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Marijuana: Rumblings about federal crackdown on Colorado over Amendment 64

Categories: Marijuana

sugarloaf mountain marijuana seizure july 2009 cropped.jpg
At this point, there's still no official word from the Justice Department about a response to Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. But as a similar law in Washington state went into effect at midnight yesterday, prompting a smoke-out at the Space Needle, a New York Times article suggested that the feds are leaning toward intervention. Is the Times piece a trial balloon or a bomb about to drop?

Perhaps it's both. The Obama administration, like those that have preceded it over a span of decades, tends to use the Times to test reactions to policy moves and the like before they're formalized. When viewed in that context, the item, headlined "Administration Weighs Legal Action Against States That Legalized Marijuana Use," has an ominous undertone. Writer Charlie Savage maintains that "high-level meetings" have been held since the election to grapple with conflicts between federal law, which considers marijuana a Schedule I narcotic, and the measures in Colorado and Washington state, which permit adult recreational use of an ounce or less of marijuana. In this context, Savage writes, "Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action."

jenny durkan.jpg
Jenny Durkan.
Also highlighted is a statement just released by Jenny Durkan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. It reads:
The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The Department's responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.
Savage adds the following caveat:
Federal officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Several cautioned that the issue had raised complex legal and policy considerations -- including enforcement priorities, litigation strategy and the impact of international antidrug treaties -- that remain unresolved, and that no decision was imminent.
This last assertion argues for the trial-balloon theory. With the fiscal cliff looming, don't expect any statement until after Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signs Amendment 64, likely during the first week of 2013. Shortly thereafter, we should have a better idea whether the federal government will allow Colorado and Washington to move forward with establishing a retail system for marijuana, or if the Department of Justice will harsh that buzz.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Video: Marijuana-smoking celebration at Space Needle type of event Denver DA hopes to avoid."


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123 comments
Carrie Appel
Carrie Appel

You're not going to get anywhere on an FB thread. Send Hick a tweet @hickforco and demand he sign A64.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 * CU risks losing $1 BILLION a year in federal funding over Amendment 64 *

The University of Colorado risks losing nearly $1 billion a year in federal funding because of the looming decriminalization of marijuana in this state under Amendment 64, President Bruce Benson warned alumni in an e-mail sent late Friday night.

"Marijuana threatens to cost the university nearly a billion dollars annually in federal revenue, money we can ill afford to lose," Benson wrote. "The glaring practical problem is that we stand to lose significant federal funding. CU must comply with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which compels us to ban illicit drugs from campus.

"Our campuses bring in more than $800 million in federal research funds, not to mention nearly an additional $100 million in funding for student financial aid. The loss of that funding would have substantial ripple effects on our students and our state. CU contributes $5.3 billion to Colorado's economy annually, a good portion of it derived from our research."

Since the passage of Amendment 64 last month, CU officials have repeatedly said that marijuana use will remain prohibited on the Boulder campus. On an informational webpage about Colorado's impending legalization, CU officials note that the "passage of the law does not permit use of marijuana on university grounds, in university buildings, facilities, or public areas."

Benson, in his e-mail, concludes:"We are not only within our rights to ban marijuana on our campuses, it is the right thing to do.

http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_22150601/bruce-benson-cu-risks-losing-1b-year-funding

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

¨Shortly thereafter, we should have a better idea whether the federal government will allow Colorado and Washington to move forward with establishing a retail system for marijuana, or if the Department of Justice will harsh that buzz.¨ YOU SUCK AS A REPORTER MICHAEL ROBERTS!!! YOU WOULD KNOW THE ANSWER TO YOUR OWN QUESTION IF YOU WERE AN ACTUAL JOURNILIST. WHERE IS THE 6 MIN CONVERSATION BETWEEN NIXONLOOPER AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64? YOU SUCK AS A JOURNILISTS MICHAEL ROBERTS AND THE WESTWORD IS A TABLOID OF A NEWS SOURCE!

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

¨Shortly thereafter, we should have a better idea whether the federal government will allow Colorado and Washington to move forward with establishing a retail system for marijuana, or if the Department of Justice will harsh that buzz.¨YOU SUCK AS A REPORTER MICHAEL ROBERTS!!! YOU WOULD KNOW THE ANSWER TO YOUR OWN QUESTION IF YOU WERE AN ACTUAL JOURNILIST.WHERE IS THE 6 MIN CONVERSATION BETWEEN NIXONLOOPER AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64?YOU SUCK AS A JOURNILISTS MICHAEL ROBERTS AND THE WESTWORD IS A TABLOID OF A NEWS SOURCE!

Tony Tafoya
Tony Tafoya

wouldnt need to be on the dl if its legal

Ehron Moats
Ehron Moats

Does anyone know about the MMJ meet and greet this December 16 th ?? If not i can hook you up with one great night.

Ehron Moats
Ehron Moats

I say we all RISE UP and make a stand . If we use all of our Voices together we will have our RIGHTS.

Bengy Martinez
Bengy Martinez

They Better figure it out, the people have spoken!

Justin Novak
Justin Novak

I fucking can't stand this, I voted this into law, this is bullshit. No taxation without representation fuck the federal government.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** Day 1 of Legal Pot Marred by Deaths at Marijuana Growing Center  ***

The first day of legal marijuana use in Washington State was marred by an attempted robbery ending with two deaths at an alleged pot-growing facility just south of Seattle.

The possession of pot became legal in the state Thursday after voters passed a measure decriminalizing it in November.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department investigated an attempted robbery in Puyallup at an alleged growing center foiled by a homeowner who shot two alleged burglars in front of his 9-year-old son.

Officers say they arrived at the home of the man, 35, Thursday to find two masked men dead on the floor and marijuana plants in the attic, ABC affiliate KOMO-TV News reported.

While the law passed in November made it legal to carry and consume marijuana, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the Seattle Police Department said cultivating and selling the drug outside of medical dispensaries is still a crime.

“When you’re engaged in that type of criminal activity, there is an element of risk,” Whitcomb told ABC News Friday.

Who said Marijuana Doesn't Attract Crime ??

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

It's already been legal and protected by the Alaskan Comstitution for years now with no hoopla. Look it up.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The DEA could reschedule marijuana to Schedule 2 or 3 ... which would immediately destroy all Amateur "medical" Marijuana production, distribution and sales ... and derail any recreational initiatives.

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

in 16 years after California legalized marijuana, there are now 18 states with similar laws and 2 states with recreational use laws.  whats going to happen if in another 10 years more states legalize? http://420college.net

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@tutonehcc That Hitler clip is endlessly adaptable. Thanks for sharing it, tutonehcc.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@Bengy Martinez --unfortunately the "people have spoken"  without reading what they spoke up for.......Had the SCAMpaign not have lied about what A64 did --  and instead had been honest about what it didn't do or had the people have read and comprehended before they spoke......too late now. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Bengy Martinez  ... the people have spoken ... and via A64 they have declared that Marijuana is a Public Health and Safety hazard!

Such a danger to Public Health and Safety that NO ADULT over 21 should be allowed to possess more than 1 (one) pathetic ounce!

Such a danger to Public Health and Safety that NO ADULT under 21 should be allowed to possess ANY AMOUNT -- not a single gram!

The People HAVE Spoken! -- Marijuana is DANGEROUS  ... LIKE DEADLY ALCOHOL!

HoboProjekt
HoboProjekt

@DonkeyHotay Anything can attract criminal elements. Just because this happens to be a story with pot in the attic doesn't mean it is any different than the ass that broke into my house to steal my 64" tv. Should I not have a large tv then either? It apparently attracted criminal eliments. Or how about the jerk that broke my car window over change I neglected to remove from sight? Oh yes, he broke into my car for 65 cents.... Criminals are everywhere and practically everything can attract them. The ONLY reason this is mentioned is because there was that 'evil' pot involved somehow. BLAH Take the propaganda elsewhere. Crime isn't new or unique to marijuana.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay So, you want to imply that other retail businesses with large amounts of cash on-hand (that's the issue, by the way--that they can't do banking--it's not the substance, it's the laws) don't get robbed?

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay The police all over Colorado said Marijuana does not attract Crime. on Several occasions. How did you miss this. 

And if you think marijuana attracts crime why are you always ranting about the poor 18-21 year olds who still have to get a DR note in Colorado? Do you feel they deserve to attract crime?

Monkey
Monkey

@DonkeyHotay I bet there are no charges for killing the two guys with a gun, but the gun at the scene of a crime will be a charge. The weed was in the attic, and the dead guys were in the garage. I wonder why or if he told the police about the weed, or why or if they found out some other way. 

Monkey
Monkey

@Mitch Siff....because it's only in a private residence. Both Colorado and Washington went much further with possession and commercial manufacturing and sales. Alaska is cool for letting you grow 25 plants and have 4oz, but you can't leave the house with any. There was plenty of hoopla when Alaska did that through a court ruling in 1975, it was big news back then.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  There are people who are asking for just that. In fact, I watched a video a few hours ago in which Tommy Chong did.

It needs to be removed from the schedule entirely. I don't believe alcohol is on that schedule.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc  Tommy Chong thought selling bongs was legal ... how'd that work out?

hashman303
hashman303

@Cognitive_Dissident @Ehron Moats check out the websight at www.mmjmeetandgreet.com for all the info next one is Dec 16th

dm_co
dm_co

@Cognitive_Dissident For Cannabis to ever truly be legal for recreational use it must be completely removed from the Controlled Substances Act.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident

You should attend ... and see for yourself the vast majority of Fakers and Stoners who've used and abused the medical marijuana program simply to get high.

Let them entertain you with their depraved ignorance and deliberate illiteracy as they illustrate why the U$A ranks near the bottom of developed nations in education.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay I will respond by claiming it must be what you're implying, because other businesses don't have a lot of cash on-hand. The reason they don't is because they have access to banks. The (government caused) lack of access to the bank, and the necessary keeping of large amounts of cash, is what's responsible for the crime--not the marijuana.

jmpkay
jmpkay

@DonkeyHotay @Cannabis_College  This guy is seriously out of line. Contributes nothing positive to the conversation, ever. Check his history, its all trollshit.

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident @Cannabis_College Bitch??  is this the guy that's a philanthropist indeed for donating so much of his time???  if you're gonna donate your time calling people bitches, I'd say you're the real spammer.  I put 1 link at the end of my post and you people call the spam police on me. but you've been here with all these off topic posts and asking me if I want a spanking and calling me a bitch and such.  I'd say the real spammers are YOU!!!  now, do you have a reply for my comment or is just off topic attacks?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident @Cannabis_College 

Her posting history of making an inane vacuous comment just to spam the http link to some idiotic "420 college" proves her to be a commercial spamming bitch -- guilty as charged!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Cannabis_College Please tell us that "spam police" is not meant as a derogatory term, as in the people who hassle you for doing nothing wrong. I'd call that aggression, if it were true.

I said no such things as you claim.

Your last comment about the "pointless bullshit" is way off-base. SPAM is what you have been doing in your entire post history. Spam is not responding negatively to a post (and dealing with "what, me?" responses.)

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

@Cognitive_Dissident @Cannabis_College I guess it's all for 1 and 1 for all.....and I didnt say you're aggressors, you said that he is a top contributor and is a philanthropist indeed for donating so much of his time...must be all that donating his time when he suggested a spanking to me right??  that must because he is a philanthropist and donating so much of his time to bullshitting on a thread that took a left turn from what it was.  All this continued back and forth pointless bullshit is SPAMMING, not me putting a link in my reply. ;)

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Cannabis_College There is a "Flag" button under each post. One of the options, if you press the "Flag" button, is to report the post as spam. It would be fair to say that button is there because readers are expected to feel encouraged to indicate if they feel this comment section is being disturbed by spam. There would seem to be at least three readers who feel that way. 

Your response is to respond as though we are the aggressors.

We feel differently.

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

@tutonehcc @Cannabis_College @DonkeyHotay  you right, volunteering to give a nice spanking is good use of donated time...philanthropist indeed.  how about donating his time to something that's worth any time at all?  No, acting like the spam police is better.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Cannabis_College 

"spam usually doesnt get a reply...and what are you the internet police??"

(Why use just one question mark when you can use two or three???)

I'm a site reader and participant, and your spam, which one might assume is supposed to be a helpful, on-topic link, is unhelpful targeted advertising.

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

@DonkeyHotay @Cannabis_College I put 1 link in my reply that makes sense and you cry that I'm spamming, but you post all this bullshit about spanking and having an off topic conversation with me on this thread and that's not spamming??  get real.

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