It is the new gold rush in America and in 20 states it is legal to produce it. The Pot industry is driving TSA security at airports crazy because all those people from states like Colorado where it is legal are still violating federal law. The federal law is The Control Substance Act. What happens to you when you travel with your legal Pot to a state where it is still illegal to have it even if it was a legal purchase for medicinal purposes? Can you go to jail because you have legal Pot on you? Yes.
Will you be arrested? Probably not. The Federal Government recently announced that it would let states that legalized Pot use like Colorado to live in their own little world after the states voters defied Federal Law and approved recreational use of Marijuana. The Justice Department finally said it would not sue to stop it nor would it make enforcing marijuana laws a priority in states that legalize and regulate it. What about the other 30 states that still criminalize the stuff?
This country has gone to pot. Literally! Now people are smoking the stuff in plain sight by filling their electronic cigarette cartridges with pot and you can’t detect the smell. You can detect how the person is acting high though. Recreational sales in Colorado are scheduled to be sold in January 2014. How can we have a multi million dollar industry built on criminal conduct? Either change the law or enforce the federal law.
So, how does an Attorney General go about dealing with the problem of catching people with pot in states where it is not legal? More importantly, what do we do with all the pot heads we already arrested that are clogging up our jails? If we are not going to legalize Marijuana in all states, don’t put a non-violent offender in jail with a violent offender because he is only going to be in there for a year. There is no GED program for the kids to complete a high school education. There is no job training program. So essentially what they are doing for a year or two in prison is crime school. They are learning how to be criminals from convicted criminals.
Over the last 20 or 30 years we have been breeding criminals in our prison system. We must reverse this pattern of letting out criminals that weren’t such a criminal before they were sent to prison. Now what is happening is a thing called Jury Nullification. It is where the jury says they know what the law is but they are not going to follow it. Really? Yes. Communities are now saying they are not going to enforce that law.
In Washington at the Justice Department, Deputy Attorney General James Cole is telling U.S. Attorneys not to waste resources prosecuting patients or caregivers that are in clear compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The focus is on keeping it away from children, keeping it out of the hands of organized crime and to make sure that people are not using their prescriptions to do inter-state drug dealing.
So how do you curb even the legalized trafficking of the stuff? Hit them in the pocket book. The banking regulations are very tough for a legal pot business to get loans. Banks do not want to lend money to any business that is violating a federal law. The Justice Department has let it be known that if financial institutions do business with medical marijuana centers, they could be at risk for civil or criminal prosecution under the Controlled Substance Act or Federal Money Laundering Statutes. It has made it difficult or even impossible for dispensaries of legal pot to get loans or company Bank accounts or even process patients credit cards. It can not stay like this.
Either call it all a crime or let states like Colorado regulate it, tax it or just let the business of it go forward. To have pot exist in both the legal world and criminal world is insane. Our country has gone insane in a mellow sweet smelling haze. Ugh.