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Obama Finally Speaks Out On Medical Marijuana


obama marijuanaAfter many petitions, open letters, rallies, and YouTube videos calling on the President to explain the slew of federal raids on medical marijuana providers and growers, Obama finally responded in a recent interview with Jann S. Wenner from Rolling Stone. But first a bit of history. In 2008, Obama promised to let states regulate medical marijuana, stating, “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.” In March of 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder said, “It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana.” The White House’s stance on medical marijuana was then codified in the notorious Ogden Memo released by the Justice Department in October of 2009, which promised patients and caregivers would not be targeted for prosecution, so long as they maintained, “clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law.”

The combination of Obama’s promises, Holders statement, and the Ogden Memo set off a medical marijuana boom. Instantly, the world was alive with caregivers, collectives, compassion centers, donation systems, and all sorts of ad hoc means for monetizing marijuana. Doctors sprang into action, as did newspapers, and landlords. Legalization seemed to be moments away. But it was not meant to be. Federal Authorities began quietly dismantling the industry by destroying grow operations, seizing property, and arresting growers, doctors, lawyers, landlords, and caregivers alike. Many people across the country have been sentenced to federal prison as a result of the raids.

After all this, the President spoke out. When asked what’s up with his administration attacking medical marijuana more aggressively than Bush did, President Obama replied:

“Here’s what’s up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law. 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. 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. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we’re telling them, ‘This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way.’ That’s not something we’re going to do. I do think it’s important and useful to have a broader debate about our drug laws. One of the things we’ve done over the past three years was to make a sensible change when it came to the disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. We’ve had a discussion about how to focus on treatment, taking a public-health approach to drugs and lessening the overwhelming emphasis on criminal laws as a tool to deal with this issue. I think that’s an appropriate debate that we should have.”

Ah, that’s a relief; it was all just a big misunderstanding. The people were confused. If that’s the case Mr. President, then free our people now. You have the power to grant pardons; have a heart. In this time of economic rebuilding, compassion will be key. If you want our votes, then free our people. We don’t need another citizen in prison over cannabis. Mr. President, what would you do if your campaign depended on this issue? (See e.g. Dwight Holton in Oregon) How would you persuade the DEA to reclassify cannabis in time for November? I hope you have a plan sir, because it just may come down to that. You still have time to undue the hypocrisy carried out across this country in your name.

Are you in?


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.


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  2. Try this option. Be honest. It actually can work. Instead of useless promises that he always says he kept somehow in a Clintonesque way.

  3. You sound like than my 92 year old mother. I don’t think you inspired anyone with your thoughtful remarks.

  4. A vote fro Romney is a vote for Revolution.
    The frog never jumped because the heat gradually rose
    till his goose was finally cooked.
    Romney will bring things to a boil.

  5. …you know, it’s just a handful of people who run everything,
    that’s true, it’s provable.
    It’s not … I’m not a fucking conspiracy nut, it’s provable.
    A handful, a very small elite, run and own these corporations,
    which include the mainstream media.

    I have this feeling that whoever is elected president,
    no matter what you promise on the campaign trail – blah, blah, blah –
    when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there.

    And you’re in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down …
    and a big guy with a cigar goes, “Roll the film.”
    And it’s a shot of the Kennedy assassination
    from an angle you’ve never seen before …
    that looks suspiciously like it’s from the grassy knoll.
    And then the screen goes up and the lights come up,
    and they go to the new president,
    “Any questions?”
    “Er, just what my agenda is.”
    “First we Raid Medical Marijuana dispensaries.”
    “You got it …”

  6. the problem is   what would they do with all  the  D.E.A  agents  hired to  fight  the WAR on drugs..???  think about it if he lets  em grow and then bust em theres more to  seize, i.e property, or cars  ect..cash ,,  what  did  we  expect from a ……

  7. If marijauna was legalized then the crime rate would go down and people woulnd’t have to drink and there wouldn’t be as many deaths all because of alchol……Marijuana should be legalized.

  8. Mjjoan 123 on

    one more thing … I have been smoking cannibis for over 40 years, I just recently had surgery so I had to have a chest xray , it was clear as a bell, Last year I had a strange headache so they did a brain scan on me and guess what??? no damage what so ever. My brain is in better shape than most 60 year old women!!
    And I agree where are the studies on REAL people?

  9. Mjjoan 123 on

    just more propaganda in my eyes. My son is 32, I smoked marijuana while I was pregnant and he turned out just fine as a matter of fact he has an IQ of 152. At age 2 he was reading and at 3 he was doing simple math. Tell me again what it does invitro. Today he is a wonderful young man who is a nurse to children with CP.

  10. Mjjoan 123 on

    not only dispensaries , a heavy hand is being placed on landlords, grow operations and just plain citizens. I know of peeps that have lost their children to CPS only for having marijuana plants in a locked facility in their homes. I know of a man here in my county that just went to court last week, it seems he has a brain tumor, stomach cancer and a liver aliment he has his med mj card. he was driving on a DIRT road, he swerved to miss a pot hole, a sheriff saw him and pulled him over. when the officer accidentally saw his medmj card while he was producing his drivers license,  the officer placed him under arrest (for swerving)  had his blood tested for mj he registered .0003 in his system. this guy is on disability, he was fined $683.00. lost his drivers license and spent a night in jail. 
    I know of a man who was shot to death because CPS came to take his child due to a grow operation in the home (complying with the law in every way) they didn’t identify themselves and he had a knife in his hand so they shot him to death in front of his kid.

  11. Mjjoan 123 on

    Yup all with the stroke of a pen he can declassify it. I don’t understand why if it is now legal in Washington DC why isn’t it that way throughout the country?

  12. Mjjoan 123 on

    check out Gary Johnson he has alot of great ideas , is pro Med MJ and is a progressive person IMHO.

  13. Mjjoan 123 on

    I think we need to start a war on the pharmacuticle industry. Refuse to take the meds your doctor prescribes. Go to your local herbal shop and tell the herbalist there your physical ailments and they can prescribe NATURAL remedies that don’t have the side effects or the expense. All bonified herbal shops (not your big company driven shops like GNC ) have a licensed herbalist onsite. If we don’t buy into their bull shit they will soon get the message that we can be relieved and cured without their chemicals.

  14. Mjjoan 123 on

    I like Gary Johnson just as well as Ron Paul and he is younger and has some great ideas to get this country going again. Vote  Libritarian , let these main stream politicians know that we are “MAD AS HELL , AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!” show them that we don’t need them to make America a better place to live. LET’S TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY. I would love to see Gary Johnson and Ron Paul as running mates.

  15. Mjjoan 123 on

    many of our pharmacuticles were originally derived from plants, the rest are chemical facimilies that are in no way as beneficial. I think that cannibis should be treated like any other medicinal herb and be sold at herb shops like St Johns Wort,  Valariana, dandelion root or any of the other wonderful plants that grow on this earth for health’s sake. .

  16. Mjjoan 123 on

    he doesn’t need the DEA to reclassify mj he can do that with the stroke of a pen, all by himself.

  17. Mjjoan 123 on

    wonder how many hits he took off that big fatty he had in his breast pocket after his comment? LOL wouldn’t doubt it. what a two faced jerk he is. don’t trust the guy he spews more propaganda than truths.

  18. killing muslims and wars on drugs are not U.S. policy either ! But this A hole continues the charade go Uncle Bama ! Ron Paul has it right close all the bases bring everyone home the pointless wars your kids are dying in need to be ended ! What other country in the world can have that many bases in so many places ? Even Rome would have fallen ….WE ARE NOT THE WORLD SUPER POWERED ANYTHING!

  19. Rhonda Zeal on

    Balack Obama is a bantam featherweight, hardly presidential timber. His statements have no weight because Congress and others understand that he is Democrats’ symbolic figurehead who leads the races but not the rest of America. He pimps, he panders, he lies outright. He is the iconic “Uncle Tom.”

  20.  WHO would have ever thought that Blobama would be worse than Bush?  Now he’s trying to say that he never claimed to want a dialog on legalization!  Sure, we believe you, Mr. President.  We never heard you say that.  What, you say you have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn?  Just name the price!

  21.  IF Ron Paul had a foreign policy, he might be electable.  Until he either wakes up or gets good advisors, he’ll NEVER be electable.  And the clowns on BOTH sides of the aisle won’t do ANYTHING to rectify the situation.  They’re exactly the same as the buffoon in the White House now…unwilling to make changes that would benefit the country. 

    Hope and change.  Now I’ve lost hope for any change.  Thanks Mr. President, for your hypocrisy and elitism. 

  22. A gastroenterologist told me years ago that marijuana is harmless and the government is retarded. Also as a liver specialist as well, he stated “I have seen more damage from alcohol in my 27 year career than I ever will with POT. Heck, some of the worst drugs out there are avaiable with a prescription but that is what the FDA is for, to screw things up and pretend they care. It is all about money and the end of the day”………………hmm? those in power do NOT listen to the medical professionals who know more than the silly lawyers? Shocking I know…….eventually government will get it…..my guess within 2 elections or 8 years…2020 is my prediction……mainly because all levels of government will see the benefit of the revenue stream and NOT for patients who need it……federal government cares less about those who are sick……….my rant is over! Be good!

  23. Obama, a typical politician and a habitual liar. None of his promises in 2008 came true. Do you see a balanced budget? Nope, spending like there is no tomorrow. The list goes on and on so please do not vote for this obnoxious person again as we have enough criminals in the federal government.

    Lastly, why does the federal government hold a patent on marijuana and they say it is agains federal law? Patent # 6630507…since 2001 timeframe……..must be holding out for a bigger picture goal like giving it to big Pharma? How do you patent a plant?

    Please folks, just vote all of these fools out of office. If they have been in office for more than 2 years then they are part of the problem, not the solution. Wish I had a job that I could lie all day, have no accountability and get a pension after 4 years without paying anything for medical and pension costs………..sweet deal……..

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