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Marijuana: Obama administration will not sue to stop Amendment 64

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Eric Holder.
The Obama administration will not sue to stop Colorado's Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over to use and possess small amounts of marijuana, and establishes a foundation for retail sales of recreational pot. This long-awaited news was confirmed by the office of Colorado-based U.S. Attorney John Walsh shortly after a phone call involving U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, which passed a marijuana measure similar to A64 this past November.

As we've reported, Governor Hickenlooper and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers spoke to Holder shortly after A64's passage last year, encouraging the Justice Department to make a speedy decision about how it would treat the measure -- an important consideration, since marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

But speedy it wasn't. Although Holder said a determination about A64's fate would be reached "relatively soon" this past March, the feds have largely maintained radio silence since then.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a preview of "WEED," a recent CNN documentary.
Of late, however, pressure has been building on the Obama forces to actually take a position. Last week, the White House finally talked pot following a press conference question related to a change of heart about the medical efficacy of weed by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- a shift inspired in part by the story of Charlotte Figi, a Colorado girl suffering from an epilepsy-like condition called Dravet Syndrome, who made tremendous progress thanks to cannabis oil.

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James Cole.
Not that the White House's comments offered much clarity. A spokesperson mainly repeated comments President Barack Obama had first made in December in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. In the interview, Obama said he opposed federal legalization of marijuana at this juncture, but acknowledged that it didn't make much sense to go after a Coloradan with an ounce of weed. In his words, "We've got bigger fish to fry."

More recently, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he would call Holder and his assistant, James Cole, to testify at a September 10 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The reported goal of the hearing: Leahy's belief that state marijuana laws like the ones in Colorado should be respected.

Now, of course, we won't need to wait until next month to learn the administration's views. But that doesn't mean the feds are entirely out of the marijuana enforcement business in Colorado. Just out is a memo from Cole that lays out the pot-related areas in which the Justice Department will continue to focus its limited resources:

• Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;

• Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;

• Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;

• Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;

• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;

• Preventing drugged riving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;

• Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and

• Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property

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John Walsh.
U.S. Attorney Walsh's statement echoes many of these points. It reads:
"The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado will continue to focus its marijuana enforcement efforts on the investigation and prosecution of cases that implicate the key federal public safety interests highlighted in the today's Department of Justice guidance. The key federal interests set forth in that guidance are also key interests of the people of Colorado. Of particular concern to the U.S. Attorney's Office are cases involving marijuana trafficking directly or indirectly to children and young people; trafficking that involves violence or other federal criminal activity; trafficking conducted or financed by street gangs and drug cartels; cultivation of marijuana on Colorado's extensive state and federal public lands; and trafficking across state and international lines. In addition, because the Department of Justice's guidance emphasizes the central importance of strong and effective state marijuana regulatory systems, the U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to focus on whether Colorado's system, when it is implemented, has the resources and tools necessary to protect those key federal public safety interests. To accomplish these goals, we look forward to closely working with our federal, state and local partners."
For more, here's the complete Cole memo.

Justice Department Memo: Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement

More from our Marijuana archive circa Monday: "Marijuana: Can Senator Patrick Leahy force Eric Holder to talk Colorado pot?"


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46 comments
David Spohn
David Spohn

Hey hicken :poop: er,. FUCK YOU! Cheetohs and Ding Dongs all around!

Jeff Raiter
Jeff Raiter

Now if they will end the drug war and disband the DEA or use them to go after prescription drug rings and the doctors and pharmacuetical companies that run them.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana"

Uh oh...a handgun is my most important cultivation tool.

Okay, no it's not, but my right to my medicine and my right to keep and bear arms are both affirmed in the state constitution, and the firearms in the US second amendment. You don't have to give up one right to enjoy another.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Fair warning: The feds will be looking for any excuses to go after people.

BarryIsWhack
BarryIsWhack

Barry took the easy way out here as he always does. We have out-of-control federal prosecutors scattered throughout the country that will IGNORE these 'guidelines' in much the same way they have ignored all the past guidelines.....The raids and abuse will continue as these clowns interpret 'guidelines' any way they see fit.....

stuka1
stuka1

"....and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use"

 

WHAT "adverse public health consequences"?????   -- pain relief without addiction and huge profits for Big Pharma...?  OH, SHIT, we cant have THAT!!!!

Will someone please tell these idiots that X-Tard TURDstone is a LIAR and they need to stop listening to his long-debunked claims of "gateways" and arguments from ignorance?

stuka1
stuka1

"• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;"

 What the hell does that even MEAN?????

 Would someone please tell these idiots that beating on your plants or even shooting at them or threatening them with guns is NOT going to make them grow any bigger buds???

 ...Sheeesh....

David Sabo
David Sabo

Fuck the timber industry..... do your research. .......

Liz Hatlas
Liz Hatlas

I think they are waiting for us to start growing hemp. They don't care if we smoke but I think they will care about hemp production.

xyzabc
xyzabc

• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;

• Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;

If  you're using turn in your guns.  Its still against federal law to use marijuana and it is illegal to own or purchase a firearm under federal law if using an illegal substance.  TURN THEM IN - Remember there is a price to pay for EVERYTHING.  Colorado's legislature doesn't seem to mind attacking my rights to own firearms and magazines and I don't use that sh--, oh I'm sorry - federally illegal medicine.  SO TURN THEM IN!!  Or will you all do like you've done all along and continue to live underground and look the other way when it suits you?

AND

If you have a license or are licensed or certified to perform some service, say a registered nurse or doctor,  etc....say under a federal program, lets say medicare or medicaid,  etc  and your taking care of my mother or grandmother say in a licensed care facility, a hosptal or nursing home and you use that sh--, oh I'm sorry - federally illegal medicine, and you're involved in an accident, their substandard care or death,  I will demand they investigate this to the fullest extent of the law and you will be held to answer for your partying.  

Marti Babb
Marti Babb

Oh gee... way to take a stand without really taking a stand. Seriously have some balls to speak the truth for change.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

"Neither the guidance herein nor any state or local law provides a legal defense to a violation of federal law, including any civil or criminal violation of the CSA. Even in jurisdictions with strong and effective regulatory systems, evidence that particular conduct threatens federal priorities will subject that person or entity to federal enforcement action, based on the circumstances. This memorandum is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter civil or criminal." "Finally, nothing herein precludes investigation or prosecution, even in the absence of any one of the factors listed above, in particular circumstances where investigation and prosecution otherwise serves an important federal interest."

Kasier Soze
Kasier Soze

I don't buy it... just like they said they would stop raiding dispensaries. This administration says one thing, then does another....

GetOffMyCheese
GetOffMyCheese

Someone needs to alert the Denver City Council and the DPD that even the FEDS think they are authoritarian whack jobs....One less tool the police have to harass law abiding citizens.....This is good news.

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

Sort of like when a cop tells you, "I'm not going to take you to jail".

Rob Salyers
Rob Salyers

I don't use it myself, and even I think this is pretty cool news.

Justin Spumoni
Justin Spumoni

I think it's a way for them to get our attention away from all the NSA controversy. Hello!

Kevin A. Mahmalji
Kevin A. Mahmalji

Now it's time to get these businesses access to banking! Tell your Representative to support H.R. 2652: The Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act.

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

people have spoken...feds cant do shit even if they want to. make the people against marijuana in this country move to Oklahoma where they will be welcomed by that states government with open arms and the rest of the country can move forward in the 21st century.

Mike Knopping
Mike Knopping

yes.. god forbid we were to follow the constitution for once these days...

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

Via Mike Knopping "AAANNNNNDD?!?!?!" ---- "For example, nowhere in the federal Constitution is Congress given authority to regulate local matters concerning the health, safety, and morality of state residents. Known as police powers, such authority is reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, no state may enter into a treaty with a foreign government because such agreements are prohibited by the plain language of Article I to the Constitution." http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Tenth+Amendment

stuka1
stuka1

@Cognitive_Dissident  

Yup no real change at all.

We can all expect the Prohibitionist dinosaurs to fight this tooth and nail every step of the way.  As long as there is a Drug War, winning or losing, there is HUGE bank to be made from it, especially when it comes to seizure of property and assets (as well as "patients" and supposed "criminals" to profit off the backs of for the prison/"treatment"/ Cartel -- Hello there, Turdstones!). Follow the money trail and you will turn up the loudest, most frantic Prohibitionists...

stuka1
stuka1

@xyzabc "turn your guns in..."

Does it hurt to be that stupid, xyz?  Of course it does -- or you wouldn't be crying like a bitch here. AND trying to push unsubstantiated assertions in a sad attempt to sow FUD. 

"...that shit (and too much of a pussy to spell it out)..."  

Look!  A prohibitionist DINOSAUR, jumping up and down in a tantrum and throwing shit through the bars! Umadbro? YehUMad...


No one is condoning intoxication at work, while driving, or while changing your mama's shitty diapers, numbnuts. Your sad and silly attempts at threats are beyond comical.

Bobb
Bobb

@Charles Gleason There now you have your answer Cory you fat fuck, will you stop whining about it now?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Michael P Lee You just watch. Tea party types will actually be on the forefront of legalization.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Justin Spumoni Prolly not much of a big deal in some 30 states, though.

stuka1
stuka1

@Mane Rok  

QFTMFT!

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