MarihuanaJohn Bartels, Peter Bensinger, Francis Mullen, Jack Lawn, Robert Bonner and Tom Constantine

The authors consider the implications of California’s initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The “Pot Initiative” would violate federal law and nobody is going to be paying state taxes on marijuana when doing so would be a confession to a federal felony. Each of the authors, upon becoming administrators of the DEA, swore to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is in this spirit that they call on the Department of Justice (DoJ) to provide a legal position on California’s ballot initiative and to do so before the November election. They conclude that it would be helpful if the DoJ made it clear that if Proposition 19 passes, it will violate federal law and the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

The writers served as administrators of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration from its inception in July 1973 through November 2007.

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