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Holder: US will enforce marijuana laws despite how Californians may vote

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Less than three weeks before California voters hit the polls, the Justice Department issued a preemptive message concerning a ballot measure making worldwide headlines.

“Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal government will enforce its marijuana laws in California even if the state’s voters approve a ballot measure to legalize the drug,” Pete Yost reports for the Associated Press.

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He made the comments in a letter to former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, dated Wednesday.

“We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” Holder wrote.

He also said that legalizing recreational marijuana in California would be a “significant impediment” to the government’s joint efforts with state and local law enforcement to target drug traffickers, who often distribute marijuana alongside cocaine and other drugs. Holder said approval of the ballot measure would “significantly undermine” efforts to keep California communities safe.

An Annenberg Digital News blog notes, “Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley along with former DEA officials are scheduled to announce Holder’s position at a press conference outside of Sheriff’s headquarters Friday morning.”

We know three things:

* Holder called off the DEA last year from targeting medical marijuana operations in the 13 states permitting medicinal use of pot.
* A Justice Department spokeswoman recently said, “It is premature to speculate what steps we would take in the event that California passes its ballot measure.”
* Nine former DEA heads wrote a letter to Holder in August, asking him to sue California and prevent Prop 19 from going into effect if it is passed.

Most polls have indicated that Proposition 19 will pass, but a recent Ipso poll might show that the tide has changed. According to the October 2-4 poll, 53% of registered voters in California plan to vote “no” against 44% for “yes.”

From the Wikipedia entry for Proposition 19:

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Trainer for anti-COVID lockdown group caught on camera telling supporters how to break the law

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A signature-gathering trainer for a Michigan group working to overturn Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's pandemic restrictions has been caught on camera advising the group's supporters on how to break the law.

The Detroit Free Press, which obtained a copy of the video, reports that trainer Erik Tisinger instructed supporters for Unlock Michigan in assorted nefarious practices for illegally collecting signatures.

Among other things, Tisinger told Unlock Michigan backers that it is "super easy" to give misleading answers under oath if they're compelled to testify by a court of law about their activities; that they could leave copies of their petitions with store clerks to collect signatures even though getting signatures without properly witnessing them would be illegal; and that they could trespass on private property to collect signatures even without business owners' permission.

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Global police sting against dark net drug sales nets 179

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A global police sting has netted 179 vendors involved in selling opioids, methamphetamine and other illegal goods on the internet underground, in what officials of Europol said Tuesday put an end to the "golden age" of dark web markets.

Over nine months Operation DisrupTor seized 500 kilograms of drugs including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine, more than $6.5 million (5.5 million euros) in cash and online currencies, as well as well as 64 guns, Europe's police agency said.

Led by the German federal criminal police, the operation saw law agencies pounce in Austria, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States, breaking up networks of buyers and sellers of narcotics and other illegal goods on the internet's premium anonymous bazaars including AlphaBay, Dream, WallStreet, Nightmare, Empire, White House and others.

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Trump’s latest COVID-19 lie is both ‘dangerously misleading and aggressively hypocritical’: analysis

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In an analysis for the Washington Post this Tuesday, Philip Bump says that President Trump's recent downplaying of the coronavirus' effects on young people is "both dangerously misleading and aggressively hypocritical."

“You know, in some states thousands of people, nobody young — below the age of 18, like nobody — they have a strong immune system. Who knows. You look — take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system, but it affects virtually nobody," Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Monday.

Bump points out that as Trump spoke, the death toll from the virus approached 200,000 -- a boundary that Trump repeatedly insisted this spring and summer that we probably wouldn’t near. While it's true that the virus affects primarily older people, the notion that “virtually nobody” who is younger has been affected simply isn't true.

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