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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:41 AM

Why U.S. Attorneys and FBI Brass Support Washington’s Marijuana Law


from YES! Magazine:



Why U.S. Attorneys and FBI Brass Support Washington’s Marijuana Law
The state of Washington is expecting to generate more than $500,000 a year from taxation of legal marijuana sales to adults. And that's not counting the savings from no longer arresting people for possession.

by Mark Cooke, Doug Honig
posted Nov 16, 2012

The authors are employees of the ACLU of Washington.


Voters in Washington state, along with those in Colorado, made history on Election Day by passing laws that legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults age 21 and over. Washington's law, Initiative 502 (I-502), passed with a 55-45 margin, sending a clear message that the public is ready for a change in policy. We hope the adoption of these laws will be a watershed moment in how the United States deals with marijuana.

I-502 makes possession of limited amounts of marijuana (1 oz. or less) lawful for adults under state law. As of December 6, 2012, adults will no longer be subject to arrest under state law for possessing marijuana.

During a year-long rule-making process that will end in December 2013, the State Liquor Control board will create a tightly regulated system that licenses the production, processing, and selling of marijuana. Marijuana will be sold in stand-alone stores that are very similar to Washington’s familiar hard-alcohol stores. Private entities licensed by the state will produce, process, and sell marijuana, and it will be taxed at each step along the way.

The ACLU has long opposed the War on Drugs and its criminalization of marijuana. ACLU support for I-502 is part of our broader work of criminal justice reform. Our state and nation’s unfair marijuana policies have damaged civil liberties in many ways – eroding constitutional protections against searches and seizures, putting large numbers of individuals behind bars for nonviolent crimes, and disproportionately targeting people of color. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/why-attorneys-FBI-brass-support-washington-marijuana-law



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Reply Why U.S. Attorneys and FBI Brass Support Washington’s Marijuana Law (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #1
Coyotl Nov 2012 #2
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #4
Coyotl Nov 2012 #5
Nevernose Nov 2012 #3
mick063 Nov 2012 #6
Nevernose Nov 2012 #8
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #7

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:44 AM

1. We need to spend more money making sure that meth-use is eradicated

and less on marijuana. I'm not a fan of marijuana, but so far it appears to be less harmful than alcohol and certainly far less harmful than meth and some of the other harder, more addictive and more physically debilitating drugs out there.

We need to do something about meth use. It is harming families.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:57 AM

2. We also need to spend more money making sure that alcohol use is curbed

Part of the money made from the sale of alcohol should go to educating about alcohol, its harm to people when abused, its dangers when combined with driving, etc. Alcohol causes myriad social problems and societal costs.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:54 AM

4. I agree. I view these substance abuse issues from the point of view

of the marriages ruined, the children abused and neglected and the families impoverished and destroyed by drug and alcohol abuse.

I am not coming from an authoritarian point of view. My morality is about the harm done to people by things like tobacco, alcohol and some of these drugs. That is why I really don't care so much one way or the other about marijuana. It tends to make people lazier (and maybe fatter), but I haven't seen a family torn apart by marijuana use. There could be some families like that, maybe even a lot, but I haven't seen them.

On the other hand -- alcohol, meth. Those drugs steal parents and spouses from their children, from their families. It happens over and over, and if you have to watch that happening, you really get sick of it.

I understand that cocaine is maybe the worst drug in terms of causing irreversible brain damage and certain death. But I haven't seen what it does to family life. I don't really know much about it.

So, I think the war on drugs should focus on these drugs that harm society. After all, investigating and prosecuting drug trafficking is expensive and difficult. We should approach it wisely and with compassion for its real victims -- children and family members who are not using drugs, who are not addicted.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:36 AM

5. Mr. Nixon's war on his political enemies has grown into a war on the majority!

That's what will finally end the "war on drugs" madness. The whole "war" meme needs to be trashed, replaced by education and a culture shift intolerant of divisiveness for political gain.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:11 AM

3. I'd decriminalize that, too

There is no amount of money that can make it go away. We can't stop Mexican superfactories, we can't stop smugglers, and we can't stop people from making it themselves. Even if we cracked down on the sudafed precursor and made it prescription only (which might be possible in 2014, with ACA going into effect), anyone who wants to produce it can just use an ephedra plant. Give me $20 and 20 minutes, and I can get you whatever drug you want. He'll, there's a nursery down the street that sells cacti you can make mescaline with. You can buy DMT over the Internet. Synthetic heroin is available from many doctors.

Agreed that meth is about the worst thing in the world. In fact, I'll go you one further and say that meth doesn't just destroy families: it destroys souls. But there's no effective, rational way to keep people off it or any other drug they want to take. Sending people to prison destroys families far more effectively than the illegal drugs.

Maybe what we should do is stiffen up the penalties and enforcement of things like child neglect and contributing to delinquency.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:52 AM

6. I abhor the idea of widespread meth use.

 

Perhaps new approaches are needed. Treat it as a disease.


It is the black market that drives the price up and forces people into a life of crime to sustain their habit.


How about an approach similar to gun laws?

There are non violent gun owners, There are gun owners that do not break the law. There are, however, stiffer penalties for using a gun for criminal endeavors.

How about relaxing penalty for simple possession, but impose a much stiffer penalty for being under the influence when committing crime? If a person becomes impaired and commits a crime, lock em' up for a long time. Attack the behavior that directly affects other people.



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Response to mick063 (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:52 PM

8. Agreed. What we're doing now isn't working

Use the tax money raised to fund rehab centers and education programs, because what we're doing now obviously doesn't work. Continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results? Insanity.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:48 PM

7. I didnt see where the US Attorneys and FBI brass stated their support.

What does the DoJ think?

FYI, Washington State no longer has the state owned "hard-alcohol stores" thanks to Costco. Maybe one day soon we will be able to buy maryjane at Costco.

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