One Step Closer to Legalizing Marijuana?

bust by Elaine Hambly

Sign of the times now but, as the song says, “The times, they are a changin’.”

By Elaine Hamby

Yesterday, Attorny General Eric Holder announced to new guidelines for Federal prosecutors  in relation to “ Investigations and Prosecutions in States Authorizing the Medical Use of Marijuana “.

In it, the prosecutors are told they “ should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana. For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources.”

When Obama took office hopes were high that federal marijuana policy would change. Holder’s remarks last March were taken as a sign that policies would change.  But over the months, hopes have dimmed (see the last issue of Humboldt Grow’s essay about Obama.)

Yesterday’s announcement shook off doubts and renewed hopes for a more sensible approach to cannabis. In fact, according to NPR, the head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)  believes that this heralds a new approach by the government.

“There have already been invitations made to drug policy groups to meet with the drug policy director, something that hasn’t happened in 20 years,” NORML’s executive director, Allen St. Pierre, said.

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11 comments

  • My thought is that dispensaries are still going to be searched by Feds who “suspect” something is illegal about an operation. (Feds will be Feds after all)

    Examples: Who the dispensaries get their smoke from – Accounting practices – Who they’re actually selling too – etc.

    I foresee a lot of court cases where dispensaries will be forced to defend themselves in court over ticky-tack violations that could shut them down.

    Is the war on marijuana over? I don’t think so.
    The battlefields are just shifting. It’s really going to get interesting now.

  • My thought is that dispensaries are still going to be searched by Feds who “suspect” something is illegal about an operation. (Feds will be Feds after all)

    Examples: Who the dispensaries get their smoke from – Accounting practices – Who they’re actually selling too – etc.

    I foresee a lot of court cases where dispensaries will be forced to defend themselves in court over ticky-tack violations that could shut them down.

    Is the war on marijuana over? I don’t think so.
    The battlefields are just shifting. It’s really going to get interesting now.

  • I don’t think the war is over but I do think we’re one step closer to legalization.

  • The UDJ will be running a series of articles on Marijuana in Mendocino County (http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_13615791). Might be worth a look.

  • The UDJ will be running a series of articles on Marijuana in Mendocino County (http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_13615791). Might be worth a look.

  • Kym,

    Thought you and yours would be interested in this!

    OCT 22 – The Department of Justice recently issued guidelines regarding the use of federal resources in investigations and prosecutions in states that have passed laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

    DEA Statement on New Department of Justice
    Marijuana Guidelines

    OCT 22 – The Department of Justice recently issued guidelines regarding the use of federal resources in investigations and prosecutions in states that have passed laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued the following statement:

    “DEA welcomes the issuance of these clarifying guidelines pertaining to the use of federal investigative and prosecutorial resources in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

    “These guidelines do not legalize marijuana. It is not the practice or policy of DEA to target individuals with serious medical conditions who comply with state laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Consistent with the DOJ guidelines, we will continue to identify and investigate any criminal organization or individual who unlawfully grows, markets or distributes marijuana or other dangerous drugs. Those who unlawfully possess firearms, commit acts of violence, provide drugs to minors, or have ties to other criminal organizations may also be subject to arrest.

    “As these guidelines point out, marijuana remains a top revenue source for the Mexican drug cartels that are wreaking havoc in Mexico and along the Southwest Border. Accordingly, DEA will continue to disrupt and dismantle these drug trafficking organizations.”

  • Kym,

    Thought you and yours would be interested in this!

    OCT 22 – The Department of Justice recently issued guidelines regarding the use of federal resources in investigations and prosecutions in states that have passed laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

    DEA Statement on New Department of Justice
    Marijuana Guidelines

    OCT 22 – The Department of Justice recently issued guidelines regarding the use of federal resources in investigations and prosecutions in states that have passed laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued the following statement:

    “DEA welcomes the issuance of these clarifying guidelines pertaining to the use of federal investigative and prosecutorial resources in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

    “These guidelines do not legalize marijuana. It is not the practice or policy of DEA to target individuals with serious medical conditions who comply with state laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Consistent with the DOJ guidelines, we will continue to identify and investigate any criminal organization or individual who unlawfully grows, markets or distributes marijuana or other dangerous drugs. Those who unlawfully possess firearms, commit acts of violence, provide drugs to minors, or have ties to other criminal organizations may also be subject to arrest.

    “As these guidelines point out, marijuana remains a top revenue source for the Mexican drug cartels that are wreaking havoc in Mexico and along the Southwest Border. Accordingly, DEA will continue to disrupt and dismantle these drug trafficking organizations.”

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