Lawmakers Press White House, Again, on Pot Rules
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Lawmakers Press White House, Again, on Pot Rules
Posted by CN Staff on March 04, 2014 at 20:09:15 PT
By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press
Source: Seattle Times
Washington, D.C. -- A senior U.S. drug enforcement official urged Congress and others Tuesday not to abandon scientific concerns over marijuana in favor of public opinion to legalize it, even as the Obama administration takes a hands-off approach in states where voters have made legal its sale and use.The deputy administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Thomas Harrigan, testified Tuesday before a House oversight panel that easing laws governing marijuana threatens U.S. institutions.
"We should not abandon science and fact in favor of public opinion," Harrigan said. He echoed previous testimony from James Capra, DEA's chief of operations, who told a Senate panel in January that "going down the path to legalization in this country is reckless and irresponsible."The subcommittee chairman, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said the country is "in a state of conflict and chaos right now" over U.S. marijuana policy.In an election year that could tip the balance of power in Congress, some Republicans have accused the White House of cherry-picking which federal laws to enforce. The administration has said it continues to pursue dangerous criminals, but President Barack Obama himself last month in an interview declared marijuana no more dangerous than alcohol and contrasted it with "harder drugs" including cocaine and methamphetamine.Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use. To date, only Colorado and Washington have allowed the sale and use of marijuana for recreational use. Several other states, including Oregon and Alaska, are expected to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana within the next year.Colorado's recreational pot market became legal in January. Officials in Washington are expected to issue the first marijuana business license Wednesday.Federal law is unambiguous: Marijuana is among the most dangerous drugs, it has no medicinal value and it's illegal in the United States. It's a stance supported generally by the president's Office of National Drug Control Policy.But the Justice Department has made clear it won't interfere with businesses in states where marijuana's sale or use has been made legal so long as everyone adheres to state law and the industry is taxed and regulated. The Treasury and Justice departments last month announced formal guidance for banks, though the financial industry has suggested that banks will remain wary of opening accounts for marijuana businesses.Harrigan, the deputy DEA administrator, stopped short Tuesday of criticizing the administration's enforcement policies. He said the Justice Department memo issued last year by Deputy Attorney General James Coles has had little impact on his agency's operations targeting large-scale drug trafficking organizations. He said law enforcement remains concerned about international drug organizations exploiting state drug laws that are more lax than the federal government.The U.S. attorney in Colorado, John Walsh, said his office has never targeted casual drug users for federal prosecutions, and the Cole memo has had no impact on that.Harrigan also told the panel that DEA's foreign counterparts have questioned why the U.S. appears to be easing its overall oversight of marijuana laws.Hours before Tuesday's congressional hearing, the United Nations' drug watchdog agency said it "deeply regrets" moves by Colorado and Washington state to allow the sale and use of marijuana. The agency, the International Narcotics Control Board, said such legalization posed a threat to the international fight against drug abuse.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press Published: March 4, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on March 05, 2014 at 19:12:50 PT
That last paragraph
seems to have a threatening undertone. Could the United Nations be preparing to attack Colorado and Washington, backed up by the DEA... with the blessings of the Feds?That's what these diehard prohibs seem to want.
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on March 05, 2014 at 15:28:34 PT:
'Science'? No. LYSENKOISM!
(Spat as a deadly insult to its' practitioners.)When science is prostituted for a paycheck or an ideology, that's Lysenkoism. That's just what happened with drug policy in this country. 'Researchers' pimped themselves to the anti-drug bureaucracies, offering to provide the fig leaf of scientific 'truthiness' to cover what amounted to a naked power grab on the Fed's part. Knowing the science didn't hold up under scrutiny, but so long as the bloody shirt of The Children could be waved, maternal and paternal instincts usually trumped common sense and historical precedent...and the gravy train continued.That is, until the people this was all ostensibly done for reached their maturity...and called BS.An entire generation were seen by DrugWarriors as lab rats in their little maze. The experiment: They were to be the first 'drug free' generation. Bald-faced, cold-blooded, cynical social engineering on a national scale. More Lysenkoism.Well, the kids grew up as they invariably do, and stop believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus...and Officer Friendly from DARE class. Either from observation or personal experience, they verify their earlier suspicions as kids that they were being lied to.And now they can vote. Of course the DrugWarrior hierarchy is having bladder control problems. Just think: when was the last time you ever saw the heads of the departments of various anti-drug organizations ever testifying?.The kings and queens of the opposition are being forced to face us, their pawns having been trounced very publicly. And they're in no shape to fight, having gotten fat and lazy while we've had to hone our skills in trench fighting, (no) thanks to them. the noose tightens, the loons will squawk louder, and more insanely. It would be pitiable until you recall what horrors they have visited upon mainly peaceable folk.Karma delayed is karma magnified. The DrugWarriors have much to atone for. This has been a long time coming, and I'm glad I am alive to see it. 
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Comment #6 posted by Swazi-X on March 05, 2014 at 14:40:40 PT
Institutions Are At Risk
He's telling the truth in one area - legalizing cannabis will put quite a few institutions at risk.D.E.A. funding will be cut, prosecutors and probation officers and cops and such will all face funding cuts and layoffs and our prison system will be put on a severe diet consisting of real criminals only.Congress will also feel the pinch when those moron prohibitionist liars and cheats are finally outed for what they truly are and are swept out with the trash next election. Big Pharma will also begin losing profits to cannabis based medicines easily grown by anyone interested, nearly for free, that actually CURE many of their most profitable diseases. Diabetes? Cancer? High blood pressure? Autism? Mostly cured, definitely helped by this lowly little plant. We don't have to go through bankruptcy in order to pay for chemicals that only barely avoid killing us to treat cancer any more. A month on high potency cannabis extract from the right variety can cure us.The biggest institution at risk is the U.S. government - when more people finally realize how blatantly they've hidden the truth from us, and how much suffering, pain, death and imprisonment these lies have caused all of us. In earlier times, such despicable behavior would have resulted in armed rebellion and the overthrow of those in power.The war on weed has killed countless people, and millions have been victimized by being deprived of the one substance that is both more effective and safer than any thing else known to treat illness and to relax as well. Alcoholic deaths could have been cut drastically if people were allowed to use cannabis instead. Anti-depressant suicides also would virtually disappear since cannabis (especially used fresh) is an extremely powerful anti-depressant.The cat's out of the bag you D.E.A. bu**wipes - you can't lie your way out of this any more.Science? BRING IT ON. Let's start by having the D.E.A. answer the question, "Is meth more dangerous than cannabis?"
There's not a single honest person anywhere in the entire roster of D.E.A. cowards with the cohones to tell the truth about that.
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Comment #5 posted by Vincent on March 05, 2014 at 14:35:01 PT:
Unbelievable!!!!  I read this today in the paper, and I keep saying to myself, "Wha.."? Are these idiots actually trying to say that science is on their side? Science, or the dismissal of it, is at the very heart of the Legalization debate. It is because they disregard science that we have this "War". Why is it that Prohibitionists never learn that their way NEVER works, I mean never. It was tried on a large scale during the 1920s, and the only that happened was more crime!!!!
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Comment #4 posted by Ryannn29 on March 05, 2014 at 09:38:25 PT:
What do you mean???
Science is what has been abandoned. That's why it's illegal. It's science that tells us that Cannabis should be legal.So actually, science and public opinion are in line with each other. You're standing in the way with the lies that have been fed to the people since 1937. You deserve to be fired and banned from ever having to do with any of the political affairs of this country ever again lying when the truth is so easily found, and for trying to take away from the American people what they deserve.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on March 05, 2014 at 07:12:44 PT
California & feds
the new rhetoric sounds great, but look what the feds are actually doing in the real world:
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 05, 2014 at 01:50:15 PT
Federal law is unambiguous: 
"Marijuana is among the most dangerous drugs, it has no medicinal value and it's illegal in the United States. It's a stance supported generally by the president's Office of National Drug Control Policy."Even my illiterate nephew who is currently doing his third year in the fourth grade knows the ONDCP have gotten two out of three wrong on this issue.And they are perplexed as to why they are losing support.
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Comment #1 posted by Universer on March 04, 2014 at 20:37:51 PT
I agree with what he says (not what he means)
"We should not abandon science and fact in favor of public opinion," Harrigan said.Why not? It's been an American tradition since 1937.Personally, I'm all for the usage of science and fact over public opinion. Indeed, it is the dissemination of same that has swayed the public's opinion to the very point that you feel you have to rail against it, Mr. Harrigan.And by the bye, what rationale is it that gives drug enforcement agents an audience with Congress on the subject of whether to enforce against drugs?"Don't let these vegetarian activists take away all the chickens," said the fox in his guard uniform.
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