Friday, January 03, 2014

No Colorado confrontation - yet.

The New Years' excitement over Colorado's voter-passed full legalization - "recreational," too many are calling it - of marijuana was tempted slightly by a warning from the next state:
Which raises some troubling questions.

The Obama-Holder Justice Department has taken a hands-off approach to legalization, both the civil unions of medical marijuana and the full marij equality (heh) of complete legalization. Not gonna say it's OK, not gonna say it's not, not gonna push the issue.

But this administration only has three years and three weeks left, no matter what. what happens next?

I'm just a clerk, not a lawyer. But even I know that if a confrontation between the states and the feds goes to court, either the federal law will have to get tossed...

...on what grounds? "It's a stupid and increasingly unpopular law" isn't good enough. Is it unconstitutional in some way? Does it discriminate against some people more than others? Is there no legislative remedy?

More likely than that, it becomes a question of the primacy of state vs. federal law which, under the legal principle of lorem ipsum dolor sit amet as established by Oliver Marshall Brandies in the Dread Zeppelin case, the Feds pretty much always win.

While that works through the courts, can you tell me that President Chris Christie's Justice Department wouldn't swoop down on Colorado and Washington and the California dispensaries the minute they could muster enough U.S. Marshals?

For that matter: Can you tell me that President Hillary Clinton's Justice Department wouldn't do exactly the same?
(Tangent: It seems Christie sent "holiday" greeting cards to Iowa Republican activists. The friendly reminder may help come caucus time, but the Santorum/Huckabee camp probably focused on "holiday" vs. "Christmas," in much the same way that labor folks look for the union printing bug before they even read the flyer.

I, on the other hand, did not get a Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah or Solstice card from Hillary Clinton. Is that a lump of coal for the Iowa caucuses? Not to overstate my own importance... but if one "potential" candidate's doing it and another isn't, there's significance in the absence.)
You can't, because it's yet to become a live issue that national candidates not named Paul have taken seriously. Not anymore. Now we have, not a constitutional crisis, but a live and very serious legal question. You all know MY platform but I'm not the one you need to ask. This Colorado voter, a nearly successful candidate for county sheriff and a Doctor of Journalism, wants answers.
All the more reason for an open nomination cycle and process in both parties. State legalization vs. federal prohibition is a question that's going to get fought out in some campaigns between now and January 20, 2017, nationally...

and maybe locally. Via Facebook, John Zimmerman:
Anyone interested in replacing the current overprosecution (of people of color, of those who are poor, and of petty victimless offenses) with a truly progressive approach?

Zimmerman Announcement Regarding Johnson County Attorney Campaign
Wednesday, January 8 at 12:30pm Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A
"Announcement Regarding" not necessarily "announcing," but stay tuned.

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