Sunday, October 17, 2010

Feds to Prosecute Californians if Prop 19 Passes

 "Prohibition...goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Abraham Lincoln. December 1840  

"In any civilized society, it is every citizen's responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen's responsibility to disobey unjust laws."Martin Luther King Jr

SAN FRANCISCO —  So Attorney General Eric Holder is warning Californians that the federal government will not look the other way, as it has with medical marijuana, if voters next month make California the first state to legalize pot.
The Huffington Post posted the article which contained a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder.
       Marijuana is illegal under federal law, which drug agents will continue to "vigorously enforce" against anyone carrying, growing or selling it, Holder said.
The attorney general's statements speaking against Proposition 19 has set up another showdown between Californians and the Feds over marijuana if the measure passes.
     With Prop 19 leading in the polls, the letter also raised questions about the extent to which federal drug agents would go into communities across the state to catch small-time users and dealers, or whether they even had the resources to do it.
     Medical marijuana users and experts are skeptical, saying there isn’t much the federal government could do to slow down the march to legalization.
This is obviously now one of our biggest industries and its taxable income for the State while keeping marijuana prices relatively low.
     Also think about how many tourists will flock here like they’re going to Napa but instead they’re enjoying the freedoms of San Fransterdam. This will make California the New Amsterdam but hopefully we can have a high level of personal responsibility and respect. We need to be conscientiousness and make sure that we prove that legal marijuana can be handled safely, sensibly, and maturely.

             OK, so if/when Prop 19 measure passes, the state would regulate recreational pot use. Adults could possess up to one ounce of the drug and grow small gardens on private property. Local governments would decide whether to allow and tax sales. The Justice Department remains committed to enforcing the Controlled Substances Act in all states.
     "We will vigorously enforce the laws against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," the district attorney Holder wrote.
      He also said legalizing recreational marijuana would be a "significant impediment" to the government's joint efforts with state and local law enforcement to target drug traffickers, who often distribute pot alongside cocaine and other drugs. The attorney general said the ballot measure's passage would "significantly undermine" efforts to keep California cities and towns safe.
      Officials in Los Angeles County have been aggressively trying to cramp down on the explosion of medical marijuana dispensaries and have vowed to continue to assist the federal government in drug investigations. County Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley said at a news conference "We will continue as we are today regardless of whether it passes or doesn't pass," Baca said.  Deputies won't go after users in their homes, but public use of the drug will be targeted, he said.

   They also asked that the Obama administration to sue California if Prop 19 passes. They said legalizing pot presented the same threat to federal authority as Arizona's recent immigration law. In that case, Justice Department lawyers filed a lawsuit to block the enforcement of the law, saying that it infringed on federal powers to regulate immigration and therefore violated the U.S. Constitution. The case is now before a federal appeals court.
       How the hell does immigration have anything to do with Californians being allowed to grow their own pot? These two situations are not the same at all! I believe using the immigration issue in the argument for reasons to fight California’s decision if Prop19 passes is Ludacris.
Also if California prevents police from enforcing the stricter federal ban on marijuana, the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot order local law enforcement to act. So that’s good!
It "is a very tough-sounding statement that the attorney general has issued, but it's more bark than bite," law professor Robert Mikos said.
     Allen Hopper, a drug law reform expert at the American Civil Liberties Union in Northern California, predicted that federal agents would selectively crack down on marijuana growers and merchants instead of going after every Californian who uses pot.
"They don't have the resources to flood the state with DEA agents to be drug cops," he said.
Nearly all arrests for marijuana crimes are made at the state level. Of more than 847,000 marijuana-related arrests nationwide in 2008, for example, just over 6,300 suspects were booked by federal law enforcement, or less than 1 percent.
Consequently, it sounds like the fight over passing prop 19 may end up the same way medical marijuana has. After Californians approved their first medical marijuana law in 1996, Clinton administration officials vowed a harsh crackdown. But nearly 15 years later, California's billion-dollar medical marijuana industry is thriving.
      During the Bush regime, dispensaries across the state faced regular raids from federal anti-drug agents. The owners were sometimes sentenced to decades in prison for drug trafficking. Yet the medical marijuana industry still grew and is still expanding rapidly throughout the state. And now 13 other states along with the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana with California continuing to lead the way.
Nov 2nd, 2010 Vote NO! FOR PROP 19!! Prop 19 is Flawed
-Jean Claude Audet III

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