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Author: Subject: Legalized Marijuana? We May Already Be on the Way

Zen Peach





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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 06:02 AM
New Obama Administration Policy 'Probably' Part of Process, Columnist Says

By KRISTINA WONG

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2009—

With the Obama administration's decision not to prosecute medicinal marijuana dealers and users, even though they violate federal law, the country is "probably in the process now of legalizing marijuana," conservative columnist George F. Will said today.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Will compared what has been happening with marijuana with the gradual changes in laws regarding alcohol, gambling and even prostitution.

"We have legalized gambling in this country over two generations. It used to be considered a sin and a crime. With no national debate, and no decision moment, we just did it," Will said. "We legalized prostitution as anyone who opens a telephone book and looks under 'escort' can tell you. And we may be doing, probably in the process now of legalizing marijuana."

It is not just the new Obama administration policy on marijuana, but the expanding definitions of medical applications for the drug in the growing number of states that allow pot to be grown, sold and used as a treatment for various conditions.

"Now medical use can be marijuana to cure anxiety, to cure insomnia, all the rest," Will said.

The new policy -- a striking shift from the hard line taken by the Bush administration -- sparked a wide-ranging discussion today on "This Week."

"Woody Harrelson is really happy about it," joked Fox News contributor and radio show host Laura Ingraham, who appeared on "This Week" as a guest commentator. She called it the "Cheech and Chong initiative" of all the Obama adminstration's initiatives.

Last week the Obama administration announced it would not seek to federally prosecute individuals who use or dispensaries that provide medicinal marijuana, as long as they complied with state law.

Instead, a Justice Department memo said state prosecutors should pursue "significant traffickers" of illegal drugs, including marijuana.

"We will not use our limited resources in the fight against the marijuana trade against those people who are using it consistent with state law and to fight serious illnesses, such as cancer or other diseases," Attorney General Eric Holder said last week.

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration's, which called for enforcing federal anti-marijuana laws, regardless of state laws.

Using and providing medicinal marijuana is legal in 14 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Marijuana Is a 'Mixed Bag' for Many

But John Podesta, who was White House chief of staff for President Clinton and is the president and CEO of the progressive think tank Center for American Progress, said the attorney general is looking at a broader picture.

"I think that what Eric Holder did was to say look, we have scarce resources. We're not going to go after people with glaucoma or cancer or whatever on medical marijuana. They're still going with a vengeance really against the Mexican drug cartels. So I think there's -- this is kind of a mixed bag," said Podesta, who also served on President Obama's transition team.

"The United States has the highest prison population of any country in the world, and I think that largely has been the result of mandatory prison sentences as a result of junk laws, and I think that these changes that we're seeing now probably will ripple back," he continued. "And I think that's a place that people really have to consider whether they want to incarcerate this large number of people and the cost of that in our society."

Al Hunt, Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Bloomberg News, agreed that resources could be better spent elsewhere.

"Well, now that I no longer have a teenager, I have a little bit different view, a bit more permissive," he said. "I don't think it's a great utilization of scarce federal resources to be prosecuting pot.

"I am not sure if it's going to lead to what George suggests [eventual legalization]. I'm not sure that would be a bad idea," he said. "But I was at the University of Mississippi a couple of years ago and it's interesting, they grow marijuana on the campus. So, times are a-changing."

Taxing Pot to Pay for Health Care?

However, there was one circumstance under which Podesta thought "full legalization" could occur.

"I think we won't see a full legalization of marijuana until somebody figures out that if you tax it, maybe you can pay for health care," he said.

Will also said taxing marijuana could be a way to go after Mexican drug cartels.

"Eighty percent of the revenue of the Mexican cartels is marijuana. If you really want to go after the Mexican cartels, and I'm not saying that is the only criterion for public policy, you'd legalize marijuana," he said.

Public Sympathy on the Side of Medicinal Marijuana

Legalizing marijuana remains controversial, but the public is less divided on medicinal marijuana. A March 2001 Pew Research Center poll showed that nearly 75 percent of those polled were in favor of allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes to treat their patients.

"I think all of us have either gone through cancer or family members, and it's a terribly painful disease. I think you have a lot of sympathy. There's a lot of public sympathy for medical marijuana use," Ingraham said.

Cynthia Tucker, political columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, called for a broader view of the administration's policy change.

"I really think instead of just acting in a small way to say, marijuana isn't such a bad thing, let's relook at all of our drug laws, the way we fight the so-called war on drugs, because it isn't working," she said.

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/legalized-marijuana/story?id=8912772


 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 09:44 AM

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 01:51 PM
finally, something I can agree with.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:01 PM
Here's what I posted in the other "weed thread":

quote:
I had an interesting conversation with my "supplier" yesterday. He's just put this year's outdoor harvest on the market, and I wanted to make sure and get some before it was all gone. We were talking about the efforts to legalize marijuana, and it seems he's against legalization. My first thought was that he's afraid he'll lose his profit margin, but that isn't it. Apparently others feel the same way he does. They think it should remain illegal at the federal level, but should be "decriminalized." That way all the small growers can keep doing what they do, but it will keep the big tobacco companies and other corporate interests out of the game. They believe that if it is completely legalized, big tobacco companies and others will swoop in and corner the market, buying up and putting out of business all their competitors, and the same fat cat corporate interests that exploit everything else in this country will soon be doing the same thing with marijuana.

I haven't really thought of it like that, and maybe he is on to something. The way it is now, I fully expect one of the states to drop the prohibition of marijuana use from their law books, and start a domino effect. At least for the next three years, they don't have to worry about federal opposition. But maybe keeping it technically illegal at the federal level is the best thing.

 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:02 PM
Finally making some sense-a-millia.....................
 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:06 PM
quote:
Here's what I posted in the other "weed thread":

quote:
I had an interesting conversation with my "supplier" yesterday. He's just put this year's outdoor harvest on the market, and I wanted to make sure and get some before it was all gone. We were talking about the efforts to legalize marijuana, and it seems he's against legalization. My first thought was that he's afraid he'll lose his profit margin, but that isn't it. Apparently others feel the same way he does. They think it should remain illegal at the federal level, but should be "decriminalized." That way all the small growers can keep doing what they do, but it will keep the big tobacco companies and other corporate interests out of the game. They believe that if it is completely legalized, big tobacco companies and others will swoop in and corner the market, buying up and putting out of business all their competitors, and the same fat cat corporate interests that exploit everything else in this country will soon be doing the same thing with marijuana.

I haven't really thought of it like that, and maybe he is on to something. The way it is now, I fully expect one of the states to drop the prohibition of marijuana use from their law books, and start a domino effect. At least for the next three years, they don't have to worry about federal opposition. But maybe keeping it technically illegal at the federal level is the best thing.




Maybe the big tobacco companies will be looking for some sub growers to supply them. They don't grow all the tobacco they use. We have always clowned around saying that the big tobacco companies are sitting on GO!!

[Edited on 10/27/2009 by rottinpeach]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:07 PM
I'm sure if it gets de-criminalized, the big cos will find a way to import it then
and still find ways to profit

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:13 PM
yes, but would it bring the price down?

 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:14 PM
States are going broke. If there are taxes to be had in it, they are going to have to capitalize on it. The downturn in the economy has opened the door to legalizing pot.

The corporate fat cats will get a hold of it. If there is money to be made, they will surely find a way to get in on it. I could see it being sold in "cafe's" and liquor stores. They will probably allow you to grow 3 plants without getting busted. it might not go down exactly like that, but it will be something that allows them to collect the tax on it. Your local supplier will be cut out because he doesn't pay taxes on his sales.

 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:21 PM
quote:
yes, but would it bring the price down?




Hopefully, but unfortunately the tax on it would shoot the price right back up there. The amount of tax on alcohol and cigarettes have gone through the roof, so you can expect a tax on reefer to be right there with them or much more.


 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:24 PM
Damn, didn't think about the taxes..............Homegrown it is.........

 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:28 PM
quote:
Damn, didn't think about the taxes..............Homegrown it is.........





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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 02:52 PM
I could brew my own beer, but I don't. I am sure some would grow their own, but if you could just go down to the liquor store and have 10 different grades to choose from, I couldn't see too many growing their own.

 

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  posted on 10/27/2009 at 03:34 PM
quote:
I could brew my own beer, but I don't. I am sure some would grow their own, but if you could just go down to the liquor store and have 10 different grades to choose from, I couldn't see too many growing their own.





Very true.


Lets see here

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 09:26 AM
As Santa suggested in another thread, and I wholeheartedly agree with, just require home growers to purchase a license or permit annually. Maybe a couple hundred bucks which allows you to grow a maximum number of plants. Perhaps a couple dozen, maybe more. The states split the revenue with county governments the way most do right now with sales tax. Meanwhile you're allowed possession of small amounts if aged 18 or older (similar to tobacco) and are hammered if caught driving under the influence. Strongly enforce these provisions and nearly everyone is happy. Except of course, big Pharmaceuticals.
 

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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 09:29 AM
I wonder what type of message the Surgeon General would put on a pack of marijuana cigarettes?

 

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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 10:21 AM
quote:
I wonder what type of message the Surgeon General would put on a pack of marijuana cigarettes?


"Smoking Marijuana may cause you to listen to Mtn Jam 3 times in a row followed by Dark Star -> St Steven -> the Eleven ....If this should happen for 4 or more days please buy a VW bus and follow the local jam band around"

[Edited on 10/28/2009 by goldtop]

 

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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 12:44 PM
quote:
quote:
I wonder what type of message the Surgeon General would put on a pack of marijuana cigarettes?


"Smoking Marijuana may cause you to listen to Mtn Jam 3 times in a row followed by Dark Star -> St Steven -> the Eleven ....If this should happen for 4 or more days please buy a VW bus and follow the local jam band around"

[Edited on 10/28/2009 by goldtop]


That's a pretty good start.....

 

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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 02:07 PM
So there's a silver lining to getting glaucoma in my eyes this year?

 

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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 02:08 PM
Legalized Marijuana? We May Already Be on the Way

Welcome to California

 

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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 02:28 PM
quote:
Legalized Marijuana? We May Already Be on the Way

Welcome to California


woo hoo......!!!!!!

San Francisco has 80 clubs....That's almost 2 per square mile the city's only 49 square miles

I don't have a vw bus but I do have a van so I think I'm covered....Mtn Jammin...It's all the Mtn Jam

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/28/2009 at 02:45 PM


Just thought those of you not in California might like to see what's goih' on here. These are two labels from the 35 mm film like canisters the "Medicinal" pot comes in. These two strains are among the over 20 available at some of the dispensaries.

Show your card, walk in, pick your poison, pay and go home and attend to your pain....

 

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  posted on 10/29/2009 at 08:32 AM
I'm not familiar with either strain. Can anyone elaborate and their specific effects? I'm curious from a medicinal point of view.....Thanks,
 

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  posted on 10/29/2009 at 10:08 AM
Thanks for the info.....
 

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  posted on 10/29/2009 at 10:50 AM
So you can purchase it in CA. Where can you smoke it legally???

[Edited on 10/29/2009 by rottinpeach]

 
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