Drug abuse groups say pot stance of feds is wrong - New York News

Drug abuse groups say pot stance of feds is wrong

Posted: Updated:
Cannabis plant (file) - Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cannabis plant (file) - Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- Drug abuse prevention groups asked the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday how it will know whether its acceptance of recreational marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado affects public health.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the groups said the DOJ's position is a mistake and they want to know how it will measure the states' success in meeting enforcement priorities required as part of the federal acceptance.

For example, they asked how many additional underage pot users and marijuana-related car crashes will be tolerated before the department sues to block the laws.

"What measurements will the department use to assess the damage done in Colorado, Washington and other states that legalize marijuana?" said the letter from Project Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the Drug Free America Foundation, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and other groups.

The DOJ announced last week that it would not sue Washington or Colorado over plans to tax and regulate pot sales for adults as long as the states adhere to the federal priorities that include preventing drugged driving and keeping marijuana away from kids and off the black market.

The Justice Department noted in its memo that strong state regulatory systems could actually enhance federal law enforcement goals by keeping marijuana profits from cartels.

Washington's recreational marijuana law devotes some of its tax revenue to teen prevention and to public health education, and it includes restrictions on marijuana advertising.

Alison Holcomb, the author of Washington's marijuana initiative and drug policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, encouraged the groups to review the evaluation requirements built into Initiative 502.

Washington's law requires periodic evaluation of harm resulting from use as well as reviews of public health, public safety, economic and social justice issues, she said.

"The truth is that without this evaluation and comparison, these groups have no way of knowing whether regulated legalization is a mistake," Holcomb said. "What they do know -- or should know if they're taking a fair look at the big picture -- is that the status quo is doing far more harm than good."

The state's Liquor Control Board on Wednesday announced new proposed rules for Washington's legal pot industry. They include capping the number of outlets licensed to sell marijuana at 334, and capping pot production at 40 metric tons per year.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

    Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:39:56 GMT
    A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up pushing up daises in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza. Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.
    A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up pushing up daises in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza. Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.

  • Fitbit responds to data selling accusations

    Fitbit responds to data selling accusations

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:57:29 GMT
    The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users. Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.
    The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users. Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.
  • 50,000 bees living in NYC ceiling

    50,000 bees living in NYC ceiling

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:27:29 GMT
    A Queens woman had some unexpected roommates living in her apartment: 50,000 bees. Beekeepers reportedly removed the swarm from Frieda Turkmenilli's ceiling this week after her neighbors in Queens alerted the building manager. Turkmenilli says she saw only a few bees buzzing around over the last few weeks and never realized how many had taken up residence right above her head.
    A Queens woman had some unexpected roommates living in her apartment: 50,000 bees. Beekeepers reportedly removed the swarm from Frieda Turkmenilli's ceiling this week after her neighbors in Queens alerted the building manager. Turkmenilli says she saw only a few bees buzzing around over the last few weeks and never realized how many had taken up residence right above her head.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices