Posted on September 13, 2013 by News Admin
When the Obama administration recently announced it wouldn't challenge the decision by Colorado and Washington voters to fully legalize marijuana, criticism rained down.
The administration's position, complained one Colorado congressman, was tantamount to allowing states to opt out of the federal law banning pot possession, cultivation and sale.
Other anti-legalization activists predicted that the administration was waving the white flag in the war on drugs.
The first claim is essentially true: The states will be creating their own regulatory regimes.
As for the idea of a surrender in the war on drugs, the reality is a little more complicated.
Whatever its effect, the administration's hands-off position in Colorado and Washington will reverberate well beyond those states. And it could actually end up imposing some semblance of order in what drug law expert Mark Kleiman describes as the "Wild West" of medical marijuana.
"And that would be a potentially very, very good result," says Kleiman, who previously worked in the Justice Department's criminal division and is author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.
"Medical marijuana is a free-for-all in many states," he says. "On Venice Beach in California, you have guys in medical scrubs and with stethoscopes walking around offering to give you a prescription."
"The administration's decision may actually mean a crackdown on that kind of business," he says.
So how does a move not to enforce federal drug law in Colorado and Washington help control medical marijuana sales and use in the 18 other states and the District of Columbia where it's legal?
Simple, says Kleiman.
To keep federal drug prosecutors at bay, Colorado and Washington have to come up with what Deputy Attorney General James Cole described this week to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as "strict regulatory schemes" that are tough in practice and meet eight federal enforcement priorities.
The priorities address everything from the distribution of marijuana to minors and transporting pot across state lines to drugged driving and using marijuana sale proceeds for criminal activities.
Don't meet those priorities? Sorry — your state is going to be in trouble with the feds, Cole says.
The Senate committee has advised Cole to come up with metrics by which the DOJ can measure state performance in meeting the priorities.
What's already happening is that some states with legal medical marijuana are devising regulatory schemes that would also satisfy federal priorities. They view it as the path to keeping federal drug prosecutors off their backs and also to full legalization.
Cole issued a memo in 2011 that gave U.S. attorneys more authority to aggressively pursue medical marijuana distributors but also served to discourage local officials from adopting medical marijuana regulations.
"Suddenly, the politics of this has reversed," Kleiman says, "and a lot of marijuana advocates are saying, 'Let's do something about the medical marijuana business; let's clean it up.' "
Now, for the first time, the feds have provided an incentive for states to more tightly regulate medical marijuana.
California is contemplating legislation to create new oversight by a medical marijuana agency that would develop and enforce regulations for commercial medical marijuana activity, including for production and distribution. Businesses already operating legally under city or county laws would be grandfathered in.
Other states that permit medical marijuana have gotten busy, too, armed now with a blueprint for how to clean up a messy industry.
Federal officials also have more work ahead: The administration and Congress still need to figure out how to adapt federal banking and tax laws to account for the new cannabis-related businesses in Colorado and Washington.
We've helped thousands of happy customers start & run their medicinal & recreational businesses in all legal states. Whether you're serious, curious or just looking to gather information, GreenZipp can help.
Primarily through word-of-mouth alone, GreenZipp has become the company people trust to help start and run their legal marijuana businesses. For the last 4 years, people have been using GreenZipp because it's famously easy, straight forward, with no hidden costs. Combine that with our best-in-the-biz customer service, and you've got a unique and delightful offering of products and services.
We've been in business for 5 years, so you can depend on us to alleviate the anxieties and pressures of starting and running your business. Not once, has a single customer ever been in trouble with the law - ever. We're extremely proud of that number. Our job is to keep you safe and compliant with regulations and allow you to run your company without fear or anxiety. We've gone and will continue to go to the ends of the earth for our customers. Learn more about our company.
Many customers come to us saying that they've been told they need a lawyer to start their businesses. Sure, you can definitely use them, but you don't need them. Heck, you can even do it yourself if you don't mind putting in the time and making some costly mistakes from time to time. We take the complicated, confusing and time-consuming process of starting or running your marijuana business and boil it down to plain, detailed and easy-to-follow steps. Or, we can just do the whole process for you.
Here's the best part: We're so effective, lawyers and law firms hire us to service their marijuana industry clients for them.
Absolutely. You can see how our customers feel about us via an independently certified, 3rd party review website. We're extremely proud of our 5 out of 5 Star rating.
We offer a free Starter Package to help people understand the industry and us a little better. Check it out.
New business owners, seasoned entrepreneurs, investment groups and law firms all rely on GreenZipp. We've been fortunate to earn the repeat business of our customers, including some of the top lawyers and law firms in the country.
There's a lot of (mis)information out there. At best, it's usually speculation from non-professionals, old wive's tales or completely fabricated. It can be tough to navigate. With that in mind, here are a few things we've prepared for you:
GreenZipp is a medical & recreational marijuana consulting firm that's helped thousands of customers establish and run their marijuana businesses in all legal states. With industry-leading, streamlined and cost-effective products and services that abolish hourly & hidden fees, we'll be sure to make you happy.
We’ll send periodic news, new product releases and exclusive promotions.