President Obama is courting the youth vote this week, but is warning that his administration is not going to ignore federal laws against marijuana or give “carte blanche” to its large-scale producers.
“We’re not going to have legalized weed anytime soon,” he told late-night host Jimmy Fallon.
The 44th President has talked about smoking “weed” and even using a little “blow” years ago while a student at a prestigious high school in Honolulu. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, however, Obama sounds like the Harvard Law Review editor he was a little later in life.
“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” he said. “I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law. I can’t nullify congressional law.
“I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books. What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage. As a consequence there haven’t been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.”
The Obama administration’s back-and-forth policies on marijuana can serve as a substitute for seeing the movie “Twister.”
In Oregon, the U.S. Attorney has warned owners of buildings that house medical marijuana dispensaries that they face possible confiscation of property if their tenants are prosecuted and convicted.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle has, however, concentrated on apprehension and prosecution of criminal organizations moving large quantities of marijuana across state lines, and bringing “B.C. Bud” down from Canada.
Seattle voted in 2003 to make marijuana enforcement the lowest priority of its police department. Up to 75,000 people attend the annual Hempfest on the city’s waterfront, the largest such celebration in North America.
But federal agents recently raided and closed “Oaksterdam University” in Oakland, Calif., which has trained students in the growing and cultivation of marijuana, for medicinal purposes.
A pair of Western states — Washington and Colorado — will vote on statewide measures that would legalize sale of marijuana, tax it, and put it under state supervision.
In Washington, former federal law enforcement officials — notably ex-U.S. Attorney John McKay — are outspoken supporters of Initiative 502.
News Hawk – 420 Warrior 420 MAGAZINE
Location: Washington, D.C.
Source: Seattle pi
Author: Joel Connelly
Copyright: ©1996-2011 Hearst Seattle Media, LLC