In late August, after months of silence, the Department of Justice announced that it will not intervene to halt the initiatives in Washington and Colorado.Instead, it will adopt a “trust but verify” approach, permitting the states to police the new market for the drug.Tags: Header For Graduate School EssayChoosing My Major EssayTerm Paper On AutismBoston Tea Party Cause And Effect EssayThesis Themen Soziale ArbeitThesis For Hills Like White ElephantsRecently Published Research PapersWater Purification Business Plan
Many other states appear poised to introduce legalization measures, and the Obama Administration’s apparent acquiescence surely will hasten this development.
Washington’s initiative, called I-502, received fifty-six per cent of the vote, with especially strong support in western Washington, around Seattle. authorities make more than three-quarters of a million arrests for marijuana offenses.
Voters saw a lot to like: the end of prohibition of a drug that many people enjoy and consider harmless; a fresh source of tax revenue; an end to the punitive, and racially discriminatory, enforcement of marijuana laws. Blacks are more than three times as likely to be arrested for such offenses as whites are, though they are no more likely to use the drug.
Pete Holmes, the city attorney of Seattle, told me that state prosecutors had stopped indicting people for marijuana possession, because local jurors found the prohibition so objectionable that they tended to acquit on principle.
The council meeting took place at City Hall, a glass-and-steel building overlooking Puget Sound. a legal commercial market is run,” Kleiman allowed. To support the legal market, Kleiman argued, the state must intensify law-enforcement pressure on people who refuse to play by the new rules.
Council members sat around a long table, looking scrubbed and upbeat, as Kleiman—a large man of sixty-two, with a lumbering gait and an unruly gray beard—took a seat before a microphone. “In the long run, there shouldn’t be much of an illegal business. A street dealer will have to be arrested in the hope that “you will migrate that dealer’s customers into the taxed-and-regulated market.”Officials in Washington had been expecting a peace dividend, yet Kleiman was calling for a crackdown.“One of the ideas that has actuated the cannabis-legalization movement is that law enforcement really has bigger fish to fry,” he said. It was the kind of logical argument that nobody wants to hear.“We’d rather have cops chasing burglars than pot sellers. Not even law enforcement: to a narcotics detective, pot legalization can feel like an existential affront.They also investigated protocols for “product quality standards and testing.” Kleiman’s mandate was to offer officials options, rather than prescriptions.But he has a lot of opinions, and does not excel at hiding them.A few years ago, Holmes stopped prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana-possession cases. The law, which was sixty-four pages long and contained hundreds of specific provisions, assigned the liquor-control board the role of regulating the pot market. The legislation gave Washington officials only a year to come up with answers.Yet many difficult questions remained: Who would be allowed to grow legal marijuana? Randy Simmons, the state’s project manager for I-502, says, “From the week after the initiative passed, it’s been about a hundred and fifty miles an hour.”The liquor-control board instructed Kleiman and his associates at to submit research papers outlining the advantages and disadvantages of rival approaches to legalization.In a further complication, the marijuana that is legal in these states will remain illegal in the eyes of the federal government, because the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 forbids the growing and selling of cannabis.“What the state is doing, in actuality, is issuing licenses to commit a felony,” Kleiman says.As if to deepen the insult, tax revenue from the sale of legal cannabis will be devoted to substance-abuse prevention and research—not to police or prosecutors. Although Kleiman urged state officials to set aside funds for increased law enforcement, he can get impatient with such complaints.He likes to say, “You don’t get any of the revenue for arresting , either.”He left the city councillors with a warning: without intensified law enforcement, pot legalization might not succeed.