As we wait to see if a punitive response to the re-legalization of Washington and Colorado is still coming, The Huffington Post offers a nice review of the entire issue. Here’s a sample:
At a recent congressional hearing, DEA head Michele Leonhart was nearly laughed out of the room for refusing to say that marijuana was less dangerous than heroin. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll found just one in five people thought the drug war has been worth it.
Having lost the public, where does the Justice Department go from here? Where will Obama let it go?
“We have two states that legalized it for even recreational use. So you tell me what Obama’s policy is,” John Pinches, of Mendocino’s Board of Supervisors, told HuffPost. “It’s a mumbo-jumbo mess. It’s time for the federal government to come up with a reasonable policy.”
Complicating things further has been the Obama administration’s mixed signals on recreational pot. In theory, it shouldn’t matter whether states want to legalize marijuana for medical purposes or recreational ones. But DOJ officials considered proposed recreational marijuana laws as fundamentally different from those regulating medical marijuana.
States that passed medical marijuana laws were making a narrow judgement on medical use. DOJ officials believed, however, that states that legalized marijuana were declaring full-on war with federal law.
Holder highlighted the contrast in 2010 as California voters prepared to vote on a ballot measure, Proposition 19, legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Just weeks before the election, Holder wrote a letter stating that the feds would “vigorously enforce” federal law “against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”
Prosecuting medical marijuana wasn’t supposed to be a federal priority. Prosecuting recreational marijuana cases was.
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I strongly recommend this history lesson to you. Find it HERE.
[image: Google images White House]