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I'm having a very hard time understanding why our President via Executive Order, with a stroke of his pen, does not revise the Schedule One designation of marijuana, thus making medical marijuana legal across our Nation-- and available for the thousands of sick and dying people who could benefit from this.

The notion "he's waiting on the states to do it is total nonsense; for proof merely look at Michigan where voters in 2008 passed a state-wide referendum approving the use of medical marijuana-- there is not one single dispensary OPEN in the state of Michigan.. it's now 2014; going on six years since the passage of the referendum.

This is an old article, but I think it's topical given recent events in Colorado; and the TOTAL lack of medical marijuana in the state of Michigan.

Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use.

“That’s right,” Holder said.

After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but that some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws.

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Obama provided a factually wrong answer that radically distorted the nature of federal law in an attempt to deflect criticism for the federal crackdown on medical marijuana. Obama claimed he “can’t nullify Congressional law” when it comes to medical marijuana, even though the Controlled Substance Act actually gives the Executive branch the authority to “reschedule” (reclassify) marijuana without Congressional action. By simply moving marijuana to a lower schedule the Obama administration could make medical marijuana legal under federal law. Obama would not need to nullify this Congressional law, because Congress already gave him the authority to change marijuana’s legal status.
WHY does Obama not demonstrate some leadership and simply do what needs to be done? He's not up for re-election, right??

What exactly is stopping him from issuing this Executive Order?

I've a good idea what is stopping our President-- I want to see if anyone here gets it.

The "let the state's do it" canard is that that-- a weak canard. if our President truly believes in state's rights, then why the busting of and harassment of dispensaries in California by federal authorities?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

http://www.rollingstone.com/...

Poll

The President Should Revise Schedule One Status of Marijuana

85%75 votes
10%9 votes
4%4 votes

| 88 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 09:47:41 AM PST

  •  I think the President could change the sched (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, DrTerwilliker

    http://www.justice.gov/...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    "The legislation created five Schedules (classifications), with varying qualifications for a substance to be included in each. Two federal agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, determine which substances are added to or removed from the various schedules,"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  Cannabis is required by treaty to be Schedule 1 (10+ / 0-)

    Check out the UN single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.

    Don't think the Executive can just abrogate treaty by EO.

    •  This seems to indicate (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, Woody, Johnny Q, DavidMS

      that medical uses are not illegal per say. "Parties to the 1961 Convention undertake to limit the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution and stocks of, trade in and use and possession of the con-trolled drugs so that they are used exclusively for medical and scientific purposes."

      http://www.incb.org/...

      "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

      by just another vet on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:21:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah it's pretty complicated: (0+ / 0-)

      Jon Gettman, in Science and the End of Marijuana Prohibition, claims that "if prohibition ends in the U.S. it must also end world-wide because U.S. law requires that we amend international drug control treaties to correspond with our own findings on scientific and medical issues".[3] This is at least partially correct; 21 U.S.C. § 811(d)(2)(B) of the Controlled Substances Act states that if the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs proposes rescheduling a drug, the HHS Secretary "shall evaluate the proposal and furnish a recommendation to the Secretary of State which shall be binding on the representative of the United States in discussions and negotiations relating to the proposal".[17] As the major financial contributor to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and related agencies, the U.S. has a great deal of influence over international drug policy.[22] However, former United Nations Drug Control Programme Chief of Demand Reduction Cindy Fazey points out in The UN Drug Policies and the Prospect for Change that since cannabis restrictions are embedded in the text of the Single Convention,[21] complete legalization would require denunciation of the Single Convention,[23] amendment of the treaty,[24] or a reinterpretation of its provisions that would likely be opposed by the International Narcotics Control Board.[25]

      Sorry I couldn't get it to blockquote- it's from wiki but pretty accurate as far as i know.

    •  That's "Odd", Why Did Holder Not Bring (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Sunspots

      this up if it's in fact a big deal?

      re: the UN overall doesn't have much credibility, clout if you listen to clownservatives. I'm fairly sure during the Grandpa Reagan administration the U.S. portion of funding for the UN was withheld as "protest" of some sort or another.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:33:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gimme A Break, Please (9+ / 0-)

      so now International Law is stopping Obama from doing the right thing??

      Hah hahhh!! that's a good one.

      You may have noticed international law is ignored frequently by our nation-- when doing so suits its purpose.

      prime example being the invasion/occupation of Iraq. and we avoid "pesky" international law by refusing to sign on to the ICC, the international ban on land mines... so please, you need to come up with a better excuse.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:46:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We can withdraw from the convention, (8+ / 0-)

      as has been proposed.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:58:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  IIRC that Convention was tailored TO and BY the US (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      so any whining about how the US "can't" change anything in it is way beyond hypocritical.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 05:16:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our Pres cant do a whole lot of things, apparently (3+ / 0-)

    Just like he 'cant' order the Fed govt's charges against Edward Snowden to be dropped. Or pardon Chelsea Manning.
    Or help the Syrian rebels (when it would have made a difference.)
    Either his job title is a lot more powerless than we've all been led to believe.
    Or he is one timid guy.

    •  Or has conflicts of interest nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  OFF TOPIC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott jones

      Syria: the War Powers Resolution Act is clear on the conditions to be met in order for the POTUS to order a military strike without congressional approval.

      so let's stick to the topic at hand: it's time to ease the suffering of 1,000's of our fellow Americans.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:38:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, lets talk (0+ / 0-)

        SHOULD he?  Yes, definitely. Youre right.
        WILL he? No, definitely. And polls and petitions and emails wont matter.
        Fill in your own reason why not.
        I gave mine.

        •  "Fill in My Own Reason..." (0+ / 0-)

          rather cynical don't you think?

          You've not read the research indicating cannabis provides relief for cancer patients on chemo, radiation?

          this is inconsequential for you?

          "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:08:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think his job actually IS a lot more (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remembering Jello, Eyesbright, doroma

      powerless than the "one stroke" contingent deludes themselves into believing.

      I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

      by jan4insight on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:43:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  MASSIVE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (4+ / 0-)

        sure didn't take long for CD to again raise it's big nasty head..

        what is it? first numerous people here insist voting Obama into office is HUGELY important; implying the (unlikely) election of Rmoney _ would certainly be the END of the U.S...

        Now you imply Obama is _powerless?? Wow..

        I think it's rather obvious Obama chooses to be powerless on selective issues (like pot) but obviously as the Rolling Stone article points out-- he's not so when it comes to pot classification.

        "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:57:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I love how all the mind readers pop up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody

          from time to time, to tell what the President "chooses," "thinks" "really wants" etc. etc.

          Too bad Miss Cleo's network tanked. They'd have a future there, I'm sure ;)

          I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

          by jan4insight on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:10:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As opposed to those who (6+ / 0-)

            claim that he just doesn't have the power to do these things?

            He clearly does have the power to stop the prosecutions of medical marijuana and yet he doesn't do that, so I don't know why you would think he wants to end the drug war.

            You either don't understand the powers of the executive or don't understand what people are asking the president to do. He has every legal power to do what we ask of him, and he knows it.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:07:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I look forward to YOUR Explanation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            as to why Obama is clearly a very selective progressive.. and I use the term loosely.

            on several critical policy issues, he's a flat out conservative.

            "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

            by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:23:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I may be incorrect (7+ / 0-)

    but I believe the inclusion or removal of a substance to the controlled substance list involves several agencies and the rule making process pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act -- not the stroke of the presidential pen.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:40:22 AM PST

    •  ^ thank you^ (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, gchaucer2, Eyesbright

      I am rather sick of the "one stroke" contigent, of which their shorter version is "If you really loved me, you would .... waaahhhhh"

      I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

      by jan4insight on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:44:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did You Read Holder's Comment? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      This reads to me that the law was written to allow revision of substances' classification by the POTUS.

      "other agencies" need to review?

      Nope. that's why it's called an Executive Order.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:49:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try reading the actual law, and draw (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, Eyesbright, doroma

        your own conclusions. It's all available online.

      •  Yes, I read his comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emelyn, FG, Eyesbright

        You do realize the agencies are part of the executive branch, I assume.  That means, the executive branch can remove, add, change designations of controlled substances.  That does not mean the President does it by executive order.

        If that were possible, GW Bush could have eliminated every single enviro regulation he found annoying.

        I'd recommend you read the DEA's explanation of how the process works.  But feel free with your fantasy pen that Obama refuses to fill with ink.

        " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:06:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You Should Call Holder's Office and Suggest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          he immediately retract what he stated to Huffington Post regarding what the POTUS can do. "Obviously" Holder is wayyyy off on this, right?

          "Agencies are part of the executive branch".. Thus they have a Boss, the Executive. your take unfortunately supports my belief that numerous progressives just don't know or care or care to talk about that agencies/departments are accountable.

          I get why that is-- after for example, observing the SEC totally miss one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, in spite of the fact at least one knowledgeable person informed them Madoff was a fraud. and I get it because obviously at least one "intelligence" organization has clearly gone rogue.

          But of course the lack of accountability hardly means it's conveniently gone away or is no longer crucial to effectively running any organization.

          "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:31:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Assuming there is a process among DEA, NIH, etc (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole

      does anyone think the Exec will set such a process in motion?
      After all, as long as it doesnt go thru Congress (pretty sure it doesnt) theres no automatic poison pill lying in wait. So why not set the paperwork in motion? Because O doesnt want to. He doesnt even want to try.

      •  Analysis by mind reading (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gchaucer2, FG, Eyesbright

        isn't really analysis.

        Unless you've interviewed the President on this matter, at which point I'd love to see your notes.

        •  Actions and inactions (4+ / 0-)

          Who cares what blather a politician pours forth. Are you such a sucker to believe what they say?

          We need to judge our politicians by their actions and the lack thereof.

          Obama's lack of actions on marijuana reform are many, including but not limited to failing to restrain USDA's raiding medical marijuana pharmacies. I don't know what's in Obama's mind on this or other aspects of the issue, but I see what he does and what he fails to do.

          •  The Department of Agriculture? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gchaucer2, Eyesbright

            Heh?

            I'm pretty sure nobody has to restrain the USDA from busting dispensaries.

            You know that a dispensary isn't a pharmacy, right?

          •  I've Come to the Conclusion there basically (3+ / 0-)

            two types of "progressives" here:

            1.) The ones who don't really give a crap about actions and results. what they want to do is belch forth a gaseous cloud of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, i.e. endless focus and discussion of semantics, "rules and regulations, how "things really get done in D.C."-- totally hilarious since nothing of import gets done there. Not one of the phony bureaucrats here have said one stinking thing about the people in our nation suffering from cancer and the required radiation treatments or chemo, and how these people could benefit from medical marijuana.

            This disgusts me; this lack of empathy and compassion.
            it's appalling, but also sadly instructive; it shows just how far people are willing to go to merely play useless partisan politics".

            2.) The ones who _do want action and results. these are the folks I suspect rate congress at their current, pathetic ten percent approval rating.

            "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

            by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:51:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Unless you have evidence that he has started (5+ / 0-)

          this process then I'd say you're doing the mind reading. I have seen no such evidence. And he's been in office five years now, so it can't be a lack of time.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:09:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe He'll MAKE A MOVE After (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            Biden makes some sort of declaration-- as he finally did with gay marriage.

            "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

            by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:53:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He only 'evolved' on DADT and gay marriage (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superpole

              because enough very wealthy gay donors pressured him to, and he needed their $$$ for his reelection campaign. Even then, O tried to tell them that 'it would be easier after the election' because he and Boehner have such a friendly relation. If O had had it his way, DADT would never have been unwound.

              •  EXACTLY (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DrTerwilliker

                This whole thing is just astonishing to me; here's a guy who has directly experienced gross bigotry, discrimination -- for his skin color and name.

                Yet he "needs" several years to "evolve his position" on full gay rights??? what does this tell me?

                It's a big load of nonsense. Obama is nothing but the typical boooorrriiing middle of the road, status quo politician.. NOT a real leader of any sort.

                it appears even he filters major policy decisions and actions thru the retarded, pathetic lens of right wing media.

                "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

                by Superpole on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:51:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Beengo! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias

        as I've stated before, it was more than telling when Obama was in Columbia, I believe, during his first term in office.

        while there he was interviewed by a local journalist, who asked him about marijuana decriminalization mind you.. she didn't even say the word legalization.

        Obama's response was laughter.

        ???

        "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:12:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well of course not! What would David Brooks think? (6+ / 0-)
    President Obama Could, But Will Not Revise Pot's Schedule 1 Status

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:49:53 AM PST

    •  NAILED IT!!! Thank you, PhilJD (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, Johnny Q, aliasalias

      It's painfully obvious after my initial attempt to publish this diary, re: several "progresssives" here immediately started in about semantics ...

      It's obvious that now in progressive bloggo world, everything must be looked at via the retarded, intellectually, socially, economically bankrupt lens of the hideous right wing media.

      FAIL.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:03:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The President's Motives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody
    "if prohibition ends in the U.S. it must also end world-wide because U.S. law requires that we amend international drug control treaties to correspond with our own findings on scientific and medical issues".
    That provision seems to indicate why it has been next to impossible to study marijuana. There are some powerful forces opposing its legalization, even for medical use, and it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that many of these are driven by greed (fear of declining profits), and some others by some irrational fear of brown stoned hordes.

    As to the President? Maybe the treaty issue, since he is a constitutional law guy, but at some point justice has to enter the discussion from his end. If not, massive #FAIL on his part on the drug war issue.

    You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

    by paz3 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:52:04 AM PST

    •  He isnt going to go down in history as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paz3, AoT

      1. We elected a black Pres.
      2. He legalized the evil weed and we all went to Hell.

      All the talk about treaties and Agency procedures are just that, PROCESS QUESTIONS that only get in the way of change when the guy in the Oval Office doesnt WANT any change. Like he didnt want single payer. (He lied about that too.) Theyre excuses for Obama's preferred stance of noble inaction.

    •  TOTAL NONSENSE (4+ / 0-)

      we old hippies are quite familiar with the federal study ordered by President Nixon (the Night Creature).

      Nixon of course despised the "evil weed" and was convinced science was going to prove pot was real, real bad for us,

      The result of the study?

      ZERO. those conducting the study found nothing harmful with moderate usage.

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:16:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting, the selective memory loss about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Superpole

        the studies that have been done.

        I thought it was supposed to be the stoners who couldn't think and remember reality...

        We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

        by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 04:27:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Worse than Selective Memory Loss (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nuclear winter solstice

          at some point soon I'll be posting Solzhenityn's prescient comments regarding the coming "technosphere"... the babble of "inordinate superficial information" is overwhelming us and actually making us stupid.

          that and many people just don't care about history.

          People like Hoover and Nixon did enormous damage; the impact of which is still playing out today with the rogue agencies.. basically out of control; accountable to nobody.

          "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 03:50:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I demand an explanation (5+ / 0-)

    as to why a sitting president would lie about something so easily disproven, and I'd love to hear his response if he was confronted with the history of pot Prohibition.

    From what I've read, it was basically one man who was charged with the responsibility of demonizing marijuana because it competed with so many up-and-coming capitalist industries: timber (hemp makes excellent paper); petroleum (hemp makes plastics, oil, and rope, competing with petroleum-based plastics, oils, and nylon); pharma (needs no explanation); tobacco (ditto); cotton (hemp makes nice material)....the Googles will further illuminate the issue for the heretofore unaware.

    Harry J. Anslinger may you rot in !773H

  •  Not his issue (0+ / 0-)

    Clearly, marijuana reform is not his issue.
    It's either not something he particularly cares about, or he thinks it will be a distraction from other things he wishes to accomplish, like immigration reform.

    I've also read a couple of places that it's not actually that simple, and does require congressional action.

    There were some policy experts who said this after the Cole Memo came out in August.
    http://www.drugpossessionlaws.com/...
    http://ssdp.org/...

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