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The States Don't Need Federal Permission to Legalize Marijuana

I'm not sure I understand what Mark Kleiman means by this:

California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano has introduced a bill to legalize cannabis in California. The bill quite sensibly recognizes that California can't have a legal market while the drug remains banned under federal law…

Why not? California has a legal market for medical marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. There has been federal interference, but the vast majority of dispensaries in California remain in operation. Patients can generally obtain medicine legally and conveniently, despite anything and everything DEA has done to undermine California law.

I'm sure the DEA would like us to think that we can't legalize marijuana, and that might go a long way towards explaining why they keep doing these ridiculous raids that everyone hates. But there is no reason that California or any other state can't legalize marijuana as long as the votes add up. Sure, the feds will likely show up and makes a mess here and there, but in case nobody noticed, those actions consistently lead to greater public support for changing marijuana laws.

If we've learned anything from what's been happening in California for the past decade, it is that the federal government can't even come close to stamping out marijuana reform at the state level. Imagine this:

1) California voters pass ballot initiative creating regulated marijuana sales.
2) Shops begin opening in LA, San Francisco.
3) DEA raids high-profile operations, big headlines, big protests.
4) Federal charges brought against defendants. First jury trial ends in surprise acquittal.  
5) Number of new businesses opening exceeds number of raids being conducted.
6) Voters in Nevada, Oregon pass ballot initiatives creating regulated marijuana sales...

Is any of this impossible?
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sure it's possible

Sure it's possible if you don't mind being a test case and doing a few years in jail as a visionary businessman. You could be a martyr Scott, and we are all counting on you.

I also agree and I think that running from the cops is stupid, we shoul not even have to do it anymore!

All too possible

The constitutional integrity of marijuana laws may very well be decided in a court room as the result of a similar scenario to the one you have outlined above. The controversy associated with legalization in California will almost certainly turn out to be a good thing.

i think its the most strategic approach

this approach to legalize is probably the most logical anyone has come up with. the feds will dig a deeper whole if this plays out right. it will belike slowly walking them into a trap they cant get out of unless they agree to legalize. if california gets enough votes then in a year or so more and more states will follow suit. ya maybe the first couple years you will see alot of prosecutions against big bussiness and retailers of the product. But if you look at the past decade in california you will see that the feds cant even keep up or have the funds to even dent the california dispensaries or even the illegal state drug market in california! wait and see how they run around like chickens with there heads cut off when california passes AB390 and other states follow suit in coming months and years. They will eventually have no chioce but to either jail millions of non-violent hard working tax paying people and clogg court rooms beyond capacity or give in. and they may say differently now but i know if this shit hit the fan for them there DONE! GO GET EM TOM AMMIANO!! GOD BLESS!! OEACE AND POT TO ALL!

1. the media realizes that

1. the media realizes that any news about pot is giving them high ratings. so they continue giving segments, they then realize that support is growing, they decide to change the way they report cannabis in the news. they have pro legalizers coming on the argue it out with the prohibitionist camp. this time they give the legalizers a decent chance. the legalizers are academics, they have enough straight facts and common sense behind them while the prohibitionists have very little to retaliate with other than the old reasoning they have spewed our for the past few decades of the costly drug war. to which the legalizers counteract and win support of the host and viewer.
the media, once used to perpetuate the drug war on america ends up swaying the minds of those who would have never voted for legalization.
after the bush regime people do not so much believe in shrill calls for funding weapons of mass destruction.
the anti pot ads come thick and fast. they do little because the people are listening intently to the debate and it makes the ads look a little too much like war propoganda.
the various government departments that could lose massive amounts of funding kick and scream that we should not add another drug into the mix of legal drugs we already have. people wonder if it would be better to go after real crime and spend money on pursuit of harder drugs and muderers and rapists. so then somehow, they still appeal that we are sending the wrong message to our children.
people notice that more mexicans die from the gang related violence that is a direct result of americas insatiable demand for drugs than those dying from the illegal drugs themselves. pot use in itself kills less than panadol. we begin to wonder if we have been acting worse than children.
the debate brings science into it. the science tells that alchohol and tobacco kills more people than anything and has much associated costs to society and yet is legal, we just have laws to try minimise the harms so that the responsible adults amongst us can still have a good time. then someone considers if it is fair to a fellow human to persecute them for making a choice to indulge in a less harmful drug while it is deemed socially ok for others to indulge in worser legal drugs. parents begin to wonder if it may be a better policy where drugs are sold to adults and so are taken away from the black market where they are easily available to kids. where kids can today buy any drug they want on the street more easily than beer and become involved in other "cannabis related behaviour". the myth that cannabis is a gateway drug is debunked by statistics showing that most people stop at cannabis and that cannabis is so popular next to alchohol and tobacco that it is just a drug on the ladder of which some people will take larger risks on and others will not. we listen to lawyers, university lecturers, ex police, people in politics that are now telling us that maybe they had it wrong all this time.

we realize we are sending conflicting messages to our children and more so that we as adults have been giving the wrong message to ourselves. people are made aware how much money is spent each year on trying to police the prohibition of pot at the expense of schools and hospitals etc. it runs into the tens of billions. it is exposed that the reason why there are more kids in treatment for pot is because most kids are sensible enough to choose a softer drug than heroin and since they got busted and are forced into treatment against their free will more than 90 percent of the time and the so that is waste of public money. maybe treatment of those in need and education is better than giving it to the police to handle. micheal phelps is not a lazy stoner. they wonder why the presidents can smoke pot and have a job while a normal citizen should lose their employment, student loan and possibly go to gaol for smoking pot. pot is finally shown to the american mainstream to be much less of a health risk than claimed before. people wonder why they should be paying so much of their tax money to enforce a law that does nothing to reduce user rates except maybe steering recreational drug takers towards harder and more harmful drugs.
2. atleast 50 percent become in favour in many many states. the politicians change their stances on pot, its no longer cool to be ignorant and the rest slowly becomes history.
3. crime goes down.

Test case

Hey I'll move out to Cali, open a dispensary and get myself prosecuted if you'll all rally behind me, make me a facebook cause

this makes more sense than

this makes more sense than anything. Why hadn't I considered it before?

In the system

I am currently being prosecuted for simply being a employee at a dispensary in Alameda county that operated completly within the scope of the state law and was permitted with a specific conditional use permit to dispense medical marijuana that was given out by the alameda county board of supervisors. The alameda county sheriff dept. signed the permit and conducted regular inspections of the facility. They then took all the information they obtained in regard to obtaining and regulating the permit and turned it over to the federal govt. They did the same thing to all three dispensaries who they issued operating permits to but the dispensary I worked at was the only one to suffer arrests. I right this letter to ask a couple of things. First please tell anybody who will listen that the only way to fight this injustice is for a jury to come back with a not guilty verdict based on jury nullification. Unless juries start to uphold their constitutional right to return not guilty verdicts on unjust laws they will continue to prosecute people like myself. Second you can come show court support, the next court date is a motion hearing on sept. 11 2009 at the federal courthouse in oakland ca in front of Judge Jensen. I am a co defendent with three other people and we need all the community support we can get. If you are serious about stoping the drug war you should try to attend. Third is to ask you to go to this is a site dedicated to this court battle and you can see various aspects of this case. The site is not complete yet but there are some useful links for anybody who wants to support us or the medical marijuana movement. Thank you for reading this.


I hope your case gets thrown out for entrapment.

Another Reefer Madness Graduate!

Yo... above "Anonymous!" ... You just re-watched Reefer Madness ... and YOU think it is factual! This must be your favorite movie isn't it.



Another way to look at it is, why is someone who chooses to use a safer substance over alcohol forced by law to have to pretend to have a terminal illness to be able to use it legally? That doesn't make much sense does it. you have to have a reason or excuse to choose something that's safer?

Look, people use alcohol and marijuana for the same reasons, and both substances are similar in the fact they can be used in a safe and mature manner. Marijuana is not only safer than alcohol, but it also does not promote violence or anger, it actually has the opposite effect as it can make you more calm and cautious. This is the reason people who smoke marijuana to feel good just like alcohol drinkers that drink to feel good are completely upset with not only the current drug laws pertaining to marijuana, but also because of the lies that have been told to the American citizens about marijuana. It is a safer substance than alcohol, yet it is a schedule 1 drug, and illegal while alcohol is legal. That alone is cause for people to be concerned that the current laws are in favor of politics / greed instead of “The People” as it should. And while politicians get their campaign contributions and these special interest groups get rich, and the DEA secures more guaranteed funding, as well as the prison complex, and on and on and on……. It’s the every day hard working tax paying citizens that are paying the price. People are flat out tired of it.

I’ve heard the following argument, and here is why it’s not a good one

(It sends the wrong message to our children)

- Not regulating the substance and putting it in the hands of people that will sell it to anyone no matter what age, and will position themselves to have your kids selling their drugs at their schools to maximize cliental and profit isn’t a better option. Marijuana is tried by a record number of kids today (obviously prohibition doesn’t help kids or the budget) and there is a good chance that your kid is one of them based on the statistics. This means kids will not be as deterred by the lies about marijuana and may end up being caught with it at some point, the hell they and you as a family will go through will make you wish all you had to worry about was the wrong messages that are given to your kids on a daily basis via TV, advertising, and example.

Current laws pose the following risks to your kids and family

-Prison Sentence
-Legal fees
-Families disrupted and in some cases ruined by the legal process
-Loss of future job/career possibilities
-Permanent criminal record
-Reputation ruined

And the current laws turn an otherwise non violent tax paying citizen into a financial burden to tax payers. The laws simply do not make sense in any manner at all, not financially, not for the safety of our own children, and not for the majority of Californians whom favor legalization per the most recent poll. They don’t even make sense to a group of retired police officers, judges, and law makers who have witnessed the damage prohibition causes first hand and have formed a group called LEAP (law enforcement against prohibition) and are working to correct the failed drug policy.

Our system

It amazes me how so many people are posting as Anonymous and speawing false statement and basicall as someone put it watched Reefer Maddness again and is posting their comment from that information.

If you want some facts watch Hemp Revolution and find that the reason Cannabis is Illegal is cause DuPont and lumber companies saw it as a threat, And it is. Paper can be made from hemp along with fuel for our cars, food for our hungary and the medical grade for our sick.

I hate it when people post false statements and really go on like they think they know what they are talking about.

Cigarettes kill thousands each year, Alcohol can be attributed to deaths, but can you show me ONE death from ingesting Cannabis.. NO, I didn't think so.

People like me who have tried tons of different chemicals (ya chemicals) for my sickness and I'm not getting the comfort I need. If I lived in one of 13 states I would be holding a Medical Cannabis prescription card. It has been proven to be an effective medication for people who suffer from Fibromyagia, Chronic Pain Syndrome, nausia from having to much pain, nausiea from cancer treatments and more. Just 1/2 of a cannabis joint and I am able to move around 75% better than I can with just my prescription poisons they give me. I have so many side effects from those poisons but only have 2 side effects with Cannabis. I get dry mouth and I get hungry. Shall I list the side effects of all of my other medications
Gabapentin, Flexiril, Zanaflex, Tramadol. Just pick one of these and read the side effects.. Oh and by the way.. My name is Sherry - Im not hiding my name!!!

The Black Market politicians,police and Wall St. never asked

permission from the people to start prohibition terrorism and all the wars against people and drugs. That is fraud and socioeconomic plunder. The Military should remove the prohibition terrorists from power.

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