Medical Marijuana

Obama Approaches Third Medical Marijuana Strike

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Two days after President Obama's inauguration, the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe, California. Yesterday, on the same day Eric Holder took office as Obama's attorney general, the DEA raided two Los Angeles dispensaries. Obama deserves a certain amount of transitional slack in delivering on his promise to respect state laws regarding the medical use of marijuana, but with drug warriors operating on auto pilot in this area he needs to step in soon and let them know the federal policy has changed. Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, worries that Obama might pull a Bush:

When President Bush was on the campaign trail in 2000 he promised not to interfere in state medical marijuana laws, but that turned out to be a lie as the DEA proceeded to terrorize medical marijuana patients and providers by raiding dozens of dispensaries across California. President Obama said on the campaign trail that these raids would end under his administration, and millions believed him. We hope these recent raids don't represent official Administration policy and that Obama will order federal agencies in no uncertain terms to stop harassing medical marijuana patients and providers in California.

"I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue," Obama told the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune last March. How many more raids will it take before that counts as a lie?

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  1. Meet the new boss…

  2. How many more raids will it take before that counts as a lie?

    The first was enough.

  3. I’m willing to cut him the slightest bit of slack, just because of inertia at Justice and him trying to spin so many plates at once right now. A month from now I’ll go from slightly irritated to really pissed.

  4. I’m willing to cut him the slightest bit of slack,

    I was willing to cut him slack for the first one. But even if he doesn’t want to put out a public memo declaring at least a moratorium, which would take a day, a quiet phone call to the current DEA head takes five minutes.

  5. I’d give him 90 days, this prolly not being the hottest item on his plate.

  6. “I’d give him 90 days, this prolly not being the hottest item on his plate.”

    You’re right. Fuck the Constitution.

  7. If he ends them on June 18, 2013, he’ll be remembered at “the President who ended raids on medicinal marijuana clinics,” not “the President who sure did take a long time to end the raids on medicinal marijuana clinics.”

    But I hope it doesn’t take that long.

  8. If he ends them on June 18, 2013, he’ll be remembered at “the President who ended raids on medicinal marijuana clinics,”

    Not by most people here.

    But I hope it doesn’t take that long.

    You and me both, brudda.

  9. How many more raids will it take before that counts as a lie?

    I offer this advice for free, Mr. President.
    Time’s a wastin’ on this one. Do it now.

  10. I think most of the Obama voters are going to give him a full eight years to get around to this. After all, he inherited such a mess from BusHitler! Leave the guy alone, he means well!

  11. …he needs to step in soon and let them know the federal policy has changed.

    I’ll be happy if he keeps his promise, but i’m not really expecting much.

    Ending MM clinic raids is not something that will win him that many political points. I’d bet he has other things way ahead of this on his “to do” list.

  12. Here’s the text of President Obama’s remarks to an Oregon newspaper (apparently in response to questions submitted by the paper):

    ‘Q: A couple of other issues of interest to Oregonians involve initiatives passed by the voters that have come into conflict with the federal government: physician-assisted suicide and medical marijuana. Do you support those two concepts?

    ‘A: I am in favor of palliative medicine in circumstances where someone is terminally ill. … I’m mindful of the legitimate interests of states to prevent a slide from palliative treatments into euthanasia. On the other hand, I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we’ve got to think about issues of end-of-life care. …

    ‘As for medical marijuana … I’m not familiar with all the details of the initiative that was passed, but I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate. …

    ‘I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.’

    He was vague on the merits of the two initiatives, while larding his words with praise for the Oregon voters for Considering Important Issues. Very clever!

    But on the issue of federal raids, he was quite clear – he wouldn’t do it.

    Is he not ‘using federal resources’ for the present raids? If *he* isn’t, then who is?

    And if federal raids *are* to continue, why not raids on euthanasia doctors? If the feds must meddle in medicine, contrary to the Tenth Amendment, why not focus on medical personnel who *kill* patients, rather than on medical personnel who let patients smoke a little pot?

  13. Excuse me, “using Justice Department regulations”

  14. “resources”

  15. And if federal raids *are* to continue, why not raids on euthanasia doctors?

    Well, because the Supremes said Medical MJ was baaad, but the Euthanasia law was A-OK.

  16. He has been in office two weeks, plus it snowed one day, so you couldn’t expect him to call the DEA that day….he is a tough Chicagoan who was probably outside shoveling the whitehouse driveway himself.

    Maybe he needs her contact info?
    http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/agency/administrator.htm

    MICHELE LEONHART is her name

    Tell her to cut it out or she is fired…she is a W appointee anyway…why the hell did he keep her…I guess change just isn’t as important to Obama as making excuses for killing little girls in Gaza.

    Do you think he has ever talked to the head of the DEA in the last two weeks?

    if not Obama is incompetent…if so the conversation must have went like this…”so you did a great job under Bush so I’m gonna keep you on….ya keep destroying states-rights…we need to teach those racists states-rights folks a lesson….and keep sending those black kids to prison…we need more revenue and the prison labor programs are a great growth engine for government!”

    I think it would take about 5 minutes to call her..instead he is busy trying to steal another 850 billion from taxpayers and our children to go to his buddies.

  17. Ending MM clinic raids is not something that will win him that many political points. I’d bet he has other things way ahead of this on his “to do” list.

    This is an opportunity for him to show that there are things he will do that aren’t solely for political gain, but are to do what’s right.

    He should take this opportunity. This advice was provided free of charge.

  18. Is he not ‘using federal resources’ for the present raids? If *he* isn’t, then who is?

    The DEA.

    Law enforcement carries out raids in conformance with the law all the time, without direction from above. This isn’t an issue of Obama ordering the raids, but of him (or, rather, Holder) not ordering the raids to cease. The DEA will happily go about its business as usual without a word from either of them.

  19. There is that qualifier “the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors” echoed in his (campaign spokesman’s?)later statement about “FDA approval”. Under Federal law this marijuana is an unapproved drug.Do States have the right to approve any FDA-disapproved drug besides marijuana?

    As I’ve stated repeatedly there has been no unequivocal Obama promise to end the raids.

    SUCKERS

    Hey, I don’t make over 250k and my taxes are going way up as soon as ‘The Messiah” signs the SCHIP bill.Promises, promises…….

  20. It takes lss than five mintues to get this done. Just tell one of his dozens of aides to call the DEA and say multiple heads are going to roll if they waste more resources in fighting states laws.

    simple as that…then if they disobey him start firing people …of course this will NEVER NEVER happen because he is a Z Brzezinski puppet…they made him and they can take him out…adn if you read the Z man’s books you know he is in favor of not only eliminating states rights but national sovereignty…he wants an EVEN more centralized international system of laws…this is far superior to the “chaos of national sovereignty” in the minds of Kissinger, Brzezinski, Richard Haas etc.

  21. Obama deserves a certain amount of transitional slack in delivering on his promise to respect state laws regarding the medical use of marijuana, but with drug warriors operating on auto pilot in this area he needs to step in soon and let them know the federal policy has changed.

    Don’t hold your breath, JS. Politicians who hold Egalitarianism as their ideological focus do not spend their political capital on things that do not expand upon their primary focus.

  22. JOE:”Law enforcement carries out raids in conformance with the law all the time, without direction from above. ”

    after spitting out my mountain dew I realized you were probably just fishing. You don’t really believe that laws are not selectively enforced due to political pressure do you?

    So like in October of 2001 they were prosecuting drunks on airplanes the same way they were beroe 9/11?

    or they weren’t shifting resources away from trade dispute investigations and shifting them to maybe terrorism work?

    or that maybe a senator forgetting to pay taxes might be treated differently than a pharmacist forgetting to pay taxes?

  23. “If the feds must meddle in medicine, contrary to the Tenth Amendment, why not focus on medical personnel who *kill* patients, rather than on medical personnel who let patients smoke a little pot?”

    the dea’s got a big-ass budget. messing with that budget is bad news.

  24. Joe is right about this:

    “This isn’t an issue of Obama ordering the raids, but of him (or, rather, Holder) not ordering the raids to cease. The DEA will happily go about its business as usual without a word from either of them.”

    and you know that Obama will not say a word about this because the CIA loves that drug shipping money and Obama doesn’t want to piss off the CIA and if people could just grow pot in california legally do you thnk that would help the CIA reach it’s cash flow goals?

  25. And hemp powered cars could put GM outta business!

  26. Jesus I hate Joe.

    He’s right, of course.

    And I believe he is also on record saying that he supports people like Sullum and Doherty badgering Obama over this as well (which he should be).

    Well played, sir.

  27. Hey, I don’t make over 250k and my taxes are going way up as soon as ‘The Messiah” signs the SCHIP bill.Promises, promises…….

    SIV, same here

    From the NY Times:
    “The Congressional Budget Office says the bill will enable states to cover more than four million uninsured children by 2013, while continuing coverage for seven million youngsters. The bill will increase tobacco taxes to offset the increase in spending, estimated at more than $32 billion over four and a half years.”

    I knew the bad news was coming when I read this:

    “Smiling broadly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced”…

    That’s some scary stuff for a family newspaper.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/us/politics/05health.html?hp

  28. Patchouli MoonStar

    While I do get a tad irritated at the “hemp will save teh world!” hyperbole, the fact that it has proven medical benefits for: glaucoma, nerve pain, anti-nausea; and suspected benefits for Alzhiemers and multiple sclerosis make it a very impressive drug indeed. The seed oil can be used in cooking, and the fiber used to make rope, paper and clothing. And, of course, it provides a high that millions of people the world over enjoy, without being toxic.

    I can’t think of any other plant that has that many uses.

  29. Baked Penguin…your such a pothead…this is a time for stimulus, that means that wasteful spending on drug enforcement is actually not wasteful…it is stimulus!

  30. If he doesn’t do something soon the tally of Promises kept versus Promises made is going to be mighty skewed. Off the top of my head I can think of around 8 things he said and has already flipped on and come out saying he was going to do nothing.

    Thats some Yes We Can Change I can’t believe in.

    My question as this empty suit reveals himself is will the Obama followers ever see the light of day and recongize they have been lied to? I am afraid they will give him a pass simply for being black when all is said and done. Who dares critique the black man, Mr. History, the One, The Messiah? Anyone, anyone?

  31. Well gabe, technicially a prostate exam is a stimulus, and none of us wants or asks for that, LOL

  32. As to FDA, its enabling legislation is written differently from DEA’s. The FFDCA specifically says in several places that provisions apply only to articles in interstate commerce, while the CSA specifically says its do not.

  33. give the guy a break. Plenty of more important issues right now and shit the guy has been President for how long now? Things aren’t going to get better over night. If he doesn’t do anything about it eventually I will gladly eat my words and join in on the giving of a hard time.

  34. Oh jeez,

    Gabe’s worried about the fuckin’ Illuminati again.

    Try some Thorazine, dude.

  35. Law enforcement carries out raids in conformance with the law all the time, without direction from above.

    Joe is 100% correct on this. Which is why our country isn’t run through democracy, it’s run by bureaucrats who aren’t directly accountable to any electorate.

  36. So, “Obama” is Swahili for “Same as the Old Boss”, right?

    -jcr

  37. Jesus I hate Joe.

    He’s right, of course.

    Yeah, I get that a lot.

    Gabe, let me dumb it down for you: the DEA likey raid pot shops. They be raidin’ them lots before Obama, they be raidin’ them lots now. No need Obama raid pot shops; do anyway.

    and you know that Obama will not say a word about this because the CIA… hooboy.

  38. Dee | February 4, 2009, 5:50pm | #

    If he doesn’t do something soon the tally of Promises kept versus Promises made is going to be mighty skewed. Off the top of my head I can think of around 8 things he said and has already flipped on and come out saying he was going to do nothing.

    Thats some Yes We Can Change I can’t believe in.

    My question as this empty suit reveals himself is will the Obama followers ever see the light of day and recongize they have been lied to?

    Sorry to burst your bubble, dear, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

  39. So, which “eight things” were those, anyway?

  40. I can’t think of any other plant that has that many uses.

    BP you a racist muthafucka.

  41. “How many more raids will it take before that counts as a lie?”

    None. He’s welching and I’m pissed. I’m writing an angry letter to him letting him know it, and I suggest everyone here do the same:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

  42. They should just legalize marijuana and tax it. that would stop the “drug lords” from making money to “terrorize” the US.

  43. To be fair, President Obama has been forced to put *many* social issues on the back burner while dealing with the economic crisis.

    Consider, for example, the Mexico City Policy, which prevented federal foreign-aid funds from going to groups which promote abortion.

    Obama’s supporters wanted him to get rid of that policy and open the federal spigot for pro-abortion groups abortion groups operating abroad (with a gimmick that the federal funds would go to non-abortion activities, freeing up the group’s other funds for abortion purposes).

    Because he has to set priorities, and because divisive social issues have to take a back seat to emergency economic legislation, President obama didn’t just sign an executive order right away to get rid of the Mexico City policy. No, he waited *three entire days.* It wasn’t until January 23 that he finally issued his order.

    So the medical-marijuana people shouldn’t feel too bad – they aren’t the only ones who had to wait for a chance in federal policy.

  44. wait for a change

  45. If he ends them on June 18, 2013, he’ll be remembered at “the President who ended raids on medicinal marijuana clinics,”

    Actually, he will be remembered as the revolutionary who seized power because 2013 is beyond the end of his first (and last) term as a legally elected prez…

  46. Dudes, if you send the White House a message via the site I provided you get this meassage, I kid you not:

    “For security reasons, please do not send consumable gifts — such as food, flowers, and other perishable items — to the White House. While President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Biden, and Dr. Biden appreciate your thoughtfulness, they request that instead you look to your local community for opportunities to assist your neighbors in need.”

    Among a couple hilarious things here may I focus on this: DOCTOR BIDEN? Wtf is that?

  47. Pertinent extracts from President Obama’s January 23 statement on the Mexico City Policy:

    ‘I *hereby revoke* the Presidential memorandum of January 22, 2001 . . . and the Presidential memorandum of August 29, 2003. . . . In addition, I direct the Secretary of State and the Administrator of USAID to take the following actions with respect to conditions in voluntary population planning assistance and USAID grants that were imposed pursuant to either the 2001 or 2003 memoranda and that are not required by the Foreign Assistance Act or any other law: (1) *immediately* waive such conditions in any current grants, and (2) notify current grantees, *as soon as possible,* that these conditions have been waived. I further direct that the Department of State and USAID *immediately* cease imposing these conditions in any future grants.’

    Immediately . . . as soon as possible . . . the President sure seems like he can act fast when he wants to.

  48. DOCTOR BIDEN? Wtf is that?

    MNG she has an education doctorate. Bow down to your betters peon.You will address the Second Lady as Doctor at all times, but only when spoken to, and don’t make eye contact.

  49. Obama raised taxes on millions of people earning less than 250k a year today.But like the med mj raids,extraordinary rendition,ban on lobbyists, and who knows what else it won’t make joes “polifacts Obama truth-o-meter” so it doesn’t count.

  50. Wayne, I’m sure your predictions about Barack Obama’s electoral fortunes will be as prescient going forward as they were over the past year.

    None. He’s welching and I’m pissed. Dude. It’s Day 15.

    extraordinary rendition Banned by executive order. Boo-yah!

    joes “polifacts Obama truth-o-meter” Mine? But you forget – the existence of this tally was blogged on Hit & Run less than two weeks ago. We were promised regular updates. What ever happened to that, anyway?

  51. SIV, you mean the cigarrete taxes, right? Dude, stop smoking. It’s very bad for you.

    I didn’t even realize that was Ms. Biden they were talking about. Who the f*ck would write the Vice President’s wife (or the President’s for that matter)?

  52. Actually, the promise about taxes is on the tally. It’s listed as “no action.”

    Hmmmmmm, who to believe, who to believe? Oh, it’s so hard to know – an internet troll whose very first action was to pick a handle for purpose of misleading people for partisan purposes, or a skeptical web site that provides factual documentation for all of its statements?

    Who knows what’s true in this crazy world of ours!

  53. Only poor people smoke, apparently.

  54. “MNG she has an education doctorate.”

    SIV, I slightly cringe to rouse the anti-elitists once again, but you know I have a PhD, right?

    So not my better. But while you’re down there can you check my laces and see that they are of equal length?

    joe
    “Dude. It’s Day 15.”

    So now is the time to get on him and remind him so he doesn’t, er, “forget.”


  55. SIV, I slightly cringe to rouse the anti-elitists once again, but you know I have a PhD, right?

    So do we have to call you Doctor Nice Guy?
    You still haven’t said what it is in. c’mon even if it’s liberal arts we won’t make fun of you like it is an education degree.

  56. joe,

    No most tobacco users make over 250k a year.I’m sure Obama will offer the few poor ones a tax credit to make up the difference.

  57. So now is the time to get on him and remind him so he doesn’t, er, “forget.”

    Much better. “He’s welching and I’m pissed” is a bit hysterical.

    And not “how funny are SIV’s efforts to spin?” hysterical, either.

  58. I’m sure Obama will offer the few poor ones a tax credit to make up the difference.

    Actually, that’s exactly what’s he’s doing – offering a big refundable tax credit for everyone below $250,000 per year, to make up for all of the TAXES they pay, like FICA, sales taxes, excise taxes, or cigarette taxes.

    Damn, walked into that one, didn’t you?

  59. I’m just glad I finally got you to admit that there are taxes other than the income tax.

    You big socialist. So, spread any wealth lately?

    Heh.

  60. You would think a guy whose biography tells of his recreational dope use (currently a FELONY) would be more likely to tell the Dope Ninjas to get off the backs of dying people who need it.

  61. 3rd time Medical Marijuana , since my President Obama took office, is a charm. . Please Mr President, it’s time to do something, and support your promises. Thank You.

  62. “Cut the guy a little slack”

    Fine. Monday, 5 PM Eastern.

    White House comment line: 202-456-1111

  63. joe is arguing with the libertarian in his head again.I think it is Mike Huckabee.

  64. Slow down everybody (take a nice hit and relax)… I’m with you all that we need to be in contact with Obama and the White House to keep them on track. Obama’s even requested that in a way. I would keep the commentary that we send friendly and respectful though. We don’t want to come across like those nasty Republicans now, do we? Remember, we’re stoners, not tweakers, and stoners are mellow. And anyway, calm and friendly will get more done than angry and abusive. Take the high road (pun kind of intended).

    But we shouldn’t back down- not on this, nor on any other of the issues that we think are important. Thank you to those who provided contact information!

  65. When Obama was questioned about his drug use he “snorted no.”

  66. Obammy is a lying Chicago backing stabbing , back shootin Arab African Turd. He is owned by the Rothchilds of the world bank and will be the leader of the new world order !

  67. Bernie,

    Polite and constructive pressure is what you do if you actually want the policy to change.

    There are quite a few people on this thread who’d rather have something negative to say about a Democratic president than actually see these raids end.

  68. Joe,

    “Polite and constructive pressure is what you do if you actually want the policy to change.”

    so your saying..

    Obama doesn’t make policy decisions based on what makes sense and what is good for America, he makes his decisions based on how nicely people ask him to change the policy…he also doesn’t chagne policy just because he promised it…he demands that you get on your knees and beg.

    This is similar to the irrational fundamendalist views of God. He loves you and is ultimate goodnes, and if you don’t pray to him and only him and refrain from using his name in vain then he will damn you to burn for eternity.

  69. Joe,

    That’s the feeling I get too. Look at Onearmbiker’s post. Yow! Dontcha think we can be done with racism by now!? Unfortunately for him (I’m assuming it’s a “him”), I think we are, and while his post has as much prominence here as all the others, he’s really just marginalized himself. And accomplished nothing in doing so- kind of demonstrates the point. We can just write him off. (Sorry…)

    But I do understand people’s anger- the Fed’s policy is stupid, counterproductive and a distraction from real issues. It’s more indicative of a police-state mentality (like what we had for the past 8 years), and if yelling, complaining and insulting worked, I’d be all for it.

    It doesn’t. Time for something new, eh?

    Gabe, really, who said “beg”? But if you attack, you cause a defense. Look in your own life. You can strongly remind someone of a promise without abusing them. Joe’s words, “polite” AND “constructive” AND “pressure” are equally important. I think that Joe is saying that Obama might be someone who makes policy decisions based on what makes sense and what is good for America, and he can use some help to keep from being distracted by the (you gotta admit…) rather overwhelming job he’s gotten himself into. Legalizing pot is important, but so is getting employment back on track, repairing our relations and reputation with the rest of the world, etc etc (etc). You’re absolutely right that it “shouldn’t” take more time to post a directive to the DEA to lay off, but it might take some reminders to help him get his head around yet another legacy of the Bush/Republican/Fascist ideology that gripped our country for the past 8, 16, hmmm. 28? years.

    Can you get YOUR head around the following?… Give him a break. AND hold his feet to the fire.

    (Sorry, long post… looks like I have to cut it in two parts.) Cont…

    Demonstrating on the streets, even peacefully shutting down the capital may be in order- but not throwing rocks at the cops, right? Gabe, I do appreciate that you’re one of the people, like me, that wants to make a difference here- just watch that you don’t help to fracture the cause by insulting your fellow soldiers. Going from “polite and constructive” to “irrational fundamentalist views of god” is a real stretch, and doesn’t help.

    A million letters and a million phone calls is certainly called for, but if someone spews out like Mr. Onearm, I would bet that particular call would be ignored, and it would taint the “listening” for all communications along side of it. Ya’all wanna get something done, or do you want to throw poop at the walls and cry in your bong about the big bad black man?

    We have the opportunity now, not because Obama is “godlike” (“god” forbid 🙂 ), but merely because no longer do we live under the “you’re either with us or you’re a terrorist” mentality of the past eight years. Let’s not become like the Bushies in our quest for our rights.

  70. Seriously, how long would it take for Obama to write an Executive Order to cease med marijuana raids, and then to distribute it?

  71. I’m not crying in my bong. I don’t smoke weed. I just think it is racist to increase drug war spending, which has unjustly imprisoned million of non-violent black kids.

    Let’s put one thing straight, I’m not holding Obama’s feet to the fire. Obama doesn’t know I exist and he could care less what I think, he would rather put me in prison than talk to me. He would rather blow my kids up with a hellfire missile from a unmanned plane than answer and email from me.

    I’m just pointing out to Joe that Ombama is a hypocrite who is more worried about spreading loot to his friends and centralizing/increasing government power than he is about decreasing drug war insanity. The guy lies to his audience and then carries on neo-con policies…ramping up drug war spending, ramping up war spending(the Afgan surge is coming), ramping up the stasi like spy state(ignoring the Russell Tice story)….and appointing the same goldman sachs bankster thieves to be in charge of stealing trillions more from the tax payers.

  72. Gabe, I think you and I are completely on the same side. I appreciate you being there… I’m just not as angry yet, and I hope your anger won’t stop you from being effective.

    Let’s get to work…

    President Obama’s number is (202) 456-1111, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s number is (202) 353-1555.

    It’s suggested that people call during office hours, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  73. H.R.5842 : To provide for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States. (Hosted page by Aid & comfort blog H.R. 5842)

    H.R.5843 : To eliminate most Federal penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use, and for other purposes. (Hosted page by Aid & comfort blog H.R. 5843)

    H.R. 5843 would resolve the problems for medical cannabis users and their suppliers once and for all.

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