Feds Plan No Action on Eve of Legalization

Dec 5, 2012

A strange gap year in Washington’s grand exper­i­ment with mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion begins Thurs­day, when per­sonal pos­ses­sion of pot becomes legal, but crim­i­nal laws ban­ning mar­i­juana grow­ing and sales remain in effect. That year gives the state Liquor Con­trol Board time to cre­ate first-in-the-nation licenses for mar­i­juana grow­ers, proces­sors and retail­ers. Until then, the only clearly legal way — at least, under state law — is for a med­ical mar­i­juana patient to get med­i­cine from a col­lec­tive gar­den. Jenny Durkan, the U.S. Attor­ney for West­ern Wash­ing­ton, sent out a state­ment Wednes­day that regard­less of legal­iza­tion mea­sures in Wash­ing­ton and Col­orado, the fed­eral ban on mar­i­juana remains unchanged. But the state­ment did not come with any legal action by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice to block the new law from tak­ing effect on Thurs­day. The state­ment: The Depart­ment of Jus­tice is review­ing the legal­iza­tion ini­tia­tives recently passed in Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton state. The Department’s respon­si­bil­ity to enforce the Con­trolled Sub­stances Act remains unchanged. Nei­ther States nor the Exec­u­tive branch can nul­lify a statute passed by Con­gress. In enact­ing the Con­trolled Sub­stances Act, Con­gress deter­mined that mar­i­juana is a Sched­ule I con­trolled sub­stance. Regard­less of any changes in state law, includ­ing the change that will go into effect on Decem­ber 6th in Wash­ing­ton state, grow­ing, sell­ing or pos­sess­ing any amount of mar­i­juana remains ille­gal under fed­eral law. Mem­bers of the pub­lic are also advised to remem­ber that it remains against fed­eral law to bring any amount of mar­i­juana onto fed­eral prop­erty, includ­ing all fed­eral build­ings, national parks and forests, mil­i­tary instal­la­tions, and cour­t­houses. At a morn­ing news con­fer­ence, Seat­tle City Attor­ney Pete Holmes acknowl­edged that Wash­ing­ton is in uncharted waters. “We are try­ing to sub­sti­tute a legal, licensed sys­tem for what is nearly a wholly ille­gal sys­tem. That is going to take time. What we’re doing under I-502, begin­ning at mid­night, we’re at least not doing any more harm. We’re not enforc­ing an extremely unpop­u­lar law against adults who choose to con­sume mar­i­juana. But unless they are an autho­rized med­ical mar­i­juana patient, they are already obtain­ing mar­i­juana from ille­gal sources. Wash­ing­ton state is awash, as are most states, in mar­i­juana, which is one of the points about what pro­hi­bi­tion has failed in its pur­pose.” A pub­lic cel­e­bra­tion of the new law is planned at Seat­tle Cen­ter, begin­ning at 7 p.m. on Thurs­day. Holmes reminded party-goers that pub­lic con­sump­tion of mar­i­juana is now treated like alco­hol, equiv­a­lent to about a $50 fine. Holmes stopped enforc­ing mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion cases when he took office, but he said Thurs­day he would enforce pub­lic con­sump­tion fines, should Seat­tle police issue them. “I think the SPD will see how well peo­ple com­ply. If there’s unfor­tu­nate flaunt­ing, and (peo­ple) want to test and see if the law will be enforced, well, I have bet­ter things to do with my time than to test the lim­its of the law. But we will enforce the law.” From The Seat­tle Times Blog Source: Seat­tle Times (WA) Author: Jonathan Mar­tin, Seat­tle Times Staff Reporter Pub­lished: Decem­ber 5, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 The Seat­tle Times Com­pany Con­tact: opinion@​seatimes.​com Web­site: http://​www​.seat​tle​times​.com/

3842fe4043field1.jpg 150x112 Feds Plan No Action on Eve of Legalization

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Feds Plan No Action on Eve of Legalization

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