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Marijuana news from around the world

Attorney General Eric Holder

Whitened House Signals Readiness to go over Marijuana Re-arranging with Congress

The White HouseGlaciers, tortoises, and slugs all appear to maneuver faster than our authorities&#8217s reaction to standing on the incorrect side of marijuana for nearly a hundred years.  While the American public continues to be receptive to the thought of deleting marijuana, our government has fumbled the ball for a long time, not able to even come up with a rational reason …continue reading through

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The finish is nigh? Feds claim forget about interference with condition marijuana laws and regulations

end prohibition

The cost from the fight against drugs continues to be well recorded. The majority of us understand the rising violence south in our border, patients influenced by insufficient access, people imprisoned for possession, and also the expense of prohibition towards the tax payer. We at marijuana.internet wrote about this for a while now.

We’ve learned about these problems again and again, without a whisper of the sensible response from the us government. Just whenever we all increased fed up with the legal stalemate with federal government bodies attempting to hold condition law under control, it seems a significant alternation in federal policy might be going ahead.  Last week, the Justice Department introduced it wasn’t likely to prosecute marijuana crimes legal under condition law.  While the best objective of reform activists might be reclassification, this might indeed be federal government bodies waiving the whitened flag.  Paul Armantano of NORML stated “It certainly seems to become potentially “the start of the finish”  in relation to its prohibition.

The timing from the DOJ statement is curious because the agency was asked for an approaching forum on medicinal marijuana and repairing condition versus. federal law.  Eric Holder was asked towards the conference and lots of were searching toward getting him obvious in the murky waters that represent  the Whitened House’s stance on marijuana.  Single questions about marijuana have demonstrated hard for Holder and the staff to reply to formerly.  They have stated lack of knowledge towards the research while concurrently declining to confess marijuana was less destructive than heroin along with other opiates.  Perhaps a congressional Q&ampA with follow-up questions wasn’t going to talk about well for that already battling Attorney General.

The general public has significantly transformed their position on marijuana, and they’ll not soon be returning towards the times of “Reefer Madness”.  The new policy direction means a lot of things if federal government bodies maintain their word.  Many companies and traders happen to be waiting for some indication that they’ll ‘t be jailed for joining the most popular growing industry.  Patients might have more bit of mind when attempting to gain access to medication.

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Senator Patrick Leahy Organizes Federal Conference on Marijuana Policy

patrick leahy

Federal Authorities Refuse to Admit Marijuana less Dangerous than Alcohol

federal government

Last week, we at were pleased to report on Attorney General Holder’s decision to alter the way federal minimum drug sentences would be handled.  This week we found out it may have been a case of the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.

The momentum for marijuana reform has been rising steady so it was right on cue that federal authorities needed to fight back with false and ridiculous propaganda.  On Monday, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a statement that not only calls into question their grasp of the facts,  but also questions whether or not the agency is operating in 2013 and not 1933.  On Monday decision makers at the NIDA thought the following statement was a well thought out idea: “Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated since each possess their own unique set of risks and consequences for a given individual.”  The statement seems to be a response to the group Marijuana Policy Project’s (MPP) recent ads that describe marijuana as less dangerous than alcohol.

Mason Tvert of MPP commented on the odd NIDA statement by telling Huffington Post “Our federal government has been exaggerating the harms of marijuana for decades, but at this point it has gone off the deep end…NIDA’s statement that marijuana can be just as toxic as alcohol would be on par with the FDA announcing sushi is as fattening as fried chicken.”  The Huffington Post article also pointed out that PolitiFact was unable to identify a single marijuana related death in 2010 but found 41,682 linked to alcohol during the same year.

The public trust in federal drug policy has been declining for decades.  However, the feds have learned to smile, dress nice, and say little when questioned on these issues.  NIDA’s mission statement is “to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction .”  Their actions indicate that perhaps the NIDA does not hold its mission statement in any sort of high regard.  As we said last week with Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s reversal on medical marijuana, how do we trust those who have policy making influence when they are the last to be educated?

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Eric Holder Tries Patchwork Fix For Federal Drug Sentencing

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Many of us have heard the outrageous examples of rapists and murderers serving less time in prison than low level marijuana and drug offenders.  To some,  this is just an odd quirk or a glitch in federal policy, a conversation that will soon find it’s way to back of our minds,  buried deep in the abyss of our sub consciousness, well below the layer our daily stresses.  To others, this is a broken family, this is children growing up without a father, this is the realization that your teen’s mistake in college could ruin the rest of his or her life.

The Obama Administration had initially vowed to fix the broken state of drug laws.  He and now Attorney General,  Eric Holder signaled an end to the War On Drugs,  or at least a drastically different approach.  The two indicated that going after the medical marijuana industry would not be an effective use of federal resources.  Apparently, what they meant was that we were not spending enough on attacking medical marijuana patients.  Less than one year through his second term,  President Obama enjoys the unique status of pursuing legal action against far more collectives than the Bush and Clinton years combined.

Perhaps feeling the sting of broken vows, an over saturated corrections system,  and an economy that remains barely in gear, has finally led to policy change.  Yesterday Mr. Holder announced a change in sentencing on a federal level for low level drug charges and that he wishes to circumvent “draconian mandatory minimum sentences.” Small cases that accompany mandatory federal sentences will be shifted to the states.  In regards to the states handling more of the cases,  Mr. Holder said “Some issues are best handled at the state or local level…And that’s why I have directed the United States Attorney community to develop specific, locally-tailored guidelines – consistent with our national priorities – for determining when federal charges should be filed, and when they should not.”

The change is certainly welcomed but it may be comparable to placing a Flintstones band aid over a large fatal wound.  Mr. Holder and federal authorities are basically conceding that federal drug laws are out of control and is not in line with the majority of American’s wishes.  Specifically, a large portion of the public wants marijuana to be taken off as a schedule 1 substance.  Instead of fixing the issue and reclassifying,  Mr. Holder will run from the laws he oversees.  Additionally,  shifting the responsibilities to the states only works if they do not operate under similar ” draconian law”.  Otherwise, those states could require additional funding.  Will this deadlocked Congress, that initially decline Storm Sandy victim relief be willing to designate additional funds to state level drug cases?

There may some optimism to take out of Mr. Holder’s actions.  This is the first time in quite a bit that the federal government is making a significant policy change in low level drug offenses.  Could this be setting up for future maneuvers and a reconciliation of state vs. federal laws?

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Federal Data Shows Blacks Arrested in Much Higher Numbers for Marijuana

It has been a few difficult weeks for the Commander in Chief.  The IRS and justice department scandals have weighed heavily on the perception if the president.  The news does not seem to be getting much better.  As they say,  when it rains it pours. Recently released federal data shows that black Americans were arrested …continue reading

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Washington State Looking to Keep Tight Legal Marijuana Regulations


The demographics of the United States are changing everyday.  The newer generation of Americans no longer wish to see their peers treated unfairly because of who they wish to spend the night with.  Even the Boy Scouts of America, an organization that has traditionally banned any gay members, is now reconsidering their position.  Last November’s election showed that the country is heading in a new direction as states enacted marriage equality acts, and two states (Colorado, Washington) legalized recreational marijuana use.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last week.  The meeting was aimed at striking a balance between federal and state regulations.  Washington state is moving forward with what their people want, a taxed and regulated marijuana market.  However, Washington officials are not abandoning caution, and understand the concerns that opponents have about marijuana leaving state lines.  The state is seeking the help of marijuana experts to help ensure that the proper regulations are set in place.

Washington and Colorado are hoping to create the model for how this can be done.  Polling and recent voting shows a surge in support for drastic marijuana reform and there are no signs of this trend slowing.  Washington’s Liquor Control Board has posted ads that indicates they seeking individuals with  “at least three years of consulting experience relating to the knowledge of the cannabis industry, including but not limited to product growth, harvesting, packaging, product infusion and product safety.” Medical marijuana employees will likely be the target employees.  The state is looking to determine safety and testing regulations, the proper amount of storefronts.  There is time to work this out but the regulations are expected to be in place sooner than later as legal sales are expected to begin in December.

It may be about time for the federal government to start posting their own job advertisements.  We are supposed to look to the federal government for guidance and should not have to enact common sense law ourselves years before they will even consider discussion.  It is a fast paced, internet and technologically driven world that will soon not tolerate snail paced governing.   Tough talk, failed policy, one liners, and bitter partisan politics are no longer in step with what most Americans want.  If Washington state can demonstrate a connection to what the people want, we hope that Washington D.C. follows suit.

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Col. Gov Hickenlooper Shows He is Serious About Legal Marijuana By Seeking Task Force


Marijuana activists scored major victories several weeks ago on election day.  Colorado residents voted to legalize, regulate, tax, and distribute marijuana.  However, the decision is much more complex than simply saying “now everything is ok”.  There many questions to be answered such as the future of current medical dispensaries, tax rates, and law enforcement concerns.

Because of the complexity of the situation, Governor Hickenlooper is seeking to put together a task force to deal with the situation.  He recently said “We are working to create a task force to identify the policy, legal, and procedural issues that need to be resolved related to Amendment 64.”  There are not many more details as to how the new law will move forward.  However, Colorado lawmakers do appear serious in making sure the new law is upheld. Once the Amendment 64 goes into effect (Dec.6), adults 21 and over will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use.  Some prosecutors in Colorado are not waiting until December 6th, and have dismissed current marijuana possession cases that would be legal next week.  Authorities in Washington have also taken similar steps.

The situation in Colorado and Washington is showcasing that the conversation has turned an important corner.  The economy needs new ideas and a decades long expansion of government has made the public weary.  Marijuana reform could generate jobs and tax revenue and also provide the rare expansion of civil rights.  Federal authorities could still try to desperately flex their muscle, but as more jobs and revenues are contingent upon legal marijuana it could become increasingly difficult for the feds to simply disregard state laws.  So far Attorney General Eric Holder has been silent on the issue.  Analysts are unsure if this shows he wishes to avoid the issue and permit the states to operate as they will.  Others believe Mr. Holder will soon step down and already a lame duck so he may be waiting for successor to handle the issue.

We at are hopeful that elected officials will work alongside the people and abandon the failed policy of aggressively persecuted its own people for non-violent crimes.  Additionally, Americans are ready for compromise.  In a divided country, the word compromise has seemed to fallen by the wayside recently, but we want to see people behave as adults and work together.  We may finally see this with the so called “fiscal cliff” debate as both parties appear ready to strike a deal.  We may be seeing the same situation in Colorado as Governor Hickenlooper publicly voiced his opposition to Amendment 64 on multiple occasions.  However, we are pleased to see that despite his personal view, he is recognizing his function and job as an elected official.

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Attorney General Eric Holder Pressured by Ex-DEA Officials To Oppose State Marijuana Laws

eric holder

After years of foreign wars, the Patriot Act, and an unpopular healthcare mandate, voters are weary of big government proposals.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle are quick to point out that they want to reduce the size and scale of government, even if their actions betray this sentiment.  The idea of letting states decide many issues has gained traction, with one major exception.  Marijuana.

Approximately 75% of Americans support a physician’s right to prescribe medical marijuana.  Even more interestingly, is that now over half of the country supports legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana even for recreational use.  Three states, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon will have residents in their states voting to enact such plans.  Of course we all know the people simply passing the law may not end the ongoing feud between federal and state authorities.  The problem the White House faces is that they have tried to make the case that they will not use any federal resources to circumvent state law.  This leaves them with trying to apply federal law only when a dispensary is in violation of state law, as confusing as that sounds.

This approach is being challenged by 9 former heads of the DEA.  Attorney General Eric Holder has not publicly indicated how the federal government would handle a situation where states operate legal marijuana sales.  His silence has drawn the ire of those who feel the federal government needs to take a more definitive stand and send out a message that federal law trumps state law.  Holder has spoken out on previous legalization initiatives.  He indicated that he would enforce federal law in California in 2010 if residents voted to legalize marijuana.  In the letter, obtained by news outlet Reuters, the group said that “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.”

Of course taking a stand against laws voted on and enacted by the people offers its own set of “dangerous initiatives”.  No administration wants to be known as the White House crushed state laws and the will of the people.  The old system has failed and while many of us understand that federal authorities have to carry out the law, there is a chance of overreaching here.  A war between residents and the federal government on this issue could be one of the highest profile examples of the government ignoring the will of the people.  Even those who do not support marijuana legalization may be outraged at such large scale intervention.  With most Americans feeling the war on drugs is a failure, spending more money and resources to keep the antiquated approach alive could be a disaster as small government fans, fiscal hawks, civil rights groups, and medical supporters could all find themselves coming together over the issue.

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Feds Oversee Colorado Marijuana Collective Shutdowns


The latter part of 2011 put a chill down the spine of many patients who were concerned about where they would have access to medication.  Federal raids in California received a great deal of media attention as many news outlets claimed medical marijuana in America was over.  Now that the dust has settled and the vast majority of collectives remain open, the raids seem to be targeting an altogether different goal than a total annihilation of the program.

The federal attention has now shifted toward Colorado.  Several months ago, federal authorities issued letters informing 23 collectives that they would have to relocate or close their doors because they were too close to schools and in violation of Colorado law.  Earlier this week federal agents were sent in to oversee the shutdown, which occurred without incident according to reports.  While this is an inconvenience for patients, hopefully most will still be able to access relief without major issues.

Most patients felt that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that the administration would not conduct federal raids on collectives.  That seemed to match the tone of the statements made on the 2008 campaign trail, however, team Obama choose their words very carefully.  They mentioned not raiding any establishment that followed state law, and even as recently as two months ago Eric Holder reiterated the position by saying “our thought was that where a state has taken a position, has passed a law, and people are acting in conformity with a law, not abusing the law but acting in conformity with it, and, again, given our limited resources, that would not be an enforcement priority for the Justice Department.”  Of course the statement seems to be filled with exit clauses, but it does indicate that those following state law should not be a federal target.

Much of the media signaled the end for medical marijuana toward the end of 2011.  That does not seem to be a well thought out idea as no state has revoked its medical marijuana program even in the face of federal pressure.  Additionally, there are 17 other states considering medical marijuana laws and other states considering total legalization.  Although California is in a state of legal uncertainty, the pending decision of the state Supreme Court may re-establish order and consistent laws so that patients are ensured their legally protected “safe access”.  Colorado has over 700 medical marijuana collectives.  With 23 shutting down, that represents approximately 3% of collectives.  While those who are against providing accessible relief brag about the closings, it truly is just a drop in the bucket.  Of those 23, many may relocate and be able to open up legally elsewhere.

While no advocates/patients want to hear about dispensaries being forced to shut down, it is important to keep everything in perspective.  America has changed its views on marijuana and the Federal government does not even seem willing to challenge state laws.  While the closings appear to be defeat on the surface, the fact that the federal government is only willing to enforce its laws on  3% of Colorado collectives may signal a victory for patients and advocates alike.

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