For those of you living in “pot friendly” states, what’s going on? Are dispensaries closing their doors? Is it a wait & see thing? Seems to me that if the Feds want to make a point it would be easy for them to make a few high-profile busts. Dispensaries wouldn’t want to take the risk and therefore shut down.
But I’m also guessing that local federal judges would have to hear these cases. If said local judge is sympathetic to the cause the case would likely be thrown out.
It should be noted that even under state law, you could still be arrested for marijuana possession. You had to have more than a certain amount (which I forget offhand how much). Also it was illegal to export it to another state, even if that state also had legal recreational weed. Oregon, along with California, is a state that “traditionally” grew dope for export. That didn’t change when they legalized it.
One of the reasons the 18th amendment (Prohibition) was repealed was because jury nullification was still quite known at the time and prosecutors were finding it increasingly more difficult to get convictions on the booze smugglers. Moonshiners it was easier but those bringing in commercial distillers’ products from Canada were rarely convicted on that charge alone. Now that some 60% of the general populations has no problem with pot – or at least believe the attempts to eradicate it are worse than the problems it engenders – I can see the same thing happening again.
So my question is, why aren’t we seeing more pot fields and warehouses being seized and/or torched by the DEA? We know Session has a Moby-Dick thing about pot. We know Trump enjoys eye-poking favored liberal policies from the Obama years just on principle, regardless of substance. Especially where it looks like the cities/states are giving the middle finger to federal agencies. Both the spirit and letter of the law is on their side (much as I dislike the law).
What’s stopping them? I don’t understand why I don’t seem to be seeing any activity in this area (or maybe it’s just flying under my radar somehow).
People who are so certain that federal law on the subject overrides state law should go look at the 10th amendment which reserves to the states or the people powers not granted to the federal government. I know about the interstate commerce clause, but I don’t see how the feds have any power to regulate a product grown in and consumed in the same state. It isn’t even competing with interstate commerce since there is no (legal) commerce in pot.
This, however, is the real danger here. This is the chain of command in the federal government breaking down. Responsible, serious people - a US Attorney - announcing that he’s going to fail to enforce federal law and directives from his boss we edge closer to the dissolution of the union along political lines.
I believe the problem is whether the fields are full of medical marijuana or recreational marijuana … the medical stuff got a pass during the Obama administration (within certain limits) and there was some manner of law that allowed this … too early in the morning to find the citation … this law expires every year and Congress has just been re-passing it … again it’s my understanding that medical marijuana has been legal in those States that pass laws controlling it …
Recreational marijuana never had this in place … therefore it has always been illegal under Federal Law …
'Tis said that once California legalizes recreational marijuana, we’ll have the critical mass that will prevent the DEA from moving on these businesses that are in compliance with State Laws … that started first of this week … so this is just chest-thumping by Jeff Sessions, he doesn’t have the manpower to enforce the Law over the strident objections of local law enforcement, the first fire-fight between the sheriff’s department and the DEA will end any further interference …
Oregon regulates marijuana very tightly … very similar to distilleries … so we don’t have open fields of the stuff growing anyplace … there has to be a big fence, cameras, guards; all the same things we’d find protecting whiskey inventories … so don’t get the idea it’s a free-for-all here …
His docket is full, it’s still a felony to export marijuana to another State and there’s quite a bit of that going on … if Jeff Sessions wants this prosecuter’s office to start trying simple possession cases, he better send a mess of folks to do so …
There’s much of Federal Law this guy isn’t enforcing, it’s about priorities and violent crime is higher on the list than cancer patients smoking a bit of pot …
Which “directives” form Sessions has this US Attorney announced he’s not going to enforce? Sessions rescinded to Obama policies, which puts us back to where we were before those policies were in place. Here is the text of the memo from Sessions. It’s a PDF, otherwise I would have copied it here.
Except that he’s not failing to do anything he was directed to do - John Mace linked the memo, and he’s not doing anything that contradicts it. Prosecutors ALWAYS fail to enforce the law entirely in their jurisdiction, both because there is a tradition of prosecutorial discretion and because there are limited resources for law enforcement. Prosecutors following the actual directives from their bosses and exercising judgement in what cases to follow when it doesn’t contradict the directive means the union is functioning like it’s supposed to.
Your definition of “always” is rather strange, since that law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1969 and repealed in 1970. Citing a repealed law that was ruled unenforceable by the Supremes is a rather odd choice.
In GQ it’s unlikely anyone will find this irrelevant factiod important enough to the discussion to scream about. Especially considering that it is incorrect.
The federal policy has been to allow state’s limited judicial resources to focus on violent crimes instead of incarcerating medicinal and recreational pot smokers. Any possible changes to that policy warrants discussion of the questions raised by the OP.
You are answering only the title of the thread, as though you haven’t even read the OP itself or have any understanding of the issues under discussion.
In answer to the OP, no new enforcement actions have been initiated so we won’t really know how state and federal judges, pot dispensaries, etc. will respond if any are. The smart money says the people have spoken on this issue and it can only move forward from this point, not backward. Attempts to contradict state’s decisions could be political suicide, but making meaningless gestures with no teeth may garner some support from the ultra-conservative fringes of the population.