"Dozens of federal agents on Monday raided the Oakland businesses and apartment of Richard Lee, the state's most prominent advocate for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, carting away loads of pot and belongings but not revealing the purpose of their investigation." ... Today, "[f]our of the six medical marijuana providers who are suing the U.S. government over last year's raids of pot businesses across Montana have been arrested on federal drug charges."
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision." In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst." [more inside]
Many people want to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana and other drugs, however, few know that many U.S. states are content simply to tax. In fact, even the federal government wants a share (middle of p. 89 of the PDF), and used tax stamps in early prohibition, but only the states have recently issued issued cool stamps (be sure to click "exhibit"). The point, of course, is not to actually tax the drugs, but to penalize the drug dealers for tax evasion as well as drug sales. They have brought in some money, though. A few interesting state government pages: Conecticut, Nebraska, North Carolina and their tax return form, and Kansas.
NORML Releases "Most Comprehensive Analysis Of US Marijuana Arrest Data To Date" Among the reports' findings: * The enforcement of state and local marijuana laws annually costs US taxpayers an estimated $7.6 billion, approximately $10,400 per arrest. * While adult African Americans account for only 8.8% of the US population and 11.9% of annual marijuana users, they comprise 23% of all marijuana possession arrests in the United States.
It's Just A Plant: a children's story of marijuana "One night Jackie woke up past her bedtime. She smelled something funny in the air, so she walked down the hall to her parents' bedroom." Here's a new way for parents to teach their kids about drugs--through a brightly-illustrated children's book, not second-hand misinformation or Drug Warrior scare tactics. Parents, librarians, and booksellers, please take note. [via D'Alliance, the blog of the Drug Policy Alliance]