Monday, October 19, 2009

BREAKING: White House to make medical marijuana policy official

The Associated Press is reporting that on Monday the Obama administration will officially put in to writing its non-interference policy for medical marijuana, which was initially announced by Attorney General Eric Holder in March.

A 3-page memo spelling out the policy is expected to be sent Monday to federal prosecutors in the 14 states [where medical marijuana is legal], and also to top officials at the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The memo, the officials said, emphasizes that prosecutors have wide discretion in choosing which cases to pursue, and says it is not a good use of federal manpower to prosecute those who are without a doubt in compliance with state law.

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  1. Wow, fantastic news.

    Obiously there's a very long way to go, but I give Obama and Holder major credit for forming a new policy without major political capital expenditure. I'm 26, and I don't think there's been another development on the federal level rivaling this in my lifetime.

    It's hard not to feel optimistic.

  2. Wish I shared your optimism there Rhayader. Nothing about this "news" moves me.
    There's a mountain of research out there that proves marijuana is not as dangerous as pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and tobacco.
    And there does not need to be anymore research, that's just one of the many prohibitionists tools to stall complete legalization.
    Big pharma with their fat wallets will squash it somehow, sorry.

  3. I'm not sure I understand. Squash what? No actual law has been changed, this is just a codification of DOJ policy, which is basically a hands-off approach regarding medical MJ.

    It's not the mecca, but it is a stunning departure from previous administrations dating all the way back to Reagan.

  4. Hi Rhayader and Lea, I think this is good news as well, although I do understand how some people might be cynical or suspicious about it. This should provide stability for the growing medical marijuana industry in California and in many other states as well.

    This is what incremental drug policy reform is all about. Change is occurring one step at a time. Sometimes an individual step is so small it is hard to notice, but if you compare the situation now to a decade ago there is a world of difference.

  5. Yeah to me the real source of cynicism is that this is just a policy, which can be revoked or ignored without any legally binding repercussions.

    What I really wonder about is if the DOJ would take the same approach if a state were to legalize recreational use and sales. Now that would be one hell of a litmus test.

  6. Forgive me for my cynical or suspicious comment surrounding this. There must be some excitement on my part because I've been blog hopping and reading comments there.

    And not to get you feeling sorry for me however I am sick, have been for too long. After years of endless doctor and specialist visits and much pain to deal with because of allergic and negative reactions to pharmaceuticals, which I cannot take period, my specialist has now decided that it could well be chronic pancreatitis.
    On top of all that we live on a military base as civilians, the husband works for DoD. And in the memo down a few paragraphs it says:

    "memorandum does not alter in any way the Department’s authority to enforce federal law, including laws prohibiting the manufacture, production, distribution, possession, or use of marijuana on federal property".
    and further up it says: "Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug, and the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime and provides a significant source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels."

    Of course it's all for not because we live in Utah, where medical marijuana is not available.


  7. I'm sorry to hear about your illness; best of luck moving forward in a positive direction with it.

    And no, the memo clearly doesn't "legalize" a thing, medicinal or otherwise. It's basically just a declaration of a sort of "hands off" approach.

    That might not seem like much, but Clinton and Bush were both awful when it came to medical MJ statutes clashing up against the federal CSA. This is definitely an improvement, and a small step in the right direction.

  8. Take my last comment out please David. And please delete this one. And the problem is not because of alcohol.


  9. I share the cynicism with anonymus. I have never been encouraged by governemt actions (run by lawyers, who bend the truth by using legaleze). The words and directives put out by the government seem empty and just grandstading. I will believe in change when I see it, realy, happening. The last raids, that have occurred in California, seem to be part of the, continued, schizophrenic behavior of our governemnt.


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