Some Hopeful Cracks in the Wall of Federal Prohibition

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel February 9, 2015

    The last few weeks have brought a number of policy announcements from the Obama administration — incremental changes, admittedly, but positive steps nonetheless — that appear to set the stage for a more realistic federal marijuana policy looking forward. Once again we are reminded of the important role of the current administration in the gradual ending of “reefer madness” as the guiding principle of our federal marijuana policy.

    To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com.

    14 responses to “Some Hopeful Cracks in the Wall of Federal Prohibition”

    1. Carl Olsen says:

      Hail to the chief!

    2. Raven says:

      Now all that’s needed is for the DOJ to do its sworn duty under Title 21 (subchapter 1) and move to re-schedule. In fact, Colorado should sue the DOJ for not doing what that law requires.

    3. Julian says:

      Anybody need some change? A link to the list of executive orders Obama has made to help legalize marijuana and reduce prison populations us listed on the DPA website. With the amount of spending saved by this President on nonviolent offenders and marijuana consumers, I believe Obama is well on his way to balancing the budget. Pay attention Boehner and Ted Cruz; You might learn something.

    4. Anonymous says:

      Regarding United States v. Pickard, et. al., No. 2:11-CR-0449-KJM, if Judge Mueller’s decision declares cannabis in Schedule I as unconstitutional then that should be the green light The Federal Reserve Bank uses to grant Fourth Corner a master account. This should occur in the interim time before any appeal is taken up by the next higher instance. If Barry can get his budget passed with the word federal in it then D.C. can spend it’s own money to move forward with legalization, and the hearing to do so will not be illegal. Once it’s passed and with that language, D.C. hold the hearing without threat of its politicians and city workers being faced with prosecution. Fourth Corner can expand, perhaps into other states, and other states could copy Colorado’s then successful Fourth Corner way of legalizing cannabis banking. Other states ought to see this as a major way to get quick jobs and revenues by legalizing cannabis, and more states ought to jump on the cannabis legalization money train. Choo! Choo! Choom!

      See more about the case at: http://blog.norml.org/2014/10/20/federal-district-court-judge-asks-should-federal-law-classify-cannabis-as-one-of-the-nations-most-dangerous-drugs/

      See more about Fourth Corner at:


      See more about D.C. Council cancelling its hearing to tax and regulate cannabis at:


    5. Evening Bud says:

      The truth of the matter, as most of us who are being honest with ourselves, know, is that we still have a tough slog ahead. The idea that Obama can just wave away all the MJ prohibition, is, as this article points, not as easy as it seems. It’s one thing to push an idea or legislation, and quite another to be successful.

      Obama has moved slowly on many of the various fronts of the “war on drugs,” painfully slow in the views of many of us. But, again, as this article shows us, at least he is moving in the RIGHT DIRECTION, and has, with his actions, helped set up the stage for even greater future victories.

      My hat goes off to him. We now have four states where you can buy pot legally! Would we be saying this had McCain or Romney been prexy? I doubt it. We’d probably instead be reading articles about the latest recreational clinic closures in Denver and Seattle.

    6. Raven says:

      Obama can’t , but (as Title 21 (sch 1) the DOJ can.

    7. Raven says:

      Before we bestow to much praise on Obama, I would recommend that everyone go to ENCOD’s webpage and read their breakdown of Obama’s proposed budjet.

    8. shawn kearney says:

      “neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the standards for safe and effective medicine for any condition to date.”

      The CSA does not specify under what standard “medicinal” should be measured. I think that this is important. While the DEA dances around the FDA, and then in turn denies researchers access to cannabis no where in the CSA does it specify that the FDA must approve a drug in order for it to not meet criteria for Schedule I, only that it has “recognized medicinal uses”.

      The very fact that doctors recommend cannabis in a majority of states should meet this criteria, and this regardless of FDA approval.

    9. Julian says:

      If the retracted “backshed” statements by the newly appointed surgeon general and attorney general are not enough evidence that our leaders are being harassed and entrapped by the dark side of our government… Fueled by the C.S.Act and generations of Manufactured Fear, then our own fear is all that stands in the way of Freedom. But then as Yoda says, “Fear feeds hate… Which leads to the Dark Side of the Force.” So be very brave, new leaders… Be very brave…

    10. MSimon says:

      Raven says:
      February 9, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Before we bestow to much praise on Obama, I would recommend that everyone go to ENCOD’s webpage and read their breakdown of Obama’s proposed budjet.

      What is this ENCOD of which you speak? Got a link?