Fed’s Policy on WA’s MJ Law Still Under Wraps
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Fed’s Policy on WA’s MJ Law Still Under Wraps
Posted by CN Staff on March 06, 2013 at 12:00:08 PT
By Bob Young
Source: Seattle Times 
Washington State -- At 7:13 a.m. Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont popped the question to federal Attorney General Eric Holder that so many in Colorado and Washington have been anxious about. At a far-ranging Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Chairman Leahy asked Holder if he was prepared to announce the federal government’s response to new legal recreational marijuana laws in those two states. Both states are moving ahead with implementing regulations, but could face lawsuits and prosecution from the federal government which considers all forms of marijuana a dangerous illegal drug.
Early risers in Colorado and Washington tuned into CSPAN did not get an answer. Holder said he had “good conversations” with elected leaders in those states, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “We expect our ability to announce a policy relatively soon,” Holder said. In what Leahy then called a bit of editorializing, he suggested Holder’s Department of Justice should pursue “more serious things than minor possession of marijuana.” From there, senators moved on to other issues: use of private jets by Justice officials and use of drones to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. Alison Holcomb, the author of Washington’s new pot law, was encouraged by Holder’s few words. “On the one hand, the statement didn’t shed much light on DOJ’s likely response,” Holcomb said. “On the other, Holder made a point of commenting on his productive conversations with state leadership. That’s important. If DOJ intended to reject outright the citizens’ efforts to reform our failed marijuana laws, there would be nothing to discuss.” Holcomb’s view is shared by other key figures in Washington state who think that Holder wants to see more details of what the state-regulated marijuana systems will look like in Colorado and Washington — and how they will safeguard against leakage of legal pot into the black market — before he announces a policy.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Bob YoungPublished: March 6, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis  Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on March 06, 2013 at 17:34:34 PT
There's a gaping loophole in his "editorial".
He opined that the Feds should have “more serious things than minor possession of marijuana” to see to.Growing and wholesale and retail sales are a part of the equation, too, and they aren't in the category that a prohibitionist thinks of as "Minor possession". That and the people that do it need protecting from the over enforcement of the cannabis laws that we've seen people hit over the head with for years and years, now.It's a big deal for the Feds to back off the states on this. I pray they do. For Heaven's sake, all these efforts are about going for less conflict and persecution for the people that choose to use the herb, not more. 
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Comment #3 posted by mexweed on March 06, 2013 at 16:37:04 PT:
Include vape education in state regulatory systems
As  Hemp World says, "the demand is huge"-- fortunately there is a way to hugely REDUCE demand, by replacing wasteful (AND toxic) "joint", "spliff", "blunt", "cigarette" combustion formats with (for those less cheap than me) vaporizers, or with 25-mg-per-lightup screened one-hitters that have a long flexible drawtube so you can enact the vape lighting procedure far enough from your eyes. (Yes, headshops don't get it yet-- you may have to supply your own drawtube, either 3/8" o.d. to slip over the butt end of their product, or 1/4" o.d. to fit snug inside the end-hole thereof.)When everyone knows how to vape with a onie (oney), the QUANTITY of demand (but not numbers of users) will crash, starving out the black market.
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Comment #2 posted by colin42 on March 06, 2013 at 13:37:22 PT:
Thank you, Senator Leahy
I really loved his suggestion to Eric Holder at the end. It sets a great tone, and there's something so powerful about the senator directly addressing Holder from his platform and telling him that this isn't something they should be messing with.I really hope more elected officials will find the courage to directly, and publicly, speak out like this in the future. 
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on March 06, 2013 at 12:26:36 PT
"safeguard against leakage of legal pot into the
black market"Ok, but up to now, there is a huge black market. Only reasonable fees and taxes on the industry and products will prevent this leakage.If you have high taxes and fees and expensive packaging then the black market will be huge.The regulators have a direct impact on the black market through their regulations. I hope they realize that.Also, the longer they wait, the more the black market will grow and expand.Marijuana/cannabis does not need any regulation, it will find and develop a market quickly because the demand is huge.We don't need regulation but if there is regulation it will be checked by the black market, just as the medical market now is checked by the black market.
Hemp Magazine
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