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Medical Marijuana Policy

Justice Department Admits Lying To Congress Before Big Medical Marijuana Vote

congress marijuana sanjay gupta weedIn May of 2014 a historic vote was held in Congress. Politicians on Capitol Hill voted to prevent the United States Justice Department from using tax payer dollars to enforce outdated federal marijuana laws in states where medical marijuana is legal. At the time activists thought it was a major victory, one so major that it would be the end of federal raids in legal medical marijuana states. Unfortunately, that has not proven to be the case, as raids have continued.

The amazing Tom Angell posted an article today breaking the story that leading up to that historic vote, the United States Justice Department intentionally mislead Congress. Per Marijuana.Com:

Justice Department officials misinformed members of Congress about the effects of a medical marijuana amendment being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, according to an internal memo obtained by Marijuana.com.

The amendment, which lawmakers approved in May 2014 by a vote of 219-189 despite the Obama administration’s objections, is aimed at preventing the Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws.

But in the days leading up to the vote, department officials distributed “informal talking points” warning House members that the measure could “in effect, limit or possibly eliminate the Department’s ability to enforce federal law in recreational marijuana cases as well,” according to the document. [Emphasis added.]

The newly obtained memo, drafted by Patty Merkamp Stemler, chief of the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section, admits that the talking points were “intended to discourage passage of the rider” but do not “reflect our current thinking.”

You can click on the article link above to read Tom’s entire article. So DOJ was supposed to remain objective and neutral, and provide guidance to Congress within the scope of just medical marijuana, but instead they used it as an opportunity to try to keep marijuana prohibition in all forms in place at all costs. They knew that the bill would only affect medical enforcement, and not recreational, but instead falsely used the scare tactic that it would affect both, and therefore shouldn’t be approved at all.

While some call what the Justice Department did ‘misleading,’ others have gone as far as calling it perjury. Had a citizen done what the United States Justice Department did, they would be looking at charges. But for the DOJ, it’s just business as usual. This leaked memo, combined with continued raids in legal states, clearly illustrates just how little the Department of Justice cares about Congress.

  • Jerry Bisbo

    The justice dept. doesn’t know the meaning of the word justice.

    • Or truth. Looks like a job for Superman.

  • PhDScientist

    The curent situation is breaking my heart. Americans, including American Children, are suffering and dying — needlessly — because they’re being denied the medicine they need to save their lives or ease their suffering.

  • MrPC

    Their “current thinking” is confined to how to keep their government jobs and look busy.

  • Sinclair

    Of course they lied. They have been doing that since they got their charter

  • PhDScientist

    I hope everyone who reads this blog calls the white house comment line (202) 456-1111 at least once a day to ask that the President gets Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 immediately.
    The current situation goes against everything America stands for, starting with our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    In 27 states, American kids with seizure disorders are being denied the medicine they need to save their lives and in those same 27 states Americans with Cancer are being forced to buy on the black market the medicine that 82% of their Oncologists want them to be able to have.

    This is AMERICA. We’re better than that.

  • PhDScientist

    Moderator Is there any reason for not posting this? My heart breaks and bleeds for every American who needs Medical Marijuana and can’t get it safely and legally.
    Like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I was a skeptic, and once I educated myself about Medical Marijuana, I realized I was wrong and became a “true believer” in it.
    Every day 1,500 Americans die of Cancer. Every one of them deserves the right to have safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana. Every single one. I’m trying my best to make that happen as quickly as humanly possible. The more people who call the white house every single day, the faster it will happen. On behalf of America’s Cancer patients — Thanks.

    hope everyone who reads this blog calls the white house comment line (202) 465-1111 at least once a day to ask that the President gets Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 immediately.

    The current situation goes against everything America stands for, starting with our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    In 27 states, American kids with seizure disorders are being denied the medicine they need to save their lives and in those same 27 states Americans with Cancer are being forced to buy on the black market the medicine that 82% of their Oncologists want them to be able to have.

    This is AMERICA. We’re better than that.

    • moldy

      Uh, no, we’re not better and it’s just starting to show how corrupt our POS government is. If we were better we would have removed the cancer in our politics by now.

  • lovingc

    The so called DOJ is anything but just. Whoever is responsible needs to be fired and prosecuted. But don’t hold your breath. This is the problem in the good ole USA with law enforcement, they seem to believe that the laws don’t pertain to them. Any one with a badge and gun should be more liable to prosecution than anyone else.

  • joe tokes

    It is unamerican not to trust the government. We have to believe everything they tell us, just like at church. Or we will go to hell. You don’t want that do you?