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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
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Loc: Flag
Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy
    #9997029 - 03/18/09 09:02 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy
March 18, 2009 - Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law. That would be a departure from the policy of the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state's law.

"The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law," Holder said in a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Justice Department.

Medical marijuana advocates in California welcomed the news, but said they still worried about the pending cases of those already in court on drug charges.

California law permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, though it still is against federal law.

Holder did not spell out exactly who no longer would face the prospect of raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But he was quick to add that law enforcement officers will target anyone who tries to "use medical marijuana laws as a shield" for other illegal activity.

"Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that's inconsistent with federal and state law," the attorney general said.

Advocates and government officials had been waiting since President Barack Obama was sworn into office for a clear signal on what the new president's drug policy would be toward medical marijuana. As a candidate, he repeatedly promised a change in policy in situations in which state laws allow the use of medical marijuana.

Yet shortly after Obama took office, DEA agents raided four dispensaries in Los Angeles, prompting confusion about the government's plans.

Thirteen states have laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana. California is unique among them for the presence of dispensaries, which are businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. Legal under California law, such dispensaries are still illegal under federal law.

Kris Hermes, a spokesman for national medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said he welcomed Holder's perspective.

"It signals a new direction and a more reasonable and sensible direction on medical marijuana policy," he said.

Still, Hermes said his Oakland-based organization was concerned about the fate of more than two dozen California medical marijuana cases currently pending in federal court.

"There remains a big question as to what the federal government's position is on those cases," Hermes said. He pointed specifically to the case of Charles Lynch, who was federally convicted for running a medical marijuana dispensary collective in San Luis Obispo County last year.

Hermes said Lynch could face decades in prison when he is sentenced Monday even though his clinic had been compliant with state law.

According to the government's sentencing recommendation for Lynch, which says the five-year mandatory minimum prison term is an appropriate one, Lynch had violated California state law because his "operation was rife with activities having more to do with business and casual drug distribution than anything medical."

U.S. attorney's office spokesman Thom Mrozek declined to comment on what would happen to the outstanding marijuana cases in the Los Angeles area.


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: veggie]
    #9997082 - 03/18/09 09:12 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Viva Obama.  Change, yes we can!


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InvisibleKnifey Mcstab
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #9997117 - 03/18/09 09:16 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Alan Rockefeller said:
Viva Obama.  Change, yes we can!



Except it doesn't really matter that much with the economy going to shit.


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Offlineclover606
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: Knifey Mcstab]
    #9997166 - 03/18/09 09:25 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Mandrake said:
Quote:

Alan Rockefeller said:
Viva Obama.  Change, yes we can!



Except it doesn't really matter that much with the economy going to shit.




booooooooo pessimism, yay safer conditions for growers!


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grassman said:

I remember being in DARE when i was much younger and some of the stories they would tell you are not only ridiculous, but completely untrue. One story was that a woman was on LSD and thought her infant was a turkey so she baked it in the oven. Now I look back and think thats hilarious, but at the time I guess it scared me.


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Offlinefunguy_84
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: Knifey Mcstab]
    #9997188 - 03/18/09 09:27 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I would rather be free and poor, than rich and oppressed. Material possessions are worthless to me if I'm not happy(stoned).


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Why can't we not be sober?


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Offlinexpl0de Happy Birthday!
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: funguy_84]
    #9997302 - 03/18/09 09:47 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

thats definitely encouraging news.


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Offlinedoom876
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: funguy_84]
    #9997434 - 03/18/09 10:07 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

It sure is gonna suck when we are poor and oppressed...at least with out legal pot we'll be high as fuch when that time comes:vaped:


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Fight for a large loving government that can take care of its people, kill our criminals, and preform the huge industrial tasks our corporate overlords refuse(wanna greenwash me some more Exon?)

Not this weak travesty that let millions starve and sucks corporate cock while failing at every turn.


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Offlineneopet nub
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: funguy_84]
    #9997524 - 03/18/09 10:22 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

funguy_84 said:
I would rather be free and poor, than rich and oppressed. Material possessions are worthless to me if I'm not happy(stoned).




I would choose wealth.


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Ego death from weed!


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OfflinePolati
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: neopet nub]
    #9997621 - 03/18/09 10:38 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

That is really good news. I'm very curious as to what they will do with the pending cases.


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Invisiblenofind_um
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: Polati]
    #9998579 - 03/19/09 01:30 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

It's amazing to finally see some common sense being applied by the government!


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My hunting partner is gone, I miss her so!


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InvisibleLe_Canard
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: veggie]
    #9999556 - 03/19/09 10:12 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

This is good news indeed. It's official when AP and the Times pick the story up.


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: Knifey Mcstab]
    #9999969 - 03/19/09 12:23 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Except it doesn't really matter that much with the economy going to shit.




I don't see what the economy has to do with this.  They send marijuana growers to prison just the same in good times and bad.  Its just harder to pay for a legal defense with the economy going to shit, making it even more important that they stop arresting people for no good reason.


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: neopet nub]
    #10005009 - 03/20/09 12:54 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

neopet nub said:
Quote:

funguy_84 said:
I would rather be free and poor, than rich and oppressed. Material possessions are worthless to me if I'm not happy(stoned).




I would choose wealth.




"They'd rather be alive than free, I guess. Poor dumb bastards."


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It drinks the alcohol and abstains from the weed or else it gets the hose again. -Chemy

The difference between the substances doesn't matter. This is a war on consciousness, on our right to the very essence of what we are. With no control over that, we have no need to speak of freedom or a free society. -fireseed

"If we are going to have a war on marijuana, the least we can do is pull the sick and the dying off the battlefield." -Neal Levine (MPP)

I find the whole "my drug should be legal but yours should be illegal" mindset disgusting and hypocritical. It's what George Bush and company do when they drink a cocktail and debate the best way to imprison marijuana users. -Diploid


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InvisibleWorldWideWInton
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Re: Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy [Re: veggie]
    #10005038 - 03/20/09 12:58 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

ooo damn one step closer to legalization


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My past post are not necessarily reflections of my current opinions.


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