October 15, 2010

"Attorney General Eric Holder... said that legalizing recreational marijuana in California would be a 'significant impediment' to the government's joint efforts with state and local law enforcement..."

I'm picturing the Washington Post editors high and dorkily giggling.

66 comments:

El Pollo Real said...

I'm voting no prop 19. The dealers already in my neighborhood don't need the traffic.

Carol said...

"I'm picture"?? You are the one who is high.

Big Mike said...

Being perpetually stoned might explain why Obama, his economic advisors, and his abettors in the mainstream media think that the unemployment rates are no big deal.

c3 said...

A blunt statement from AG Holder.

c3 said...

After the press conference AG Holder and staff stopped off at Jack in the Box for some tacos

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

If this law passes, and if the Attorney General then takes California to court for usurping Federal narcotics policy, I will quite unexpectedly give the Obama administration points for consistency.

Not that I would support the suit, mind you; but I fully expected the hypocrisy of suing Arizona for enforcing Federal law while ignoring California for flouting Federal law. I may find myself saying: "They may be statists, but at least they're consistent statists."

And policy-wise: a consistent statist is better than an arbitrary statist, in my opinion. Unnecessary restrictions are less risk-prone than are unpredictable restrictions.

Coketown said...

Reminds me of the law.com article titled, "Calif. Judge Deals Blow to Medical Pot Movement."

J said...

Holder the Crimefighter showing his DINO colors. And badge (and probably following orders from someone).


Yes on Prop. 19. Yr next journey out to CA, Miss A, we could take a nice tea to-getah! :]

(Even Volokh & co favor 19).

ndspinelli said...

The Republicans are on the wrong side of this issue, and Holder has just joined them. Combine stupid Repubs, mix in some greedy Dems who are pawns of the liquor lobby, w/ an Attorney General who doesn't know whether to shit or go blind, and this is where we are.

I think Prop 19 will pass on a close vote. I would then like to see this feckless AG try and show everyone, "I'm in charge here" and look just as crazy as Al Haig when he uttered those words. And maybe, while Holder is showing us just how big his cock is, we get hit w/ a terrorist attack. He'll be gone the next day!

Gabriel Hanna said...

I still will never understand how so many Americans can be for the drug war AND use drugs. Those groups have to overlap, there's too many of them.

Is there anyone under 40 who thinks that smoking weed is any worse than drinking?

It's like porn--most people say their against it but most of those people are downloading it!

edutcher said...

I thought the Demos were going to push for legalizing MaryJane to get out the youth vote.

Holder didn't get the playbook, apparently.

John said...

I am somewhat over 40. I say, speaking from extensive personal experiencewith both in my younger days, that pot is much less harmful than alcohol.

I would also much rather have the roads filled with potheads than social drinkers.

I would feel much safer.

John Henry

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

For me this isn't a right or left thing, this is an American society thing. I've heard all of the pro and con and believe that no good will come from legalization.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't every country that has done this backing away from it?

This country doesn't need to be any more numb than it already is, just my nickle bags worth...

The Drill SGT said...

Yet the medical marijuana industry still grew, and has expanded even more since Holder said last year that federal law enforcement would defer to state laws on using it for medicinal purposes.

so why didn't they sue last year?

Revenant said...

the hypocrisy of suing Arizona for enforcing Federal law while ignoring California for flouting Federal law.

You're quite confused.

States aren't allowed to "enforce federal law" in the manner of their own choosing. That's the basis for the court case against Arizona -- it is, the government claims, usurping federal authority. Arizona's defense is that its laws exactly mirrored federal law, so it isn't really infringing on federal authority.

All that California is doing is repealing one of its own laws. Federal laws will still be in force here, and federal authorities will continue to enforce them. That is entirely Constitutional. Congress can neither order a state to make something illegal nor forbid a state from making something legal.

bagoh20 said...

Less than 1% of drug arrests are done by the Feds, so it's just bluster really.

Revenant said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't every country that has done this backing away from it?

You're quite wrong about that. This is me correcting you.

Out of curiosity, which countries do you think have legalized marijuana and then backed away from it? The closest I can think of is the Netherlands, which has been considering making it illegal for *foreigners* to use pot (they're sick of drug tourists).

BJM said...

It could get very awkwaaard if SF D.A. Kamala Harris wins the CA AG slot.

Harris chaired Obama's CA campaign in 2008 and is a long time friend. Obama endorsed her recently:

"Obama, in a statement released by the Harris campaign today, said that Harris has done "a remarkable job in San Francisco," citing her development of a program to assist young adult drug offenders and her creation of prosecutorial units targeting child sexual assault, environmental violations, and mortgage or investment fraud.

"Now she's running to be California's attorney general, and I am proud to stand by her," Obama's written statement said. "She is someone who understands the needs of all Americans, and I need allies like that fighting for change across the country."


Color me unimpressed. More huffery & puffery from a deeply unserious Administration.

Revenant said...

(Even Volokh & co favor 19).

"Even" Volokh & co?

Learning that the Volokh Conspiracy has spoken in favor of Proposition 19 is roughly as shocking as learning that DailyKos has spoken in favor of the Democratic Party.

J said...

Congress can neither order a state to make something illegal nor forbid a state from making something legal.

Prop 19 will probably not pass (unfortunately). In the event that it does pass, the Supreme court will probably take a look at it--as they did with the med. pot initative that passed a few years ago.

The Feds could, it seems, contend that legal cannabis falls under controlled substances law (which is Fed. govt. not state). Or something.

The Black robes then deem it unconstitutional, and bada bing, back to square one. With Don Scalia in charge, that's certainly a possibility.

avwh said...

WTF? The Feds DON'T enforce the border, or do anything to stop illegal immigration, but now they'll enforce a federal law that is directly in conflict with a state law??

Ah, I guess if you're part of the political elite, you can pick and choose which laws to enforce, and which ones you ignore.

J said...

(Even Volokh & co favor 19).

"Even" Volokh & co?


Yeah. A Volohk fan Im not but he signed a petition along with a few dozen CA Law profs in favor of 19. I mentioned it only because there appear to be Volokh types around Miss A's house. You know, the legalize cannabis, pro-NRA/pro-gambling, slash taxes and love Aynnie Rand types. A is A! Did Ayynie ever like, toke up? Es posible

(tho' also some xtians here, too...you jus' know that they consider 19 ...el trabajo del Diablo!....)

Revenant said...

J,

The Raich case was a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the federal prohibition. California's legalization of medical marijuana was only indirectly involved.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Yes Revenant the Netherlands were what I was thinking.

garage mahal said...

And this administration wonders why liberals aren't all fired up to vote.

Kirby Olson said...

Now that the economy has gone up in smoke I have students who see the new ruling as their way out of joblessness.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Revenant said...

You're quite confused.

No, but you're quite pompous.

States aren't allowed to "enforce federal law" in the manner of their own choosing.

Since Arizona wants to enforce Federal law as written (as opposed to how it's practiced), that's irrelevant.

That's the basis for the court case against Arizona -- it is, the government claims, usurping federal authority. Arizona's defense is that its laws exactly mirrored federal law, so it isn't really infringing on federal authority.

And Arizona is correct, and the federal government is wrong.

Congress can neither order a state to make something illegal nor forbid a state from making something legal.

Unless, of course, the "something" is illegal immigration, huh?

Oh, and if you read the article, apparently some persons who might reasonably be considered authorities see things a little different from you (emphasis added):

"The ex-DEA chiefs sent a letter to Holder in August calling on the Obama administration to sue California if Proposition 19 passes. They said legalizing pot presented the same threat to federal authority as Arizona's recent immigration law that spurred a federal lawsuit."

I guess the ex-DEA chiefs are "confused", too.

J said...

The Raich case was a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the federal prohibition. California's legalization of medical marijuana was only indirectly involved.

The Raich case did relate to the med pot initiatives--ie. the med pot owners demanded to keep their businesses (more or less) open because the voters had approved of med. pot. The SC then said nyet-- it was still a controlled substance, and more or less deleted the votes of millions. (not that that bothers the usual GOP Scalia lover).

Lawyer Im not, but it's difficult to see why the SC could not do the same with 19, in the long shot it passes--ie declare it unconstitutional because pot is on the Fed/DEA/controlled substances list.

Blame that old narc John Marshall (Jefferson thought as much).

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Since Arizona wants to enforce Federal law as written (as opposed to how it's practiced), that's irrelevant.

I said that already. Maybe you should have read my whole post before you tried flaming it?

And Arizona is correct, and the federal government is wrong.

Your point being? I didn't say Obama was right to sue Arizona, I just pointed out how wrong you were to treat the Arizona immigration and California marijuana cases like they were similar.

"Congress can neither order a state to make something illegal nor forbid a state from making something legal."

Unless, of course, the "something" is illegal immigration, huh?

Did that make sense in your head before you typed it? Congress didn't order Arizona to pass laws against illegal immigration, nor did it forbid Arizona from repealing laws against illegal immigration. That is, in fact, the exact opposite of what the federal government did to Arizona.

Oh, and if you read the article, apparently some persons who might reasonably be considered completely biased and fearful for their and their friends' lucrative careers see things a little different from you (emphasis added)

Corrected your typo. :)

I guess the ex-DEA chiefs are "confused", too.

I would go with "lying through their teeth", not "confused". The DEA is concerned with its own power and nothing else.

ndspinelli said...

My God, Shoemaker...you are not very saavy, or bright. DEA's business is keeping drugs illegal to protect their fiefdom. Wake up an smell the cannabis. OF COURSE DEA bureacrats are against legalization. That takes away their business. This is pretty basic shit.

And finally, the DEA has done a cracker jack job on that drug war...yeh, I want to listen to DEA Chiefs.

Revenant said...

Lawyer Im not, but it's difficult to see why the SC could not do the same with 19, in the long shot it passes--ie declare it unconstitutional because pot is on the Fed/DEA/controlled substances list.

What the Supreme Court declared in "Raich" was that the federal ban on marijuana is constitutional. It did not strike down California's medical marijuana law; that's still on the books and still the state law.

Doing "the same thing" to Proposition 19 would mean ruling against any lawsuits brought by Californians against the federal government to force federal officials to stop prosecuting Californians for federal drug offenses. And yes, the Supreme Court absolutely WILL rule against anyone who does that.

But there would be no precedent for declaring the REPEAL of a state law to be unconstitutional on the grounds that repealing it interferes with federal law. That doesn't even make legal sense.

Revenant said...

OF COURSE DEA bureacrats are against legalization. That takes away their business. This is pretty basic shit.

In other news, the Civil Rights Commission is against repealing the Civil Rights Act. :)

Cedarford said...

Shoemaker - ""The ex-DEA chiefs sent a letter to Holder in August calling on the Obama administration to sue California if Proposition 19 passes. They said legalizing pot presented the same threat to federal authority as Arizona's recent immigration law that spurred a federal lawsuit."

That is the key. Right or wrong, any state reform or enforcement of existing law that threatens Federal Power and the plush jobs of factotums that get to live the high life on their Federal Power - must be fought.

----------------------
J - "The SC then said nyet-- it was still a controlled substance, and more or less deleted the votes of millions. (not that that bothers the usual GOP Scalia lover).

Lawyer Im not, but it's difficult to see why the SC could not do the same with 19, in the long shot it passes--ie declare it unconstitutional because pot is on the Fed/DEA/controlled substances list."

The thing is, who PUTS any substance on the Sacred List of Controlled Substances??? It is a Federal official unaccountable to the people, the States, Congress.

It is like the people of a state learning some EPA official is going to make CO2 a regulated pollutant, or that some EPA drone has decided a rare subspecies of a common clam just made the Endangered Species Act and 15,000 farmers and 98,000 associated jobs and 2.3 billion dollars in losses are needed to "save the clam".

Chip Ahoy said...

From my point of view the feds are irrelevant.

Today I saw a news item about a marijuana critic for Westword, a local newspaper one block south of my home. The critic goes around trying out various dispensaries and marijuana types and then critiques them for the newspaper. That's his job. Apparently there are two large dispensaries also a few blocks from my home, although I haven't noticed them. Maybe I should go and see what they're up to.

I do know to get your get-out-of-jail-free card presently costs $90.00, and boy, is Colorado ever raking it in hand over fist. That's what the governor said on the teevee.

c3 said...

this isn't a right or left thing,

Middle aged libertarians and young liberals.

c3 said...

And this administration wonders why liberals aren't all fired up to vote.

No but they could sure get fired up for some tacos right about now.

J said...

....against any lawsuits brought by Californians against the federal government to force federal officials to stop prosecuting Californians for federal drug offenses

It amounts to the same thing, Rev. and perhaps you recall that Fed/DEA narcs did attempt to shut down CA medpot shops, and arrested a few people.

john said...

Did Ayynie ever like, toke up? Es posible.

Which Aynnie? She certainly could be, from the looks of it.

J said...

OF COURSE DEA bureacrats are against legalization.

And most ordinary cops as well. Shake downs for pot are their bread and butter. And as per usual the CA Demos joined hands with the cop unions and police chiefs in opposing 19: Di Feinstein was licking a few dozen LA sheriffs' boots a few days ago.

And it's not really partisan. Some CA democrats support the measure, as do GOPers (at least the libertarian sorts). But the usual party hacks are now spinning the usual BS, so the official GOP and Demo lines are against it.

Carol said...

"It's like porn--most people say their against it but most of those people are downloading it!"

Oh, you know this for sure, do you? Porn fans always think they're the norm.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Revenant said...

I said that already. Maybe you should have read my whole post before you tried flaming it?

And the pomposity continues!

To quote:

"You're quite confused.

States aren't allowed to "enforce federal law" in the manner of their own choosing."

If the point of that isn't to accuse some state -- presumably Arizona -- of "enforcing federal law in the manner of their own choosing," then what precisely is the point?

Or maybe it has no point; and thus it is (as I said) irrelevant.

And Arizona is correct, and the federal government is wrong.

I just pointed out how wrong you were to treat the Arizona immigration and California marijuana cases like they were similar.

No, you think you pointed that out; but you provided no arguments to back your position.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Cedarford said...

That is the key. Right or wrong, any state reform or enforcement of existing law that threatens Federal Power and the plush jobs of factotums that get to live the high life on their Federal Power - must be fought.

Exactly. As someone said up thread: "They may be statists, but at least they're consistent statists."

Revenant said...

Middle aged libertarians and young liberals.

Which category does National Review fall into? :)

Peter V. Bella said...

Eric Holder has shirked his responsibility. He has not gone after the peddlers of a far more dangerous drug- Hopium.

Revenant said...

It amounts to the same thing, Rev. and perhaps you recall that Fed/DEA narcs did attempt to shut down CA medpot shops, and arrested a few people.

Under federal law, not state law. If Proposition 19 passes, the federal government will continue busting Californians under federal law then, too.

Revenant said...

And the pomposity continues!

You must be new here.

If the point of that isn't to accuse some state -- presumably Arizona -- of "enforcing federal law in the manner of their own choosing," then what precisely is the point?

To explain why Arizona had to write the law the way it did.

And Arizona is correct, and the federal government is wrong.

From an originalist perspective, yes, Arizona is correct.

Of course, from an originalist perspective the federal ban on marijuana is flagrantly unconstitutional, yet here we are. Suffice it to say that it is by no means a given that the Court will find Arizona to be "correct".

No, you think you pointed that out; but you provided no arguments to back your position.

Eh, bored now.

Alex said...

The single biggest voting bloc in favor of the insane drug wars are the Christian theocratic Republican wing.

themightypuck said...

This is the reason social liberals like me get depressed. Government has a program (drug war) that doesn't work so they decide to double down with the support of the idiot populace. I feel for the libertarians who must experience the same thing when some regulation has horrible effects and the response, supported by the idiot populace, is more regulation.

Palladian said...

Maybe the "idiot populace" doesn't want any more fucking drum circles springing up in their communities!

themightypuck said...

Exactly. Idiots don't understand that drum circles are a small price to pay if you do the math.

Revenant said...

Maybe the "idiot populace" doesn't want any more fucking drum circles springing up in their communities!

Realizing that you can't always get what you want is part of being an adult.

"I hate drum circles! Let's spend tens of billions of dollars a year for decades and end up with more potheads than we started with!" is not the reasoning of such an adult.

Palladian said...

There are few prices higher than the appearance of a drum circle.

Palladian said...

Revenant, lighten up.

themightypuck said...

I have to confess being pro drum circle. First off you rarely see fat people in drum circles. Second, they typically are young people not engaged in violence. Third, they tend to stay in one place. This beats the typical fat, mobile and violent youths who terrorize the suburbs.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Doobieous choice of words there.

bagoh20 said...

Are we talking about a plant here?

You mean to to tell me that the federal government of history's most advanced nation, which considers itself the protector of liberty in the world, will arrest you, take your property, and put you in prison for having, growing or ingesting a simple plant? Are you allowed to even smell it? How about look at it?

It must be very dangerous, this plant. Is it like that one in "Little Shop of Horrors"? Can we make it extinct to save the world. I guess not. The same government would probably not allow that either. I'm really surprised by all this in 2010!

bagoh20 said...

If drum circles are the problem, then ban them, and that damned Rock N Roll too, but leave god's plants alone. Don't punish the innocent for the bad judgment of others. It's guilt by association and that's just wrong. There is no proof that weed leads to drum circles. Everyone in a drum circle probably started out on milk and we don't ban that.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Carol:

Oh, you know this for sure, do you? Porn fans always think they're the norm.

The numbers don't add up. Either the US has something like 600 million people, or a lot of people who favor banning porn are also looking at it.

bagoh20 said...

"The numbers don't add up."

You have to account for fact that everyone is born with a regular name and a porn name. This fluffs the figures due to duplicates.

Yes, everyone has one.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

For example, familiar porn names:

Big Mike
El Pollo Real
and my personal favorite, The Drill SGT.

10/15/10 8:36 PM

MarkW said...

You know, the legalize cannabis, pro-NRA/pro-gambling, slash taxes...

Libertarians aren't pro-gambling, pro-drugs, they're pro leaving people the hell alone to live their own lives even if that means letting them make some dumb decisions.

The drug war is a ABSOLUTE failure and a national disgrace. Teens report its easier for them to buy pot than beer--it's not keeping drugs out of anybody's hands who want them. But it IS destroying our civil liberties:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V--tz3IMCY4

And I don't know how anybody can see what the drug war has done to Mexico and not see it for the great evil that it is. We know that alcohol prohibition didn't stop people from drinking but DID create a violent organized crime problem that took decades to get under control--and we're making the same huge mistake over again.

nobody said...

"Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't every country that has done this backing away from it?"


Cannabis remains and has always been illegal in the Netherlands.

Also, the dialogue in Pulp Fiction notwithstanding, the cops actually CAN search you.

The time a friend and I got busted in Maastricht for our 5g each we'd bought at the Wall Street coffeeshop a few hours earlier they had no more probable cause than that we were relatively young males (thirtyish).

In contrast, when I was pulled over a few months ago in California and asked whether I had any marijuana in the car and answered yes, they gave it back to me and politely sent me on my way after they had ascertained that I was not driving under the influence and had bought it legally at a dispensary (which takes Mastercard and Visa - not sure about American Express).

Science Friday yesterday was very good:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130592638&ft=1&f=5

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Gabriel Hanna said: "Either the US has something like 600 million people, or a lot of people who favor banning porn are also looking at it."

Who favors *banning* porn? I'm sure that there are a lot of people who are against it, and don't want anything to do with it or want people around them to use it, but I'm not familiar with any person or organization who is actually advocating a legal prohibition.

Revenant said...

Who favors *banning* porn?

The US government still prosecutes people for producing it.