Medical Marijuana

Obama Administration Overrides 2009 Ogden Memo, Declares Open Season on Pot Shops in States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal

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The Department of Justice sent out a memo Wednesday instructing the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and leading officials in the U.S. Attorneys Office to treat medical marijuana shops as top priorities for prosecutors and drug investigators.

"Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law," the memo reads. "Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA."

The memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, "clarifies" a memo released in 2009 that declared medical marijuana sales in states that have legalized it to be a low priority for law enforcement and prosecutors. The so-called "Ogden memo" first appeared to drug law reformers as evidence that President Obama was dialing back the war on drugs. The DEA and U.S. Attorneys office continued to raid and prosecute state-legal grow operations and marijuana shops after the memo was first circulated, leading reformers to conclude that Obama was lying when he said that his administration would not be doing those things. 

The memo written by Cole and addressed to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and several members of the U.S. Attorney's office is a severe amendment to the Ogden memo. "The Department of Justice is committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels," the memo reads. 

"The Ogden Memorandum provides guidance to you in deploying your resources to enforce the CSA as part of the exercise of the broad discretion you are given to address federal criminal matters within your districts." The memo also says that the meaning of the Ogden memo has not changed since its writing. 

Then memo continues: 

[T]he Ogden Memo reiterated to you that prosecution of significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, remains a core priority, but advised that it is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or their caregivers. The term "caregiver" as used in the memorandum meant just that: individuals providing care to individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses, not commercial operations cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana.

The Department's view of the efficient use of limited federal resources as articulated in the Ogden Memorandum has not changed. There has, however, been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes. For example, within the past 12 months, several jurisdictions have considered or enacted legislation to authorize multiple large-scale, privately-operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers. Some of these planned facilities have revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants.

The Ogden Memorandum was never intended to shield such activities from federal enforcement action and prosecution, even where those activities purport to comply with state law. Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law. Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA. Those who engage in transactions involving the proceeds of such activity may also be in violation of federal money laundering statutes and other federal financial laws.

The above reveals that the DOJ is attempting to rewrite history, as Jacob Sullum pointed out last month:

In October 2009, David Ogden, then the deputy attorney general, sent a memo that seemed to fulfill this promise. "As a general matter," he told U.S. attorneys, they "should not focus federal resources" on "individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana."

Yet the DEA's medical marijuana raids not only have continued but are more frequent under Obama than they were under George W. Bush. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which argues that patients who can benefit from marijuana should be able to obtain it legally, counts well over 100 raids in the two years and four months since Obama's inauguration, compared to about 200 during Bush's eight years in office. "The Obama administration really is being more aggressive than the administration of his predecessor," says ASA spokesman Kris Hermes.

At first, it seemed the DEA was targeting growers and sellers who arguably were not "in clear and unambiguous compliance" with state law, since the rules for supplying medical marijuana were fuzzy in jurisdictions such as California, Colorado and Montana. But the U.S. attorney letters conclusively show that, contrary to the impression left by the Ogden memo, complying with state law provides no protection against federal prosecution.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler insists there is "no inconsistency" between the recent threats and the Ogden memo, which she says "talks about not investigating sick individuals who might be in compliance with state law." Actually, the memo refers not to "sick individuals" but to "individuals" generally, and it cites as examples not only patients but "caregivers" who supply them with marijuana.

In any case, the Justice Department's distinction between patients and suppliers cannot be reconciled with Attorney General Eric Holder's description of the new policy. "The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law," he said in March 2009. "Our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that's inconsistent with federal and state law."

The Ogden memo did not make medical marijuana legal, but it clearly advised federal law enforcement agencies to go after pot shops that showed signs of being tied to organized crime. From the Ogden memo, released in 2009: 

Typically, when any of the following characteristics is present, the conduct will not be in clear and unambiguous compliance with applicable state law and may indicate illegal drug trafficking activity of potential federal interest:

  • unlawful possession or unlawful use of firearms;
  • violence;
  • sales to minors;
  • financial and marketing activities inconsistent with the terms, conditions, or purposes of state law, including evidence of money laundering activity and/or financial gains or excessive amounts of cash inconsistent with purported compliance with state or local law;
  • amounts of marijuana inconsistent with purported compliance with state or local law;
  • illegal possession or sale of other controlled substances; or

When I asked the White House in 2010 if continuing to raid medical marijuana dispensaries–which it had been doing less often than under Bush, but more often than never–a senior staffer told me, "Yes – that enforcement is focused on those incidences where both federal and state law are being violated – and is therefore focused largely on drug traffickers. It has not spent its limited resources on ind. patients with cancer and other serious disease." 

Thanks to Tom Angell from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition for sending the memo.

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  1. Congress has determined that…the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana…provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels.

    You don’t say.

    1. Not to mention threatening civilization by encouraging darkies to think that they are as good as white men!

    2. Big fucking whoop is what I say.

    3. Yet the DEA’s medical marijuana raids not only have continued but are more frequent under Obama than they were under George W. Bush.

      Suckers

      Hey, at least we only engage in legal, moral wars now.

    4. i know right?? That seems like such a absurd statement, makes you wonder about their thinking process. They just figured the whole thing out, but dont realize it. Legalize it, lol

  2. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug…

    That’s about all one needs to know about Congress.

    1. My name is Trespassers W* and I approve of this message.

      * Not really! I have a secret identity!

    2. thats it. im switching to alcohol and prescriptions. a victory for the war on drugs!

  3. Wheeeee! Hide your dogs and kids and your bag of weed!

  4. When I asked the White House in 2010 if continuing to raid medical marijuana dispensaries–which it had been doing less often than under Bush, but more than zero–a senior staffer told me,

    I think you missed some words here.

  5. Black Santa lied?

  6. “it is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses “

    Gee, that’s sweet. If you’re dying of cancer, we might not bust down your door, kill your dog and take you to jail, because it’s not efficient use of resources, but if we can streamline it a little we might reconsider.

    1. Bullets cost money. When they figure out that they can just pistol whip your pets to death, all bets are off.

      1. Is pistol-whipping kosher?

        1. Mmmm…Pistol whip…

  7. At some point, liberals are gonna start asking…

    Is Obama good for anything at all?

    Radical expansion of government in healthcare–other than that, what’s he done for them?

    1. Social Security was enough for one generation. Medicare for another. Pee Packah should be enough for this bunch of statist lick-spittles.

      Now you’ve done it Ken, you’ve mentioned Obamacare and really pissed me off.

    2. Then they’ll vote for him anyway.

      1. A lot of times? Conservatives don’t really need to fire up their own base.

        Sometimes it’s just that the liberals don’t care enough about their own candidate to get up early and make that extra stop on the way to work–come November.

        Voter apathy may be the best we can reasonably hope for.

        1. On their way to work? Come on! You know better…

        2. I think this is right. The solid Democrats and the hardcore left will still vote for him.

          On the other hand, a lot of fair-weather liberals and left leaning independents probably just won’t bother to vote at all.

          The independents who voted for him out of disgust with Bush and the GOP will either vote independant, or for the GOP (and then get disgusted and vote Dem the next time around.)

          None of this is to say Obama is sure to lose, but it will be a lot closer this time around than in 2008.

      2. I would consider myself liberal, and this bullshit alone will make it difficult to consider voting for Obama. With the current lineup of potential Republican candidates, I will be staying quite clear of them as well. Looks like I’ll be throwing my vote away on a third party, and I know other liberals that will do the same. Its a damn shame.

    3. At some point, liberals are gonna start asking… Is Obama good for anything at all?

      He’s good for looking black, thereby making us feel all goody goody for being enlightened non-racists.

    4. Obama is good for exactly one thing: his skin color. They have to stand up for him to prove that a black person is competent to be POTUS. If he turned out to be a 1-termer, that would be worse for them than if he were never elected, because it would demonstrate, “We tried a black guy once but he was no good.”

      They cringe every time he does just about anything, and hope nobody else notices. Their hope is that he’ll be assassinated, thus delivering a president Biden and showing, “He was too dangerous to The Man, so they had to kill him before he delivered us into Paradise, which he would’ve done otherwise.” Their worst fear would be that the assassin turned out to be a black guy too.

  8. The modern day Democrat implementation of stimulus involves the hiring of federal “workers” intent on violating peoples’ rights, ruining their lives, and otherwise making the world a more horrible place.

    Keynes, who might have preferred building pyramids, is rolling over in his grave.

  9. Wasn’t this the last thing he wasn’t exactly like–or worse than–Bush on?

    OOPS

    Why would they continue to press this? It’s just going to piss off more of the people who might vote for him. I guess pleasing the LEO/drug warrior community is more valuable to him than pleasing his desperate fans. That makes me laugh, as I revel in their despair. Only an abject moron could have voted for Obama (or McCain). Enjoy, morons!

    1. But dude, if you don’t vote for the same authoritarian policies wrapped up in obverse rhetoric every for years over and over and over until the sun goes out, how do you ever expect things to change?

      1. I’m going to HOPE it CHANGES?

    2. His “desperate fans” will all vote for him anyways. A Republican with almost totally identical policies might win, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

      Politics as a team sport just sickens me.

      1. Welcome to the club, dude. Partisanship is literally one of the most destructive forces (to liberty, that is) in politics. It actually outpaces greed and desire for power by individuals, because it gets a ton of people with (otherwise) no stake in the politics to vote and legitimize things.

        Partisans are abject scum.

        1. Really this whole political party thing is a crock of shit.

        2. I wish there was a more specific one-word term for just “party partisanship”, because I consider my own support for libertarianism and capitalism as quite radical/extreme/what-have-you.

          1. Bullshit?

          2. Collectivism

          3. Tribalism? As opposed to idealism.

        3. Partisans are abject scum.

          +6.02x10E23

    3. No, no, you forgot gays in the military. And maybe stem cell funding, depending on whether you’re a libertarian that both is cool with stem cell funding plus thinks that “if government’s going to fund science, it shouldn’t have arbitrary restrictions on how.”

    4. This is his pathetic attempt to “run to the middle,” because in the partisan blinders view, cracking down on drugs = conservative. It’s a cheap way to go after soccer moms again, after scaring them with the shit economy.

      1. You may be right, but that would be hamfisted beyond belief, and the highly intelligent Obama adminis…oh wait, that’s right. They’re fucking idiots.

        You’re probably right.

      2. What if he went after soccer moms but missed and wound up with rugby moms? I wonder what that’d be like.

  10. Hopefully this helps the Paul/Frank legalization bill gain some traction.

    1. I think it would be interesting if the Paul/Frank bill somehow passes Congress, but then Obama vetoes it. I wonder how Dems would feel if Obama showed his true colors.

      1. The same way they would feel if their state passed a law legalizing medical MJ and Obama “vetoed” it?

        1. I think hardcore Obama supporters would see that as enforcement of federal law over state law. I have no idea if Obama is a “true believer” in pot or not. All we can say for sure is he wants to enforce the existing law as is.

          1. If there’s one thing Obama supporters love, it’s federal law topping state law.

            Right in the ass.

            1. The growers themselves DEMAND prohibition. Prop 19 lost in Humbolt and Mendocino counties.

              And the memo says medicinal pot shops are NOT a priority. Read it before going Loughner.

          2. Naw, all we can say for sure is Obama will backtrack on any of his stated or hinted positions at any time.

            Putting the “empty” back into suit.

          3. Excuse me, but didn’t Prop 19 just LOSE in Humbolt and Mendocino counties? The growers WANT prohibition. They just start bitching when someone besides the 10 Mexicans who die every day in the war on drugs have to pay the price for the very prohibition laws the growers support and profit from.

            Venal selfish murderous scumbag crybabies.

      2. If the Paul Frank bill passes Congress it’ll reveal the legislators to be the dumb-looking, toothy cartoon monkeys that many have long thought they are.

        1. Not to mention threatening civilization by encouraging darkies to think that they are as good as white men. The growers themselves DEMAND prohibition. Prop 19 lost in Humbolt and Mendocino counties.

  11. This is a direct law and order appeal to voters to deflect attention from the gun running fiasco.

    1. Really? I pegged it as part of his campaign for president. “Why would you vote for Romney? He believes in EVERYTHING I believe in!”

      Seriously. Everything. Dammit.

  12. I’m going to start asking those “well I’m still going to vote for him” folks just exactly what Obama would have to do for him to no longer receive their support.

    1. most of them would take a sandpaper ass raping from him with a smile on their faces.

    2. Next up: appointing Cheney to the supreme court.

      1. Cheney supports gay marriage so he doesn’t meet Barack’s litmus test in that area.

    3. “Saving and Creating” bloody worldwide wars? No.
      Being homophobic? No.
      Supporting TSA groping policies? No.
      Supporting illegal FBI wiretapping? No.
      Supplying guns to Mexican drug cartels? No.
      Looting the treasury to pay off Eurotrash banks? No.
      Looting the treasury to finance his United-Nations-sanctioned invasions of out-of-favor countries? No.
      Not knowing how many states there are? No.
      Keeping the economy in a ditch? No.
      Being separated-at-birth twin of George W Bush? No.

      We really think he is wonderful and the best guy for the job.

      1. Ya and you probably like sucking the hide tit of Corporation to

    4. are the sly “news” releases hinting at all the $5 donations O-bomb-a will receive to reach his billion-dollar campaign-war-chest goal.

    5. I’m going to start asking those “well I’m still going to vote for him” folks just exactly what Obama would have to do for him to no longer receive their support.

      Turn white?

    6. If Obama lets the growers who VOTED DOWN LEGALIZATION off the hook, I’ll definitely vote for someone else. Sorry, growers of Mendocino and Humbolt counties. If you are going to vote against prop 19 (it lost in both counties) and for maintaining the War On Drugs and the profits it gives you, forgive me for welcoming you joining the tens of thousands suffering needlessly for the policies you support.

      GO OBAMA!! THANK YOU FOR FOCUSING YOUR EFFORTS ON THE VERY SCUM WHO VOTED AGAINST PROP 19…THE GROWERS OF CALIFORNIA’S NORTH COAST!

  13. Serious question: can someone remind me which enumerated power of the US government allows them to ban ganja?

    Keep it simple, as I do tend to get confused. Like when “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech” turns into umpteen classes of banned political speech prior to elections.

    1. You could maybe make a case for stuff that crosses state lines, if one state wanted to ban it. No real case for locally grown that doesn’t cross state lines. Aside from the travesty that is Wickard v. Filburn, of course, which sadly still stands.

    2. A? that I’m sure nobody in government can answer ask all those Drug testing company’s with out weed they would be out of business

    3. They abuse the commerce clause to justify it.

    4. I’d take it up with the growers of Humbolt and Mendocino counties. They voted against legalization last November.

  14. For starters–before the commenters come down on me as a prohibitionist–let me state that (a) as a matter of policy and principle, I’m absolutely opposed to the criminalization of drug use, distribution, or production and (b) as a matter of law, the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that gave U.S. Congress the authority to regulate intrastate use of drugs (Wickard and Raich).

    But the headline (and part of the premise) of this and many other Reason articles on this subject is just plain, factually wrong.

    All persons in all states of the Union are properly bound by both their state’s and federal law. Federal law makes (almost) all possession, use, distribution and production of marijuana illegal. So, contrary to assertion, there is no state in which marijuana is legal.

    So the issue is bad policy and bad legal precedent. Not the fact that anybody is being punished for something which is not illegal.

    If you find it hard to get your head around that concept, think of another federal crime–let’s say counterfeiting U.S. currency–which may not be a violation of some (many? all?) state’s laws and is just a federal crime. Would you title a headline with the phrase “states were counterfeiting is legal”? I think not.

    This pretense that state and federal law must ban the same things and you are only bound by the one or the other is nothing more than the flip-side of the idiotic argument–rightly ridiculed by Reason–that California’s marijuana legalization initiative would somehow have been in conflict with or violated federal law.

    1. last sentence in first paragraph should have continued “… are incorrect interpretations of the U.S. Constitution.”

    2. That’s all irrelevant though. Candidate Obama, and President Obama, specifically stated that, while he believed that medical marijuana remained illegal under federal law, it would not be a priority of the Department of Justice to the extent that distributors and patients were in compliance with state law. Through his Department of Justice, he has gone back on that promise.

      1. Also, counterfeiting money is a poor example, because currency is Federal, and hence a Federal concern.

        1. Punishing counterfeiting is an enumerated power, no less.

          1. So–inherently a federal concern and part of an enumerated power (the commerce clause)–is regulating farmers growing wheat on their own land for their own consumption and the use and distribution of marijuana, according to the final authority on these matters, the Supreme Court.

            That you and I may think that the Supreme Court has gotten this ludicrously wrong (like so many things since the New Deal) doesn’t change the fact that it is the law of the land until that blessed day when we convince them to change their minds, which could be the same day they strike down ObamaCare. I would celebrate as if it is was Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday all come at once.

          2. Counterfeitting is constitutionally illegal with punishment by hanging.

            So why isn’t the secret service going after the Federal Reserve? That is in their charter.

      2. SO Obama was a liar on the campaign trail–like most politicians except maybe a little more. Worth repeating, but hardly breaking news.

        We will all be much less upset when it turns out that he was also obviously lying about other things, where we approve of the change (e.g., when he finally admits that he was lying when he claimed to be opposed to SSM).

        1. Where’s the “lie”? The memo says medicinal pot is a low priority. That’s exactly what Obama pledged. Besides, the growers of Humbolt and Mendocino counties just voted FOR continuing the drug war. Now they cry when they themselves are targeted by the policies they voted for and from which they profit handsomely. I guess they’re all for prohibition and the profits it generates, just so long as it’s 10 Mexicans who are killed every day that pay the price while the growers tour the world following Bob Weir.

          Cry me a river!

          The growers of northern California made their bed. Time they themselves suffered some sleepless nights.

      3. The memo says exactly what Obama promised; that medicinal users are a low priority.

        As to relevance, one might do well to remember how the growers themselves voted on prop 19 last November. The growers, drunk with the fabulous profits generated by prohibition of their produce, voted AGAINST legalization and for continuing the drug war. I honestly can imagine no more just a way to enforce as draconian a law as the prohibition of a plant than making the law’s supporters live by it.

    3. Yeah, we get it. The “where medical marijuana is legal” implied “according to the laws of that state”. I really don’t think there’s anyone on this site who doesn’t understand that.

      1. Dude’s just trying to be a pedantic asshole, let him have his fun. Christ, his fucking handle means nit-picker in ancient Luxemborgian.

    4. Google “federalism.”

    5. there is no state in which marijuana is legal.

      Excepting my favorite one: the state of nature.

      1. No profit for growers there, eh? Too bad that in the state of California, the very growers for which this article is supposed to generate sympathy voted AGAINST legalization last November.

    6. Pretty sure there aren’t any states that have explicitly tried to make counterfeiting currency legal though.

      Similar to DOMA I suppose, where State law says one thing, and Federal another.

      Yes it is technically against Federal law, but it just strengthens fact that the Federal law is oppressive and wrong-headed.

    7. If we’re going to be pedantic, the feds don’t have legitimate authority to ban marijuana; if the commerce clause allowed them to prohibit the possession and use of potentially medicinal substances, then they wouldn’t have needed an amendment to pass prohibition. The Controlled Substances Act is about as legitimate as the 2012 Obama Campaign Star Chamber.

  15. First post on reason. Reading for about last 2 years.

    I have to say that perhaps I’m ignorant but I get an ever increasing paternalistic feeling out of Obama. In the case of this subject, its almost like an angry fathers reprisal. That he has held back the dogs of his DOJ and US attorneys. Now however he is prepared to release them onto individuals and states who have dared to move forward with states MMJ, decrims and the most recent bill in congress.

    I almost get this feeling like I’ve been backhanded and then told ” see what you made me do!? “

    1. Ever increasing? You been in a coma since the beginning of the 2008 campaign?

      1. I’m debating if it would have better or not to have been.

        1. Obama, in his own way, is just as paternalistic as any so-con.

          Worse, in some ways.

    2. Obama campaigned for the position of National Dad, and in that regard, he’s delivered.

  16. Off topic…

    ?C?mo se dice “three cheers for prostate cancer” en espa?ol?

    Anybody know?

    1. Actually, it’s kinda ironic.

      …because prostate cancer seems to be doing the same thing to him? That he’s been doing to the people of Venezuela for the past 13 years.

      1. Giving them erectile dysfunction?

        1. Getting all up in their asses and slowly killing them.

          1. Only a Christ-fag would speak ill of such a great man as Chavez.

    2. “?C?mo se dice “three cheers for prostate cancer” en espa?ol?”

      The correct answer: “?Tres aclamaciones para el c?ncer de pr?stata!”

      Although they wouldn’t say it that way en espa?ol. I’d guess “Long live prostate cancer!”, but in this case, we don’t really want a long life so…

      It’s another irony!

      1. ?C?mo se dice “three cheers for prostate cancer” en espa?ol?

        “?Adios, juevos locos!”

  17. Man, this seems like a pretty giant “fuck you” to moderate independents. In order to win over who, exactly? Don’t give me this “soccer moms” bullshit either, I ain’t buying it.

  18. I just heard that Bolivia is withdrawing from the UN Single Convention on Narcotics, so that they can keep coca legal.

    So, a little good news to help make up for this story.

  19. I can’t believe nobody’s said this yet, so…

    The Ogden Memorandum

    …paging Robert Ludlum!

    1. On it.

      1. Bah Richard Chamberlain anyday

  20. “those who knowingly facilitate such activities”

    So when are they going to start arresting the governors and legislatures of states which allow the sale of medical marijuana?

    1. Please don’t give them any ideas.

      1. Actually, I think it is a great idea. It has a good chance of precipitating the confrontation between a state and the Feds that we desperately need, especially since Texas pussed out about the TSA groping bill again.

    2. Seriously, none of that gov’t action is illegal, so the answer is, never.

      1. What do you mean, not illegal? It’s conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The government licenses the business and collects money from them.

  21. You should all check out Ron Paul for President! We can get rid of this crap with the right people running this country! Ron Paul 2012!

    1. That crazy old guy? Yeah right. I like my presidents tall, handsome, and Mormon.

  22. Yep. Medical pot in California has been legal for 15 years, but as one little town just figured out, good luck actually growing any of it.

    1. Jeezus man, that smarts. Fucking brutal.

    2. On the way, the mom says, “A neighbor attempted to communicate with Officer Hooper about Jesse’s disabilities and was told to go back into his home, or he would be arrested.”

      Based on a recent experience I had with cops, I accept this as a true statement.

      1. When I was questioned recently about my jury duty questionnaire the ADA seemed shocked I said that I distrusted cops. I should of leaned over and whispered in his ear “…balko…” ala rosebud.

      2. The disabled kid knew the shitbag pig, and the shitbag pig knew the kid and was aware of his handicap. A kid who was probably told by his Mother for years “remember, if you get in any trouble, you dial 911 or run to the nearest police officer”. Fuckin’ A. That kid is going to be traumatized for the rest of his life over something like that.

    3. By the way, in case anyone wants to know, if you click on the video link, this is what officer willie hooper of Dayton, OH looks like.

      You know, in case you need to identify him.

      http://www.whiotv.com/news/28163176/detail.html

      1. Yup, just as I suspected. Officer Willie Hooper of Dayton, Ohio looks like a limp-dicked piece of shit that tasers handicapped kids.

  23. I dearly want some crazy governor to use the state Guard to guard the dispensaries against DEA raids

    1. If you live in PA you could vote for me.

    2. Dear God, I’d buy the world a coke for that show!

  24. So I just came back from dinner and Schumer was on TV ranting about the kulak hoardersRepublicans and accusing them of “wrecking” in the literal Soviet sense.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..87648.html

    So I guess this is going to be the new narrative to explain the continued failure of the latest Five-Year Planstimulus projects?

    Jesus Christ, Atlas Shrugged and The Gulag Archipelago are warnings, not manuals to be followed, people.

    1. QE2 just ended and I heard some people on the radio say that depending on how you look at it, it may have possibly been a success if you ignore housing and unemployment, and without it, might have been much worse.

      The science is settled.

  25. I hate to say “I told you so,” but I saw this coming as soon as I read the Ogden Memorandum — and the crest of the world was proclaiming that Eric Holder had supposedly “ordered” federal law enforcement to leave medical marijuana alone. It was typical Obama Administration double-talk, right up there with “we need the stimulus plan to keep unemployment from reaching 8%” and “if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it.”

    Face it, given a choice between keeping a campaign promise and surrendering federal authority to the states on any issue, what did you think Obama would do?

    The interesting question is what Democrats at the state level will do now that their Fearless Leader has come out against medical marijuana. Will they continue to be the driving force behind “compassionate use” laws like they were during the Bush years? Or will they back away from the issue?

    1. That should be “rest of the world,” not “crest.” That’s what you get when you post after midnight.

      1. What time is not after midnight?

        1. When you’re on the other side 😉

    2. I too was going to say “told you so”, but I’m glad you did it for me.

      The interesting question is what Democrats at the state level will do now that their Fearless Leader has come out against medical marijuana.

      You know, I just really don’t think marijuana, medicalized or legalized is a hot-button issue for most mainstream Democrats right now.

      I’m guessing this story will pass quietly into the night, despite the moderate amount of noise it will make on Reason and in the MJ activist circle.

      Let’s put it this way, I’ll be very surprised if Nina Totenberg gives it a segment on NPR.

      Shit like Citizens United and healthcare reform are much hotter topics to mainstream Dems.

      1. Oh, and yeah, I still close my eyes and imagine all the “Why I’m Voting for Obama” navel gazing on the left during the next election.

      2. “You know, I just really don’t think marijuana, medicalized or legalized is a hot-button issue for most mainstream Democrats right now.”

        The cynic in me says that medical marijuana was nothing more than a wedge issue for the Democrats when the GOP held the White House and has therefore outlived its usefulness.

  26. Same as it ever was. But now with more people who think less. How many single issue voters are there in 2012? Not sure what the single issue is.

  27. Even cthulu would let peeps smoke mmj.

    Don’t tell me you’re worse Obizzle

  28. “State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA.”

    Yes it does. Well, it would if our constitution mattered to the people that are supposed to protect and enforce it. 10th amendment bitches.

  29. The memo doesn’t mention “pot shops” once. It says that “large-scale, privately-operated, industrial marijuana cultivation centers” with “tens of thousands of cannabis plants” were never intended to be shielded by the Ogden memo.

    If you’re somehow connecting the dots between these pot factories and dispensary raids, you need to like, include that in your article, man.

    Don’t freak people out needlessly.

    1. You sold your soul for a shit sandwich, boy.

    2. Even when the President is directly engaging in activity I oppose, I will rationalise this and find ways to convince myself it’s okay and I actually support it.

  30. Sounds to me like Obama is just begging Americans to take notice that the Commerce Clause gives no such authority to the Feds, and that most of the Federal Government is illegal.

  31. “For example, within the past 12 months, several jurisdictions have considered or enacted legislation to authorize multiple large-scale, privately-operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers. Some of these planned facilities have revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants.”

    In other words, Obama wants to kill the “Big Pot” industry in the cradle. If it’s small it can possibly ignored, but any serious money changing over medical marijuana (or anything else, for that matter) is a problem in Obama’s eyes.

    1. I’m afraid Obama’s a bit late to defeat George Soros. Should’ve enacted a Tobin Tax while they had the chance…

  32. Obama is gonna be so much better than Bush when it comes to pot. /stupid lib circa 2008

  33. The only thing Obama is good for is spending money like a black man. The US govt can go fuck itself.

  34. Changed his mind, he did. That’s all the change we’re gonna get from this fraud.

    Like with the “Health Insurance Ripoff and Enslavement Act” He was against mandates before he was for them.

    Yet, many people with a (D) after their name will be shocked upon hearing that some of us will not be taken for fools in the next “election”.

    Ron Paul 2012

  35. “i stomped on liberties frequently. that was the point.”

    ? BO

  36. Ah, the fools that got suckered into Obama. This makes me sad. A little Ron Paul, anyone? http://RonPaul2012.com

  37. This kind of thing will continue to happen no matter how many legalization and decriminalization schemes are put into place.

    You can’t legalize pot or anything else in a vacuum, because the vacuum doesn’t exist.

    As long as there is a government regulatory regime in place, that regime will assert whatever power it can in every sphere it possibly can in order to: 1. Justify its existence.and 2. Maintain its hegemony.

    Bureaucrats are not about pulling in the edges of their envelopes of influence, but in pushing them.

    Pot legalizers will never get their way until they come to realize that they need to push for repeal of the clean food and drug act, privatize the FDA, abolish the DEA and BATF, and un-recognize physician licensing.

    Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass about pot, I just want to know what its like to live in a free country.

  38. Gotta keep all them big pharma, people happy, to get them donations. Common he’s got an an re-election to worry about. Pot farmers sure aint gonna pony up that cash.

    1. I think If weed freedom for everybody the white house would be racked with Cash.by big pharma you meant legal drug lords. lets not forget drug testing company’s and jail makers

  39. The “War on Drugs” is unconstitutional. Nowhere in the Constitution is the authority to regulate drugs conferred on the Federal Government. If the prohibition of alcohol required a Constitutional Amendment (and it did), so does the prohibition of drugs (marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, etc.)

    Not being a legitimate topic for Federal authority, the regulation of drugs, if any, is an issue for the States or the People, per the 10th Amendment.

  40. Obama WAKE UP Throw crap ass politicians in Jail. Not decent people and there weed needs

    1. Obama is wide awake and will be sending his no-knock goons to your house to raid your weed and toss you in federal jail.

      1. Oh please! Did you even read the memo? It says medicinal users should be all but ignored. The for-profit growers in California’s north coast just voted AGAINST prop 19 and to continue the war on drugs. I say the feds honor their wishes. (Of course the growers thought it would just be the 10 Mexicans killed EVERY DAY that would pay the price. High time we finally give the growers of Mendocino and Humbolt counties a taste of the vicious and wasteful drug war they just voted for)

  41. ?!!!OMG!!! ???WTF??? When will America live up to it’s let freedom ring motto?

  42. Whatever happened to the 10th Amendment? Where in the constitution does it say that the Federal Government has the power to declare a plant illegal? Nowhere. It should be up to the states to decide, but obviously we couldn’t let that happen because then this country would actually be somewhat of the country that our founding fathers dreamed of it being. Where people have rights and can decide how to go about living their own lives. But that would be giving them too much freedom, and would obviously make the nation descend into chaos… (sarcasm, btw)

  43. I voted for Obama, because he’s not Sarah Palin. Can you imagine where we would be right now if she were in office?

    1. where she us to live she could see Russia

    2. Things would roughly be exactly the same. They’re both inept and believe in statism.

      Have fun watching the Colbert Report.

  44. Drugs were legal until the late 30’s here in the USA. Is the War on Drugs working? No! They decriminalized drugs in Portugal and it was a HUGE SUCCESS!
    http://www.time.com/time/healt…..46,00.html

    1. i believe that the federal government is still involved with dealing drugs and reaping profits throughout the world, and the war on drugs is to get rid of government competition. They WANT to keep it illegal so that funding pool dosent dry up. The simplest explination is usually the right one

  45. This is bullshit, Why do people care how other people live their lives? if their not harming anyone who cares if they smoke pot, especially if its medical. it sickens me. thats why im voting for ron paul, the only man who can save the already fucked United States of America. Obama is a fucking joke puppet put in place by the elite to push their fucking agenda.

  46. Is this for real?? If so, then our federal govt. is REALLY over-stepping its boundaries. WTF

    1. Actually, I don’t think it is real. Read the memo. It says basically the opposite of what the author of the above article claims.

      I am four-square against the drug war. But remember, the growers in California’s Mendocino and Humbolt counties just voted AGAINST legalization (thus FOR continuing the war on drugs). So I say bust all their asses, THEN legalize weed : )

  47. We best all get on the Ron Paul band-wagon. He’s probably the only person that wouldn’t waste his time on non-issues such as this.

    1. Yes! Exactly. He’s the only hope for real change it seems like.

  48. Ron Paul 2012

  49. “I would not have the justice department prosecute”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUze-oYsswI#t=28s

  50. This is part of the Obama Regime and the democrat party’s endless violation of the 10th Amendment.

    The Tenth Amendment explicitly states the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved, respectively, to the states or the people.

    In other words, Obama is urinating on the Constitution.

    As usual.

    1. Actually, it’s the growers who are urinating on the constitution. Prop 19, which would have legalized pot, was DEFEATED in Mendocino and Humbolt counties. And read the memo; it says the exact opposite of what Mr Riggs claims in the article. The memo reemphasizes giving busting users low priority. So they want to go after the very same big growers who just voted to continue the war on drugs? Fine by me.

      1. here, here! Humboldt County growers and their little monopoly can fucking suck it.

  51. States rights good when it comes to gay marriage, bad when it comes to regulating the drug trade? Got it.

    Fucking commerce clause.

  52. Is this article some kind of joke? The memo states pretty much the opposite of what your article claims it states; namely that users, specifically medical users, should be given low priority and industrial-scale for-profit growers should be given high priority.

    What a weird article. Are you paid by growers or something? Besides, the growers in California’s Humbolt and Mendocino counties just voted AGAINST legalization. I say target those punks (as does the AG), not the users.

  53. I hear a lot of hate for the Republicans. Everyone is aware that Ron Paul is running, right? He’s the only candidate who isn’t bought and paid for by the establishment. If you believe, as the Constitution clearly states, that a State has the right to legalize a natural crop without fear of its citizens being attacked by an overzealous, money and power hungry Fed Gov’t, he should be your candidate. We’ve all seen that Obama flat out lied on this issue. Let’s not make the same mistake.

    1. In case you hadn’t heard, voters in both Mendocino and Humbolt counties voted FOR keeping pot illegal. I hope Holder and Obama give the millionaire growers in those counties EXACTLY what they voted for. After all, the people of Mendocino have spoken. Now we just need to make them accountable for their actions. It’s the least we can do to honor both the wishes of north coast voters and the 10 Mexicans killed EVERY DAY as a consequence of the growers’ favored war on drugs.

  54. WOO! My Nigga! Show those stinky hippies! Now we can get back to drone attacks on the ragheads!

    1. Don’t forget those filthy cancer patients!

  55. I guess that was just another one of his mis speaks he is known for doing.

    It’s easy for them to do, most people think those on medical marijuana are breaking the law, so why not put them in jail.

    People need to wake up, NOW

    http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com

  56. What a dick.

  57. maybe if they just legalized it, it wouldnt promote violence and terrorists that get the money would have next to none after a legalization, maybe we should concentrate are effforts on drugs such as meth, crack, and other life ruining drugs that are man made.

    1. Drugs don’t ruin lives, they’re kind of inanimate objects. I think you meant to say that people with bad relationships with drugs ALLOW their lives to be ruined.

  58. I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by fed3x. I will never again pay expensive r3tailprices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, buzzsave. c0m..

  59. Humm, how interesting. I just read an article about how two big pharmaceutical companies, G.W. Pharmaceuticals and Novartis, are looking into manufacturing medical marijuana because they see a growing market for it (“The idea that a drug can be denounced as evil in one context but hailed as a medical miracle if sold within the pharmaceutical system is nothing new. Big Pharma’s magic cure pills for ADHD bear a suspicious chemical resemblance to speed.” http://www.naturalnews.com/032…..harma.html). Obama has lied to the American people so many times, does anyone here really think that legit, non “drug cartels” (what a laugh; the CIA is the world’s biggest drug runner), state run medical marijuana clinics will not be affected? Connect the dots.

    People like me who are in chronic pain because of diseases like Parkinson and who have had serious bad side effects from extremely expensive pharmaceutical drugs will become the losers in the long run. The pharmaceutical version of medical marijuana will either be so distilled as to be worthless, not as effective as the natural stuff, or so laden with chemical toxins as to be dangerous to our heath.

  60. Drugs don’t ruin lives, they’re kind of inanimate objects. I think you meant to say that people with bad relationships with drugs ALLOW their lives to be ruined.
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  61. I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for
    $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by f3dex. I will never again pay expensive r3tailprices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get.Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BuzzSave.com..

  62. Obama never thought out the potential repercussions of his 09 med pot ‘guidance’. Once he saw an industry bloom,as a result, he decided to use raids and threats- his cowardly way of correcting his boo boo- rather than manning up and taking responsibility for a phenomenon of his own making.

    At least there are open struggles going on to change the laws, and most importantly public perception. This war is being won, but will take longer than recent circumstances indicated. bummer

  63. president obama is a liar!!!! I want my vote back I will be voting against him in next election he can take his monkey ass back to kenya!!

  64. Not to mention threatening civilization by encouraging darkies to think that they are as good as white men!

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