Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Despite Legalization, Feds Promise Buzzkill in Washington, Colorado

Despite voters approving the use of marijuana for recreational use in Washington state and Colorado, the Department of Justice promises that it will continue to enforce existing drug laws — despite the will of the people in the states, reports CBS News.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, told the Associated Press, "Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."

Despite the tongue-in-cheek quote from Hickenlooper, who was against the pro-legalization initiative, the U.S. Attorneys were just-the-facts in their (predictable) statement.

"The department's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiatives and have no additional comment at this time," Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre stated.

The U.S. Attorneys in Colorado and Washington issued identical quotes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Polls Point to Washington State's I-502 Passage, Despite Medical Users' Reservations

On the eve of the vote for Washington state's Initiative 502 vote — which would legalize cannabis use by adults — NORML's blog reports that a recent pool pegs support at 56 percent.

Those that do not support the I-502 comes in at 37 percent, with another 7 percent undecided. All indicators, then, point to its passage.

However, the initiative is not without its problems and detractors. It's still controversial among proponents of medical use, citing I-502's provisions for driving under the influence and research that points to THC levels over that threshold being in the body up to a month after ingestion. Medical advocates are also concerned that marijuana used as medication will be taxed at the same 25 percent rate as those using it for recreation.

Others are still clinging to the drug war dogma that pot is a "gateway drug."

"I had a judge speak at one of my D.A.R.E. graduations and he talked about the hundreds of cases that go through his court and out of all those cases maybe two people didn't start by smoking marijuana," Clarkston Police D.A.R.E. Officer John Morbeck told KLEW.

However, the anti-drug forces' arguments are sounding more and more like alarmist 1920's-era anti-alcohol temperance rhetoric to an increasingly skeptical public.