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  1.    #1  
    AP: New medical marijuana policy issued

    The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday. Two Justice Department officials described the new policy, saying prosecutors will be told it's not a good use of their time to interfere with state laws.
    This is a win-win.

    Medical marijuana is able to help people who need it without harassment from the Feds and states rights champions score a win as states are allowed to set their own marijuana policies.

    This is truly one issue where liberals and conservatives can both celebrate with each other.
  2. KAM1138
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    #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    AP: New medical marijuana policy issued

    This is a win-win.

    Medical marijuana is able to help people who need it without harassment from the Feds and states rights champions score a win as states are allowed to set their own marijuana policies.

    This is truly one issue where liberals and conservatives can both celebrate with each other.
    An arbitrary decision to not enforce specific laws on the books is not a win for anyone in my view. It sidesteps the issue, rather than solving it, and leaves people with uncertainty as to what is legal and what isn't.

    The Federal Law isn't repealed, and Federalism isn't restored. This also invites selective enforcement, when the authorities decide that you don't meet their criteria for what is "Ok" but still technically illegal.

    Planned lax enforcement of the law may benefit those who break the law, but it is a dangerous precedent to set. Don't get me wrong--I believe that issues such as this are best left to State law, but the way to deal with it is by solid legal action that is definitive, and not at the whim of a politician.

    KAM
  3. #3  
    I also do not believe it is a win-win situation. The enforcement of law on a haphazard basis just to make people happy does not accomplish anything in the long run. A real solution is needed here - repeal the law or enforce it. Remove the "if" question totally. Incidentally, there are alternatives to "medical marijuana" - my wife uses one of those alternatives.
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    #4  
    Until they bring this to Florida. The medical cards that is. I don't care what the rest of the country is doing. I know it's closed-minded but really until it's made legal there is no sense in taking these stupid baby-steps. Just make the jump and get us on the right track by taxing it (I would pay taxes on that for sure) and making it totally illegal.
  5.    #5  
    This whole notion of ideological purity and the religious zeal of the One True Way of doing things is the reason politics is such a mess today.

    Yes it would be better if it was legal. Yes there might be a few small side effects of an action. Sure it is not the exact perfect solution that you would want if you were King.

    But all that stuff doesn't matter. Politics is about doing what is possible, not stubbornly opposing anything that isn't perfect. Politics works in small steps. You solve problems one piece at a time. If Obama were to demand that marijuana be legalized right now then it would endanger healthcare reform and hit the huge wall of inertia that has been built up. You can not just turn a ship on a dime. You have to slowly and steady change course.

    Try to view the world in a positive light. Pessimism and negativity help no one. Marijuana use is a bit more free today than it was yesterday. Enjoy that and try not to find fault with every decision ever made.
  6. Micael's Avatar
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    #6  
    Why do we have to tie this topic to politics? It's a legal question. As I understand it, the issue is the clash of state versus federal law. I think it's the right move to focus law enforcement's efforts on actual criminals, and not on suppliers who provide a little pot to grandmothers dying of cancer, looking for a little relief from the nausea.

    And don't give me this crap about alternatives. If it works, and local and state laws alllow it, they should have access to use it. The feds should keep their big mitts off. Period.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  7. #7  
    Giving the power to make this decision back to the states is a good first step. Finally my wife can get her cannabis from her medical club without the worry the club might be closed because it was raided the night before.
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  8. KAM1138
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    This whole notion of ideological purity and the religious zeal of the One True Way of doing things is the reason politics is such a mess today.
    I disagree. Lack of principles is why we a "mess." Taking expedient shortcuts that leave a problem to fester creates "messes."

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    Yes it would be better if it was legal. Yes there might be a few small side effects of an action. Sure it is not the exact perfect solution that you would want if you were King.

    But all that stuff doesn't matter. Politics is about doing what is possible, not stubbornly opposing anything that isn't perfect. Politics works in small steps. You solve problems one piece at a time. If Obama were to demand that marijuana be legalized right now then it would endanger healthcare reform and hit the huge wall of inertia that has been built up. You can not just turn a ship on a dime. You have to slowly and steady change course.
    Good politics and good government is about following the law, and if that law isn't right, changing it. Shortcuts for political expediency is a very dangerous thing, and just because it happens to benefit you or agree with you in one instance doesn't mean it will next time.

    There is a legal way to do things for a reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    Try to view the world in a positive light. Pessimism and negativity help no one. Marijuana use is a bit more free today than it was yesterday. Enjoy that and try not to find fault with every decision ever made.
    Adhering to a principle is not a negative thing. This also isn't pessimism--its about doing things the right way, or the wrong way.

    Applauding Politicians doing things the wrong way, because it benefits you isn't principled--its merely being happy at getting what you want. That might be great for an individual, and if this makes you happy, great. On the other hand it doesn't begin to address the damage done to Federalism, and cannot objectively be characterized as a victory at all, because that is a matter of law, not of happiness because access to marijuana is easier or less hazardous.

    Sidestepping of this sort of thing panders to a certain group, while retaining the inherent problems of this sort of law existing, which is likely to have the effect of weakening arguments for removal of this sort of law. This just picks away at a certain segment of those who would oppose this sort of Federal overreach.

    The problem remains, and that's nothing to celebrate. Also--what happens when a different administration comes into power--with the stroke of a pen, it becomes a problem again.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 10/20/2009 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Additional Point
  9. KAM1138
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    #9  
    Hello Everyone,

    To be clear--I do not have any self-interest in this issue. I don't care if people use Marijuana or not.

    Apparently, there is a real inability to understand what a principle is. It isn't about justifying something because it is to your benefit. Principles aren't selective in that way...or they wouldn't be principles, they'd be preferences.

    The original post, stated that this should be seen as a victory for those who support States rights (or more accurately the proper balance between states rights and the national government). Given that there is no legal reform here, no change in the offending laws, there is no victory, and nothing to celebrate in regards to that.

    Apparently, there is a failure to understand this is just a demonstration of how an administration can bend the law to their whim. What people who fail to understand this is a problem might be forgetting is that it can just as easily be bent to HARM you as to benefit you.

    A government that has great latitude to bend the laws to their whim (for whatever reason) is one that really isn't bound by the law, and therefore is dangerous to the citizens. The law is supposed to be uniform for a reason--including the equal protection of citizens. I guess that's just too "absolute" for some people.

    Of course, for those who have demonstrate a total lack of principle, I'd imagine this is a foreign concept. It explains a lot.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 10/20/2009 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Additional point
  10. Micael's Avatar
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    #10  
    KAM, its a victory for those shop owners that on one hand follow the rules presented to them by the state, are not now on the other hand being arrested and prosecuted by the feds.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  11. KAM1138
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    KAM, its a victory for those shop owners that on one hand follow the rules presented to them by the state, are not now on the other hand being arrested and prosecuted by the feds.
    Micael: To be clear, I'm saying that this is not a victory for those who support Federalism, because there is no change in the law, no retraction of those policies, no change in the position of the National Government in terms of States rights. That's what the OP claimed, and I disagree with.

    Do some shop owners following their States' laws benefit. Sure, until they don't. The problem isn't solved however--its just set aside.

    I've been thinking about this very idea lately, and maybe I'll start a thread if I can stomach it. That idea is that wanting something is all that seems to matter. If you get what you want, then damn reasoning, damn principle, damn laws, and screw what is fair to others--as long as you get what you want, then it is good.

    Some simpletons might call following principles "Absolutist" but reality is that principles aren't fabricated for convenience, but arise because they are objectively correct. By extension, theoretically, as a society we have laws, because they benefit us. If a law is harmful to the citizens, the answer is to get rid of it, not to pretend it doesn't exist, because it is politically expedient.

    Do people really not understand that a government that can do what it wants on a whim without any regard to the law is a danger to a free society? Am I really having to argue that? Are we that far gone as citizens that people live in denial of these basic concepts?

    KAM
  12. Micael's Avatar
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    #12  
    You're right, of course. I guess my focus was for those that are looking for relief. I've had a loved one who lost her battle with cancer, and the little pot she had, did in fact ease her passage.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    To be clear, I'm saying that this is not a victory for those who support Federalism, because there is no change in the law, no retraction of those policies, no change in the position of the National Government in terms of States rights. That's what the OP claimed, and I disagree with.

    Do some shop owners following their States' laws benefit. Sure, until they don't. The problem isn't solved however--its just set aside.
    Nobody is saying that this is the last action in regards to marijuana policy or that the law will never be changed. What this does is allow people who need medical marijuana to have access to it without worrying about breaking the law and being punished. This one simple action helps those suffering people to sleep a little sounder at night. The marijuana helps too

    The law will change but in order for it to be changed there needs to be momentum and a gradual acceptance of medical marijuana. If you were to try to change it overnight it would most likely die in Congress due to the backlash and lack of exposure. This paves the way to future improvements and eventually the sacrosanct law that you so cherish and pine for. Without this step the political environment would not be right for passage when in fact it does come up.

    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    Some simpletons might call following principles "Absolutist" but reality is that principles aren't fabricated for convenience, but arise because they are objectively correct. By extension, theoretically, as a society we have laws, because they benefit us. If a law is harmful to the citizens, the answer is to get rid of it, not to pretend it doesn't exist, because it is politically expedient.
    I, and other pragmatic people, understand what principles are and I do indeed have them. The problem is that politics and principles are constantly at odds with each other and must be kept in balance, and when one of them becomes too influential the entire system breaks down and bad things happen. Too much politics and you get undefined laws that do no good and possibly cause harm while being too ideologically hard nosed to accept anything but what is perfect will result in complete disagreement and inaction, leaving the problem under consideration completely unsolved.

    Good politics is about pragmatism. You do your best to solve problems in a good way that follows your values and makes the world a better place without being so stubborn that nothing gets done and problems don't get solved at all.
  14. KAM1138
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    Nobody is saying that this is the last action in regards to marijuana policy or that the law will never be changed. What this does is allow people who need medical marijuana to have access to it without worrying about breaking the law and being punished. This one simple action helps those suffering people to sleep a little sounder at night. The marijuana helps too

    The law will change but in order for it to be changed there needs to be momentum and a gradual acceptance of medical marijuana. If you were to try to change it overnight it would most likely die in Congress due to the backlash and lack of exposure. This paves the way to future improvements and eventually the sacrosanct law that you so cherish and pine for. Without this step the political environment would not be right for passage when in fact it does come up.

    I, and other pragmatic people, understand what principles are and I do indeed have them. The problem is that politics and principles are constantly at odds with each other and must be kept in balance, and when one of them becomes too influential the entire system breaks down and bad things happen. Too much politics and you get undefined laws that do no good and possibly cause harm while being too ideologically hard nosed to accept anything but what is perfect will result in complete disagreement and inaction, leaving the problem under consideration completely unsolved.

    Good politics is about pragmatism. You do your best to solve problems in a good way that follows your values and makes the world a better place without being so stubborn that nothing gets done and problems don't get solved at all.
    When the law is made irrelevant (by sidestepping it) and leaving it to the whim of those who are supposed to uphold the law, you open yourself up to all sorts of abuse. If someone can justify following an arbitrary whim of a politician, what's the difference when they want to make that exact same path, when it harms you?

    That's the principle at hand, and what you apparently do not support. I'm not saying YOU have no principles at all. The principle isn't about favoring one thing or another--its about understanding that there is a uniform process that everyone lives under.

    This week, this arbitrary ignoring of the law is something you like--next week it might not be, and when you've abandoned the principle (and the law), what ground do you have to stand on?

    KAM
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    When the law is made irrelevant (by sidestepping it) and leaving it to the whim of those who are supposed to uphold the law, you open yourself up to all sorts of abuse. If someone can justify following an arbitrary whim of a politician, what's the difference when they want to make that exact same path, when it harms you?

    That's the principle at hand, and what you apparently do not support. I'm not saying YOU have no principles at all. The principle isn't about favoring one thing or another--its about understanding that there is a uniform process that everyone lives under.

    This week, this arbitrary ignoring of the law is something you like--next week it might not be, and when you've abandoned the principle (and the law), what ground do you have to stand on?

    KAM
    Ok, you seem to know exactly what needs to be done and that this wasn't it.

    Please explain what you would do instead to stop medical marijuana raids on cancer patients. Preferably something that doesn't take years since most of these people really don't want to suffer that long.
  16. #16  
    I've never looked into the subject matter myself, but I do remember the subject of medical marijuana coming up at lunch one day, with someone who seemed to know what they were talking about.

    They said that there is actually a United Nations resolution/charter that we have signed that prohibits the legalization of marijuana. I think he said legalization, it may have been decriminalization. I wasn't listening that close, because I have no real interest in the subject. If this is true, that might be why the federal government can't go any farther than they already have.
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  17. KAM1138
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    Ok, you seem to know exactly what needs to be done and that this wasn't it.

    Please explain what you would do instead to stop medical marijuana raids on cancer patients. Preferably something that doesn't take years since most of these people really don't want to suffer that long.
    First, I never said I know exactly what needs to be done. You declared that this is a victory for States rights, and it isn't. What I do know is to resolve an issue, you deal with that issue directly. The means of doing this is to reassert the Constitutional role of both the National Government and the States.

    If the goal is to resolve the issue of States rights/Federalism, then they should pursue a court case, or seek to revoke that law. I sort of doubt that the Obama administration is an advocate of the States Rights, which would explain why they chose this path instead.

    If the Obama administration wanted to challenge this based on a principle and the Constitution, they could openly state that their opinion is that this law is unconstitutional. I imagine that they could bring that to court, and it is possible that the court could grant a temporary stay on this law, while it is under review. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't say exactly how this would play out, but the point is--it is a process in order to resolve things, not a declaration or order that they are going to simply not enforce the law.

    Ending raids, with a justification (based on a principle) and a path forward to resolve this permanently would be a different story in my view. Outlining the legal process they they intend to follow in order to solve this would be an appropriate action.

    KAM
  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    You declared that this is a victory for States rights, and it isn't.
    You are technically right since this is not codified in law and can be changed by the next administration if for some reason Congress doesn't change the law by then, but it is still a victory in the sense that states under this administration can now determine their own laws on medical marijuana. It may not be forever but for likely 7 more years states will actually have the right to do what they please. I believe that if you asked the state legislatures if they feel that it is a victory then they would vehemently agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    Outlining the legal process they they intend to follow in order to solve this would be an appropriate action.
    You are right and I agree. I wish they would do that. I personally think that they will do what they can to allow for more freedom using measures like this and then push for legalization once there is broad support. This would take years, so I am not holding my breath.

    My original point was that this is an issue that both liberals and conservatives can agree on. Not a very common thing. It is nice when good things happen even if they are not perfect.
  19. KAM1138
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    You are technically right since this is not codified in law and can be changed by the next administration if for some reason Congress doesn't change the law by then, but it is still a victory in the sense that states under this administration can now determine their own laws on medical marijuana. It may not be forever but for likely 7 more years states will actually have the right to do what they please. I believe that if you asked the state legislatures if they feel that it is a victory then they would vehemently agree.
    I can see how a reprieve feels like victory. However, keep in mind that this administration could change this policy back as well--if it suits them--for any reason. Also, I'm not sure how likely this is, but couldn't a Federal Prosecutor simply ignore the President? Their job is to enforce the law, so what if someone had a real problem with this Medical Marijuana and pursued a case? Can the President Negate a law? No, he can simply issue orders, and he could certainly fire that Prosecutor, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone took that risk.

    I think this just ends up creating uncertainty. This article talks about this exact issue (quick search), and while it focuses on the remaining state issues, the same applies to the Federal.
    Looser guidelines give rise to questions, pot advocates say - National & World - Vindy.com, The Vindicator

    One line sums it up pretty clearly: The confusion makes some medical-marijuana backers skeptical that anyone can feel secure they are clearly in compliance with state law and safe from federal prosecution.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    You are right and I agree. I wish they would do that. I personally think that they will do what they can to allow for more freedom using measures like this and then push for legalization once there is broad support. This would take years, so I am not holding my breath.
    I'd prefer that they simply decriminalize this to the extent that we aren't filling jails with casual users of Pot. Don't mistake what I'm saying however--I am not an advocate, but I think that the punishments are out of line with the crime. Maintain a simple fine if they want to maintain it as illegal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCarnley View Post
    My original point was that this is an issue that both liberals and conservatives can agree on. Not a very common thing. It is nice when good things happen even if they are not perfect.
    I understand what you are saying, but I think the root of the mutual agreement was in regards to the States Rights issue. Some have that as a global issue, and others key in on a specific element. However, my core disagreement is that I don't see progress on the States rights issue, and see this course of action as being negative in form (regardless of whether some see benefits from it). I'd rather deal with the issue in a definitive and legal way--for everyone's protection. Now, it remains a gamble, even if it is less likely to lose.

    Here's another link from an article dated today that outlines many of the things I've been saying:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=113993343
    One line: Deputy Attorney General David Ogden's memo only concedes that making federal cases against marijuana transactions permitted under state law is a poor use of prosecutors' time, and the Justice Department reserves the right to reverse itself at any time and to make case-by-case exceptions.

    Case-by-case exceptions. That is wildly dangerous. Better hope that you don't have any enemies looking to exploit an "exception."

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 10/21/2009 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Additional Link
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    One line: Deputy Attorney General David Ogden's memo only concedes that making federal cases against marijuana transactions permitted under state law is a poor use of prosecutors' time, and the Justice Department reserves the right to reverse itself at any time and to make case-by-case exceptions.

    Case-by-case exceptions. That is wildly dangerous. Better hope that you don't have any enemies looking to exploit an "exception."

    KAM
    Which enemies? Is Al Queda going to try to get us all high?

    If you're referring to possibly having enemies in the Justice Department, the fact is that they've always had prosecutorial discretion - this just gives more of a level of clarity.
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