Legal marijuana

I live in Massachusetts. I consider myself marijuana-naive. This question was promped by my son who has a co-worker that obtained a prescription for medical marijuana because he has insomnia. Editorial: What a crock of B.S.

If the federal statutes consider marijuana illegal, why doesn’t the DEA enforce those statutes in places like Massachusetts, Colorado, or California? I’ve heard people argue that it is a minor crime and the DEA has other priorities. OK, but there are lots of minor crimes that are enforced to some degree (e.g. overtime parking, littering, subway fare evasion). Who gets to pick-and-choose? Who made the decision to turn a blind eye on marijuana? I’m sure that decision was not made by field DEA agents. It was probably made fairly high up in the DEA, or perhaps higher at the Department of Justice or the Attorney General’s office. Are marijuana laws enforced by the DEA in those states that have not legalized marijuana at all. If not enforced at all, why hasn’t Congress simply repealed the law? Is there a specific law against marijuana, or is it simply one of a list of drugs that appear in some FDA or DOJ statutory regulation?

How does the price of legal marijuana compare with the stuff that’s illegal? In places where it is legal, does the government (state) get a cut of the sales proceeds? How much are the licenses that the states charge the retailers?

Back in 2009, the Justice Department issued a memo instructing federal attorneys and law enforcement agencies not to prosecute people who are in compliance with their states’ medical marijuana laws. They’ve also indicated that the same thing will apply to the states with recreational marijuana now.

In states that had MM before 2009, things were a bit more ambiguous. The DEA and other federal agencies generally don’t go after individual drug users, so with the state and local police called off MM patients themselves were generally pretty safe, but the dispensaries had to keep a fairly low profile to avoid the ire of the feds. It wasn’t until the 2009 memo that they were able to start acting more like normal businesses with storefronts, advertising, etc. However, there’s no guarantee that the current policy of tolerance will outlive the Obama administration.

As for the price, taxes, licensing, etc, that all varies a lot by state. My understanding with price is that the cost is pretty comparable to what the street price was, but the legal stuff tends to be of higher and more consistent quality.

You haven’t gotten high enough yet. It’s basically the President and his administration (the head of the executive branch of government).

Fifty-eight percent of adults polled now say that they favor the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana for recreational uses, approval for medical use is approaching 80%, two states have legalized it and more are considering it. The approval trends will probably continue to increase, to the point where public opinion has far outpaced the speed of political change. Ordering law enforcement to crack down would be pretty unpopular nationwide. Meanwhile, the social experiments are fairly well contained, giving voters and politicians both a chance to study the effects of regulation as opposed to criminalization.

Tossing people in jail for something widely perceived to become federally legal within a decade is not conducive to getting elected.

Interesting turn of phrase there. :dubious:

B.S. that he has to fabricate some ridiculous guise in order to engage in a relatively harmless behavior? Or B.S. that he is allowed to engage in a relatively harmless behavior?

What about the Chief Staff of Joints?

If the feds start over-turning state laws, where exactly do they draw the line? Which laws stay and which ones go? Who decides then?

If you have a prescription, it isn’t any kind of crime at all. They consider a lot of things illegal, but if you get a prescription, you’re good. There are stores where you can buy this stuff. What’s the problem?

The feds don’t overturn state laws. Federal law always has primacy over state law in areas where the federal government is permitted to act.

I suspect a lot of states are still waiting to see what’s going to happen. I don’t think laws about DUI have been addressed yet. They don’t need tests to see if someone’s smoked grass within the past 14 or 30 days; someone needs to come up with a reliable test to see if they’ve smoked in the last 6 hours. Or whatever someone decides. Maybe a Blood THC Content test and they can come up with some levels?

I was just asking a hypothetical, pertaining to the OP’s question about why the feds don’t stop it.

They need a test to see if the subject is “under the influence” at the time of the test. They also need a definition of what “under the influence” is and why that renders them incapable of, say, driving a car. They don’t currently have these things.

It is, however, illegal to drive a car while “under the influence.”

I was told by a friend who works at the PD that if you refuse the alcohol field test and the officer thinks there’s probable cause you’re impaired they’ll get a JP to sign a warrant for an immediate blood test. And when they draw blood they test for EVERYTHING.

Isn’t this begging the question? Has there been a demonstrated link between marijuana use and driver impairment? Let’s prove it causes accidents first.

You seem to have a misunderstanding about drugs and prescriptions. The FDA assigns drugs to different levels of regulation (called schedules). Some drugs (mostly narcotics with no known medicinal value) are assigned to a group that doesn’t allow for prescription use. iirc, the only legal use of drugs in this category is for research, with special temporary permits, and has very strict requirements.

Wasn’t the OP referencing the case of someone with a prescription? If it’s possible for a doctor to write me a prescription, and there’s a store I can go to to have that prescription filled, is that still a crime (that the feds have been overlooking, as they’re choosing not to prosecute for recreational MJ in Colorado)?

Yes. Federal laws and state laws are separate. There are plenty of things that are covered by one set of laws and not by the other.

This is an interesting avenue to explore.

If Hillary gets the nod and then wins in 2016, I imagine she’s unlikely to make much of a fuss about it. After all, she was married to Mr. I-Didn’t-Inhale.

Conventional Wisdom™ would suggest that a Republican POTUS would equal the end of tolerance for legalized medical (or recreational) pot; but not so fast. The two names I hear being kicked around most as possible GOP candidates are Chris Christie and Rand Paul. Rand is hard to pin down on MJ; on the one hand he’s quoted as saying it’s a states’ rights issue, but on the other he’s been courting the Evangelical vote and has made some anti-MJ statements. As for Christie: he’s all over the place. He’s said that he’s in favor of “ending the failed war on drugs,” but also limited the expansion of medical marijuana in New Jersey.

Either way, I’d say that the possibility of tolerance of statewide marijuana legalization extending beyond the Obama administration is good.

*why doesn’t the DEA enforce those statutes in places like Massachusetts, Colorado, or California? *

They do on a selective basis.

‘I’m Going To Prison For Working At A Pot Shop That Was Legal In My State’