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White House Admits Marijuana Is Not A Gateway Drug


obama marijuanaWhite House Admits Marijuana Is Not A Gateway Drug

It’s been tough to keep up with the stream of misinformed statements from Obama on marijuana lately.

Back in April, I reported on Obama’s 2012 Drug Control Strategy, and its implications for the marijuana movement. Later that month, Obama clarified his stance on marijuana in Rolling Stone, claiming he lacks the power to direct the Department of Justice to ignore the Controlled Substance Act. After tossing sand in our collective eyes, it seemed Obama had spoken his final word on cannabis.

Enter Jimmy Kimmel and Eric Holder at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. As Jimmy jabbed Obama onstage, a HuffPost reporter got Holder to admit Obama’s Rolling Stone remarks were misleading–either Obama or Holder can remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act drug schedules at any time.

Let’s recap Obama’s many stances on marijuana point-by-point:

Obama’s Claim: He can’t tell the Justice Department to stop the war on medical marijuana.

The Truth: Obama could direct Attorney General Eric Holder to remove marijuana from the CSA drug schedules, or to reclassify it, ending the war on medical marijuana at any time.

Obama’s Claim: No patients have been prosecuted for the medical use of marijuana.

The Truth: Millions of patients across the country have lost safe access to medical cannabis after the federal raids. Dozens of caregivers have been sentenced to federal prison. Cops have run roughshod over the medical marijuana industry in many states, basically smashing and grabbing at their leisure. There are thousands of people living in fear each day over their involvement in the marijuana industry.

Obama’s Claim: His 2012 Drug Control Strategy states, “While the Administration supports ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine, to date, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine has found the marijuana plant itself to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.”

The Truth:

According to the Institute of Medicine 1999 report: “[E]xcept for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications.” And, “There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping stone on the basis of its particular physiological effect…instead, the legal status of marijuana makes it a gateway drug.

It seems none of Obama’s statements jive with reality. As we continue to pull at the threads of Obama’s poorly woven fiction, he loses room to hide his true agenda. Obama, as many of you know, has accepted huge stacks of cash from people, groups, and companies that make billions off alternatives to hemp and cannabis. They will fight hard to: (1) keep the President from allowing reclassification, (2) to keep the FDA from admitting that if marijuana were removed from the CSA it would have to be treated like an herb (the FDA has limited jurisdiction to regulate plants and herbal supplements), and (3) to keep our elderly folks believing marijuana is dangerous. If we can bring these facts to light for all Americans to see, we can end the absurd war on marijuana, and the mass imprisonment of cannabis users.

Spread the word: President Obama could order Attorney General Eric Holder to remove marijuana from the CSA Drug Schedules, and the jurisdiction of the FDA, like any other herb. At that point, our right to privacy would allow us to buy, sell, cultivate, use, and transport marijuana freely, just like St. John’s Wort or any other dietary supplement.






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. He’s having a hard time dealing with the fact that he used to blaze back in the day and he doesn’t want to be ridiculed for it now. LOL it’s a beach when reality smacks you in the face. Lets roll up a blunt and pay him a visit. If anyone deserves a little stress relief he does.

  2. Search FB for Willie Nelson for President page and like it.
    I’m asking Willie to consider being a threatened write-in protest candidate for President. He would make his announcement on Jon Stewart and tell Obama, “unless you immediately order the DOJ and DEA to back off of ALL MMJ enforcement on ANY level and reclassify cannabis to a 3, I’m running against you and you will not win without our votes!” Clear and simple, respect your culture and change the classification or lose the election! Come join in Willie Nelson for President 2012!

  3. The argument for Sativex is convoluted at best. Research has shown a more lopsided ratio of CBD to THC exhibits a more neuroprotective result then the ratio of 1 to 1

  4. Sativex has only THC (the main psychoactive component in cannabis) and CBD. People don’t feel the typical high associated with smoked cannabis because Sativex is made with very close to a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, with the CBD counteracting the psychoactive effects of the THC. BUT, it most certainly does contain “the active substance contained in recreational cannabis.” It is NOT a whole plant extract in that it excludes all other cannabinoids present in a whole plant extract. This makes it an inferior medicine compared to a true whole plant extract (not difficult to make at home for yourself) because the cannabinoids work best in conjunction with each other. BTW, you’re right. The FDA will never approve the raw plant form of cannabis, but that is because it is beyond their scope of power. All they can approve are individual components once patented and packaged by the drug companies.

  5. Just another form of kicking the can down the road, rather than correcting a policy that will ultimately bankrupt us. The math is too rediculous to not be able to comprehend – spend less money on a FAILED DRUG POLICY, spend less money in the courts because cannabis users won’t be the leading group anymore, and Tax & regulate it like Alcohol and Tobacco. Because they haven’t immediately done so (within the last 10 – 15 years) – can only lead me to believe that somebody has their hands in the cookie jar – STILL !

    I’m certainly not a rocket scientist – however – in a struggling economy, wouldn’t a new industry benefit the entire country, if not the entire world.

  6. Petition the WH admin to direct Eric Holder to remove cannabis from CSA or reschedule as a schedule V in CSA leaving it up to each individual state to do what they feel is right. (I’ll bet everything that every state would immediately legalize it). The state that do not immediately legalize it would be losing residents IMMEDIATELY… What state can afoford that.

  7.  Why would you feel “stuck” with Ron Paul if he became president?  Is it because you like our government constantly waging war overseas, wasting trillions of dollars?  Or is it because you prefer having a president who is bought and paid for by big Pharma, big bankers, and the Military Industrial Complex, as Obama and Romney clearly are?  Or is it because you like presidents who take away your personal liberties by signing laws like the Patriot Act, NDAA, and Executive Order 13603 ?  Or is it because you’d prefer someone like Romney who will tell you who you can and cannot marry?

    Really, I can’t understand your comment.  What is it about Ron Paul that would make you feel like you were “stuck” with a president who is worse than the stinking garbage heap that comprises the other choices?

  8. Fairweasel2323 on

    so is Romney! U know its going to be between him and Romney! If one of them would come out and say they support Medical Marijuana they would have election won! Especially Obama hes already got the same sex marriage!

  9. Look, I am not promoting Sativex. Just letting people know what the government’s plan is for medical marijuana. That said, Sativex is not synthetic or “fake” marijuana. It is a whole plant medicinal cannabis extract.

    Here’s the rub. “Sativex is a cannabis extract containing tetranabinex and nabidiolex (cannabidiol — CBD) as its principal component. It does not contain the active substance found in recreational cannabis and so patients taking Sativex will not become intoxicated.” It is a oil sprayed on the back of the throat.

    So here’s the point. Sativex is cannabis without the high. The “high” is considered by the pharmaceutical companies to be a negative side effect. Once Sativex is approved by the FDA (predicted to be 2014 or sooner) there will be no legal, medical cannabis allowed in plant form as permitted now in medical marijuana states. And no home growing.

    I agree. Most medical cannabis users will not be happy with Sativex. The “high,” in my opinion, is part of the therapeutic effect of cannabis.

    This medicalization of cannabis is what Radical Russ has called, “The Box Canyon.”

    Don’t blame the messenger. I guarantee you that the raw plant form of marijuana that is currently found in dispensaries will NEVER be approved by the FDA. Sativex will.

    That is why safe, affordable access to marijuana used medicinally as a raw, herbal remedy will come only with the repeal of prohibition and the legalization of marijuana. That is on one the reasons I am supporting I-502.

  10. man made medical marijuana is likened to imitation cheese, not as good!   I heard this as a fact from numerous cancer and HIV patients in the VA where I worked in the pharmacy.  They all stated the pills do not work as well or the same as actually smoking or ingesting (as food) marijuana.  Why make an imitation of something when the actual item can and should be readily available?  If the pharmaceutical company who will be getting rich by manufacturing the “fake” marijuana would cultivate the real drug they could still make some money, albeit not as much.  It’s because their profit margin will be considerably lower.  I wonder in whose pocket the pharmaceutical companies are in?

  11. Maybe not but when you think of where you have to buy marijuana is 99% from illegal channels whereby if it were legalized you would buy it at a store just as you do tobacco and alcohol, which are highly more dangerous.  So it stands to reason that the only reason it is a gateway drug is because the law forbids a person from acquiring it legally.  When at the illegal element to purchase marijuana is where the exposure to other more serious drugs occur.  You don’t get illegal drugs at the local grocer but you can tobacco and alcohol.

  12. Are we allowed to grow tobacco or distill alcohol?  The Government regulates those why couldn’t it do the same for marijuana?  Why can’t farmers grow hemp for profit utilizing wasted land, helping the small farmer, and further our economy instead of importing hemp products from other countries thereby giving the revenue to other countries. 

  13. Imagine if our government or normal working Americans had those billions of dollars instead of the cartels.  Wouldn’t they also be spending those billions of dollars?  Isn’t it better to regulate and tax marijuana ourselves and reap the benefits for all Americans rather than just those few in the cartels?

  14. PunkCabaret on

    Here’s another fun tidbit:  anyone who happened to sign the medical marijuana petition that was forwarded to the White House received a form letter basically saying all citizen concerns regarding marijuana are moot and shall be ignored due to its classification as a Schedule I substance.  Basically, they are saying they cannot remove it from Schedule I because it is on Schedule I.  By that logic, I ought to call my employer and say I can’t get out of bed and go to work because I am in bed and not going to work.  Think it’ll fly?

  15. It’s unbelievable that any college graduate (or dropout for that matter) can listen to that crap about marijuana and not declare the whole thing a farce that’s been going on way too long. Pot is’t the nasty mind-altering bugaboo that’s it’s been portayed to be. The science exists that proves that Marijuana is actually Good For You..As Americans we should not have to put up with all of the lies and misconceptions. Vote Hemp.  R.I.P. Gatewood Galbraith.

  16. Obama is to busy on same sex marriages that he said he would let the states regulate same sex marriages mmmm but he wont let the states manage medical marijuana laws go figure!!!!

  17.  “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
    ” Jiddu Krishnamurti

  18. This article is right, and Obama has been wrong right through his entire administration about this subject. It’s time we select someone else for President – one with integrity, who has been pro-legalization and pro-gay marriage right along. Someone who will put people before corporations, our future before their own self-interest and who has more executive experience than Obama and Romney combined. It’s time for Governor Gary Johnson. 

  19. Or, if enough votes are siphoned, a anti-marijuana Mormon. Obama has nothing to gain politically by supporting legalization because of the lack of a viable alternative candidate.

  20. “I spent a lot of time in the hospital, fortunately I wasn’t, for most of the time, in serious pain. But, you know, lying there for 59 days in an ICU unit you see people and hear people in pain. We have not devoted nearly enough science or time to deal with the pain management and chronic pain management that exists. There’s got to be a better answer than marijuana. There’s got to be a better answer than that.” Joe Biden

  21. “I hope VP Biden runs as I will make sure I vote for him and donate to his campaign.”

    Joe Biden? Wasn’t he the senator “who brought us mandatory minimum sentences, the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, the abomination of civil asset forfeiture, and creation of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (aka The Drug Czar)?” (Russ Belville)

    It appears that you’ve vetted your candidate about as well as McCain did Palin. Actually, Palin voices a
    much more progressive policy toward marijuana than Biden!

    “There’s a difference between sending (someone) to jail for a few
    ounces and legalizing it. The punishment should fit the crime. But I
    think legalization is a mistake. I still believe it’s a gateway drug.
    I’ve spent a lot of my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee
    dealing with this. I think it would be a mistake to legalize.” Joe Biden

  22. Paulstone42 on

     You are WRONG… I’m not a hater, I just do my research before making a comment… NIXON was the first to propose a “War on Drugs” including cannabis. Nixon also had a commision started and when they found no danger in cannabis, he just ignored their findings…
    You are clearly mis-informed. Please go watch a documentary or better yet, read a book, get your facts straight THEN comment… One Love.

  23. Dreadlocks Etan29 on

    haha..he care about health problem in your country’ but the main causes of his problem still in the market.he has the power to control the cigarrettes,alcohol,and other dangerous synthetics prescription drugs by the doctors.that kills thousand and thousands of people around the world’power is useless! if you don’t know how to use it!and stand for it..hey man don’t be a useless…

  24. Dreadlocks Etan29 on

    yeah ur right man,,just always remember if god exist’ demon’s exist as well…

  25. Nikycole0302 on

    I think he’s trying to get reelected therefore after that he doesn’t give a fuck an maybe he will fix all the bullshit we get for it. Just my opinion

  26. Wendy Beenken on

    Exactly the dirty ass pharmacuetical companies !! They need to secure theyre estimated quota of opiate junkies per year wouldnt wanna take that away from em they love those lifers .

  27. What do you think is helping to keep America afloat at the minute ? One major thing is the billions cartels have invested in business to launder their cash and if those billions off dollars start disappearing then it will effect businesses . Not to mention the Government is also in big pharmas back pocket .

  28. Gjennings_55 on

    If Nixon didn’t resigned ,he was going to legalize pot back in the 70s. Its all a money thing like everything else to the Government.they legalize it we could grow and their pockets wouldn’t be full.Money makes this world go around not love and peace. Many in this country are so greedy.

  29. Shastaslewood on

    If he knows what he is doing, then why is this nation falling apart?

  30. Monique Caton on

    My brother is in pain 24/7 as you are. His liver and stomach were being eaten away from the pills that the doctors gave him, so he just stopped taking them. You, him and so many more live day to day in a way that is inhumane. I wish you love, happiness and most of all pain free moments in you life. 

  31. Shastaselwood on

    EVERYONE becomes angry at some point, just like how EVERYONE calls names. If you honestly wanted to to make a statement obser someones comment why don’t you do so with debate or with agreement? Pointing out someones anger, who in fact does have a great reason to be anger, is only creating a false impression of who you are as a person.

    Ralph points out a VERY important detail, by legalizeing marijuana this nation can bring in an additional 15 billion dollars. Since were on the verge of bankruptcy, legalizing marijuana would defiantly do this nation some good! Plus it’ll help clear space in jail for those would do time for possession of marijuana. Create job, which will help lower inflammation. Also, if the cannibis plant does become legal we will very to start growing hemp. Which is far more resourceful than trees.

  32. Monique Caton on

    Anyone who is not angry about what is going on is just a little to young or a little to slow. I’m so done with the “Push me, pull me” over this. I thought that it would be done in the 60’s or 70’s. As a great man asked, “What are we fighting for?” Let’s end this war. We are talking about better crops for clothing and fuel. Finlover35 the words you use from your lexicon are your own business. In my, almost 55 years I have never voted for a word sheriff.  

  33.  It’s an opinion, and everyone has the right to voice their opinion in any way the deem necessary (for now). Get off your high horse. Does it ever work when you critique someone’s opinion to get your way?

  34. eating_sunshine on

    Obama is addicted to tobacco.  I hope karma gives him his just reward for lying about cannabis. 

  35. I dont see anywhere in this article a direct quote from Obama that its not a gate way drug…. You reporters like this really kind of chap my ass.

  36. Finlover35 on

    Your a very Angry man Ralph. Does it ever work to curse and call names to get your way?

  37. Finlover35 on

    President Obama knows what he should do and what his hero lincoln would do if he saw all the people that need a plant that helps so many feel better. You can side once again with companies just worried about making more money that they wouldn’t be making with hemp in the picture and helping you with re-elections wich is what I thought I did for you as well and so many others. Please go down as one of the most caring Presidents and re-clasify marijuana. Thank You Robert Noble Cocoa FL

  38. Ralphsuddeth on

    The problem with our elustryous president is he is more concerned with lineing  his pockets instead of trying to help americans getting back on there feet.this (pantywaist president) is more concerned about putting the lower class out of the picture all together! this selfrightous asshole is going to be the death of the AMERICAN PEOPLE AS A WHOLE! People are confused about every aspect of our Government.Cannabis and Hemp can save this country but our government would rather tie up the leagleization of hemp .
    Pull your heads out your of your asses and Getter Done!

  39. yes, i believe they keep it on the list because .ANYONE can grow it and it takes money away from the pharmaceutical companies.
    My grandmother (81) used to think that all pot smokers were “long haired hippie rapists” until she learned that all 3 of her sons smoked it. She realized that isn’t the case. she gets it now since it has been right infront of her for years.

  40. Or you could vote for Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party if Ron Paul doesn’t make it as proponent of marijuana legalization!

    register Republican before May 20th and VOTE RON PAUL in the Primary on
    June 5th !! We can kick Obama out of office if Ron Paul can get the
    Republican nomination!!  Join me in registering Republican before May 20th !!If you want to vote for Obama later in the
    general election later, you still can, it doesn’t
    matter what party you’re registered to. But for the PRIMARY, you MUST
    be registered Republican in order to vote for Ron Paul and help him win
    the nomination. (And don’t believe the bullcrap that he can’t win the
    nomination, he absolutely can… It’s still anybody’s game. But that’s
    another story.)** RON PAUL FOR LIBERTY **

  42. Punksk8121 on

    I say JUST LEGALIZE it already. It is not a gateway plant its a plant a flower that OUR father put here for us it does way more good than bad. If you think that legislation of weed is bad you should be reevaluated it takes the pain away from us. My personal opinion I love it! Give it a chance make the change for the better :D I say all if this with a smile while I smoke.

  43. Punksk8121 on

    Some presidents don’t know how much power they truly have, some presidents abuse power, and some presidents don’t know what power is. I think we would be better off with a chimp as president, at least they know plants are just plants and benifit all living things. Talk about abusing power? What man thinks his will and thoughts greater than gods? He put these plants here for a reason. And if man thinks he is greater than god. That man should live in our shoes for a week and we will see if he can survive with his “god like” knowledge?

  44. Hey Pastirchak Joe Biden will be worse.AMERICA HOPE IS GARY JOHNSON and EX-FEDERAL JUDGE JIM GRAY for VP. They are on the LIBERTARIAN TICKET IN ALL 50 STATES,there campaigning on ENDING PROHIBITION.Check out the podcast REEFER RHETORIC,it gives the link to the interview with the next presidential candidate and vice president. GARY JOHNSON & JIM GRAY.
    AN ENDORSED BY Professor Bluntston & Dean Shwag

  45. Nygratefulfred on

    Of course,OhBummer sacrifices principal for cash.
    Just another version of the same old Bullshit we always get.
    It doesn’t come down to who is the better man it is which idiot will screw things up for people the least!

  46. Magicknmayhem1 on

    I am sorry for your pain. Big pharma and their huge profits keep a natural remedy illegal to ppl like you who benefit from the many medicinal qualities of marijuana. I wish u the best. More ppl like you need to be heard!

  47. Pastirchak Marguerite on

    Nobody should be treated like a criminal for using marijuana and the arrests must stop.  

    I hope VP Biden runs as I will make sure I vote for him and donate to his campaign.

  48. Murraybanks on

    i too have HEPC and feel awlful 247 like the worst day of the flu aching muscles joints ect, mmj has been a blessing in my life. and hold down flushes which are a constant for me and also cant take much medication  and dont want to the sde effects will kill you :)~~

  49.  i live in pain 24/7 to and have liver problems  i to want a better quality of life  LEGALIZE  NOW !!!!!!! TIL THE GOOD LORD TAKES US

  50. This is a good first step, but as stated previously many times: the Obama administration needs to stop worrying about being politically vulnerable to this issue and stand up for full legalization.  The prohibition has done nothing but enrich private prisons that profit from keeping the “home of the free” the worst incarceration state on the planet.

  51. There are unfortunatly still people who would read this article and still not believe all of the facts gathered.  This should be a top story and there should be a serious debate going on in the government.  If everyone knew the facts said here Obama would be forced to respond immediatly.

  52. Smcgee2581 on

    I live in pain 24 hours a day 7 days a week an take pills that are slowly killing my liver in order to function.Marijuanna takes the pain away an even encourages me to eat which the pills cause me pain in my stomach, i live in pain all the time an i wonder how some politicians would be able to handle just one day in my shoes, they should leagalize marijuana for people like me to be able to have a better quality of life til the good lord takes me home :)

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