December 14, 2012

Obama's useless response to the Colorado/Washington marijuana issue.

"We've got bigger fish to fry... It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal."

This is no help at all. It states the obvious, and it says what's true about federal policy toward all the states. The feds are not prosecuting the small-time user. The question in Colorado and Washington state is about how the state is supposed to manage the situation, given the conflict with federal law. They've asked for a federal response, and this gives them absolutely no new information.

He does say a  bit more...
"This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law.... I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about, How do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?"
... but that's restating the question, not answering it.

What we're going to need to have is a conversation about... that's so annoying. Give an answer!

164 comments:

DADvocate said...

What a wuss. What's so hard about coming out in favor of decriminalizing or legalizing pot? Is that more controversial than same sex marriage? Haven't the last three presidents admitted to smoking pot, the devil's weed, ganja, mary jane, reefer?

gerry said...

I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws.

What bull. He's ignoring many laws already (his staff members collectively owe $800,000 in back taxes, for example). Why does he care about mj laws?

Surfed said...

"Present"

wyo sis said...

OMG
Obama doesn't give a straight answer!
That's gotta be a first right?

X said...

Congress has not yet changed the law

I suppose we should be grateful he's discovered this principle, but there is no reason to believe it is a principled position. see: GM, DOMA, Libya, etc.

mccullough said...

He gave his answer. So did his administration by cracking down on many of the medical marijuana clinics. No sane business would pay for a license to a state or local govt to sell pot and no sane state or local government would distribute pot itself because the Feds are going to crack down and Congress is not changing the law.

The thing to do is not arrest people for it or fine them. The marijuana laws are off their books and let the Feds enforce their laws.

AJ Lynch said...

Libruls love having a conversation.

garage mahal said...

Pathetic.

Renee said...

Why not make comment about focusing federal enforcement of the law, where the states want it. If I live in a state where it was illegal, then I would want the federal government's help with that. Why should the federal government wastes its resources on a state that does not want it.

Let Washington and Colorado deal with the consequences of their laws.

chickelit said...

Sometimes when states vote on things the Feds invalidate them. A little consistency would be appropriate.

bagoh20 said...

Same as it ever was. This bullshit is identical to everything he's said his entire career. It's kind of like people not apologizing for giving us this fraud in the first place. Maybe we should "have a conversation" about taking voting serious as a duty to each other, rather than a narcissistic expression.

phx said...

Call me an enabler but "We don't know yet, it's not a big priority" seems like an okay answer to this particular problem. We do have bigger fish to fry.



pm317 said...

Why does he always erect such a wall between the executive and legislative branch? He has no influence? Or is he just calling present as he always does? What a nincompoop!

traditionalguy said...

Obama thrives on a lawless society. He encourages lawlessness because it causes a continual crisis that need to be handled by Mr Community Organizer who extracts support from both sides of the conflict which would not even exist if the law was being enforced.

It is also called leading from behind.

wyo sis said...

If precedence holds he'll do whatever gives Obama the most power and destabilizes traditional American values most.

Shouting Thomas said...

We do have bigger fish to fry.

Then why do lefties keep insisting that drug laws, and unequal enforcement of drug laws is the real reason all those black men are in jail?

pm317 said...

Why does he always erect such a wall between the executive and legislative branch? He has no influence? Or is he just calling present as he always does? What a nincompoop!

chickelit said...

Let Washington and Colorado deal with the consequences of their laws.

Countries like the Netherlands have changed their policies on cannibas because of unforeseen developments: link Friction within the EU should be a model for all those Europhiles out there.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Someone should ask him about the witholding of highway funds.

X said...

hey enabler, he stated the obvious. we already knew this. he's ducking the question. he's never been big on following the law before. why now?

phx said...

This is only an exercise for some of you who actually don't care in the least about the problem to get all het up and self-righteously indignant against Obama and his supporters.

Sorry you've been marginalized. IMO you asked for it.

SteveR said...

I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws.

Riiiiiigggghhhtttt!!!!

Since freakin' when?

garage mahal said...

It's B.S. too. Obama doesn't need Congress to change the Controlled Substance Act. He can do it simply by rescheduling marijuana's status.

Another unnecessary and stupid position taken by Obama that nobody appreciates, likes, or respects.

Levi Starks said...

How do you reconcile federal and state law?
It's probably above his pay grade. I mean after all he's only the president, and he's set a clear standard of never imposing his will over that of the states, the legislature, or the supreme court.

Chip S. said...

What wyosis and bagoh20 said.

In a week or two he'll tell everyone that he's already made clear what he wants, and he wishes they'd stop playing political games and do the job the American people sent them to Washington to do.

BarrySanders20 said...

Obama heads the branch that enforces federal law. Smoking weed is against federal law. The supremacy clause in the Constitution says that federal law trumps state law.

Obama chooses not to enforce federal law in this instance. For now. Maybe he will and maybe he won't. Depends on who is breaking that federal law. He won.

In the meantime he wants a conversation to start about whether federal law will recognize exceptions for those states who determine recreational and medicinal use is allowed. Not a classic Obama punt, but pretty close to what to expect from him.

Shouting Thomas said...

This is only an exercise for some of you who actually don't care in the least about the problem to get all het up and self-righteously indignant against Obama and his supporters.

Oh, I care, phx, I care!

Filling my bong with government approved weed is my highest priority!

Far fucking out, man!

Richard Dolan said...

It all sounds like a badly written script for the West Wing. Sorkin would have thrown it out.

At least on that show, you knew that Josiah Bartlett would ultimately chuck all the play-safe advice from the politicos and give voice to the preferred lefty solution, to the cheers of his 30-something staffers. Given the widespread public rejection of the feds' war on marijuana, that solution might just be the best choice here.

But not O-man. Ray and The Choom gang are long gone, never to be mentioned again (at least by him) until he's out of office. All he knows, and all he wants to do, is political campaigning. For him, on something like this as on gay marriage, play-safe advice will always win out until he feels that it's safe to Move On.

Wimp.

Roger J. said...

Garage: damn dude--whats in your coffee this morning--you are sounding libertarian!

chickelit said...

phx said...
This is only an exercise for some of you who actually don't care in the least about the problem to get all het up and self-righteously indignant against Obama and his supporters.

Obamaphobia is viral and contagious. There is no know vaccination.

Tim said...

So, when does Obama win his "Profile in Courage" award?

Or did that happen already?

wyo sis said...

"Obama's Useless Response"
The title of every Obama report.

jacksonjay said...

President Homeboy is leading from behind once again!

Roger J. said...

As to my friend phx's comment re bigger fish to fry--Indeed that is so. moving patriot missiles and troops into the mid east, in light of Assad's threat to use chemical weapons seems to me to be a bit dangerous.

phx said...

Obamaphobia is viral and contagious.

Not contagious enough for you guys to win the election last Nov however.

Tank said...

While you might think a guy who's smoked some doobies and snorted some coke would be the one to move this issue along, Zero's is right. This is not an issue that is worth him spending time, or, more importantly, any political capital, on.

Why bother?

Shouting Thomas said...

Not contagious enough for you guys to win the election last Nov however.

You're still in Touchdown Celebration Dance mode, phx?

I'll remember that for use the next time your side loses.

Luke Sneeringer said...

He's voting present.

Chip S. said...

Not contagious enough for you guys to win the election last Nov however.

This just never gets old.

X said...

I'm starting to suspect Obama is a cornball brother.

garage mahal said...

Garage: damn dude--whats in your coffee this morning--you are sounding libertarian!

I'm probably more libertarian than you think. The galling part of is that Obama was an effing pothead when he was younger. Voters in two states were clear what they want, and even if you disagree, tell the voters in those two states you respect them and that you'll leave them alone.

TosaGuy said...

He did answer the question. By leaving it nebulous, Obama has free room to apply the law as he sees fit -- which means he has a weapon.

If it is in his interests to prosecute then the full weight of the feds will come crashing down.

If it is not, then pass the doritos.

Known and influential republicans and those others who publically disagree with Obama in Colorado and Washington should probably refrain from the wacky tabacky. Those people fit Obama's defination of bigger fish to fry.

It's not about consistency under the law for Obama, it's about brandishing power and he can't brandish as much power when he is restrained by a law.

Shouting Thomas said...

phx, you know what they say about those celebrations in the end zone?

Act like you've been there before!

bpm4532 said...

How much you want to bet that when he vacations in Hawaii, the old Choom Gang helps him load up a year's supply of ganja on Air Force One?

phx said...

ST I've been rather...conservative in my TD celebrations since November, IMO.

Mark said...

Well, the great thing about keeping it ambiguous is it gives the Justice Department a useful tool if Obama ever decides somebody needs to go to jail for some reason.

Enough laws like that and the Feds pretty much have everyone under their thumb.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me its appropriate to move past the last election--there are enough problems facing the country that require some degree of foresight rather than hindsight.

Chip S. said...

tell the voters in those two states you respect them and that you'll leave them alone.

excerpted from The Federalist Rolling Papers

Paul said...

Yes Obama SWORE to uphold the laws of the land but we have seen over time he IGNORES the laws he DECIDES do not need to be enforced (at this time or against whomever he wants.)

Equal protection under the law should also mean EQUAL ENFORCEMENT of the law.

Obama does not enforce all the laws nor enforces them equally across the board.

mccullough said...

In fairness to Obama, W. was also a former drug user turned drug warrior. 16 years of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Roger J. said...

Garage--right on.

Surfed said...

Who cares what he answers? As long as the States pass laws at variance with the Federal Government (all people being equal)to take back their inherent powers he can stand mute as long as he cares to. I don't know about the rest of Althouse World but I pressed the mute button on Prez Obama a couple of years ago.

BarrySanders20 said...

States should be permitted to experiment on things like this. Let them be laboratories of democracy. The problem, as Obama well knows, is the leviathan that is the federal regulatory state. Easier to ignore the real problem than directly address the consequences.

It's Advent in Boulder. Bong Hits For Hay-Soos!

phx said...

Not contagious enough for you guys to win the election last Nov however.

Jeepers guys. I was just responding to our friend chickelit's comments on "Obamaphobia".

I withdraw my comment and my endzone celebration. Further I wholeheartedly and sincerely offer my standard "If any of you were offended" apology.

No more talk about the last election! That pimple's been squeezed.

Lyle said...

He can't really ask Congress to legalize marijuana now can he? Or can he?

mccullough said...

By the way, what are the US Senators and US representatives from Washington and Colorado doing? Any proposed bills from them?

Sam L. said...

The Won will "enforce" that which he wishes to. See 'illegal immigrants'.

pm317, he has no 'influence' because he wants to leave no fingerprints. And he doesn't really care.

Rumpletweezer said...

So the answer to the question "Would Obama have been better off if he'd been arrested for doing drugs?" is No. But we would have been.

X said...

the simplest way to not enforce a law of the land would be to put ICE in charge of MJ enforcement.

Roger J. said...

my thought: it would be well to take phx's comment to heart--this nation is clearly facing some major challenges, and doing dubies in WA and CO isnt one of them. This situation in the mideast seems to moving more rapidly than our response to it; our economy need some drastic measures. Perhaps we would all be better off if we fired up a dubie, reached for the freetos and let it go.

But that really isnt an option.

Levi Starks said...

Obama's Legacy?

The president that spent the greatest amount of time worrying about his Legacy..

Chuck Currie said...

Why can't Obama issue CO & WA a waiver? He seems to be good at that.

Cheers

edutcher said...

May I remind everyone, "Everything Barack Obama says has an expiration date" - Rush Limbaugh.

Shouting Thomas said...

Not contagious enough for you guys to win the election last Nov however.

You're still in Touchdown Celebration Dance mode, phx?

I'll remember that for use the next time your side loses.


Not next time. EVERY time.

phx said...

ST I've been rather...conservative in my TD celebrations since November, IMO.

Of course you have.
/sarc

Renee said...

@chickelit

Most of the drug use is all tourist related it seems, according to the wiki article.

I could imagine pot could end up doing what casinos are doing, they were used for tourism dollars, but now almost every state wants it own casino so they don't lose money from other states on them.

Meade said...

BW: Okay, Mr. President, I feel very uncomfortable asking you this question when I'm sitting opposite you.

But you are a little stoned.

OB: More than a little.

BW: Why?

OB: Well, if I could figure that out, I'd fix it, you know.

Chip S. said...

reached for the freetos

That's "free phones", not "free tows".

Altho I suppose ObamaCarCare isn't too farfetched.

Nonapod said...

If all Obama needs to do is reschedule marijuana's status in the Controlled Substance act to make its use, sale, and possession legal, than why hasn't he. I guess the correct question is: What are the advantages and disadvantages for Obama politically to legalize it? Because that's all that motivates Obama on this issue (and really pretty much every other issue at this point).

Given his actions and behavior since November it appears to me that Obama's main goal in his second term is going to be to divide and destroy the GOP. I guess I'm wondering how this issue will play into that goal.

phx said...

A bipartisan approach to prioritizing and problem-solving would be different and worthwhile. The pot problem wouldn't make the triage list, and for all I care they can solve this using a dartboard.

Developments in the MENA and the economy are much more critical, and with those issues it's much more important to find bipartisan ground.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws.

After Fast and Furious, what you're 'supposed to be' doing and what the Exec Branch IS doing turn out to be opposites.

Carrying out laws? Har! Using executive privilege to prevent Congress from carrying out oversight. Legislating by executive order.

As a constitutional scholar, you're a poseur.

phx said...

What do you think @edutcher? Can we find bipartisan ground?

X said...

he'll have more flexibility after he is reelected again.

Mark Jones said...

A definitive answer reduces his power. Perpetual uncertainty about federal policy means that he can auction off (relative) impunity to his cronies/supporters, while still threatening to hammer anyone he doesn't like.

RecChief said...

I cannot believe that Althouse is now annoyed by this type of response from teh president. He has provided these types of "We're going to have to have a conversation..." answers for the last 5 years. Everyone nods and thinks "He is so wise..." not noticing that no conversation ever takes place, nor are any solutions ever reached. Yawn

DADvocate said...

This is only an exercise for some of you who actually don't care in the least about the problem to get all het up and self-righteously indignant against Obama and his supporters.

phx slays another straw man.

X said...

We do have bigger fish to fry.

we're entering Year 5 of a State Economic of Emergency. when would be a good time?

Michael said...

Obama wants a "conversation"? Like we are on The View. Grow some balls Mr. President, you won. What, exactly, do you want?

phx said...

DADvocate you throw around "straw man" in ways that I never use the term. I think you regularly accuse me of this.

I wish you'd be more clear than "another straw man." I get the feeling that whatever comment I make you think "straw man."

edutcher said...

phx said...

What do you think @edutcher? Can we find bipartisan ground?

I've noticed the Lefties define bipartisanship the way the Soviets defined world peace.

X said...

phx, your quote Dadvocate used is an excellent example of a straw man.

DADvocate said...

DADvocate you throw around "straw man" in ways that I never use the term. I think you regularly accuse me of this.

You make up an imaginary group of people, i.e. "some of you...." rather than address actual issues and facts. That's a straw man argument, a fallacy. It betrays your bias and the lack of a logical basis for your bias.

garage mahal said...

He can't really ask Congress to legalize marijuana now can he?

He doesn't need Congress. He has a habit of lying about this to shift blame onto Congress.

How comforting though that he says he has more important people he wants to harass. Dangerous people like Barrett Brown and Aaron Swartz.

phx said...

I've noticed the Lefties define bipartisanship the way the Soviets defined world peace.

That's a real good start. Now I'm gonna encourage you to come just a little more towards the center and then I will, too.

DADvocate said...

How comforting though that he says he has more important people he wants to harass. Dangerous people like Barrett Brown and Aaron Swartz.

I thought he was referring to John Boehner.

Bruce Hayden said...

By the way, what are the US Senators and US representatives from Washington and Colorado doing? Any proposed bills from them?

Why would they bother? They are mostly members of the political elite, who truly believe in a different set of rules for them and us. At the state level, there is a reason why these were ballot issues - the political class and political elites oppose legalization of pot, partly, I think, because that would tend to reduce the power of the regulatory state. So, despite fairly widespread support, this was not about to survive the state legislative process. And, their Senators and Representatives in D.C. are the cream of this elite, so don't look for any help from most of them.

This is maybe part of the reason why referenda and ballot initiatives are so prevalent in the west. There is a well founded distrust of the legislative process, and more trust, esp. as an escape valve, of direct democracy.

My mother and I used to debate this topic. She was state legislative chair and head lobbyist for the CO League of Women Voters. My response then, as it is now, is that political insiders hate the initiative process because it mostly cuts them out of the process. One of her pet peeves was the mess that the CO Constitution was, due to all sorts of stuff in it that shouldn't be there. But, the reason for that was that the voters would pass something by initiative, the Legislature would often reverse at least part of it in short order, and the people in the next election would then put it in the state constitution so the legislature couldn't touch it.

Kirby Olson said...

Let's get stoned and rob the stagecoach is Obama's idea of economics. I thought the Republicans should put this picture of Obama on every one of their ads this fall. Unlike Clinton he could not only inhale, but hold the smoke for several minutes.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XEt44kb-bRM/Tvpt9gkefBI/AAAAAAAAAcU/CLYjE9ZUb_A/s640/obama.jpg

X said...

Bruce, the shorter answer is they are up there representing Washington DC instead of Washington.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

President Obama should just go with the obvious answer:

As long as the marijuana is not sold ( or shipped for sale ) across state lines, the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate it.

President Obama taught constitutional law, so surely he understands this, right?

Nonapod said...

Thinking about it a little I can see why Obama might not be eager to legalize it on the Federal level at this point. Even though a majority of people seem to approve of legalization, it's not exactly an overwhelming majority... and many of those who may be opposed were people who supported him in November, specifically women (whom a majority of oppose legalization). He needs to continue to have those people in his corner so he can keep demonizing the congressional GoP as obstructionists in the whole fiscal cliff nonsense.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The laziest man to ever occupy the office. Dude is lazy. Lazy as fuck.
Dodge. Deflect. Delete. Delegate. Disregard. Dismiss.

You'd think he'd be worried about perpetuating the stereotype.

Dante said...

Make laws congruent with federal law, they are shut down. Make laws incongruent with federal law, it's OK.

It might be nice to have something that makes sense. But that requires lawyers and judges, and they seem to decide how the feel about things rather than what the constitution says, or what the over-reaching massive, monopolistic government says.

People like to rub it in "Obama won, nananana," but imagine when the utopia falls apart. All these presidents your Golden God are using today to screw things up will come back to bite you. Your utopia will vanish, along with the good parts of it.

Because, despite what you think, it's not "advancement." It's different, broken, and wrong.

Meanwhile, I see nothing wrong with pot smoking, but there are lot of laws that don't make sense. We abide by them because they are the law.

X said...

IIB, the Living Constitution murdered the Commerce Clause in the parlor with a lead pipe.

phx said...

You make up an imaginary group of people, i.e. "some of you...." rather than address actual issues and facts. That's a straw man argument, a fallacy. It betrays your bias and the lack of a logical basis for your bias.

I don't feel I have a bias towards the merits of the argument on topic - Obama may or may not be FOS on this one, and I don't particularly care.

But I do believe that there are SOME commenters who don't care either - or don't care enough to look at it from Obama's POV. They nevertheless find in ANY occasion an opportunity to degrade the President and his supporters.

I don't believe it's a fallacy to raise that issue.

phx said...

The laziest man to ever occupy the office. Dude is lazy. Lazy as fuck.
Dodge. Deflect. Delete. Delegate. Disregard. Dismiss.


See, comments like this aren't really healthy "arguments" - so pointing out that some of this boilerplate bitching is coming from people who just want to bitch about ANYTHING Obama says or does doesn't strike me as "straw man."

If there was a coherent argument why Obama was demonstrably at fault here and rather than deal with that I deflected, I would agree: straw man.

That's how I see it.

X said...

phx, thanks for bringing a bag of nothing.

Jay said...

This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law.... I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws

From a Con Law Professor, no less!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

X said...

IIB, the Living Constitution murdered the Commerce Clause in the parlor with a lead pipe.

Strictly speaking ( since strictly is how the constitution should be spoken about ) it was the 10th amendment that was murdered. The commerce clause has metastasized.

Bruce Hayden said...

Given his actions and behavior since November it appears to me that Obama's main goal in his second term is going to be to divide and destroy the GOP. I guess I'm wondering how this issue will play into that goal.

I don't see this. Yes, now, that seems to be his goal. But, I think that he is just too lazy to keep up that throughout his second term. Rather, I would suggest that this is more a reflection of still being in campaign mode.

Rather, I think that more and more people are seeing that the reasons that he likes being President are the perks and the power. Mostly the perks though. Being able to jet into any town in the country in his private 747, then get to play the best golf courses in the country on a super VIP basis. The ability to have most of Hollywood at his beck and call. The big house in D.C. and the huge staff. All just for being so wonderful.

For those looking carefully, this aspect of his character was on full display his first term. First appointment of the day maybe 10 a.m., maybe one more appointment during the whole day. Skip the PDBs because they are boring. This was when he was supposedly on the job in D.C. Even Bush (43), supposedly on "vacation" at his ranch in Texas did far, far, more almost every day, taking his Presidential duties much more seriously. And, a much older Reagan would most often have his schedule solidly booked from 8 until maybe 5 or 6. Not one or two appointments or meetings in a day, but a dozen, almost every day.

Obama's management style seems to be to hire much more energetic fellow travelers for his top positions, and then let them run mostly free, implementing their version of the socialist/welfare state, leaving him to his leisure. Holder at Justice implementing his Black Liberation view of justice, Sebellis at HHS her feminist rejection of her Catholic roots, anti-nuclear zealot at Energy, anti-fossil fuel zealot at EPA, and, yes, anti-American Imperialists at State, etc.

The thing to remember is that these zealots have almost no oversight from Obama. That would cut into his golf games. No buck stops at his desk, because no one holds him accountable, thanks, apparently, to his manifest wonderfulness. And, so expecting help here from him is wishful thinking at the extreme.

phx said...

phx, thanks for bringing a bag of nothing.

Pshaw. Don't mention it X.

Chip S. said...

That's how I see it.

Fine.

And other people see it as just another example of the man's SOP, and say so.

Also fine.

How about this as a "bipartisan solution": You say whatever it is of substance that you have to say, and let other people say what they have to say, w/o continually appointing yourself the arbiter of what's a good and proper comment?

Amartel said...

Let me be clear: I am not going to be clear until and unless it is politically expedient to be clear.

phx said...

w/o continually appointing yourself the arbiter of what's a good and proper comment?

You mean like your comments to me? It's so simple ChipS. You don't have to respond to or even read my comments! I don't think I've addressed you in particular for months now, except when you address.

So stop your pretending.

edutcher said...

Jay said...

This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law.... I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws

From a Con Law Professor, no less!


No, he was merely a lecturer.

And a rather indifferent one, according to the students.

garage mahal said...

Obama may or may not be FOS on this one, and I don't particularly care.

Even if you don't like pot you should care. He is either lying or woefully ignorant on law that anyone can look up on google and understand within a few minutes. He's been on the job long enough to have formed a clear legal position on pot.

I want to hear Obama asked what the appropriate punishment should have been for him in his pot smoking days.

X said...

I mean it phx. place wouldn't be the same without the phanboix perspective.

Levi Starks said...

Thought experiment:
Imagine if a state said "we don't think the justice dept. is enforcing federal drug laws in our state" and then passed a law directing state authorities to enforce federal drug laws.

phx said...

Now I understand you want to be able to say someone else is full of bullshit without anyone calling your own. But did that ever actually ever work for you somewhere?

phx said...

I mean it phx. place wouldn't be the same without the phanboix perspective.

X, if I had any idea who you were or where you stood on anything, I'd feel the same about you.

Chip S. said...

phx is like Inga, only w/ less amusement value.

phx said...

Ouch.

gerry said...

Seems to me its appropriate to move past the last election--there are enough problems facing the country that require some degree of foresight rather than hindsight.

The economy, the disaster of Obamacare, the Mideast...Obama is in over his head and headed into historical disaster territory, taking us, unfortunately but necessarily, with him.

The ironic upside is that he when it is all over, he won't be able to recover.

Aridog said...

What Obama says and what his administration does are usually two very different things. Any citizen of any state where pot is "legal" but still illegal under federal law...keep watch over your shoulder, yes the feds WILL prosecute you and demand you snitch on whoever supplied your weed.

Be careful how you answer, because if they already know the answer (a good cop always knows the answer to his own questions, it is a test ...for you) and you lie, that a second charge (ala' Martha Stewart, among others).

Think they'll by-ass simple users? Good luck. Just like they by-pass non-criminal undocumented aliens...Obama makes sure of that, right? Sucker. Come up and vist me...I'll show you Obama's feds staking out churches to capture ordinary Mexicans and Poles (white people can be illegal too) who've committed no crime except to be here illegally. Obama says his administration isn't concerned about those people...and he is bullshitting you and them, and their relatives for votes last November.

Not joking y'all...come on up and I'll introduce you to legal residents and citizen "officially paused" outside their churches for investigation. Don't be a Pole with an accent in a church in Hanmtramck...now the local Islamist center full of radical Pakis...oh, no.

If you even look slightly lie a beaner coming out of church in Mexican Town (surprise surprise...there are beaners in Mexican Town, eh?)...you are suspected of being an illegal drug cartel M'F'er because they all got to church, some daily.

Yep, Obama likes to say one thing and do another, especially when he knows he won't get caught. That's the "beauty" of his drone kiling program...he will publicize only the successful ones , and can ignore the mistakes and accidents...cause it's classified, ya' know. Like Benghazi...

Aw screw it...I'll be grateful if the Pussy in chief doesn't try for a third term.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law.... I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws

Except that Obama and his minions have shown themselves more than willing to selectively enforce the laws on the books - e.g. their explicit and public refusal to enforce immigration laws against certain classes of illegal immigrants.

Chris said...

No, he was merely a lecturer.

He's still a lecturer.

Big Mike said...

I don't understand why you are surprised or consternated, Professor. The evidence that Barack Obama was an empty suit was in front you in 2008.

Jay said...

No, he was merely a lecturer.


He referred to himself as a professor. ("I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution."

Which tells you all you need to know about this clown.

Big Mike said...

That's a real good start. Now I'm gonna encourage you to come just a little more towards the center and then I will, too.

I don't know why anyone would care what you do or don't do.

Darcy said...

This harshed my mellow.

phx said...

I don't know why anyone would care what you do or don't do.

I must be doing something right. Got all the extremists personally het up this morning.

edutcher said...

You do?

All you got from me was /sarc.

phx said...

All you got from me was /sarc.

Okay, okay. Some extremists are more het up than others.

Shouting Thomas said...

We've got extremists at Althouse?

By extremists, are you referring to non-Democrats?

Chip S. said...

"het up" =/= "bored"

Bruce Hayden said...

The thing that makes this much more problematic than medical marijuana is that state intervention was envisioned. State oversight of the growers and sellers, etc. These states can't just sit on the sidelines this time, with their eyes closed and hands over their ears, saying "na-na-na" until the problem goes away. They are required, by state law and constitution to act, but legally prevented to do so by federal law.

At first blush, this would seem to be a classic Supremacy issue - except that the federal government is notorious (and, esp. under Obama) for selective enforcement, and many state functions would be impeded if the feds zealously enforced all federal laws, so, I think, that we are talking more a question of de facto, versus de jure, legality. If the feds are going to fully enforce federal drug laws against everyone involved, including state employees doing their jobs, then the states may be prohibited from doing what their voters instructed them to do (and, maybe vote next time for a Presidential nominee who will respect their will, as opposed to one who won't). And, if the feds aren't then the states can get along and do what their voters voted for them to do. It is the uncertainty here that is the big problem.

WineSlob said...

The Feds and the States Were DisJointed
But the Potheads Barry Appointed
Bonged the Law With Some Weed
Take a Toke and be Free
Bogart the Culture, Barry-Juana Has Been Annointed!


Rich B said...

Has Obama ever expressed a novel idea? Has he ever expressed anything in an interesting way? When he talks, it seems like he is searching for some boiler-plate language that he has been fed. No passion.

Rich B said...

A garage mahal impersonator?

Bob said...

Obama votes Present. Shocking

leslyn said...



What, you want a dictate? Maybe an executive order! Right damn now? Doesn't that just add fodder to "the President is a dictator!"?

I swear, sometimes this is like preschool. Or cowbys herding cats.

leslyn said...

DADvocate said,

What a wuss. What's so hard about coming out in favor of decriminalizing or legalizing pot? Is that more controversial than same sex marriage? Haven't the last three presidents admitted to smoking pot, the devil's weed, ganja, mary jane, reefer?

Has it occurred to you that this is a legislative function? Why don't you take your complaint to John Boehner?

What the law says is the issue, and for that you want to hold the President responsible? As far as I know the executive is doing nothing to interfere with these state laws. Doesn't that sound like the all-holy Federalism to you?

What hypocrites.

Bryan C said...

"The supremacy clause in the Constitution says that federal law trumps state law."

Except when El Jefe decides that federal law is not convenient, in which case the states are expected to absolutely not enforce federal law. So you can see why the states might be confused.

Maybe we can ask the President to tweet his daily enforcement directives, just to keep us all in the loop.

Bryan C said...

"As far as I know the executive is doing nothing to interfere with these state laws. Doesn't that sound like the all-holy Federalism to you?"

Leslyn, it's pretty clear that where this issue is concerned, "as far as you know" isn't really very far.

And, no. Federalism isn't "we let States do what they want but only until the Federal government decides to take over." That's pretty much entirely backwards, in fact.

garage mahal said...

Why don't you take your complaint to John Boehner?

Because Obama DOESN'T need to take it Boehner! Obama is actually fighting an effort in federal court to get the executive branch to provide a legitimate review of marijuana.

Obama could easily move marijuana to a lower schedule, or unschedule it altogether. If he wanted to.

Aridog said...

leslyn said...

What, you want a dictate? Maybe an executive order! Right damn now? Doesn't that just add fodder to "the President is a dictator!"?

No, I'd be pleased if the administration just enforced the laws even handedly...and that requires no executive orders to accomplish.

I think most here and elsewhere are missing the key to the Obama strategy and tactics. Very simply, what he says is not what he (or his administration) does. He panders for votes and once done, enforces laws selectively...and then ramps up enforcement against selected groups of aliens.

How does he target those going and coming to church...who must all be felonious you know, 'specially them smelly Beaners and uppity Pollocks?

If I didn't witness it myself, I'd not believe it either. However, I have...

Aridog said...

Some that @Leslyn says is dead right...Obama did not write the drug laws, nor does he directly control their enforcement. The "institutionalized" bureaucracy does that.

However, he does have sufficient influence to get enforcement done in selective places on carefully parsed issues. He can stop enforcement selectively...which is the same thing as enforcing selectively.

As I've said, the Feds will swoop down on the little weed tokers sooner or later, regardless of state laws.

If you don't think so, fire up a blunt and blow some mother nature fumes in an FBI dudes face. That'll help you discern sooner from later. :-))

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Aridog said...

However, he does have sufficient influence to get enforcement done in selective places on carefully parsed issues. He can stop enforcement selectively...which is the same thing as enforcing selectively.

I'm pretty sure that if they explicitly did selective enforcement on a state-by-state basis, that would be an equal protection violation that the courts would not allow.

leslyn said...

Leslyn, it's pretty clear that where this issue is concerned, "as far as you know" isn't really very far.

And, no. Federalism isn't "we let States do what they want but only until the Federal government decides to take over." That's pretty much entirely backwards, in fact.


Blow me away with facts. Come on. I dare you.

Bryan C said...
"The supremacy clause in the Constitution says that federal law trumps state law."

Except when El Jefe decides that federal law is not convenient, in which case the states are expected to absolutely not enforce federal law. So you can see why the states might be confused.

So now the problem is that the President has commented that there are more important things to do than enforce state marijuana laws? I thought this post was the other way around--WE WANT MORE EXECUTIVE STATEMENTS--which, BTW, have nothing to do with changing the federal law.

garage mahal said,

Obama could easily move marijuana to a lower schedule, or unschedule it altogether. If he wanted to. The schedule is federal law. If you want to change it, change the law.

Ignorance is Bliss said,

I'm pretty sure that if they explicitly did selective enforcement on a state-by-state basis, that would be an equal protection violation that the courts would not allow.

You should really change your name to something with "Intelligence" in it. A court decision would then tell us something about "what the law is."


garage mahal said...

The schedule is federal law. If you want to change it, change the law.

And Obama has complete authority to make that happen. Instead, he is fighting it.

purplepenquin said...

Earlier the ObamaAdmin said that even talking about the re-legalization of marijuana was off the table...so saying he is now willing to have a convo about it is a positive step in the right direction. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself.

One good thing about Obama winning the election is that maybe the GOP will finally come to some sense on these insane drug laws, just to spite him.

Aridog said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm pretty sure that if they explicitly did selective enforcement on a state-by-state basis, that would be an equal protection violation that the courts would not allow.

First, I didn't say state by state, I just said it is happening in my state vis a vis immigration enforcement. The same thing will happen with Mary Jane enforcement...give it some time.

Next, your proposition is quite true...IF someone could get Holder and Company to entertain the idea. In a fair world, we'd learn what the law actually says and means.

However, I'd point to the federal Department of Justice as already committed equal protection violation with Arizona and Arizona LEO access to federal databases on legal immigrants.

I'm ex-military and ex-Fed...and I assure you I have no trust in either executive level management anymore.

purplepenquin said...

The schedule is federal law. If you want to change it, change the law.

Setting up the act was a federal law, but the DEA & FDA (both of which report to the White House, no?) is who determines where each substance/plant lands within those classifications.

At least, that is according to Wiki...which I know isn't always accurate. If you have more info available then please share. Perhaps this outrage about classifying marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine is misdirected at Obama, and instead should be focused on Boehner.

Tarzan said...

"This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law.... I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about, How do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?"
... but that's restating the question, not answering it.


Barak Obama is such an epic dork I could scream, puke and poop all at once.

I choose not to do that at this time.

But I totally *could*.

Tarzan said...

The biggest thing Barak Obama has to offer anyone in a crisis is a few quotes from a middle school social studies text book.

Then it's golf, waffles and "I've got a lot on my plate."

I just can't believe anyone, anywhere thinks this man is worthy of the office.

chickelit said...

Perhaps this outrage about classifying marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine is misdirected at Obama, and instead should be focused on Boehner.

Then again, perhaps not. I find it intersting that PP is in opposition to GM on the details. Could the law just cite language such as "controlled substances" without naming them, allowing definition by someone such as POTUS?

garage mahal said...

"In theory, the DEA, in consultation with the secretary of health and human services could move to reschedule marijuana – legally, the administration has that power," says Robert Mikos, a law professor and federalism expert at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. "That said, making it an unscheduled substance would be a very dramatic change. If that were to happen, it would be politically easier to do in the last days of [Obama's] second term."

Ending federal oversight of marijuana would in essence just throw it back to the states, and currently we have 30-some states that criminalize simple possession and a dozen or so that have decriminalized it, and now a couple that have completely legalized it," explains Mr. Mikos. "In that case, marijuana [policy] would just become a matter of state law."

purplepenquin said...

Could the law just cite language such as "controlled substances" without naming them, allowing definition by someone such as POTUS?

Wiki is our friend, my friend. :D

Basically...while it did specifically mention some substances that were to be regulated, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 primarily set-up the mechanism of how substances would be classified by the governing agency. Congress since then has added other substances as well, but most reclassifications have been done by a Presidential Agency.

Another Wiki article goes into detail about the various petitions that have been received to re-classify marijuana...but to sum it up every PresidentialAdmin since-and-including Nixon's has agreed with the policy that marijuana is more dangerous than cocaine.

chickelit said...

PP it appears then that garage was right and you were mistaken for your call to get on Boehner's case rather than Obama's--unless of course you were calling for the repeal of the controlled substances act rather than just reclassifying pot.

purplepenquin said...

And re-reading the thread I don't see what details GM and I are disagreeing about. We both are saying that any President basically has the authority to re-classify a substance on The List.

And I also agree that it is especially galling that a person who poke smot himself...like Obama, but I'd also add Clinton and W and Reagan too...would cling to such an insane drug policy. At least Carter and Poppa Bush weren't total hypocrites about it.

purplepenquin said...

you were mistaken for your call to get on Boehner's case rather than Obama's

Please re-read my entire 1:35pm post rather than just the one statement you quoted. 'cause the message you received is not the one I sent.

mccullough said...

Congress put marijuana in the Class I schedule in the CSA when they passed the law back in 1970.

It is very questionable whether the DEA would have the statutory authority to reclassify it. And they would have no authority to declassify it. So even if they put it into Schedule V, these drugs can only be used for a medicinal purpose.

This might help states like California that have medical marijuana laws, but Colorado and Washington have allowed them for a recreational purpose.

leslyn said...

purplepenquin said...
And re-reading the thread I don't see what details GM and I are disagreeing about. We both are saying that any President basically has the authority to re-classify a substance on The List.

Reread what mccullough said at 4:12.


purplepenquin said...

leslyn, I see the 4:12 and raise you with the 2:52. It is too bad there ain't any law experts around to shed some light on the matter.

That aside, do you at least agree that the DEA reports to the White House? If Obama was to instruct his agencies that enforcement was to be the absolute least priorty of resources, could they really tell him "Nope, ain't gonna do that!"?

Please don't think I ain't holding Congress blameless for this mess...obviously they could pass a law that re-legalizes the herb, at least on a Federal level. But it is Obama's DEA that enforces the FedLaws, and thus it is Obama that can tell them to stand down.

leslyn said...

(I'm heartbroken.)

You can't change a law on the books with an agency regulation or executive order. That's one of the essential things about being a law.

The DEA reports, I believe, to DHS, which reports to the President. The President, if desiring certain selective enforcement (isn't that what we said? We have more important things to do?) would communicate that to the Attorney General at the DOJ, who would advise the Prez on policy and enforcement issues, but carry out such a policy if deemed Constitutional to do so.

As the country's chief law enforcement officer, the AG would communicate the policy to the enforcement agencies--including DHS, and the DEA.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

leslyn said...

A court decision would then tell us something about "what the law is."

It would only tell us that the law can't be enforced selectively by state. It would tell us nothing about whether it would be enforced everywhere, or nowhere, or when it might change from one to another.

Steve Koch said...

This is a great example of something that should be decided at the state level rather than the federal level. Those who value liberty should push for federalism. This should be obvious for conservatives but even some lefties should fear the danger of dictatorship that a too big, too powerful central government poses.

Aridog said...

purplepenquin said...

It is too bad there ain't any law experts around to shed some light on the matter.

Don't need to be a "law expert" to understand how federal bureaucracy works. What you think a law says and what is actually done in its name are frequently as different as night and day. Think Justice Roberts and the semantics of *penalty* versus *tax*.

Leslyn is right about the normal process within the Executive Branch, especially if the issue is one clearly defined in a statute. I have personally witnessed it in action. It gets murky when a law is passed that is vague, as many are, and reliant upon agencies to rule-write-as-law. (Arbitrary bureaucrats like this better as guilt is presumed,not innocence, when a violation is cited....and punishment begins immediately upon citation.)

Under vague statutory conditions, agencies can write and re-write/change the rules at will, and do so. Think the Pelosi-care legislation and the Clean Air Act, among others, particularly in the finance arena. As far as health care is concerned, what Pelosi and crew put together is a ludicrous hodge podge of vagaries. What candidate John Kerry proposed in 2004 was far better and simpler, using existing agency offices,...although I despise Kerry I have to give him credit for the issue he was correct on. How many even recall what his proposal was?

It gets even worse when the statute does not specify who the enforcing agency is to be...then a half dozen agencies all rule-write-as-law together.

As for the Attorney General and Department of Justice, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, you already have agencies that ignore clear statutes and/or re-write-rules-as-law, and no better an example exists than *Fast & Furious* gun walking where federal laws were intentionally broken in name of enforcing the same federal laws.

If that makes sense to you, then you must be a progressive "Fed." And it should be noted that this federal malfeasance began long before Obama, or even Bush. "Equal protection" has been an inside joke since Eisenhower left office at a minimum. You cannot change this institutionalized idiocy by changing administrations...all the vested players stay right there in DC and continue to play the game.

Aridog said...

One more thing...the Department of Homeland Security was established under Bush, and is just possibly the worst construct in federal government ever implemented. Obama isn't to blame for establishing it, but under his watch DHS has expanded its functions geometrically...rampant redundancy by establishing internal functions that duplicate functions already done efficiently by several other agencies.

Reason? ...easy, the agencies they are usurping functions from are mostly those DHS does NOT control. Hello? Think Dept of Defense and the various departments under it. Think "FEMA Corps" as one of the newest bullshit redundant functions under DHS...intended to replace disaster response responsibilities of DoD under the auspices of ESF-3.

A damn foolish idea under Bush, and one made idiotic under Obama.

purplepenquin said...

So, if what I am hearing is correct, it doesn't matter at all what the President says about the War on Drugs 'cause there is nothing-at-all he can do to bring about any changes?

When Obama says that the DEA won't go after pot smokers in the states that legalized it he is just talking outta his ass 'cause he has no power at-all to stop his agency from enforcing the law, eh?

I dunno...that doesn't sound right to me.

Aridog said...

purplepenquin said...

So, if what I am hearing is correct ...

No, you're not "hearing" what has been said, and you need to re-read most of this thread. And as for my comments, as well as Leslyn's, try some research. Your repeating something doesn't make it true...especially when it is not what anyone has said per se. Especially...Re-read Leslyn's comment at 7:24 on 14 Dec 2012. It is clear as a bell.

purplepenquin said...

You're right dawg!! I'm not actually "hearing" anything, but rather I'm "reading"!! Hahahahahahahaha...you sure got me! If this was a game I guess you'd be the winner, eh?

Re-read Leslyn's comment at 7:24 on 14 Dec 2012

Yes, I did read that. I also read her 12/14/12 12:18 PM comments that said we shouldn't be pointing a finger at the President 'cause his hands are tied and the blame is with Congress. And I also read your comments at 12/15/12 8:37 AM which seem to say...err, I mean read that it ain't the fault of the President 'cause it is simply agencies run amok and nobody can control them.

But even after reading all that, it still doesn't make sense to me that the POTUS is powerless in regards to this issue, and hence my request for clarification.

It is clear as a bell

No, it ain't, so that is why I asked for clarification.

Please keep in mind that even tho this is a law professor's blog we ain't all law students. I'm just a regular guy...what is "clear" to you might be slightly confusing to others.

Aridog said...

purplepenguin said ...

err, I mean read that it ain't the fault of the President 'cause it is simply agencies run amok and nobody can control them.

1.) I had no intent to mock read versus heard...that is in your head. I simply reused your wording and changed it to "read" for my remark. I don't come here to Althouse to "win" anything, more often than not igt is gto learn something...with the rare instance where I know an answer not-with-standing. I am rather conservative, but I am capable of grasping concepts not originated by conservatives, and agreeing when appropriate...but I am no RINO...those would be the typical Michhigan Republicans until Snyder got elected governor...and my opinion is still forming about him...so far so good.

2.) I am not a lawyer, at least not anymore than a latrine version...I just have experience with the subject matter of who can do what and why regarding a President and Executive Branch Agencies.

Let me try again....

A.) The President is NOT powerless, but the extent of his power is limited by the specific wording of statutes. If vague he can do any damn thing he wants, as we'll all soon learn as H&HS folks get their rules written...and the IRS adapts to the new concept of a discrete "penalty" as a uniform "tax." Now Justice Roberts is a lawyer and is living proof of how to waste a law degree wrecked upon the rocks of simple semantics....e.g., write new law from thin air strongly resembling flatulence.

B.) Where you stumble on the power of the President is the process invariably used when old law is interpreted differently or new law is reviewed...and with very very few exceptions it is precisely as Leslyn wrote at 7:42 yesterday. Do you understand that when an Executive Branch agency does something, it is on behalf of the President, even if he didn't say so?

C.)A good example of this process, even one where the outcome may suck in some views, is the expanded powers ought by the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) regarding additional federal records available to the NCTC and how long they may retain them un-redacted for innocent individuals. See Here for a synopsis and Here for more detail. Attorney General Holder signed the new records rules in to effective law in March. This is the President through his cabinet having power, whether or not he was informed of it. It was possible becasue the orignal privacy law is somewhat vague.

Did any of my expanded comment help?

leslyn said...

@purplepenquin (if you come back here)

But even after reading all that, it still doesn't make sense to me that the POTUS is powerless in regards to this issue, and hence my request for clarification.

1. Marijuana is classified by statute as an illegal "narcotic." Because the statute is clear and specific, there is nothing the Prez can do to change the classification. There is no delegated power to agencies of the executive branch (under the Prez) to do a damn thing about it. It remains illegal under federal law, no matter what state laws are passed.

2. Because the statute is specific, and the Prez can't change it, it must be changed by Congress--because the Constitution says Congress makes the laws.

3. Under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, federal law trump state law. Federal law and the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. Therefore, the feds could enforce the criminal statute about MJ even in a state that says it's not criminal.

4. The Constitution gives the Executive Branch (headed by the President) power to "execute," or carry out, or enforce, the laws legislated by Congress.

5. While the Executive Branch can't change a law enacted by the Legislative Branch, it can decide how, or how much to execute it, or carry it out. So regarding non-criminal MJ laws in the states, the President has just said the Executive Branch has more important things to do than enforce the federal MJ laws in those states. That is an enforcement policy statement, and like any policy statement, it can change.

6. Congress legislating laws, and the Executive carrying out those laws, is called Separation of Powers as established by the Constitution--the supreme law of the land. Why is the Constitution the supreme law of the land? Because it says it is, and all the states have agreed to it.

7. Therefore, under the Constitution, the Prez (Executive Branch) cannot change a law (Legislative Branch). The Executive Branch can only make policy decisions on how a law is carried out.

If you don't understand that, I suspect it's because you don't like the answer.

purplepenquin said...

If you don't understand that, I suspect it's because...

...some of the stuff you're saying doesn't add up with what other folks are saying and doing. Please don't read more into it than that.

First off, I agree that the President can order his agencies to stand down when it comes to enforcement of particular laws. I understand the separation of powers, and know that while a President can have a law ignored, he can't actually change/repeal it. I also understand that there were some specific substances included when the Controlled Substance Act (which set up the process&policies of how the regulating agencies would classify substances) was first passed, but I ain't so sure there was a These Shall Never Be Re-Scheduled caveat attached to 'em.

That is the big disagreement here...Who has jurisdiction for re-classifying marijuana..,no? You keep saying that only Congress can do it, while I beleive that either the Legislative or the Executive branches can.

One of the main reasons I have a hard time shaking that beleif is 'cause there are petitions filed with the DEA to re-schedule it. Are the lawyers who filed those cases just wasting everyone's time? That comes across as snarky, but I'm sincere: Are all the folks involved in that process simply overlooking that the DEA has no authority to do so?

And Ari...sorry about mis-reading that reading comment. My bad. And while I sincerely think you were sincere in trying to clear things up, the one link (didn't watch the video one, sry) didn't shed much light on the question "How much say does the President have in regards to federal marijuana laws?", and that's what I'm trying to figure out.

Aridog said...

Okay, Purplepenguin... I am going to presume your query is sincere. Here is an excerpt of the DEA's interpretation, as approved by the Department of Justice, of the Controlled Substances Act vis a vis marijuana:

When it comes to a drug that is currently listed in schedule I, if it is undisputed that such drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and it is further undisputed that the drug has at least some potential for abuse sufficient to warrant control under the CSA, the drug must remain in schedule I. In such circumstances, placement of the drug in schedules II through V would conflict with the CSA since such drug would not meet the criterion of "a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States

Here is an example of a petition to re-schedule and the findings per the Department of Justice, and DEA, and the Dept of H&HS, as represented in the presentation collectively by the DEA. Its neither Leslyn nor I promoting our opinions in the petition and findings...it is the DEA and those it represents.

The petition citation is long and boring, but if you read it through I think I will answer your questions. It should also assure you that Leslyn's two descriptions of the process are correct.

If you dig deep enough you will discover that all 5 schedules were defined by Congress as to what substances were in which schedules....and clearly defines the criteria that must be met for enforcement agency(s) to add or delete or reschedule a substance. It is summarized in the DEA interpretation I quoted above.

In short...the President has no ad hoc authority to change sufficiently detailed stipulations in a statute...in this case the Controlled substances Act and related amendments and acts.



purplepenquin said...

I fully understand that the President can't just schedule a press conference one afternoon where he looks at his watch, says "It is 4:20, and it is time to legalize pot" and it is all done and said with that.

However, as it has been pointed out by others, it is his agency that has the legal power to re-schedule it. Yes, I understand that there are procedures to be followed and it is a big ship to steer...but ultimately the buck stops where?

The DEA's failure to act on this matter tells me that Obama (like most of the Presidents before him) is at least content with, if not actually supportive of, the "Marijuana is more dangerous than cocaine" policy and for that I do hold him personally responsible.