Legalization Initiatives 
Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2012 at 19:45:55 PT
By Ethan Nadelmann
Source: Huffington Post
Washington, D.C. -- On Election Day, Washington State and Colorado became the first two states in the country -- and indeed the first political jurisdictions anywhere in the world -- to approve legally regulating marijuana like alcohol. It would be a mistake to call these ballot initiative victories "pro-pot." Most of those who voted in favor don't use marijuana; indeed many don't like it at all and have never used it. What moved them was the realization that it made more sense to regulate, tax and control marijuana than to keep wasting money and resources trying to enforce an unenforceable prohibition.
Whether or not the two state governments move forward with regulating marijuana like alcohol will depend on two things: how the Obama administration, federal prosecutors and police agencies respond; and the extent to which the states' senior elected officials commit to implementing the will of the people. The fact that federal laws explicitly criminalize marijuana transactions, and that the federal government can continue to enforce those laws, means that federal authorities could effectively block the initiatives from being fully implemented. But there are also good reasons why the Obama administration should, and may, allow state governments to proceed as voters have demanded. First, keep in mind that no one needs to do anything right away. The provisions legalizing personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and (in the case of Colorado) also allowing the cultivation of up to six plants in the privacy of one's home, will become state law once the initiatives are certified in coming weeks. But those provisions, while contrary to federal law, are unlikely to excite the attentions of federal authorities, who will be more concerned with how the states propose to regulate larger scale production and distribution. The Colorado government, however, has until July 1, and the Washington State government until the end of next year, to issue a statewide regulatory plan. That affords plenty of time for consultation and dialogue. Second, senior state officials, including Colorado's Governor Hickenlooper and Attorney General Suthers, as well as Washington's newly elected governor, Jay Inslee, and attorney general, Bob Ferguson, have all said that they will work to uphold the new laws, notwithstanding their pre-Election Day opposition. The two incoming officials in Washington may also be moved by the fact that the marijuana reform initiative garnered more votes than either of them did. Third, whereas Attorney General Eric Holder warned California voters in October 2010 that the federal government would not allow the marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot at the time to be implemented if it won (which it did not), no such warning was forthcoming this year. Former drug czars and DEA chiefs banded together to urge Holder to speak out again, but both he and President Obama remained silent, perhaps influenced by polls showing strong support for marijuana legalization among young and independent voters in the swing state of Colorado and elsewhere. Fourth, the Obama administration's actions, vis a vis the 18 states that have legalized medical marijuana, offers important insights. Federal prosecutors have acted most aggressively in those states, like Montana and California, which failed to adopt statewide regulation of the emerging industry, and have exercised the greatest restraint in places like New Mexico, Maine and Colorado, where state government is deeply engaged. President Obama has not entirely reneged on the pledge he made as a candidate in 2008, and reiterated as president in 2009, that the federal government would refrain from prosecuting medical marijuana providers operating legally under state law. He has the authority to declare a similar policy of restraint regarding the new laws in Colorado and Washington. Fifth, in my conversations with foreign leaders, major Democratic Party donors and senior political advisers who have discussed drug policy with the president over the past year, all say that Obama seems inclined to pursue further reform of drug policies in a second term. Nothing dramatic, to be sure, but there's a sense that he and those close to him get it -- and will say and do things in a second term that they didn't during the first. Will federal prosecutors and police agents continue to repeat the mantra that "it's all illegal under federal law" and that the federal Controlled Substances Act trumps all state laws? Yes, of course. But they're up against a powerful host of arguments that also demand deference. These new laws were passed by voter initiatives, which represent the clearest expressions of the will of the people. The final tallies were consistent with public opinion polls earlier in the year, before anyone had spent a penny on political advertising. Voters clearly knew what they were voting for. Effectively implemented, the new laws could offer fiscal benefits in terms of reducing criminal justice costs and increasing tax revenues, public safety benefits in terms of transforming a criminal, underground market into a legally regulated above-ground part of local economies, and public health benefits in terms of regulating the quality and potency of substances consumed by millions of Americans. They also, it must be said, advance the cause of freedom. "It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system," Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote (in dissent) in 1932, "that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." Not one but two courageous states have chosen to serve in this way. President Obama should do everything in his power to allow them to do it right. Ethan Nadelmann is the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author:  Ethan NadelmannPublished: November 14, 2012Copyright: 2012, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis  Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on November 15, 2012 at 15:29:38 PT:
It's put up or SHUT UP
The impossible finally happened...and the political and social reality just took a major tectonically seismic shift.All this concern about "What will Obama do?" is misplaced. The Administration should be more concerned about what the People do next. For our patience is not bottomless. Let them not forget that more people voted for drug law reform than voted for the President. Who made a serious miscalculation in attacking the dispensaries. For it showed where his priorities were...and where ours should be. By his DoJ acting as it has, acting in a way which he could have reigned in at any time, the Administration showed that there was only one path left, and that was the one of full re-legalization. The gloves came off...and we landed quite a punch.Now, I'm quite sure the Administration's wonks are calculating to the last decimal point how far they can try to obstruct the new LAWS enacted by those very same People. But now, like in jiu jitsu, the opposition's strengths were used against them.CO and WA have done precisely what the prohibs used to unctuously, sneeringly tell us to do, namely, change the laws, while doing everything they could with our money to obstruct us. Even so, we BEAT them. In an of itself that is something major, a factor that throws any calculus the Administration may be using to try to further obstruct us into some serious negative integers, politically.For the first time, several generations, the main targets of all the anti-drugs propaganda and lies from the 1980's on, HAVE VIA THE POLITICAL PROCESS, SERVED NOTICE IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT THEY ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE IDIOCY THAT IS THE DRUGWAR AND THEY WANT IT TO END.They did it despite a deck stacked against them, I repeat, a deck paid for with our money. Despite that, we won.The will of the People has been made manifest, and manifestly clear. They did not beg. They did not plead. They have not come hat-in-hand. They demand real change. DEMAND IT.And woe betide the political fortunes of those who seek to obstruct that any further. Lots of people in this country are in a restive mood over a lot of things, and further Fed intransigence will only lead to deeper antipathy between the People and 'their' government. An antipathy the latter cannot afford to antagonize.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by afterburner on November 15, 2012 at 06:42:59 PT
Let the Will of WE THE PEOPLE Lead
Arianna Huffington.
 The President Asked Us to Push Him: Here's a To-Do List to Get Us Started. 
Posted: 11/14/2012 12:09 pm.
Follow  Barack Obama , Climate Change , Drug War , Foreclosure Crisis , Barack Obama 2012 , Foreclosure Crisis , Prisons , Prisons , Drones , Mass Incarceration , Obama Reelection , Voting , War On Drugs , Canada News
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by afterburner on November 15, 2012 at 06:02:08 PT
Cannabis Legalization - One Love
Bob Marley- Positive Vibration
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Had Enough on November 14, 2012 at 22:08:51 PT
There’s something happening here…
“”Whether or not the two state governments move forward with regulating marijuana like alcohol will depend on two things: how the Obama administration, federal prosecutors and police agencies respond; and the extent to which the states' senior elected officials commit to implementing the will of the people.Prosecutors and police agencies are to enforce the laws…not make them…right..???And the “states' senior elected officials” are there to represent the will of the people who ‘elected’ them to office…or am I missing something here…???… :)************For What Its Worth (good sound quality!)Buffalo Springfield - For What Its Worth (With Jefferson Airplane Pictures) is this ad thing that comes up...just hit the close button to get them out of the way of the video...
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment