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Tag: marijuana legalization

Legalization of Marijuana in Two States Could Spark a Clash with Federal Authorities

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 When voters approved ballot language to legalize recreational use of pot Tuesday, they set the stage for a showdown with federal authorities, the Associated Press reports.

Pot advocates and opponents are closely watching Washington state and Colorado to see how federal authorities respond to decriminalization.

Federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana.

Not happy about the passage in Colorado is its governor, John Hickenlooper.

“Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly,” Hickenlooper told the AP.

The Justice Department, which has been prosecuting pot retailers in states where medicinal marijuana is legal, has not said yet how it will respond to the new laws.

Marijuana Supporters Argue in Federal Court That DEA Has Ignored Research on Drug

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Supporters of marijuana rights attacked the DEA’s tight regulation of pot in a potentially landmark case that could change the drug’s classification, Reuters reports.

Joseph Elford, lawyer for Americans for Safe Access, said the DEA has essentially ignored scientific research that suggests marijuana is safer than heroin and has medicinal value.

“This game of ‘gotcha’ will continue indefinitely unless this court intervenes,” Elford told a three-judge panel of the appeals court in Washington, D.C.

The DEA countered that research is not all conclusive and continued the line of rhetoric that marijuana is unsafe.

One of the judges appeared to agree with the DEA.

“Don’t we have to defer to the agency?” asked Judge Merrick Garland. “We’re not scientists. They are.”

DEA Officials Ratchet Up Pressure on Obama to Denounce Marijuana Legalization Measures

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group of former DEA chiefs is renewing a campaign to urge the Obama administration to publicly oppose marijuana-legalization ballot measures in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, the Seattle Times reports.

The group is incensed that the Justice Department has not responded to a Sept. 7 letting requesting a public denouncement of the measures, which would legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana, according to the Seattle Times.

Former DEA officials said states are wrong if they think the measures will raise much-needed tax revenue.

“Quite frankly, no one is going to be reporting and paying taxes to the state if they’re committing a federal felony,” former DEA administrator Rob Bonner said.

Bonner added that the measure would increase drug dependence.