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Attorney General Holder Admits Obama Misled On Medical Marijuana


As many of you have heard by now, Jimmy Kimmel called Obama out on marijuana at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night. Kimmel asked, “What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply? Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote.”

Kimmel’s comments were funny, and of course it’s always good to see celebs bringing attention to the movement, but what happened off stage is tremendous news for the medical marijuana movement.

Last Thursday, I reported on Obama’s response to a question during a Rolling Stone interview on why his administration is cracking down on medical marijuana. Here is what he said:

“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.”

Eric Holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder

The Huffington Post reported a comment by Attorney General Holder that everyone who supports medical marijuana needs to hear:

“Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use. “That’s right,” Holder said. 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.”

Did I read that correctly? Did our Attorney General admit that Obama could stop the war raging over medical marijuana at any moment, and that Obama’s comments to the contrary in Rolling Stone were misleading? Folks, the time is now to demand that President Obama immediately direct Attorney General Eric Holder to reclassify cannabis, or that Attorney General Holder do it himself as the Controlled Substance Act allows. All of the excuses about the FDA, Congress, and the Institute of Medicine are smokescreens. Obama or Holder could end the war on medical marijuana at any moment. We’re talking about an action that over 70 percent of Americans support. What are you two waiting for? Just push the button already. AG Holder: roll yourself a fatty, walk into the Oval Office, light that sucker, pass it to Obama and ask him,”Are you in?”

Here is an excerpt from Section 811 of The Controlled Substance Act where the Attorney General’s authority to reclassify or remove drugs under the CSA is defined:

Section 811. Authority and Criteria for Classification of Substances

(a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing

The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule

(1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he–

(A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and

(B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by

[[Page 381]]

subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or

(2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.


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. Yes, because letting the black president decriminalize marijuana would go over SO well with his detractors. There’s only so much he can do, and I think if he were to move too soon, it would only strengthen the racially charged rhetoric of his opposition (Grover Norquist would probably have a grand time with it). I think Obama would rather it appear that his hand is being forced, so we may have to wait it out a little bit.

  2. hey im from maryland too and it’s on the books for august but i think that there need to be a bigger impact on the Governor. he vetoed it last time. im from md and i use this medicine every day for my heart and ptsd i picked up after 3 yrs of combat tour after combat tour in afghanistan. 

  3. People lie to save face all the time, but the president took it to the “Douchebag Almighty” level with this crackdown fiasco.  Politicians will never get it: if the people aren’t happy, they’re not gettin’ our votes.  Then again, that’s been rigged for years….

  4. JJ McDubie on

    How much longer does Obama get the benefit of the doubt from his supporters before they accept he is just another sleazy politician?  You can’t take him at his word.  It goes with the job title.

  5. JWLaberdee on

    The scheduling scheme that we’re saddled with currently was the Nixon administrations answer to Dr. Timothy Learys victory over the OLD so called “machine gun tax” model.
     The placement of cannabis at the very top of that list was done for no other reason than to make members of the anti war movement easier to silence. Any law, or set of laws, designed to do nothing more than impede free speech is by definition, unconstitutional.

  6. its been too long over due its now shamful how government thinks so old thinking

  7. Jean Marlowe on

    So, why doesn’t Obama just do this for the suffering citizens of this country? Or why doesn’t he order Mr. Holder to do so, or why doesn’t Mr. Holder do it himself? 
    The medical community has publicly called the government’s stand on medical marijuana as “scientifically absurd” so why doesn’t our government stop this.
    I will tell you right now, I will never again vote for Obama because he lied to us over this issue to get our vote and he will never get it again. Keep your word, Mr. President, or get voted out!

  8. DarkerMatter on

    So, wait, there is a drug that is safer than alcohol, less addictive, and it will not destroy your body if you do abuse it.  And the government does not want you to use it?  Whats the catch 22, or are they just retarded? 

  9. Yes..! Yes! Yes! I’ve been dancing up and down pointing at my computer screen for days!!!!  I’ve posted the following frequently:  REALLY?!!! The Executive Branch can just “remove it” from the Schedule I Controlled Substances designation? Why are we sending all these petitions to Congress and everywhere else then? Let’s focus the effort to stop ruining the lives of people with stupid criminal charges and convictions for possession of cannabis where it can make the most difference. AND, as supporters for Cannabis Reform, let’s stop calling it marijuana… I, for one, don’t care for the history behind our use of that nomenclature – nice blog on that topic http://furthurtothefuture.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-pot-supporters-shouldnt-use-term.html

  10. There are those who are in bed with Drug company’s, those who are to ignorant and closed minded to get it. I’m 70 yrs old and hope to live long enough to see the day I can fire up a bong without being arrested.

  11. Seems to be a lot of hypocrisy here…Obama cant have it both ways..he always seems to cater to the right wing..or independent voters..
    in Eugene Oregon we have a medical marijuana clinic that is acting within the law to get patients the OMMP card, oregon medical marijuana program card..there are no dispensaries so why are the DEA agents still raiding medical marijuana farms in southern oregon?   If you are in Eugene check out http://www.ommpcard.com know your rights and get your medicine.

  12. DenverLiberal on

    Here in Colorado they are threatening dispensaries with forfeiture/prosecution for being within 1000 feet of a school even though state law allows local governments to determine spacing requirements.  None are being closed due to violations of state or local law, at least by the Feds.

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