November 9, 2016

"Even those of us who were rooting for the nine marijuana initiatives on state ballots this year did not expect so many of them to pass."

"Yesterday voters made marijuana legal for recreational use in four states (California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada) and approved or expanded medical access in four more (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota). The only loss was in Arizona, where voters who very narrowly approved medical use in 2010 declined to take the further step of making marijuana legal just for fun."

Writes Jacob Sullum at Reason.
The next step is for that government to go beyond the uncertain forbearance the Obama administration has offered by actively accommodating states that have rejected marijuana prohibition. Among other things, that means changing federal law so that it no longer threatens or obstructs state-legal marijuana businesses, as legislators such as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) have been urging for years.

President-Elect Trump (God help us) has suggested he is open to such accommodation. While personally frowning on legal pot (and disavowing his previous support for legalizing all drugs), Trump says marijuana policy "should be a state issue," which also happens to be what the Constitution requires.
That's an exaggeration (or a hopeful assessment) of "what the Constitution requires," but the point is the federal statutes need to be changed so there's no longer a conflict with these state laws. I think this would be a nice move for the new GOP Congress and President. It's got that federalism zing to satisfy conservatives. And at this point there's so much chaos, having something the state is conspicuously permitting and taxing that's somehow nevertheless a federal crime. It's just not fair to confuse people this much, and it breeds disrespect for the law. And it's generally better to let people decide what to do with our bodies. There are many bad decisions we can make, but having fun with various substances is not always bad, and the law isn't good enough at stopping us from enjoying ourselves anyway.

Also, some people are really feeling bad right now. It could cheer them up.

30 comments:

Michael K said...

I am in favor of legalization on a state level. Silly people, including some related to me, think this will solve state budget problems.

The Mexican cartels may not hold still for local operations.

n.n said...

There are many bad decisions that you can make

Bad Choice. Wrong Choice. Ugly Choice.

but having fun with various substances is not always bad

Certainly. Rational and reasonable in context.

Nonapod said...

If Trump removed marijuana from Schedule 1 it would probably confuse a great many people who seem to believe he's gonna be this nightmarish tyrant. That in itself would be amusing.

Static Ping said...

It may not solve budget issues, but the increased Dorito production should spur the economy.

damikesc said...

He should say he's going to do it...today. Just say "This is what I will do".

Because Obama might try to co-opt this.

EDH said...

It's just not fair to confuse people this much, and it breeds disrespect for the law.

Does that mean in order for the weed to be exempt from federal regulation it should have to be grown and consumed in one state?

Otherwise, you're saying the federal government shouldn't regulate weed in actual interstate commerce across state lines, but can regulate wheat I grow for use on my own farm?

Talk about confusion.

Lyle Smith said...

Doritos probably are processed outside the country. I am pretty sure some of them are coming from Mexico. NAFTA and comparative advantages!

irishguard said...

Unless and until they find a way to successfully test how high a driver of a car is, I'm not in favor of any legalization.

Cop - 'you just slammed into that other car, are you high?'
Kid - 'uh, no officer, why?'
Cop - 'well your car smells like pot, I found this bag and your eyes are all messed up.'
Kid - 'oh that must be my friend's pot, I just dropped him off, what's the problem?'
Cop - Well the other two people in that car you hit are both dead.'

Colorado accident rates are bearing this out.

n.n said...

It will not solve budget issues. It may reduce the body count. Although, as a carcinogenic substance, we may have another AIDS-like epidemic that followed sanction of weird, depraved, and dysfunctional behaviors.

EMD said...

"Unless and until they find a way to successfully test how high a driver of a car is, I'm not in favor of any legalization."

So you'd be for prohibiting alcohol sales as well, then?

richard mcenroe said...

So many states are legalizing pot this may be the last election where the Democrats are able to get their base off the couch to vote!

rehajm said...

Unless and until they find a way to successfully test how high a driver of a car is, I'm not in favor of any legalization.

Yah, one thing meth has on weed is efficiency in reducing collateral damage...

coupe said...

I believe that the drug war, like prohibition, has crippled the country.

All people want to do is get high, and then they will suffer any stupid fucking manufacturing job.

If we allowed people to smoke dope, and snort cocaine, then Ford will bring the factories back, and the people can do the jobs they used to do.

Alcohol is too highly taxed now. Americans need a drug that is cheap, and right now weed and coke are cheap.

robother said...

Ann gave me a great idea for a new brand of marijuana experience: Obama's Legacy. Bred to induce nostagia, the pot will be available first in name brand salons, where Democrats can imbibe amid photos of the Obamas, Biden and Clintons in happier times, with televisions replaying O's greatest moments. A side room will provide slightly different programming for the NeverTrumper Right, a Pixar-generated alternative reality of Jeb Bush's Presidency.

Static Ping said...

EDH: Does that mean in order for the weed to be exempt from federal regulation it should have to be grown and consumed in one state?

Did you ever watch Reefer Madness? One of the points the movie makes is that if marijuana is grown and consumed in the same state, it is not interstate commerce and therefore outside of federal jurisdiction. Actually, that sounds like a good idea to me and I think pot smoking is stupid. We should go back to that.

FullMoon said...

Mixed emotions here. I can buy weed, but may not be able to buy ammunition. Heck, I am not sure I am legally allowed to own the firearms I inherited.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Maybe they underestimated the effect that having to vote for these knuckleheads had on people's willingness to consider mind altering drugs?

mockturtle said...

Although a WA resident, I have been in AZ for about a month. The ads against legalization of recreational marijuana were numerous and emphasized the experiences of Colorado, where funding for schools was promised but never delivered. At least, that's what the political ads implied and they seemed very credible.

In WA, where I did vote in favor of legalization, the way the contracts were awarded for commercial growing were so underhanded and unfair to small growers that I regret my vote. And I think were are in an era where, as never before, we need our wits about us. All of them. All the time.

viator said...

Shows you what George Soros' money can buy.

eric said...

It depresses me. Suddenly my town is filled with jerks on bikes. Seriously, where did all these losers come from? They weren't here a year ago.

Now I've got what looks like homeless people riding bikes around, cursing at me and my children for no apparent reason, and causing a noxious stench to emanate from their direction as if they smoke marijuana all day long every day.

Larry J said...

I don't pretend to know the answer to the illegal drugs problem. I don't like any of those drugs for the damage they do. Those drugs are destroying lives, including one of my nieces. It also wrecks the lives of many innocents, such as my niece's children. Honestly, I don't know what we should do. All I know is that what we're doing isn't working.

When Prohibition was enacted, it made millions of Americans into criminals. Vast amounts of money flowed into organized crime which served to meet the illicit demand. The crime families used that money to corrupt the police, politicians, and judges. When Prohibition ended, the crime families switched to other things to make money such as drugs.

The War on Drugs has made millions of Americans into criminals. Vast amounts of money flows into organized (and not so organized) crime which serves the illicit demand. The criminals have used that money to corrupt the police, politicians, and judges. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

madAsHell said...

Excellent!! Maybe now the self-medicating mentally ill that sleep under I-5 in Seattle will head south!!

Michael K said...

"Colorado accident rates are bearing this out."

THC urine testing will show use from the previous month. I suspect the technology will get better when legalization happens.

JPS said...

Speaking of marijuana, I'd like to thank former Gov. Gary Johnson for providing a walking PSA about the downsides of cannabis use.

madAsHell said...

firearms I inherited

Sell them, and upgrade. The newer firearms stand head-n-shoulders over the WWII era firearms that Dad carried. They are MUCH safer.

Fernandinande said...

irishguard said...
Colorado accident rates are bearing this out.


https://www.codot.gov/library/traffic/safety-crash-data/fatal-crash-data-city-county/fatalities-by-person-type/view

Year Total-Traffic-Fatalities
2002 743 (4.5 million pop; rate=165)
2003 642
2004 667
2005 606
2006 535
2007 554
2008 548
2009 465
2010 450
2011 447
2012 474
2013 481
2014 488 (5.35 million pop; rate=91)
2015 547
2016 524 (prelim)

Pretty scary stuff!

narciso said...

don winslow, the game of thrones chronicler of mexican politics, sees the capture of el chapo, and the legalization, as the trigger for the latest fentanyl epidemic,

Lawrence Person said...

To believe that marijuana regulation is constitutionally a state concern one need believe only two things:

1. The Tenth Amendment actually means what it says.
2. Wickard vs. Filburn was wrongly decided and marks an unconstitutional expansion of the federal government into intrastate commerce.

Just_Mike_S said...

40 years ago I would have been stoked at this. Now I'm not so sure that adding one more substance to the list of legally abusable substances is going to have a positive effect on society.

chillblaine said...

The law just creates more uncertainty. You can now possess or transport an ounce or less. Will carrying 29 grams be considered trafficking? You know the pot shops will sell hundreds of pounds a week.

Will a person aged 20 years eleven months be cited for possession? Will the taxes collected be enough to offset second-order effects like heritable genotoxicity?

I plan on adding addiction treatment protocols to my wife's practice.