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Obama's recent comments saying pot is less dangerous than alcohol look like an opportunity to advocates for relaxed marijuana laws
More than a dozen members of Congress called on President Barack Obama on Wednesday to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of hard drugs, seizing upon his own comments in a recent interview that pot is no more dangerous than alcohol.
“We were encouraged by your recent comments,” the letter from 17 Democrats and one Republican said. “We request that you take action to help alleviate the harms to society caused by the federal Schedule I classification of marijuana. … You said that you don’t believe marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol: a fully legalized substance. …. Marijuana, however, remains listed in the federal Controlled Substances Act at Schedule I, the strictest classification.
“This makes no sense,” the lawmakers added.
"Oklahoma and Nebraska said the influx had led to more arrests, more impounded vehicles and higher jail and court costs. They say it has also forced law-enforcement agencies to spend more time and dedicate more resources to handling marijuana-related arrests."
But the lawsuit from Nebraska and Oklahoma, where marijuana is still outlawed, argues that Colorado has “created a dangerous gap” in the federal drug-control system.
They also criticized Colorado for not tracking marijuana once it is sold, and for not requiring marijuana buyers to undergo criminal background checks (under Colorado law, anyone 21 or older can legally purchase recreational marijuana). Colorado’s rules have no way to prevent “criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels from acquiring marijuana inventory directly from retail marijuana stores,” the lawsuit says.They also criticized Colorado for not tracking marijuana once it is sold, and for not requiring marijuana buyers to undergo criminal background checks (under Colorado law, anyone 21 or older can legally purchase recreational marijuana). Colorado’s rules have no way to prevent “criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels from acquiring marijuana inventory directly from retail marijuana stores,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit, which was brought by Nebraska’s attorney general, Jon Bruning, and Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, accused Colorado officials of participating in a “scheme” that cultivates, packages and distributes marijuana in direct violation of controlled-substances laws while “ignoring every objective embodied in the federal drug control regulation.” It was filed directly with the Supreme Court because it involves a dispute among states.
“The Constitution and the federal antidrug laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local pro-drug policies and licensed distribution schemes throughout the country,” the lawsuit says.
originally posted by: MKMoniker
Not really. It's a very tricky argument, and it will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court does with it.
States "tracking what people do with (products) brought in their state," echos back to the Texas Gun Shows, where Mexican Cartel buyers are said to arrive with suitcases of cash and a "list" of what to purchase. This came to a head with the idiotically ill-planned programs under George W. and Obama (like "Fast&Furious"), of selling weapons to one Mexican Cartel to help them start a war with another Cartel.
Another concern for neighboring states, is the stoned-drivers who cross over from Colorado, and create car wrecks. Being "high" from maryjane doesn't feel the same as being drunk, but the impairment issues are the same.
I don't know how the Supreme Court is going to handle this. What will be most interesting, however, is the eventual social impact. Will states neighboring Colorado eventually cave in to allow recreational sales of this brain-rotting drug too?
Or will they stand tough against marijuana, and find a way to "blame and financially punish" Colorado for sending dangerously stoned drivers or organized-gangs/criminals transporting pot across their state lines? Will Colorado be forced to create "highway easements" of warnings and pull-outs a mile before leaving the state on all its highways, for people to sober up or change drivers?
Or will Colorado be forced to do what California used to do at their borders to protect their vast agricultural base, have check-points at all borders to make people throw out any raw fruit or vegetables? Colorado's exit check-points would mainly look for stoned drivers and organized-criminals transporting pot into another state, which then becomes a federal issue. Or will neighboring states to Colorado be forced to have easements or check-points for vehicles entering their states?
originally posted by: MKMoniker
a reply to: Krazysh0t
"That is incorrect. The impairment (driving stoned versus drunk) isn't the same at all."
Another thread on ATS disagrees:
POT-POSITIVE TRAFFIC FATALITIES UP 100% IN COLORADO?
One thing to remember that the media will almost always leave out:
Marijuana metabolites stay in your system for a month, sometimes longer. However, marijuana itself, the effects only last a few hours.
Thus, it is totally possible to test positive for weed even if you aren't high, and haven't smoked it in a while. Testing positive for marijuana does not mean that you are under the influence, only that you have smoked it sometime within the last few weeks.
“At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.
To date ..., seven studies using culpability analysis have been reported, involving a total of 7,934 drivers. Alcohol was detected as the only drug in 1,785 drivers, and together with cannabis in 390 drivers. Cannabis was detected in 684 drivers, and in 294 of these it was the only drug detected.
... The results to date of crash culpability studies have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes. … [In] cases in which THC was the only drug present were analyzed, the culpability ratio was found to be not significantly different from the no-drug group.”
Not really. It's equivalent to liquor/beer as a "relaxation agent," but there has been decades of study on alcohol's effect on the human body - and not nearly that much study yet on marijuana's effect:
MARIJUANA VERSUS ALCOHOL HEALTH EFFECTS
"For marijuana, much of the concern is with young people who use the drug, because the drug interferes with the development of the brain while it is still maturing, Baler said. [10 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Teen's Brain]
"Smoking marijuana interferes with connections being made in the brain "at a time when the brain should be at a clear state of mind, and accumulating, memory and data and good experiences that should be laying out the foundation for the future," Baler said.
"You're cumulatively impairing your cognitive function. What's going to be the ultimate result, nobody can say."
Law enforcement has developed tests to determine "driving while impaired" - irregardless of the ingested substance.
I know more states will legalize "recreational pot" - you can't put the genie back in the bottle. But marijuana's cumulative harm to the young brains in this country, IS of concern. If our future doctors, lawyers, scientists and legislators have little memory and even less "cognitive function," what kind of Future will they build? Or who will build that Future if they're all off puffing pot somewhere?
DISH argues Coats violated the company's zero-tolerance drug policy, and says he was treated no differently than an employee who showed up drunk.