1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Obama Weighs Legal Action Against States That Legalized mar1juana Use

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rtsy, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. rtsy

    rtsy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    50
    Obama Weighs Legal Action Against States That Legalized mar1juana Use

    Mike Riggs|Dec. 6, 2012 10:26 pm

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/06/here-are-the-strategies-the-obama-admini

    [​IMG]

    The Obama administration is strategizing how to fight legal pot in Colorado and Washington, reports Charlie Savage of The New York Times. While "no decision" is "imminent," Savage reports that senior level White House and Justice Department officials are considering "legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives."

    A taskforce made up of Main Justice, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is currently considering two courses of action, reports Savage:

    One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level mar1juana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

    A more aggressive option is for the Justice Department to file lawsuits against the states to prevent them from setting up systems to regulate and tax mar1juana, as the initiatives contemplated. If a court agrees that such regulations are pre-empted by federal ones, it will open the door to a broader ruling about whether the regulatory provisions can be “severed” from those eliminating state prohibitions — or whether the entire initiatives must be struck down.​

    Option one could possibly mean that Obama would break a campaign promise he's already split hairs over: That his administration will not go after people who smoke mar1juana for medicinal reasons. Savage makes it seem as if there are people in Washington who are more than happy to take that route: Apparently some law enforcement officials are so "alarmed at the prospect that mar1juana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly," that they "are said to be pushing for a stern response."

    On Nov 12, Jacob Sullum answered the question, Can the Feds stop Colorado and Washington from legalizing pot?

    According to the Supreme Court, a "positive conflict" exists "when it is impossible to comply with both state and federal law." But neither Colorado's Amendment 64 nor Washington's Initiative 502 requires anyone to grow or sell mar1juana. One can readily comply with both state and federal law simply by choosing not to go into the cannabis business. Both laws are written so that they merely explain the criteria people must satisfy to avoid prosecution for mar1juana offenses under state law. "Notwithstanding any other provision of law," begins the section of Amendment 64 dealing with mar1juana growers and sellers, "the following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law." I-502 likewise says "the production, possession, delivery, distribution, and sale of mar1juana in accordance with the provisions of this act and the rules adopted to implement and enforce it, by a validly licensed mar1juana producer, shall not be a criminal or civil offense under Washington state law."

    In other words, both laws define what counts as a crime under state law, a power that states indisputably have. "You're not actually creating a positive conflict with the federal [law]," says Alison Holcomb, director of the Yes on I-502 campaign, "because the federal government remains free to enforce federal law within the state, and you're not requiring anybody to perform an act that would require a violation of federal law. You're simply setting out what the rules are for avoiding arrest and prosecution under state law."

    Nor does either law compel state employees to violate the Controlled Substances Act by "possessing" mar1juana for regulatory purposes. Under I-502, testing of mar1juana will be handled by private laboratories. Amendment 64 likewise envisions "mar1juana testing facilities" that will be "licensed to analyze and certify the safety and potency of mar1juana."

    What about collecting tax revenue from mar1juana sales? Legally, those provisions could be the most vulnerable aspects of these laws (although it looks like Colorado's pot tax may never take effect). Jonathan Caulkins, a drug policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University, tells Politico, "The argument has been made— and I’ve never heard anybody successfully rebut it—that the federal government can seize the proceeds of any illegal activity. By that logic, it could seize the tax revenues—even from the states." But in mar1juana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, Caulkins and his three co-authors observe that although "it has been argued that the federal government could confiscate such revenues as proceeds of illegal transactions...as far as we know the federal government has not touched a penny of the fees and tax revenues generated from medical mar1juana."​

    And here's Ethan Nadelmann, head of the Drug Policy Alliance, hoping against hope that Obama will get on board:

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/11/15/four-depressing-reasons-to-hope-obama-wi
     
  2. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Messages:
    61,480
    Likes Received:
    28,969
    Could be a good or bad thing
    IF he wants it legalized . . .we might strategize how to make the most incompetent case possible.
    That way the ANTI folx will think he did SOMETHING
    and . . .the defeat would be binding . .so the PRO Folx are happy

    Rocket River
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    15,039
    Likes Received:
    6,214
    Why is the current administration against mar1juana?
     
  4. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    468
    Because if he was for it, you freaks would be screaming to high heaven that the black man likes the cheeba and wants to destroy Merca'
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. rtsy

    rtsy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    50
    Hold your Dear Leader responsible for once.
     
  6. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    21,663
    Likes Received:
    13,914
    For what?
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    41,410
    Likes Received:
    15,839
    For discussing how to handle a state vs federal law conflict? Should his administration NOT weigh options? :confused:
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    468
    That's Mr President to you
     
  9. rtsy

    rtsy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    50
    Obama could actually come out publicly in support of mar1juana legalization and against prohibition.

    He could also deschedule mar1juana as a narcotic, and set up a process for pardoning individuals who have been convicted on victimless non-violent drug crimes.

    But he won't - because it's the "freaks" fault.
     
  10. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    46,812
    Likes Received:
    18,519
    1 person likes this.
  11. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2000
    Messages:
    18,264
    Likes Received:
    13,499
    The current administration is in favor of defending the Constitution. As a former constitutional law professor, the president is acutely aware of things like the Supremacy Clause, which apparently is a foreign concept to some of the libertarians who've been looking to call "do-over" on the Civil War since 1865.

    Why are the wingnuts against the American Constitution when they find it inconvenient?

    If it is OK for a state to nullify federal drug laws because they don't like them, then it is OK for a state to nullify other federal laws that they don't like. The most recent heinous example I can think of would be the Arizona police state "show me your papers" laws targeting brown people. States could legalize slavery, render women and minorities to second class status, create religious theocracies based on biblical law, etc.

    If states think federal drug laws are unconstitutional, the prescribed remedy is found in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court says that the states are wrong in believing the laws unconstitutional, then they are wrong. Period.
     
    #11 Ottomaton, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  12. rtsy

    rtsy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    50
    It's the federal drug laws that are unconstitutional.
     
  13. Pringles

    Pringles Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Will it be another 20 years before we get people in D.C. that will see the drug war as a failed war?

    I still can't wrap my head around that fact that some drug users are sentenced more time in prison than white-collar criminals.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2000
    Messages:
    18,264
    Likes Received:
    13,499
    Supreme court says you are wrong. Therefore you are wrong.

    Part of the deal with the constitution is that you don't get the power to interpret it as you see fit. From the link I provided:

    [rquoter]
    Nullification, is the legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional or exceeds Congresses’ constitutionally authorized powers. The courts have found that under Article III of the Constitution, the final power to declare federal laws unconstitutional has been delegated to the federal courts and that the states therefore do not have the power to nullify federal law.

    [/rquoter]

    Enacting laws that contradict the federal laws that you believe to be unconstitutional is not a constitutionally approved redress. Even if the federal laws are unconstitutional, they are valid until essentially the Supreme Court rules that you are correct.

    Again, you don't personally have the power to arbitrarily decide something is unconstitutional and then act as though it is. Everybody isn't afforded the benefit of their own personal constitution which they can interpret as they see fit. It is a contract binding a community together, and the interpretation of that contract is done according to the rules that the community created. You believe that it is unconstitutional, but you don't have the authority to just declare it unconstitutional and then act as if it is so.

    I believe "Citizens United" is a gross misinterpretation of the constitution, but I can't pretend that it is established as such, and walk down to some SuperMegaCorp and arrest the CEO for violating my own personal legal framework of campaign finance law. Until the Supreme Court evolves, unlimited corporate spending is de facto Constitutional.

    tl;dr You are wrong.

    You seem to use the constitution a lot like some religious bigots use God - as a proxy that you selectively ignore or emphasize to lend weight to your own private interpretations of how the world (or law) should work. "The Bible clearly states that God hates gays." = "The Constitution says your 'liberal agenda' is a crime against the state."
     
    #14 Ottomaton, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
    2 people like this.
  15. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    The first and third he could do. The second is governed by the Controlled Substances Act, Congress would need to change that and, given the complete lack of GOP support, is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    This is your opinion (I happen to share it), but not the opinion of the body who is actually charged with declaring laws unconstitutional.
     
  17. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    It might be, but once it really begins to change, it is likely to happen very quickly, as it did with alcohol. I really thought we were at a tipping point back when CA legalized mar1juana for medical uses, but apparently I was being overly optimistic. I am hoping that once a few more states climb on board and some of the intransigence dies off (literally and figuratively), things will shift dramatically.
     
  18. BetterThanI

    BetterThanI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,181
    Likes Received:
    381
    Thank you for stating this as clearly as possible. This is one of those "duh" moments where I think back to basic elementary government class and remember the ol' "checks and balances". Anyone who thought that these laws actually legalized weed was living in a fantasy. Probably brought on by tons of ganja.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    15,039
    Likes Received:
    6,214
    Reading comprehension 101 fail. The questions was, "Why is the administration against mar1juana", not "Why doesn't the administration ignore Federal Law".

    And if Obama really cared about the Supremacy Law, he would speak out against illegal immigration. Naturally like most politicians, he's more concerned about pandering to voters than upholding a law.

    So again, why is the administration against mar1juana?
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2000
    Messages:
    18,050
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    Because the gop would crucify them in the press if they weren't?

    Don't pretend it is just one side or the other that is standing in the way of legal mar1juana....we both know that simply isn't true.

    Keep fighting the good fight Andy, I'd co-sign every post of yours on this subject if I could.
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now