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On Marijuana Policy Reform, Senate to Do What it Does Best: Nothing

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Proponents of the strongest version of the War (On Classes Some People Who Use Some) Drugs ain’t going down without a fight:

But the Senate Judiciary Committee is emerging as a serious buzz kill for the pro-reform set.

The powerful panel is stacked with some of the most senior lawmakers in Congress, many of whom came to power during a tough-on-crime era of the drug wars that saw stiffer penalties for drug possession. Several of them openly gripe about what they call the Obama administration’s lack of enforcement of existing federal drug laws — and they certainly aren’t willing to send a signal that Congress is OK with the movement to liberalize pot.

“I’m probably against it,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior Senate Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, said of the cannabis bill

“I don’t think we need to go there,” added Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican and former Texas attorney general and state Supreme Court justice. “This is a more dangerous topic than what a lot of the advocates acknowledge.”

Republicans most recently made news on the marijuana front in December, adding language to a spending bill that effectively blocked sales of pot in the District of Columbia — where, a month earlier, voters overwhelmingly approved a legalization measure.

But the slow boring of hard etc.  Good for Gillibrand et. al for putting this on the agenda.
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  • “I’m probably against it,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior Senate Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, said of the cannabis bill

    “Probably”? Or does he realize his grandkids are watching?

    • Todd

      The quack vitamins lobby hasn’t told him what to think on this subject yet. But once marijuana starts appearing in one-a-day multivitamin pills, look out.

      • witlesschum

        If it does, it’ll probably be labeled as ginko and/or vice versa.

    • Pat

      He doesn’t remember which bill it is that well.

    • joe from Lowell

      Awww, man…what was I just marking up?

  • ema

    A very good example of The War (On Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs.

    The MD steals her pts IDs, forges Rxs for narcotics for personal use, yet doesn’t even have to enter a plea because the judge wants to make sure she keeps her license and earning potential.

    You can’t get more equal justice-y than this.

    • Rob in CT

      Affluenza strikes again. Why, it’s like an epidemic.

    • witlesschum

      This is one of those things were I think, yeah, it’s a scandal, but I think the solution is for everyone to get treated like the doctor, not for everyone to be treated like a poor person. I don’t expect the Post agrees.

  • joe from Lowell

    The Lowell Sun has an editorial arguing against marijuana legalization today.

    Did you know that heroin “has supplanted marijuana as the drug of choice?” I had no idea!

    • petesh

      I wouldn’t go that far, but where I live (Santa Cruz, CA) marijuana is sorta kinda nearly almost legal but there is clearly a lot of smack around, and I find many more needles than roaches when walking the dog. Apparently the young ‘uns are heeding my advice to get off my grass.

    • witlesschum

      Heroin’s been more popular among teens and early 20s types around Kalamazoo in the last 5 to 10 years than it had been in the previous 5 to 10, I think.

      I suppose I don’t want to hear how the popularity of heroin is an argument for criminalizing marijuana.

      • joe from Lowell

        Don’t worry, witless; you could read the entire editorial twice, and not have to worry about encountering that argument.

      • Weed Atman

        I guess drugs are cyclical just like fashion? Who knew? I remember the 90s when heroin was “coming back,” and all the “heroin chic” bullshit, and then it seemed to disappear, and now all of a sudden Oxy and the like are too expensive to the kids are turning to heroin again.

        Before I read about, I guess Kurt Cobain and whatever other 90s figures I don’t remember being into heroin, I always associated it with old junkies like William S. Burroughs. That’s part of why I was never interested in trying it. And then the 90s hit. Talk about rebranding!

      • girl in the burbs

        I’m amazed at the young people I know who have gotten involved with heroin, or even more baffling, jump right into methadone. It’s a arduous road back from that.

        I wish someone with some political clout in Michigan would make to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use. Only not call it recreational, because the old white dutch conservative establishment (here on the west coast) would never let that be. I had hoped that maybe Democrat Sean McCann would be our guy, but alas, he lost the election to a right winger dinger. Model a program after the Kalamazoo Promise, all that glorious tax money collected from the pot heads could be channeled into the Michigan Promise: a full scholarship for each college/trade school student that maintained a 2.5 GPA. Look at how much money Colorado has collected. They could totally foot the bill for higher education (haha, get it?) with pot money.

        I bet if weed was legalized and taxed nationwide, the tax could pay for higher education and maybe even nick away at the national student loan debt. People like their weed.

  • Joe_JP

    The press conference announcing the bill with Gillibrand/Booker/Paul is worth watching:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMFNut26bDg

  • cpinva

    ““This is a more dangerous topic than what a lot of the advocates acknowledge.”

    yeah, just consider the financial havoc this could wreak on the enforcement/prison industrial complex. think of how many jobs might be lost. think of the children! oh, wait, they are thinking of the children (mostly of color), the ones they can arrest, incarcerate, and ruin their lives for.

    do your country a huge favor Sen. Cornyn, find a high bridge, drive onto it, stop your car in the middle, get out of the car, and jump off the bridge. it will be the single most patriotic thing you’ve done in your entire, useless excuse for a life.

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