Marijuana Laws: State Votes v. Federal Government


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  • New York Times Fails To Cover Manning Testimony
  • Michael Ratner: Julian Assange Ecuador Embassy Update


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Marijuana Laws: State Votes v. Federal Government

Washington State and Colorado are the first political jurisdictions to legally approved marijuana to be regulated like alcohol. However, federal laws explicitly criminalize marijuana transactions and the federal government can continue to enforce those laws by blocking the progress of state initiatives.  For example, it’s likely that the federal authorities will step in when large transactions and large scale production begin in Washington or Colorado. Meanwhile, the Colorado provision allows personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and the growing up to six plants at home.

Ethan Nadelmann:

  • Colorado and Washington are the first 2 political jurisdictions in the world to do this.
  • The United States of America is emerging as the global leader of marijuana law reform.
  • As of now it’s legal under state law to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and in Colorado legal to have up to six plants in the privacy of your own home.
  • Parts of the initiative that authorize the state to set up a legal regulatory system like with alcohol that doesn’t kick in in Colorado until July, and in Washington state until next December.
  • Not in public, let’s be clear.
  • My colleagues at Drug Policy Alliance led a broad coalition effort and pushed back the mayor and police chief, rallied the DA’s to say this policy (stop and frisk) made no sense.
  • The opportunity here for the federal government to say, let’s get Washington and Colorado a chance to figure this out; a way to effectively regulate this stuff.
  • From the public health perspective if you have something that’s being consumed by millions of Americans you want authorities regulating quality and potency.
  • The Federal Controlled Substance Act of 1970 is in conflict with this.
  • There are now 18 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Colorado already has a model of regulation on marijuana in respect to medicinal use.
  • The fact is you hundreds if not thousands of dispensaries in many states, some are very open ended such as California.
  • If the Feds prevent the state governments in Washington and Colorado from responsibly regulating this stuff, you’re essentially going to have a defacto alliance between the federal government on one side and an irresponsible elements of the marijuana community on the other.
  • The worst possible thing in Mexico is the legalize drugs in the US. They would lose out just like Al Capone after the alcohol prohibition.
  • Latin American leaders: They know that what Washington and Colorado did is the beginning of the ending of the global drug prohibition system which has wreaked havoc in that region for decades.
  • People are realizing that among the other ingredients in marijuana, CBD which is the anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory property of marijuana.
  • It’s all about reducing the harms of drugs and the harms of failed prohibitionist policy.

Guest – Ethan Nadelmann,  founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs.


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Egypt and Syria Update: Glen Ford

Protests and violence continue in Egypt as Islamist President Mohamed Morsi pushes toward ratifying a draft constitution. Egyptians who oppose the controversial new constitution argue it weakens human rights doesn’t guarantee women’s rights and that it was written by an Islamist dominated assembly. The opposition National Salvation Front says it will not recognize the draft constitution. We talk about that and the disturbing events unfolding within the ongoing conflict in Syria with Glen Ford, founder of the Black Agenda Report. We welcome him back to Law and Disorder. Glen Ford is also a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Glen Ford:

  • In the Muslim world, the Left has been decimated not once, not twice, but over and over again in the last 50 years. That’s occurred in Egypt, in Syria, in Iraq.
  • It would be expected that in Egypt, the part of secular Egypt that is Left, secularized would represent 15-20 percent of the people.
  • The language of politics in that world is spoken in an Islamic dialect.It’s difficult for Left folks here to understand it.
  • Leftists here get confused by the corporate media which inflates business secularists in contests all over the world.
  • How many people realize that the opposition party, party number two, in Russia is the Communist Party?
  • Everybody is at work in Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, and freelance millionaires from all over the region are sponsoring their own brigades and fighting forces.
  • Before the CIA and the Pakistanis got together to create a force to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan no such thing existed as a national Jihadi network.
  • Syrian situation really heated up after the fall of the “Libyan regime”. 600 to 900 of the Libyan Jihadis were then sent directly to Syria.
  • It’s really not in U.S. hands.

Guest – Glen Ford, founder of the Black Agenda Report and many other media forums. Ford was a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); executive board member of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists (NATWJ); media specialist for the National Minority Purchasing Council; and has spoken at scores of colleges and universities.

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