Feds no longer busting sick people for medical marijuana use


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I admit to cautious optimism.

    I would note that not pursuing individuals who buy or sell small amounts of the drug in conformity with their own states’ medical marijuana laws has a *TON* of wiggle room.Report

  2. It’s my belief that this is a really great example of states being allowed to function as ‘laboratories of our Democracy’. California is the guinea pig and it looks like they are doing a pretty good job of dealing with the transition to what will probably be a Netherlands-style legalization at some point. I can only hope other states are willing to follow their lead.Report

  3. Avatar Ian M. says:

    The simplest thing to defuse the pursuit of marijuana dispensaries would be to reschedule marijuana down to Schedule 3 in the Controlled Substances Act (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/csa/812.htm#c). Because to be a Schedule I drug, it must have no accepted medical use – which facts on the ground contradict. A marijuana seizure is just as good as a heroin or methamphetamine seizure on paper for law enforcement officials. Taking away the bureaucratic reward for a Schedule I drug bust would refocus law enforcement officials on pursuing what most would agree are more dangerous drugs – heroine, cocaine, and methamphetamine.Report

  4. Avatar Elizabeth says:

    Though I agree with the decision, Obama is choosing to ignore the law. When gay rights activists push for action on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (like calling on Obama to issue a stop order), we’re told he must obey the law whether he likes it or not, and to do otherwise would make him like Bush. This just shows that he can and does ignore bad law at his discretion, and if he cared to, he could stop firing gay soldiers, just like he chose to stop arresting sick people.Report

    • Avatar Andy Smith in reply to Elizabeth says:

      Though I share your opinion on Obama’s gay policies, I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. This is not Obama vs. federal law. It’s Obama + states laws vs. federal law. And as the link posted above indicates, even here he’s still allowing federal prosecutors leeway to pursue MJ possession, if they want.Report

    • Avatar Ryan in reply to Elizabeth says:

      We have this belief that the federal courts are the last and only place where constitutional interpretation can take place. Obama has here decreed (more or less) that federal marijuana laws are superseded by state laws. He hasn’t fallen back on an explicitly constitutional argument, but in the end that’s what it amounts to.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    Any sanity is good sanity, even in trace amounts.Report