Obama's War on Weed

In a strange about-face, the President tries to hack medical marijuana off at the knees

Democratic strategists were perplexed. Roger Salazar, a California party consultant, believes the president may be trying to reach out to a broader base. But that doesn’t explain the attack on his own base; Democrats support medical marijuana at high percentages. It doesn’t even make sense in luring conservatives. With the country in economic tatters, no one has weed high on their radar.

Except one group, says Salazar: “It’s a mystery, I think, it really is, where the pressure is coming from. My sense is it’s coming from law enforcement.”

Certainly Obama’s threats are real. He may be loath to jail landlords, bankers or even dispensary owners. Arresting non-violent, state-sanctioned businesspeople wouldn’t be popular. But his quieter war of chopping merchants off at the knees through credit and leasing would ravage the trade.

Still, the president has thrown himself into an uphill fight. There is reason to believe medical marijuana will persist, despite his betrayal.

Marijuana really is medicine

Earlier this month, in a timely coincidence, the California Medical Association’s board voted to encourage the feds to legalize marijuana.

Though spokeswoman Molly Weedn emphasizes that the decision by the doctors' group hinges on a call for more research, a report studied by the CMA board before its decision makes it clear that -- at the least -- marijuana shows promise as a medicine.

The CMA's Council on Clinical and Scientific Affairs "has also concluded that components of medical cannabis may be effective for the treatment of pain, nausea, anorexia, and other conditions."

The report goes on to say:

"Cannabinoids are presently thought to exhibit their greatest efficacy when implemented for the management of neuropathic pain, which is a form of severe and often chronic pain resulting from nerve injury, disease, or toxicity."

The University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) recently reported to the California legislature the results of a number of studies. Four studies involved the treatment of neuropathic pain; and all four demonstrated a significant improvement in pain after cannabis administration.

The doctors note that while using marijuana may contain risks, such as addiction, they argue that its prohibition may be more dangerous than the drug itself:

"Under the current prohibition of cannabis, public health is also affected by increased rates of crime surrounding cannabis cultivation, sale and use. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that the incarceration and parole supervision of cannabis offenders costs the state tens of millions of dollars annually."

Nationally, prohibition burns through billions of dollars in lives lost to the violence inherent in the black market, the incarceration of thousands of productive, non-violent Americans, and the lack of access to a beneficial medicine.

Are lots of people using weed without suffering from a medical problem? Absolutely. But just because you've heard that half or more of patients take the drug for "severe and chronic pain" doesn't mean they're all faking it.

In June, the Institute of Medicine estimated that 116 million Americans suffer from significant, chronic pain.

As more research comes in showing that pot can be an effective treatment, and with America's elderly population exploding in the coming decades, the interest in its medicinal qualities seems only likely to rise.

The truth will prevail

Ignorance, false propaganda and rank political posturing tend to be the foundation of the anti-marijuana argument. (Throw in bureaucratic turf protection as well. The DEA, for example, would need fewer agents if pot was decriminalized nationwide.)

A new Gallup pollshows that a record 50 percent of Americans believe marijuana -- and not just the medical kind – should be legalized. The poll follows a continuing trend over the past several years of increasing support for legalization.

Obama has chosen to swim against the tide. But there’s reason to believe his fight is about politics, not public safety. If this were about safety, alcohol would be his primary target.  

Politics cause both sides to fudge the truth. Yet prohibitionists and the government have been particularly egregious. The government is using taxpayer dollars to prop up its side, with the U.S. Justice Department's 64-page booklet, "Speaking Out About Drug Legalization,” being a prime example.

The booklet, distributed in print and online, states that "smoked marijuana is not scientifically approved medicine." Forget that by labeling it a drug on par with heroin, the DEA is curtailing the proper study of marijuana, since it prevents even scientists from possessing it for research. The publicly-funded propaganda also flies in the face of the opinion of doctors, who see pot’s potential as medicine.

It’s a strategy that’s trickled to states with functionaries unhappy about executing the voters’ will. Last December in Arizona, Will Humble, the state’s  Department of Health Services director, held a news conference about the state's new  Medical Marijuana Act. He took a moment to remind reporters that more than 1,000 Arizonans died last year from accidental overdoses from prescription drugs.

But when asked how many of those died from marijuana, Humble refused to answer -- to chuckles from the audience. He referred the question to his chief medical officer, Laura Nelson, who would only say she'd "have to do the research on that" before she could answer.

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124 comments
Red_Eye_Girl_4434
Red_Eye_Girl_4434

@Weed......Тhis is сrаzу...Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Gо tо this wеb sitе .......http://alturl.com/6kb9y

mskat
mskat

@ President Obama, I can appreciate what you are trying to do but you need to understand that most of these people have serious pain. I don't live in Califorina and yes maybe they are out of control but, the fact is there are people that really need this. As for myself I am tired of taking umteem pills a day, so if the weed works I'd like to have it. At this point I belived Doctors just give out pills so they can make more money. Pills all day still in pain. QUESTION why don't they just legalize it and charge taxes like they do everything else.

Mike rt
Mike rt

The idea was that the Feds would look the other way if California would control its use to people on bona fide medical programs, a tiny insignificant share of the population. Instead, a state that could not collectively pour water out of boot if the instructions were on the heel, completely screwed it up. What did they think the Feds were going to do? We do not get to choose the laws we obey or enforce. In the process, California likely screwed it for other states that actually had other purposes than getting their citizens high.

Marykcroft
Marykcroft

This is NOT something Obama did. It was cooked up by the 4 US Attorneys, plus some others with deep pockets. I personally suspect drug cartels, considering they are much more active in becoming the new Al Capone: http://tinyurl.com/3zy7b4j

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Time for a new "War".

How about a "War On Drug Enforcement".

...got a nice ring to it...

Bogus
Bogus

The war on drugs is not working. Just as any lab tech in any hospital in any town how many positive drug screens they have every 24 hours.

Travelsteve
Travelsteve

Being a native Dallasite, but having moved to California in the early 80's I know I made the best move of my life for a multitude of reasons. Just reading this article makes me wonder what is in the water down there. We have more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks. How many does Texas have? And President Obama has made it a point not only to stop prosecuting those that are caught with small amounts of it, but to decriminalize it. We can grow it LEGALLY in our own yards with a permit. And there are now counties that have re-written their laws that allow growers for state dispensaries to have up to 99 plants so long as they pay taxes on it. This article is bogus. President Obama has been a champion to our communuity. He knows and understands our progressive state. He is even here today, for the second time in a month.I'm glad that I left Texas when I see nut jobs like Rick Perry and Ron Paul romping around the country and when I read articles like the one here. Texas still has dry areas. What is that about? Say what you will, and think what you want. But here in California, we don't need to secede. But are moving forward, and not stuck in neutral with a neanderthal as our governor. And whoever Ray Stern is that wrote this article; he is full of it. But think what you want.

MikeG
MikeG

Most Obama suporters have a solution to the pot problem, roll it up in paper and burn it.

Joeybrown
Joeybrown

Don't let him know how many sheets of toilet peper you use>

Tootall
Tootall

Again the federal government is trying to dictate what state governments should do. What is next for this administration to try to control? The current administration only wants to follow the law when is it benefical to them. Remember this in 2012

anita
anita

Legalize it and tax it then maybe we can address the bigger problems like the DEFICIT and the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE.

kt
kt

no I think he's stoned.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Fat people are weird.Or is it smelly?One of those, I'm sure.

CHDFW
CHDFW

I find it funny that laws, way back when, were designed racially to prevent black people from consuming canibus. Now you have a black president and a black Attorney General continuing the eforcement of laws that by design & Intent say your ethniticity becomes to out of control when used. WOW, you would hope and think they would be a ilttle smarter and more educated about how to reform this.

Nbristow01
Nbristow01

I do not smoke pot or do I condone its use...but how on earth can the feds arrest people for doing what is legal in their state????? This is just crazy, we are turning virtaully socialist in some ways and it seems almost a dictatorship in others. So what point is even having state laws now??? Lets just erase all the states and live under federal law. Oh wait...that won't work because then the feds would have to deal with legal citizens directly about the illegal immigration issues. Then they could not use the states as excuses.

What has happened to our country. We have gone from a proud nation to a corrupt war hungy nation with people living in third world conditions. The pot thing is just a symptom to a much deeper issue.

Preacher8770
Preacher8770

this is sooo stupid! if we taxed the billions spent on weed. we wouldnt have a deficit.HELLO

Missivy16
Missivy16

Medical marijuana sucks anyway. Get that sh*t outta here.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Hypocrite. He's smokin' SOMETHING.

Josh T
Josh T

Phew thank goodness! I was afraid we were making progress on getting rid of the Black Market and shutting the drug dealers down. Business as usual in the USA and the Mexican Cartels celebrate this exciting news!

JWKARAOKEMAN
JWKARAOKEMAN

214 MILL PPL USE THE STUFF AND oBAMA CAN'T FIND A WAY TO GET US OUT OF DEBT? AND IF WE GREW IT WE WOULDN'T HAVE THIS PROBLEM WITH MEXICO TRYING TO GET THEIR CRAP OVER HERE!

Montemalone
Montemalone

You neglected to mention the deep political donating pockets of Pharma.

And law enforcement has multiple incentives to go after MJ. The money! All those confiscations go right back into the budget. Plus the fact there's no guns involved. Why isn't the Cali AG going after the gangs and cartels? They have weapons and they use them. Much easier to confiscate money and property from people just doing a job and others just using a 100% organic and natural product.

boffo!
boffo!

oh, but they can...

boffo!
boffo!

not so much, really...

boffo!
boffo!

yeah, right. good one...

boffo!
boffo!

oh yeah? then how do you explain pink floyd, then?

David
David

As of now I have absolutely NO ONE TO VOTE FOR! I may still vote a Dem ticket, only to vote AGAINST Republican tyranny. I am definately looking into all the Libertarian candidates.

Umberto
Umberto

Prohibition didn't work the first time, and it will never work.

Umberto
Umberto

Not much difference between Obama and Romney at this point.

Merlin
Merlin

the first thing that jerk did when he got in office was raise luxury taxes.Example cigarettes went $2 a pack among other things!Now he wants to stop a business that could beneficial to some people.I ask you how many laws has he broken? State rights are supposed separate from the federal government!

Debbie Annette Cockerham
Debbie Annette Cockerham

i voted for obama.he promised to leave med marijuana alone,to close gitmo,etc.he has kept none of his pledges.he is just a republican pretending to be a democrat.he has lost my vote due to the medical marijuana issue.sure wish some dems would run against him!!i am voting for ron paul,even if its a write in vote,but would rather have someone that cares about the lower and middle class.and someone that has compassion as well.

John
John

anybody who uses pot is wierd anyway we should just execute all the pot heads and pot growers it would save us a lot of money as a country

cdolson
cdolson

US attorneys answer to the Department of Justice. How then could this not be something the Obama administration is in charge of?

Zpttu
Zpttu

I think this is akin to " don't create laws that you can't or ont enforce" only by coming to light on he ridiculous federal laws in place will America force the issue. The states vs fed is bull. A republican would preach states right then shut down every state that enacted any mm legislation. Decrimilization is the on,y way and forcing the country to see how unjust and un americanh archaic marijuana laws which were derived from racism in post slavery america will hopefully force the public conservative Christian right who are the greatest foes. Signed conservative democrat Texan

cdolson
cdolson

Your post is nonsensicle and provides no factual rebuttal to any of the factual, provable points raised in this article.

Obama is an enemy of state's rights, as this article proves and has completely betrayed his supporters. He sees nothing for individual or state liberty and everything for total government control and individual dependence and servitude to it.

Hail to the hypocrite-in-chief. Support for him is more like religion and less like politics every day in this country.

Guest
Guest

Your lack of education is sickening... kill yourself.

Nrok311nin
Nrok311nin

No wonder you were named John. Boring mfr

Hari Om
Hari Om

Wow, very thoughtful and inspiring. It's like big time wrestling in the comment area

Umberto
Umberto

So you'd be OK with murdering millions of people? Many of whom have children? Who is going to pull the trigger? You? I bet you'd like that.

Serial Killer
Serial Killer

your an idiot. do you realize how much profit is in medical marijuana and if they taxed it? do your research before you post another retarded comment.

cdolson
cdolson

And which branch of the government do you think the Department of Justice falls under? It is a branch of the executive my friend and answers directly to Pres. Obama.

 
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