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View Diary: Senate Judiciary chair Pat Leahy floats federal marijuana legalization (181 comments)

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  •  the big problem with this is the United Nations (9+ / 0-)

    Back in the 60s, when conservatives had no problem with giving up American sovereignty so long as it helped them bash hippies, we signed treaties which obligated the US to keep marijuana as a schedule I drug and keep it illegal everywhere in the US permanently, without any legal mechanism for us to get out of the treaty, ever.

    Last month after the election the UN sent us this [PDF], warning that regardless of "democracy" or "the constitution" or whatever, the US federal government is expected to take all necessary measures to bring its federated states and/or provinces back into compliance with UN drug rules.

    This is why medical marijuana and decriminalization were the "serious" options up until recently, because the UN theoretically allows both of those. Portugal and the Netherlands drew the line at decriminalization because of fear of what the UN might do to them.

    The UN doesn't have that much power to enforce the drug treaties, but what they do have is the ability to authorize voluntary drug embargoes. The worst-case scenario here is that China and other anti-drug countries will cut off a huge chunk of our supply of morphine, and we end up with severe, long-term painkiller shortages in hospitals.

    It sounds kind of shitty that the UN would order all the cancer patients in a country to die in horrible pain to punish the government, but it's been done before, and we've joined in on doing it to other countries before.

    So this is our problem. We created an international uber-DEA that operates on even dumber Reefer Madness ideas than the real DEA, and we have little leverage over them beyond bombing Vienna. (Which could be the least stupid move at this point.)

    •  so organize a bunch of signatory nations (7+ / 0-)

      who have been hounded by the US to fight the drug war for ages, but who are tiring of the effects of the war and whose populaces no longer support it (if they ever did), and work out a legal kludge to back down from the insanity on pot.

      right off the bat, you'd have much of latin america and western europe on your side.

      •  'we've got the guns and we've got the numbers?' (0+ / 0-)

        and the black helicopters too?'

        this sounds like a Monty Python skit somehow that the UN is...oh wait, this sounds like what the Teabaggers have been saying all along. Ahhhhhhhhh!

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:06:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do how do holland, Canada, and any (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow

      Of the other nations where marijuana is LEGAL do it? I assume they also signed that treaty.

      And treaties can be broken. They are all the time.

      •  They signed the treaty but the weed isn't 'legal' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, rlochow

        they have a policy of 'turning a blind eye'.

        it's still all under the table - they simply refuse to bother people.

        You can still be arrested for trafficking should they so desire.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:47:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you can be arrested for (0+ / 0-)

          trafficking in illegal cigarettes here, or illegal alcohol, or pretty much illegal anything.

          It's illegal because no tax is being paid on it, not because the substance itself is illegal.

          And I though it was legal, in personal use amounts, in Canada.

          Like making your own booze is legal, so long as you don't make huge quantities and sell it.

      •  Many treaties are irrelevant. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, rlochow

        Unless the treaty is self-executing - and very few are - then we can just tell the UN to cram it.  That goes for every non-self-executing treaty.

    •  We *rammed through* treaties. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow

      We can get them overturned even easier than we got them approved.

      We can also grow poppies.  We have the technology.

      This place needs a PVP server.

      by JesseCW on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:35:26 AM PST

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    •  It's hard for me to believe that the U.S. takes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      the UN (or its "obligations" to the UN) any more seriously on this issue than it does on any other.  In my experience, even UN policies which are actually grounded in things like the public interest or sensible policy vanish like breath on a mirror under the least economic or political pressure.  

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