Legalize LIBERTY. Vote CHOICE. Be SECULAR. Stop OPPRESSION.
“The significance of these events cannot be understated,” said NORML, a pro-legalization organization, in a news release. “Tonight, for the first time in history, two states have legalized and regulated the adult use and sale of cannabis.” (read more)
The approval of ballot initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington state and Colorado on Tuesday could set the stage for a significant legal battle with the Justice Department, one that may bring fresh scrutiny to federal drug policy.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department said it was reviewing the initiatives but would not comment further on how it would respond to the first attempt by any state to legalize marijuana for reasons other than medicinal purposes. A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency said that its “enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.” (read more)
In Massachusetts, voters also approved an initiative allowing people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, NBC News projected. (read more)
The use, sale and possession of cannabis (marijuana) in the United States is illegal under federal law. However, some states have created exemptions for medical cannabis use, as well as decriminalized non-medical cannabis use. In two states, Colorado and Washington, the sale and possession of marijuana is legal for both medical and non-medical use. this law however is up in the air for the time being as the states have one year to write laws on distribution and regulation of marijuana.
President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have maintained that the current administration will not raid medical marijuana dispensaries that cooperate with state and local laws, although the President is not in favor of full legalization on a national level. In July 2009, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, further clarified the federal government’s position when he stated that “marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit” and that “legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary, and it’s not in mine.” However, a January 2010 settlement between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) provides an example confirming the administration policy as communicated by Attorney General Holder, as WAMM reached an agreement to re-open after being shut down by the federal government in 2002.
Despite statements as a Senator, where he called for marijuana decriminalization, promises as a presidential candidate where he stated that marijuana laws needed to be reconsidered and explicit statements as president that he would respect state medical marijuana laws, Barack Obama has presided over 1.7 million marijuana arrests and a nationwide campaign of raiding medical marijuana dispensaries. Dozens of dispensaries have been closed with their owners and workers facing jail and prison sentences.
In October 2011, Gallup poll showed 50 percent support for legalizing marijuana and 46 percent said marijuana should remain illegal. The highest support for legalization came from liberals and adults under age 30, with more than 60 percent and the lowest support came from Americans over age 65 with 31 percent.
On November 6, 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures that legalize non-medical use of cannabis– the first states in the nation to do so. (read more)
– Gameness til the End