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Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:27 AM

Why US can’t ignore Colorado’s pot ‘experiment

Evidence keeps rolling in that the Rocky Mountain state’s marijuana legalization, in clear violation of federal drug laws, has negative spillovers. If federal officials won’t act, other states should take heed of legal weed.

Since 2014, President Obama has watched Colorado’s so-called “experiment” with legal use of marijuana by adults. His Justice Department told US prosecutors not to enforce federal laws – laws that regard pot as harmful and illegal – unless two things happen: Either individual users violate a state’s own pot laws (especially children) or a state becomes a major exporter of pot.

Now the evidence for federal action is getting hard to ignore.

An investigation by Associated Press finds criminal cartels akin to those in Mexico are growing weed among Colorado’s sanctioned pot warehouses and farms and then shipping the product wholesale to other states, “pocketing millions of dollars from the sale.” The trafficking is so easy that many exporters simply mail the stuff. In the first year of legalization, seizures of Colorado pot by the Postal Service were about 470 pounds, up from 57 pounds in 2010. Colorado’s United States Attorney John Walsh admitted to AP that “there’s a lot more of this activity than there was two years ago.”

And in December, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed evidence that minors in Colorado lead the nation in monthly marijuana use. As pot use among teens nationwide has declined, it may be going up in the Rocky Mountain state.

Despite these trends, the White House announced last week that Mr. Obama would not be taking action on marijuana during his last year in office. This does not mean, however, that there will be no federal action in 2016. The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether Nebraska and Oklahoma can take their neighboring state to court for operating “a massive criminal enterprise” that encourages the illegal transport of pot across state lines.

http://news.yahoo.com/why-us-t-ignore-colorado-pot-experiment-143546431--politics.html

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:29 AM

1. K&R!

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:31 AM

2. These idiots always try to pretend that CO is the only state.

You've also got Washington. Oregon. Alaska. Probably after November more, particularly California- with 34 Million people.

Prohibition has failed.

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:31 AM

3. Evidence keeps rolling in that Colorado is making a bundle, and other states would

do well to follow suit.

The "dry" counties have to tax the shit out of their residents, because they don't get any income from beer, wine and liquor sales.

It's the same with cannabis. The states should legalize it, regulate it, and tax it--not too robustly, but sufficiently so that they can use the money for good things--schools, roads, underserved populations, e.g.

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Response to MADem (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:41 AM

4. Those articles are written by people apparently on a different planet.

They mention "Washington, Alaska and the District of Columbia" almost as an afterthought, forgetting of course that Oregon is not only legal but has rapidly moved into working recreational sales AND pulled in more revenue in its first month than any other legal state did, upon commencement of recreational sales...

I also don't think they're even remotely aware of the situation on the ground in these other states, for instance, Washington has a robust, functioning and tax revenue generating legal cannabis industry and Oregon which managed to get things rolling (so to speak) in a record amount of time by consolidating the substantial medical marijuana outlets with early recreational sales, with further licensing and regulation on the agenda for 2016...

Add to that the fact- and, it's a fact- that it's not just the 4 legal states that conflict with Federal law, it is EVERY state (more than half) that have medical marijuana laws. If the rallying cry is "enforce federal law" then they're going to need to not just arrest a lot of people in CO, WA, OR and AK (and DC) but also all those medical mj providers, growers and patients in states like California (which probably will be legal for recreational use by the end of the year, anyway)

As much as the CS Monitor and bloviators like Chris Christie may wish it were so, it's not just a case of one administration "refusing to enforce federal law"- there's no fucking way the federal government has the resources; much less the mandate, to go in to over half the country and override their state law enforcement decisions on this matter. The ONLY rational answer is to bring federal law into balance with what the states are choosing to do, and that is what will happen sooner or later, bleating of the prohibitionists notwithstanding.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 06:02 AM

5. The POLICE don't want to enforce those dumb laws.

What they need to do with these cartel assholes is legalize it and tax it. Limit personal production (the "little home winemaker" exemption) but for these big dealers, make 'em pay the taxes or go to jail.

That's how they got Capone, after all.

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Response to MADem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 06:19 AM

6. I really think when it comes to weed, the whole "cartel" noise is a bunch of propaganda BS anyway.

I really don't think mexican drug cartels are moving into Colorado to grow Colorado weed. I think that's Ken Sabet "reefer madness" bullshit.

I smoked a fair share of mexican weed back in the day, as well as weed grown by hippies. I know who did a better job.


The reality, of course, is more like this:

http://time.com/3801889/us-legalization-marijuana-trade/

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 09:38 AM

7. Prohibition is directly responsible for the cartels..

the war on drugs has created the huge underground crime wave for the last 100 years. Please read "Chasing the Scream." It's an honest account of the misery created by the drug war.

Marijuana use in Colorado has not increased, and most increases in the statistics are people who have always enjoyed pot but would never answer yes because it was illegal. Crime in Colorado has decreased.
Oh, and the number of deaths from marijuana overdoses? Still zero!

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 09:55 AM

8. Why not, it seems this article and everyone else ignores the fact that it's not just Colorado but

 

also Oregon, Washington and Alaska?

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