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United States Politics

Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions 526

schwit1 writes with news that the Obama administration has released a memo stating that it will not fight liberalized marijuana laws in states like Colorado and Washington, but made that promise conditional on a set of guidelines, such as requiring efforts to dissuade underage use. From the Washington Post's coverage: "Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole detailed the administration's new stance, even as he reiterated that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The memo directs federal prosecutors to focus their resources on eight specific areas of enforcement, rather than targeting individual marijuana users, which even President Obama has acknowledged is not the best use of federal manpower. Those areas include preventing distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing the sale of pot to cartels and gangs, preventing sales to other states where the drug remains illegal under state law, and stopping the growing of marijuana on public lands."
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Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

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  • by 14erCleaner ( 745600 ) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Thursday August 29, 2013 @05:58PM (#44711229) Homepage Journal
    Are the Feds going to stop harassing banks [businessweek.com] that accept marijuana businesses as customers? Currently, medical dispensaries have to operate as cash-only businesses, which leaves them vulnerable to robberies.
  • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @06:05PM (#44711323)

    Other documents that used to be taken seriously, and were written for the concerns of their times, (and are still hung on to by some.)

    The Old Testament. The New Testament. The Torah. The Koran. The Magna Carta. The Domesday Book.

    The Bible is still the best selling book in the world by over 40 times. So by "some" what you really mean is billions.

  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <tmsNO@SPAMinfamous.net> on Thursday August 29, 2013 @06:18PM (#44711457) Homepage

    Well, it used to be a seriously taken document...

    When was that?

    The Alien and Sedition Acts [wikipedia.org] were passed just seven years after the Bill of Rights. The Bill Of Rights was pretty dormant until the 1930s, and nobody took that "equal protection" bit seriously until the 1960s.

  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @06:28PM (#44711549)
    I'm no medicalologist, but I have to imagine that mass consumption of any mind-altering chemical (tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, etc.) while the brain is still developing will have an effect. The question is, is it worth keeping our prisons full of non-violent offenders to discourage their use?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @06:49PM (#44711729)
    they let the police ignore wealthy smokers while still using the Federal Law to lock up poor people. It's a great way to keep the poor out of your neighborhood. Odds are if you get a group of lower income people together at least one has pot on him, and Federal law lets you seize everyone's property. Sure, legally you get it back, but if you're working 50+ hours/week at two $7.25/hr jobs who's got time for that (unless you can afford a lawyer, but then wealth rears it's head again).

    So viva la Medical Marijuana, and our two separate legal systems: One for the poors and one for the rich.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @07:02PM (#44711853)

    I modded you insightful but I'd like to challenge one point of yours: what makes you believe that smoking marijuana impairs one's ability to drive? This seems to be a common assumption among non-smokers, but I can tell you from (daily) experience such is not the case. It requires the consumption of quite a bit of pot to impair one's driving -- usually this means eating it rather than smoking it -- and once a person is that high they don't want to drive. It's just too stressful (as opposed to driving drunk, where alcohol gives one 'liquid courage').

    Even with alcohol, one is considered legally drunk much before they've consumed enough to actually be impaired.

    A person shouldn't be considered impaired just because a particular chemical is in their body. They should be given basic coordination tests -- such as a field sobriety test (but something that's computerized, kind of like a video game, to eliminate bias on the part of the officer). If you can't pass a field sobriety test because you're too old, you shouldn't be able to drive. If you can't pass it because of a prescribed medication, you shouldn't be able to drive. If you can't pass a field sobriety test because you're just a naturally uncoordinated person, you shouldn't be able to drive. A person's BAC or THC level is irrelevant, what's important is their ability to control a vehicle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @07:54PM (#44712281)

    There was also a study of New Zealanders. They found that people who began using pot earlier in life and used it most frequently over the years experienced an average decline of eight IQ points by the time they turned 38. By comparison, those who never smoked pot had an average increase of one IQ point by the same age.

    A reanalysis of the New Zealand data by Ole Røgeberg of the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Oslo, however, suggested that the IQ difference could be explained by socioeconomic factors. People who start smoking marijuana at an earlier age are often less intelligent to begin with.

    You will find most of the research is similarly tainted.

    How does your bold print change the conclusion... Those who smoke pot are stupid... Either indicated by or as a result of smoking pot is absolutely irrelevant.

    Simply stated... If you smoke pot you're an d idiot!!! and we have scientific evidence to back it up!

  • And I challenge your statement that

    A person's BAC or THC level is irrelevant, what's important is their ability to control a vehicle.

    Back in the late 70s, Car & Driver magazine did an informal study (with a couple of professional test drivers) which was later reprinted in High Times, IIRC.

    Their results appeared to indicate that small amounts of cannabis actually improved the pros' driving performance slightly and for a very short while, after which performance fell rapidly to much less than normal. They found in addition that using more than a small amount also quickly caused the pros' driving performance to decrease to much less than normal.

  • MJ has been shown to have legitimate medical uses. It doesn't belong on Schedule 1.

    If it's off Schedule 1 then research to use it SAFELY as a drug can proceed far more easily, and maybe we can use it for things like neuropathic pain and appetite recovery during chemotherapy WITHOUT the potential brain-damaging side effects.

    I've got a friend who has neuropathic pain and none of the legal drugs work for him. And he can't use MJ because he's subject to drug testing.

    Take MJ off Schedule 1 and maybe he can stop living with pain 24/7!


  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @03:28AM (#44714249) Homepage Journal

    I don't know all that much about photosystems, so I'll have to trust your first two statements at face value—but what you're describing has nothing to do with statistics at all; that's just a misunderstanding of the physics at hand. Statistical calculations are only valid if the hypothesis is valid—in this case, that high absorption is proportional to chlorophyll activation.

    You don't have a problem with statistics, you have a problem with ignorance of the facts—that's perfectly normal and healthy, and is necessary in all sciences. There is no causal link between people who are poorly informed and people who back up their statements with statistics; it's just the case that overly simple hypotheses, for which it is easy to derive the relevant statistics, are also easy to arrive at.

    In bioinformatics we use statistics at just about every waking moment, and they do matter quite a lot when considering the false positive rate for tests. A microarray containing a million wells that has an error rate of 10^-5 will generally have about a thousand bogus values in it—cases where genes either activated completely or not at all simply because of hardware or procedural defects. Similarly, the likelihood of a random valid open reading frame (start and stop codon spaced 3 * k nucleotides apart, for some value k) below about 100 nt has a higher chance of being spontaneous than being an actual gene. These are things that can easily be demonstrated to be true physically, and yet are perfectly predictable through statistical procedures.

    So go easy on the math. Yes there are serious problems in the social and medical sciences with flawed and shill studies, and yes there are plenty of figures thrown around in politics that are derived through questionable methods, but what matters is really that the people generating the figures are fools and scoundrels, not the fact that they framed the results as statistical measures or used some mathematical framework to produce them. The most shameful uses of data collection and extrapolation generally aren't even statistically or empirically sound, as antivirus companies constantly remind us [slashdot.org]. Rely on your gut instinct that they're slimeballs, not that they tried to dress up their garbage to sound scientific.

  • by Inda ( 580031 ) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Friday August 30, 2013 @05:08AM (#44714621) Journal
    For the first time ever, I've grown tobacco in my greenhouse, in the UK. I've also grown it outside but the size of the plants are about 50% smaller than the greenhouse plants. I'm going to harvest any day now.

    One of the most simplist plants I've grown. They've needed no TLC.

    My peers are interested in doing the same next year. Seeds are a penny each. One plant could last a smoker a month. A square metre per plant is not a lot of space for an expensive crop.

    Um, my point: people will grow both plants if they have a little knowledge (three cheers for the internet).

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.