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Choomers For Change


ObamaAre You A ‘Choomer’ For Change?

Much has been written about President Obama’s cannabis use during his youth, the hope he presented for cannabis law reform and the betrayal felt by the cannabis community when that hope was squashed by SWAT raids, civil forfeiture proceedings, egregious IRS policies, the loss of Second Amendment rights of medical cannabis patients, and even attacks on the First Amendment rights of publications advertising medical cannabis services. Recently, while President Obama made a fund-raising swing thru the West Coast, the cannabis community was sure to publicize this betrayal and urge the President to adhere to his campaign promise and respect state cannabis laws.

Cannabis activists were joined by several other activist groups, on both the left and the right. Causes ranged from banning assault weapons to closing down Gitmo to ending the use of coal to ending Obamacare. Respecting state cannabis laws was an issue that united activists on both the left and the right. For those on the left, respecting state cannabis laws demonstrates, among other things, compassion for patients. For those on the right, allowing states to determine their own cannabis laws boils down to a states’ rights issue; they don’t want the federal government infringing on the decision of the states and their voters.

President Obama would be wise to adhere to his campaign promise and make a pledge to respect state cannabis laws. Polls demonstrate that ending federal interference with state cannabis laws is good politics as a super-majority of voters want the feds to leave medical cannabis states alone. But more important than politics is being true to yourself. Clearly, someone who was a member of the Choom Gang, noted to intercept joints during smoking sessions supports the use of medical cannabis. By allowing states to follow their own path on cannabis law, President Obama would be following what he presumably once believed, and the American people would respect that.

Mitt Romney, with his resume and the state of our economy, should be running away with this election, but the fact that he doesn’t seem to know what he really believes in causes people to distrust him. The big advantage that President Obama has is his likable personality. That likability will only continue to erode if he continues to be pressed on why the federal government continues to waste resources meddling in the affairs of people conducting themselves legally and with deference to their states’ laws. His winning personality won’t seem so winning if the federal government continues to launch paramilitary SWAT raids in states that helped elect (and possibly re-elect) him.

President Obama is in a tough race, much tougher than his race in 2008, and to win, he needs his base supporters energized. He not only needs his base to vote for him, but he needs them to donate money, volunteer and urge others to vote for him. Much of his base on the West Coast will not be going the extra mile for him if he continues to interfere with state cannabis laws. If re-elected, he still needs his base enthusiastic, as the Republicans will likely still be trying to obstruct his agenda in hopes of tarnishing his legacy. President Obama will need his base to urge legislators to back the President’s agenda. His base won’t be calling their congressional leaders if they aren’t motivated to do so and a continuation of the trampling of the will of the voters in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado will not motivate his base.

We aren’t asking for the world from President Obama. We aren’t asking him to champion a cannabis legalization bill or even a medical cannabis legalization bill. We aren’t asking for any bill. We are merely asking President Obama to adhere to his campaign promise to respect state cannabis laws. We are the Choomers for Change. And we know that, deep down, you are still one of us, Mr. President.

This article was published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. The war in Afghanistan is probably the largest drug smuggling operation on the face of the planet. It would be naive to think Obama isn’t fully aware of it.

  2. Obama is loyal to a higher power than the U.S. Constitution, and that would be the United Nations Mandates. He wants to become the first president of the world so he has to go along with no human right to self defense and no right to smoke pot.

  3. Marijuana policy isn’t the only way Obama has betrayed his base. He does it on every major issue.

    He continues the wars that profit no one but wealthy investors, loading his cabinet with one-percenters, bailing out the banks instead of the people, and he expands the HUGE attacks on our freedom from Patriot Act and similar horrendous underminings of our liberty and privacy.

    Anyone in his “base” would be foolish to vote for him again. But most probably will. [Sigh!]

  4. Face it! Obama is just ANOTHER politician that wil promise to GIVE AWAY his ASS and Shit through his MOUTH! They’ll SAY anything to get elected. Yet, once in office they get PRESSURED by Public Servant Unions, Corrections guard Unions etc… This Industrial PRISON complex style of Government, they learn they can make $$$ by just following the status quo and INCARCERATING as many people as you can. The U.S. is 2.1% of the Worlds Population, yet the Land of the FREE, and the HOME OF THE BRAVE possesses 25% of the Worlds Prison Population! We’ve GOT to STOP these people from RUINING so many PROMISING young peoples LIVES with a simple “POSSESSION” charge! They have to check that box that says they’ve been CONVICTED of a Felony Drug possession charge, they LOSE OUT on over 87% of available Student Aid programs. All this because the person was caught with the remnants of a PLANT that grows WILD in many areas of this country. Where COULD this country be if we decided NOT to imprison YOUNG people for doing something MORE HEALTHY for you than the Industries (Alcohol & Tobacco, Big PHARMA as well as all the INDUSTRIAL PRISON COMPLEX industries. What kind of shit is THAT when someone PROFITS from INCARCERATING people? When we allow corporations to OWN prisons… We’re ONE STEP AWAY from allowing them to OWN the people INSIDE those prisons. Demand that they STOP, ruining so many lives. If the dude smokes a joint, vaporizes as well as ingest their MEDICATION… LEAVE THEM ALONE! Your REFUSAL to accept the “SCIENCE” of Cannabis and it’s Medicinal qualities are WELL documented. Hell, their FIRST claim was in 1936 when Harry Anslinger made the comment that “…marihuana is a DANGEROUS drug. It will make WHITE WOMEN want to sleep with NEGROES!” That’s how much BULLSHIT they’ve spread to back their policy of PROHIBITION! Hell, they’ve even classified INDUSTRIAL HEMP in the “Controlled Substances Act”, simply because it has basically the SAME name, but the THC content is ZERO! You could smoke a WHOLE FIELD of that stuff and NOT get high!

    It’s TIME we stand up people. We’ve LET these people run over us for SO LONG that we’re NOW tired of it. We TRIED to tell them we were fed up in 2008 and they didn’t believe us. So we showed up AGAIN in 2010 and threw even MORE of the establishment out of office. Now we’re at 2012 and Obama did NOT keep his campaign promise. If HE changes his position NOW and were to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II, it’ll be OBVIOUS that he’s SIMPLY PANDERING FOR VOTES, from people who WANTED to believe in him. But this guy’s got a REAL problem with the TRUTH!

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