Medical Marijuana

Gary Johnson on the DOJ's Medical Marijuana Crackdown: "Maybe it's time for the feds to just admit that their law is just wrong"


We asked GOP Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson for his reaction to the news that the Department of Justice has ordered California medical marijuana dispensaries, including those operating legally under local and state laws, to close their doors within 45 days. Johnson's campaign emailed his response just now: 

"With weapons being allowed to 'walk' to drug cartels in Mexico and Solyndra walking with $500 million of taxpayers' money, I would think DOJ and the Administration has better things to do than mount an assault on medical marijuana dispensaries in California that are legal under state law. Regardless of one's view of medical marijuana, Americans who believe in states' rights should be extremely disturbed that the federal government is in the process of shutting down businesses, threatening criminal charges, and confiscating the property of small businesses operating under good faith according to state law.

"We have a drug war along the border that has taken tens of thousands of lives, and the federal government is spending its time and resources declaring war on small businesses whose only 'crime' is trying to dispense medical relief in a regulated, taxed, and legal manner. If there is a conflict between state law and federal law, maybe it's time for the feds to just admit that their law is just wrong, and let the states decide for themselves how they want to handle the issue of medical marijuana."

Morgan Fox at the Marijuana Policy Project also sent us a response:

We'll see if there is any enforcement on this, but it seems like it would be difficult to go after all dispensaries and their landlords in a astate like California, where medical marijuana is a crucial part of their already frail economy. It is astonishing that the administration would escalate the war on the medical marijuana industry at a time when the entire nation is hurting for jobs and revenue. Doing so by threatening property owners and legitimate businesses is especially disturbing, and an egregious example of federal over-reaching. This action will only drive patients into the hands of illicit dealers and cartels. 

Read Jacob Sullum on the the DOJ's Oregon crackdown here

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38 responses to “Gary Johnson on the DOJ's Medical Marijuana Crackdown: "Maybe it's time for the feds to just admit that their law is just wrong"

  1. It is astonishing that the administration would escalate the war on the medical marijuana industry

    Sorry, but no; it really isn’t. Not in the least.

  2. The Commerce Clause laughs at your pitiful state laws.

    Ha. Ha.

    1. …and what would the Commerce Clause have to do with in-state sales of medical marijuana to in-state card holders?

      1. Gonzalez Vs. Raich, one of the worst decisions to foul our highest court in the land, ruled that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, the United States Congress may criminalize the production and use of home-grown cannabis even where states approve its use for medicinal purposes.

        Your state sovereignty, it means nothing.


      2. Ask those fuckers in the SCOTUS.


  3. I’d love to see California law enforcement go medieval on any feds who try to enforce this. I know…total pipe dream…

    1. I agree.

      I suspect this action by the feds is similar in nature to the actions taken during the Whiskey Rebellion. That is, with states increasingly asserting their sovereignty (e.g. REAL ID nullification), and citizens’ increasing dissatisfaction with the feds, left, right, and center (witness Tea Party, OWS), the feds are finding it necessary to prove that they are not impotent. I can’t think of any other reason why Obama would have seemingly reversed his position on this relative to his campaign comments on the subject (aside from the obvious of course — that he simply said whatever he thought would get him elected).

      If the states are going to tell the people that they are not prohibited from doing X, Y, and Z, regardless of what the feds say, then the states need to be ready to defend the people from the feds.

      At the VERY LEAST the states should refuse to enforce or assist in any way, but I’d prefer that they actually notify the feds that they can expect to be greeted by a contingent of guards, militia, state police, or something… and then (though I hope it wouldn’t come to this!) carry through with it if necessary.

  4. “This action will only drive patients into the hands of illicit dealers and cartels.”

    Maybe that’s the plan. First, arm the Cartels, then ensure they have a revenue stream. All while desensitizing Americans to blatant corruption and tyranny.

  5. Related and for anyone that missed it in my (late) posting in the morning links:

    Digital Petition (@, spare me) for including Gary Johnson in the next debate.

    Last time I’ll post the link.

    1. Last time I’ll post the link.

      It’s not that offensive, no worries. And hey, at least you’re not selling Ugg boots.

      1. By which I mean, it’s not spam if you’re a regular forum participant.

  6. Why in God’s name can’t this man even get invited to the debates? His thoughts on these matters are not only libertarian, but they are cogent and clear. But he does need a hair stylist.

    1. ..and a tailor. The man is in good shape for his age, but you wouldn’t know it from some of those suits he wears.

  7. First we lost the Commies, then sex, drugs is all we got left to be uptight about.

    1. Don’t leave out Rock and Roll; check out what they’re doing to Gibson…

  8. Only mature adults can be officially recognized as legitimate candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination.

    Otherwise- CHAOS! ANARCHY!

  9. Guns don’t kill people.

    Weed does.

  10. I recorded the PBS show on Prohibition and watched the first of three shows last night.

    The parallels between the moral crusade against alcohol and the moral crusade against drugs is so obvious that even my social conservative anti-drug wife is getting it.

    She’s even starting to understand that all the carnage in Mexico is caused by drugs being illegal, not by the drugs themselves.

    Who knows? By the time we finish watching this I may convince her that the problems of drug prohibition are worse than the problems it is intended to solve.

  11. Has Reason asked for a comment from Gov Moon, err, Brown’s office? That would be interesting. . . .

  12. I have not seen any of the Prohibition shows, but a lot of people I know have been talking about it.

    MOST of them see the parallel to modern drug laws, but one guy I know said (more or less), “People just like to do stuff because it’s illegal; we’d still be hip deep in meth addicts.”

    1. Which is why the logical conclusion is that ALL drugs need to be legalized.

      1. Yes ALL of them. What part of personal liberty do you not get?

        1. Umm… yeah. I thought that’s what I said: legalize ALL of them. What part of my post do you not get?

    2. Your friend is right! If all drugs were legalized tomorrow, I would just give up everything and start shooting goofballs all day. My wife, my career, my goals, my ambitions, would all take a back seat to my goofball addiction. Really, the only reason I don’t take drugs is because they are illegal. I have no moral character, and therefore should not be given the choice to exercise my free will. Thanks government, without you, I would be a drug-addled deviant.

      1. Me too.
        If heroin were made legal the first thing I would do is quit my job and become a junkie.
        I mean, who wouldn’t, right?
        Like, you know and stuff?

  13. what would the Commerce Clause have to do with in-state sales of medical marijuana to in-state card holders?

    They’re stealing money from Eli Lilly and Merck!

  14. Are the fucking cartels Obama contributors now?

    1. Um possibly. But for sure Pharma and correctional unions.

    2. We can’t stop the drug war. There’s too many money in it.

      1. And cattle futures too!

    3. Oh, i forgot Big Booze & Beer…

  15. Gary Johnson is the overwhelming voice of pragmatism that the vast majority of voters will never get to hear due to the establishment press and their vigilance in excluding him from the debate stage. Of course, Reason has great GJ coverage!

  16. google United States Patent 6,630,507

    1. Hypocrisy doesn’t quite do that justice, but I can’t think of a sleazier alternative.

    2. Read the patent. It isn’t a patent for marijuana in general — it’s a patent on a particular cannabinoid that can be used to alleviate stress. It specifically mentions that the psychotropic cannabinoids (e.g. THC) found in marijuana are not desirable due to their psychotropic effects. It further states:

      “Yet another object of the invention is to provide a subset of such drugs that can be substantially free of psychoactive or psychotoxic effects, [and] are substantially non-toxic even at very high doses, ….”

      There’s nothing hypocritical about this. It’s simply drug research. I think if you asked a drug warrior to justify this he’d simply say that they don’t have any issue with well-regulated, medical-grade prescription medications. Consider opiates, for example, which have been street-illegal yet medically legal for some time.

      Now that doesn’t make prohibition or their rationales for it any better, but this isn’t strictly hypocritical or even “sleazy” any more than government is in general.

      The most you have here is an attempt by the feds to keep control over the drug (even though they would have control over it even in the event it was a privately held patent, via the FDA). That’s consistent, not inconsistent: they have no problem with any drugs, as long as they retain total regulatory control over them.

      But I don’t think you have even that. I suspect it was registered as a US patent because the folks who were doing the research were under federal employ, and probably are required by contract to file any patents in the name of the federal government.

      Indeed, if you look up at least one of the inventors, Aidan J. Hampson, he works for the NIH. Specifically, a “Project Officer at National Institute on Drug Abuse / NIH.” It would seem that this was possibly related to an effort to find drugs that achieve the medical benefits of cannabis, without the unwanted (from a medical perspective) side-effects.

      Also, the patent has links to some related patents, also involving cannabinoids. And those patents are held by a combination of public and private universities and companies.

      Sorry… I’m for the end of prohibition of all drugs, and ending the FDA, but when you fly off the handle on something like this it looks silly and certainly doesn’t make any converts.

  17. I will be voting for Governor Gary Johnson! End the wars, balance the budget, equal rights for LGBT and legalize marijuana! This guy is exactly what America needs! The People’s President.

  18. This two part plan is the only action the citizens of the US need to take to end federal marijuana prohibition:
    1) EVERYONE that sees these links sign up at both sites and weigh in on the debate
    2) Propagate those two links and ensure that everyone that sees them go to both those sites.

    Too many people are blaming the President for enforcing the federal marijuana prohibition. Contact Congress (the LEGISLATIVE branch [that’s the important one when it comes to law]) via the first link. Contact Obama (the EXECUTIVE branch [until Obama vetos a passed H.R. 2306 it’s on Congress – but tell Obama anyway]) via the second link. It really is THAT easy. Participate in democracy!

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