Congress Begins Talking About Legal Pot
Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee (it oversees the Department of Justice and gives Sen. Chuck Grassley something to do besides tweet), sent a very interesting note to R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, yesterday.
Last month, voters in Colorado and Washington chose to legalize personal use of up to one ounce of marijuana and to enact licensing schemes for cultivation and distribution of the drug. As the states move to implement these new laws, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance according to the Federal Government. Production, distribution, and possession of the drug are Federal criminal offenses punishable by imprisonment.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has a significant interest in the effect of these developments on Federal drug control policy. How does the Office of National Drug Control Policy intend to prioritize Federal resources, and what recommendations are you making to the Department of Justice and other agencies in light of the choice by citizens of Colorado and Washington to legalize personal use of small amounts of marijuana? What assurance can and will the
administration give to state officials involved in the licensing of marijuana retailers that they will not face Federal criminal penalties for carrying out duties assigned to them under state law?
Legislative options exist to resolve the differences between Federal and state law in this area and end the uncertainty that residents of Colorado and Washington now face. One 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. In order to give these options full consideration, the Committee needs to understand how the administration intends to respond to the decision of the voters in Colorado and Washington. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
Amending the CSA is definitely easier said than done, especially given how slowly the wheels of Capitol Hill turn these days, but it's a start. [Stop the Drug War - Image: AP]
Despite Overwhelming Contrary Evidence, POTUS Says He Gives Not One Fuck About Prosecuting WACO Stoners
We've heard this tune before. President Obama recently reiterated that he has no intention of allotting federal resources to prosecuting marijuana users and suppliers in Colorado or Washington.
"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," he told Barbara Walters.
Which is funny because he expressed similar views during his previous term—just before launching a massive federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. Hopefully, now that he no longer has to worry about getting reelected, he'll actually mean it. [Washington Post - Image: AP]
Watch the James Cameron Short that Inspired Avatar
James Cameron is currently being sued by some asshat that claims he stole the idea for Avatar from him two decades ago. So, as part of his legal defense, Cameron has unveiled Xenogenesis, a previously unreleased short film he made in 1978.
As he explains,
Xenogenesis is the saga of the voyage of Cosmos Kindred, a mile-long spaceship employing a fusion ramjet interstellar drive unit. In the face of destruction of the Earth, scientists engage in a last-ditch effort to preserve a nucleus of humanity by trying to find a new planet on which to live. Cosmos Kindred carries a cyber (artificial intelligence) that has cell samples, which, under the cyber's direction, will be developed into cloned individuals once the spaceship finds a suitable new home planet.
The central section of the Xenogenesis story focuses on the human drama of the pilot dealing with a female stowaway who has been raised by the cyber. They experience exotic, danger-filled alien landscapes on different planets that I created, on which they see bizarre flora and fauna, and take samples.
There's No Time to Explain!
CBD Makes SAD Sufferers Less, Well, Sad
A recent 10-patient study published in the Journal of of Psychopharmacology suggests that CBD (cannabinoid cannabidiol) can effectively relieve anxiety in people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. According to researchers, "CBD [taken orally] reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas." Huh, who knew that toking makes people mellow? Oh right, stoners. [iMarijuana]