Why Are The Feds Still Meddling With States’ Medical Marijuana Laws?

It was just three years ago when President Obama (then candidate Obama) famously pledged to no longer use federal “Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws” regulating the physician authorized use of medical cannabis. And it was in the fall of 2009 that the administration issued the Ogden memorandum to federal prosecutors directing them to not “focus federal resources … on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

Yet in recent days the administration has seen fit to interject itself in the ongoing legislative debate to establish and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state. Last week, on the eve of a final House vote regarding Senate Bill 5073, the U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington issued a statement warning landlords that they could face forfeiture of their properties if they rent to licensed medical marijuana facilities. Undeterred, the House passed SB 5073 (the Senate had previously passed an earlier version of the bill), setting up a potential showdown between lawmakers and Democrat Gov. Chris Gregoire.

In an April 14, 2011 letter to Gov. Gregoire from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane wrote, “[W]e maintain the authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act vigorously against individuals and manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

The letter continues: “The Washington legislative proposals will create a licensing scheme that permits large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution. This would authorize conduct contrary to federal law. … Accordingly, the Department [of Justice] could consider civil and criminal legal remedies who set up marijuana growing facilities … or who knowingly facilitate the actions of the licensees. … [S]tate employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability under the Controlled Substances Act.”

Predictably, Gov. Gregoire is now shying away from the proposal. As reported by the Seattle Times, the Governor stated “In light of the Department of Justice’s guidance, it is clear that I cannot sign a bill that authorizes our state employees to license marijuana dispensaries when the department would prosecute those involved.” The Times noted that Gregoire “pledged to work with lawmakers on a new proposal.”

Is the Governor using the Feds’ letter as political cover to denounce a measure that she never intended to sign in the first place? Maybe. But the bigger picture is that the federal officials still seem content to selectively interject in the state lawmaking process as it pertains to the medical access to marijuana.

Will the Feds most recent threats have a potential chilling effect on pending legislation in Delaware, Illinois, and Vermont — additional states where lawmakers recently voted in favor of establishing similar state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries? And what, if anything, do these threats imply for states like Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and Rhode Island where such facilities have already been authorized by the state? Time will tell, but at present time it’s not looking good.

‘Change we can believe in?’ Not when it comes to medical marijuana policy.

  • TheDeacon

    True, but you will never get away from the facts. Like the fact that Cannabis KILLS Cancer. If you are a cancer victim got to http://www.lynnicewedewer.com a 7 time Cancer Survivor via Medical Cannabis. Lynn was admitted into a Cannabis vs Cancer Research Program 32 years ago at age 17. They expected her to live 5 years at best. With Cannabis it is now 32 years and going strong. This woman has no immune system and many lymph nodes have been removed. Yet she is healthier than most regular people because of the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis. Don’t belive me, see for yourself at http://www.lynnicewedewer.com/, you will be amazed.

  • Pingback: Weed’s Week in News: The April 16, 2011 Edition ‹ PotCouture.com

  • Anonymous

    Article 2 of u s constitution

    obey it or you are a terrorist !!!!!!

  • Paul

    well if u look at her web site her quote is “Let’s work together, Lets be BOLD and COURAGEOUS” Apparently this is just a political ploy and not something she really believes in. Way to BUCKLE, gov. Gregoire !!

  • Anonymous

    Alcohol prohibition in the US run from 1919 to 1933 – Now google ‘The Great Wall Street Crash’ and see when that happened!

    During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    http://1929crash.com/

    China has recently been in negotiation with a number of countries, asking them to replace the Dollar with the Chinese Yuan as their reserve currency. This, when it happens, will remove the Federal Government’s ability to keep printing cash to cover the trillions it costs to fund prohibition. It’ll mean true freedom but the transition period may well bring consequences that are far more horrific than a slasher movie. — It never had to be this way; we should have learned our lesson from studying the mayhem that alcohol prohibition wreaked on us.

    We all have our victories and defeats as regards fear, but most of us strive not to let fear rule our hearts or our minds. Being free means being free to live and love as if death and fear had no power over us. Freedom also means that we have an ethical and moral responsibility to expose blind hate, lies and ignorance by shining eternal light, truth and love, sending such dark forces fleeing to the shadows from whence they came.

    We explore outer space with various forms of space craft, but many choose to explore inner space via nature’s abundant chemistry – an infinite journey into the heart of God. We are here to explore this glorious universe. The Prohibitionist’s brand of hateful, choking pseudo-conservatism is the antithesis of all that. Like a lion who cannot grasp that he can do more than walk in a circle the size of the cage he’s recently been freed from, the prohibitionist is incapable of exploration beyond the boundaries of his own fear, prejudice and loathing.

    Thanks to Prohibition, we are at the cusp of losing all semblance of our once ordered, prosperous and relatively safe society. Myself, along with many others, have been debating prohibitionists on this for many years. We have shown them what great destruction prohibition has wrought, on all the civil institutions of this once great nation, -we have always provided factual and variable evidence – they, the prohibitionists, have countered with either lies, personal abuse or even serious threats of violence.

    Ending the insanity of drug prohibition by legalized regulation, respecting the rights of the responsible users, and focusing on addiction as a sickness, like we do with alcohol and tobacco, may save what remains of our economy and civil institutions along with countless lives and livelihoods. Prohibition continues unabated for shameful political reasons. It can not, and never will, reduce drug use or addiction.

    Prohibition has permanently scarred our national character as well as our individual psyches. Our national policies and cultural practices have become pervaded by the fascistic, prohibitionist mind-set which has turned our domestic police force into a bunch of paramilitary thugs who often commit extra-judicial beatings and executions while running roughshod over our rights in order to “protect us from ourselves”.

    When we eventually manage to put the horrors of this toxic moronothon behind us, we’ll need to engage in some very deep and honest soul-searching as to what we want to be as a nation. Many of our freedoms have been severely circumscribed or lost altogether, our economy has been trashed and our international reputation for being “free and fair” has been dragged through a putrid sewer by vicious narrow-minded drug warrior zealots who are ignorant of abstract concepts such as truth, justice and decency. We’ll need to make sure that such a catastrophe is never ever repeated. This may mean that public hearings or tribunals will be held where those who have been the instigators and cheerleaders of this abomination will have to answer for their serious crimes against our once prosperous and proud nation.

    Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate. If you’re aware of but not enraged by it’s shear waste and cruel atrocities then both your heart and soul must surely be dead.

    Prohibition engendered black market profits are obscenely huge. Remove this and you remove the ability to bribe or threaten any government official or even whole governments. The argument that legalized regulation won’t severely cripple organized crime is truly bizarre. Of course, the bad guys won’t just disappear, but if you severely diminish their income, you also severely diminish their power. The proceeds from theft, extortion, pirated goods etc. are a drop in the ocean compared to what can be earned by selling prohibited/unregulated drugs in a black market estimated to be worth 400,000 million dollars. Without the lure and power of so much easy capital, it’s also very unlikely that new criminal enterprises will ever fill the void left by those you successfully disrupt or entirely eradicate.

    Millions of fearless North Africans have recently shown us that recognizing oppression also carries the weight of responsibility to act upon and oppose that oppression. Prohibition is a vicious anti-constitutional assault on ALL American citizens by a criminally insane and dysfunctional government, which left unchallenged will end with the destruction of the entire nation.

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    – Abraham Lincoln, November 12, 1864

    “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…”
    – The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

    It really sucks when big pharma and fascist corporations hijack your republic!

  • Anonymous

    Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate. If you’re aware of but not enraged by it’s shear waste and cruel atrocities then both your heart and soul must surely be dead.

    Prohibition engendered black market profits are obscenely huge. Remove this and you remove the ability to bribe or threaten any government official or even whole governments. The argument that legalized regulation won’t severely cripple organized crime is truly bizarre. Of course, the bad guys won’t just disappear, but if you severely diminish their income, you also severely diminish their power. The proceeds from theft, extortion, pirated goods etc. are a drop in the ocean compared to what can be earned by selling prohibited/unregulated drugs in a black market estimated to be worth 400,000 million dollars. Without the lure and power of so much easy capital, it’s also very unlikely that new criminal enterprises will ever fill the void left by those you successfully disrupt or entirely eradicate.

    Millions of fearless North Africans have recently shown us that recognizing oppression also carries the weight of responsibility to act upon and oppose that oppression. Prohibition is a vicious anti-constitutional assault on ALL American citizens by a criminally insane and dysfunctional government, which left unchallenged will end with the destruction of the entire nation.

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    – Abraham Lincoln, November 12, 1864

    “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…”
    – The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

    It really sucks when big pharma and fascist corporations hijack your republic!

  • http://MSN.com Charles Queen

    Good question.As I recall Obooboo who is their overall boss said it was hands off to the DEA,Justice dept ATF and al the rest of the idiots but they seem to have not heard his words and orders which were directed at them.Another question is why has the country’s leader and pres who told the feds that states that make medicinal marijuana legal are to be hands off has not chastised them and remineded them with a little more firmness that he said hands off so lay off.I say screw the DEA,the ATF and the justice department all,they need to get real jobs and real lives instead os soaking off the tax payers money for jobs that the majority of them suck at doing and or do nothing at all

  • Mavrick

    First let’s lay off LEO as individuals, people have to work to feed there family and as an officer my self I want to say that I am a Washington mmj patient in Spokane county and many of us could care ether way and only follow orders. Most of us deliberately avoid marijuana mmj or not. We only try and go after those people that are using it in public places like streets and parks. We work hard to protect you against non prohibition related crimes like murder and rape. This crimes have little or nothing to do with marijuana. Your local LEO has rules that they have to follow wether it is agreeable to them or not and we get payed rediculasy low wages compared to most people in high risk jobs. We do it because we believe in catching criminals but like the military dosn’t pick the war they fight. Citizens also need to look at there own job how many rules and policies that you don’t agree with do you have to follow to keep your job. We do our job same as you so lay off LEO and let an officers out spoken words and his actions separate from doing his or her duty way your opinion of his actions after all people can say all stoners act like Bill and Ted, or that stoners are all lazy unclean hippies and need toget a life. Each one of us know someone that fits that profile but 10 more that are the exact reverse of that. I don’t support sb5073 and I think people should get on with bills like hb1550 which would legalize tax and regulate the industry but they state putting marijuana in state run liquor stores bringing the price per oz to $45 if the estaminets are to be believed. Anyway sorry about the bad punctuation and grammatical errors but I am posting this from my phone so no spell check and it’s impossible to go back and look for erros.

  • http://profiles.google.com/q.charles132 charles queen

    Why hasn’t Obooboo who is the overall one in charge of every single fed agency when it comes right down to it hasn’t made the DEA and other fed agency’s follow his orders whcih was to leave alone states that have legalized medicinal marijuana?I mean he is the main one in charge in the government whcih include all of these agency’s yet they seem to think they are above even the president of the country and do not have to follow his orders.If was really any kind of a real leader which unfortunately he isn’t he would put a stop to this stuff happening

  • http://profiles.google.com/q.charles132 charles queen

    Why hasn't Obooboo who is the overall one in charge of every single fed agency when it comes right down to it hasn't made the DEA and other fed agency's follow his orders whcih was to leave alone states that have legalized medicinal marijuana?I mean he is the main one in charge in the government whcih include all of these agency's yet they seem to think they are above even the president of the country and do not have to follow his orders.If was really any kind of a real leader which unfortunately he isn't he would put a stop to this stuff happening

BAD TIDINGS FOR EAST HAWAII

Archives

April 2011
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930