Obama's War on Weed

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

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.

Then Nelson began stammering about the danger of marijuana due to "car accidents" -- though she had done no research on that, either.

The CMA's new report, interestingly enough, sheds light on statements like Nelson's. It says that prohibitionists often make unsubstantiated claims about car crashes or other purported harms. Studies disagree on its risks to motorists, though there’s no question that booze increases the chances of a crash, the report says. Moreover, simulated driving tests reveal that pot smokers overestimate their degree of impairment and “compensate effectively.”

If one were a cynic, one might also view U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy’s threat to target advertising as a less than subtle threat to control the debate.

True: Federal law prohibits advertising illegal drugs. Google, for example, agreed to pay a $500 million fine this summer for taking online ads promoting rogue Canadian pharmacies.

But pot dispensaries are legal businesses within their states. Under Duffy’s threat, the feds will have their say, while the pro-pot message would be erased from public view.

  Kent Scheidegger, legal director for the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, tells Dallas Observer that Duffy's threat gave him the willies.

"They're on much thinner ice going after the newspaper," says Scheidegger, who otherwise believes the feds should enforce its own laws against marijuana. "... Maybe there is a political strategy."

It’s called the "shut them up" strategy.

There will be pushback

Federal law is, for now, on the side of the prohibitionists.

Scheidegger downplays the state victories handed to medical marijuana. He says if the American people want to change the law, they need to encourage Congress to do so.

Yet that ignores a basic political reality: It's extremely difficult for any politician to stand up for marijuana. He or she will be quickly painted as pro-pothead.

Like women's suffrage, the medical marijuana movement has -- in 10 states, anyway -- benefited by the direct democracy of citizens initiatives. These elections have taken the pulse of voters in a way that congressional elections cannot.

In six other states and Washington D.C., medical marijuana was legalized by local lawmakers. Other States are bound to vote in favor of decriminalizing pot in the next few years in spite of federal laws.

Phoenix attorney Ty Taber sees it as a major states' rights issue. "Basically, the citizens of these states ... they want marijuana legalized," he says. If Obama wants to play hardball, he says, "You're going to get pushback."

Taber represents Compassion First, a company that helps set up dispensaries. The firm sued Arizona after Governor Jan Brewer, in blatant defiance of voters' wishes, derailed the dispensary portion of Arizona's new law by instructing the Department of Health to reject applications. She simultaneously sued the federal government, asking a judge to rule on whether the state’s new law was legal. (Ironically, the U.S. Justice Department’s civil department is defending against the lawsuit – and if the feds win, Arizona might just get its first dispensaries.)

Compassion First wants the program implemented as Arizonans intended, and to remove blockades Brewer has thrown in its path.

For instance, Arizona requires dispensary owners to have been residents for at least three years.

But the point isn't so much whether or not the company will win its lawsuit or not -- it's that they're fighting back, and they're not alone.

Across the country, advocates are returning fire of their own in the court system Which means Obama won’t be able to do battle by the relatively cheap means of letters and threats. He’ll likely end up burning through millions of dollars in litigation – money he doesn’t have.

Taber thinks the president may have underestimated his foe.  "The people behind this marijuana movement -- they're committed. They are zealots. And these are smart people -- not stoners saying, 'Hey dude, pass another slice of pizza.'"

Half-hearted crackdowns don't work

The latest crackdown will be bad for the pot business. No question. But Obama could be doing much, much more. He could go after patients. Over the summer, a federal judge ruled that the DEA could peek at the names on Michigan's patient registry. Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, said Judge Hugh Brenneman Jr., patients can't expect privacy.

The feds could also hit pot-tolerant cities. The law doesn't allow municipal workers to be jailed in such prosecutions, but cities or counties could be heavily fined just for setting up zoning requirements for dispensaries.

There’s a huge downside to that, of course. Obama will only appear mean and small for having sickly grandmas arrested. And fining cities just enrages residents picking up the tab – the very people the president will need a year from now.

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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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