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Senator Rand Paul Files Medical Marijuana Amendment


marijuana reform bill legislature session legislative billsBy Phillip Smith

US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) today filed an amendment to Senate Bill 2569, the “Bring Jobs Home Act,” that would explicitly allow states to pass medical marijuana laws despite the provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would also bar prosecutions of patients and doctors for engaging in medical marijuana activities in states where it is legal.

The amendment, No. 3630, is not yet available on the congressional web site, but a copy has been made available to the Chronicle.

“Notwithstanding section 708 of the Controlled Substances Act or any provisions of law (including regulations), a State may enact and implement a law that authorizes the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use,” the amendment says.

“No prosecution may be commenced or maintained against any physician or patient for a violation of Federal law (including regulations) that prohibits the conduct described in subsection (b) [Ed.: The paragraph above.] if the State in which the violation occurred has in effect a law described in subsection (b) before, on, or after the date on which the violation occurred.”

The amendment then lists the 32 states and the District of Columbia that have laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana, including some that only allow for the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils.

Senate Bill 2569 was introduced in the Senate earlier this month.

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  1. It’s a lot less theoretically when there are statistics to back it up. And the duty of city cops to enforce state law is not much different from the duty of state cops or local cops to enforce federal law, at least in PA. Witness the difference between Pittsburgh and Philly; in the former possession results in a ticket and in the latter you are cuffed and dragged off to jail.

  2. I wasn’t talking about a “misunderstanding” when discussing public authorities, I was talking about gross incompetence.

    The actions of the Philly police chief aren’t relevant because he’s saying that he’s going to have his LEOs enforce State law. Until he actually has his people start doing it it’s just hot air.

    But sorry, I don’t do conspiracy theories.


  3. Our public schools have had plenty of problems, but private ones aren’t any better, according to test scores. They just take resources away from neighborhoods that have no other options. Should education be available only to those who can afford it? That would virtually insure our decline to second-world status.

  4. MrPC you are right about his position on immigration. I assumed he’d be more like his father on this issue. His position is definitely not libertarian. Nothing but private schools is of course a great idea; the public schools suck.

  5. Duncan I think your heart is too kind. You suggest “willful ignorance” as a possibility but seem to believe its just naivety that leads local law enforcement to believe that they must enforce federal laws. I would instead suggest that the DEA’s system of giving local government kickbacks in the form of grants and proceeds from asset forfeiture, is more likely the source of this “misunderstanding”. In other words, the DEA has basically used a fountain of money to undermine our police departments to the point that these policemen tend to be more responsive to the DEA than to the people whom they are sworn to serve. Witness the recent comments by Philadelphia Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who in response to city council’s recent decriminalization of cannabis stated that his department was going to continue to arrest people for simple possession anyway. Like others in law enforcement, he just will not listen to the people who hired him.

  6. Of course the Feds first tried penalizing States for money which they were scheduled to receive (See State of South Dakota v Elizabeth Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987)). But even though the ruling was mostly a win for the Feds the figured out that it works a lot better to pay bonuses than to take money away from people. I don’t think a week passes when I don’t see how successful that strategy has been. 2 decades ago you very, very rarely saw any local level law enforcement speaking out in favor of the continuation

    I wonder Dusty, something that it took a long, long time for me to realize is that most people appear to believe that it’s part of the duties of State and local law enforcement to enforce Federal law. That’s what stimulates so many members of the Ignorati to comment, “so what if the State legalizes, it’s still against Federal law.”

    It really is just mind boggling how few Americans understand our system of dual sovereignty. For the everyman I can understand it. Had I not had a vested interest and the motivation to figure out the specific stupidity of cannabis prohibition, coupled with a few significant victories in business contract disputes which were a simple matter of actually reading the contract and understanding what it said I’d probably be blissfully ignorant of how our government is supposed to function under the law. What really bugs the heck out of me is when authorities do it. In every single case I’ve named above in the post to which you responded and Conant et al v Walters in the 2nd were all built on a gross misunderstanding, perhaps even willful ignorance) of our system. City of Garden Grove v Kha was bad enough, but State of Arizona v Okun was for all practical considerations identical to Kha. The Arizona authorities had the luxury of being able to read the Court’s opinion in Kha and had no valid reason to believe that they might get a different decision. They could have at least taken section 885(D) of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and not embarrassed themselves with the argument that police can’t return illegally seized illegally from recognized medicinal cannabis patients.

    Tip of the pin old man, it is a distinct pleasure to run into someone who has, at the very least a good working knowledge of how our system works. If your interested in some arcana I’d suggest that you take a look at the eviction proceedings against Harborside Health Center by their Oakland landlord. The Feds instigated those proceedings by threatening seizure of the property. The landlord lost in State Court because they said that the clause in the lease forbidding the tenant from breaking Federal law was unenforceable under California law. The landlord lost in Federal Court for lack of standing to bring the controversy to Federal Court. P.S. no appeals filed and no seizure. Losing both cases made the landlord an “innocent” party.

    The poor landlord, how in the world could he have predicted that Harborside would be the first tenant in the history of written leases to be painstakingly honest on their application?

  7. She’s also an opportunist and *very* smart. If she’s at risk of losing the ever-important moderate and independent votes to Rand Paul because of his stance on the failed drug war, expect her to turn whichever way the political winds are blowing.
    Frankly, the worst 2016 match-up (for cannabis law reform) would be Hillary Clinton running against Chris Christie. That would all but guarantee the drug war drags on for the duration of either candidate’s tenure in office, as neither one of them WANTS to make cannabis law reform a center-stage issue. Their respective campaigns would do like every presidential campaign has done, up to now, which is to either laugh off the issue, or simply ignore it, entirely.

  8. Great! A private army at the border, keeping “them” out, medical care only for the rich and nothing but private schools. I can hardly wait.

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