Election 2012

Dear Marijuana Reformers: Mitt Romney Thinks You're Stupid, Obama Thinks You're Easy


Last night, I received an email with this subject line: "Medical marijuana advocates: Obama's Colorado crackdown could swing entire election." 

The first line of text in the body of the email was "'Dude, Obama stole my weed?' Colorado edition"; the rest of the email was a copied-and-pasted story from The Daily Caller about the Justice Department's war on Colorado's medical marijuana dispensaries, and how it might affect Obama's returns in Colorado.

I get emails like this pretty regularly, but this is the first one I've received from an address ending in "@mittromney.com." Yes, that's right: a Romney campaign flack sent out a mass email yesterday attacking Obama's record on medical marijuana.

That's a novel event in and of itself, considering that Romney has said he'll fight marijuana legalization "tooth and nail." What's even more noteworthy is that The Daily Caller story circulated by the aforementioned Romney flack reiterates Romney's opposition to marijuana :

Last week GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, told KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs that states should have the authority to choose whether to legalize medical marijuana.

"Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason. Paul Ryan joined the Romney ticket and supports the Governor's position," Ryan press secretary Brendan Buck said in an email to TheDC when asked about Ryan's position.

Does the Romney campaign think drug reform advocates are stupid? Or is it just delighting in the disillusionment of Colorado's liberal voters? If it's the former, is that better or worse than the fact that Obama thinks he can win back drug reformers with cheap jokes?

The cognitive dissonance doesn't end there. Yesterday, Lee Fang reported in The Nation that Mel Sembler, Romney's Florida fundraising chair, has bankrolled opponents of Amendment 64, which would legalize recreational use of marijuana, to the tune of $150,000.

Sembler is famous for having co-founded the militant and abusive teenage rehab company STRAIGHT Inc., which closed its doors in 1993 after investigators uncovered a trend of "unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threats, mental abuse…and interference with daily living functions such as eating, sleeping and toileting." (Full disclosure: As STRAIGHT was shutting down, my sister was forcefully enrolled in a successor program started by one of Sembler's proteges, called SAFE, Inc. It followed Sembler's playbook to the letter, and closed its doors after a decade under a similar black cloud of civil suits and government scrutiny.) 

If Romney's ties to a drug war profiteer suggest to you that he'll be worse on drug policy than Obama, think again: Not only is Sembler fighting for Romney, he's also making bank off Obama's commitment to improving drug testing technology and the Office of National Drug Control Policy's anti-drug PSAs:

In 2010, taxpayers forked over $250,000 to a Sembler group to oversee a drug-free workplace program for the Small Business Administration. It also helps produce anti-marijuana literature and promotional campaigns.

And as bad as STRAIGHT was, rehab companies aren't exactly going hungry under President Obama. 

The similiarties between Romney and Obama on foreign policy and health care are well documented. In light of the above, as well as the RNC platform's embrace of the mandatory rehab model, it's time to add federal drug policy to the list of things that will stay the same regardless of who loses in November. 

NEXT: Libertarians Sue To Place Alternative Gary Johnson on Michigan Ballot

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  1. I don’t think they are trying to get these guys to vote for Romney. They are trying to convince them that Obama is not worth the effort of going to the polls to vote for.

    Which is half the battle.

    1. They’re trying to get people who are going to the polls to vote on marijuana to not go to the polls and vote for Obama?

      That doesn’t make sense.

      1. If someone isn’t on marijuana, why would they go to the polls at all?

        1. Waiting hours in line sounds like the last thing I would do while high. Unless I could bring a wheelchair and smoke my medical mary j while waiting.

      2. You’re right. I should have said that Obama was not worth voting for. If they vote Green or Libertarian, I think Romney would be cool with it.

  2. When Gary Johnson is sworn in next January, this won’t even seem like it was real. Don’t worry.

  3. With slight alteration, you have a great generic headline for the next couple of months:

    Dear ________: Mitt Romney Thinks You’re _________, Obama Thinks You’re _________.

    ie, Taxpayers, all Republicans, Hoarders and Kulaks.


    Voters, easily offend by the truth, to dumb to knnow the truth.


    1. LTC, a poor typist but won’t say it, delaying his next round of golf or fundraiser while he reads this.

  4. Dear Marijuana Reformers: Mitt Romney Thinks You’re Stupid, Obama Thinks You’re Easy

    There’s evidence they’re both right.

    1. Ok, what is your evidence? Let’s hear it.

    2. Ok, what is your evidence? Let’s hear it.

  5. considering that Romney has said he’ll fight marijuana legalization “tooth and nail.”

    So, “Vote for the HONEST authoritarian!”?

  6. “I get emails like this pretty regularly, but this is the first one I’ve received from an address ending in ‘@mittromney.com.'”

    How about looking at the headers and give us the IP this email originated from. Just because it says it’s from mittromney.com doesn’t mean it really is.

    1. If it’s not from then you’ve been spoofed…not that it would make you look stupid or anything

  7. It doesn’t strike me entirely evidence of some sort of cognitive dissonance. The Romney campaign isn’t saying they’re in favor of the demon weed being legalized, but they’re sending a message to those who will vote on that issue first and foremost that the guy they thought was on their side really wasn’t. If previously they viewed their choices as between the guy who will get them a job and the guy who will let them get high, and they chose getting high, now their choice is much easier: neither will let them get high, so might as well take the job.

  8. They’re trying to get people who are going to the polls to vote on marijuana to not go to the polls and vote for Obama?

    That doesn’t make sense.

    I think they’re trying to get the people going to the polls to vote on marijuana to leave the presidential race unvoted, or vote for Johnson, or anything but vote for Obama.

  9. As STRAIGHT was shutting down, my sister was forcefully enrolled in a successor program started by one of Sembler’s proteges, called SAFE, Inc.

    Holy shit. I hope your sister’s doing fine.

  10. Voting for either candidate hoping for Marijuana Legalization or Reform is akin to chose to be hung with a NEW rope expecting a different final result.
    I personally would prefer that MJ legalization, Medicinal MJ and drug use in general NOT be regulated or controlled by the government. Adding the efficiency of Amtrak and the USPS to my Medicinal marijuana is not appealing. Just look at how they operate current federal programs such as ObamaCare and see they we don’t need their help or blessing to use our medicine. The governments ‘help’ is unwanted and unnecessary. They have no interest in our health and happiness, only in administering Prohibition to control us and collect money like they did with ObamaCare. They took over 1/6th of America’s economy by regulating healthcare without firing a shot!
    I am a former legal Medical Marijuana user in California and have chosen to go back underground after the Federal government shut down legal dispensaries here. I tried to play by their rules and got stung. Never again. F*ck ’em.

  11. A vote for Obamney is a wasted vote that will net NO change. Prisons propagate crime, violence and sexual deviance. Putting nonviolent offenders in this breeding ground is madness.

    I am afraid! Violent predators roam free, rape kits go unprocessed, schools go under funded, roads need repair while our precious resources are depleted chasing nonviolent drug users.

    The tobacco, alcohol and prescription drug gangs cause more death annually than all illicit drugs! It is morally bankrupt to punish nonviolent adults for making a safer health choice, cannabis or marijuana, compared to other medicinal/social drugs. Less than 1% of US are actually addicted to anything illegal. Treatment is seven times cheaper than prison. Show fiscal responsibility, demand morally correct policy!

    Restore Justice, the guardian of liberty! Incarcerate more of those morally bankrupt, selling drugs to children or driving intoxicated. Drug warriors can get their adrenaline rush chasing murderers and sexual predators.

    Save lives instead of ruining them. Get tough on violent crime!

    A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called The Declaration of Independence, The Affirmation of Self-Government!

    Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray are the only choice to Save the American Dream: Self-Government, freedom from big government tyranny and oppression…. and to Restore Justice, the guardian of Liberty! The people believe in self-government and self-medication.

  12. I can’t stand the idea of having Mel Sembler anywhere near the White House.

    I am forced to vote for Obama.

  13. Gee, I don’t get how someone who profits from drug treatment wouldn’t want this passed, so that more people will use MJ, get hopelessly addicted, and need professional help to kick.

    There are two plausible reasons for Mr. Sembler to be opposing this, he either:
    A. Really, truly, sincerely cares for the well-being of Coloradoans (or is it Coloradoites?), and does not want them to be exposed to the horrors of MJ addiction, or,
    B. He knows that the only reason that an MJ user would need his services is that they are being forced into it by the gov’t or brainwashed parents.

    I guess Sembler is truly an selfless humanitarian, because the other option would mean that he is lower than snake shit.

  14. So, vote for Gary Johnson.

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