It looks like, with just breaking news, that the legal use of marijuana on the state level has just become -- legal.
In those 2 states where the people have voted to legalize it for recreational purposes -- Colorado and Washington -- or the 18 other states that have legalized it for medical purposes, a huge obstacle has been removed.
The feds are no longer going to be a threat. The controversy over the states rights vs. federal rights are being put aside. Today a victory has been meted out to individual states' jurisdiction.
Of course, this could open the door to all kinds of interpretations down the road with voting rights, gay rights, marriage rights and civil rights. But today we can sit back, light up a doobie if it's legal on the state level where you live and not need to worry that some Fed officer is going to come and bust you.
A few days ago, Laffy reported on Senator Leahy and his senate judiciary committee commencing meetings on marijuana laws, state vs. federal. And those hearings will still go on and certainly be very important as the upper chamber seeks to clarify this issue even more. But Obama and AG Holder have made their pronouncement.
According to Dennis Brady over at WaPo:
The Obama administration on Thursday said it will not stand in the way of Colorado, Washington and other states where voters have supported legalizing marijuana either for medical or recreational use, as long as those states maintain strict rules involving distribution of the drug.
In a memo sent Thursday to U.S. attorneys in all 50 states, deputy attorney general James M. Cole detailed the administration’s new stance...
The memo directs federal prosecutors to focus their resources on eight specific areas of enforcement, rather than targeting individual marijuana users, which even President Obama has acknowledged is not the best use of federal manpower. Those areas include preventing distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing the sale of pot to cartels and gangs, preventing sales to other states where the drug remains illegal under state law, and stopping the growing of marijuana on public lands.
Now there's a lot of reasons why this has happened, and a lot of people to share the credit. There's Senators like Leahy, doctors like Sanjay Gupta and even comedians like Bill Maher. Truth is that there's enough credit to go around. But the biggest hand should go to us, "We the people."
Peacefully we united, we voted, and the president and his justice department have heard our voices. And that's great news.
Now that we see that we can be heard, let's not stop too long, resting on our laurels. This is but one victory on a march of so many future battles. We have starving people, we have crumbling infrastructure, unbelievable student debt, so few good paying jobs, we have disenfranchised voters, we have dirty air, we have a broken immigration system. An overwhelming list, but today we proved we have voices and a will.
Let's unite even stronger than before.
We can do this. We just saw how. Speak up and speak out!
Congrats everyone. It's so great to know that what we want as a people is being heard in normally tone deaf Washington. Now onto our next battle.
Oh, and please remember, paraphrasing the World's Most Interesting Man, "When you do light up, do so responsibly."