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Do You Really Believe That The Feds Will Respect State Marijuana Legalization Laws?

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obama medical marijuana enforcementYesterday the marijuana world erupted with joy as the federal government gave it’s ‘official’ position on the marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington. Headlines on marijuana websites and from marijuana activist organizations included ‘Federal government backing off war on marijuana!’ While I think it’s great that the federal government didn’t come out and say something like ‘ we are going to bring more hate than we ever have before,’ I think that celebrations within the marijuana reform community are premature.

After all, the Obama administration has stated before that it will back off marijuana enforcement (medical marijuana). In 2009, the Obama administration issued a memo stating that it would respect state medical marijuana laws. Literally the same time that they issued the memo, the feds were opening investigations against medical marijuana providers across the state. After making an empty promise to respect state medical marijuana laws, the Obama administration went on to raid more medical marijuana providers than the Bush administration. So forgive me if I don’t jump for joy, but I don’t believe anything that was said yesterday.

If the Obama administration was truly planning on respecting state marijuana legalization laws, it would issue an Executive Order stating as much. Instead, they sent out a glorified e-mail which more or less stated that while they respect marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington, they reserve the right to do whatever they want. Don’t be surprised when raids happen on legal marijuana outlets, and don’t be surprised when the feds refuse to reform tax laws and continue to pressure security companies, banks, and credit card companies to halt all business activities with marijuana businesses.

I hate bursting people’s bubbles, but as I always say, ‘actions speak louder than rhetoric.’ Remember what happened after the last rounds of marijuana memos from the Obama administration, and proceed with caution. The DEA is still lurking, the IRS is still enforcing 280e laws, and at this point, nothing has really changed except a memo has been sent out. You can read the memo for yourself here. What do readers think? Do you believe the White House? Do you truly think that the federal government is ‘backing off the war on marijuana?’ Or do you think that this is smoke and mirrors, and that there will still be raids? I look forward to reading your comments.

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43 Comments

  1. I want to know if Marijuana will ever be Federally legal. What if over the next 10 years over half of America’s states legalize it,what then? Marijuana only illegal because anyone can grow it and avoid paying any taxes if they were to make it federally legal. It all boils down to money.That makes me sick our Government operates like organized crime whenever any money is involved they want their cut.It’s like these Methadone clinics they’ll sell you their poison but if you buy it on the streets it’s illegal.Why do they allow folks to kill themselves with methadone but your not allowed to enjoy the most harmless drug in the world.I hope to see Marijuana as legal as Tomato plants we should have zero restrictions on any of mother nature’s gifts. It’s even getting to where some companies are getting patents on genetically modified seeds. I think it should be illegal to modify anything that comes from nature were destroying nature’s natural balance. Please vote yes on the legalization of Marijuana it will only make things better maybe folks will choose weed instead of booze.

  2. I know what you mean! You’re not the first person to talk about these project SAM types swaying the masses. I’m beginning to think this might be another Regan era backlash, if the third wayers have their way.

  3. I can’t get that picture out of my head… you know, the one with Lucy pulling the football away before Charlie Brown ever gets to kick it?

  4. We got medical. It’s solid. Like 5,000 years solid. Many people need the medical i think. That is the real fight, not recreational. Least not yet.

    Medical is the real battle i see out here. Trying to help our sick. Them first…. Right?

    According by what i hear and read – for some out there it might just be a life or death issue. I wish them well, but my hands are tied.

    We’ve had like 40 years and we’ve done what…. prove who it might just save? Yea, right. For 4,960 years it was medicine, then suddenly it was not? Sorry but I’m having trouble with that one.

    Medical marajuana needs to be proven to work then we need to except it as such. Thats how i see it anyway.

    Thats all i got

  5. The latest headlines are telling me the momentum is up right now. Now is the time for all the good to happen.

    Yea i know it’s a stretch, but i did enjoy reading it. Lol

  6. I’m embarrassed for having believed the news, and don’t see anything in the memo suggesting the DEA should back off. Right there in paragraph two, “Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime”. It continues four pages of guidance regarding enforcement resources including prosecutions, “regardless of state law”. Was there some other announcement, other than the memo, or did the news break come from the same guy that gave news stations the names of the Korean Air pilots that crashed at SFO?

  7. The REAL THREAT isnt the FEDS raiding state legal Marijuana stores and growers! Im NOT worried about that. At least NOT NEARLY as MUCH as these new kinder gentler drug warriors CHANGING PUBLIC OPINION AGAINST US!

    We cannot lose support of the general public. The general public meaning the people who dont smoke pot, dont like pot, or dont care about pot. If those people start turning against us, its all over. Were gonna end up in the same place we were in the late 80s if things go unchecked.

  8. I’m sorry to hear that. You can only hope Gman is dumb enough to be physically located within the United States. If he is, he’ll be prosecuted — easily. Ymail is adminstrated by Yahoo.com. With a warrant, a law enforcement agency can subpoena Yahoo for the data logs associated with the Nfvv account, which would, without a doubt, include the IP address of the computer on which he/she logs into the ymail account. The IP address can be tracked to a physical location through the ISP — in a single afternoon.
    Gman may already be under non-physical surveillance to establish his/her identity. I’m sad to say, if law enforcement ever pins Gman down, you’ll probably never know about it. Take comfort in the knowledge that the tools exist, and that he may have given him/herself away, already. If you like, you can direct IC3 to this scam (the Internet Crime Complaint Center), anonymously.

  9. Battling Cancer on

    I feel like a fool, I am so ashamed to admit I sent Gman $800 bucks nearly 2 months ago and I have received nothing, I am really desperate because of a medical condition or I would not have done something so risky. Do not fall for this ripoff artist or you will be sorry! Gman I hope your karma is cursed forever.

  10. The best prediction of the future is the past. In the past the feds have done one thing and said another. This position does seem in line with the manpower and budget shortfalls with which DOJ is burdened. Certainly if they continue down the old path they will be getting the same thing they have gotten.
    It seems to me that anti-prohibition can now take the moral high ground; either DOJ does what it says it will do or in the full face of public scrutiny it doesn’t. In any case a watchful public should be kept loudly informed.
    This last few days has shown a change in dogma which will come very slowly. I would hope that other states will be made brave by this pronouncement. If the alcohol model is correct, we will see a patchwork of state regulation as we still see with ETOH. My theory is that there is much money on the table and as that money shifts from the illicit to the legal there will be increased lobbying for a legislative response. Once that money talks there will be sustainable change.
    As a side note: I now see that my local rep, who “spun” my request to her that she side with the people of this state on Marijuana legalization now takes credit for putting her signature on a letter asking the feds to back off. As far as putting her name to legislation to that effect as, I say, she “spun”; it was no concern of hers. However this does however show that public opinion is beginning to lap up the legs of legislators. Asking for bravery from such folks seems fairly absurd. However; one day, their constituency will have run ahead of them and being our leaders they will sign letters to demonstrate their courage and currency.
    DOJ’s position is good news; they have begun to blink. The several states need to treaty with DOJ in order to provide it’s lawful citizens some measure of protection. I have personally seen the whimsy that propels some drug prosecutions forward and it doesn’t take much to cause a ill conceived case to be charged. Such matters often turn on the judgment of one person who may have it wrong. Unless we have a passel of ink on these pronouncements no one is safe.
    So; Mr. Washington State Attorney General; you have made talk about defending 502 in court; what are you willing to do to protect your citizens? Since we can’t have legislation just this minute make the Federal government commit to it’s position by treaty so they can’t do whatever they want and at least have to show their work when storm the corner store.

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