The Obama administration said Thursday it wouldn’t challenge state laws in Colorado and Washington that allow recreational marijuana use, in the latest victory for the movement to decriminalize the drug. The decision clears the way for the states to move ahead in implementing their laws and limits the vulnerability of marijuana dealers there to federal prosecution, so long as they comply with state regulations. [Wall Street Journal]
IT IS about time and a huge nod towards ending the prohibition that spawned the counterproductive and failed “war on drugs.” This decision coincides with the recent move to end unfair drug sentences and change mandatory minimums on non-violent arrests on drugs, which is just one reason for the overcrowded prison system.
From the earlier August decision by the DOJ to end unfair drug sentences:
Under a policy memorandum being sent to all United States attorney offices on Monday, according to an administration official, prosecutors will be told that they may not write the specific quantity of drugs when drafting indictments for drug defendants who meet the following four criteria: their conduct did not involve violence, the use of a weapon or sales to minors; they are not leaders of a criminal organization; they have no significant ties to large-scale gangs or cartels; and they have no significant criminal history.
Wall Street Journal reports on Attorney General Holder’s memo to prosecutors, which stated the new policy, as well as the major focus of the DOJ, which begins with keeping drugs away from minors. Read the memo here.
In a memo to federal prosecutors Thursday, the Justice Department stressed a point Mr. Holder has made in previous years””that authorities should focus enforcement on major criminal activity, such as the use of marijuana sales as a cover for drug trafficking. The department has previously said it generally doesn’t focus on people who possess small amounts of pot for personal use.
The memo noted a large-scale marijuana business shouldn’t be viewed as a target for prosecution just because of its size, provided it is “demonstrably in compliance” with state laws.
Adults want their vices, which for many include choosing weed over alcohol. It makes no sense that adults can’t enjoy week in the privacy of their own home.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, said the move “sends the wrong message to both law enforcement and violators of federal law — blah, blah, blah… yada, yada, yada…”
If Democrats were smart, they’d launch a 2014 weed referendum that would bring out millennials and other adults who want to legally imbibe weed at our own discretion. Democrats would end up with another coalition that could keep Congress blue.