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The Ugly Truth About Obama’s War On Medical Marijuana


ObamaBy Scott Morgan

As the media turns up the heat on Obama’s medical marijuana crackdown, one of the excuses he’s giving is that they’re just going after businesses that are violating state laws. In the President’s own words:

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. [Rolling Stone]

And again from someone at the Dept. of Justice

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. [Huffington Post]

Andrew Sullivan even gives a nod to this notion:

To be fair to Obama, he specifically said the policy was against those abusing the medical marijuana law to sell illegally. And some blame can be attached to the disorderly way in which medical marijuana laws have been enforced.

This excuse fails on like five different levels. The escalating assault on medical marijuana that’s been ramped up over the past year is far from focused on forcing out bad businesses. If it were that simple, there wouldn’t be much to argue about. States could simply clarify their policies where necessary, medical marijuana providers could maintain scrupulous compliance, and only the crooks and bums in the industry would have anything to worry about, right? Wrong.

The truth is that the feds are doing the exact opposite of respecting state laws; they’re trying to destroy them. Federal prosecutors have repeatedly threatened to arrest state employees for merely administering their own medical marijuana programs. They did so in a cynical effort to prevent lawmakers in multiple states from creating the sort of tight regulations that would prevent abuse and legitimize the industry.

Obviously, you can’t claim to be merely upholding local laws while simultaneously threatening the very people who make and enforce them. This has been widely reported, and it even resulted in a push-back from the governors of medical marijuana states who’ve become frustrated with the mixed signals they’ve gotten from the Obama Administration. Think about how crazy it is that these states were following Obama’s lead by clarifying their laws, and then the DOJ just comes along and threatens to arrest their staffers. It’s an incredible mess, and it happened because Obama and Holder completely confused absolutely everyone about how this issue would be handled.

Making matters worse, multiple federal agencies have carried out a dizzying array of attacks against medical marijuana from every other conceivable angle:

  • U.S. Attorneys in California recently revived the Bush era tactic of threatening to seize property from landlords who rent to medical marijuana facilities.
  • After 9 years of failing to respond, the DEA recently denied a petition to reschedule marijuana, ignoring a vast body of scientific evidence proving the drug’s medical efficacy.
  • Federal threats have caused numerous banks to close the accounts of businesses that provide medical marijuana to qualified patients.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms issued a surprising statement that medical marijuana patients may not purchase firearms.
  • The IRS is shaking down medical marijuana providers for millions of dollars based on an obscure tax provision aimed at drug traffickers.
  • A federal prosecutor even threatened to target newspapers that run ads for medical marijuana services.
  • And, of course, the DEA continues to raid tax-paying businesses that are legal under state law.

For Obama to now claim that all they’re doing is targeting illegally operated dispensaries is flagrantly and transparently untrue. There really is a far-reaching federal assault on medical marijuana being carried out at the national level. Obama’s refusal to acknowledge or explain it is unacceptable.

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  1. Those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 to prove they were not a racist,

    have to vote for someone else in 2012 to prove they’re not an idiot.

  2. Dave, I’ve had my own outrage as I’ve watched with wonder.  The Ogden Memo felt like a step in the right direction, and the Cole Memo felt like a slap in the face.  Yes, Obama and/or his AG could move it from Schedule I to II without any say from Congress.  Will he?  Not a chance (at least not THIS YEAR).

    As much as I would love this, I acknowledge that we have the world that is, and we want the world as it should be.  We live in one, and must WORK to create the other.  And as much as it pains me, in the world we live in, President Obama would be committing political suicide if he told his DOJ and pushed the DEA to ease off.  If he’s going to get re-elected, he needs to keep strong in SC, VA, and FL (swing states who don’t like drugs).  No one will care about Romney’s Swiss account, faked NRA support, questionable Super PACs, or animal abuse if his staffers can simply take an Obama “HOPE” poster and rewrite it “DOPE” to suggest the President wants our children on drugs.  I can see the sizzling eggs in TV ads already…

    The President still has my support because he hasn’t closed ALL the dispensaries or brought the FULL weight of the Federal Government to crush Medical Cannabis.  And yes, he could.  Even I have to admit that the CA and MN dispensaries popped up like weeds (pun intended).  If Medical Cannabis is going to happen for us all, it has to happen gradually.  If the industry continued to grow exponentially, it would have grown beyond the realistic scope of ANY future, country-wide, federal regulation & taxing (which is where it NEEDS to go).

    If Obama loses the election, Romney will be just a few dollar signs away from crushing the industry forever.  Not just a crack-down, but a stomp-out.  Watch the video of Romeny ignoring an 85 lbs, wheelchair bound patient like he was invisible.  Romney doesn’t care.  If the President has to play political chess to save our nation from the hold W dug and prevent yet another administration from selling legislation to the highest bidder, I SAY DO IT.  PLEASE. 

    It is my solemn hope (just a hope, not even a workable theory), that if the President gets another four years, he’ll ease the crackdown and let state governments get the message that the industry (if it is to grow) has got to keep it TIGHT and by the book (necessitating the need for ‘the book’, of course).  Or better yet, maybe he’ll move cannabis from Schedule I to II, so it can be prescribed.  My mother grows cancer like it’s going out of style and my father has IBD problems; medical cannabis could add 10 quality years to both their lives, if it (someday!!!) passes in Florida, where they’ve retired. 

    Until then, Obama has my vote despite the crackdown.  I think I understand why it’s happening.

  3. President oBAMA Hasn’t been told on what to do about this matter from the Muslim Brohterhood and as we Americans are figuring it out, Muslim brotherhood calls all the shots,Obama just wants to know how high to Jump.

  4. So, we have a choice again.  Which is the canidate we should choose?

    Obama or the other guy?

    I choose Obama.  Do you think the other guy is going to do anything for you?

    I honestly can say, I am not happy with Obama, but I am scared of the other guy.

    Page 19 of “The Costco Connecion” for May of 2012 has the
    results for the following question:

    Should Marijuana be legal?

    94% said YES and 6% said NO.

    Unless most customers at Costco are stoners, this is REAL
    statistic on how the USA population feels about Marijuana

  6. The ony problem is, instead of being thrown in jail for a few days, like the civil rights activists were, they throw violaters – especially those who speak out loudly – in jail for YEARS.

    Future historians will rightly call this shameful period the American Inquisition!

  7. Nygratefulfred on

    Tricky Baracky.  OhBummer could have made a positive change but he is just the same old Bullshit we have always had to deal with.He has lost a lot of credibility.

  8. Don’t vote for either corporate-sponsored party. They have both shown they are anti-cannabis (they are actually being pro-sponsors) for over 70 years. Stop expecting either of the corporate parties to suddenly change. Vote Gary Johnson 2012!

  9. D Middleton on

    President Obama has no credibility among the informed, he is a liar. After all the many years of Prohibition, our failed and stupid drug policy remains the same, Insane, and unjust. I’m really disappointed with President Obama.

  10. I truely think it isad that our President continues to not be truthful when it comes to medical marijuana. All we can do is hope that things will change further during his second term. The other choice is not a choice at all for anyone hoping the laws will change.Mitt Romney is so anti marijuana that if he were elected everything we have gained up to now will be taken back. We can not afford for that to happen.
    Let’s keep pushing the current administration for what we need. I also think that any state who has or is voting for medical marijuana shouldook at the laws Ohio has passed. They seem to have done a great job with their laws. Don’t make it so hard for the officals to deal with the new laws.z

  11. You aren’t a criminal Dave. Here’s what Dr. Martin Luther King said on the subject: 
    “There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all… One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”

  12. Apparition on

    I’d like to see the State of California lawmakers pass legislation making it a felony to harass or otherwise disrupt any medicinal cannabis business, person or educational facility operating in compliance with California state law.  The county sheriff would be authorized to arrest anyone, be they common street thug, DEA agent, federal marshall, or US attorney who violates these statutes.

    Let’s push this thing to the limit !!!!!

  13. Deephousedave on

    How about make it legal for everyone old enough to make a right choice. When you go to a chemist to by pain killers do you need a prescription? No but as an adult your given the benifit that you need them same if you want a beer you can. You should be allowed make a choice once it doesn’t harm anyone and it doesn’t. It’s those that hold moral problems with people wanting a smoke instead of alcohol. It has to stop as all this does is create tension. I’ve smoke now for 17 years. I’ve paid my tax all this time through work and would have no problem paying tax on dry cures weed anyday. I’ve never been in trouble with the police for any reason, I’m not a violant person and I do as much right for life as I can. Why does this make me a criminal.
    Dave, (Ireland)

  14. Deephousedave on

    Obama is only a puppet with a hand up his ass. With 74% of Americans now wanting change it will happen. Oh and vote against Obama for president this year. He’s nothing but a liar.

  15. Sorry, but 215 CLEARLY is not just for medical consumers.  The majority of the support for Prop 215 came from voters who just want to move marijuana as far as possible toward its traditionally legal status.  The proof of this is the 46 percent of the vote won by Prop 19.

    Further, if it were somehow possible to prevent all recreational consumers from buying at the dispensaries, most of them would shut down for lack of business.  Yes, there are some legitimate patients.  But they are FAR outnumbered by the recreational consumers.  To deny this truth is simply sticking your head in the sand.

  16. legize cannabis control tax regulate blah blah blah. Yes we need to legalize cannabis.   Just my opinion, part of this problem I blame the clinics who pass out recommendations left and right making bank!  They are not educating these patients with laws let alone a physical.  If these patients don’t have health insurance then the patients should be consider this doctor patient for the full year until rec is due. There might be some control of the recreational users.  Not a bad thing just don’t use 215 rights.  Doctors office could be the place for compassionate distribution. Educate both responsible 215 & Hemp.  You know right now it is the recreational users that need to come out of the closet.  You want to continue to smoke pot then step up.  Peace
    CCHHI2012.org & jackherer.com

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