As some states flout federal drug law, Justice wavers on enforcement

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  • Sierra.R.A Kearns, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Can you give actual reasons, as in FACT behind why Marijuana is a harmful drug?
    How is it bad for the welfare of the people?
    It is hard to listen to someone who can't even give facts about why the subject of their little rant is in fact bad.
    How can someone be so against marijuana and want it to be illegal, when it has been proven that it can benefit the public if used correctly and yet cigarettes which KILL PEOPLE are completely legal and there has been absolutely no political try to stop the production and selling of them.
    It's the single minded way of most people that just gets me, every time. I guess when people are told something for a long period of time it becomes real to the weak people in the world that can't form their own opinion and be an individual, but instead have to succumb to what they're told because since they're being told something it must be right.
    HA! I do NOT agree.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 1, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    Isn't this the same as the Utah State Highway Patrol ignoring and not enforcing the Federal Speed limits on the Federal Insterstates?


    At least show integrity.
    At least be consistant.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 31, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    What good is a Federal Government and a Federal Justice Department... if they won't ENFORCE the laws that are passed by Congress??

    I'm talking about Federal Drug Laws, Federal Immigration Laws, etc...

    Now I'm not a big Federal Government needs to do everything kinda guy. But if you are going to give them jurisdiction over this stuff (DEA, Immigration, etc).. I expect them to ENFORCE the laws our representatives in Congress pass regarding these areas. Not pick and choose what they will defend and what they will/won't enforce... based on what the current President likes or dislikes in our current laws.

    That's why we have that whole oath when a new guy takes office... to insure that the guy taking over from the old guy will defend ALL the laws (not just the ones he likes).

    If you don't like the laws... CHANGE THEM... don't just instruct your Justice Department to not ENFORCE them!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 31, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Everett, 00

    RE: "Enough of the hypocasy"...

    The irony is you complaining about hypocrisy (or hypocasy)

    You are FOR banning sodas, trans-fats, etc (which are totally legal)... but flip if marijuana (which is ILLEGAL by Federal law) is not made legal...

    Now that's hypocrisy!

    Show some integrity,
    be consistent, please.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 31, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    So if Colorado can do things that are against Federal Law and nothing happens... can other states just pick and choose what Federal Laws they will enforce and which they won't? And expect nothing to happen?

    Federal gun laws? Immigration laws? Federal income tax laws??


    Arizona tried to HELP the Federal Government enforce Federal Immigration Law... and the Feds came down on them like a ton of bricks. Why the contradiction?

    Feds sue Arizona for enforcing federal immigration laws... but Colorado admits VIOLATING Federal drug laws.. and the Justice Dept just winks?

    If you legalize marijuana.. nothing happens.

    Why does nothing happen?


    The current administration seems to be marijuana friendly (why not... the President admits using it AND cocaine in High School and College). He also admits abusing alcohol. So why would he NOT be marijuana friendly??

    But the next President may not be as marijuana friendly.... I wonder if that's why banks hesitate to loan money to these new budding businesses in Colorado. They may get shutdown as soon as a less marijuana friendly administration is in the White House (loosing their investment).

    Not worth the financial risk IMO.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 31, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    Enough of the hypocasy...

    Those who want smaller Government, less intrusive Government,
    Federal Government out, State Government in...

    About FACE!

    We need BIG Government to fight crimes in our State.
    We need BIG Government to tell other States what to do .
    We need BIG Government to save us from ourselves.

    Show some integrity,
    be consistant, please.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 31, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    The US Justice Department really has better things to do than enforce ridiculous marijuana laws.

    Public perceptions about Marijuana are quickly changing, and it would be senseless for the US Justice Department to fight the will of the people to the bitter end.

    The US Government has better things to do.

    In the not-so-far future, more and more states will be legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana, an it's about time.

    The Federal Government should legalize it, regulate it, and tax it much like the alcoholic beverage industry. Doing so would save money in enforcement, and it would create revenue through taxation.

    The only losers would be illegal drug cartels and associates of the judicial-penal-industrial complex.

  • Darmando Parker, CO
    March 30, 2014 10:01 p.m.

    Truth was the first casualty in the ill conceived "War on Drugs." Many drugs are dangerous, especially when they are abused, but the failure to tell the truth, to exaggerate, and outright lie by those trusted to educate has created the second casualty of the war, trust. An inspired man once said "I teach people correct principles and let them govern themselves."

  • alanmonrovia Monrovia, CA
    March 30, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    It's rather easy to be for "freedom" and 'liberty" in the abstract. But this war on a beneficial plant touches each and every one of us, our families, our neighbors, our wallets. It has allowed the outrageous trampling of our rights by prohibitionists in an on-going crime against American citizens. Now,their war on the people is thankfully in its dying throes. Let's put it out of its misery once and for all.

    “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfaction of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”( US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1928)

  • malcolmkyle NEW YORK, NY
    March 30, 2014 3:32 a.m.

    Trying to control each and every thing that 350 million people do with their own bodies is not small government!

    If you support prohibition then you are NOT a conservative.
    Conservative principles quite clearly are:

    1) Limited, locally controlled government.
    2) Individual liberty coupled with personal responsibility.
    3) Free enterprise.
    4) A strong national defense.
    5) Fiscal responsibility.

    Prohibition is an authoritarian war on our economy and Constitution.

    "We are speaking of a plague that consumes an estimated $75 billion per year of public money, exacts an estimated $70 billion a year from consumers, is responsible for nearly 50 per cent of the million Americans who are today in jail, occupies an estimated 50 per cent of the trial time of our judiciary, and takes the time of 400,000 policemen—yet a plague for which no cure is at hand, nor in prospect."
    William. F. Buckley Jr. National Review, July 1st, 1996

    Only pretend-conservatives get scammed into believing that big government micromanaging people's lives is a conservative concept.

  • cep427 san antonio, TX
    March 29, 2014 11:35 p.m.

    Yes, marijuana can be harmful but in some medical cases it has been beneficial. It's still in the research process but laboratories are testing hemp oil for heart conditions, skin disease and seizure's. Their findings have been surprisingly positive and have found more medical conditions that could also benefit from hemp oil. Now... To the author of this article... let's talk about tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs that have been killing the public for decades. Oh yeah, those are legalized drug's so it's okay to be addicted or to consume them. It's up to the individual to have good judgement and moderate themselves. The real problem in this country is too much government and the unrelenting greed of big corporation's. So with all due respect... Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    March 29, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    Justice is wavering because the law was never just. An unjust law is immoral to enforce, and we see our society moving in the right direction.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 29, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    My neck hurts. I was riding down the editorial road, expecting to read a piece decrying the Feds stomping on State's Rights when a huge load of double-standard slammed into me.

    I think I may have whiplash from the sudden change in direction.

  • AT Elk River, MN
    March 29, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    The Constitution does not grant to the federal government the right to regulate marijuana. Remember prohibition against alcohol? They amended the Constitution for that whole fiasco - because back then they had a greater respect for the Constitution. Remember the 10th amendment to the Constitution? The determination whether I want to ingest marijuana is left up to me (I choose not to). Maybe the state (Utah) could be involved - but it's not Utah's business either.

    And you claim marijuana is dangerous. Really? Look at the history of why it was banned and why it continues to be banned. The police agencies make a killing (pun not intended, but appropriate) with asset forfeiture. The pharmaceutical industry doesn't want people to discover the properties of this plant - yes, it helps some people suffering from medical conditions.

    I'm surprised at how misleading and out-of-touch with reality this opinion piece is.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    The war on drugs is an instance where the 'cure' is worse than the disease. The only real fix is education. Teach children that taking these drugs degrades quality of life. This won't work for everyone but this course of action is still better than the one we are on.

    We keep people in prison for decades often on trumped up drug charges. The United States keeps more people in prison than any other country. This wastes billions of dollars every year not to mention all the destroyed lives.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 29, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    Gay marriage and marijuana being legalized on the same day in Washington State.

    Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lays with another man he should be stoned."

    We've just been interpreting it incorrectly for all these years.

  • Duncan20903 Silver Spring, MD
    March 29, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    It's genuinely astounding that there are people gazing at the horizon expecting the imminent arrival of the Federal cavalry riding in to strike down State laws that re-legalize cannabis. It's even more astonishing when Californians do so after 17 years and 4 trips to the SCOTUS for the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) with that law still in force.

    The Feds have given their answer to I-502 and A-64...there's nothing that they can do about those laws. Yes, the Feds can enforce their laws using their resources. But Californians have seen that first hand. The Feds haven't been able to shut down the CUA and it's pushing two decades now.

    Federal preemption? Doesn't anyone ever wonder why the only cases using that lame argument have been filed by State and Local authorities?

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    March 29, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    According to the ACLU, minor pot convictions were down over 90% from 2012 to 2013 in Washington State. Thus freeing up law enforcement to go after real criminals, and reducing the horrendous costs of locking up these minor offenders.

    Ron Paul has come out in favor of legalization of marijuana, it will be interesting to hear what Rand Paul will say about the wacky weed in his almost certain presidential bid.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    March 29, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    I live in Washington State and grow marijuana for my personal use. I have stage 4 liver disease. I have mixed emotions to those who claim they want to protect "us" from Marijuana. In Washington State, our new law protect my right to grow, enjoy, and produce it. If this is not personal Liberty, then I must not be in the good old USA, Washington in particular. After all, it is just a plant, given by our creator, just as he gave us other potentially harmful substances like opium poppies. Look around your neighborhood this summer for those.
    Our local and state courts no longer waste time and taxes prosecuting, jailing, and monitoring, citizens who enjoy marijuana. Accidents per mile driven data shows no increase in car wrecks from Marijuana. Our taxes may not increase or even drop, as the state reaps billions from this new Liberty driven industry. Come for a visit soon. Your Liberty needs a vacation!

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    March 29, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    If you understand principles of truth, the answers are much easier to identify. First, does the Federal Government have a legitimate role in controlling Cannabis? Perhaps, but only as it relates to interstate commerce (the transporting of items between states), not as to legality to possess. Second, does Cannabis have legitimate value in the treatment of medical or emotional issues? More and more research indicates that it does. Can it be misused? Yes, but so can prescription drugs, glue, cold remedies and even other plants such as oleander and potato sprouts (which are both deadly if consumed). Do we outlaw these other items, or do we punish people if they misuse them and harm others in the process? The answer becomes pretty clear when you consider principles of truth. Every plant that grows on God's earth has a purpose and we should honor that purpose. We should not destroy lives and sustain the cost of incarcerating people for years and in some cases for life for simply possessing plants that grow here naturally - especially if that use is to help them and others treat physical and emotional issues.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Interesting. The DN supports Bishop in changing a federal law which affect federal lands in Utah and the state's move to have control over those lands, supports state initiatives such as Amendment 3, and are avid state's rights advocates on several other issues, but when it comes to states which pass laws legalizing marijuana, they say states are flaunting federal laws. I guess it all depends on what you personally approve or disapprove of when it comes to federal vs. state.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 29, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    It takes some audacity to print an editorial against pot because it's a 'harmful substance' a few days after one which decried taxes on cigarettes. Talk about your harmful substance.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 29, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    What - this from the same editorial staff the rants about states rights, the over stepping of the federal government? States should retain and have sole discretion on who marries who.. but should not have that power because of the harmful effects of pot? Should the states therefor also loose the right to regulate alcohol, based on the given rationalization?

    I don't want to be misunderstood here. I am not claiming that states should allow gay marriage, nor am I acting as a proponent for the legalization of pot. What I am for is consistency of message. The DN staff seems to find no need to maintain a consistent message.

    Or is this yet another example of how people are multifaceted, that they are conservative in some instances, and more progressive in others. Is it therefor possible states rights is not an all or nothing proposition - neither is it a progressive or conservative issue.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 29, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    We are surrendering America to degradation and this is a prime example of it.

  • I_Know_Utah Mesquite, NV
    March 29, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    You failed to Mention Nevada Legalizing...

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2014 5:57 a.m.

    So, Utah should be able to make their own regulations about guns (and a bunch of other stuff) and it is federal overreach if the federal government gets involved - but not only it is not federal overreach for the government to be involved in Colorado's regulation of marijuana, it is dereliction of duty if they don't get involved - and, of course, Utah's medical use of hemp (which will be interstate commerce) is a completely different thing altogether.

    Utah good - others bad. Got it.

  • mauister Wailuku, HI
    March 29, 2014 4:22 a.m.

    If the marijuana is cultivated inside the same state where it is sold by a citizen of that state, and consumed by said citizen without crossing state lines, how does the federal government under the US Constitution have any jurisdiction?

    March 29, 2014 1:40 a.m.

    Let me guess - You want States Rights when you don't like the policy but want the Federal Government to be in charge when you do like the law.

  • Palintram Holladay, UT
    March 29, 2014 1:37 a.m.

    Yes, we should definitely follow their lead.

  • DdC222 SCruz, CA
    March 29, 2014 1:15 a.m.

    Obama can remove cannabis as a controlled substance, as it should be. Nixon lied and now incremental retardation keeps little girls from seizure treatment and fills for profit cages with veterans. Enough!

    Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest
    in the chaos in which they exist.
    - Richard Milhouse Nixon