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States Don't Need Federal Permission to Legalize Marijuana, Part II

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Oh man, look what's happening in Los Angeles. Yeah, I'd say we have all the evidence we need to conclude that the federal government can't do a damn thing to prevent states from implementing their own drug laws. Obama's position on medical marijuana may be better than Bush's was, but it almost makes no difference when the people take matters into their own hands.

If California voters were to legalize marijuana by referendum, does anyone seriously think the Feds are going to stop them?
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Please don't bait the feds

The anti-fed rhetoric in this post is unnecessary, harmful, and doesn't give the current administration enough credit.

Do you really think that we would be seeing the same progress on this issue if McCain had won the election? Do you think it's a coincidence that we are seeing < a href => so much good news since the current administration took over?

Our movement profits most from reasoned, intelligent analysis of the issues. The feds do "have what it takes" to stop the state governments from doing what they want. Look at Louisiana and its drinking age. Look at Montanta and their speed limits. The way the federal government curtails state independence is through the power of the purse.

The fact that cities and states feel more free to press, and exercise some independence on these issues is thanks to attitude of the current administration, which is decidedly more progressive than the last one.

I think the following interpretation is the most consistent with the evidence we are seeing: The Obama administration seems to favor saner drug laws, but it unwilling to open themselves to attack in the "culture war". They probably see drug policy as a potential wedge issue. So they seem to be taking a strategy of keeping their hands out of states' drug policies, and a gradual softening of the previous hardline approach.

It's fair to be frustrated that the change isn't happening fast enough. It's fair to pressure for faster change. But let's be realistic and give credit where credit is due. Villifying and berating the people who are making these positive changes possible is counter productive.


Hold up, Glen! I generally agree with this and I don't think you understood my point (which is probably my fault for not being clearer).

The point is to bury the"conflict with federal law" myth that people use as an excuse to delay marijuana reform. For years, I've been hearing people suggest that you can't expand state-level reform too much further because the feds will get involved. The whole reason they kept doing these controversial raids for so many years was to establish the perception that they have some ability to defeat the purpose of laws that permit marijuana activity.

The raids were meant to demoralize casual supporters of reform, while confusing voters and legislators in other states considering such laws. My point is that if you look at LA, you see that it's the state laws that matter most. Therefore, you could legalize marijuana entirely in California and it would work.

You're right that it matters who's in the White House, but I was making the case that we could move forward either way. It's important for everyone to understand that. I didn't intend for this to sound like a comment on the new administration's policy.

I might have been lazy in writing this post because I've made these points elsewhere and assumed they'd carry over. My bad.

Re: baiting

I thought about that and I just don't feel like we have a choice. When we finally move to legalize marijuana in California, people are going to say that you can't do it because the feds will stop you. It's necessary to point out that they haven't stopped Prop. 215 and won't stop any other reform that the people are determined to carry out.

It starts with one State

New York was the first State that stood up to the US Govt during alcohol prohibition when they said they'd no longer enforce the federal law banning the consumption of the drug called alcohol. There is no doubt that this broke the ice. California is the State that is standing up to Uncle Sam during the current cannabis prohibition. The end is in sight. The majority of Americans are now in favor of re-legalizing the sale of cannabis to adults. The tremendous amount of legislation going on in so many States aimed at cannabis law reform is a sign that our politicians are figuring out that it's time to jump off the prohibition band wagon. It's time to regulate the sale of cannabis to adults for medical & recreational use. Any politician who wants to be re-elected would do well to consider joining the forces of abolition. The sooner, the better. We've just about ruined our economy trying to enforce the unenforceable. We've squandered so many lives, money, and effort. Diverted our law enforcement officers away from solving rapes, murders, molestations & other violent crimes. Made the drug cartels wealthy, deadly & corrupting. All the while losing out on many billions of sales tax dollars every year. There's a news story about people being arrested for marijuana possession just about every 15 seconds on the Internet. Isn't it obvious that people are going to use cannabis in spite of the ban? Cannabis is readily available to anyone who wants it, even kids. Prohibition is no deterent at all. Most people now know that marijuana is the far safer choice than alcohol or tobacco. We all know that no one has ever died from using cannabis, yet it's illegal. But, alcohol & tobacco combined kill 460,000 Americans every year & their both legal. We know that alcohol is involved in 65% all violent crime. Police officers will readily admit that they'd rather deal with a mellowed out cannabis user than a belligerent drunk. The remaining hardliners would do well to figure out the war on cannabis users is lost & figure out how to win the peace by implementing legalization, now. Know what I mean Mr. Biden?

this noiree axors spammer is somewhat entertaining

"It starts with one state" post reads like one serious cut and paste job. Anything to get those clicks.

what will federales do if a state votes to legalize cannabis?

I can't think of a more important drug policy reform question related to the 2010 elections. And what if anything will they say on the subject before any such vote? I somewhat expect them to act cautiously, so I would be surprised if they say it's not acceptable to them, either before or after any vote. It would annoy not just people who want the law changed, most of whom probably support Obama, but also the people who take federalism and limited federal power seriously, and he's been trying to appeal to them. And hardcore cannabis haters are not fertile ground for Obama to grow his support.

this time I am not amused

get out of my face, noiree axors spammer.

The Fed is YOU

According to our Constitution, We The People are the makers of this nation's laws. We and we alone have the right to stop following those laws collectively when we have determined that they no longer serve the public good. In my opinion, we have made such a determination concerning the legal status of marijuana. The majority of us recognize that our national drug laws only serve to stifle progress, increase gang activities, disproportionately oppress the poor and minorities, and cause an ever increasing lack of respect for our governing officials.

It is time to retire the rhetoric that has proven patently false and misleading again and again and again. The time to arrest the reins and steer this nation for ourselves is yet again upon us. As with the prohibition of alcohol, at first it was individuals who defied state and federal regulations, next it was cities, then counties, then states, and now the nation, I believe a similar approach is necessary with regard to drugs currently prohibited. As it stands now, there is plenty of evidence that individuals have made this choice, and to varying degree some cities, counties, and states have followed suit. As such, it is our responsibility to construct new laws and regulations that better reflect this country's actual bent concerning drugs. Until we do, we will continue to see abuses of the public and it's laws by all concerned parties.


Cannabis is medicine made by

Cannabis is medicine made by God. It opens your heart to Jesus, fills you with love, peace, and compassion. Nobody knows Jesus truly if they think that this plant is evil.

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