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Obama Finally Speaks Out On Medical Marijuana


obama marijuanaAfter many petitions, open letters, rallies, and YouTube videos calling on the President to explain the slew of federal raids on medical marijuana providers and growers, Obama finally responded in a recent interview with Jann S. Wenner from Rolling Stone. But first a bit of history. In 2008, Obama promised to let states regulate medical marijuana, stating, “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.” In March of 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder said, “It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana.” The White House’s stance on medical marijuana was then codified in the notorious Ogden Memo released by the Justice Department in October of 2009, which promised patients and caregivers would not be targeted for prosecution, so long as they maintained, “clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law.”

The combination of Obama’s promises, Holders statement, and the Ogden Memo set off a medical marijuana boom. Instantly, the world was alive with caregivers, collectives, compassion centers, donation systems, and all sorts of ad hoc means for monetizing marijuana. Doctors sprang into action, as did newspapers, and landlords. Legalization seemed to be moments away. But it was not meant to be. Federal Authorities began quietly dismantling the industry by destroying grow operations, seizing property, and arresting growers, doctors, lawyers, landlords, and caregivers alike. Many people across the country have been sentenced to federal prison as a result of the raids.

After all this, the President spoke out. When asked what’s up with his administration attacking medical marijuana more aggressively than Bush did, President Obama replied:

“Here’s what’s up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law. 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. The only tension that’s come up — and this gets hyped up a lot — is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we’re telling them, ‘This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way.’ That’s not something we’re going to do. I do think it’s important and useful to have a broader debate about our drug laws. One of the things we’ve done over the past three years was to make a sensible change when it came to the disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. We’ve had a discussion about how to focus on treatment, taking a public-health approach to drugs and lessening the overwhelming emphasis on criminal laws as a tool to deal with this issue. I think that’s an appropriate debate that we should have.”

Ah, that’s a relief; it was all just a big misunderstanding. The people were confused. If that’s the case Mr. President, then free our people now. You have the power to grant pardons; have a heart. In this time of economic rebuilding, compassion will be key. If you want our votes, then free our people. We don’t need another citizen in prison over cannabis. Mr. President, what would you do if your campaign depended on this issue? (See e.g. Dwight Holton in Oregon) How would you persuade the DEA to reclassify cannabis in time for November? I hope you have a plan sir, because it just may come down to that. You still have time to undue the hypocrisy carried out across this country in your name.

Are you in?


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. >Oxygen markedly affects mammalian cells. Cytogenetic studies have revealed that oxygen induces chromosome aberrations in both in vivo and in vitro studies. These aberrations include chromosomal breaks, deletions, translocations, errors in chromosomal segregation, and hypoploidy, and are due to the clastogenic action of oxygen or to oxygen-induced disruption of mitotic events or both. Conflicting reports of the cytogenetic effects of oxygen are partially explained by the different experimental protocols, cell types, and animals used by investigators. Oxygen also suppress macromolecular synthesis (DNA, RNA, and protein) as well as reduce the level of histone gene expression. In general these studies show that oxygen is detrimental to the health of an individual.

  2. Try this option. Be honest. It actually can work. Instead of useless promises that he always says he kept somehow in a Clintonesque way.

  3. You sound like than my 92 year old mother. I don’t think you inspired anyone with your thoughtful remarks.

  4. A vote fro Romney is a vote for Revolution.
    The frog never jumped because the heat gradually rose
    till his goose was finally cooked.
    Romney will bring things to a boil.

  5. …you know, it’s just a handful of people who run everything,
    that’s true, it’s provable.
    It’s not … I’m not a fucking conspiracy nut, it’s provable.
    A handful, a very small elite, run and own these corporations,
    which include the mainstream media.

    I have this feeling that whoever is elected president,
    no matter what you promise on the campaign trail – blah, blah, blah –
    when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there.

    And you’re in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down …
    and a big guy with a cigar goes, “Roll the film.”
    And it’s a shot of the Kennedy assassination
    from an angle you’ve never seen before …
    that looks suspiciously like it’s from the grassy knoll.
    And then the screen goes up and the lights come up,
    and they go to the new president,
    “Any questions?”
    “Er, just what my agenda is.”
    “First we Raid Medical Marijuana dispensaries.”
    “You got it …”

  6. the problem is   what would they do with all  the  D.E.A  agents  hired to  fight  the WAR on drugs..???  think about it if he lets  em grow and then bust em theres more to  seize, i.e property, or cars  ect..cash ,,  what  did  we  expect from a ……

  7. If marijauna was legalized then the crime rate would go down and people woulnd’t have to drink and there wouldn’t be as many deaths all because of alchol……Marijuana should be legalized.

  8. Mjjoan 123 on

    one more thing … I have been smoking cannibis for over 40 years, I just recently had surgery so I had to have a chest xray , it was clear as a bell, Last year I had a strange headache so they did a brain scan on me and guess what??? no damage what so ever. My brain is in better shape than most 60 year old women!!
    And I agree where are the studies on REAL people?

  9. Mjjoan 123 on

    just more propaganda in my eyes. My son is 32, I smoked marijuana while I was pregnant and he turned out just fine as a matter of fact he has an IQ of 152. At age 2 he was reading and at 3 he was doing simple math. Tell me again what it does invitro. Today he is a wonderful young man who is a nurse to children with CP.

  10. Mjjoan 123 on

    not only dispensaries , a heavy hand is being placed on landlords, grow operations and just plain citizens. I know of peeps that have lost their children to CPS only for having marijuana plants in a locked facility in their homes. I know of a man here in my county that just went to court last week, it seems he has a brain tumor, stomach cancer and a liver aliment he has his med mj card. he was driving on a DIRT road, he swerved to miss a pot hole, a sheriff saw him and pulled him over. when the officer accidentally saw his medmj card while he was producing his drivers license,  the officer placed him under arrest (for swerving)  had his blood tested for mj he registered .0003 in his system. this guy is on disability, he was fined $683.00. lost his drivers license and spent a night in jail. 
    I know of a man who was shot to death because CPS came to take his child due to a grow operation in the home (complying with the law in every way) they didn’t identify themselves and he had a knife in his hand so they shot him to death in front of his kid.

  11. Mjjoan 123 on

    Yup all with the stroke of a pen he can declassify it. I don’t understand why if it is now legal in Washington DC why isn’t it that way throughout the country?

  12. Mjjoan 123 on

    check out Gary Johnson he has alot of great ideas , is pro Med MJ and is a progressive person IMHO.

  13. Mjjoan 123 on

    I think we need to start a war on the pharmacuticle industry. Refuse to take the meds your doctor prescribes. Go to your local herbal shop and tell the herbalist there your physical ailments and they can prescribe NATURAL remedies that don’t have the side effects or the expense. All bonified herbal shops (not your big company driven shops like GNC ) have a licensed herbalist onsite. If we don’t buy into their bull shit they will soon get the message that we can be relieved and cured without their chemicals.

  14. Mjjoan 123 on

    I like Gary Johnson just as well as Ron Paul and he is younger and has some great ideas to get this country going again. Vote  Libritarian , let these main stream politicians know that we are “MAD AS HELL , AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!” show them that we don’t need them to make America a better place to live. LET’S TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY. I would love to see Gary Johnson and Ron Paul as running mates.

  15. Mjjoan 123 on

    many of our pharmacuticles were originally derived from plants, the rest are chemical facimilies that are in no way as beneficial. I think that cannibis should be treated like any other medicinal herb and be sold at herb shops like St Johns Wort,  Valariana, dandelion root or any of the other wonderful plants that grow on this earth for health’s sake. .

  16. Mjjoan 123 on

    he doesn’t need the DEA to reclassify mj he can do that with the stroke of a pen, all by himself.

  17. Mjjoan 123 on

    wonder how many hits he took off that big fatty he had in his breast pocket after his comment? LOL wouldn’t doubt it. what a two faced jerk he is. don’t trust the guy he spews more propaganda than truths.

  18. killing muslims and wars on drugs are not U.S. policy either ! But this A hole continues the charade go Uncle Bama ! Ron Paul has it right close all the bases bring everyone home the pointless wars your kids are dying in need to be ended ! What other country in the world can have that many bases in so many places ? Even Rome would have fallen ….WE ARE NOT THE WORLD SUPER POWERED ANYTHING!

  19. Rhonda Zeal on

    Balack Obama is a bantam featherweight, hardly presidential timber. His statements have no weight because Congress and others understand that he is Democrats’ symbolic figurehead who leads the races but not the rest of America. He pimps, he panders, he lies outright. He is the iconic “Uncle Tom.”

  20.  WHO would have ever thought that Blobama would be worse than Bush?  Now he’s trying to say that he never claimed to want a dialog on legalization!  Sure, we believe you, Mr. President.  We never heard you say that.  What, you say you have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn?  Just name the price!

  21.  IF Ron Paul had a foreign policy, he might be electable.  Until he either wakes up or gets good advisors, he’ll NEVER be electable.  And the clowns on BOTH sides of the aisle won’t do ANYTHING to rectify the situation.  They’re exactly the same as the buffoon in the White House now…unwilling to make changes that would benefit the country. 

    Hope and change.  Now I’ve lost hope for any change.  Thanks Mr. President, for your hypocrisy and elitism. 

  22. A gastroenterologist told me years ago that marijuana is harmless and the government is retarded. Also as a liver specialist as well, he stated “I have seen more damage from alcohol in my 27 year career than I ever will with POT. Heck, some of the worst drugs out there are avaiable with a prescription but that is what the FDA is for, to screw things up and pretend they care. It is all about money and the end of the day”………………hmm? those in power do NOT listen to the medical professionals who know more than the silly lawyers? Shocking I know…….eventually government will get it…..my guess within 2 elections or 8 years…2020 is my prediction……mainly because all levels of government will see the benefit of the revenue stream and NOT for patients who need it……federal government cares less about those who are sick……….my rant is over! Be good!

  23. Obama, a typical politician and a habitual liar. None of his promises in 2008 came true. Do you see a balanced budget? Nope, spending like there is no tomorrow. The list goes on and on so please do not vote for this obnoxious person again as we have enough criminals in the federal government.

    Lastly, why does the federal government hold a patent on marijuana and they say it is agains federal law? Patent # 6630507…since 2001 timeframe……..must be holding out for a bigger picture goal like giving it to big Pharma? How do you patent a plant?

    Please folks, just vote all of these fools out of office. If they have been in office for more than 2 years then they are part of the problem, not the solution. Wish I had a job that I could lie all day, have no accountability and get a pension after 4 years without paying anything for medical and pension costs………..sweet deal……..

  24. Klaus Vorman on

    Obama tricked you into thinking he would help the cause.
    Instead he has become worse than Bush on this matter.
    And Romney would be even worse…

  25. Animelover1412 on

    we dont neccessarily need to end the war on drugs just the war on marijuana. not all drugs are natural.

  26. Animelover1412 on

    alcohol has killed more people than it helps. think of the people being helped by medical marijuana. think of the cancer patients marijuana has helped think of that. have u heard of someone overdosing on marijuana? i think not. marijuana doesnt kill people like meth cocaine heroin crack shit u have to “cook” shit thatvhas chemicals in it, when marijuana is an herb put here by god for its use to help people.

  27. Nygratefulfred on

    You could have made a difference but you are just the same old Bullshit.
    We should only vote for pro legalization candidates and vote(throw) the unprogressive morons out of office.

  28. Not all of us are rampant capitalists; some of us would like things to be a little simpler, you have plant material, I have paper money…I give you paper money, you give me plant material. Plus, if you’re talking pills, how will we know if it’s just cannabonids in there? How do we know ‘big-weedpharma’ wouldn’t lace it with social control drugs to ensure we get our daily dose of ‘anti-free-thought’

  29. Midwestcoast on

    And he wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and end taxes for corporations. He’s a stooge.

  30. Midwestcoast on

    I almost wish we WERE in a “full dictatorship” since, if we actually were, they’d track you down and shut you the fuck up. Moron.

  31. Yeah well move to Oklahoma if you think you have it bad. These politicians just passed a law this week that will try any one making designer drugs for MURDER 1 and will be sentenced to DEATH. thats right folks this bass ackwards state of republicans is planning to kill it’s citizens. If they can do this lets go sue BUDWEISER for the wrongful deaths.

  32.  nah. he has the specific power to re-classify any drug on the table, changing it’s scheduling and it’s focus in the DEA.

  33. No, no he has not.  The promises he did keep were the small ones.  He didnt follow through on any major campaign promise responsibly.  No Gitmo, no med marijuana, no to responsible healthcare, failed stimulus, added 5 TRILLION to the debt, minimal to no economic recovery with that level of spending…I would call him a failure…

  34. its like saying “dogs cant eat chocolate. it kills them and their fetuses. dogs and humans are mammals, therefor chocolate is detrimental to the health of an individual.” what kind of bullshit science is that ? please read up on Dr. Melanie Dreher’s research into cannabis use among Jamaican women. which consisted of Dreher’s 25 years of Jamaican research. 25 years of study! its called science, and our world is better because of it. our world is not better because you lie to people.

  35. also i’m guessing those were synthetic cannabinoids, not genuine cannabis. i hope my taxes dont pay for you to spread bullshit on the internet all day. you should feel bad for being an anti-science piece of shit.

  36. Not enough money in trying to market a plant that has the nickname of being a “weed.” It’s so stupidly easy to grow that it’s not profitable. Dronabinol and nabilone are two synthetic cannabinoids that can be prescribed to you by a doctor, but you can bet your house that it’s gonna be costing you a pretty penny. 

  37. It’s not harmless. 

    >Marijuana and its constitutive cannabinoids–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidiol (CBD)–markedly affect mammalian cells. Cytogenetic studies have revealed that cannabinoids induce chromosome aberrations in both in vivo and in vitro studies. These aberrations include chromosomal breaks, deletions, translocations, errors in chromosomal segregation, and hypoploidy, and are due to the clastogenic action of cannabinoids or to cannabinoid-induced disruption of mitotic events or both. Conflicting reports of the cytogenetic effects of cannabinoids are partially explained by the different experimental protocols, cell types, and animals used by investigators. Cannabinoids also suppress macromolecular synthesis (DNA, RNA, and protein) as well as reduce the level of histone gene expression. In general these studies show that cannabinoids are detrimental to the health of an individual.

  38. Cannabis in general should be legalized not only medical  industrial cannabis (hemp) can save the planet

  39. FYI, he’s repairing the damage Bush did, has followed up on over 70% of his campaign promises, and has unscrewed the economy. Have fun not understanding the real world. 

  40. Braveheartfemale on

    President Obama:  With all due respect, and as someone who defended you through all this (despite my being a hemp activist), just two things:  1).  They are NOT just going after “large scale cultivation!”  They have gone after the most respectable, law abiding, reputable dispensaries!!!!!!!!!!!!!  and 2).  My God, how can you even CONSIDER grouping the subject of COCAINE with a harmless, helpful, HEALTHY HERB?????????????????????????????????

  41. Heather Allison on

    Obama is doing his job and doing it well.  Marijuana is against federal law.  and you know it takes an act of congress to get the ball rolling for legalization to pass.  Obama is simply reitifying that the states can do what they want.  If I were president, I would have not just the goverment branches on this, but pharmaceutical companys to work their magic.  Hell, pharmaceutical giants can put anything on the market why not use their abilities and resources to try to find a way around it.  legalize medical marijuana astra zeneca, roche, lilly, or an entrepenuer.  instead of arguing over spilled milk and expecting our government to fix everything, why not try free thinking and capitalize.  President Obama has plenty of other more serious issues I’m sure.  Let’s fiqure this one out ourselves America

  42. Concerned fellow toker on

    Guys, you can’t be ignorant and read this while already harboring resentment towards Obama.  Yes, I’m pissed he hasn’t done as much for medical marijuana as we had hoped.  But no, he is far from the worst president we’ve ever had.  Very far.  And he has to look as moderate as possible, especially now with the election just months away.  What I’m hoping though, and what previous presidents have done in the past, is that after reelection, he goes balls out and shows his true colors.  I feel like in his second term, we may see a lot more progress made.  Don’t lose hope, stoners.  Besides, supporting a republican president won’t get us anywhere.  Ron Paul is an awesome guy, I agree.  He is INCREDIBLY smart, and I have so much respect for him.  However, while his social policy is on par with what I’d like, his economic policy is simply not feasible.  Obama will be getting my vote this November.

  43. your cryes fall on deaf ears pesident obama is the most unamerican president ever with the signing of the NDAA of 2012 passed we are all screwed and have now entered a full on dictatorship. the presidencey has declared our country a full on warzone. they have overall authority to put in prison and detain anyone they see fit.

  44. As a politician he has to think about getting re-elected, so “letting out people go” really isn’t an option as it will ruin his political career.

  45. fuckno i am not in hope you enjoyed what ever you did and it may take along time to come back from it but we wil come back stronger then ever. We will fight for what we want and some day if we keep at it someone will hear us and it will be ok to smoke it the day is comming very soon you may get some of us but not all of us. enjoy the last few months  you have left. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE KNOW AS THE WORST PRESADENT WE EVER HAD.

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