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posted by martyb on Thursday January 04, @09:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the up-in-smoke dept.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly rescind the Cole Memo (DoJ), effectively ending the moratorium on enforcing cannabis prohibition in states where it has been legalized:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will roll back an Obama-era policy that gave states leeway to allow marijuana for recreational purposes.

Two sources with knowledge of the decision confirmed to The Hill that Sessions will rescind the so-called Cole memo, which ordered U.S. attorneys in states where marijuana has been legalized to deprioritize prosecution of marijuana-related cases.

The Associated Press first reported the decision.

Sessions, a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, has hinted for months that he would move to crack down on the growing cannabis market.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner says he will hold up the confirmation process for DoJ nominees:

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) threatened on Thursday to start holding up the confirmation process for White House Justice Department nominees unless Attorney General Jeff Sessions reverses a decision to roll back a policy allowing legalized recreational use of marijuana in some states.

Gardner said in a series of tweets that Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate that he would not change an Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related offenses in states where the substance had been legalized. Colorado is one of those states.

[...] The Justice Department's reversal of the Cole memo on Thursday came three days after California's new law allowing recreational marijuana use went into effect.

Other politicians have reacted strongly to the news.

Previously: New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War
According to Gallup, American Support for Cannabis Legalization is at an All-Time High
Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis
Recreational Cannabis Goes on Sale in California

Related: Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Backs Crypto Backdoors


Original Submission

Related Stories

Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Backs Crypto Backdoors 45 comments

Like other politicians and government officials, President Trump's nominee for the position of Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, wants to have it both ways when it comes to encryption:

At his confirmation hearing, Sessions was largely non-committal. But in his written responses to questions posed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, however, he took a much clearer position:

Question: Do you agree with NSA Director Rogers, Secretary of Defense Carter, and other national security experts that strong encryption helps protect this country from cyberattack and is beneficial to the American people's' digital security?

Response: Encryption serves many valuable and important purposes. It is also critical, however, that national security and criminal investigators be able to overcome encryption, under lawful authority, when necessary to the furtherance of national-security and criminal investigations.

Despite Sessions' "on the one hand, on the other" phrasing, this answer is a clear endorsement of backdooring the security we all rely on. It's simply not feasible for encryption to serve what Sessions concedes are its "many valuable and important purposes" and still be "overcome" when the government wants access to plaintext. As we saw last year with Sens. Burr and Feinstein's draft Compliance with Court Orders Act, the only way to give the government this kind of access is to break the Internet and outlaw industry best practices, and even then it would only reach the minority of encryption products made in the USA.

Related: Presidential Candidates' Tech Stances: Not Great


Original Submission

New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned 188 comments

The Center for American Progress reports

On [February 27], days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters to expect stricter enforcement of federal pot law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recycled discredited drug war talking points in remarks of his own.

"I believe it's an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we're seeing real violence around that", Sessions said. "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

In reality, violent crime rates tend to decrease where marijuana is legalized.

Denver saw a 2.2 percent drop in violent crime rates in the year after the first legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado. Overall property crime dropped by 8.9 percent [PDF] in the same period there, according to figures from the Drug Policy Alliance. In Washington, violent crime rates dropped by 10 percent [PDF] from 2011 to 2014. Voters legalized recreational marijuana there in 2012.

Medical marijuana laws, which have a longer track record for academics than recreational pot legalization, are also associated with stable or falling violent crime rates. In one 2014 study of the 11 states that legalized medical pot from 1990 to 2006, there was no increase in the seven major categories of violent crime and "some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

[...] Elsewhere in his remarks, Sessions unwittingly made the case against treating pot activity like serious crime. "You can't sue somebody for drug debt". he said. "The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that."

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. Legalization invites pot business into the light, granting cannabusinesses at least partial access to official modes of recourse when they are defrauded.

8 states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana for recreational use.
Ever see anyone use cannabis and become more aggressive rather than more mellow?

Note: ThinkProgress redirects all accesses of their pages and will attach tracking numbers. I have made sure that those are not in the URLs.


Original Submission

4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm 55 comments

Past articles: 20152016

What's up, Soylenteers? I've got to write another one of these? #420TooMainstream.

Legalization Status

Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States
Timeline of cannabis law

Since this time last year, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis, Illinois decriminalized it, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis. An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Arizona narrowly failed.

29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, although restrictions vary widely from state to state.

Germany's medical cannabis law was approved in January and came into effect in March. Poland has also legalized medical cannabis, and Georgia's Supreme Court has ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.

Recently: West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

🍁 Cannada: Not So Fast 🍁

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled (archive) legislation (archive) that would make Canada the first major Western country to legalize recreational cannabis (the only country to legalize it to date is Uruguay, although implementation has taken years), dealing a serious blow to the crumbling United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, the Liberal Party of Canada intends to wait more than a year to act on its campaign promise, during which time Canadians can still face prosecution for possession of the drug:

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it's cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau's ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did [Justice Minister Jody] Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party's website statement) for another year. Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about "strictly regulating and restricting access." Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous. "Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale declared. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all." Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a "free for all" also went unexplained.

The Liberal Party of Canada has taken pains to remind everyone that the Conservative Party will "do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo". Unfortunately, they did not get the memo that "marijuana" is a term with racist origins.

Make like a tree and legalize it, Cannadia... Cannibinoidia.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Backtrack to April 20th, 2016. Bernie Sanders still seemingly had a shot at becoming the President of the United States. Sanders, as well as Hillary Clinton (though begrudgingly), supported decriminalization of cannabis, medical use, and the continuation of states making decisions about recreational use. The #2 Republican candidate Ted Cruz also had a "let the states sort it out" stance.

One contender stood out, and he went on to become the @POTUS to #MAGA. The widely predicted "third term" was prevented, and that outcome may greatly affect a burgeoning semi-legal cannabis industry. One recent casualty are Amsterdam-style "cannabis clubs" (think: brewpubs). Colorado's legislature has backed off on a bill that would have allowed on-site consumption of cannabis at dispensaries due to the uncertain future of federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

Trump's position on cannabis has been ill-defined, although he supports medical use and has indicated that states should handle the issue. But the same can't be said of his Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions. Here are some quotes about the drug from Mr. Sessions:

I thought those guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot. [Source. Context: Sessions later testified that the comment was a joke.]

We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger.

I think one of [President Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana... It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started 'Just Say No.

You can't have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink... It is different... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.

Good people don't smoke marijuana.

Cannabis advocates are becoming increasingly paranoid about the federal government's stance towards the states (and a certain District) that have legalized cannabis. And this is following an Obama administration that was criticized for conducting raids in states with legalization. It is too early to tell how the Trump administration will choose to deal with cannabis, but there are signs that harsher policies and greater enforcement could be coming:

On Wednesday, [April 5th,] Jeff Sessions directed Justice Department lawyers to evaluate marijuana enforcement policy and send him recommendations. And some state officials are worried. This week the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington wrote the attorney general. They asked Sessions and the new Treasury secretary to consult with them before making any changes to regulations or enforcement.

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said recently that the president is sympathetic to people who use marijuana for medical reasons. He pointed out that Congress has acted to bar the Justice Department from using federal money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs. But Spicer took a harsh view of recreational marijuana. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by," Spicer said.

Really, Spicer? Recreational cannabis use shouldn't be encouraged during an opioid addiction crisis? Read on.

Politics nexus unavailable for comment.

The Opioid Crisis Drags On (it's relevant)

Heroin use has become more dangerous as dealers have increasingly added other substances that massively increase potency without affecting the size of a dose significantly. Carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer, has led to hundreds of deaths over very short timespans. It is impossible for the average user to predict the potency and potential danger of street heroin. While there have been international responses to these compounds, new chemical analogues are being created all the time:

Chinese labs producing the synthetic opiates play hide-and-seek with authorities. On their websites, they list fake addresses in derelict shopping centers or shuttered factories, and use third-party sales agents to conduct transactions that are hard to trace. The drugs themselves are easy to find with a Google search and to buy with a few mouse clicks. A recent check found more than a dozen Chinese sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other derivatives, often labeled as "research chemicals," for sale through direct mail shipments to the United States. On one website, carfentanil goes for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

The cat-and-mouse game extends to chemistry, as the makers tinker with fentanyl itself. Minor modifications like adding an oxygen atom or shifting a methyl group can be enough to create whole new entities that are no longer on the list of sanctioned compounds. Carfentanil itself was, until recently, unregulated in China.

2016 saw the addition of kratom to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. Advocates for the tree leaf drug, which was formerly classified as a supplement, believe that its painkiller effects and low risk factors make it a useful replacement for the oft-deadly opioids that millions of Americans are addicted to. Kratom users have treated their pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms using the formerly "legal high". The DEA has refused to acknowledge this application and points out the "skyrocketing" number of calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom in recent years. One skeptic of kratom, Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health, has looked at the same evidence and concluded that the trail of bodies left by substances like fentanyl and the scarce number of deaths (perhaps wrongly) attributed to kratom make it clear that the substance is the better "poison". He also notes that:

The number of calls to poison control centers is not reliable for determining how many poisonings actually occurred. It is a crude approximation at best.

Much like kratom, medical cannabis has been touted as a solution to the opioid crisis. States with legalized medical cannabis have seen a reduction in reported instances of opioid dependence [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.006] [DX] So it is puzzling that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would use opioids as a bludgeon against cannabis legalization while AG Sessions expresses astonishment over the suggestion of using cannabis as a "cure" for the opioid crisis.

Bonus: Here's a video (2m14s) of a woman getting administered Narcan/naloxone. Here's an alternate video (2m39s) in which a man who overdosed on heroin is able to sit up in about a minute after being administered naloxone.

⚚ The Slow March for Science ⚕

While the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to reclassify cannabis from its current Schedule I status, citing the supposedly rigorous conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration, it will allow more than one institution to grow cannabis for research purposes, ending the monopoly held by the University of Mississippi. However, the Schedule I status of cannabis remains an impediment to further research:

[...] DEA's decision not to reschedule marijuana presents a Catch-22. By ruling that there is not enough evidence of "currently accepted medical use"—a key distinction between the highly restrictive Schedule I classification and the less restrictive Schedule II—the administration essentially makes it harder to gather such evidence.

"They're setting a standard that can't be met," says David Bradford, a health economist at the University of Georgia, Athens. "That level of proof is never going to be forthcoming in the current environment because it requires doing a really extensive clinical trial series, and given that a pharmaceutical company can't patent whole plant marijuana, it's in no company's interest to do that."

Schedule I status presents obstacles for clinical researchers because of restrictions on how the drugs must be stored and handled, Bradford says. Perhaps more significant, that listing may evoke skittishness at funding agencies and on the institutional review boards that must sign off on research involving human subjects.

Researchers have disparaged the quality and potency as well as the appearance and odor of the University of Mississippi's cannabis products:

"It doesn't resemble cannabis. It doesn't smell like cannabis," Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.

Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. "That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis," he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.

"In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that," Browne said. "People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on."

Research on cannabinoids and psychedelics is proceeding, slowly. One study published yesterday (74 years after the first LSD trip) came to an astounding conclusion: Psychedelics can induce a "heightened state of consciousness":

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs. The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

[...] What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable," said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. "Until now, we've only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state."

Inconceivable!

Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep46421) (DX)

♯ Ending on High Notes ♯

Vape Naysh, y'all!

Politics: Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War 132 comments

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that he has directed his federal prosecutors to pursue the most severe penalties possible, including mandatory minimum sentences, in his first step toward a return to the war on drugs of the 1980s and 1990s that resulted in long sentences for many minority defendants and packed U.S. prisons.

[...] In the later years of the Obama administration, a bipartisan consensus emerged on Capitol Hill for sentencing reform legislation, which Sessions opposed and successfully worked to derail.

In a two-page memo to federal prosecutors across the country, Sessions overturned former attorney general Eric H. Holder's sweeping criminal charging policy that instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with offenses that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. In its place, Sessions told his more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys to charge defendants with the most serious crimes, carrying the toughest penalties.

More at Washington Post, Fox News, Huffington Post, The Hill

Memorandum on Department Charging and Sentencing Policy - US Department of Justice PDF


Original Submission

According to Gallup, American Support for Cannabis Legalization is at an All-Time High 55 comments

64% of Americans now support the legalization of cannabis, an all-time high since Gallup first asked the question in 1969. Also for the first time, a majority of Republicans (51%) support legalization, up from 42% last year:

As efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level continue to yield successes, public opinion, too, has shifted toward greater support. The Department of Justice under the current Republican administration has been perceived as hostile to state-level legalization. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue. Rank-and-file Republicans' views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats' and independents' have, though Republicans remain least likely to support legalizing pot.

Also at NPR, The Hill, NORML, and Reason.

Related: New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm


Original Submission

Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis 23 comments

Opioid commission's anti-marijuana argument stirs anger

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the presidential commission on opioids, warned of the dangers of marijuana in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month about the panel's findings, saying the current push for marijuana legalization could further fuel the opioid epidemic.

"There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990s and early 2000s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction," Christie wrote in the letter, which was released with the commission's final report.

"The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic."

[...] But some experts say the commission's fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling, lending credence to outdated views of marijuana as a gateway drug. And these experts want to nip such thinking in the bud.

They emphasized that they support efforts to curb the nation's opioid epidemic, but not the demonization of marijuana in the process.

"I was surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report," said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain. In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths."

You had one job.

Previously:


Original Submission

Recreational Cannabis Goes on Sale in California 67 comments

California launches legal sale of cannabis for recreational use

California will launch the world's largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana on Monday, as dozens of newly licensed stores catering to adults who enjoy the drug for its psychoactive effects open for business up and down the state.

It becomes the sixth U.S. state, and by far the most populous, venturing beyond legalized medical marijuana to permit the sale of cannabis products of all types to customers at least 21 years old.

Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada were the first to introduce recreational pot sales on a state-regulated, licensed and taxed basis. Massachusetts and Maine are on track to follow suit later this year.

With California and its 39.5 million residents officially joining the pack, more than one-in-five Americans now live in states where recreational marijuana is legal for purchase, even though cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. law.

The marijuana market in California alone, which boasts the world's sixth-largest economy, is valued by most experts at several billion dollars annually and is expected to generate at least a $1 billion a year in tax revenue.


Original Submission

President Trump Promises to Support State Legalization of Cannabis; Boehner Evolves 36 comments

President Trump has promised Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado that he will support states that choose to legalize cannabis, despite rescinding the Cole Memo earlier in the year. In exchange, Gardner will stop holding up the confirmation of Trump's Department of Justice nominees:

"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana," Gardner said in a statement. "Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice's rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees," Gardner added.

The Washington Post first reported the development, and the White House confirmed on Friday Gardner's statement was accurate.

In January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Cole Memo, Obama-era guidance designed to discourage prosecutors from targeting states that have legalized marijuana. The move provoked an outcry from marijuana friendly states, including Gardner's Colorado, in which the marijuana industry has flourished since 2000. Angry that Sessions had reneged on his pledge to leave marijuana states alone, Gardner promised to block all DOJ nominations, pending a resolution. Since then, he has held up about 20 Justice nominations, the Washington Post reported.

The news caused a surge in the stocks of some cannabis companies.

Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who was "unalterably opposed" to legalization of cannabis back in 2011, has now evolved and is seeing green. Boehner announced that he has joined a board of advisers for Acreage Holdings, a cannabis corporation operating in 11 states. Is it a "watershed moment" for the industry?


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Thursday January 04, @09:59PM (61 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Thursday January 04, @09:59PM (#617990)

    What is he smoking if he thinks this is not going to generate a huge revolt, lawsuit and eventually results in exactly the opposite of what he wants to achieve?

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by krishnoid on Thursday January 04, @10:03PM (1 child)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday January 04, @10:03PM (#617994)

      Probably an exclusive strain from a well-connected supplier that stands to benefit from a restricted cannabis market.

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:11PM (#618007)

        You should have used Gamemaker. Why didn't you? Because you're a mere Gamemakerlessness extremacy, that's why! Wow! Your true ferocity has been revealed to all, and it's simply the comicalness of ultimatum What will you do now that your public image has been utterly destroyed? Will you wallow in despair? Or will you... return?

        Yes, return.
        Return.
        Return.
        Return.
        You can return.
        You may return.
        You must return.
        You shall return!
        Return... to Gamemakerdom!
        Return, return, return, return, return to Gamemakerdoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:03PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:03PM (#617995)

      Jeff's not here, man!

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday January 04, @10:16PM (2 children)

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 04, @10:16PM (#618010) Homepage Journal

        He's spending time with muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-my scrotum!

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 04, @10:44PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Thursday January 04, @10:44PM (#618034)

          From the look of his face, he already did.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:25PM (#618066)

          This reminds of of something said by Anderson Cooper.
          (Jimmy Dore uses a recording of it in the intro to his weekly Pacifica radio show|webcast.)
          "It's hard to talk when you're tea-bagging." [google.com]

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:24PM (33 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:24PM (#618017)

      It's so stupid how Congress has utterly given up its responsibilities by deferring everything to the executive branch, leaving the President and his minions to dictate our lives with the stroke of an individual's pen.

      Well, I'm glad Sessions and Trump have been dismantling those executive "laws", because it's finally putting fire to the feet of the politicians who have been mandated to make those decisions through the slow, difficult-to-reverse process of legislation.

      Get the executive branch OUT of lawmaking. Make America Great Again!

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Thursday January 04, @10:35PM (15 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday January 04, @10:35PM (#618025) Journal

        Make America Great Again!

        Sorry, I don't think we're allowed to make Obama president again.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Thursday January 04, @10:44PM (14 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday January 04, @10:44PM (#618033)

          Obama had to deal with too much shit. Can we get the Clinton years back?
          "Blockchain" is already the new ".com", after all.

          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by DannyB on Thursday January 04, @10:45PM (3 children)

            by DannyB (5839) on Thursday January 04, @10:45PM (#618036)

            I never dreamed, in my worst nightmares that I would say this, but . . .

            I would be GLAD to have George W Bush back at this point.

            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday January 04, @10:53PM (2 children)

              by bob_super (1357) on Thursday January 04, @10:53PM (#618041)

              I wouldn't.
              Trump is an idiot, but he hasn't started 2 wars yet. He's working on the deficit and trouncing US international standing, like W.
              But Trump wasn't handed a US at peak power and turned it into a declining empire. A self-centered ignorant fool, not a crazy destructive maniac ...

              Looks good for the R side, doesn't it? Comparing the last two presidents from each side...

              • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:40PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:40PM (#618073)

                By work on the deficit - you mean making a massive increase in the deficit right?

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Thursday January 04, @11:45PM

                  by bob_super (1357) on Thursday January 04, @11:45PM (#618078)

                  Obviously, as a parallel to W turning budget surpluses and shrinking debt (bipartisan-voted, Clinton-signed) into deficits, even before he started his two unbudgeted wars...

                  The same people who were hollering at Obama's Keynesian stimulus in the midst of the Great Recession just voted a $1,500,000,000,000.00 extra-deficit tax plan.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:42PM (9 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:42PM (#618075)

            Really? That's what you want?
            More of Slick Willie's Neoliberalism?
            Bill Clinton's Five Major Achievements Were Longstanding GOP Objectives [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [truth-out.org]

            To find someone that wasn't Neoliberal, you'd have to go back to LBJ--or to Ike (see graphic link, below), just to be sure.
            Now, it would have been interesting to see where Jack Kennedy would have taken US if he hadn't gotten his head blown off by the CIA.
            OTOH, that trust-fund baby had already signed a giant tax cut for the super-rich. [aquilafunds.com]

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday January 04, @11:51PM (2 children)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday January 04, @11:51PM (#618082) Journal

              Hell, I'd probably be a Republican by now if they hadn't been hijacked by the nutjobs.

              • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @01:08AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @01:08AM (#618140)

                There are only 2 kinds of people who vote for Repugs:
                The rich and the stupid who will vote against their own best interests.
                For over a century, the mantra of the GOP has been
                  "Make the rich richer and screw everyone else in order to do that."[1]

                N.B. Ike was a temporary stay from that.
                (His brother Edgar was a full-on Reactionary.)

                [1] The GOP has learned to include enough red herrings in their platform to hornswoggle the gullible (abortion, immigration, guns).

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Friday January 05, @12:01AM (3 children)

              by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 05, @12:01AM (#618092)

              Let's be reasonable, shall we? The world has changed a bit since LBJ, 50 years ago. Would you like to #MAGA, too?

              While some of Clinton' policies have the consequences we know (hindsight blah blah), I wouldn't mind to get back to a world where everybody respects (didn't say "likes") the almighty-imperfect-but-mostly-benevolent-when-benefitting US, and the biggest distraction to watching people's income AND assets go up is whether the smooth guy in charge banged an ugly girl.
              The late 90s weren't perfect, but they sure beat the 21st century...

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @01:19AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @01:19AM (#618145)

                Yeah, like I said: It's become more Neoliberal.
                Apparently, you like good manufacturing jobs being exported.

                Clinton'[s] policies

                The big giant one was NAFTA.
                Did I mention jobs being exported?
                {checks} Yeah, I just did.
                (The place where I was working sent all product lines that weren't DoD-related to Tijuana.)

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @05:00AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @05:00AM (#618208)

                Great, more DMCA bullshit, drug wars, and interventions overseas. Why do you want that neoliberal back? The interventions were obviously unjust even back then, so it isn't just hindsight.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @06:31AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @06:31AM (#618236)

                  The alternatives then (as now) were right-wing and ultra right-wing. Yeah, given those possibilities he went right-wing. There is no liberal party in the USA even though the population overwhelmingly prefers liberal policies... gays, drugs, healthcare, etc.

            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday January 05, @07:10PM (1 child)

              by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @07:10PM (#618443) Homepage

              To find someone that wasn't Neoliberal, you'd have to go back to LBJ--or to Ike (see graphic link, below), just to be sure.

              Jimmy Carter came before neoliberalism really took over the Democratic Party - that was Bill Clinton's doing more than anyone else (with his homie Al Gore's help).

              The Republicans aren't neo-liberal, though, they're neo-conservative. The difference is what they do on hot-button social issues (e.g. abortion) while they're being bagmen for the super-rich.

              --
              A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @08:13PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @08:13PM (#618492)

                Carter deregulated interstate trucking and telecommunications.
                Carter was a serious inflection point.

                Nixon's trip to China opened a major door for offshoring.

                I associate Neoconservatism with Imperialism and Militarism.
                "World Policeman" is a major subheading.
                "Regime change" is another.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Thursday January 04, @10:38PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Thursday January 04, @10:38PM (#618030)

        leaving the President and his minions to dictate our lives with the stroke of an individual's pen.

        You must mean stroke of an individual's crayon.

        Of course, when the shoe is on the other foot, then executive orders are a good thing. Just sayin'. And I'm no fan of Trump.

        Congress cannot take up their responsibilities because they are too busy with fundraising from wealthy donors.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 05, @02:41AM (1 child)

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @02:41AM (#618177) Journal

          Of course, when the shoe is on the other foot, then executive orders are a good thing. Just sayin'.

          Absolutely not. There actually are some of us out here who believe in things like separation of powers and in Constitutional limitations, regardless of who is in office. For example, I actually think we need more gun regulation, but I also believe the Second Amendment was likely intended to prohibit some of the kinds of regulation I think should happen. So, I believe we need a Constitutional amendment to do what I think would be good. (And no, please let's not get into an off-topic debate on guns -- I'm just trying to make a point as an example.)

          Executive orders, from my perspective, should only ever be made as clarifications of regulation under existing law (i.e., the idea of Executive as implementing law given to it by the Legislature), generally under implementation decisions explicitly left to the Executive by Congress, not as effectively creating new law.

          History taught the Founders of the problems that arose when too much power is concentrated in the Executive... or in the government in general. Those who have studied things like the gradual decline of the Roman Republic and its ultimate transformation into a dictatorial empire can easily see parallels to what has happened, particularly in the past 75 years or so. We're on a bad path: one that the Founders tried desperately to try to prevent in the way they set up the system.

          It doesn't matter which party you belong to... people should be concerned about this.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 05, @02:07PM

            by DannyB (5839) on Friday January 05, @02:07PM (#618317)

            Yes.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @10:54PM (6 children)

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @10:54PM (#618042) Journal

        Congress did very little on this issue before the Cole memo. They passed the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment [wikipedia.org] after the Cole Memo.

        Maybe there will be enough pressure for Congress to take this seriously. But the rescindment doesn't help. It just hurts businesses in the states that have legalized cannabis by murking things up. It would have been fine to let the states lead the way. In fact, Trump said during the campaign that he believed [wikipedia.org] states should have the right to decide their own cannabis policies. But after being elected he signaled [bloomberg.com] that he could ignore the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment passed by Congress (every year). In no way has Trump done a "great" thing for America with this move.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday January 04, @11:14PM (1 child)

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 04, @11:14PM (#618060) Homepage Journal

          It's not me, it's Jeff. I really don't care if you kids smoke your pot. I think it's a bad habit. We all have bad habits. Are we babies? We're not babies. Trust me, I have some bad habits of my own. Which, believe me, you don't want to know about. But Jeff has a thing about pot. Which I knew about when I hired him.

          Let me tell you, Jeff was very loyal to me at one time. At a very important time. When a lot, a lot of people were saying I would lose. Saying I would never be elected. But little Jeff believed in me. He had a big job in the Senate, but he took time to go to my rallies. To stump for me. Very loyal! So I hired the little guy, even though we don't always see eye to eye. Imagine my surprise when he RECUSED himself! I wanted to fire him for that. But my lawyers, some of my lawyers, told me not to. So we're all stuck with him.

          --
          Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]!
          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday January 04, @11:55PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday January 04, @11:55PM (#618087) Journal

            That McDonald's addiction is more of a moral failing than any substance abuse problem!

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday January 04, @11:39PM (3 children)

          Funny, this is one of the few things I think he actually did right. The executive branch has no business deciding which laws it will and won't enforce. Selective enforcement of the law is tyranny, plain and simple.

          --
          My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dry on Friday January 05, @05:48AM (2 children)

            by dry (223) on Friday January 05, @05:48AM (#618224)

            It's also tyranny to enforce an immoral, unconstitutional law that neither the courts nor the legislature will take the correct step to strike it from the books.
            There is also the question of where resources should be spent. Here, many moons ago, the cops literally said they aren't going to enforce non-profit copyright infringement as they had better things to do with their time. Now they have the same attitude to drugs, at least where I live.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday January 05, @12:25PM (1 child)

              Yes, it is. Fortunately there are multiple, entirely legal methods of removing said law.

              --
              My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
              • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday January 05, @05:58PM

                by dry (223) on Friday January 05, @05:58PM (#618418)

                Unluckily there is a flaw in democracies, namely that 51% can vote to remove rights from the 49%. This is why some countries have a bill of rights in their Constitutions. Unluckily, you can't list all the rights and some were never dreamed of being needed. I'd say that the idea that the government would ban hemp was never imagined and if it was, it may have been added to the bill of rights.

      • (Score: 1) by insanumingenium on Thursday January 04, @11:27PM (6 children)

        by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 04, @11:27PM (#618068)

        Wait a second, law enforcement is the very definition of what is correctly in the hands of the executive branch. Congress can't nor should they take that from them. Are you a troll, or did you skip the checks and balances portion of highschool civics?

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:09AM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:09AM (#618099)

          We,, unfortunately this is why prohibition must be enforced, because it is still the law. Double unfortunate is that the courts didn't find all the federal anti narcotics laws unconstitutional, because they are! The prohibition against liquor required a constitutional amendment, the drugs laws should also if they want to ban them. So we have situation with unconstitutional law, and a majority of voters who don't give a damn. IOW we are fucked! Majority rule has reached its logical conclusion. Now we need something completely different. Something where individual liberties can not be taken away by popular whimsy.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:20AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:20AM (#618106)

            Now we need something completely different. Something where individual liberties can not be taken away by popular whimsy.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @02:48AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @02:48AM (#618179)

              Or we could have a constitutional republic to make arbitrarily taking away people's rights more difficult at least, but good luck getting the government to follow the Constitution.

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 05, @02:52AM (2 children)

            by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @02:52AM (#618180) Journal

            Double unfortunate is that the courts didn't find all the federal anti narcotics laws unconstitutional, because they are!

            Yeah, SCOTUS used to find such things unconstitutional -- for decades such laws were repeatedly overturned, until the "Switch in Time that Saved Nine." (For those who don't know what I'm talking about, I've traced the history of this fundamental legal shift -- why alcohol required an amendment but drugs don't -- here [stackexchange.com].)

            Majority rule has reached its logical conclusion. Now we need something completely different.

            It's important to note that the Founders also were largely afraid of democracies. They knew the ancient and early modern precedents for democracy, and they tried to design a system that gave individual voters only a very limited voice in the federal government. (The original Constitution basically only asked for input from voters for the House of Representatives -- and even then, in many states it was mostly only landed "heads of household," sort of similar to the heads of the "demos" that represented the voice of the people in Athenian democracy. Supreme Court judges were appointed. Senators were elected by state legislators. Presidents were elected by the Electoral College, whose representatives were appointed in a manner set by the states -- and most states in early elections didn't even bother holding popular votes for the presidency. Electors were often appointed by state legislatures, governors, or some combination thereof.)

            So "majority rule" (or "mob rule" as some of the Founders would have termed it) was not the way the system was originally designed. But over the years we've modified things to increasingly emphasize popular voice, something that came about largely through the influence of political parties that sought to exploit the will of the masses.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @07:37AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @07:37AM (#618254)

              Just wondering... that Constitution thing you're talking about, was that passed down in stone tablets or OMG! voted on by the mob?

              • (Score: 4, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 05, @01:13PM

                by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @01:13PM (#618304) Journal

                Just wondering... that Constitution thing you're talking about, was that passed down in stone tablets or OMG! voted on by the mob?

                The Constitution was never voted on by popular vote, if that's what you're asking in your flippant reply.

                It was drafted by representatives from states and then approved by state conventions of representatives, never voted on by everyone (or even by all white male landowner head of households). The Founders didn't even want to subject that to direct democratic vote: they believed, as in the examples I mentioned previously, that the uninformed masses can be too easily swayed by misleading rhetoric. So they left the matter to representatives of the people to vote on: representatives who could take time to become truly informed on a matter of such importance and who could take time to have lengthy public debates (which went on for months in some States) before making an informed decision.

                And there were vigorous ratification debates in many states, mostly about the sweeping powers perceived to be given to the new federal government. In many states, the Consitutition was only approved for ratification after being assured that the Bill of Rights amendments would soon follow to constrain federal power significantly.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday January 04, @10:59PM (6 children)

      by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 04, @10:59PM (#618046) Homepage

      Nothing different from the rest of the DEA: The Official Truth with regards to US drug policy is that marijuana is more dangerous and in more need of substance control efforts than PCP, cocaine, and carfentanil. Which is insane, because whatever the health effects and addictive potential of pot, there's no sign that THC is remotely as dangerous as some of the others I mentioned.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @11:05PM (3 children)

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @11:05PM (#618052) Journal

        The Official Truth with regards to US drug policy is that marijuana is more dangerous and in more need of substance control efforts than PCP, cocaine, and carfentanil.

        Don't forget that LSD is as dangerous as heroin! [soylentnews.org]

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday January 05, @06:11AM (2 children)

          by dry (223) on Friday January 05, @06:11AM (#618233)

          Actually, it can be more dangerous then heroin, they even did studies. Seems that when you take a mentally ill person, put them in a straight jacket, give them a massive dose of LSD and leave them alone, they can get more mentally ill.
          Sadly this is what they did when reports about treating alcohol addiction and various other mental illnesses started coming out.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @03:24PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @03:24PM (#618346)

            I think giving guns to children is also a problem, but it's the people that gave the guns to the children that should be punished, as opposed to the guns--and whatever is left of the children.

            • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday January 05, @08:31PM

              by dry (223) on Friday January 05, @08:31PM (#618497)

              True, and I don't mind some light regulations to enforce education on things like why you should keep your guns away from children and how to safely take LSD.
              Actually in my country, it is illegal to sell a gun to someone unless they've taken a short course on firearms safety.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Friday January 05, @12:17AM (1 child)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday January 05, @12:17AM (#618103) Journal

        I would hope that you would understand that prohibition isn't based on science of any kind. Like so many things this is business. The law is titled The controlled substance act for a reason. It's to control the market. That is the primary purpose of any prohibition. Let's drop all the silly pretense of 'morality'. They are not playing that game, and neither should we.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 05, @04:56PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @04:56PM (#618386) Journal
          Well, that and all the swag you can get with civil asset seizure. Once your property breaks the law, it is no longer your property!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:04PM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:04PM (#618049)

      On what basis? Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The whole notion that it's legal anywhere in the US is fiction. It's just like it's been for years, in some areas the laws are being enforced and in other ones it's not.

      Either marijuana is going to be legal or it's not. This current situation where the legality is wholly dependent upon which agency does the arrest and which court you wind up in is something that is sorely in need of resolution.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @11:16PM (7 children)

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @11:16PM (#618061) Journal

        The Cole Memo let the states bypass the do-nothing Congress.

        If Congress still elects to do the wrong thing, there's another avenue: the Supreme Court. The Supremacy Clause could be neatly sidestepped if a fresh set of justices found some aspect of federal enforcement, such as the Controlled Substances Act, to be unconstitutional.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday January 04, @11:44PM (6 children)

          I don't have any issue with pot being legalized but it needs to be done legally. Any executive officer not enforcing the law is violating their oath of office and needs to be removed.

          --
          My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NewNic on Friday January 05, @12:18AM (4 children)

            by NewNic (6420) on Friday January 05, @12:18AM (#618104) Journal

            Uh, what?

            The oath of office talks about supporting and defending the constitution and since the body that is tasked with interpreting the constitution (the Supreme Court) has affirmed the principle of prosecutorial discretion, they are not required to enforce these laws in order to be in compliance with their oath of office.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday January 05, @12:42AM (3 children)

              Yes, that would in fact be the bullshit loophole in question. SCOTUS making bad rulings is nothing new.

              --
              My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
              • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Friday January 05, @12:58AM (2 children)

                by NewNic (6420) on Friday January 05, @12:58AM (#618133) Journal

                SCOTUS making bad rulings is nothing new.

                I can certainly agree with you on that (but perhaps we might not agree on which rulings were bad: I would start with Wickard v. Filburn and the rulings which rely upon it).

                But, that is the law of the land and the present office holders all made their oaths with the knowledge that prosecutorial discretion was the law of the land.

                Question: why does it take a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but only a law passed by Congress to ban drugs?

                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday January 05, @01:56AM

                  It didn't. There are many, many ways to make something illegal under current (bad) case law. The commerce clause alone could have been exploited to illegalize anything they wanted.

                  Before you go supporting Obama and deriding Trump on this, I'd like you to put five minutes in thinking of the worst possible abuses of selective law enforcement by those in power. If we allow this kind of shit to go on, I guarantee they will come to pass.

                  --
                  My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
                • (Score: 3, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 05, @02:58AM

                  by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @02:58AM (#618182) Journal

                  Question: why does it take a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but only a law passed by Congress to ban drugs?

                  I just posted this elsewhere above, but since you asked, here's the answer [stackexchange.com]. As to why marijuana was specifically targeted under this new legal regime, I've reviewed some of the here [soylentnews.org]. (I assume you likely know part of the answer and were asking this somewhat rhetorically, but many likely don't know the whole history.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @02:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @02:54AM (#618181)

            No, members of the executive branch always must bear some responsibility for enforcing unjust laws they didn't create.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Friday January 05, @12:05AM (2 children)

        by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 05, @12:05AM (#618095)

        I want to State Governors order the State Police to defend pot shops against the DEA and FBI. It's time to break up the Feds.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @03:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @03:05AM (#618183)

        The federal war on drugs is unconstitutional, even if the courts fail to recognize that.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @01:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @01:57AM (#618158)

      lulz. as if fucking potheads would do anything about it. dope is for dopes. duh.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Thursday January 04, @10:03PM (7 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday January 04, @10:03PM (#617996)

    Succeed or fail, this will put uncertainty into the market, reduce investment and expansion.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @10:09PM (5 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @10:09PM (#618004) Journal

      That might be true, because no specific enforcement actions have been announced.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Thursday January 04, @10:18PM (4 children)

        by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 04, @10:18PM (#618012) Homepage
        It looks like the laws are already in place (the war on drugs - probably plenty of laws). The Cole memo just told the chief federal prosecutors to not prosecute. If now this memo is undone, they are free to do so.
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @10:22PM (3 children)

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @10:22PM (#618014) Journal

          There are lot more assets to think of than prosecutors. For example, will the DEA be sent into these states to bust things up?

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          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tftp on Thursday January 04, @10:37PM (2 children)

            by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 04, @10:37PM (#618029) Homepage
            It will be interesting times when we see the Sheriff's people on the left of the pot store door and the DEA JBTs on the right side. I believe small-time conflicts of this nature had happened before and, perhaps, resulted in the memo.
            • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday January 05, @12:25AM (1 child)

              by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday January 05, @12:25AM (#618113) Journal

              So, just another turf war over the spoils?

              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 05, @01:38AM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 05, @01:38AM (#618151)

                No, the connies really still can't handle peace, love and mellowness - they think it's gonna turn their wage slaves into defiant layabouts, that's why it was banned in the first place. They may be beyond winning the war, but they still have enough political control to shake things up and make life hard for the other side.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday January 05, @06:18AM

      by dry (223) on Friday January 05, @06:18AM (#618235)

      It already caused the Canadian stock market to drop. Lots of companies hoping to sell pot and they don't like uncertainty like this statement causes.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Eristone on Thursday January 04, @10:30PM (10 children)

    by Eristone (4775) on Thursday January 04, @10:30PM (#618022)

    Ken White over at Popehat has a qualified opinion [popehat.com] on the subject including the potential impact short term and what to look for over the next bit to see how serious this could become.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @11:02PM (9 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @11:02PM (#618048) Journal

      The feds can do plenty of damage by busting up a couple of banks, going after big legal grow-ops (which can be found in the phone book, unlike street dealers), or perhaps going after state govt. employees. And even doing nothing other than rescinding the memo is damaging. Say goodbye to the 40-acre weed resort [curbed.com] and cannabis blockchains [bloomberg.com].

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:06PM (8 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:06PM (#618053)

        Which banks are taking money from marijuana businesses? One of the chief complaints from marijuana businesses is that they have to be cash only as most banks won't accept their money because it's illegally obtained as defined by federal law. Holding money that they know to be drug money would cause all sorts of regulatory problems, the end result being that marijuana businesses tend to be cash businesses.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @11:20PM (7 children)

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @11:20PM (#618064) Journal

          https://www.thestranger.com/green-guide-spring-2017/2017/04/19/25083313/the-credit-unions-and-small-banks-that-solved-the-cannabis-cash-crisis [thestranger.com]

          Carmella Houston, a spokesperson for Salal Credit Union, said their Seattle offices were inundated with more than 2,000 calls when people first learned that they were accepting cannabis businesses. Houston said they have opened 300 cannabis business accounts since June of 2014 and cannabis checking accounts could form up to 80 percent of the credit union's net worth.

          [...] In February of 2014, just as Colorado and Washington were setting up their regulated weed markets, the US Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a written guidance saying that they would not charge a bank with federal crimes for accepting weed money if the financial institution made sure that the business was following all state laws and the directives of a previous memo from the Department of Justice. That memo, frequently referred to as the Cole Memo, said the federal government would take a hands-off approach to states with legal weed if those states kept the drugs out of the hands of kids, kept weed within their states, and kept profits from drugs sales away from organized crime.

          Oops!

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          • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday January 04, @11:44PM

            by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday January 04, @11:44PM (#618076)

            so now they delegate law enforcement to the Credit Unions?

            "...if the financial institution made sure that the business was following all state laws and the directives of a previous memo from the Department of Justice."

            Outsourcing at its finest!

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            (Score: tau, Irrational)
          • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Thursday January 04, @11:50PM (5 children)

            by Sulla (5173) on Thursday January 04, @11:50PM (#618081) Journal

            if those states kept the drugs out of the hands of kids, kept weed within their states, and kept profits from drugs sales away from organized crime.

            I guess this explains the dozen billboards in my county in Oregon that claim that "no additional kids have started smoking pot in Colorado since legalization" but doesn't give a citation.

            • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday January 05, @12:35AM (4 children)

              by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday January 05, @12:35AM (#618118) Journal

              Well, did you find it to be false? And besides, you don't seem to understand the nature of the billboard. Or maybe you expect everybody to suddenly stop and read the wall of tiny text of disclaimers and links and such. And really, don't you think it's about time we abolish prohibition? It never was based on any kind of science to begin with. Maybe you should demand citations on why prohibition should remain in effect instead of the other way around.

              • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Friday January 05, @01:17AM (3 children)

                by Sulla (5173) on Friday January 05, @01:17AM (#618143) Journal

                As I have said elsewhere, I voted for legalization. Prior comment was more of understanding why they are pushing the narritive in a state where pot is already legal.

                • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday January 05, @03:13PM (2 children)

                  by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday January 05, @03:13PM (#618338) Journal

                  Maybe they have to cover for all the propaganda (fake news, which Sessions is still telling us) still being pushed against weed over the last couple of centuries. And I was commenting on your call for "citations" on a billboard that you are driving past at 60 mph, when we should be demanding citations from Sessions's (already scientifically debunked) propaganda instead.

                  • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Friday January 05, @04:13PM (1 child)

                    by Sulla (5173) on Friday January 05, @04:13PM (#618361) Journal

                    Your point would make sense if we were talking about Salem (Oregon's capital, conservative) or Corvallis (conservative) but I am seeing these billboards in Eugene (nothing but hippies). There is no need to counter propaganda in a city that has followed the hippy propaganda as the bible since the 60s.

                    I guess at this point it is pointless to talk about statistics or studies because they are so politicized that any results for either side are bunk. Thus why I voted to let people smoke their pot, it only makes them dumber and less competitive against me when it comes to finding a job.

                    Road in question has a speed limit of 35, heavy traffic, and two of such billboards. Reading them is not difficult. The anti-alcohol billboards often have citations

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Thursday January 04, @10:37PM (8 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday January 04, @10:37PM (#618028) Journal

    Gotta love those States Rights loving Republicans!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday January 04, @11:54PM (7 children)

      Oversimplified to the point of being nonsensical yet again. Me, I'm a big states' rights guy but the law is the law. You change laws through congress or or you get them thrown out by the courts; the executive selectively deciding which laws it wants to enforce is a violation of the oath of office at best and outright illegal at worst. If private individuals want to break the law that's their prerogative if they're willing to deal with the consequences but it should never be tolerated from public officials.

      --
      My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:19AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:19AM (#618105)

        Yeah right. It's never that black and white, now is it? The executive has always had discretion about which laws (and which offenders) to prioritize. Want a safer neighborhood? Get more patrol cars on the street. Want more efficient investigations? Pull those cars back in, focus on case investigations instead. Want to appear tough on crime? Harass grandma's for downloading music.

        There's plenty of laws to enforce. Directing effort where it has the greatest effect is exactly the Executive's prerogative.

      • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday January 05, @04:34AM (2 children)

        by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday January 05, @04:34AM (#618200)

        The law is the law? The federal drug war is completely unconstitutional, even if the courts use an absurd interpretation of the Constitution. And in general, unjust laws must be opposed at every level possible. I don't see an issue, either legally (if we use the actual Constitution and not the one invented by the courts) or ethically, with ignoring and/or not enforcing these drug laws. The ideal solution would be to get rid of these laws completely, but we can push for that while we ignore the laws.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday January 05, @12:32PM

          The federal drug war is completely unconstitutional...

          I agree but then I am not on SCOTUS.

          ...unjust laws must be opposed at every level possible.

          Wrong. Unjust laws should be opposed by the people, by the judiciary, and by the legislators. Executive officers should always enforce the law as it stands. Allow them to selectively not enforce drug laws and you've allowed them to selectively not enforce insider trading and environmental laws as well.

          --
          My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @02:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @02:42PM (#618329)

          The Constitution includes the procedure for deciding what is constitutional.

          Unfortunately, there is no procedure for deciding what makes sense.

          We are supposed to send reasonable folks to Washington to do that.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:41PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @10:41PM (#618032)

    Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) threatened on Thursday to start holding up the confirmation process for White House Justice Department...

    Read that again. A Republican is challenging the Republican administration.

    Big credit to Senator Gardner for having the courage of his convictions and representing the interests of his constituency. It's also so much more effective than if an arbitrary Democrat had done so, as they could be dismissed as partisan politics and ineffective grandstanding.

    We deride and mock the pay-to-vote politicians all the time. We should celebrate the times when a politician puts himself at risk to represent his voters as well.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Thursday January 04, @10:48PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday January 04, @10:48PM (#618038)

      Additionally, getting one more R senator pissed is all that's needed to prevent any other legislation.
      At 51-49, each R senator has immense leverage to get what they want.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday January 04, @10:57PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 04, @10:57PM (#618044) Journal

      Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also opposes this [twitter.com].

      Both Senators represent states that have legalized. Let's see a Republican from a state that has not legalized it for recreational purposes get in on the action.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @03:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @03:26PM (#618348)

        it's almost like that lisa murkowski has to go from an administrative perspective. she seems to know she has power and isnt afraid to use it.

  • (Score: 1) by curril on Thursday January 04, @11:02PM (1 child)

    by curril (5717) on Thursday January 04, @11:02PM (#618047)

    Colorado senate dems sent out this tweet:

    We'll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands.

    Even Republican Senator Cory Gardner is threatening to block judicial nominees over Session's breaking of his promise to leave marijuana alone.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, @11:10PM (#618055)

      You don't see many Evil Turtles in the wild, don't forget to tell your grandkids!

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Sulla on Thursday January 04, @11:47PM (9 children)

    by Sulla (5173) on Thursday January 04, @11:47PM (#618080) Journal

    Republicans have always cared about state rights when it comes to republican issues, democrats have only cared about state rights when it means they can insult a republican. If the dems had cared more about state rights for their own personal issues instead of using it to point out racists they might have powerful enough states to resist when the feds come for their pot.

    A federal government so far displaced from the common man can not be a representative system, the founders knew this and wrote the constitution in a way that would keep the fed from getting too strong. Obviously they failed and the fallout from it is states being unable to do what they want when it goes against federal policy.

    State rights was never just slavery. It was restricting/shooting guns, smoking/banning dope, drinking/banning beer, labeling/not organic, and burning coal vs using windmills. The best gift that Trump has given us as president is that the left might finally realize that small government at the federal level and a stronger local government is the key to protecting your various freedoms.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:00AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:00AM (#618090)

      Except when local governments violate your freedoms, as they often do. Not everyone can move away when their local government turns tyrannical, so I would still like courts (even federal ones if it comes to that) to be able to slap down blatant rights violations at the local or state level.

      • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Friday January 05, @01:43AM

        by Sulla (5173) on Friday January 05, @01:43AM (#618152) Journal

        That is totally reasonable and not inconsistant with what I said

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 05, @12:00AM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 05, @12:00AM (#618091) Journal

      Neither the Dems nor the Reps care about States Rights. It's just that the Dems don't pretend otherwise.

    • (Score: 2) by dltaylor on Friday January 05, @12:03AM (3 children)

      by dltaylor (4693) on Friday January 05, @12:03AM (#618093)

      After the US Civil War, "State's rights" was not about anything even vaguely high-minded. It was entirely about enforcing Jim Crow laws aimed at marginalizing non-white citizens in, mostly, but not entirely, in ex-CSA states. This has persisted, although muted, until lately with the rise of anti-"brown/black" sentiment in states such as Texas and Arizona (not statewide in California, although present).

      I grew up spending many years in states south of the Mason-Dixon line back in the late 50s and early 60s. Racism was ALWAYS behind every call for "States rights".

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:17AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:17AM (#618102)

        No doubt true 60 years ago. But today, with just about every progressive issue: marijuana, minimum wage, gay rights, environmental protection, gun control, it's turning out that local control is better.

        States' rights, as the founders envisioned them, not how they were twisted during the Jim Crow and segregation eras, are a really good idea. Probably an essential idea. Giving states' rights a bad name is just one more way that institutionalized racism has damaged the country.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @07:55AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @07:55AM (#618260)

          I guess the flaw in liberal thinking is that rights should be won "for all" rather than saying I've got mine, I'm alright Jack and walking away. There's going to be a time coming where liberals say fuck'em to the backward States and let them go full Kansas and walk away. They want no healthcare and save $8/week? Fuck'em.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, @12:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, @12:38AM (#618944)

          Anything in the constitution/amendments.
          Anything involving interstate commerce or that interferes with the free trade (like confiscating trade goods bound for another state on arbitrary or previously undocumented grounds.)
          Anything involving money (since that is the entire reason for the constitutional convention trumping the Aritcles of Confederation. States rights including independent currencies lead to defrauding individuals providing trade between state boundaries as well as impacting the trust necessary for international trade relations.

          I am sure there are a few other examples, but states rights by and large need to be respected by federal law, except where they interfere with the constitution, or involve jurisdictional issues because a crime crossed state borders. Having said that: The United states has become bloated, with how many federal agencies essentially having overlapping jobs and jurisdictions and claiming domininion over the whole country regardless of if it should qualify as a local, county, state, or federal matter.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, @12:08AM (#618097)

      If the dems had cared more about state rights for their own personal issues instead of using it to point out racists they might have powerful enough states to resist when the feds come for their pot.

      Found the racist!

    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday January 05, @12:47AM

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday January 05, @12:47AM (#618126) Journal

      burning coal vs using windmills

      Oh please! I'm sure if you could keep all the smoke from your coal plants in your own state, you could burn all you want. But since smog respects no borders, there are laws that should show the same respect. Of course that would mean war with China [sgvtribune.com]... And Nebraska usually is downwind from Colorado... So there you go. You just might have case.

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