Archive for the ‘federalism’ category

Brookings: Logical Alternatives To Marijuana Prohibition?

April 8th, 2013

One of the most important Washington DC think tanks, the Brookings Institute, is hosting a panel discussion on states’ efforts to legalize marijuana on April 15.

Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict?

Event Details

Event:      Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict?
Time:       2:00 PM
Date:       Monday, April 15, 2013
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20036

To register to watch this event online, go here.

Panelist include Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), sponsor of legalization legislation in Congress; Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson; UCLA professor (and Washington state’s new ‘cannabis consultant‘) Mark Kleiman, Ph.D and legal author/essayist and Brookings Institute scholar Stuart Taylor, Jr.

Moderator: Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institute

 

 

 

Congressman Polis’ Grills Attorney General Holder About Fed’s Medical Marijuana Policies

December 8th, 2011

Update: Huffington Post article and C-Span video.

I’ve spoken to two reporters today inquiring about Colorado Congressman Jared Polis’ medical cannabis-related questions to Attorney General Holder at a congressional committee hearing that was otherwise a ‘bloodbath’ for Holder—getting grilled about the guns and Mexico fiasco—when Polis, who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee, was allowed to ask Holder two questions about medical cannabis enforcement.

Generally written…

Polis first wanted assurances that Colorado’s medical cannabis dispensaries/cultivation centers compliant with state laws—unlike California’s medical cannabis businesses that are not regulated by the state—are not a Department of Justice (DOJ) target. Holder affirmed the basic tenets of the previous Ogden and Cole memos, and wouldn’t provide assurances, but, re-iterated the DOJ stance that enforcing medical cannabis laws, notably in a state like Colorado with its rules and regulations, and with limited federal resources at hand, is a low law DOJ enforcement priority.

The second Polis question was about banking and medical cannabis businesses in Colorado, where he pushed Holder to acknowledge that the DOJ is not placing a priority on interfering with state compliant medical cannabis businesses and banking concerns.

I assume there will be news and industry coverage later today and tomorrow about this unexpected, but informative exchange between Representative Polis and Attorney General Holder.

Breaking News: Two Governors Petition Federal Government To Allow For Medical Marijuana

November 30th, 2011

The governors of Rhode Island and Washington have both signed a petition asking the Obama Administration to re-schedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II, effectively ending the federal government’s total prohibition on medical patients having lawful and controlled access to organic cannabis products.

“The situation has become untenable for our states and others. The solution lies with the federal government.”

Both Governors Lincoln Chafee and Christine Gregoire of Rhode Island and Washington respectively were, ironically, two state governors who chose to heed to the warnings issued by the federal government in a Department of Justice memo (known as the ‘Cole memo‘) and not move forward with otherwise popular medical cannabis law reforms in their states. 

However, no more! These two governors’ action today is a very important turning point in the history of cannabis law reform in America.

Contrastingly, the governors of Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and the city council of D.C. all largely ignored the federal government and moved forward with their states’ respective medical cannabis programs.

NORML began the entire legal and political debate about ‘medical marijuana’ in 1972 when it launched a 24-year re-scheduling effort, that is still laboring on all these years.

Therefore to finally witness governors so frustrated with the absurdly mis-scheduled cannabis plant as being dangerous, addictive and possessing no medical utility (wrongly grouped with heroin and LSD) that they are reaching out to the president to fix this clear injustice and warping of science is a clear demonstration that the friction between the federal government’s recalcitrance on accepting medical cannabis (or for that matter ending Cannabis Prohibition in total) and state politicians who can no longer justify towing the fed’s ridiculous ban on physician-prescribed cannabis to sick, dying and sense-threatened medical patients is coming to a dramatic conclusion in a government showdown, one that may bode well for the larger Cannabis Prohibition reforms needed, festering just below the surface of the public’s mass acceptance of medical access to cannabis.