No, but it would help


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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106 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m hoping this is the first step towards legalization at the federal level, but I’m pessimistic. I think they want to keep this out of the Supreme Court as long as possible.

    Now that I think of it though, isn’t Obama scheduled to get two more picks while he is in office?Report

  2. Glyph says:

    I hope you are right JB. When I think of the colossal waste the WOD has been, I get upset. I have wanted to write something on it, but I probably wouldn’t be able to say anything that hasn’t been said better before.

    I can’t think of a single angle on which prohibition has been justifiable – not constitutionally on its face (and it has caused secondary damage to our other rights there too), not philosophically, not financially (the money, my gosh), not pragmatically (maybe I could forgive some of the preceding if, you know, we had fewer addicts or deaths, or drugs were harder to get, or weaker, or freaking anything – just one success measure, for God’s sake – yet we generally hold basically steady or, counterproductively, worsen, on every metric).

    Just complete nonsense; and worse than nonsense, for the collateral damage and death and corruption at home and abroad in Mexico/S. Am. and FoPo screwups like Afghanistan and GAH! How did this happen and why is it taking so long to show any signs of sanity?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Glyph says:

      Any explanation I have seems insufficient. Maybe a Puritan Ethic that says “if you want to feel good, wash the dishes” would argue that people shouldn’t have the option of using a substance that can make them feel good with no effort whatsoever… but that leads me back to the thing I find myself yelling more and more and more: “are there limits to your jurisdiction?”Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        RE: jurisdiction

        Keep your laws out of my bloodstream!

        I mean, seriously – how did we allow the govt to not only bypass my home/castle, but get straight into my goddam skull?


        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Glyph says:

          Mr. Glyph: Pot be legal but Big Gulps ain’t? Perspective, please, first things first. ¡Libertad!Report

          • Glyph in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            The time line went the other way – first, they came for the pot, and I said nothing, because I was paranoid.

            Then they came for my Big Gulp, and I said nothing, because I had cottonmouth something fierce and my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth.

            Then they came for me…and I am freakin’ OUT here, man.Report

          • Will H. in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            I believe the appropriate parallel would be in regulating the size of allowable bong hit.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            The odd thing about the Manhattan soda law (which oh so conveniently exempts Starbucks drinks because of the negligible amount of milk in them… not because of the race or class of folks who tend to drink them) is that I don’t really know anyone that supports it, liberal or conservative. I’m sure there are folks who do, and perhaps they skew liberal, but it seems a poor example of liberal silliness given that most liberals (or at least the ones I know) share in its denouncement.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Glyph says:

          This is why, despite being pro-life, I have very little respect for Roe vs. Wade. So, medical privacy allows people to do whatever they want to their body, eh? Okay, I wouldn’t have called that ‘medical privacy’, but I can get behind that as a principle in a free society…a person’s body is completely under their own control and any alterations they wish are allowed. In fact, I like that principle!

          Oh, wait, it only applies to abortion (and contraceptives) for some completely nonsensical reason.

          In fact, when you look at contraceptives, it’s even goofier: There is a _constitutional right_ to put certain chemicals in your body to temporarily alter your body chemistry and reduce your fertility, but it is _illegal_ to put certain other chemicals in your body to temporarily alter your body chemistry and make you feel better? What?

          Now, yes, a right to abortion and contraceptives is somewhat more _important_ than a right to recreational drugs, but I’m having trouble seeing how it is more ‘medical privacyish’. It’s like having a constitutional right to free speech allowing you to wear a ‘Fuck the government’ shirt but it being illegal to wear a Brewer’s shirt. Huh?Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        JB, I agree with that. It’s a Puritan Ethic. I mean, the only down side of people smoking pot is that they won’t want to, like, trim the hedges or something, which lowers the property values and looks all messy. And that’s just a Bad Thing.

        Isn’t that so obvious it doesn’t require argument?Report

        • George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

          There are a few potential downsides, such as European studies with huge sample sizes linking it to schizophrenia in people who carry a high number of risk factors. One of my old housemates had quite a few of those risk factors (suicide in the family, etc) and one not she got so high she had auditory hallucinations. Coke was probably safer, but occassionally she’d over do that, too.

          A male model was hanging out with us on the patio one evening and related a story from his last stint in rehab for heroin. There was a guy in his forties in there with him, and he asked the guy what he was in rehab for. The guy said “Weed.” “Weed?!” “Yeah, back in my early twenties I was sitting in front of my aquarium, watching the fish, getting high. The next thing I remember, I was still sitting there, watching the fish, so I came here.” ^_^

          That guy later struck it big in the modeling industry, moved to New York City, and predictably died of a heroin overdose.

          I had one housemate that stayed high so much that he couldn’t remember to water his clones. He was engaged to the same girl the male model used to date, and after they’d broke up one of her friends urged her to call in another physics student (and Iraq war vet) that she claimed had killed a couple people as a hitman. The housemate had an intense confrontation with the dude, but they finally chilled out and probably started talking about leptons and quantum effects. They would’ve been in senior physics classes together this semester, but the dude is now sitting in jail for mutliple homicide, torture, dismemberment, and other charges. As it turns out, he really was a hitman, working for a local coke dealer. My housemate says his physics teachers are still kind of freaked out by it. Why couldn’t the guy design WMD’s or laser weapons like a normal physics student?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

            “Yeah, back in my early twenties I was sitting in front of my aquarium, watching the fish, getting high. The next thing I remember, I was still sitting there, watching the fish, so I came here.”

            To be honest, I do think that this is the strongest argument for keeping it illegal.

            I don’t think it’s strong *ENOUGH*, mind… but it is a damn good argument.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

              and the counter-argument is that I’ve seen plenty of people ruin their lives with Alcohol too, but we’ve already acknowledged that the Prohibition cure is worse than the disease in that case.Report

            • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

              I used to buy this argument too – maybe Americans didn’t need anything else to make us apathetic and lazy – but again, this is just a variant of Puritan work ethic – don’t sit there watching the fish tank, when there are dishes to be washed and “clones to be watered” (?! George, I’m not saying your comment sounds like you and Kim have been smoking together, but I am not NOT saying it either).

              But I frankly don’t see how we draw the line between the stoner contemplating his fish tank, and the sports fan contemplating his ball game, and the meditator contemplating his lotus (and the commenter contemplating his comment).

              They possibly all might look like a waste of time to me, but who am I to say?Report

              • zic in reply to Glyph says:

                I approve this comment.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Glyph says:

                One of our former county sheriffs main argument for legalizing marijuana is: “Every day, my deputies and I were called to handle the situation of a man who got drunk then went home and beat his wife or his kids. That just doesn’t happen with pot.”Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I decided in favor of pot legalization (other recreational drugs need to be considered seperately, although I’m generally of the mind ecstacy is probably another one to consider legalizing) because I sat down and realized that of cigs, booze, and pot — the case for criminalizing pot was the weakest.

                Danger, health risks, risks to others, addictive properties — I couldn’t come up with a single reason to ban pot that didn’t apply more so to booze or smokes, and generally more.

                I suspect most states and counties would be pretty happy just taxing pot, rather than fining or jailing (and paying for the stay) of people caught with it. More revenue, less hassle.Report

              • ktward in reply to Morat20 says:

                I suspect most states and counties would be pretty happy just taxing pot, rather than fining or jailing (and paying for the stay) of people caught with it. More revenue, less hassle.

                That sure seems like it makes sense. But the private prison industry is lobbying hard to keep pot illegal, as well as fighting many efforts to equalize the unjustly lopsided penalties for possession of crack vs. powder. Need perps to fill the cells of existing prisons and build more prisons: more prisoners + more prisons = more profit.

                Interestingly enough, Gary Johnson gets a lot of love around here for his position (among others) on decriminalizing drugs, but in what seems like a glaring contradiction to reality on the ground, he’s also a big proponent of private prisons.Report

              • scott the mediocre in reply to ktward says:

                I didn’t vote for Johnson (I did consider it, primarily as a protest against The War on Some Brown Skinned People, as opposed to Mitt’s War on Any Brown Skinned Person Who Either Looks at Me Funny or Whom Bibi Doesn’t Like, but then decided no). And I think private prisons are a 100% awful idea.


                1) Johnson is pretty consistently libertarian about wanting to privatize anything that reasonably can be (as governor he was pragmatic; unfortunately the private prison thing had/has enough of a lobbying base). I dont think he has a particular zest for prisons versus, say, hospitals. I very much encourage correction on that.

                2) He does seem to be consistently in favor of policies that lead to fewer people in prison at all (e.g. WOD and its collateral damage). So I think a Rawlsian could still say he’s overall better than Obama on the mean maximin negative utility :).Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Glyph says:

                Yes. Almost all hobbies look like wastes of time from the outside to other people. And a boatload of them are more dangerous than drugs.

                Drugs sometimes cause a physical dependency, but so what? Skiing sometimes cause broken legs. A lot of hobbies, like computer games, TV watching, etc, sometimes cause people to not get enough exercise. Sports sometimes cause fights and riots. D&D sometimes causes players to think the game is real and go on murderous rampages for ‘experience’…wait, that one is made up, nevermind.

                It is legal for people to put specialized pieces of cloth in their backpack, hire an airplane, and then _jump out of that airplane_ and use the cloth to maybe land safely. This is entirely _legal_. People _sell_ other people this service, and the government is completely aware of this.

                Compared to all that, someone who needs a specific amount of heroin each day to function is _nothing_.

                And frankly, within a _functioning_ treatment system, it’s a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to detox someone vs. fixing a broken leg or a heart attack caused by not enough exercise. (We do not have a functioning treatment system.)Report

              • George Turner in reply to Glyph says:

                Another of my housemates got an ounce of weed for his birthday – from the police! They needed to make an ounce disappear with no paperwork or else charge a disabled vet in a wheelchair with possession.Report

              • Glyph in reply to George Turner says:

                Awright, now I seriously think you and Kim are hanging out.Report

              • Wardsmith in reply to Glyph says:

                Who else wants to watch the reality tv show set in George’s house?Report

              • Kim in reply to George Turner says:

                Seriously, the fact that you heard about this implies that it isn’t true.Report

              • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

                It’s true. I also know the cop. Sometimes he’s taken my parking space in the back. ^_^

                A reality show at my house would include some strange characters. One time I popped out the back to sea dead Canadian geese laid out for butchering by the son of a federal judge. Another time I popped out back and the yard was full of people laying in the grass, tripping on shrooms. One of my aforementioned housemates swung by not long ago with a huge jar filled with bud and an MP-5 clone modified to violate pretty much every law on the books. I said, “Dude, if a cop pulls you over he’s going to wet himself, because you are his dream bust.”

                Once I went outside and the cute blonde housemate came staggering out, scratched up, bruised, and bloody, and needing a ride. She’d been in a car wreck, and it turns out her wounds weren’t from the wreck, they were from falling down on the sidewalk hours before she rammed her Subaru into a telelphone pole smack in front of the University’s Islamic center. She’d spent the night in jail, where her drunk, pilled up, belligerent attitude was not appreciated.

                The landlord, the 50-something son of a very wealthy pediatrician, used to sit out back with me, where he’d smoke crack. He was on a small living allowance after the lawyers figured out that he’d snorted about $100,000 worth of coke up his nose. A friend of a housemate once tried to act cool in front of a bunch of his college friends by telling the landlord “I’d be down with smokin’ some crack wit you.” The landlord looked at him like he was crazy, and then said, “Have you ever been f**ked in the a** – by a MAN?” All the kids’ eyes got as big as saucers.

                The landlord always bragged that although he’d been charged with rape and sodomy many times, he’d never been convicted. He’s also been in rehab all over the US. The last time he got pulled over, driving a Lexus, the cop ran his plates and pulled up a rap sheet that’s probably two miles long (eight DUI’s at last count), extending back to the 1960’s. He came back to the landlord’s car and just said, “I’d write you up, but you never learn,” and just let him drive on! His family is very rich. Now he’s living in the house that’s on the home-page of the Kentucky Historical Society.

                And those aren’t even the freakiest people who’ve lived here. There was the hair-dresser with a severe oxycontin and methadone habit who had clinical narcissistic personality disorder, which she probably got from having her high-powered lawyer father dote on her since she was little. Her hard-drinking, occassionally pill-popping boyfriend, an English literature senior, was plotting to fake his own death to get away from her, and now he’s an ordained minister, of all things. When she lived here it was a big gay party most of the time, and her boss violently evicted his live-in boyfriend when he came home early and found him engaged in unnatural acts with his rottweiler.

                One year we had UK’s star running back living here, which pretty much included all his black friends and lots of white college chicks. Although he hadn’t read a book since second grade (or so he claimed), he was probably the most normal one.Report

  3. Tom Van Dyke says:

    W/all due respect and for the record, JB, Mitt Romney was not “slapped down.” The other fellow got more votes, and aside from Bill Clinton hisself, I can’t imagine who might have done better than Mitt did.

    As for the pot thing, on federalism grounds I agree. I actually endorse the “medical marijuana” charade we have here in California, which the Obama admin feds mysteriously started busting up before the election. The pot’s expensive and needs a corrupt doctor’s prescription. My adult friends have the scrips and can afford the bud. It’s sort of like Prohibition although you can get some 1000-yr-old scotch if you set your mind and your money to it.

    The non-legal alternative is dirtweed, which couldn’t get a fly high.

    I prefer our hypocrisies to be hidden in plain sight, practical and effective. For the record.Report

  4. MikeSchilling says:

    I’m puzzled. We passed the same ballot initiative, except that ours is specifically to help cancer patients, and it didn’t even slow the fishing feds down. Why would yours be any more powerful?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to MikeSchilling says:

      We have fewer of your gun laws.

      But seriously, I think that our local and/or state government(s) is/are less interested in providing material support to the Feds than yours.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Jaybird says:

        This pretty much sums it up. CA really wants to be FED light, especially with a Dem administration. Brown will not be overshadowed by Bloomberg.

        Although, part of me thinks it is because we want to have something to show we aren’t the man “oh yeah, I’m breaking the law!”Report

    • Jaybird in reply to MikeSchilling says:

      Schilling, I’ve thunk about this some more and there is another explanation that makes sense to me:

      California is cracking down on MMJ because, so the argument goes, corrupt doctors are giving prescriptions to people who are faking something like nervousness or insomnia and instead of taking it For Reals, they’re just smoking it because they want to relax and take a nap! WHAT THE HELL!!!

      So the Feds go in because there are people who are *NOT* cancer patients who are smoking the doobage.

      In Colorado, it’s just legal. People can smoke it for reasons up to and including “I enjoy sensations of euphoria.”Report

      • MikeSchilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Maybe, but the Feds have been coming in long before the current crackdowns, and have arrested people like the guy who ran medical pot for the city of Oakland. I think you’re assuming local complicity that doesn’t exist.Report

  5. North says:

    Personally I hope they try and ignore it.Report

  6. Miss Mary says:

    Oregon voted on the same, but we came out no :(. I’ve never tried pot, but the writing on the wall.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Miss Mary says:

      Yes, that kind of surprised me (I expected Colorado to go ‘no’ and Oregon to go ‘yes’).

      Part of me wants to daydream about the message that would have been sent if all three did… alas.

      My quick googling tells me that Oregon’s measure was written poorly (then again, why wouldn’t they say that) and that they’re likely to try again. I hope they do… but I hope even more that they have reason to try.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        That was surprising to me too, and makes me think there was some weird wording in the bill, or really poor adverts in favor of the bill (or really effective negative adverts against the bill) that confused people. For CO to get so high for the measure relative to OR requires an explanation. In my experience.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

          Ah, crap. That means I have to do actual research.

          Okay. I looked up the Colorado Amendment itself and thought that it would be about as long as one of the Amendments we know and love in the Bill of Rights. No such luck. It’s a long sonova. Here’s a url to the main text, watch out, I don’t know if the url itself makes it not work safe: Amendment 64.

          Oregon’s Measure 80 (aka the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, aka Initiative-9) can be read here.

          Off of the top of my head, I don’t see any glaring flags… I mean, other than “marijuana”. Maybe one of the lawyer types can help?Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

            Just a general remark — here in Colorado we cheerfully stick things that ought to be statute, that have to be as wordy as statute in order to be workable, into the state constitution. It’s no harder to get a proposed amendment on the ballot than to get a proposed statutory change, and the legislature can’t mess with an amendment after the fact. One of the other amendments we passed this time updated some of the civil service hiring procedures. Why did it have to be on the ballot? Because the details of the state’s civil service procedures are in the bloody constitution, and what should be a routine legislative matter now requires either a referred or initiative ballot item.Report

            • That system has its faults, as you point out, and others you’re probably aware of (like Amendment 2 from 1992). Still, I find I miss voting on all those initiatives and referenda.

              There’s a certain rough-and-tumble to citizen-initiative democracy that is lacking in places like Illinois, where there are occasionally binding or non-binding resolutions and referenda (but not, to my knowledge, initiatives), but they are few and far between.Report

  7. James Vonder Haar says:

    Maybe my reading of this is completely off-base, but I don’t think there’s a constitutional controversy here at all. State law can do its thing and federal law can do what it wants to. State law enforcement will no longer prosecute marijuana crimes, but the Feds will continue to do so. Where’s the problem?Report

    • Will H. in reply to James Vonder Haar says:

      Sort of the way I see it.
      The issue between federal & state authorities is one of jurisdiction.
      Both have subject matter jurisdiction.
      The state has personal jurisdiction (and many other states may as well through long-arm statutes).
      In order for the federal authorities to assert personal jurisdiction, it has to:
      a) satisfy the threshold dollar amount; or
      b) affect interstate or foreign commerce.

      The big difference in the “interstate or foreign commerce” requirement is that of individuals or businesses.
      Interstate commerce is typically seen as routine for businesses, but was made purposefully difficult to establish for individuals.

      From the Tenth Circuit’s model jury instructions:

      “Commerce” is taken from United States v. Grassie, 237 F.3d 1199,
      1206 n.5 (10th Cir. 2001).
      “Interstate commerce” is discussed at length in Grassie, id. at 1205–
      12, from which the interstate commerce portion of this instruction is
      taken almost verbatim. See id. at 1206 n.5. Grassie follows Jones v.
      United States
      , 529 U.S. 848 (2000), which also discusses interstate commerce
      at length.

      It also has made clear that only a de minimis effect on commerce is required, United States v. Wiseman, 172 F.3d 1196, 1214–15 (10th Cir. 1999), and has
      upheld a trial court’s refusal to instruct that a substantial eect is
      required, United States v. Battle, 289 F.3d 661, 664 (10th Cir. 2002).

      The court seems to have struggled with the language that “commerce
      . . . was actually or potentially . . . affected” and that the government
      can meet its burden by evidence that the defendant’s actions
      caused or “would probably cause” an eect on interstate commerce. In
      United States v. Nguyen, 155 F.3d 1219 (10th Cir. 1998), the court
      observed that use of the words probable and potential “while perhaps
      not the best way to explain to the jury the interstate commerce requirement,
      did not constitute error.” Id. at 1229. In United States v. Wiseman,
      supra, the court upheld an instruction which stated, in pertinent
      part, that the government could meet its burden by evidence that money
      stolen for businesses “could have been used to obtain such foods or services”
      from outside the state, opposed to “would” have been so used. Id.
      at 1215 (emphasis in original). The court, citing Nguyen, held that the
      instruction was not prejudicial because only a potential eect on commerce
      is required. Id. at 1216. The Tenth Circuit continues to approve
      instructions requiring proof of actual, potential, de minimis or even just
      probable eect on commerce. See United States v. Curtis, 344 F.3d 1057,
      1068–69 (10th Cir. 2003).


      • Will H. in reply to Will H. says:

        Some of the copy & paste didn’t come out right.
        But here is the Table of Authorities and notes:

        US v. Grassie: an arson case from New Mexico

        US v. Jones: another arson case from the Seventh

        US v. Wiseman: a series of robberies from New Mexico

        US v. Battle: robbery of a convenience store in Kansas

        US v. Nguyen: robbery with aiding & abetting in murder in a restaurant in Kansas

        US v. Curtis: armed robberies in OklahomaReport

        • Stephen Downing in reply to Will H. says:

          Check out Carol Anne Bond vs. U.S. (June 2011)

          Also, where does it say in the U.S. Constitution that the commerce clause gives Congress the authority to PROHIBIT anything? I recall the operative word is: REGULATE.
          Recall that the states began the end of alcohol prohibition long before it was ended by amendment. That is what is happening in Colorado and Washington.

          Finally, how is it that we had to amend the US Constitution to implement alcohol prohibition and did not when drug prohibition was implemented. Again, see Carol Anne Bond V. U.S.

    • James,

      Those are pretty much my thoughts, too. As I see it, the Colorado amendment changed Colorado law, making something legal that was illegal under the state law. I find it hard to imagine a scenario where the Supreme Court would even be asked to say, “thou shalt make it illegal.”

      Now, I do see a constitutional issue with enforcement. The feds will, probably, try to enforce federal law in Colorado. And it is possible, I suppose, that Colorado law enforcement will cooperate with the feds to help them enforce federal law. I can see enforcement being litigated to the SCOTUS. And if it is, I believe it’ll be Raich all over again, only more so.

      Or if it’s a question of the feds denying law enforcement funds the state, then it might be an issue of to what degree the feds can compel a state to change its laws under the stick / carrot of federal grants. In that case, it’ll be an interesting discussion, perhaps drawing in part on Roberts’s invalidation (or at least severe limiting) of the Medicaid expansion.Report

  8. Mike Schilling says:

    Washington still has only counted about 70% of their ballots. I think they started celebrating early.Report

  9. p mac says:

    Well Jaybird, I dont usually agree with you, but you sure nailed this one.
    The few times I tried pot, it gave me a 3-martini buzz. It certainly didn’t send me into reefer madness.
    It’s just insane to waste taxpayer money on interdiction and genuinely cruel and unusual jail time, when you can flip the equation and turn things into a sin tax cash cow.

    Prohibition didn’t work in the 20s, and it sure doesn’t work now.Report

  10. Damon says:

    I’m all for legalization of ALL currently illegal drugs, not just ganja.

    However, do you really think the Feds are going to cave on this? Look what they did / are doing in Cali. The Feds can still raid a place and seize the assets of the owners. Additionally, the WOD has too many players feeding at the trough to go quietly. What do you expect the gov of Wash State to do when the Feds seize some property and throw some folks into jail that were operating in accordance with state law? How much money does the state get in various funding from the Feds that they can use to pressure the state?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Damon says:

      However, do you really think the Feds are going to cave on this?

      Absolutely not. I actually think that the Supreme Court is going to rule that Colorado cannot legalize weed and the feds are going to go back to enforcing the CSA.

      I do think that something important to the Feds broke Tuesday, though. There’s a “no going back” kinda thing going on because of what happened.Report

      • As I noted in my comment above, I don’t think the Supreme Court will say that. It might endorse policies that effectively nullify Colorado’s legalization of weed, and maybe we’ll even see a “cannabis re-illegalization amendment in 2014,” but the court almost definitely will not order Colorado to make it a state crime.Report

        • The Supremacy Clause will explain how it doesn’t matter what Colorado Voters want to make legal and Wickard will explain how the substance in question is Interstate Commerce. Making the Amendment Moot is all the Feds have to do and doing that is well within their toolset.Report

          • James Hanley in reply to Jaybird says:

            I’m no real true expert here, but I don’t think this is right. This isn’t a case of a state trying to regulate in a way that interferes with the federal government’s right to regulate. This is a state saying “we’re not going to regulate X.” It doesn’t actually conflict–constitutionally–with the federal policy because it’s just leaving any regulating to the feds. I don’t think the Supreme Court is going to force the states to regulate something the feds are already regulating. And I don’t think the feds will ask the Supreme Court to do so.

            The supremacy clause and ICC clause argument here is that the feds can continue to regulate pot in Colorado, regardless of whether CO officials do or not.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

        That’s the importance I see of it, too.
        Clueville to federal government:
        Respectable voters think you’re full of crap.Report

  11. don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly


    Now, if he’d said “an entire box of Corn Pops eaten at one go,” well… that would have been spot on.Report

    • I’d ask what a Corn Pop is, but I’m a little afraid.Report

      • A Corn Pop is a breakfast cereal, made of lightly sweetened “pops” of corn.

        I heard this story about this one guy who got really baked and sat down on his friend’s couch with a box of her Corn Pops from the cabinet, y’know… just a handful to snack on, and then the whole box was, like, empty.

        I was in the library studying at the time, so I have no idea how it happened.Report

        • There is one thing that I worry about with regards to legalization.

          It’s one thing to snack when you have to pay cash for everything and all you have in the house is a box of corn pops.

          I worry about the idea of someone realizing that they are hungry when they have the French place’s number right there on the internet and a five-figure line of credit.Report

          • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

            Personally, I think our economy depends on increased restaurant patronage, Jaybird. Look around you – the internet is decimating bookstores, record stores, big box stores for electronics and clothing.

            About the only physical product the internet can’t (totally) disintermediate is food, since it spoils/gets cold/gets warm if transported too far to get to your table.

            If I were going to open a new physical place of business for people to spend their leisure money, a restaurant looks way better than it used to.Report

          • I worry about the idea of someone realizing that they are hungry when they have the French place’s number right there on the internet and a five-figure line of credit.

            Really? I think that would be awesome. (Well, probably not French. “High-end Chinese”? Now we’re talking.)

            (Or rather, we would be talking if I had any idea what any of this was about. None of it came up when I was studying neuroanatomy in the library that one time.)Report

    • Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      One time this…guy I know…decimated pretty much an entire box of those white cheddar Cheez-Its.

      Clearly, this man was a dangerous criminal who must be stopped at all costs, or none of our Cheez-Its, anywhere, are safe.Report

  12. zic says:

    Eventually, prohibition will end. Soon, I think, too.

    1) War on Drugs costs a lot of money. Money we don’t have.

    2) Sale of drugs has massive potential to earn revenue. Money states need.

    At the end of this all, those two things will settle it.

    But I do have concerns about legalizing pot; there are some people with addiction problems. Same with alcohol, though. My take would be to work toward a 3-T solution: Trade, Tax, and Treat.Report

  13. Katherine says:

    A question which this has raised for me:

    With states now voting in favour of gay marriage rather than against it (and DOMA still in place federally), and with states voting to legalize marajuana and the federal government going against it, could liberals/leftists start tipping towards supporting greater federalism rather than opposing it. In plenty of non-US countries, decentralization is seen as liberal or at least potentially liberal; in the US it’s (understandably) seen as conservative due to the specter of the Old Confederacy.

    If that happened, liberals and libertarians would start having a lot more in common.Report

  14. ktward says:

    Colorado Governor Hickenlooper said “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly” (which, really, is a spectacularly jerky thing to say) but he raises an interesting point

    Spectacularly jerky? Not just regular jerky? Or maybe even a teeny tiny bit funny ‘specially coming from a pol? (Hmm. Somebody seems curiously extra sensitive– or maybe there’s simply a dash of I-hate-Hickenlooper subtext.)

    Anyhoo, nice piece. Sea changes are a slow and usually painful slog, but they do happen. Even if the Feds try to pull rank, which might very well happen, the momentum toward decriminalization is under way. And that momentum is not an exclusive libertarian/liberal thing either, which is encouraging.

    By the by, my son lives in Boulder (CU grad student) and he really didn’t have high hopes for Amendment 64. (No matter the potential shaming, I am not retracting that pun.) He was pleasantly surprised that it passed. And he’s not even a pot-smoker except on 4/20 when every pedestrian who breezes past the quad is a pot smoker whether they like it or not except for this year when CU cracked down hard on the tradition and spread fish oil all over the quad to underscore their seriousness in cracking down.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to ktward says:

      The closest analogy to what Hickenlooper said that I can come up with on the fly is “we’re going to re-legalize the sale of wine, beer, and liquor eventually, just not yet… so please refrain, for the time being, from public urination.”Report

      • ktward in reply to Jaybird says:

        Er … I appreciate the effort, but I don’t get the analogy. When one smokes pot one gets the munchies, and there’s nothing innately shameful about it– no one’s going to incur a fine for scarfing down a jumbo bag of chips. Not so with peeing in public. Alcohol is a diuretic, to be sure, but it doesn’t mean people drinking alcohol automatically take a pee in public. Most folks who are not frat boys use a bathroom.

        It seems obvious to me now that I’m missing some history or context here, otherwise it’s pretty hard to square your strong sentiment toward this one arguably lame attempt at brevity. I can understand that. So no worries, I don’t need an analogy or explanation.Report

    • Katherine in reply to ktward says:

      It’s jerky because over half of his state just voted for legalization, but he’s still treating them like a fringe demographic of silly stoners, the same way Obama treats legalization as a joke issue that’s only supported by some stoned college students.

      When an issue gets majority support, its supporters are by definition no longer the political fringe. They at least deserve better than to be laughed at in their moment of victory.Report

  15. Patrick Bridges says:

    If the GOP actually wanted a place to start gaining leverage with the under-40 crowd, lobbying hard for Federalism on drug laws would be a really good place to start. Wait for the DEA under Obama to go after dispensaries again, and then go big that while they disagree with drug use, it’s only a federal issue at the border and the rest should be left up to the states.

    Hard to see Boehner, O’Reiley, Gingrich, and Hannity making that argument, however.Report

    • Prior to 9/11, I was a regular viewer of O’Reilly and I remember that he had Phil Donohue on his show and they were arguing politics and O’Reilly was giving a rant about legalizing drugs and Donohue leaned forward and, if you know Donohue, you know exactly how he said this, Donohue said “Not even Mare-eee-huana???” And O’Reilly waved his hand and said fine, legalize that, and went back into his rant about the evils of drugs.

      I thought it a strange cultural moment.

      Then 9/11 happened and everybody went nutzo.Report

  16. DensityDuck says:

    In the state where I live, you can buy whiskey off the grocery-store shelf, and beer from the refrigerator at the gas station. We’ve solved the problem of selling intoxicants to the general public.

    Or, if we haven’t, then we’ve got a bigger problem than dope.Report

  17. Rufus F. says:

    Would it be less jerky if he’d said, “Don’t make plans to spend all weekend listening to Archie Shepp records and having great sex just yet”?Report

  18. Will H. says:

    A federal overview, somewhat dated.Report