DOJ to Let States Legalize Marijuana

From The Stars Hollow Gazette

For some, the fact that the marijuana debate is still going on is confusing to them. Numerous studies and research conducted by top universities have shown time after time the benefits of marijuana both medically and recreationally. People just want to be able to buy a bong from an online headshop and not worry about complicated laws or loopholes that could get them into trouble. Thankfully, there is good news for pro-marijuana campaigners.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would no longer seek to reverse state law that legalizes the use of marijuana. Whilst the Medical Marijuana Card system has been in place for a long time, this announcement suggests a further relaxation of the laws is likely to be on the horizon. Those who require marijuana for their medical purposes will be pleased by the announcement of relaxation in the laws as it may lead the way for them being able to grow their own cannabis seeds for personal use of the drug. However, it still leaves the door open for abuse and harassment by individual US Attornies.

Eric Holder Says DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect

by Ryan J. Reilly and Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

Deputy Attorney General James Cole also issued a three-and-a-half page memo to U.S. attorneys across the country. “The Department’s guidance in this memorandum rests on its expectation that states and local governments that have enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct will implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems that will address the threat those state laws could pose to public safety, public health and other law enforcement interests,” it reads. “A system adequate to that task must not only contain robust controls and procedures on paper; it must also be effective in practice.”

The memo also outlines eight priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. According to the guidance, DOJ will still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:

  • the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  • revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
  • the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
  • state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  • violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  • growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
  • preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

The eight high-priority areas leave prosecutors bent on targeting marijuana businesses with a fair amount of leeway, especially the exception for “adverse public health consequences.” And prosecutors have shown a willingness to aggressively interpret DOJ guidance in the past, as the many medical marijuana dispensary owners now behind bars can attest.

Longtime investigative reporter and co-founder of FAIR, the national media watch group, Martin Lee joined Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! to discuss the changes:

“There is so much cultural momentum with respect to marijuana, there is a significant shift in place that the politicians are now starting to catch up to it,” says Martin Lee, longtime investigative reporter and author of several books, including “Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific.” He also notes that “the guidance issue made by the Department of Justice yesterday is kind of littered with caveats and red flags.”

It seems as though marijuana legalization is starting to slowly take place not just in America, but internationally too. Laws on cannabis are becoming more and more relaxed in places like Australia, where you can actually purchase Cannabis Seeds Aussie from the internet and grow them into full marijuana plants. If this is the case in Australia, it must only be a matter of time before this sort of thing can be done in every state of America.

Transcript can be read here

1 comment

    • TMC on September 1, 2013 at 04:40

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