Will Barack Kill The Buzz Of Colorado and Washington Voters?
This morning’s New York Times reports that the celebration over marijuana legalization in the states of Washington and Colorado may be premature. Senior White House and Justice Department officials have been planning a backlash against ganja legalization. Options include federal lawsuits against the states, cutting off federal grants, raids on marijuana dispensaries and possible prosecution of low-level dealers and users, similar to the ones sometimes seen in states where medical use of marijuana has been legalized. The Justice Department hinted at its intentions by issuing a statement this Wednesday—one day before marijuana became legal in Washington state—signed by the United States attorney in Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan, who warned that the herb was still illegal. “In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance,” she stated. “Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6 in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.” More Details After The Jump…
Ms. Durkan’s statement also hinted at the deliberations behind closed doors, saying: “The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.” Ganja lovers are not the only ones experiencing a buzz kill right now—this is a bummer for the president too. “It’s a sticky wicket for Obama,” University of Texas political science professor Bruce Buchanan told the Times, saying Obama wants to avoid “a slap in the face to his base right after they’ve just handed him a chance to realize his presidential dreams.” Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department issued a policy for handling states that have legalized medical marijuana. It says federal officials should generally not use their limited resources to go after small-time users, but should for large-scale trafficking organizations. Can Obama afford to alienate his staunch supporters in the Rastafarian community?
No word yet whether Cocoa Tea will be withdrawing his endorsement!
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