A couple of the dope war’s most vocal hounds lifted a leg on the front lawn of the White House earlier this week, in the form of a multiparty letter to both Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Eric Holder, arguing that the United States has lost control of the War on Drugs by allowing marijuana to be legalized in four states and the nation’s capital.
Both Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Democrat Dianne Feinstein agree that legal weed in America is a clear violation of international drug treaties, which inspired the two lawmakers to demand some enlightenment from the Obama Administration in regards to how the government is able to justify a flagrant disregard for global drug laws.
“The Administration should account for remarks and policies that send a message of tolerance for illegal drugs,” Grassley said in a statement.
The senators want Obama and the gang to clarify their recent tendencies towards the legalizing of a controlled substance that was outlawed decades ago across the majority of the planet by the United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs. They fear that by allowing individual states to continue to legalize recreational marijuana, it has put the United States at risk of losing the respect as a leader of international drug laws, which states that cannabis can only be used for medicinal and scientific purposes.
In the letter addressed to John Kerry, it is clear the two lawmakers have a problem with the Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield’s recent comments, which suggest that there should be a level of “flexible interpretation” in regards to international drug treaties. The senators argue this attitude has the potential to “weaken the United States’ standing as an international leader on drug control issues,” while also creating “a harmful precedent that would allow state parties to implement policies that legalize other, even more harmful drugs, without recourse.”
The letter to the U.S. Department of Justice argues that giving states the right to move forward with a legal cannabis industry “has put the United States in the difficult position of defending its compliance with the treaties.” To drive this concern home, the senators reference “The Cole Memorandum,” which outlines eight “priority” guidelines that, if followed, prevents the federal government from putting a stop to state marijuana laws. The senators are concerned because “no one at the Department of Justice has initiated a centralized effort to measure the overall effect of these laws by systematically compiling data on each of the priority enforcement areas,” which they feel prevents the government from truly putting a finger on the pulse of the scene in states with legal marijuana.
The letter to Kerry demands an explanation into the “interpretation” of international drug treaties by the beginning of February, while the senators have given Holder until the middle of next month to provide them with detailed statistics on the impact of legal marijuana in Colorado and Washington.
The concept of the federal government being forced to provide data on statewide pot legalization is exciting to marijuana advocates, who believe the information will paint a portrait of a highly successful industry that eliminates crime. “Yeah, we’d like to see that data all compiled in a nice neat package,” Tom Angell, founder of the Marijuana Majority, recently told The Washington Post, explaining that he feels confident the report would show the cannabis industry is a revenue generating monstrosity that cripples the black market – all evidence that would further support efforts to legalize the leaf.