Search Results: leahy (9)

Though he spared exactly zero words regarding cannabis, drug policy, or criminal justice reform in his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama and his administration have been increasingly more vocal on these issues as he settles into his second, and final, term in office.
Both the President and Attorney General Eric Holder in the Department of Justice have earned few friends and little trust in the cannabis community, but both wings of the Executive Branch have vowed to address the undeniable fact that when it comes to victimless, drug-related crimes, our criminal justice system is broken. This past Thursday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee took an historic step to begin the long overdue reform process.

Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Sen. Patrick Leahy yesterday pushed for historic strides in federal marijuana policy, including remedying banking conflicts and getting further assurance from federal prosecutors that states with legal marijuana laws enacted would be allowed to move forward with regulations and taxes.
“The absolute criminalization of personal marijuana use has contributed to our nation’s soaring prison population and has disproportionately affected people of color,” Leahy said at the hearing.


In an unprecedented move that began late last week, and continued over the holiday Labor Day weekend, the Obama Administration, and more specifically, the U.S. Department of Justice ended their silence on the issue of medical marijuana on the state level, announcing that they would not use the courts to challenge state laws recently passed in Colorado and Washington, as long as those states continue to adhere to a strict set of guidelines.
Though many critics, professional or genuine, are carelessly comparing this latest announcement to the 2009 Ogden Memo, those on the front lines of the effort to legalize cannabis know that last Thursday’s announcement, and some follow-up and clarifying releases over the weekend, mark a positive and necessary step towards that goal.


The federal government will not sue Colorado and Washington to stop laws allowing for the possession sale and (in the case of Colorado) cultivation of cannabis from being enacted, nor will they seek out dispensaries for prosecution so long as the dispensaries are following state laws.
Basically: if dispensaries play by state rules, they most likely won’t be targets of federal prosecution. (Read the entire memo below)


Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy yesterday announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing to discuss the conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws next month.
Both medical and recreational marijuana laws will be on the table for discussion, notably whether or not state employees implementing the programs will be safe from prosecution however Leahy also feels that the state’s rights to enact recreational laws should be respected.

James Berglie/End The Lie
Sen. Patrick Leahy: “One option would be to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy: “Legislative Options Exist” to Resolve Potential Federal/State Conflict Over Marijuana Legalization in Colorado and Washington 
Seeks Assurances From Obama Administration That State Officials Will Not Be Prosecuted For Implementing New Laws
In a letter to U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked how the federal government intends to deal with states like Colorado and Washington that recently voted to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol. In the letter, Senator Leahy also suggested that federal legislation could be introduced to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana, at least in states that have legalized marijuana.
The letter, sent last week but reported on Thursday in the Huffington Post, notes that “[o]ne option would be to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law.”

Politically Incorrect Conservative

In a cynical move, a Senate proposal which had been touted as protecting the email privacy of Americans has been rewritten — and it now gives government spooks even more power to spy on citizens than then already have under the execrable PATRIOT Act.

Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who himself wrote significant portions of the PATRIOT Act, has “dramatically reshaped” his legislation in response to “law enforcement concerns,” reports Declan McCullagh at CNET. (If the “law enforcement concerns” were that they were allowed to spy, unrestrained, on citizens not suspected of any crimes, then, good job, Senator Leahy — asshole.)

Photo: DEA
Michele Leonhart, acting administrator of the DEA, is a Bush-era drug warrior who has overseen raids of legal medical marijuana dispensaries — yet Obama is keeping her on.

‚ÄčAfter more than two years as acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, who served as deputy DEA administrator during George W. Bush’s presidency, is scheduled to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, November 17.

No friends to medical marijuana patients, Leonhart and her former boss, DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, were responsible for more than 200 paramilitary-style raids on patients and their providers.
As acting DEA administrator, Leonhart has continued to raid dispensaries, growers and medical marijuana testing labs despite a change in federal policy under President Obama.