Jan 312016
 January 31, 2016

barack obama marijuanaI remember when Obama was elected in 2008. From a purely marijuana activist standpoint, I had a lot of hope that he would do big things when it came to marijuana policy in America. I remember thinking that anything was possible while he was in office, including the end to federal marijuana prohibition altogether. One thing that I thought for sure was going to happen while Obama was in office was changing marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, or at the very least, a very strong push for it by Obama.

But instead Obama has always pushed the task of changing marijuana’s classification status onto Congress. He hasn’t touched it, and his administration has even gone out of its way to testify against such a move. Obama is in his last year in office, and after seven years of largely punting on marijuana reform, Obama plans on doing more of the same in year 8. Per a recent article in The Washington Post:

At a briefing Friday, White House press secretary John Earnest said any progress on marijuana reform would need to come through Congress. President Obama had signaled his position a day earlier at the House Democratic retreat in Baltimore, saying marijuana reform is not on his list of end-of-term priorities, according to Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).

Obama was specifically asked about rescheduling marijuana by Representative Cohen, but Representative Cohen said that the answer he received was ‘disappointing.’ The article quoted the always hardworking activist Tom Angell from the Marijuana Majority:

Obama’s approach to the issue has long frustrated activists. “This isn’t the first time President Obama has unnecessarily tried to pass the buck on marijuana rescheduling to Congress,” Tom Angell of the pro-marijuana group Marijuana Majority said in an email. “It’s unacceptable and frankly embarrassing for a president who has so nonchalantly acknowledged his own marijuana use to allow the federal government to continue classifying cannabis in such an inappropriate category.”

Rescheduling marijuana via an Executive action is not easy. There’s a ton of bureaucracy involved, so I can somewhat understand if the President wasn’t able to achieve the end goal without involving Congress. However, to not even try, and to act for two terms like it’s not a priority and that it’s Congress’ job to push for such reform, is very disheartening. A federal judge once referred to the Obama Administration’s banking guidance for the marijuana industry as a ‘nothingburger.’ I think that term largely applies to Obama’s entire tenure as President when it comes to marijuana policy.

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  • Shadar

    I fully agree that Obama hasn’t done remotely enough to further legalization, but you have left out the fact that he could have put enormous pressure on WA, CO and others to not establish state-sponsored legal grow and sale operations. He basically said “give it a try and we’ll see how it goes”.

    Imagine what Nixon or Reagan would have done.

    When WA passed an earlier initiative in 1998 that called for medial dispensaries, the feds threatened to arrest state employees who would necessarily be involved in setting up the regulatory system. The governor at the time (Gregoire) crumbled under the pressure and vetoed the dispensary portion of the final law to protect state employees from the Feds.

    Obama’s DOJ could have done the same thing, but they did none of that. So lets give him the credit he’s due. As well as the criticism he deserves.

    • jontomas

      Right. It is a mysterious position that Obama has taken with marijuana reform. While constantly refusing to take any reform actions, he has held the door open for re-legalization in various subtle ways. His support of one-percent oppressions like foreign wars and the further destruction of civil rights through the expansion of the insidious “Patriot Act” laws makes you wonder why he has seemed somewhat friendly to marijuana reform.

      My guess is the one-percent know the monstrous, fraudulent war on marijuana consumers has worn out its welcome with Americans. Obama is acting as a gatekeeper to s-l-o-w-l-y take these chains off the people. – That way all the perpetrators can exit, stage-right with enough time to build their golden parachutes.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      He’s been ok on recreational weed, but on MMJ, which has such overwhelming public support, and such an overwhelming moral claim, he’s being flat out evil, and his hands are drenched in the blood of innocents.

  • Tricky Ricky

    Obama is a nothing burger! He doesn’t want the responsibility as President for MJ to become legal on his watch.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      When it comes to medical marijuana he’s a degenerate. After promising to have policies guided by science, he changed his mind and stabbed countless numbers of patients in the back. Rot in hell, Obama!

  • David Yoseph Schreiber

    The problem is that Obama fears the prohibitionists more than the libertarians. We must make it so he fears those that want legal cannabis more than he fears the cops and their lackeys.

    • jontomas

      I don’t think Obama will be fearing any of the public again. I have heard his name being dropped for the Supreme Court, but even that institution has been corrupted by the one-percent and the fraudulent marijuana prohibition.

      • David Yoseph Schreiber

        I agree with your sentiment but would quibble a tiny bit about the Supreme Court. They did permit the use of ayahuascsa, which is a hallucinogen containing DMT, as a religious sacrament. For more information search: Gonzales vs. O Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal.

      • JohnB

        Thanks Jon, I have been saying that for a couple of years now; Obama wants to be the next Taft, President, then Supreme Court Justice for life.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      Support for medical marijuana extends far beyond just Libertarians. Rescheduling cannabis would have overwhelming public support, especially if the reasons for rescheduling were well explained. So it’s a mystery to me why he would fear the political consequences of rescheduling cannabis.
      He gets a much better grade for his attitude towards recreational cannabis, where a Republican could have been much worse, than he does on medicinal cannabis, where he has miserably failed the people who desperately needed him to act. He hasn’t even acted on high CBD low THC cannabis, which doesn’t even get you high.
      I bet he’d change his mind in 2 seconds if it was someone he cared about who needed MMJ. Go to hell, Obama, the same place you sentenced suffering patients to go.

      • EddyMelv

        Hmmmm, pretty much to the point ——- and spot-on. He has done nothing. I defended him when he came into office and clamored for a bit of patience from not only the GOP but anyone who was complaining after less than a year in.
        But now it’s seven years and I’ve seen what type of figurehead he is. He is a puppet, like all of them and even more so than most. He is the token flavor for the day. Remember —- there’s a left wing and a right wing —- BUT THEY’RE BOTH WINGS ON THE SAME FREAKIN’ BIRD !
        This is a Big Business issue. There’s a shit ton of money flowing to keep cannabis from being legal. There’s a shit ton of our tax dollars still being spent on research HOW IT IS BAD FOR YOU !
        Everyone knows —– it cannot be any clearer —— this is protection of money turf. Big Government and Big Business —- they’re pretty much one in the same. If you sleep with someone repeatedly, you will undoubtedly end up smelling like them…

        • JohnB

          I can’t stand Obama, an unqualified guy who was elected for purely racist motives (vote for him cause he’s black, and that’s racism, friend), but I will say this in his, and every recent President’s defense;
          WATCH them the morning after they are sworn in, when the news cameras catch them coming out of their first national security briefing.
          They are instantly five years older, and you can see the shock in their eyes.
          We have no idea – can only imagine – what sort of truths are revealed to them on that first day, but it takes only a very little imagination to see how what they learn daily in the security briefings could shift their priorities in a BIG way…

  • AntiIgnorant

    Obama, Hillary and the GOP are paid for cowards. We need Sanders! Bernie 2016!

    • Denny

      Oh yeah, socialism is the fix, but only if you want to be under a form of government-imposed servitude.

      • moldy

        We’re already a socialist country partially except that every other industrial leading country has health care for all, even the poor. Wouldn’t you like to hang on to your hard earned money at retirement instead of blowing it all on doctor and hospital bills? Get over the term “socialism”… it’s not a bad word unless you listen to the rich corporations.

        • Denny

          Apparently, you haven’t done you homework about socialism.
          Check the overall status of the socialist countries and you’ll immediately see they’re in poor condition.
          As for healthcare, ask some folks that live in or have lived in these countries how easy it is to get an actual medical appointment and you’ll hear the horror stories…it’s a disaster.

          • JohnB

            You think private healthcare is expensive, wait til it’s free…

  • EddyMelv

    The federal resistance to not only rescheduling cannabis but making it legal just follows suit indicative of the last eighty years. They made cannabis illegal for the benefit and advantage of Big Business and NOTHING HAS CHANGED. DuPont, Hearst got their way.
    TODAY, not much different except for the addition of a plethora of names. If today’s names fall under the umbrella of alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals, then no more need be said. They all are protecting their green turf through money “lobbying” and political backscratching that was so well seeded for them back in 1937.
    Keep watching…

    • saynotohypocrisy

      Don’t forget the gravy train prohibition is for the police/prison/courts/supervision/rehab industrial complex.

      • EddyMelv

        You are all so correct. I wanted to expand a bit but not take up a newspaper’s worth of space. With this said, I think we’ll just go with the blanket term, “Big Business” . Thanks for the additions !

        • saynotohypocrisy

          Thanks, there’s one other group that should be mentioned too, that’s the corruptos (money launderers, law enforcement, judges etc) who grow rich and powerful facilitating and protecting the huge prohibition spawned black market. What we know about them is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • kycountry

    There’s absolutely more money for the Corp. in keeping things as they are. What would happen to all the cancer clinics, drug-stores, and big pharma???? Even though the president KNOWS mj is harmless and even helpful to some people, $$$$$$$ still rules..peace :(

  • Jerry Bisbo

    I think Obama is getting the Nancy Reagan treatment from his wife.
    If u elect a president with two young children and a dominant wife, she will run social issues.

    • Mark

      Thats not his wife …. That is a transvetite with adopted kids …

      • HellNo

        Although there is no such thing as a “transvetite”, your meaning is obvious. And such a hateful, personal attack on the First Lady is not a political opinion, and does no service to our cause. And allowing such hate speech against the President’s family, does not reflect well on the administrators of this site.

        • JohnB

          Thus spake the legion of Obama Kool-Aid drinkers…..
          He can do no wrong, and heaven forbid anyone take jabs at his highness.

          • HellNo

            It was not a “jab” at the President. And it has nothing to do with politics. And I have said nothing about his policies. It was an ugly, personal attack on the man’s family. Are you really incapable of making this distinction?

          • JohnB

            OK, but the point you missed is that, like most liberals, your are WAY too fucking sensitive and ready to be offended – even when it’s not about YOU.
            Like Presidents, first wives become fair game when they step on to the world stage.
            I mean, seriously, calling an unattractive woman out on her mannishness qualifies as “hate speech?”
            How are things down on Sunnybrook farm?

          • HellNo

            I’m not a liberal, nor did I miss your “point”, because you have no point. When I talk politics, I speak on the issues. When I fight, I fight the man, not his family. I don’t hurl personal attacks at a man’s family while hiding behind a screen name. There is no honor, or political gain in such a cowardly, personal attack.

          • JohnB

            You can claim to not be a liberal all you want, but if you over react like one to what was a freakin JOKE, people will draw their own conclusions, oh noble one.
            You want to rush, unasked, to Obama’s wife’s defense, then people will rightly conclude you’re just another one of those Obama worshipers, who get all bunged up when anyone says anything negative about him, or, yes, his family.
            btw: only liberals sling around the phrase “hate speech” about every little insult.
            Read: “The Rape of the Lock”

          • HellNo

            In the Military I learned to respect the uniform, regardless of my personal views of the man wearing it. And I extend the same respect to the Commander and Chief, even though I disagree with his policies. I’ve made no political statements here, only advocated civility, and decency. As a conservative, Christian I believe I can make my political points on policy alone. And I believe in the sanctity of marriage, I would have objected to such an ugly personal attack, regardless of who’s wife was the target. If these Christian values strike you as “liberal”, then what does that say about you?

          • JohnB

            As a veteran myself (Beirut, 1983, by the way), I’d have to say that respect for the Commander-in-Chief has to come first from his being an actual Commander, not just a guy who might, maybe, possibly one day be called upon to act as such.
            You of all people should despise Obama’s lack of military service.
            We should never, ever, have a President who hasn’t stood a watch, and this election cycle is going to be a nightmare for that very reason.
            In any case, you over reacted to a joke. A joke.
            And in that over reaction you resorted to using the standard liberal playbook, invoking the phrase “hate speech.”
            Man up and own it.

          • HellNo

            Maybe you should post a pic of your wife so we can all make some jokes. Wouldn’t that be fun?

          • JohnB

            …nevermind

          • JohnB

            If I had a wife, and she were a POLITICAL FIGURE, as is the case here, I would not only expect her to be the subject of potshots and satire, but I would also expect her to be thick-skinned enough to take it.
            I’m sure your panties are much more in a bunch about that comment than hers ever would be.
            By the way, what is it you hate about transvestites so much that being compared to one qualifies as “hate speech?”
            That’s awfully uncivil of you…
            And, speaking of civility, where was that high-minded decency of yours when you were dinging the guy for his minor spelling error?

          • JohnB

            Maybe not, but it was still damn funny!

        • Mark

          You must be getting all the freebies from the government .. That is the only reason someone thinks what is happening is ok

  • Sean Joyce

    When legalization occurs on the federal level, I’m willing to bet they wont give back the billions in assets that were forfeited. The real MONEY is in building the prisions anyways not keeping them running. Does Haliburton build treatment center too?

  • PhDScientist

    Here’s an email sent by VP Biden.

    The more people, especially Cancer Patients, who tweet asking that Medical Marijuana get removed from Schedule 1, the more chance there is of it becoming part of the Cancer Moonshot Agenda.

    ———————————————————————————————

    During his final State of the Union, the President put me in charge of a new national commitment to ending cancer as we know it.

    We’re calling it a “Moonshot,” and that’s because I believe that this effort, like President Kennedy’s call to land on the moon 55 years ago, is truly a call to humankind — to be bold and do big things.

    And right now, I’m about to walk into the very first meeting of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force the President just created, and tasked me with chairing.

    Here’s what it all means.

    Every single federal agency with a part to play in this mission — from the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Energy and its national energy labs — will be in the same room together to make sure we’re working from the same playbook.

    We’ll make sure we’re making the most of investments, of our research and data, our supercomputing capabilities, our targeted incentives, private-sector efforts, and patient-engagement initiatives.

    In fact, just today we announced a new 1 billion dollar jumpstart to make sure some of the best work going on has the funding that it needs.

    Because ultimately, as the federal government, our job is to break down silos and bring people together who are doing the most cutting-edge work. Our job is to clear out the bureaucratic hurdles — and let science happen.

    And we’re going to continue to call on families, researchers, and physicians all across the country to join this effort and rise to the challenge.

    I’ve been in touch with hundreds of the world’s top cancer physicians, researchers, and philanthropists.

    And I’ve been in touch with Americans around the country who know the realities of this disease firsthand, people who have lived through it and people who have lost their loved ones they hold most dearly.

    If you’ve got a story to tell about how this disease has touched your life, I want to hear from you.

    And following the meeting, at around 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Douglas Lowy, Chief of the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, will be taking your questions on Twitter. You can ask them using #CancerMoonshot.

    As the President said in the State of the Union, we can do this for the loved ones we’ve lost — and the families we can still save.

    I couldn’t agree more. If there is one word that defines us as Americans, it’s “possibility.” And I believe this is possible.

    I know that we can do this.

    I’ll be in touch along the way with ways you can help — believe it.

    Thank you,

    Joe

  • JohnB

    The old saying seems true here; there’s nothing worse than a reformed anything.

    He put his cannabis days behind him, so he figures everybody else should too.

  • PhDScientist

    82% of Oncologists want their Cancer Patients to be able to use Medical Marijuana.
    Surgeon General Murtha, the AMA and ASCO (The American Society of Clinical Oncologists) want Marijuana removed from Schedule 1.
    Why doesn’t he care?