As Rachel Weiner reports for the Washington Post, President Barack Obama has said that he won’t make it a “top priority” in his administration to bust people for marijuana possession in those states that have made the use of recreational marijuana legal.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said, as Weiner quotes. “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”
Those states are Colorado and Washington.
As for Maryland, it remains illegal to use marijuana for recreational purposes, as it currently is in the majority of states. Although talk of decriminalizing marijuana has been widespread among state lawmakers in Maryland, no significant bills have been passed recently, and possession of marijuana continues to be a crime in Maryland.
As for Colorado and Washington, Obama deferred to Congress and its authority to make a change in federal law. One example, as Weiner reports, would be changing the Controlled Substances Act to allow for possession of marijuana up to an ounce for residents in states where possession is legal.
Apparently, Attorney General Eric Holder will soon state what the federal policy will be in response to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.
Given Obama has said there are “bigger fish to fry,” it’s likely that individual users in those states won’t have too much to worry about when it comes to the feds – as long as they’re smoking within the confines of state law.
Source: Obama: I’ve got ‘bigger fish to fry’ than pot smokers
Local cops, state police and even the feds got involved in a bust that uncovered more than 10 pounds of marijuana and a number of firearms, including an AR-15 rifle with a 100-round magazine.
Two men in their twenties were arrested and have been charged with a number of offenses, including intent to sell and possession of a firearm, but the third man, a 21-year-old from Maryland, got away and is currently being hunted by the police.
The activities of these three young men have been characterized as a “drug operation,” which was allegedly carried out near Virginia State University (netting the additional charge of possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school).
Our law firm often handles drug cases such as these, in which the police execute a search warrant on a home. To learn more, please visit our Baltimore drug offenses page.
Source: Raid turns up 10 pounds of marijuana, weapons
No, marijuana is not legal nationwide. Not yet, anyway. As Christopher Matthews writes for TIME, we may be headed in that direction, and recent developments – most notably the legalization of recreational marijuana in two states during the November elections – indicate a trend.
This trend is the polar opposite of the trend in the 1950s, when, as Matthews puts it, the anti-marijuana climate could get you life in prison on just drug possession charges, and it must have seemed as though the so-called War on Drugs would never end.
To a very real extent, it hasn’t.
Marijuana – along with a host of other drugs – is still illegal in many areas of the U.S. Maryland recently became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but plenty of states still haven’t legalized it to treat illness and disease, not to mention for recreational use.
We’ve got a long way to go, in a sense, before you can forget about criminal punishment for marijuana possession and related crimes. Nonetheless, Matthews writes that America has learned to “love” marijuana (a strong word, perhaps) given recent polls showing anywhere from 48-52 percent of Americans support legalization, a sharp contrast to 2005 polls showing two-thirds of Americans opposing legalization.
Source: How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Marijuana