In an interview with ABC News President Barack Obama said federal authorities should not target recreational marijuana use in two Western states where it has been made legal given limited government resources and growing public acceptance of the controlled substance. "It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that's legal," he said.
The passage and governor's proclamation of Amendment 64 on Monday, which makes Colorado one of the first two states to legalize limited possession and sales of marijuana, has prompted a flood of questions about what happens now. Herewith, some answers. The state has to have regulations for recreational marijuana stores in place by July 1 and has to start issuing licenses for the business by Jan. 1, 2014.
Most Americans want the federal government to stop enforcing anti-marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington state, according to a Gallup Poll. Sixty-four percent do not want the federal government to enforce its anti-marijuana laws in those states, compared to only 34 percent who do. Among those who believe marijuana use should be legal, a whopping 87 percent said the federal government should back off. But even among those who oppose marijuana legalization, 43 percent don’t want the federal government to get involved.
Former President Jimmy Carter said he is in favor of legalizing marijuana during a public panel that CNN aired Tuesday. “I’m in favor of it. I think it’s OK,” Carter said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen in Georgia yet, but I think we can watch and see what happens in the state of Washington for instance around Seattle and let the American government and let the American people see does it cause a serious problem or not.”
The law setting up the US's first legal regulatory system for retail pot won't allow sales until next year. And the federal government still considers marijuana illegal. Then there are the taxation provisions: Can legal retailers compete with the black market when they have to payover 25% in taxes? What about the provision that says marijuana shops can't stock anything but pot and pot supplies?
Los ciudadanos de los Estados de Colorado y Washington votaron a favor de legalizar el consumo, la producción y la venta de marihuana a los mayores de 21 años para fines recreativos. Sin embargo, aún es aventurado celebrar el triunfo absoluto de estas iniciativas, que todavía están dando los primeros pasos en un camino hacia la legalización total que se antoja largo y difícil.
Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations.
Although Canada has long toyed with decriminalizing marijuana, that idea was shelved when Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper took office. Earlier this year, the Liberal Party endorsed marijuana legalization. A poll conducted earlier this year found that two-thirds of Canadians say it should be decriminalized, in sharp contrast to the position of the Harper government.
Some drug policy reform leaders, fearing an official backlash, are urging a cautious, go-slow, approach: make it as easy as possible for the feds to back off and let the states do their thing. Other voices, claiming a pro-pot electoral mandate, are calling for bold, assertive moves to implement the will of the voters.
Faced with this soiled wedge between state legislation and federal law within the United States, Mexico's President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and his advisors have already concluded there will have to be a significant change in their anti-narcotics policy. Weeding out the marijuana issue was prudently left to behind closed door discussions.
Like a growing number of Latin American leaders, Peña, who takes office Dec. 1, says it may be time to reassess the drug war. In an interview with TIME, Peña has made his first direct remarks on the U.S. marijuana-legalization measures and how they complicate a four-decade-old drug interdiction strategy that has been widely branded a failure in both Mexico and the U.S.
La legalización de la mariguana en Washington y Colorado crea "distorsiones" en Estados Unidos que podrían tener un "impacto" en América Latina, por lo que se requiere un "debate hemisférico" sobre la materia, dijo el presidente electo de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, a la revista Time. "Eso impactará en la manera en que México y otros países en el hemisferio responden", agregó Peña Nieto. (Véase también: Peña Nieto busca nueva dirección en relación con EE.UU.)
The battle over the legal recreational use of marijuana heads to several more states, as officials in Colorado and Washington wait to see how the federal government will react to their new pro-pot laws. Rhode Island and Maine seem to be the next states where pro-marijuana forces will seek referendums about the legalization of recreational use. Lawmakers in both states plan to introduce bills, modeled on the laws in Colorado and Washington, to seek the legal recreational use of marijuana.
Something unexpected has happened in the past five years. The condemnations of the war on drugs - of the mechanized imprisonment of much of our inner cities, of the brutal wars sustained in Latin America at our behest, of the sheer cost of prohibition, now likely past a trillion dollars - have migrated out from the left-wing cul-de-sacs that they have long inhabited and into the political Establishment.
Ending the consumption and the trafficking of illegal drugs is “impossible”, according to Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s outgoing president. In an interview with The Economist Mr Calderón, whose battle with organised crime has come to define his six years in office, said that countries whose citizens consume drugs should find "market mechanisms" to prevent their money from getting into the hands of criminals in Latin America.
In two weeks, adults in this state will no longer be arrested or incarcerated for something that nearly 30 million Americans did last year. For the first time since prohibition began 75 years ago, recreational marijuana use will be legal; the misery-inducing crusade to lock up thousands of ordinary people has at last been seen, by a majority of voters in this state and in Colorado, for what it is: a monumental failure. That is, unless the Obama administration steps in with an injunction ...
El hombre que lidera en México los intentos para cambiar las leyes es el político de izquierda Fernando Belaunzarán, quien introdujo un proyecto de ley en el Congreso similar al de Colorado y que podría llevar a la marihuana a un patrón de regulación igual al del alcohol: "Lo que ha pasado en Estados Unidos ha permitido que las cosas avancen, porque este debate es crucial".
En las elecciones estadunidenses los estados de Washington y Colorado votaron a favor de legalizar el cultivo, distribución y consumo de la mariguana para “uso recreativo”, lo cual ya provocó reacciones en México encaminadas a que se adopten aquí las mismas medidas. La fracción parlamentaria del PRD en la Cámara de Diputados presentó una iniciativa de ley para que en todo México se permita la producción, procesamiento, distribución, venta y consumo de mariguana.