obama legalize weed

Newsflash: The “All Lives Matter” movement don’t give a crap about all the black lives lost to crazy cops. They don’t give a crap about all the white lives, like Zachary Hammond, lost to crazy cops. They don’t give a crap about all the innocent lives lost to drone strikes in the middle east. They only care about themselves and their nice bourgeois surroundings  and being self-righteous and crapping on other people. Hey, guys, ‘American Psycho’ is a novel, not a fucking instruction guide. You realize this, right?

Good News, Pot Fans: Obama Just Gave Legal Weed a Big Thumbs Up

This afternoon, the Obama administration delighted marijuana advocates by announcing new guidelines meant to make it easier for cannabis businesses to open bank accounts in states where the drug is legalized.

Whether or not those new guidelines will have much of an affect, however, is an open question. 

Financial institutions have largely shunned the pot industry, even in weed-friendly locales like Colorado, out of fear of violating federal drug and banking laws. As a result, dispensaries and growers have had to operate on a mostly cash basis, which is not exactly the most safe or efficient way to run company. They’ve also been denied access to credit.

The new guidelines, released by the Justice and Treasury Departments, essentially give banks an assurance that, as long as they play by the right rules and file the right paperwork, they probably won’t be prosecuted for letting your local pot shop open a checking account. Emphasis on probably. Back in August, the Department of Justice issued a memo stating that it would only focus on prosecuting marijuana businesses that broke state law or committed certain egregious offenses, like trafficking the drug over state lines or selling to minors. The DOJ now says, essentially, that banks are unlikely to be prosecuted so long as they only deal with marijuana customers that play by those rules. 

Meanwhile, any financial institution that chooses to offer their services to cannabis businesses will have to file paperwork stating that they believe their customer is operating within the DOJ’s guidelines.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Did Obama Just Screw Weed Legalization by Supporting It?

The Obama administration’s relative silence on the issue of marijuana legalization has been good for the cause. But in a recent New Yorker article the president’s stated position on the topic evolved. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” he said, adding, “It’s important for [state-level legalization] to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.” He tempered this support by gingerly detracting from legalization advocacy, saying that those who claim marijuana to be a panacea are “overstating the case.” He also referred to “some difficult line-drawing issues” between weed and other illicit drugs, paying homage to the classic, perhaps arcane argument often wielded by conservatives. As cautious as he was in stating it, Obama’s support for legalization, and more strongly decriminalization, may actually be more damaging to the effort than his silence. If we’ve learned one thing from the past six years of Obama, it’s that conservatives find it easiest to irrationally rally against him on social issues like this one.

Until now, the state-level legislative efforts to legalize weed have not included retroactively reducing the sentences of those currently imprisoned on marijuana-related charges, as pointed out by a recent LA Times piece: “It’s far easier to sell voters on the financial benefits of creating a lucrative new marijuana industry than it is to persuade them to open up the prison gates and set convicts free,” writes Matthew Fleischer.