How the Feds broke their pot promise

"Monday afternoon, Robert Duncan will report to Mendota Federal Prison in Fresno, Calif., to begin a two-year prison sentence. His crime? Working for a medical marijuana business that was legal under California state law. Not owning it; not profiting from illegal sales. Merely for being employed by the business." - Hit & Run Blog

Notable Replies

  1. CLamb says:

    The nation is in a sad state when people are surprised that the President enforces the laws made by Congress.

  2. Honestly, I've always found it really weird out that a country would have different civil/criminal codes depending on where you live.

  3. The whole idea of "we have this law on the books, but we're not going to enforce it (wink wink)" is a threat not only to the rule of law, but to individuals' rights, which exist only within a framework of enforced laws.

    Don't like the law? Change it. Change it or live with it.

  4. tre says:

    Don't like the law? Change it.

    Who was this directed at? Because it's not like just anyone can change the laws. Surely you don't believe that the average person has any effect on the U.S. Federal Government? If so, I've got some bad news about Santa.

  5. Hey all, I'm an attorney practicing in California. If anyone would like, I would be happy to chat (in a general way; I am not able to give anyone legal advice, and I am not anyone on this forums lawyer) about what is going on in this article.

    The extremely short version is:
    1) California law has made it "legal" to purchase/sell marijuana in some instances.
    2) There is a concept called "Preemption" which ensures that Federal law is the supreme law of the land (under the "Supremacy Clause" of the US Constitution).
    3) There is a specific Supreme Court case that says state laws cannot make marijuana legal in spite of federal regulation.
    4) There has been some speculation and insinuation (and to some extent, open statements suggesting same by DOJ officials, as referenced in this article) that the Department of Justice would begin to engage in less enforcement of federal marijuana laws in some cases.
    5) Federal law enforcement can still enforce federal law, and then send the case to the DOJ for prosecution. The prosecutor can then file a case against you if they want. The US Attorney's office may choose not to prosecute, or may choose to prosecute, it is totally up to them.

    Again, happy to write more about preemption/the Supremacy Clause, and how it effects California drug laws if anyone is interested/has specific questions.

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