I don't believe for a minute that the feds are going to just roll over and allow Colorado and Washington State to legalize cannabis without a fight. I believe that they are waiting for CO and WA to try to implement their respective regulatory plans before launching an all out blitzkrieg on everyone involved. If I were the feds I'd wait until actual sales began then come down with both iron fists and both jackbooted feet in an overwhelming show of force. By waiting for all the players to violate federal law I can arrest all state employees involved in the program and use forfeiture laws to seize all properties affiliated with growing, storing, packaging, transporting, and selling cannabis along with all bank accounts and other assets associated with these enterprises. I would then arrest everyone that had a hand in the growing, storing, etc. of cannabis along with their bank accounts, homes, vehicles, and anything else of value. I would take their children from them and threaten to adopt them out and threaten them with the longest federal sentences I could come up with then offer them a plea deal, "or else".
Is this their plan? Would they actually go to these extremes? Based on their thuggish behavior in the past I certainly wouldn't put it past them. We may certainly see at least some of these tactics put into play if not all of them. The feds have a limited amount of resources as is evidenced by their lack of ability (but not lack of desire) to shut down medical marijuana in the 18 states and District of Colombia where it is now legal. The feds are going to go for the biggest bang for the buck that they can get while simultaneously sending an unmistakeable message to the rest of the nation.
So how do the states render the feds powerless? By not passing laws that violate federal law. It's really very simple, we enact comprehensive legislation covering every thing from seed to sale along with a tax schedule and specify that this legislation doesn't take effect until federal law allows it. We then replace every cannabis law we have on the books at state level with just a few banning sales to minors, drugged driving, and growing on public land. No other laws against sales, possession, growing, or use. We pass laws barring all state, county, and city LE and other employees from aiding the feds in any manner.
By taking this course we are not in violation of federal law, we have not legalized cannabis use we have merely not made it a crime. Indeed the only laws we have enacted make it a crime to engage in certain activities, activities that are also illegal at the federal level. The feds cannot force a state to enact any law, all they can do is pre-empt state law with federal law. If the feds wish to enforce federal law then that is their responsibility and not the states. Let them spend their money to enforce their laws putting a further strain on their resources. Point out to them that we have a comprehensive regulatory plan ready to put in place if they will allow it, if not it's all on their dime. They don't have the resources to enforce drug laws at the state level, not for one state and definitely not for several states. They also don't have the power to force states to enforce federal law, if they did then that would also mean states have the right to enforce federal law when the feds can't or won't. We've already been down this path with Arizona wanting to enforce federal immigration laws and the feds having a fit over it. They've already tied their own hands for us on that count and wont cede federal jurisdiction to the states.
In short we let it be known that we the people no longer support cannabis prohibition and will pass no laws in support of it. We make it clear that if the feds want to continue their unpopular and immoral war on our individual freedoms they no longer have our support and are on their own. If on the other hand they want to see cannabis regulated at the state level we are willing to do so just as soon as they legally allow us to.
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