- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Attorney General Holder Admits Obama Misled On Medical Marijuana


As many of you have heard by now, Jimmy Kimmel called Obama out on marijuana at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night. Kimmel asked, “What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply? Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote.”

Kimmel’s comments were funny, and of course it’s always good to see celebs bringing attention to the movement, but what happened off stage is tremendous news for the medical marijuana movement.

Last Thursday, I reported on Obama’s response to a question during a Rolling Stone interview on why his administration is cracking down on medical marijuana. Here is what he said:

“I can’t nullify congressional law. I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.’ As a consequence, there haven’t been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.”

Eric Holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder

The Huffington Post reported a comment by Attorney General Holder that everyone who supports medical marijuana needs to hear:

“Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use. “That’s right,” Holder said. After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but that some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws.”

Did I read that correctly? Did our Attorney General admit that Obama could stop the war raging over medical marijuana at any moment, and that Obama’s comments to the contrary in Rolling Stone were misleading? Folks, the time is now to demand that President Obama immediately direct Attorney General Eric Holder to reclassify cannabis, or that Attorney General Holder do it himself as the Controlled Substance Act allows. All of the excuses about the FDA, Congress, and the Institute of Medicine are smokescreens. Obama or Holder could end the war on medical marijuana at any moment. We’re talking about an action that over 70 percent of Americans support. What are you two waiting for? Just push the button already. AG Holder: roll yourself a fatty, walk into the Oval Office, light that sucker, pass it to Obama and ask him,”Are you in?”

Here is an excerpt from Section 811 of The Controlled Substance Act where the Attorney General’s authority to reclassify or remove drugs under the CSA is defined:

Section 811. Authority and Criteria for Classification of Substances

(a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing

The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule

(1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he–

(A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and

(B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by

[[Page 381]]

subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or

(2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.


About Author

I'm an Attorney, Activist, Chef, and Gardener--poking holes in the media filter that obscures the truth about ganja in this country daily.


  1. Yes, because letting the black president decriminalize marijuana would go over SO well with his detractors. There’s only so much he can do, and I think if he were to move too soon, it would only strengthen the racially charged rhetoric of his opposition (Grover Norquist would probably have a grand time with it). I think Obama would rather it appear that his hand is being forced, so we may have to wait it out a little bit.

  2. hey im from maryland too and it’s on the books for august but i think that there need to be a bigger impact on the Governor. he vetoed it last time. im from md and i use this medicine every day for my heart and ptsd i picked up after 3 yrs of combat tour after combat tour in afghanistan. 

  3. People lie to save face all the time, but the president took it to the “Douchebag Almighty” level with this crackdown fiasco.  Politicians will never get it: if the people aren’t happy, they’re not gettin’ our votes.  Then again, that’s been rigged for years….

  4. JJ McDubie on

    How much longer does Obama get the benefit of the doubt from his supporters before they accept he is just another sleazy politician?  You can’t take him at his word.  It goes with the job title.

  5. JWLaberdee on

    The scheduling scheme that we’re saddled with currently was the Nixon administrations answer to Dr. Timothy Learys victory over the OLD so called “machine gun tax” model.
     The placement of cannabis at the very top of that list was done for no other reason than to make members of the anti war movement easier to silence. Any law, or set of laws, designed to do nothing more than impede free speech is by definition, unconstitutional.

  6. its been too long over due its now shamful how government thinks so old thinking

  7. Jean Marlowe on

    So, why doesn’t Obama just do this for the suffering citizens of this country? Or why doesn’t he order Mr. Holder to do so, or why doesn’t Mr. Holder do it himself? 
    The medical community has publicly called the government’s stand on medical marijuana as “scientifically absurd” so why doesn’t our government stop this.
    I will tell you right now, I will never again vote for Obama because he lied to us over this issue to get our vote and he will never get it again. Keep your word, Mr. President, or get voted out!

  8. DarkerMatter on

    So, wait, there is a drug that is safer than alcohol, less addictive, and it will not destroy your body if you do abuse it.  And the government does not want you to use it?  Whats the catch 22, or are they just retarded? 

  9. Yes..! Yes! Yes! I’ve been dancing up and down pointing at my computer screen for days!!!!  I’ve posted the following frequently:  REALLY?!!! The Executive Branch can just “remove it” from the Schedule I Controlled Substances designation? Why are we sending all these petitions to Congress and everywhere else then? Let’s focus the effort to stop ruining the lives of people with stupid criminal charges and convictions for possession of cannabis where it can make the most difference. AND, as supporters for Cannabis Reform, let’s stop calling it marijuana… I, for one, don’t care for the history behind our use of that nomenclature – nice blog on that topic http://furthurtothefuture.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-pot-supporters-shouldnt-use-term.html

  10. There are those who are in bed with Drug company’s, those who are to ignorant and closed minded to get it. I’m 70 yrs old and hope to live long enough to see the day I can fire up a bong without being arrested.

  11. Seems to be a lot of hypocrisy here…Obama cant have it both ways..he always seems to cater to the right wing..or independent voters..
    in Eugene Oregon we have a medical marijuana clinic that is acting within the law to get patients the OMMP card, oregon medical marijuana program card..there are no dispensaries so why are the DEA agents still raiding medical marijuana farms in southern oregon?   If you are in Eugene check out http://www.ommpcard.com know your rights and get your medicine.

  12. DenverLiberal on

    Here in Colorado they are threatening dispensaries with forfeiture/prosecution for being within 1000 feet of a school even though state law allows local governments to determine spacing requirements.  None are being closed due to violations of state or local law, at least by the Feds.

  13. I believe they target pot smokers because their minds have been expanded and they are harder to force back into the group-think mold they want us in.

  14. in the weed blog or high times say any thing about maryland please help us o’bama I don’t want vote republican
    I want ron paul

  15. they are using cannibis an its many users to steal hard working americans money  an suppress  the lower class take their liscence that will help them pay there bills.also the war on drugs is a front to dump large amounts of money from the federal level into state an local police . thus this is illegal without an act of war. thus a war on drugs gives them a reason to steal more tax payers money  to hire more cops , prosecuters , an build theyre privately owned jails  theyre building a private  ignorant  army of cops . the county i live in  with all the state, local an sherrifs probly has 1000 cops or more an the criminals are drug users or child support. now thats fightin terrorism isnt it

  16. Dan King who commented is right, no, he/they will not do anything after elections due to reasons Mr. King stated – big pharma owns them.  A candidate like Gary Johnson is the only solution and he will not get enough votes. People are scared to vote for third party, but Gary has my vote too!!  People are deluding themselves once again with wishful thinking such as “after the election” – nothing will change, nothing at in this administration many others.  Big Pharma controls our politicians and political process. Sad but true.

  17. You know the definition of insanity?  Both corporate parties have been anti-cannabis for 70 years now. Neither party is going to change until their corporate sponsors allow them to change. Your bet is a losing bet and it is time to stop hoping the lesser of two evils will bring hope and change.

  18. I will bet that they will do something about this “after” the elections, if, hopefully he gets re-elected. So that means our, thats yours and mine, vote will be that much more important. So vote!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. People keep acting like the crack down is a big mystery. Pres. Obama has taken campaign contributions from Big Rx, the liquor industry, etc… all who want cannabis to remain illegal. The way they are playing the game will work. Pro-cannabis crowd thinks if Obama gets reelected he will finally do something and the anti-cannabis crowd know they bought and paid for Obama and he will do as he is told. Stop voting for the lesser of two evils. Gary Johnson 2012!

  20. Peter Gatliff on

    My wife who was a die hard Republican and dying from cancer while taking Chemo. I talked her into smoking pot to help off set the effects of Chemo. It was the only thing she stated that helped.

  21. They are raiding exemplory dispensarys, stealing the property and not filing charges. Basically, home invasion robberies. OtherSide Farms Private Collective in Costa Mesa CA should never have been raided.

  22. What I see happening here is that some dispensaries got out of control and sold at what seemed a commercial level.  Now I am all for marijuana legalization, nevertheless, it is not legal at this time.  If a clinic truly wants to exist to serve patients, keep sales etc. at an acceptable level.  I do not know from personal experience, but I did hear that the targeted clinics were growing/selling quantities way above the legal amount.  Folks, I support legalization but until that is accomplished, folks that blatantly grow mass quantities and are obviously making a profit are harming the entire program.  They really have not gone after patients, or at least not that I am aware of.  Baby Steps, there is no other way.  Reclassifying would be a great first step and should be done, but as far as why the crackdown, the feds are not going to be made to look foolish.  Not playing devil’s advocate but just sayin’.

  23. I live n maryland I have a vm on my right brain stam and I have 3 kids in the only thing that works for me is medical marijuana
    The docs give me percoset everything it does not work I can’t walk only thing that works is medical marijuana been there done itl and I’m not going to be addicted to pills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I need the right medicine

  24. Stompingthunder on

    Old man Mtn. said it best: “cannabis is a plant….natural as can be.No one not even the government can outlaw a plant…” How can one possibly think that it can be ‘outlawed’ some thing that will always grow no matter what.Only those with a closed mind and mental block are the ones against the plant in the first place.Stayed that way just don’t deny the rest of the world……. Stompingthunder@yahoo.com

  25. we have to jump all over this – call the white house now and demand pres obama reschedule cannabis. 

  26. Nygratefulfred on

    OhBummer is just another liar peddling the same old pack of Bullshit!  I don’t vote Republican,and I won’t vote for tricky Baracky ever again,so who is the Pro-Legalization candidate(s)?

  27. Could we simply get this job done well before the Nov election Mr. President. If YOU do NOT then the other side of the isle shall become the darling of the movement and we shall lose a chance to show the average American voter (Well over 70% are now speaking out in FAVOR of medical marijuana (And many flat out suggesting we make it legal flat out and save the time, money and pain spent chasing folks around for little more that having an after work drink with friends as have millions since the dawn of time!

  28. “The commonest error in politics is sticking to the carcasses of dead policies. When a mast falls overboard, you do not try to save a rope here and a spar there, in memory of their former utility; you cut away the hamper altogether. We cling to the shred of an old policy after it has been torn to pieces; and to the shadow of the shred after the rag itself has been torn away.”–Lord Salisbury

  29.  Washington state willl also be voting to legalize in November. Let’s make Colorado and Washington the first two dominos to fall.

  30. “The President promised us change, but in promoting Michele Leonhart he gave us more of the same.”

    Thanks for the reminder. Her appointment was roundly opposed by reformers and Obama could have and should have sent a clear message by advancing a different candidate.

  31. Precisely. It needs to be removed from the schedule. Moving it means that it can be prescribed BUT only in an FDA approved form–i.e., pharmaceutical THC and cannabinoids– and not in its raw agricultural form. Name one FDA approved drug in its raw form. Doctors do not prescribe foxglove. They write a script for FDA approved digitalis. And, the high from marijuana is considered a “negative” side effect and the pharmaceuticals available will be designed to minimize that particular effect.

    In fact, rescheduling will make the prohibition even worse as there will be no medical home growing allowed–as is the case in the latest medical marijuana laws passed or considered by states.

  32. Thinking Clearly on

     If you reschedule marijuana to schedule 2, for example, it won’t change a
    thing. It will just allow Sativex and similar drugs to rule the market.
    Marijuana needs to be removed from the classifications. Period. It should be done.

  33. CannabisWhistler on

    For everyone writing to Attorney General Holder and/or Obama to ask them to stop the bullsh*t and reclassify marijuana already, please include this information and link:

    The DEA and Executive branch have been acting ILLEGALLY ever since 1988 when the DEA’s own administrative law judge ruled that THE LAW REQUIRES MARIJUANA BE RESCHEDULED because the evidence clearly proves that it is both safe and has legitimate medicinal uses.  The findings of fact in her ruling are extensive and irrefutable.

    By ignoring this ruling, and by continuing to prosecute marijuana crimes under Federal law, the President, the DEA, and all other agencies who cooperate, THEY are the ones who have been breaking the law–by ignoring this legally binding ruling from DEA Judge Francis L. Young!!  And that ruling was almost 25 years ago.


    I hope NORML does an action alert soon on this, and I hope they can include the above information, because it’s true.  We would not be breaking Federal law if it weren’t for the fact that the President and DEA are currently breaking the law by failing to obey this legal ruling!!!  It really is that simple.  Anybody have Anderson Cooper’s phone number?  (Maybe Jimmy Kimmel too…?)

  34. I agree with most of what you said…

    But, unlike alcohol… cannabis is a plant… as natural as can be; no synthesis or distillation required… and therefore it belongs to nature.  I disagree with regulating it like alcohol.  No one, not even a government can rightly outlaw a plant – the same goes for tobacco. It belongs to nature and therefore should be free for all who choose it.  Free to grow, free to buy, free to sell.

    Anything else is tyranny, to some degree or worse.

  35. Marcus Shapiro on

    Stein challenges Obama on marijuana policyPOSTED BY JILL STEIN FOR PRESIDENT 71.80PC ON APRIL 22, 2012 · FLAG
    In a speech to tens of thousands of marijuana reform advocates at the 420 rally in Denver, Colorado, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein took the Obama administration to task for its continuing assault on medical marijuana clinics in California, Colorado and other states.Dr. Stein, a physician and public health advocate, noted that hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from chronic pain and cancers are benefiting from the availability of medical marijuana under state laws. She said that one of her first actions as President would be to “order the DEA and the Justice Department to cease and desist all attempts to harass or prosecute medical marijuana clinics or other legitimate marijuana-related businesses that are operating under state laws.”Stein advocates regulating marijuana in a similar way to alcohol, and has long supported legalization of that drug. According to Stein, this would prevent billions of dollars in profits from pouring into the black market, and would greatly reduce the violence associated with illegal marijuana sales. She feels it would also reduce underage marijuana use, as well as allowing the commercial operations to pay appropriate taxes, thus helping to balance budgets and fund programs to reduce drug abuse.Stein noted that the DEA has placed marijuana in the most dangerous category of drugs (Schedule 1) along with heroin and LSD. Stein said that she would direct DEA to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 and place it in a more appropriate category as determined by medical science.According to Stein, “President Obama promised to use a science-based approach to public policy. But when it comes to marijuana, he has continued the unscientific policies of George Bush, and has even gone far beyond Bush in his attacks upon medical marijuana clinics. He supports the irrational classification of marijuana in the most dangerous drug category, and he supports the ban on commercial hemp growing. This is mania-based policy, not science-based policy.”Stein criticized President Obama for promoting a George W. Bush appointee, Michele Leonhart, to be head of the Drug Enforcement Agency. According to Stein, Leonhart has a history of “overzealous” attacks on legitimate drug use, and has been behind the attacks on medical marijuana. “The President promised us change, but in promoting Michele Leonhart he gave us more of the same. One of the first things I would do as President would be to fire Michele Leonhart.”Stein has toured the country calling for a Green New Deal that would create 25 million sustainable jobs to end unemployment in America, and shift to a new, more democratic economy and politics. “As part of this, I want to see a thriving commercial hemp industry providing food, fiber, and other products from the hemp plant. This will be good for the environment and good for our economy. A win/win solution is within reach if we can just shake off the Bush/Obama past and embrace a rational, effective drug policy for the 21st century.”

  36. i like this idea but highly doubtful what you will see is people moving to these states my thing is you can give yourself cancer and kill people or yourself drinking and driving and thats ok every president from the minute it was illegal but something thats never killed anyone ever you can have WTF!!!

  37. you are talking about the same ones that bush signed us up for and clinton basically put the iron clad stamp on it right? agenda 21 is not just an obama deal do a little research you will find both parties doing this to us not just one man.

  38. fighting4commonsense on

    And, I would like to ask the audience, and Presidents Obama, Bush 2, Clinton, and Al Gore – how would your life have benefitted from being thrown in jail for marijuana possession when you were smoking it?  And…so…how do you look at yourself in the mirror now knowing hundreds of thousands of people, some deathly ill, get thrown in jail for it every year – and you do nothing to stop it.  Even worse, you won’t even let farmers grow hemp & basically save our ecology & economy… Tragic!
    US Citizens your powers are: 1. Voting 2. Petition 3. Jury Nullification – If you serve on a jury, you can vote to acquit the defendant even if he or she is obviously guilty if you believe the law is unconscionable (unjust) or mis-applied (Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow’s case is a perfect example). 4. How you spend and donate your money.

  39. This is another reason why, what is going on in Colorado with the Amendment to regulate Marijuana like alcohol really, really needs help to get this passed. Once one state goes, the rest will follow. Let’s make Colorado the first domino to fall in making marijuana legal for all. 

  40. That’s funny…HE HAS DONE NOTHING BUT IGNORE THE LAWS SET FORTH IN THE CONSTITUTION. Now with all the pissing about the word “ILLEGAL” does that mean we now refer to ILLEGAL DRUGS as UNDOCUMENTED DRUGS? Wake up people, this buffoon talks out of both sides of his mouth and will have you ALL in the prison camps he plans for his 2nd term.  Do NOT believe anything he says if you want to be free. 

  41. Because we aren’t speaking with one voice yet. Our intense individualism makes it hard to accomplish tasks together. Essentially, we are isolated, despite our digital connections. Consider this quote from Dostoyevsky: 

    We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is being formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air.  Alas, do not believe in such a union of people.  Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature…They live only for mutual envy, for pleasure-seeking and self-display. …to satisfy [their desires], they will sacrifice life, honor, the love of mankind …is such a man free? …instead of freedom they have fallen into slavery, and instead of serving brotherly love and human unity, they have fallen, on the contrary, into disunity and isolation.  
    – The Brothers Karamazov, pp. 313,4 - 

  42.  it’s bout TIMEEEEEEEEEEE! people it’s 2012 so why are we still under a bondage from te Feds who are Nothing bit  FACADEEEEEEEEEEEE!  I remain Praying!

  43. Everyone needs to speak out.  No matter what Obama makes you think almost 75% of our population wants pot legal.  And that is the nuber that isn’t afraid to say what they really believe in fear of being judged.  The president knew Jimmy Kimmel was calling him out and being serious last night but is playing it off like it was just meant to be a joke.  It wasn’t.  I hope he clarifies it on his show Monday night (unless Obama cancels it).  The only way to get this legalized though is to FIGHT FOR IT!!!

  44. Ilona brandwijk on

    unfortunately the medical companies are big big sponsors in elections….and they stand to loose tons of money if medical marijuana is legalized, because it is much cheaper, natural to use than their chemical very expensive drugs.   and i am talking in treating pain in cancers/AIDS etc where results of treatment with medical canabis was 10 times better and 20 times cheaper……..

  45. “AG Holder: roll yourself a fatty, walk into the Oval Office, light that sucker, pass it to Obama and ask him,”Are you in?””

    Thank you for the lol and informative article. 

  46. thanks for more evidence that you don’t care about the issues you just care about the money.  The mere fact that you talked about money means that’s your priority.  You should be thinking about the people that will benefit (everyone) if marijuana is re-scheduled.

  47. Congress, laws, executive orders, the kids and speeches – humbug – it is all about money and it matters not what the citizens want. All that matters is what the rich are dictating! The voice of the people has no power unless backed up with power and the only power the people have is as a colelctive boycott!

  48. I think I would rather Obama just loses first and then the credit for ending the travesty goes to the next guy. If Obama did it it would still be 3+ years too late and he would only do so for ulterior motives. Obama is just another forked tongue, time for new leadership.

  49. Glad to see you supporting marijuana reform, but you are still a bass-ackwards homophobic bigot that has no place in public office. Good luck–you’re gonna need it!  Take your hypo-Christianity OUT of NC.

  50. Kirk Sherrill on

    I am a Republican running for NC House District 84 in North Carolina. I have been an outspoken activist for years and presently responsible for defining what marijuana is in NC with legislation house bill 742. If elected, I plant to take this fight back to Raleigh, NC on the inside. The drug war profiteers pay these legislators Pac money to essentially buy them. I will never be bought. Amen. Please look me up and go to http://www.kirksherrill2012.webs.com and follow the link to my facebook page. Google Kirk+Sherrill+Cannabis

  51. A 12yo can go to the 7-11, and buy a COCAINE DERIVATIVE PREPARATION (ORA-GEL), that is meant for use by INFANTS for teething discomfort.
     A dying cancer patient has to live in constant fear of arrest for their LEGAL right to GROW& USE MEDICAL CANNABIS in their homes.
    Add just ONE DROP of CANNABIS  to ORA-GEL, and the DEA would put you in prison !!

  52. sounds like basically, “WE the people” that use medical Marijuana, need to inandate the White house with letters, email, and what ever else we can, to get the message across, the the PEOPLE want the changed.

  53. floridabadger on

    The Prez SHould be awre of this considering his political experience that landed him the job anyway! SO why from the man who admits to inhaling “that was/is the point”! What? Is he trying to keep his nose clean for his “career” after presidency! Isn’t he like THE biggest one to get this issue FINalized!!


Leave A Reply