Planning post-midnight marijuana? Feds have a warning for you

December 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 49 Comments

Just so you can’t say you weren’t warned … The other big thing happening at 12:01 am is the new marijuana law, which says a certain amount will be no longer against state law. The federal government, however, has sent the media the following statement to share:

The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The Department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.

So now you know.

49 Comments

  1. yeah, and? tell me something I didn’t already know.

    Comment by Dylan — 2:49 pm December 5, 2012 #

  2. Total buzzkill, man.

    Comment by Derek — 2:51 pm December 5, 2012 #

  3. “Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress.”

    Maybe it’s time to revive the Nullification doctrine then?

    Comment by vraxvalhalla — 2:57 pm December 5, 2012 #

  4. I’m glad for this, actually. Only a stoner (not a casual pot smoker) would think it was okay to bring a banned and controlled substance into a federal building.

    Comment by Todd — 2:57 pm December 5, 2012 #

  5. I am interested to see how the Fed Gov’t steps up enforcement here. (or doesnt)

    Comment by Westcoastdeb — 2:58 pm December 5, 2012 #

  6. Federal enforcement, is there any update on the sentencing Brionne (sorry if I got the spelling wrong) Corbray who owns he dispensaries in West Seattle and White Center?

    Comment by SWWS — 3:25 pm December 5, 2012 #

  7. SWWS – his sentencing, originally scheduled for last month, was postponed till December 12th, as of when I last checked with the US Attorney’s Office.

    Comment by WSB — 3:41 pm December 5, 2012 #

  8. It’s time for the Obama Administration to declare whether they support continuation of current drug laws, or whether they see this as an opportunity to allow alternatives to the current failed approach.

    Comment by onion — 3:53 pm December 5, 2012 #

  9. Well thats just like, your opinion, man.

    Comment by admiral73 — 4:00 pm December 5, 2012 #

  10. I am more worried about SPD enforcement, and they have it spelled out pretty well, including the warning that no, it probably would not be a good idea to take marijuana into a federal facility). It is worth the read :).
    http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2012/11/09/marijwhatnow-a-guide-to-legal-marijuana-use-in-seattle/

    Comment by bestbets — 4:04 pm December 5, 2012 #

  11. LOL at Todd’s comment. Your workplace is another consideration — please note that the law does not nullify your workplace drug policies.

    Comment by Graysongirl — 4:11 pm December 5, 2012 #

  12. Uff da. What is a Norwegian to do?

    Comment by Flickertail — 4:12 pm December 5, 2012 #

  13. This also includes any facility who receives federal funding. Community Colleges in Seattle have received notice that if they don’t continue to uphold the federally mandated No Drug Zones on campus, they will cease to receive any & all federal funding — which includes the majority of the financial aid awards & scholarships for students.

    Comment by 2 cents — 4:20 pm December 5, 2012 #

  14. To admiral73: The Dude Abides.

    Comment by Wendell — 4:36 pm December 5, 2012 #

  15. RE: Nullification Doctrine, In the 1950s, southern states attempted to use nullification to prevent desegregation of their schools. These attempts failed when the Supreme Court again rejected nullification in Cooper v. Aaron, explicitly holding that the states may not nullify federal law.

    Not much there to revisit.

    Comment by Izzy — 4:37 pm December 5, 2012 #

  16. LMAO @ admiral73

    Well done sir!

    Comment by Josh W — 4:38 pm December 5, 2012 #

  17. lol, good luck on the PARKS one…

    Comment by DollarTreeNut — 4:41 pm December 5, 2012 #

  18. I just don’t get it. If it’s illegal at Federal, then why the heck did the pot idiots put it on the ballot and it passes?? This one baffles me that’s for sure.

    Comment by JC — 5:22 pm December 5, 2012 #

  19. It will be interesting to see the first federal cases that are tried in Washington. The court may be federal, but the jury will be local. It might be hard for the feds to find a sympathetic jury in a state that legalized. It’s obvious by the numbers that a significant portion of the jury pool is likely likely nullify any trial.

    Comment by king of the west sea — 5:56 pm December 5, 2012 #

  20. It will be interesting to see the first federal cases that are tried in Washington. The court may be federal, but the jury will be local. It’s obvious by the numbers that a significant portion of the jury pool is likely likely nullify any trial.

    Comment by KoWS — 5:57 pm December 5, 2012 #

  21. JC, state legalization is the first step. By that logic, why did the gay marriage idiots put it on the ballot and it passes? Calm yourself.

    Comment by Based God — 6:05 pm December 5, 2012 #

  22. Pass the Twinkies!

    Comment by marty — 6:16 pm December 5, 2012 #

  23. The “pot idiots” put it on the ballot because they thought it would pass. It did. Apparently the “pot idiots” know more about the will of the people in their state than you do.

    Comment by Nate W. — 6:30 pm December 5, 2012 #

  24. JC, the war on drugs has failed. Marijuana causes fewer traffic fatalities than alcohol, and it has medicinal value (ask a cancer patient who was helped by it). Non violent possession arrests of youth is a drain on the legal and penal systems. We can OD in post-surgery pain pills like oxycodone (which has terrible side effects and is highly addictive) but not marijuana. But the Feds haven’t reclassified marijuana so it remains Schedule 1. I think WA and CO voters are attempting to enforce states rights on this issue since the Feds haven’t budged, even though Obama hinted otherwise in 2008. Will be interesting to watch, for sure.

    Comment by Chris W — 6:34 pm December 5, 2012 #

  25. Hi, JC. You must have been riding on that turnip truck. Do you need a Band-Aid?

    Comment by Flickertail — 6:53 pm December 5, 2012 #

  26. Anybody know the last time a Federal law enforcement officer made an arrest of a private citizen in their home who possessed an ounce or less of marijuana? I’m asking for a friend …

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 7:13 pm December 5, 2012 #

  27. Uff da. What is a Norwegian to do?

    .

    Simple, Flickertail! Ya smoke some herring! ;-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 7:23 pm December 5, 2012 #

  28. If we had succeeded in changing Federal law the Know Nothings would be confused why we bothered because it’s still illegal at the State level. These particular rocket scientists would require simultaneous repeal of all laws of the Federal government, State, Federal District and Territories of the United States before it would make “sense” to them.

    You guys do know that State and local authorities can’t be compelled to enforce Federal law, right? Actually, they’re not even welcome to volunteer to do so. Gambino v United States of America 275 U.S. 310 (1927)
    http://supreme.justia.com/us/275/310/

    One step at a time. The denigration of essential liberty that is the result of the idiocy of absolute prohibition will not prevail. If you disapprove of the personal liberty that is the birthright of all Americans then emigrate. There are still lots of countries that will welcome another citizen who like to kowtow to authority and you can goose step and sieg heil to your hearts content. Don’t let that door hit your fanny on your way out and good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Toodles!

    Comment by Duncan20903 — 7:43 pm December 5, 2012 #

  29. Bob: LOL

    I haven’t smoked pot in at least 12+ years now, but the legal issues behind this whole thing are just absolutely interesting to me. Now’s definitely the time for the Fed to legalize on a national level, tax it, and start getting this country out of the deficit, one joint at a time.

    Reminds me of my favorite movie line:
    Stoner: I’m freakin’ out, man.
    Rabbit: You are freakin’ out… man.

    Comment by CubanRefugee — 8:07 pm December 5, 2012 #

  30. I’ve been saying it from the beginning, far too many people with the “last night I stayed at a Holliday Inn Express and today I’m a lawyer” syndrome. The feds only have a couple of things they can do, and neither will stop 502 or 64. The feds can stop the state from licencing and taxing marijuana, they cannot force the state to criminalize possession though, so any way you slice it it will be legal (under state law) to posses marijuana, which is a GIANT step in the right direction. The feds have engaged in an all out war on California’s medical marijuana industry, yet it thrives without missing a beat. They can only go after dispensarys and the large grows. Individuals who choose to smoke have ZERO to worry about. People who grow less than 100 plants have ZERO to worry about. And there isn’t a damn thing the feds can do to change that. The feds let the state’s handle 98% of prohibition while the feds worry about the SUPER BIG fish. Without the state’s help, the feds are as powerless as a blind baby. All the nut cases begging for the feds to swoop in and crush democracy really need to turn the law and order off for three minutes and take a breath. That nonsense will never happen, more importantly it CANNOT legally happen. That’s why medical marijuana has been allowed to grow and grow. If the feds could have stopped it, they would have. This genie is out of the bottle, and everyone is about to get a BIG dose of freedom. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Its a great day to be an American!

    Comment by joey — 8:19 pm December 5, 2012 #

  31. Smoke to it

    Comment by Marcus M — 9:01 pm December 5, 2012 #

  32. I finally found the bong that the babysitter left here many years ago. I set the alarm for midnight. The tiny bud has been in a sealed glass tube for more than 5 years.

    It will be dry and symbolic and I will then go back to bed.

    However.. I have read that it will help my asthma.

    :)

    Comment by Ken — 9:17 pm December 5, 2012 #

  33. This is the best comment thread I’ve read in a long time.

    Comment by goodgraces — 10:56 pm December 5, 2012 #

  34. The best way to remove a Law is to enforce the hell out of it.

    Comment by Raven Blackbane — 11:07 pm December 5, 2012 #

  35. I have just a few questions. Are airports considered federal property? How about the screening areas? Or what if a federal officer sits next to you on a plane and observes a baggie sticking out of your pocket on a flight from Seattle to Miami? Or even more questionable, the flight is going from Seattle to Denver? How will these situations be handled?

    Comment by derbysailor — 7:07 am December 6, 2012 #

  36. Impeach congress.

    Comment by Biddle — 7:24 am December 6, 2012 #

  37. derbysailor,
    To answer your question, YES, airports are Federal Property.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 7:35 am December 6, 2012 #

  38. My question is and always has been, when will the gov’t STOP telling people what they can and cannot put into their own bodies? If people want to smoke pot, snort coke, or whatever, what gives the Feds the right to tell they can’t do it? It simply is none of their concern!

    Comment by Edgar — 7:36 am December 6, 2012 #

  39. This is going to turn out like the monorail. Folly, lacking foresight, enabled by the Initiative system.

    Comment by Jim — 7:52 am December 6, 2012 #

  40. Did you ever hear of “The Seattle Seven”? That was me… and six other guys. I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

    Comment by admiral73 — 7:56 am December 6, 2012 #

  41. The biggest thing the federal government can do is cut off federal funding if they don’t like what the states are doing (go take a ride on louisiana’s roads sometime if you don’t believe me). They have done or have threatened to do this several times in the past. There are lots of things from schools to roads that the federal government helps pay for that they could decide not to.

    But the Feds are not going to come and arrest people for having an ounce of marijuana. They will use marijuana possession as a means to an end though. They did this with John Lennon. They were trying to deport him for a marijuana possession conviction. But it had nothing to do with the marijuana. It had everything to do with being a vocal opponent of the Vietnam war. That is the type of stuff the Feds would use it for.

    The drug laws are broke. The enforcement hasn’t worked. It costs way too much money and doesn’t accomplish anything. And it is time for a change. But I do agree with a poster up above that it is a little ridiculous that we have a federal law that is different than a state one. This will be a case study on state versus federal rights by the time this is all done.

    I’m not going to but to all the stoners I say smoke away. The government has no right to tell you that you can’t smoke a substance that isn’t even as harmful to you as alcohol. Now if we can just get rid of the government intervention on plastic bags then we will have told the Feds and the local government to leave is alone.

    Comment by Yikes — 7:58 am December 6, 2012 #

  42. Department of Justice? It’s just Us! Peace. You really need to make War on such a peaceful plant? It’s time for us to speak up.

    Comment by ZBrowne — 8:10 am December 6, 2012 #

  43. So if you dont have a medical authorization, you cant get into a dispensary, there are no store fronts for the average user, but you can have an ounce on your person…where is one to get this so called marijuana?? Black market anyone?

    Comment by K2 — 9:27 am December 6, 2012 #

  44. OHHHHHHH YEAAHHHH WEED EVERYWERE

    Comment by Weed Lover — 12:06 pm December 6, 2012 #

  45. I thought it was mandatory to bring pot to national forests and parks, you mean it’s been illegal there all along?

    Comment by Dan — 12:11 pm December 6, 2012 #

  46. I have been a medicinal user since my cancer treatment started a little over a year ago. If anyone says it doesn’t help, they have never been through 8 weeks of chemo and six weeks of daily radiation. Even if there is no medical proof it helps your body, it DOES help your brain. My biggest concern is with employment drug testing. Even thought I am legally able to use marijuana in Washington, what if I have a “random” drug test at work, and I will, of course, test positive. Can they fire me? What if I need to look for work. Will they still be able to deny employment if one tests positve?

    Comment by Jim — 4:50 pm December 6, 2012 #

  47. Uncle Sam! Put this in your pipe and smoke it:
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Comment by Scotty Boman — 6:58 pm December 6, 2012 #

  48. States’ rights were such a major concern to the founding fathers that they put protections in twice. If the Feds try to enforce their marijuana laws in states that have legalized, SCOTUS must be brought into it.

    Comment by Dynomoose — 10:00 pm December 6, 2012 #

  49. Jim,
    .
    Washington is an at-will employment state. That means your boss can fire you for not tying your left shoelace with a double knot if they want to.
    .
    I-502 only addresses possession and (eventually) sales of pot. It does not make any changes to employment law. Any company can have a drug policy that mandates testing and termination for positive results.
    .
    Glad to hear you are finding help through your treatment. Hope it turns out well for you.

    Comment by Thomas — 11:15 am December 7, 2012 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^