Bummer

Barack Obama turns out to be just another drug warrior.

It is not hard to see how critics of the war on drugs got the impression that Barack Obama was sympathetic to their cause. Throughout his public life as an author, law professor, and politician, Obama has said and done things that suggested he was not a run-of-the-mill drug warrior. In his 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father, the future president talked candidly about his own youthful drug use, in sharp contrast with the Democrat who then occupied the White House and the Republican who succeeded him. As an Illinois state senator in 2001, he criticized excessively harsh drug sentences and sponsored a bill that allowed nonviolent, low-level offenders to enter court-supervised treatment instead of going to jail, saying “we can’t continue to incarcerate ourselves out of the drug crisis.”

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama called the war on drugs “an utter failure” and advocated marijuana decriminalization. As a U.S. senator, he cosponsored legislation aimed at reducing the federal government’s draconian crack cocaine sentences. Unlike Bill Clinton, who notoriously admitted smoking pot while claiming he “didn’t inhale,” Sen. Obama forthrightly told a 2006 meeting of magazine editors, “When I was a kid, I inhaled, frequently. That was the point.”

Obama stood apart from hard-line prohibitionists even when he began running for president. In 2007 and 2008, he bemoaned America’s high incarceration rate, warned that the racially disproportionate impact of drug prohibition undermines legal equality, advocated a “public health” approach to drugs emphasizing treatment and training instead of prison, repeatedly indicated that he would take a more tolerant position regarding medical marijuana than George W. Bush, and criticized the Bush administration for twisting science to support policy—a tendency that is nowhere more blatant than in the government’s arbitrary distinctions among psychoactive substances. 

The promise of a more enlightened, less repressive national drug policy generated considerable excitement among anti-prohibition activists. Marsha Rosenbaum left her job as head of the Drug Policy Alliance’s San Francisco office to raise money for Obama. The young senator also attracted significant support from three billionaire philanthropists—George Soros, Peter Lewis, and John Sperling—who are among the leading benefactors of drug policy reform. “I was delighted” at the prospect of an Obama victory, recalls Rick Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. “[I was] encouraged that President Obama was going to be much, much better than President Bush when it comes to drug policy.”

According to Obama’s drug czar, the president has indeed made a sharp break with the failed policies of the past. “We certainly ended the drug war, now almost two years ago,” Gil Kerlikowske declared on Seattle’s PBS station last March. Kerlikowske was referring to an interview he gave The Wall Street Journal three months after Obama picked him to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs,’ ” the former Seattle police chief told the Journal, “people see a war as a war on them. We’re not at war with people in this country.” According to the Journal, Kerlikowske’s distaste for martial metaphors was “a signal that the Obama administration is set to follow a more moderate—and likely more controversial—stance on the nation’s drug problems,” dealing with drugs “as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice alone, with treatment’s role growing relative to incarceration.”

So far this much-ballyhooed shift has not been perceptible in Obama’s drug control budgets. Even if it were, moving money from law enforcement to “treatment and prevention” would hardly amount to ending the war on drugs.

Kerlikowske’s earnest insistence that you can end the war on drugs if you stop calling it that gives you a sense of the chasm between rhetoric and reality in Obama’s drug policies, which by and large have been remarkably similar to his predecessor’s. With the major exception of crack sentences, which were substantially reduced by a law the administration supported, Obama has not delivered what reformers hoped he would. His most conspicuous failure has been his policy on medical marijuana, which is in some ways even more aggressively intolerant than George W. Bush’s, featuring more-frequent raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), ruinous IRS audits, and threats of prosecution against not only dispensaries but anyone who deals with them. “I initially had high hopes,” says Marsha Rosenbaum, “but now believe Obama has abdicated drug policy to the DEA.”

It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want. But he clearly does not care enough to change the course of the life-wrecking, havoc-wreaking war on drugs.

Mercy for Drug Offenders

In retrospect, there were warning signs that Obama would disappoint supporters who expected him to de-escalate the war on drugs, just as he has disappointed those who expected him to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a U.S. senator he bragged about co-sponsoring the Combat Meth Act, which is the reason cold and allergy sufferers throughout the country are treated like potential felons whenever they try to buy decongestants containing pseudoephedrine. He staunchly defended the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program, which has fueled the incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders and funded the regional task forces behind racially tinged law enforcement scandals in places such as Tulia, Texas. As New York Times columnist Charles Blow noted last year, this grant program, created at the end of the Reagan administration, “has become the pet project of Democrats” because it’s “an easy and relatively cheap way for them to buy a tough-on-crime badge while simultaneously pleasing police unions.” In 2006 Obama warned that George W. Bush’s attempt to eliminate the Byrne grants (which Obama revived with a $2 billion infusion as part of his 2009 stimulus package) “gives criminals and drug dealers a break by taking cops off the streets.”

Even on an issue that seemed to genuinely trouble him—the sentencing rules for crack cocaine, which treated the smoked form of the drug as if it were 100 times worse than the snorted form—Obama seemed less than fully committed. In 2007 he told a gathering of African-American newspaper columnists in Las Vegas that as president he’d appoint a panel to study crack sentences, which are imposed on defendants who are overwhelmingly black, and issue a report “that allows me to say that based on the expert evidence, this is not working and it’s unfair.” As Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson observed at the time, that was a weird thing to say, since the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the panel of experts empowered to decide what penalties are appropriate for federal crimes (within the parameters set by Congress), had repeatedly said crack sentences were irrational and unjust. Obama also wondered whether “we want to spend all our political capital on a very difficult issue that doesn’t get at some of the underlying issues.”

In the event, the Obama administration, to its credit, did support crack sentencing reform, although it’s debatable how much political capital it spent in the process. “Attorney General [Eric] Holder really wanted to see crack reform happen,” says Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, “and I think so did Obama.” The Fair Sentencing Act, which Obama signed into law in August 2010, shrank the 100-to-1 weight ratio dictated by federal law (so that five grams of crack, for example, triggered the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as 500 grams of cocaine powder), making it 18 to 1 instead—also irrational and unjust, but considerably less so. “That was the best that they could get out of the Congress,” says Eric Sterling, president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, “and the administration worked for that.” But by the time Obama took office, there was a bipartisan consensus, including conservative Republicans such as Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Rep. Dan Lungren of California, that crack penalties were unjustifiably harsh. The Fair Sentencing Act was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate and by a voice vote in the House. Only one member of Congress—House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas)—spoke against it.

More generally, Obama has repeatedly expressed the view that many people in federal prisons are serving unconscionably long sentences. Yet he has not used his unilateral, absolute, and constitutionally unambiguous clemency power to shorten a single sentence, even though he has not otherwise been reticent about pushing his executive authority to the limit (and beyond). Obama went almost two years, longer than every president except George Washington and George W. Bush, before approving any clemency petitions. So far all 17 of his clemency actions have been pardons for long-ago crimes, most which did not even result in prison sentences, as opposed to commutations, which authorize the early release of current prisoners. While seven of the pardons involved drug offenders, the most severe sentence among them was five years for conspiracy to import marijuana, which 63-year-old Randy Eugene Dyer of Burien, Washington, completed more than 30 years ago. As of mid-2011, Obama had received about 4,000 petitions for commutations,  in addition to 900 that were pending when he took office. He had not approved any.

This is not for lack of glaring injustices. Last year a federal prisoner named Hamedah Hasan, who is seeking clemency with help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), wrote an open letter to Obama. “I am a mother and grandmother serving my 17th year of a 27-year federal prison sentence for a first time, nonviolent crack cocaine offense,” she said. “I never used or sold drugs, but I was convicted under conspiracy laws for participating in a drug organization by running errands and wiring money. Had I been convicted of a powder cocaine offense, I would be home with my three daughters and two grandchildren by now. I have had a lot of time to think about where I went wrong, and I genuinely take full responsibility for my actions. But I hope you will see that over 16 years in prison is enough time for me to pay my debt to society.”

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  • Tim||

    I would guess that Obama wants to avoid a Mike Dukakis like Willie Horton ad in the 2012 campaign.

  • Name Withheld||

    Heck, that would be the least of his problems. More people support easing up on the Drug War than support death panel"socialized medicine" that accelerates costs, strips people of coverage and enriches Big-whatever

  • M. Simon||

    I have an article up at American Thinker The Democrat's 2012 Victory Plan

  • M. Simon||

    It is about how Ken Burn's movie "Prohibition" will change the election dynamic.

  • Holy Cow||

    You gotta be kidding me. A 100% tie-dyed in the wool Lefty wants big Nanny government to completely rule over people's lives, including what they put in their body.

    You don't say.

  • Ramsey||

    And the other team is any better? The whole mess is so deep in the pockets of prisons, prison guard unions, and pharma that there will never be any meaningful change.

    Like Bill Hicks said, they show the newly elected president the movie of the Kennedy assassination from the grassy knoll, and the first question out of their mouth is when do we bomb .

    The culture war is over, and freedom lost.

  • ||

    ah yes, bill hicks. of COURSE obama is acting like a fuckstick drug warrior because they "threatened him" with assassination

    jesus christ.

    obama is acting like a drug warrior because he is a statist asshole.

    that's reality

  • MJ||

    "And the other team is any better?"

    The problem is the assuption in Reason circles that the Left side should be better on the drug issue. However, goven the left's nannny tendencies elsewhere, it does not make sense why Reason thinks this is so, other than they often take liberal politicians pronouncements at face value.

  • ||

    'they often take liberal politicians pronouncements at face value.'
    Like the era of big guv'mint is over? LMAO

  • ||

    this

  • ||

    "It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want." Why, exactly,would it be going to far to say His Royal Hopeyness does care about the injustice of the drug war? I'm not following the logic. Obviously, if Obama cared about it, he would do something about it instead of ramping up the persecution of medical marijuana providers. You know why Obama scares me even more than that imbecile Dubya? It's because he has this slick veneer of compassion and sanity and puts a pretty face on the undercurrent of jackbooted, brown shirted, fascistic inclinations.

  • halt!||

    he has this slick veneer of compassion and sanity

    It's only slick if one is gullible and hasn't payed attention to the activities of Team Red for the past 40 years. His "slickness" is composed of the same tired salespitches progressives have used, in one way or another, for 200 years.

  • ||

    Yeah. Reason certainly doesn't have a problem questioning the motives of every other politician in the world.

    They are just beta male white guys. They can't quite bring themselves to be hard on the first black President.

  • BakedPenguin||

    In the end, Obama turned out to be just another drug warrior.

    Yeah, Sullum's pullin' his punches there.

    If you've noticed, Jacob tends to be the least (or nearly the least) hyperbolic writer on the staff. Given how easy it would be for critics to say "Well, what do you expect from the pot smokin' so-and-so?", it's easy to understand why.

  • Holy Cow||

    Yes, the other team is better because they don't lie about ending the war on drugs and they don't believe the fed. government should be in control of EVERYTHING.

  • ||

    yes, to go all pj again, republicans are at least semi-honest about being statist dickheads before they take office and begin being statist dickheads.

    dems have been ardent (to put it mildly) drug warriors. clinton was a perfect example. i was a cop when he was in office, and man did the grant money for drug shit explode when he took office.

    federal grant money to clarify. the record is clear. dems (at least on the national level) are AWFUL on the WOD

  • halt!||

    "dems (at least on the national level) are AWFUL on the WOD"

    Even if they were good on the WOD, who would want to live in a Dem controlled country where you had to satisfy your munchies with carrot sticks?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Would you rather have a 6% tax on Cheetos or six months in Chino?

    (Yes, I know the best answer is "neither")

  • halt!||

    I already pay an 8.5% tax on Cheetos.

  • ||

    that is barbaric.

  • ||

    "the govt will get my cheetos when it takes them from my cold, orange stained fingers"

  • ||

    ROFLMAO! Funniest comment in a long time!

  • ||

    u would know

  • halt!||

    Throughout his public life as an author, law professor

    Obama was never a professor. Stop reinforcing the lie just because you voted for this fool.

  • JohnD||

    Thank you. It drives me crazy when peole give this fool credit he doesn't deserve. .... OH wait, does that make me racist? Like I give a shit.

  • FreeLibertine||

    Marijuana, marijuana, marijuana, marijuana, sure I'm all for legalizing marijuana. . .

    But what I really want to legalize is LSD and other psychedelics/entheogens.

  • Statist Barbie||

    Freedom is hard.

  • ||

    Why would I want to try to stop people from taking LSD? And, because we can't really stop them, why would I want to try to "interdict" drugs being produced in other countries to fulfill our demand?

  • ||

    you need to see the movie called wild in the streets

  • Terrence McKenna||

    This.

  • Holy Cow||

    Hey, Sullum, why don't you Reason nitwits reprint the 2008 roundtable with "libertarian" authors like the incomprehensible John Scalzi gushing about how Ooooobama will be so libertarian and stop the WOD?

    Go ahead. Reprint it. Just for kicks.

  • T||

    Why do they need to reprint it? Somebody will post a link to it at least once a month, and has for the past 3 years.

  • Reasonite 2008||

    I know Obama wants to pass a terrible heathcare law and is going to want to spend us into bankruptcy.

    But he is going to close GUITMO, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, repeal the patriot act and do something about the War on Drugs.

    And it is not like any of that other stuff will get through Congress anyway.

  • ola||

    What Sullum, do you get paid by the word? Now you know why some people don't subscribe to your magazine, it's a bunch of rehash of what anyone who would read Reason has already heard or read ad nauseam.
    How about a drug warrior article ripping the shreds out of assholes like Santorum, Perry, Romney, and every right of the aisle hack. They're the ones who need to be exposed for their "small government tendencies" except when it comes to the drug war. I wish there would be a question in one of the debates for the repubs to explain the difference wrt the commerce clause as it pertains to obamacare and the controlled substance act. That would be interesting. Or quote them Thomas' dissent in Raich but don't tell them it's with regard to drugs and watch them support the statement. Now that would be entertaining. Drug war, terror war, obese war, poverty war, wtf?

  • ||

    So that lets a sitting President who claimed to be better during his campaign off the hook?

  • ola||

    Obama's not going to win or lose on the drug war for crying out loud. But at least make the big government repubs squirm to support a war that obviously is doing more harm than good, costs way to much money, distorts everybody's idea of individual freedom and causes massive unintended consequences. Wait a minute, that sounds like Iraq, Aphganistan, Libya, and every other country we have troops. But anyway the tea party debate would be a good place to start the exposure of the big gov repubs.

  • Reasonite 2008||

    Have fun. In the mean time, Reason should continue to shame Obama for being a complete fraud who is anything has made the drug war worse by ending any idea that there is any dissent about it among the two parties.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Paul (and Johnson, if they ever let him debate) might just make them squirm over the WoD.

  • ||

    They already got a piece on Romney. Having been subjected to Straight in the 80's, The article doesn't even begin to cover the shit that happened in there.

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....-and-teens

    I will never vote for than person.

  • ||

    When Bill Clinton took office in January 1993, the violent crack epidemic of the late 1980s was already subsiding, the prison population-local, state and federal-was about 1.3 million. When Clinton left office, that number had ballooned to over 2 million, becoming highest rate of incarceration-as well as the highest total number behind bars-in a democratic state in the history of the whole planet.

    “(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–
    (A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
    (B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;”

    It was Joe Biden (yes our current Democrat VP) who authored this act, who wrote those words and then pushed this abhorrent law (which created ONDCP, the position of “drug czar” and the mandate to lie thru their teeth) thru congress.

  • pffftttt....||

    highest total number behind bars-in a democratic state in the history of the whole planet

    Ireland belches, farts and laughs at you, before falling down while spewing vomit.

  • reality||

    yet is too drunk to realize that the US still has the highest total number behind bars-in a democratic state in the history of the whole planet

    why is Ireland so fucking stupid?

  • FreeLibertine||

    Tommy Chong on Joe Biden: "Biden comes off as a liberal democrat, but he's the one who authored the bill that put me in jail. He wrote the law against shipping drug paraphernalia through the mail -- which could be anything from a pipe to a clip or cigarette papers."

    Tommy Chong did 9 months in federal prison for selling water pipes!?! Selling WATER PIPES, in the land of the free!!!

  • Question||

    Were any of the dissenters in Gonzales v. Raich appointed by democrats?

  • ||

    Let's see, dissents by Sandra O, Rehnquist, and of course Thomas.

    So that would be no.

  • ola||

    No, but 4 of the 6 in favor of the government were republican appointees and 2 of the a-holes are still there.

  • Question||

    There is zero chance that a democrat would ever appoint someone like Thomas so I'll take my chances with republicans, especially if they can elect someone like Perry who doesn't like the Feds stepping on the states. Not saying Perry supports legalization but he certainly sounds like someone who would appoint someone like Thomas.

  • ||

    Right.

    Cos a guy who can brag about executing 234 people without a single second thought or doubt is the person I want in charge of the Federal machinery of *ahem* justice.

    Or perhaps not.

  • JohnD||

    Yeah, I guess you would send them to bed without dinner. moron.

  • ||

    No, asshat. Should a person attempt to commit a crime against my family, person, or property, they would find themselves met with rapidly applied deadly force.

    But the question is not what I would do. The question is what we want the government to do in our name; the same judicial system that has far too frequently wrongly convicted and imprisoned people on poorly constructed, flimsy, or falsified evidence.

    And when a politician can boast of executions and state that the process never even gave him pause, I am concerned, as should be any rational being.

    So take your ad hominem and shove it, fuckstick. I choose not to side with the jackbooted thugs.

  • ||

    No, asshat. Should a person attempt to commit a crime against my family, person, or property, they would find themselves met with rapidly applied deadly force.

    But the question is not what I would do. The question is what we want the government to do in our name; the same judicial system that has far too frequently wrongly convicted and imprisoned people on poorly constructed, flimsy, or falsified evidence.

    And when a politician can boast of executions and state that the process never even gave him pause, I am concerned, as should be any rational being.

    So take your ad hominem and shove it, fuckstick. I choose not to side with the jackbooted thugs.

  • kodiac||

    We get it JohnD you're a conservative not a libertarian so why are you on this thread?

  • ||

    Corporate greed and individual bigotry have accelerated us towards a situation where all the usual peaceful and democratic methods needed to reverse the acute damage done by prohibition no longer function as envisaged by the Founding Fathers of our once great and free nation. Such a political impasse coupled with great economic tribulation is precisely that which throughout history has invariably ignited violent revolution.

    In order to avert what will surely be a far more violent situation than we are all presently experiencing, there appears to be just one last avenue left to us - Jury Nullification.

    Jury Nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty, but who don’t deserve punishment. All non-violent drug offenders, be they users, dealers or importers, fall into this category. If you believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy, then you don’t have to help to apply it. Under the Constitution, when it comes to acquittals, you, the juror, have the last word!

    The idea that jurors should judge the law, as well as the facts, is a proud and vital component of American history.

    The most shining example of Jury Nullification occurred during the shameful period in US history when slavery was legal. People who helped slaves escape were committing a federal crime - violation of the Fugitive Slave Act. Jurors would often acquit, even when the defendants admitted their guilt. Legal historians credit these cases with advancing the abolition of slavery.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer; only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution? - When called for Jury Service concerning any non-violent prohibition-related offense, it is your moral and civic duty to VOTE TO ACQUIT!

  • ||

    Well, yeah, nullification has lots of libertarian supporters. I, for one, would never vote to convict anyone of a non-violent drug offense - or any other offense based on a non-crime. You know, malum prohibitum.

  • Name Withheld||

    Yeah, it's all the Corpurashun's fault.

  • ||

    Most cases go nowhere near a jury-- the Public Defender tells the accused to cop to a lesser charge, or else. The true nature of the American criminal justice system is out of the sight and mind of much of the public. But I agree with your sentiments.

  • ||

    how many run-of-the-mill drug users and drug dealers know of this, though? An EXTREMELY low number of drug cases actually go to jury trial. Someone gets busted they usually just think they are fucked and make whatever plea deal they have to. Very few people besides libertarians and lawyers know about jury nullification. I actually had a Business Law professor thank me for mentioning jury nullification on a school thread but go on to say that he couldn't be on a jury wherever he was from (Texas maybe?) because he was a lawyer.

    Also, at 28, I have never even been summoned for jury duty.

  • troubled kid||

    drugs make girls like me.

  • xu||

    Very good article, jersey wholesaler thank you for your sharing, I learned a lot of things.Good Luck!

  • ||

    Obama co-sponsored that stupid Combat Meth Act? The act that makes my wife take 2 trips a week to CVS for Claritan to keep her family of 5 hayfever sufferers from sneezing their brains out? You know, they recently busted a meth factory in Mexico that employed hundreds of employees that was supplied by literally boat loads of precursor chemicals supplied by India and China.

    Just another reason why I hate Obama.

  • Brain Blur||

    Traitor

  • ||

    He has no will. Lobotomy.

  • ||

    The idea of being able to create a set of safe harbors for recreational drugs is a fantasy. The regulatory and bureaucratic apparatus that is set in place by the medical-industrial complex will not stand for the creation of something that will expose the rational inconsistency of its very existence.

    How, if you are able to purchase pot or any other hallucinogen in an uncontrolled market free of the threat of prosecution, can you justify making someone go and kiss the ring of a doctor before trying a medication for overactive bladder? It makes no sense, and if they allow such a scenario, they know their goose is cooked.

    This whole mess began with physician licensing and it will have to end there as well. If you want the regime to fall, cut it off at the root.

  • what||

    Who uses pot or hallucinogens for an overactive bladder?

  • Terrence McKenna||

    mushrooms cure migraines, pass it on

  • ||

    There was a news story here in Sydney, Australia that Obama is flying in for a visit. 58 of the first 60 comments told him to fuck off and stay in America.

  • JohnD||

    I knew I liked those Aussies

  • ||

    +1

  • ابراج اليوم||

    thanx

  • ||

    IMHO: At some point in 2010 Mr. Obama realized there was no way in Hades that he had a prayer of winning re-election based on his pathetic performance as POTUS. Mr. Obama found the support he hopes will win him a second term, but the quid pro quo required that he throw drug law reform under the bus. For the short time in 2008 when he was acting POTUS, all of 2009 and for perhaps the first half of 2010 while certainly not likely to be mistaken for a legalizer he most certainly wasn't a drug warrior either. It's pretty obvious to me he sold out, and abandoning drug law reform was at least part of the price he agreed to pay in return for a chance of re-election.

  • JB||

    Fuck Obama

  • ||

    On the subject of "needing more evidence" about cannabis before making it legally available, the AMA certainly agreed:

    http://www.time.com/time/magaz.....37,00.html

    Please notice that the article linked above was published in Time Magazine more than 43 years ago on June 28, 1968.

    As everyone knows, the motto of the Know Nothing prohibitionist is to "never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric." Of course the truth is that with over 22,000 peer reviewed studies cannabis is the most researched plant in history. How many more decades should we allow the government to use the "needs more study" canard? Even presuming the assertion true doesn't there come a time when the people should insist that the government actually engage in promoting these "needed" research studies?

    A similar example of stonewalling is the claim that we can't re-legalize cannabis because we haven't got a "breathalyzer" equivalent. Just throw out the fact that there are in fact blood tests that can be used for determining present cannabis use, and consider that the first time I heard that lame excuse was in 1977 when it seemed a sure thing that Jimmy Carter was going to push through legislation which would result in the decriminalization of petty possession of cannabis at the Federal level. That was 34 years ago. Once again, how many decades do the Know Nothings get to use that particular fraud without actually promoting its demise? The United States of America dispatched Messrs. Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito along with their "Axis of Evil" in 3 years and 9 months. The end of World War II was brought about in large part by the research of the Manhattan Project which successfully invented and deployed the atom bomb in less than 3 years and 9 months. But we're to believe that our scientists are too stupid to be able to develop a "cannabis breathalyzer" in a time frame that's a little more than 9 times the length of World War II? I can just see the Church Lady scowling with disapproval, and hear her saying, "isn't that con-veeee-nient?"

    When do people stop allowing themselves to be scammed by this stripe of nonsense propaganda produced by the Federal government and promoted by the Know Nothing prohibitionists?

  • G||

    Back in the early 20th century when Congress was debating whether to ban cannabis, a representative from the AMA testified in opposition to the move, saying it would have a chilling effect on medical research into the herb, which was already showing benefits for people with muscle spasms and other ailments. Congress not only ignored his advice but also recorded that the AMA fully agreed with the effort to ban cannabis. Ryan Grim's book on the history of drugs in America examines this in detail.

  • ||

    The congress and the president,,,any president,will never end the WoD.

    Too many people with a voice,money=voice,the people that make the campaign contributions are paying about 10% of what the WoD is costing the American people to keep America ""Drug Free".

  • ||

    If I was a drug lord, I'd be making campaign contributions/bribes to keep the WoD going. Why would I cut my own throat by destroying business?

  • ||

    Understand. The WoD gives the Nanny State power. Using it, the police are now kicking down doors, shooting innocents - and getting away with it. It allows the closest we've ever come to a home grown Gestapo. Why would you believe that any power mad, statist, beltway troglodyte is going to legalize drugs? That would take a powerful club out of their hands.

  • ||

    There's too much graft to be had in banning drugs. And why should our elitist lefty aristocracy care about making marijuana available to the dirty stupid masses when they can get whatever recreational drugs they want by virtue of being above the law. Our hypocritical socialist rulers actually believe that they must control you for your own good, for example; the efforts to ban food that they believe is unhealthy, while partaking of it themselves.

  • ||

    What's really scary about all of the is that perhaps Obama really wanted to decriminalize and DEA/Justice/FDA simply won't let him?

  • ||

    I knew Obummer would be a travesty but if he decriminalized Pot,I could have lived with his folly.

  • Number 2||

    "It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want."

    Oh really, Jacob? Exactly what has this man done during his nearly three years in office that would cause you to give him such a benefit of the doubt...or to claim that it "goes too far" to suggest that he did not mean something he said on the campaign trail?

    Remember all the debates being on C-SPAN?

    Remember being able to keep your current health insurance plan if you like it?

    Remember closing Guantanamo and leaving Iraq "the day I take office?

    et cetera, et cetera....

  • ||

    Good job on glossing over the fact that the dispensaries being targeted are violating California law.

  • Jon G||

    I disagree. With 99% of all Comments. Ron Paul is probably the only sincere candidate on MJ. The rest are politicians.

    As for Obama he gave his Hands off approach from March 2009 till December 2010. During, that time there has been expolsion of marijuana distributed in California...more importantly across the United States. This has everything with interstate commerce and nothing to do with his promise. If you send weed from California to NYC and do in BULK on regular basis ....yeah the White House will have to crack down.

    It not just about one person, one dispenary, one county, one anything. Rather the whole system is corrupt from the core.

    Sometimes you have tare down an entire house, in order to build a better one. That's what is going to happen in California and all states who had program established more than 4 years ago.

    I'd still vote for Obama cause doing the "right" thing, may not always seem like the right thing.

  • John in Philippines||

    Mo police, mo power fo me, mo money, suckas!

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