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Obama Administration’s War on Pot in California

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Posted on Nov 13, 2011
AP / Ric Francis

Medical marijuana patients, caregivers and activists protest raids at medical marijuana facilities in Los Angeles and West Hollywood during the Bush administration. President Obama had promised a more enlightened approach, but U.S. attorneys in his employ have recently gone to war against California’s 15-year-old law.

By Bill Boyarsky

One of the most striking inconsistencies of President Obama’s administration is its odd stand on the use of marijuana to relieve the suffering of those stricken with cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, migraines and many other debilitating and painful ailments.

In 1996 California voters approved a law permitting the growth, sale and possession of marijuana for such conditions on the recommendation of a physician. Oregon and Washington state, also by popular vote, legalized medical marijuana. In the past 15 years, a total of 16 states and the District of Columbia have adopted such laws. Ten of them were by popular vote.

But in October, four federal prosecutors in California announced a crackdown on the growers and dispensaries that distribute marijuana in the state. Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, said she and her colleagues acted because the medical marijuana business was “turning more and more into a retail for-profit industry.” Andre Birotte Jr., the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, said, “Marijuana sales—most often to individuals who have obtained sham doctors’ recommendations for no purpose other than to engage in recreational marijuana use—are the basis of a massive commercial industry.”

The U.S. attorneys, the legal arms of Obama’s Justice Department, have gone far beyond that. Despite state and local laws authorizing growers and distributors, they have sent letters to local officials and to owners of properties which house the marijuana distributors, warning they are violating federal law. Letters have been sent to more than a dozen dispensaries and their landlords, as well as to city officials approving or contemplating approval of such operations.

No matter what Duffy, Birotte and the other U.S. attorneys said at their news conference, their letters do not acknowledge the state’s stand for medical marijuana. To them, it seems that marijuana is marijuana—all bad.

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This is quite a change from what Obama said while running for president in 2008.

“When it comes to medical marijuana, I have more of a practical view than anything else,” candidate Obama said. “My attitude is if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else. I think there are legitimate concerns in not wanting to allow people to roll their own or start setting up mom-and-pop shops because at that point it becomes fairly difficult to regulate.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Health and Human Services weren’t listening. Despite Obama’s words, his administration’s real policy is spelled out in a ruling by the Justice Department’s DEA recorded in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 131, July 8, 2011. It was a decision made deep in the bureaucracy, revealed in a publication unknown to most people.

Marijuana is regulated by the DEA as a Schedule 1 drug, along with codeine, heroin, LSD and several others. Some medical marijuana advocates asked that it be made a Schedule 2 drug. These are drugs that, while they may cause dependency, are accepted for medical use. Methadone is such a drug.

The medical literature is full of research by physicians from prominent medical schools showing its value for certain conditions. But basing its decision on a report by the Department of Health and Human Services, the DEA said there was not enough evidence that marijuana had a medical use.

I am only a layman, but I didn’t find that argument convincing. The two government agencies provided no evidence that marijuana was any more harmful than gin. The Health and Human Services report agreed with other research that marijuana use didn’t lead to ingestion of heroin or other drugs, and was no more addictive than cigarettes. But the HHS report rejected the published studies of physicians and other researchers who found benefits in marijuana. The report was full of bureaucratic gobbledygook, designed to make it unreadable, hidden away in the Federal Register, not a well-read publication.

It’s a complicated matter. Some medical marijuana advocates say that big-time growers want to use medical marijuana as a foot in the door for complete legalization. Professor Gerald Uelmen of the Santa Clara University Law School, who has defended medical marijuana distributors, told me, “I felt it was a legitimate medicine, miraculous in the relief it gives to people who are suffering peripheral pain, and undergoing chemo. ...” But he feels many advocates regard medical marijuana as “a camel’s nose in the tent, a way to soften up the opposition and achieve total legalization.” This, he said, jeopardizes the medical marijuana movement.

Money is an important factor in the debate. There is plenty of it in the business. On a recent Sunday, I saw several dispensaries side by side on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, charging $100 for a doctor’s consultation for a laundry list of conditions listed outside the “offices,” plus an introduction to a nearby dispensary.

Any ailment, actual or fictitious, was good enough for a doctor’s prescription. The sleazy beachside booths, manned by fringe characters, were probably not what leaders of the medical marijuana movement had in mind when they wrote the ballot measure that changed the law.

“We have strayed away from what is allowed by state law,” said Jane Usher of the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, which is trying to close down such operations.


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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 17, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

@ oddsox
Thanks for the clarification.
After over thirty years experience in the mental health area, my observation is that, regardless of whether classified as medical or recreational usage, all persons who use cannabis receive medical benefit from it.

The relaxation of the body system that it engenders would benefit a high percentage of the populace, nowadays, especially folk in the law-enforcement arena.  The effect of cannabis on lowering tension, related with blood pressure, the entire vascular system, especially heart problems, would, over a brief period of time, trim back significantly on visits to a physician´s office, prescriptions, reduce income for “big pharma,” even trim back on “oncology´s” parasitism and the death sentence imposed by “chemotherapy.” 

Of course, these reasons are why Pharma Industry lobbyists with their physician “pimpery” are against the legalization of cannabis.  Altruistic physicians know the true story, but have to be careful when raising their heads - - due to AMA, state and county licensure boards, among which bribed pimps are scattered.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, November 17, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, on the value of medical vs. recreational marijuana use, you write:
“I don’t see the difference.”

Aha!  And I’ll bet a lot of your fellow commentators on TrutDig feel the same.

You’ve also written on another thread that you don’t see a difference between means and ends. 
“The means and end are one and the same,” you posted, remember?

From these premises, of course one would be “indifferent” to whether or not medical MJ users are inconvenienced by recreational users scamming the dispensary system. 
Just as the recreational users are themselves. 

And, since the desired end is legalization of pot for all uses, whether the means are ballots, protests or revolution it’s all the same.  No difference.

This also explains why it’s so hard for most TruthDiggers to connect the dots between our lust for illegal drugs (largely, if not principally marijuana) and the carnage of the Mexican drug war.
Since the desired end is legalization (by whatever means), it follows that only prohibition could be the cause. 
 
Anarcissie, we don’t agree and never will.
But at least now I understand.

Sidebar: Would you see a difference if we were talking about oxycodone?  morphine?  heroin?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 17, 2011 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

oddsox—If people want to use marijuana recreationally or medicinally (or both), then it has value for those persons.  I don’t see the difference.  And I don’t see why its private cultivation and use is any business of the government’s, or of others who don’t want to use it.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, November 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment

@drbhelthi, you write:
“Stating disinformation, however plainly, has no virtue.
Stating accurate information unplainly, has much virtue.”

..reminds me of a quote by Barry Goldwater that starts with “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice…”

Back to your quote, here’s some accurate info:

We both know that medical marijuana has value.
I’m no doctor, but have read enough testimonials from MDs and have known enough legitimate MMJ users to appreciate this.

And we both know that much (if not most, if not the vast majority) of what’s sold in dispensaries is for recreational use.  I’m not a law enforcement professional either, but have read and heard enough from those who are to appreciate this fact as well.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, November 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, you write:
“No doubt some marijuana is being used medicinally, and some isn’t.  I can’t see what difference it makes.”

The difference is what will probably keep legitimate medical marijuana users from having easy access to their meds. 
The recreational users who selfishly use bogus ailments as a ruse to score pot make it that much harder for those who are truly in need.
Where’s their support for “compassionate use?” 
That’s a joke.

Boyarsky gets a star for portraying the argument in his piece (7th paragraph).
His concluding recommendation that MMJ be treated as any other medicine—available through prescription and distributed under supervision by medically-credentialed professionals—makes perfect sense.
Dispensaries, as they exist today, are a sham.

Medical marijuana has value.  I know most TruthDig readers agree with me here.
Recreational marijuana does not.  Mine is the minority view here, I know, but it’s true nonetheless.

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By scotttpot, November 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Marijuana is dangerous to a system that sustains itself with propaganda ,war,
and over-consumption.Capitalism will die on the vine when people get high and
become peaceful,enlightened and human again.My inner Tea Bagger sez—
Get Yer Guvmint Hands Off My Medical Marijuana

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By oakland steve, November 16, 2011 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

Ethan Allen

Before you call someone else ignorant, check your facts.

The Supreme Court made an egregious ruling in 2005, in the case, Gonzales v. Raich; it was that ruling that essentially held that one person growing one marijuana plant in one’s backyard was engaged in interstate commerce, and thus subject to federal jurisdiction. 

Your statement that “The underlying issue is born out of the federal legislative criminalization…” is, therefore, inaccurate. It’s one more judicial disgrace coming from the worst Supreme Court since the 1920’s.

Your claim that the “...Executive branch…can not repeal or alter the intent of existing law, it is restricted by law to law enforcement,” suggests that you don’t understand the dynamic of prosecutorial discretion in the US.  It is absolutely within the purview of the AG to decide what to investigate or what to prosecute.  The total absence of such investigation and prosecution of war criminals in the last (and current) administrations should have given you a clue to that reality.

In your remarks, you take issue with others and their “uninformed rhetoric” just after you write this blather:  “Rather or not the U.S. Justice Department is over-stepping its jurisdiction can not be honestly viewed through the clouded lens of partisan extremism of any stripe.”

You somehow think that Obama and Holder are doing what they must.  That’s naive at best.  And ignorant, too, I’m afraid.

They’re attacking pot clubs in California for purely political ends. 

That’s reality.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 16, 2011 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

“How can you say it more plainly?”  oddsox

Stating disinformation, however plainly, has no virtue.
Stating accurate information unplainly, has much virtue.

Your comment reflects the stance of the pharmacy industry.  The obvious direction of the pharmacy industry, the FDA and the CDC, is to induce sickness in the USA and western world, in order to increase their profit margin.  This goal continues to elevate the status of allopathyistic M.D.s, some of whom are mentally ill people hiding behind the M.D. degree and white robes,  committing mayhem while jingling their bank accounts.

As a physician friend told me last week at the airport, “the modus operandi is
to improve the life of patients, but to NOT heal them.”

After sixteen years as clinical director and administrator in drug rehab programs, my impression is that the answer of Anarcissie, November 15 at 9:32 pm, is accurate, with one alteration. “ Not all the marijuana in the world has done as much damage as one day of the Drug War.”  A more precise answer would be that the marijuana of the world has contributed to health and mental stability, while the “Drug War” has only damaged health, well-being, and societal structure. 

Since societies around the world used cannabis and derivatives, for hundreds if
not thousands of years, to successfully cure illnesses currently classified by pharma as “incurable,” it is no wonder that cannabis is suppressed by the pharma industry, devious physicians, and puppetry among the police.

The comment by Ethan Allen, November 15 at 2:26 pm, is, in my experience, is
an accurate observation.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

No doubt some marijuana is being used medicinally, and some isn’t.  I can’t see what difference it makes.  Not all the marijuana in the world has done as much damage as one day of the Drug War.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, November 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Marijuana has real medicinal value.
But that’s not how it’s being used.

Pot dispensaries are “turning more and more into a retail for-profit industry.  Marijuana sales—most often to individuals who have obtained sham doctors’ recommendations for no purpose other than to engage in recreational marijuana use—are the basis of a massive commercial industry.”
—Andre Birotte Jr, U.S. attorney Los Angeles.

How can you say it more plainly?

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By Ethan Allen, November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

In the first instance this article, and most of the comments replying to it, reflect an indifference to informed political discourse that is disappointing to find on a site/forum that portends to be a voice of intelligent progressive thought. The author of this screed, in his zeal to bash Obama for his imagined betrayal of all things promised, has chosen a topic about which he not only admits to little understanding, but then pretends to discuss in the guise of discrediting the credibility and veracity of another person.

The underlying issue is born out of the federal legislative criminalization of cannabis use or possession by U.S. citizens; and it can only be resolved by either being de-criminalized by the U.S. Congress, or by being correctively adjudicated by SCOTUS. The administrative/Executive branch of the Federal government can not repeal or alter the intent of existing law, it is restricted by law to law enforcement. Rather or not the U.S. Justice Department is over-stepping its jurisdiction can not be honestly viewed through the clouded lens of partisan extremism of any stripe. If the victims of such flawed laws are to be well served - and every person who trivializes this issue with uninformed rhetoric bears direct responsiblility for the continued abuse and imprisonment of their fellow citizens - the federal laws criminalizing the use and posession of cannabis must be repealed, and it’s regulation as an agricultural product, such as coffee or tea, should be legislated within the purview of civil law.

As far as the economics of this matter are concerned, state and federal budgets would save an average of $30,000.00 a year for every citizen released from jails and prisons who are presently incarcerated for the use or simple possession of canabis, and another $40,000.00 per person for the court costs and prosecution of each victim.

Ignorance is the “Gateway Drug” to the tyranny of the 1%.

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, November 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Tip of the sombrero to SoTexGuy.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Obama believe in capitalism for healthcare…unless it actually
delivers health care.  Then he sends in the cops.”  litlpeep

A brief, excellent summary of Obama´s stance, applicable to the
actions he has taken while occupying the ”U.S. presidency”. 

No doubt, the GHWBushSr entourage is immensely proud of their
“trainee,” who was brought up in the ranks of the C.I.A., and who has
intensified the nazi-ism they introduced in the U.S.
http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=8252175042329977626#

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anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, November 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Nothing will change here until the horse’s asses that still support Richard Nixon’s idea of a drug culture are removed from positions of power. Along with that, there are far too many people working in law enforcement who think as long as it’s a law, it’s perfect and correct. There are bad laws on the books, and the anti-marijuana laws are among them.

Furthermore, it’s a shame so much money is being wasted on this assault against marijuana. There are better places to spend our tax money than on locking up people who have harmed no one. The voters want these laws in place, and they want the help medical marijuana brings to those who are in need. That’s why they voted for the laws. It’s past time for the government to get out of the way of what the people wanted and voted for.

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By SoTexGuy, November 15, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

From the article..

“Marijuana sales—most often to individuals who have obtained sham doctors’
recommendations for no purpose other than to engage in recreational
marijuana use—are the basis of a massive commercial industry.”

And..

“Any ailment, actual or fictitious, was good enough for a doctor’s prescription. The sleazy beachside booths, manned by fringe characters, were probably not what leaders of the medical marijuana movement had in mind when they wrote the ballot measure that changed the law”.

I think the author is making assumptions about the legitimacy of the legalize-pot movement that can’t be supported.. OOOPs! the roots of the legalize pot movement are showing!

Oh! but Americans are sick and hurting and need pot (and more) .. Why exactly is that?! My opinion is there is a lack of meaningful occupation.. too much self-focus and way too much Pharmaceutical advertising!

Two countries in the world allow the mainstream promotion of Pharmaceuticals? The US and New Zealand? Ads alone are a multi-billion dollar industry/scam.

When the Medical-Pharmaceutical industry is involved Nobody talks dirty about the CAUSES of mounting health issues or causes. Nor the right to healthy food, water, air and more. Just last month Breast Cancer Awareness Month? .. if you went to their website and used their search function to find treatments or cures you’d be given many referrals and more.. IF you tried the word CARCINOGEN (a cause of cancer) the answer was “your search has yielded no results” .. It’s absolutely true.

Wake up America and everybody! .. we are not sick by accident.. Divorce yourselves from the processed-food, corporate system medical and pharmaceutical industry. More Pot is not an answer either.. Live healthy, live strong, enjoy the life you are given and when it’s time.. let go and make room for the next generation.

Wow.. that’s a lot from this SoTexGuy.

Adios!

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By Chris Herz, November 15, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My Mom was born 1914 in North Dakota, where a lot of pot was raised for hemp before prohibition.  She told me, just before she died at 85 that she and her school-mates smoked it regularly and no one thought much about it one way or the other. By the way, she was an exemplary citizen, raised five kids and was gainfully employed all her life.
This medical marijuana controversy is ridiculous.  I agree with the US Attorneys that medical marijuana is a device to allow recreational smoking.  But what is wrong with that?
What is worse, a happy high or a jail term for nothing?  Without 875,000 arrests per year for marijuana offenses, a number exceeding all real felonies combined, it would be economically impossible to justify the vast numbers of SWAT police and plain-clothes detectives presently employed.  Of course, with their attacks on #OWS we see the real purpose of all these militarized and undercover forces.

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By DornDiego, November 15, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Write in Bernie Sanders (Ron Paul for you Rand warriors).  Keep Hope Alive!

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By lisa, November 15, 2011 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Memory Stick brought up an interesting matter - the patent on pot… Now, in order to be eligible for a patent the invention must be “new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof”. Since pot does not qualify - obviously, there seems to have been a fix down at the shop… Now why would that happen… It’s ALL about the money.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 15, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

There is a lot of money in the Drug War.  It provides the slaves for the Prison-Industrial project.  And putting a couple of million poor people in jail also has electoral effects of advantage to those who are not poor.  So there is plenty of reason for Mr. O to support this crime against humanity.

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By ConservativeChristian, November 15, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
  If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let’s put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. It’s time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

  We can email our Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to discuss HR 2306, the proposed Federal law that will get the Federal government out of the marijuana business and let states make their own laws.
And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

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By johncp, November 15, 2011 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

It’s just a measure of Obama’s fear of failing re-election.  Actually, though I swore I’d never vote for this fool, long before he won his first term, I think his chances of getting a second term are better than he appears to think they are.  His planners are weighing the odds, and feel he’ll probably get a few more votes if he opposes pot, than if he supports it.  Imagine fearing this republican bunch of clowns.  Unbelievable

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By Fearless, November 15, 2011 at 12:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron Paul 2012.

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By CanDoJack, November 15, 2011 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

Who gives good poll to whom?

The average citizen can encounter a tremendous number of
surveys and polls in a day.

Imagine then how many polls and surveys politicians
encounter. Politicians have money and people to do polls
for them. Politicians have money and people to do polls
on polls. When politicians are presented by the media
muckers as flip flops, perhaps the reason is that
politicians take the latest poll FIRST THING EVERY
MORNING and should they encounter the poll question when
they are interviewed by media muckers they burp the
latest poll. So perhpas someone like Romney who flip
flops a lot is just the politician who is checking the
polls more than the others.

Authoritave versus empathic and responsible:

As Lakoff says in THE POLITICAL MIND, Republicans are
authoritative and Democrats are empathic and responsible.
BUT, he also says that many people are blends.

In fact more and more, many Dem politicians could be
mistaken for veteran, old time Republicans. Obama and
Clinton have often appeared to be somewhere to the right
of Bob Hope. (ask your dad who Bob Hope is)

Broken promises and vacillating:

Many politicians resemble Obama a great deal. Promising
one thing based on polls during an election period and
doing quite the opposite once in office is nothing new.
In fact it is pretty much guaranteed. The only reason
Obama stands out is that he managed to so audaciously
generate hope in the populace because after a decade of
Bushit, what’s left?

So, any combination of the above poll catting ideas, and
much more, will get results one might not expect.

When none of it makes sense no matter how well you have
considered the ideas above always know that REASON DOES
EXIST and REASONs DO EXIST.

With that in mind, start with these poller and polar
realities. HOW MANY POLITICIANS HAVE YOU OBSERVED WHO
ADMIT THEY SMOKE MARIJUANA? fOR ANY REASON: MEDICAL,
CREATIVITY ENHANCING, BUZZ PRODUCING?

Zero, correct?

How many politicians have you observed who don’t believe
in God?

Zero, correct?

You smell something, correct?

It’s called human nature. No where is human nature more
analyzable than in Congress. The value to you and me of
Congress is that there you have your own little human
nature lab. USE IT!

Know that before the second half of the 20th century,
marijuana and opium were over the counter items in every
apothecary.

Do you really think someone came along and thought,
“these things are drugs; they are not good for people; I
must do something to make them unavailable like make them
illegal.”

Or do you think, having studied the political lab rats a
while, that someone said, “if I start a crusade to make
these things illegal with the ostensible purpose helping
people avoid evil and harm, everyone will think I am
upstanding and move me to the top of their fave pol
list.”

You know that the “do good” or “do opportunely” choice
will always be the latter. Otherwise, how did everything
get so FUBAR?

Harry Anslinger made the criminalization of marijuana his
life’s purpose. Why? CAREER ADVANCEMENT. Do a search on
Anslinger and false result studies.

Why, after 60 years and millions of tons of Anslinger
slung is the federal government so intensely determined
to keep marijuana illegal? Start with the idea of higher
stakes. Start sniffing! As you do, bring up some images
of late 90s news. How many times did you see images of
Slick Willy on his way to church with a bible clutched
to his chest? And how many times did you see Slick Willy
say “I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN.”

Yep, he who said he tried marijuana but he did not
inhale. Slick Willy never got a buzz and he never had
sex. Now, that is some audacious assumption of voter
gullibility.

The only consistency is mendacity.

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

darkcycle .... more self-serving rubbish already refuted.  Your really stupid argument is that a drug dealer can justifies his price gouging because of the poor and infirm because his criminal attorney costs so much money. Amazing!

That you shill for robber barons is plain enough; but put up or shut up. If these so-called ‘non-profits’ want to invite transparency and candor by opening their books and publish their financial statements the way others do, and thereby substantiate the specious claim that it’s their legal fees that necessitate their price gouging-price fixing unfair business practices, then get them to do it. Until you can come to the discussion with credible and verifiable evidence to back up your spurious claims then please stick the self-serving hearsay and sophomoric arguments where the sun don’t shine and stop making things up.

Fyi the last and ONLY time a pot club in California attempted a fair and competitive market by lowering their prices so their poor clients could afford their meds they were torched and burnt to the ground in San Jose.

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By darkcycle, November 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Ordinary business owners don’t have to retain and consult criminal attorneys like dispensary owners. And since regulations and enforcement issues change, they consult them often, too. A responsible dispensary owner also makes sure there’s a cash fund for bailing out employees in the event of a raid. After all, they are just doing their jobs. Why cash? Because business assets are frozen as the Feds lock down any available funds for forfeiture. There also needs to be funds for repairs and restocking after a raid, and that has to be seperate, too.
How about feeding a wife and dependents in the event you (the owner) is sent up for a stretch? I don’t know about you (I could guess, but I won’t go there), but I would make DAMN sure I had socked enough away to take care of my family. And speaking of forfeiture, maybe that’s a reason to offshore your extra cash? Seems like a damn good reason to me.
“One thing can be said for the prohibition bootleggers: even they never had the audacity to claim they were humanitarians only out to protect the rights” Bull pucky. You need to take a history course. Al Capone gave to Chicago Churches, Hospitals and especially orphanages (if I recall, he was an orphan himself).
“Few things are easier for a button-down pot club public relations whore than to hand a placard to stoned disabled, unemployed, ‘patient’ and wheel the poor exploited sucker out to a phoney staged camera-ready candlelight vigil in exchange for a few joints ” Straw man arguments make you look bigoted and small.
“The phony propaganda photos should fool no one. These are cynically staged events put on NOT by ‘patients’ but by the robber baron pot clubs and not the poor and disabled in need of medication. ” By “phony propaganda photos” and “event’s not put on by patients you meant..what? my reading comprehension skills work just fine thank you. Harborside serves 80,000 patients, You don’t think forty are well enough to hold signs? And that maybe 20 are angry enough about having their dispensary closed to go hold a sign?? Bull pucky, too.
Get lost, or come back with something that isn’t pure B.S. Troll.

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By race_to_the_bottom, November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

I think pot should be legal and regulated like alcohol. The situation we have now in California has created some real problems. Pot is either legal or illegal, depending on whether a person obtains an easily obtainable “prescription” for any and all ailments, real or imagined. I know from personal experience that it is mostly bullshit. Furthermore, growers are either legal or illegal depending on whether they have obtained growing rights from prescription holders, and maybe dispensaries, but I’m not so sure of that.

This quasi-legal nature of pot has create immense problems for the residents of rural California, especially in the mountains of the northwest where I live. It is like living among moonshiners. Armed gangs have taken over entire neighborhoods and the authorities can’t keep the legal pot straight from the illegal. Residents are pleading with the authorities for relief.

I really don’t have a solution, but I know that he people out in the rural areas are up in arms around pot gardens

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By Chris Herz, November 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Barack Obama was hired by the oligarchy to keep the lights on and the chairs warm in the White House until the election of another safe Republican could be arranged.  The fiascos of the Bush administration now forgotten, Mr Romney or Mr Huntsman can resume the tasks of fostering the corporate state.
Obama makes sure to throw the coming election by his systematic betrayals of all his progressive constituencies.

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By pundaint, November 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

There are so many reasons to fire Obama, how is it that there is no challenger?

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Ugh, next thing ya know darkcycle, will be telling us Prohibition bootleggers charged a fair price because somebody had to pay their bail-bonds and lawyers fees. This is a mind that can’t follow its own logic farther than than an over-fed civic center pigeon. It’s also a mind that can not make distinctions with a real difference.

Could we trouble you with a scintilla of fact to support your allegations? The vast majority of pot club owners have never had to defend against prosecution simply because the local governments and police have sheltered and protected them. But I guess you just make this stuff up. Very very few have suffered legal fees to defend. The clubs rob and seal unmolested and WITH the protection of the local authorities who have refused to enforce the law.

Though I presume they have a lot of tax-avoided cash sales stuffed away in their numbered Swiss bank accounts just in case.

One thing can be said for the prohibition bootleggers: even they never had the audacity to claim they were humanitarians only out to protect the rights if sick, poor, disabled people who desperately needed their medicine. Even they gave away much free hootch and the cost was always within reach of the poor- always. Indeed, they had far more honor than the pot club robber barons.

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By PatrickHenry, November 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Arouete,

Aside being a critic on what the poor and disabled should do, you obnoxiously allude to federalism and federal preemption whatever the fuck that is.

Marijuana requires a federal tax stamp from the federal govenment to allow it to be used in commerce, thats it. Its worth more money to keep it illegal than not because it infringes on other lucrative industries like pharma, oil, and pulp.

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/mjtaxact.htm

As far as the poor and disabled go, more than a couple I know have cultivated several fine crops over the years to supplement their meager incomes. 

No harm to anyone except the tax man.

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By darkcycle, November 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Straw men, too. I’m done with you.

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By darkcycle, November 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Straight to the ad hominem, I see. I didn’t mean to suggest that it was ME that couldn’t grow weed, in fact I’m damn good at it, thank you. Nothing in there but good old fasioned organic goodness, but thanks for your concern.
While we’re at it, didn’t you say something on the order of “Make no mistake about it. This is not about humanitarian service to the afflicted. This is about two things and two things only: First gouging the poor and disabled by charging caviar prices for a common WEED and then allowing local and state governments to screw them again by taxing food and medicine against sound public policy. “
Perhaps you forgot that the ordinary laws of supply and demand are warped by prohibition. That the additional costs of retaining attourneys, bailing out empolyees, fighting protracted court battles, not to mention potentially serving a long stretch in Federal prison need to be covered as well as the mundane commercial expenses like rent, personel, insurance and taxes. Under those conditions it’s a frikkin’ MIRICAL that they can even compete with a street corner dealer who’se only business expense is quarters for a payphone.
Your ability to analyse a topic is suspect at this point, I’d quit digging and put away the shovel if I were you

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Few things are easier for a button-down pot club public relations whore than to hand a placard to stoned disabled, unemployed, ‘patient’ and wheel the poor exploited sucker out to a phoney staged camera-ready candlelight vigil in exchange for a few joints or small bag of desperately needed price-inflated meds she hasn’t the facilities to grow on her own and which would cost her two weeks in groceries.

What a phoney debate. Promise a user a fix and you can get them to endorse anything. You can even get the poor desperate sucker to advocate for the very dealer that rips them off and drives them into deeper poverty and hunger. Here is your appetite back sucker ... too bad you have no money left to buy food.

Got no legitimate medial diagnosis? No problem they got a certified pimp and a credentialed whore for that too.

Get a clue all you stoned sheep! The pot clubs are NOT your friends. No one who sells you a WEED at $100+ per ounce is your FRIEND - especially when he gouges you knowing you have no choice and there is no price competition as we demand of a free market. No ‘medical provider” who makes you pay $100 just to write a prescription is your FRIEND. And the smarmy self-serving pc politicians who only care for your votes as they concoct a new way to screw you again by putting a disabled poor people’s tax on items no civilized government ever taxes, is not your FRIEND either.

First you let them fleece you and then they make you into mutton. The pot farm boys sure do love to screw the sheep. But apparently many of the stoned sheep just love it. 

The robber baron pot clubs, along with their public relations shills and propagandists, as well as their in-the-pocket tax-hungry politicians, are not your FRIENDS - they are your sodomizers. But hey, if the desperate sheep are high enough they’ll hardly feel a thing.

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By larrypsy, November 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

From a glance at the comments on this article I suggest you should pass the pot around.

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By oakland steve, November 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Please do not vote for Obama in 2012.

This duplicity is only one more reason to vote 3rd party or not at all.

If McCain had won, the democrats would have vigorously protested the war against medical marijuana; the war against Libya; the signing of the renewal of the Patriot Act; the announcement that the President has the right to order the murder of an American citizen without charges, evidence or trial; the failure to investigate and prosecute war criminals; the failure to end shipping prisoners to venues for torture; the failure to close Guantanamo; the failure to bring BP and its criminally negligent co-conspirators to task for the Gulf mess; the enormous growth in the number of killer drones used against people in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries without any legal sanction; and the ongoing cold war against Iran and the Arab world in behalf of our political masters in Israel.

Not one of those issues would have passed without passionate dissent, under a McCain administration.  With Obama, there is a pathetic silence.  Obama is one notch worse than Bush, Jr.  The next democrat or republican to occupy the White House will, in turn, be worse…more beholden to the corporate oligarchy that now runs the country.

Supporting Obama is akin to going back to the spouse who has been beating you within an inch of your life…because s/he’s promised not to do it again—and, besides, where else are you gonna go?

Enough is Enough!

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By darkcycle, November 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Patrick Henry. It is not easy to grow mrijuana dispite what your ill-informed opinion might be. If it’s so easy, why are these patients paying for it when they can grow their own right now in medical states? My friend Gary lost his leg in a motorcycle accident and suffers phantom pain. I have lost count of the number of times he has tried and failed. And why should these people have to wait 120 days (minimum!) before they can get relief? When you get a prescription for hillbilly heroin they don’t make grow the damn poppies and refine it yourself, do they? It’s been a while since I’ve had to use narcotic medication, so maybe I just forgot.
Man, there are some hollow heads holding forth here.

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

@PatrickHenry, “the poor disabled can be growing their own.”

Spoke with all the compassion of the right wing libertarian clown at the Republican debate who cheered the denial of medical care to those who could not afford to buy health insurance.

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

@darkcycle, I’m not sure what you are smoking or perhaps it’s the unknown insecticide sprayed on your unregulated weed. In any event it has clearly impaired your reading comprehension skills - presuming such preexisting condition even existed.

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By norman harman, November 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Despicable stupidity! Just what one would expect from law enforcement
morons. Yet, in their argument that people are “abusing medical marijuana by
using it for recreational purposes” not a single one of these law enforcement
morons gave us a reason why that is a bad thing.

This is nothing more than a typical example of the tight-assed cop-mentality
that passes for “concern for the public good.” After all, if we legalize marijuana
what would all of these legal-thugs do for a job? If the DEA lost marijuana as
one of their targets, what would they have left?

Chasing, apprehending and prosecuting marijuana users, sellers and growers
accounts for roughly 85% of their budget. Take that away and there goes 85% of
their agency.

What the hell kind of country allows a bunch of armed dimwits to determine the
efficacy of any substance?

End the idiotic “war on drugs,” disband the DEA-Gestapo thugs and freely
distribute marijuana seeds on every street corner.

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By darkcycle, November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Arouett, I’m amazed at your ability to diagnose a patient by looking at photos of demonstrators. In fact…that ability you manifest is nothing less than astonishing. You can SEE the cancer in people! You should get yourself immediately to the nearest research institution for study. Think of the lives you could save! And Doctors have to call specialists and use expensive imageing devices. Damn it man! Move! Now!
[intense, biting sarcasm from a man who has gone from 165lbs to 122lbs, and only arrested the decline by using medical marijuana.]

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

@ PatrickHenry. To make a legal conclusion (based on no authority) that this is “a states rights issue” is to merely publically admit that you don’t understand the rudimentary principals of federalism or the doctrine of federal preemption. Soooo many children left behind. So I’ll waste no time in that.

In any event you have apparently not been paying much attention to the facts. In fact local and state police HAVE been refusing to enforce the federal law and they HAVE defend those vendors against federal intrusion who are in compliance with the state law. That IS the issue.  Unfortunately local and state police do not have jurisdiction over federal law EXCEPT that they have a legal duty to not facilitate such violation. Ergo you don’t provide a solution but merely restate the problem.

Moreover, your solution invites the Feds to cut off all funding to local law enforcement. Nice. How smart is that?

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By PatrickHenry, November 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Arouete,

The poor and disabled can be growing their own.

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

The phony propaganda photos should fool no one. These are cynically staged events put on NOT by ‘patients’ but by the robber baron pot clubs and not the poor and disabled in need of medication. The propaganda is disgusting. To even couch this debate in terms of the suffering ‘patients’ is a propaganda insult to everyone’s intelligence.

With all due respect if the poor and disabled are in need of legitimate medication to relieve their suffering they should all be out picketing the pot clubs who exploit them with colonialist greed. 

The poor and disabled should be demanding that the price fixing be stopped.

The poor and disabled should be demanding substantial discounts for the low income.

The poor and disabled should be demanding true compassionate use for those reduced to poverty due to medical problems.

The poor and disabled should be demanding that local government not violate public policy by taxing food and medicine.

The poor and disabled should be picketing every pot club for price-fixing and price gouging.

Make no mistake about it. This is not about humanitarian service to the afflicted. This is about two things and two things only: First gouging the poor and disabled by charging caviar prices for a common WEED and then allowing local and state governments to screw them again by taxing food and medicine against sound public policy.

The federal government should make it a legal mediation or medicinal food substance that can not be taxed and then regulate the obvious price fixing as well as lay down strict rules as to quality and agricultural safety.  The last thing we should do is kill competition that drives prices down or grant existing clubs a defacto monopoly sure to keep prices inflated.

Again, from business to government it’s all rotten to the core. The pot clubs are NOT servants to the poor and afflicted but the worst robber baron capitalist scum who exploit the poor and disabled.

This is not about helping the poor or relieving the suffering of the afflicted. It’s about first gouging the poor and afflicted by charging outlandish and unconscionable fixed prices for a medicinal WEED, controlling the free market competition that brings prices down,  and then screwing them again by taxing it. By their acts both the clubs and the local tax-hungry governments tell on themselves. This is not about helping the suffering poor for screwing and exploiting them coming and going.

THIS IS ALL ONE BIG UGLY AND DISGUSTING LIE. NO ONE IS ADVOCATING FOR THE SUFFERING POOR BUT JUST SHILLING FOR THE GREEDY POT CLUBS IN CAHOOTS WITH TAX HUNGRY GOVERNMENTS WHO SCREW SOUND PUBLIC POLICY AS HAPPILY AS THEY SCREW THE POOR AND THE STRICKEN.

You can call this article whatever you want but don’t call it journalism. There is a REAL story here for a journalist or activist with some cajones. But this vapid propaganda is both an insult to our intelligence and a dis-service to the poor and afflicted all the phoney shills pretend to defend.

The poor and disabled should be out in force picketing their real exploiters (the greedy pot clubs only out for themselves and local governments who tax medicine) who exploit and gouge them as some disgusting self-righteous exercise in virtue.

The pot clubs are not their friends but their exploiters and when, as here, government colludes with business to screw the poor and inform you have the perfect marriage made in hell. The poor and disabled, the real activists, and the real journalists not sold out to propaganda, should be telling the truth about this disgusting pig-sty beneath a dull facade for the stench is getting to be unbearable.

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By PatrickHenry, November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

This is a states rights issue.

The local and state police should refuse to enforce the federal law and even defend those vendors against federal intrusion who are in compliance with the state law.

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By Arouete, November 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

You know what? This is rubbish! First, I am a full supporter of medical cannabis but this kind of brain-dead propaganda irks me. The PR shills should really go insult somebody else’s intelligence. “Relieve the suffering of those stricken with cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, etc?” A “lot of sick people in need of help”? My, my, how the vapid hyperbole doth fly! Quick, get me some anti-nausea medication because I am surely going to vomit.

The problem with the pot clubs is that they are the robber barons of the counter culture. The suffering of the poor “patients”?  Balderdash and clap trap! They don’t give a hoot about the suffering of poor the patients they greedily gouge! This is a WEED that costs almost nothing to grow and they are charging hundreds of dollars for a small quantity. Talk about the great American rip-off! 

There are no R&D costs, it’s cheap to grow, overheads are a no more then growing spinach. Indeed it costs more to grow and deliver a head of lettuce on a family farm and deliver it to market (and creates more jobs) than it does to grow a pound of medical cannabis And yet these robber barons gouge, gouge, gouge the sick and the poor. And then the states tax. It costs little to put this the market and costs ten score more than many simple medications.  Please don’t give us this sanctimonious soap-box claptrap about the poor patients.  Between the clubs price gouging and illegal price fixing and the governments taxation both business and government collude to screw the sick and the poor coming and going! Please don’t feed us this vapid humanitarian bullshit.

Big pharma at least provides companionate use in some circumstances. The clubs’ own greed will be their undoing. Despite it’s being so cheap NOT ONE club in Northern California charges less for the poor. Compassionate use? Fuggetaboutit. Discounts for the low income on Medical or MedCal? Fuggetaboutit.  A disabled poor person with a housing subsidy commonly pays more for medical pot than then they do in rent share.
Virtually no pot club provides a discount to the low income and disabled whom they mercilessly gouge! And virtually all of them are targeting the poor and disabled. Those that do provide compassion use useless shake at a discount only add insult to injury. The pot clubs are disgusting!

As for the state governments their motives are no more humanitarian than the drug dealers. As a mater of sound public policy we do not tax food or medicine in America so when the states tax “medical cannabis” they ADMIT it is neither food or medicine. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. It is unethical and against public policy to tax this medical food substance. That is FACT no opinion! What rank hypocrisy! When states make this admission by their acts as they show their greed to tax the already ripped-off poor and disabled they are left no sane argument for it’s legalization as medicine or food which they would not be allowed to tax. Indeed, by taxing it the local governments ADMIT it is not a food or a medicine. Ergo openly admitted hypocrisy!

Hypocrisy!  Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! Greed! Greed! Greed! Screw and gouge the poor and disabled both in both cost and tax. THE ENTIRE SCHEME IS ROTTEN TO THE CORE.  Go peddle the propaganda elsewhere.

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By lisa, November 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s very easy to make claims about why people voted one way or another - in this example “medical marijuana”. However it is equally easy to make opposite counter-claims. This is because nobody knows why or how a person voted; they can’t know except in the single case that they may know why and how they personally voted.

Me? I know why I voted for the Calif marijuana initiative. I don’t and can’t know why you did, or didn’t.

I voted “si!” because I didn’t like seeing all that dope money going to finance thugs in Mexico. I thought it was better spent on job-creating domestic industry, jobs for American Thugs. Jobs that fit superior American know-how and quality standards. (hey, everybody’s gotta eat!)It seems like it’s working too - and their sponsors in DC don’t like it! That’s why the crack-down. It’s All about the money.

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By Tom Paine, November 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who ever wrote this article should be fired, or go back to school. First, codeine is NOT a schedule 1 drug. IT is a CII by itself, just like oxycodone (oxycontin), or a CIII when mixed with another drug like Tylenol. That is such a simple known fact in the medial world, I’m sure many people are laughing at the author. Second, Obama cannot just “order” the DEA to do any such thing as altering the schedule of drugs. That is what congress is for, which is another simple known fact amongst Americans who know their government and history.

It is not hard to tell why this wont change. Congress is bought and paid for by industry, one of them being the pharma industry, another being the alcohol and tobacco industry. This is why we need a REAL democracy, because our oligarchy does not work for the common good of the people. This is COMMON SENSE people, wake up. We don’t need any more sensational articles on marijuana or the drug war, we need a government that does the job that is outlined in our constitution, and if they refuse, we the people have a right to tear it down and rebuild. John Locke first wrote of this, and then our founding fathers adopted it in the US constitution.

THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY, THIS IS NO FREE MARKET

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By Outraged, November 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s unbelievable. Targeting sick people and letting the bankers loot the US Treasury. He’s toast.

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By Anarcissie, November 14, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

I think the Left may have somewhere to go in 2012.  Or, they can stay home.

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By malcolmkyle, November 14, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Historically, the prohibition of any mind altering substance has never succeeded
in providing what is needed, which is a safer environment for all the users,
addicts, their families and society at large. We can therefore safely state:
Prohibition will always spawn far worse conditions than those it’s ignorant
supporters claim to be able to alleviate.

While it is true that taking any drug (especially alcohol and tobacco) can
sometimes indirectly affect others, this exact same argument was used to
implement and painfully prolong alcohol prohibition during the 1920s. Alcohol
related homicide, violence, wife battering and child neglect were definitely not
curtailed, nor were they even slightly ameliorated during this earlier period of
national Wack-a-Mole insanity. Not only did Prohibition exacerbate all of the
above problems it also increased usage while bootleggers like many of our
present day drug lords became rich and powerful folk heroes as a result. 
http://i.imgur.com/Ga1Gs.png 

Similar to Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s, Drug Prohibition has given us
rampant corruption, off the scale criminality, a bust economy and mass
unemployment. On top of all this, it has gifted us the planet’s highest
incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and
an even higher rate of drug-use (legal & illegal) than in all other countries,
including those that have far more libertarian policies.

When we regulate (as apposed to prohibit) a substance we do NOT automatically
condone it’s use; the regulations concerning alcohol and tobacco are there to
protect us from the vast increase in criminality that would otherwise exist if these
substances were prohibited instead of properly regulated.

A regulated and licensed distribution network for all mind altering substances
would put responsible adult supervision in between children and their otherwise
premature access to drug distribution outlets. Regulated and licensed distribution
would reflect and respect society’s values thus preventing children obtaining easy
access to these dangerous substances. What we need is legalized regulation.
What we have at the moment is a non-regulated black market to which everybody
has easy access, including our children, and where all the vast profit goes to
organized criminals, ruthless foreign terrorists and corrupt government agencies.

Prohibition Prevents Regulation - Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

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By bpawk, November 14, 2011 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Obama got the ‘left’ with his rhetoric and because the left now have nowhere else to go (no third party thanks to not supporting Ralph Nader) Obama can court the right wing to get where the real money is - he knows the left will vote for him no matter what come November 2012.

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By litlpeep, November 14, 2011 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Obama believe is capitalism for healthcare…

unless it actually delivers health care.

Then he sends in the cops.

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By lisa, November 14, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Take a better look, Bill. The prohibition was considered by Anslinger to be unconstitutional from the beginning in the 1930’s. And take a look at a high school chemistry book - THC - the “active ingredient” - is an alcohol. Of course this was known almost from the start of organic chemistry, it’s basic as hell. So what? Well, the 21 amendment took the Feds out of the alcohol business and sent it to the states. So, by Constitutional Law mary-jane is legal. What! people with guns say otherwise? What does that tell you about “the law”? (Hint - it’s all about the money.)

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By Blueokie, November 14, 2011 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

If only marijuana growers had given Pres. Wall Street Puppet as big a donation as Goldman-Sachs, then he would be doing everything he could to shield them from the legal system and advance their business model by geometric proportions. 
Remember next November that supporting the “lesser of two evils” is still supporting evil.

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By TaoScotty, November 14, 2011 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

So let me get this straight: Big Pharmaceutical
companies can peddle poison and call it “prescription
drugs,” and do it for a profit… and yet this simple
plant, which has NEVER caused ANY death, (which can’t
be said for “prescriptions drugs”), can not be profited
from> Hhmmm… where’s the hypocracy here? Free Country
my A$$!!

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By medicinal marijuana, November 14, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While the feds have certainly cut an aggressive path in CA and are intimidating the banks into not cooperating with dispensaries, many continue to thrive. Eventually, the powers that be will see that the will of the people cannot be overwhelmed, regardless the size of these large, self interested parties. (Big pharma, Big prisons, etc.)

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By ConservativeChristianc, November 14, 2011 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
  If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let’s put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. It’s time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

  We can email our Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to discuss HR 2306, the proposed Federal law that will get the Federal government out of the marijuana business and let states make their own laws.
And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

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By Mountain, November 14, 2011 at 7:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s look at one ailment and it’s treatments. An aquaintance said recently, “they made MMJ legal for cancer patients not so people could treat aches and pains and headaches with it”. Fair enough. Let’s see, number one cause of death by medications is now acetomenophine causing liver failure when taken with another drug (that just happens to be legal and available in a liquor store a block from my kid’s school). Here’s a quote from DrugWarFacts.org: (liver failure and alcohol warnings for acetaminophen and NSAIDS) “... we [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, HHS] have recent data suggesting that acetaminophen may be the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States (Ref. 13). Therefore,we believe that the word “severe” is appropriate in the liver warning. In addition, we agree with the submission that the word “severe” is also appropriate in the stomach bleeding warning on OTC NSAID [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug] products.” If you want to check out aspirin deaths, google it. There’s one fact that stands out…You can die from and overdose when taking aspirin for pain. In 5000 years, no one has died from an overdose of cannabis.

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By lasmog, November 14, 2011 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

It amazes me that anyone would consider banning the use of marijuana when tobacco kills 440,000 Americans each year. A decent person would focus on eliminating the deadliest drug on the planet before focus on a largely benign one like pot. I’ll never understand the self-righteous joy that some people derive from exerting needless control over others.

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By Mike Parent, November 14, 2011 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Their morally bankrupt policy of the prohibition of marijuana is 74 years old, and has been folded into the “War on Drugs” for the last 40 odd years.Still, the powers that be are embracing this policy wholeheartedly, despite the fact that the laws were conceived, born and were nurtured by lies, greed and racism. Add to that, the fact that 50% of Americans favor legalization, one must wonder what makes these people tick?  Really, what is the driving force which is making them take this oppre$$ive stand?

Obviously, they’re oblivious to the fact that the Internet exists and all their “facts” have been refuted by reputable sources, time and time again.
What the DoJ is doing is very Gestapo like.  And for anyone who’s argument is that “It’s against the Law”, the simple solution is to change the laws, as we’ve done with other prohibition laws and laws which were blatantly flawed. We’ve selectively enforced and ignored laws before.  Remember the 55 mph speed limit? 
Dems and Reps, different pages from the same bad book!
LEAP.cc NYPD, ret.

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By memory stick, November 14, 2011 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Boyarsky scribbles:

“...the DEA said there was not enough evidence that marijuana had a medical use.

I am only a layman, but I didn’t find that argument convincing…”

If Boyarsky was a reporter, he would have learned that the US Government holds a patent on medical uses of Cannabinoids, and would then be able to ask: If the DEA says there is no medical use, why do they hold a patent on the medical uses of Cannabinoids?

Apparently Reporting is just too hard for Billy, especially when his “work” over the last years has consisted of regurgitating Democratic press releases and mocking Republican ones.

Go to work Billy!

US Patent on the Use of Cannabinoids:

“Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”
Patent 6630507 Issued on October 7, 2003.

Abstract
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases..

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6630507.html

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By Bill, November 14, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MMJ - Follow the REAL money and it flows from Big Pharma to the Dem Party. Prez Fritz D Cat reversed (all) his campaign promises - we bought a giant bag of BS. See any progressives hanging around the WH the past 3 years? How much longer will we continue with these two fiat political parties that are beholden to the 1%‘s BIG $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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By Fearless, November 14, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron Paul 2012

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By Paulie, November 14, 2011 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who stands in the way of progress is, in essence, preventing this country from realizing its full potential. To restrict behavior, legislating certain behaviors as “Illegal” is far more destructive then the behaviors from which they (supposedly) dissuade us.
Are they NUTS?-How is it, that a FULL 50PERCENT of adults polled, support the outright legalization of Cannabis, Marijuana and STILL our “leaders” choose to IGNORE US, YET AGAIN. And we just take it-
850THOUSAND people arrested last year. OHhhYEAH, this war is :Winnable?...Cannabis will be consumed irrespective to any actions taken to restrict it as THE RIGHT TO SELF PRESERVATION AND FREE WILL SUPERSEDE ANY OF MANS LAW.

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By kimsarah, November 14, 2011 at 2:20 am Link to this comment

How about a nationwide prohibition on any donations to the Democratic Party or Obama campaign until a sensible reversal of the war on drugs is demonstrated.

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