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Six National Drug Policy Organizations Call On Obama To End Assault On Medical Marijuana Providers


obama finger in earsCoalition to President Obama: “It is time for a new approach on marijuana policy.”

In the wake of recent attacks on medical marijuana providers and patients by multiple branches of the federal government, including Monday’s raids on Oaksterdam University in Oakland, CA, a coalition of six national drug policy reform organizations is appealing to President Obama and his administration to follow its own previously stated policies respecting state medical marijuana laws. In the letter, posted in full below, the organizations call on the Obama administration to bring an end to the federal government’s ongoing campaign to undermine state efforts to regulate safe and legal access to medical marijuana for those patients who rely on it.

The Obama Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy Report 2012, reportedly being released in the coming days, is expected to cling to failed and outdated marijuana policies which further cement the control of the marijuana trade in the hands of drug cartels and illegal operators, endangering both patients in medical marijuana states and citizens everywhere. The members of this coalition stand together with members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, current and former Latin American leaders whose countries are being ravaged by drug cartels, state officials from five medical marijuana states, and tens of millions of Americans in their call for a more rational approach to marijuana policy.


April 4, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House

Washington D.C. 20500

Via Fax: 2024562461


Dear Mr. President:

Our coalition represents the views of tens of millions of Americans who believe the war on medical marijuana patients and providers you are fighting is misguided and counterproductive. As your administration prepares to release its annual National Drug Control Strategy, we want to speak with one voice and convey our deep sense of anger and disappointment in your lack of leadership on this issue.

Voters and elected officials in sixteen states and the District of Columbia have determined that the medical use of marijuana should be legal. In many of these states, the laws also include means for providing medical marijuana patients safe access to this medicine. These laws allowing for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana actually shift control of marijuana sales from the criminal underground to state-licensed, taxed, and regulated producers and distributors.

Instead of celebrating — or even tolerating — this state experimentation, which has benefited patients and taken profits away from drug cartels, you have turned your back as career law enforcement officials have run roughshod over some of the most professional and well-regulated medical marijuana providers. We simply cannot understand why you have reneged on your administration’s earlier policy of respecting state medical marijuana laws.

Our frustration and confusion over your administration’s uncalled-for attacks on state-authorized medical marijuana providers was best summed up by John McCowen, the chair of the Mendocino County (CA) board of supervisors, who said, “It’s almost as if there was a conscious effort to drive [medical marijuana cultivation and distribution]back underground. My opinion is that’s going to further endanger public safety and the environment — the federal government doesn’t seem to care about that.”

The National Drug Control Strategy you are about to release will no doubt call for a continuation of policies that have as a primary goal the ongoing and permanent control of the marijuana trade by drug cartels and organized crime. We cannot and do not endorse the continued embrace of this utterly failed policy. We stand instead with Latin American leaders, members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and the vast majority of people who voted you into office in recognizing that it is time for a new approach on marijuana policy.

With approximately 50,000 people dead in Mexico over the past five years as the result of drug war-related violence, we hope that you will immediately reconsider your drug control strategy and will work with, not against, states and organizations that are attempting to shift control of marijuana cultivation and sales, at least as it applies to medical marijuana, to a controlled and regulated market.




Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)


cc: Eric Holder, Attorney General, Department of Justice

James Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice

Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance


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  1. I too was shocked and dismayed at the spectable that was the Cannibis Cup on the recent episode of American Weed! and the ‘Cup Queen’ is the tester? one bowl after another? of all those potent strains? AND ALL IN ONE DAY? was that a joke? I was very dismayed and WILL NEVER put stock on ANY previous and future winners! How on earth can one properly differentiate ANY of the qualities she was supposed to be comparing?? I would think the proper way would be to medicate with ONE STRAIN per day and a couple hours apart per properties being checked. American Weed sure dropped the ball on patients and advocates and set the movement back years in my opinion!

  2. I would like to think that our president really has some compassion in his soul. With everything we have been seeing in the last year with the feds cracking down even on legal medical marijuana.according to those 16 states that say so. I have to wonder if the reality shows that we have seen about medical marijuana are helping or hurting the movement. Last night on American Weed part of the episode dealt with The Medical Marijuana Cannibas Cup held in Denver this past year. All of the coverage of that show makes it look like a large party more than anything to do with helping reach out to people who really get serious help from this drug. I think if the show would deal more with the people who this drug is really helping instead of all the so called cool.stuff it would help change peoples minds about how medical marijuana can really help keep people from becoming addicted to all these prescribed medicines. As a person who has to deal with chronic pain from Spinal Stenosis. I have severe nerve damage which will never go away. I live in NYC so I have no choice but to deal with the underground for my smoke. If the doctors had their way I would have been on Oxycotan for the last 6 years. I said I would not take that drug so figure something else out. Because according to the doctors what I have will not go away. So can you imagine taking oxy for the rest of my life. I think not. I am takin.g Methadone as it is. But by using marijuana I have.been able to keep the dosage low and maybe once a year or even lo.get before I need them to increase the dosage. I have come to understand that the drug companies are lobbying the government to keep marijuana illeagal because they know how much money is a at stake if medical marijuana were ever to become legal in every state. I would love to hear what people have to say about what I have shared.

  3. eating_sunshine on

    Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years.With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear. 

  4. It’s too bad that Obama is no longer 420 friendly.  That was the only
    thing that he had going for him.  Looks like I’ll be voting for Gary

  5. If you combine this with a fat donation (over 1,000,000.00) he might listen. Like all politicians he has sold us out and lied , for $$$$$

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