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White House Responds To New York Times Endorsing Marijuana Legalization

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white house marijuanaThis last weekend The New York Times endorsed marijuana legalization. Today the White House responded. The response is below:

The New York Times editorial board opined in its Sunday July 27, 2014 edition that the Federal government should legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older. The New York Times editorial board compares Federal marijuana policy to the failure of alcohol prohibition and advocates for legalization based on the harm inflicted on young African American men who become involved in the criminal justice system as a result of marijuana possession charges. We agree that the criminal justice system is in need of reform and that disproportionality exists throughout the system.  However, marijuana legalization is not the silver bullet solution to the issue.

In its argument, The New York Times editorial team failed to mention a cascade of public health problems associated with the increased availability of marijuana. While law enforcement will always play an important role in combating violent crime associated with the drug trade, the Obama Administration approaches substance use as a public health issue, not merely a criminal justice problem.

The editorial ignores the science and fails to address public health problems associated with increased marijuana use. Here are the facts:

  • Marijuana use affects the developing brain. A recent study in Brain reveals impairment of the development of structures in some regions of the brain following prolonged marijuana use that began in adolescence or young adulthood.[1] Marijuana use is associated with cognitive impairment, including lower IQ among adult chronic users who began using marijuana at an early age.[2]
  • Substance use in school age children has a detrimental effect on their academic achievement. Students who received earned D’s or F’s were more likely to be current users of marijuana than those who earned A’s (45% vs. 10%).[3]
  • Marijuana is addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana. This number increases to about 17 percent among those who start young and to 25-50 percent among people who use marijuana daily.[4]
  • Drugged driving is a threat to our roadways. Marijuana significantly impairs coordination and reaction time and is the illicit drug most frequently found to be involved in automobile accidents, including fatal ones.[5]

The editors of The New York Times may have valid concerns about disproportionality throughout our criminal justice system.  But we as policy makers cannot ignore the basic scientific fact that marijuana is addictive and marijuana use has harmful consequences.  Increased consumption leads to higher public health and financial costs for society. Addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco, which are legal and taxed, already result in much higher social costs than the revenue they generate. The cost to society of alcohol alone is estimated to be more than 15 times the revenue gained by its taxation.[6] For this reason, the Obama Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy remain committed to drug use prevention, treatment, support for recovery, and innovative criminal justice strategies to break the cycle of drug use and associated crime. This approach is helping improve public health and safety in communities across the United States.

Research also indicates that policies making drugs more available would likely not eliminate the black market or improve public health and safety, as promoted by marijuana advocates. Reports from the nonpartisan RAND Institute found that the potential economic benefits from legalization had been overstated, citing that:

  • Marijuana legalization would not eliminate the black market for marijuana.[7]
  • Dramatically lowered prices could mean substantially lower potential tax revenue for states.[8]

We are also keeping a close eye on the states of Washington and Colorado in conformance with the directive provided by the Attorney General in August 2013.

Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking. The Obama Administration continues to oppose legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs because it flies in the face of a public health approach to reducing drug use and its consequences. Our approach is founded on the understanding of addiction as a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which people can recover. We will continue to focus on genuine drug policy reform – a strategy that rejects extremes, and promotes expanded access to treatment, evidence-based prevention efforts, and alternatives to incarceration.

 

Source: The White House

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Johnny Green

211 Comments

  1. What’s the addictive percentage on sugar, or caffeine or any of this other crap I can’t pronounce on the back of this label. 9% I bet it’s higher bet it’s worse for you to

  2. No ones talking about giving it to kids. This defense is garbage since kids would have a harder Time buying it if it became legal and Jamaica study’s show the effects on driving are low unless the user is a new smoker

  3. bush_doctor420 on

    another thing that comes to mind…. if obama refuses to change the classification of cannabis to at least a schedule two drug, then he should be impeeched and arrested. after all he did admit to smoking pot, and admitted to inhaling. does that not make him guilty by admission of a FEDERAL OFFENCE?

  4. bush_doctor420 on

    lol! why would you say that? is this the kind of behavior non smokers tend towards? hurling insults at people? i bet you drink alcohol.
    only alcoholics pick fights for no reason. and commit acts of violence. people who smoke marijuana are chill, layed back, and most generally would rather play music or create beautiful art peices. they care about the earth, and each other. and other people too. like the people being killed by ISIS, or whats going on in furgeson illinois.
    the federal government has bigger fish to fry. and marijuana legalization, regulation, and taxation, could actually help them do what REALLY needs to be done.
    fix the infrastructure, feed the hungry, PROTECT OUR FREEDOM!!!
    but let freedom and liberty be REAL!!!
    alcohol is evil in my opinion. my dad drank, beat my mom, wrecked his cars. and caused people like me to not have a good father.
    i dont see that with marijuana smokers at all. it has the power to bring people together, who otherwise have nothing else in common.
    i dont like rap music, but id deffinately smoke one with snoop dog or ice cube. maybe even play guitar and spit some rap tunes with them.
    just sayin cannabis, weed, marijuana, indo, chronic, whatever you choose to call it, it is the safer choice. and it is also medicinally valuable. unlike the crap thats legal.
    and no its not a gateway drug. if someone offered me any other substance before i was offered marijuana, chances are i would have tried it. THANK GOD NO ONE EVER OFFERED ME HEROIN!!!!
    truth is the government is owned by pharma…. and legalizing pot will cripple pharma BIG TIME!!!
    why? cause marijuana actually works as a true medicine. unlike the pills pharma keeps pushing on people.

  5. Government slash corporate power fears weed because it cuts through their heinous propaganda. Weed help us see through their bullshit lies. Light up! Kids, not yet, guys. Grow your minds first.

  6. Eff the Whitehouse on

    What a crock of shiite! “Marijuana legalization would not eliminate the black market”: Perhaps not totally, but consider what the elimination of the federal alcohol prohibition did to the Al Capone’s, etc of the day. Do a few people still sell “black market” alcohol? Sure! But is black market alcohol the same scourge today that it was in Capone’s day? I sure don’t think so.
    “Dramatically lowered prices”- Who the hades are they trying to con here? Does anyone REALLY believe that prices would go LOWER once the government got involved and began taxing marijuana sales??? That is ludicrous!

    The suggestion that marijuana should remain illegal “because it is addictive to 9% of users” is total hypocrisy in light of the fact that alcohol and cigarettes are legal today. Those substances are far more addictive, yet we don’t arrest people who choose to use them. Anyone who drinks alcohol, yet feels morally superior to a marijuana smoker needs to extract their head from their arse because they are a total hypocrite!

  7. Rebel-lutionary on

    Big Timber of the 1930’s with federal government persuasion………$, friends,friends of friends,etc…. The reason we are having to fight this idiotic prohibition today!!!!!!! LEARN YOUR HISTORY NAYSAYERS!!!!!!! ;)

  8. Rebel-lutionary on

    People( including) medical professionals!!! Corrupt any god given plants that can be used for medicine. Not the other way around!!!!!!

  9. Rebel-lutionary on

    They want “us” to feel doomed, so we will have a give up mentality. I talk to so many people who have given up on voting for this reason! Don’t let them win!!!! Them– media, government/corporate business( not a free market) big pharmacy! both political parties! and every beaurocat in DC!!!! It’s one big machine!!!! Across the pond is worse, y’all have The European Union on top of your big governments!!! SCARY! But not enough to give up:)

    We still have our own minds……….

  10. Obama is an idiot…. explains this idiotic response… no one said to give it to children… or do use it then go drive a motor vehicle… they are just throwing stuff up against the wall hoping something sticks

  11. As I’m walking into the dispensary downstairs. Seems so many glasses are half are empty here.

  12. Uhhh, bogus-facts alert. The government is incorrect! The study on the brain was flawed because the daily dosage used in it is far above most normal pot smokers at that age. I cannot believe intelligent people in the government would post such blatant phoney “Clinical Tests” as proof of some kind of general problem with it.

    AND I believe ALCOHOL is the main problem when driving, not pot–most pot users know when they cannot drive and pull over and park instead.

    The main problem with the government is that they play semantic games with their propaganda on the drug war, they refuse to be accurate and only tout bogus tests that back up their agenda. The lies they tell are excuses to keep their pet-income from drug law enforcement. The drug war is tied to the NSA now, and 75% of their surveillance is on US citizens who are not terrorists.

    These lies are why young folks do not trust what the government says about drugs and that creates the “gateway” to use other drugs. Once they try pot and find out it is benign and healthy, they think the coke and speed and heroin might be something to try. That creates more addicts through your policies than it is worth. Get real about the facts and your credibility will improve. RIght now your own statistics are claiming that 75% of the drug problem in the black market on the street now is PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS–NOT POT!

    This is such a lame government retort that it is embarassing to most Americans that our government is showing such stupidity. There is only 1 solution. STOP THE DRUG WAR IMMEDIATELY. It is devastating our country and filling our prisons and courts with useless trials due to the drug war profits the government is addicted to–things like fossil fuels which are ruining our ecology and causing on-going oil wars.

    We are coming to NY September 21st, we will not leave until the government finally makes sense on climate change and the drug war–we will do peaceful assembly and redress of grievances, as well as non-violent civil-disobedience. We want our Constitution back in place, and all our rights outlined in it. We want an end to all fossil fuels, an end to all oil-wars supposedly aimed at terrorists, and immediate implementation of Climate Change resources to clean out the carbon.

    AND we want our industrial hemp NOW! We know it is a multi-trillion dollar economic resource and absolutely necessary for true green-sustainability and off-setting carbon–4 times more than trees, which are not even annually renewable, and are being logged into extinction globally. It should be mandatory to grow millions of acres of hemp everywhere just to clean out the carbon problem.

    If this is too much for the government than maybe we need to replace it? The government is supposed to listen to the people, not the lobbies who are actually not for any people but the corporations’ stockholders. It is so obvious–the military-industrial-complex globally ruling the planet now does not really care about the citizens in the USA. it is obvious by the lack of renewing and fixing bridges, highways, levies, schools, and waterways.

    Instead, the government keeps fracking and building pipelines. All the subsidies for fossil fuels, if they were applied instead to Hemp and Green Sustainability, would be an economic, environmental, and energy healing from all the pollution and wars.Then we can help the world do the same.

    US used to be the good guys on the World-block, now we are the global cops on the block instead. What a bummer….maybe we can fix this?

    For our childrens’ and their children’s’ futures we need to pay attention to what the government is doing and not doing now. So, millions are monitoring what our government does, says, and claims. We see no clothes on the Emperor, he is naked.

  13. Marijuana advocates all know the facts and they have been stated time and time again. Perhaps children with low grades are dealing with stress, bullying, or any number of the factors that make school intolerable for some. That does not imply that marijuana is the problem but rather an escape for kids that are not receiving the support they need. I avoided marijuana through my teenage years and had the life drained out of me while using anti-depressants. Years after graduating I stopped using anti-depressants and the anxiety and depression issues came back harder than ever. Two years ago, through advice from a doctor at the emergency room, I decided to get a medicinal card and create my own program. Immediately my appetite became balanced, I started exercising as I loved being outside, and my anxiety and depression halted. I was employed full-time, working anywhere from 40-60 hours a week and never having an issue.

    The facts are known but we still ignore the two most important arguments. One, Marijuana is a tool, who you are and how you use it are far more important than what effects it actually produces. A lazy person isn’t the result of marijuana, neither is a highly functional person who smokes, the psychological build up of humans varies from person to person based off how they were conditioned through their life. The second point and arguably the most important, the government has no business telling me how to live. Federal government should have practically no power in our ever day lives. Just because they think humans are not capable of being responsible doesn’t meant they get to take away our freedoms, especially when you consider the fact that our government is run by people still unable to grasp simple modern day concepts. Legalize marijuana, legalize gay-marriage, and then rebuild the government from a new and logical foundation because frankly I’m tired of the incompetence, the hypocrisy, and the inequality in power that our government operates on. Stop using “protection” as a way to steal freedom, I’d like to keep my freedom and be responsible for protecting myself. How many more decades will pass before we acknowledge that we need to have a massive over-haul on our government?

  14. Marijuana prohibition is seriously outdated and benefits no one except mobsters, lawyers and prisons-for-profit. It makes criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens, and wastes the resources of law enforcement that could be better used in handling real crime instead of harassing harmless marijuana smokers. Marijuana is medically beneficial to cancer patients and chronic pain sufferers and is far better for anxiety/pain/nausea control than most prescription drugs, which will rule and ruin your life. Additionally, the money a state could make off legalizing and taxing marijuana in the manner of cigarettes and alcohol – harmful yet legal drugs – is astronomical. No more deficits. The same traffic laws that control drunk drivers could easily apply – no greater number of impaired drivers. It makes long-overdue sense. Legalize it, America!

  15. flexiblesink61 on

    Legalize and tax, and get government to regulate where it can be used, and prosecute law breakers.

  16. paulvonhartmann on

    As disingenuous and hypocritical a response as one would expect from an outlaw regime. “The [Choom Gang] Administration continues to oppose legalization of marijuana and other [“strategic food resources”] because it flies in the face of a [“drug war”] approach to reducing [safe and effective herbal therapeutic] use and its consequences [for the wars, fossil fuels and pharmaceutical industries, in which we are entirely vested].”

  17. This White House response is as absurd as the prohibition has been. I find it offensive to the valid organizations pushing for research, and those who have proven the benefits for children with spasmodic seizures.
    My guess is that after they scripted their response, they broke out a bottle of scotch to celebrate – hippocrites!

  18. Nunya, you hit it on the nail, this article is silly in it’s pseudoscientific approach and dissemination of “facts”.

    If you want to see a substance that actually has very serious and violent societal ills, look no farther than alcohol,
    a substance that is horrible addictive and the most likely withdrawal for an addict to die from if not hospitalized.

    Tobacco…. look at the DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years) discrepancies from cigarette smoking.

    What clinical use do these substances have? What benefit other than a purely hedonic one do they offer.

    Now look at marijuana. Schedule I , technically considered to have no clinical value, yet it has a wealth of
    evidence backing it’s use for a variety of ailments. It is also not nearly as addictive as tobacco or alcohol,
    and does not have a significant physiological dependency.

  19. Captain Obvious on

    Thank You doctor for your post and service to humanity. I hope more doctors publicly start posting more things like this and speak out against the groupthink machine from the Nixon era.

  20. ^^^^^^^^Everyone read that? We could all learn a valuable lesson about the dangers of this marihuana monster. It’s just as dangerous as opiates and cocaine! We must be insane to think about ‘doping’ our brains with this controlling drug. And I’m surprised that smoking Cannabis is the only method of consumption. I guess edibles and vaporizers don’t count. And I guess the revenue that would be accrued (compared to the thousands that are spent on marijuana convictions) doesn’t matter either. And eliminating the black market of weed isn’t important? You think people would rather go meet a drug dealer than go to a legal store? Health risks and a 9 percent chance of addiction? Common sense says we probably need to go ahead with legalization.

  21. Nunya Biznezz on

    So what I hear this article saying is:
    1) it adversely affects the forming brain. (I am not a child and my brain has already formed.)
    2) You get D’s and F’s in school. (My GPS has never dipped below a 3.0 – which is the equivalent of straight B’s. I also knew more people growing up who smoked and got straight A’s than smoked and did not get passing grades.)
    3) marijuana is addictive. (So is O2, H2O, Au, and whatever the chemical compound of caffeine is; but, no one seems to be telling you about their addictive properties. You can also die if you get too much O2, H2O, Au, and caffeine or if any of them are pumped directly into your blood stream.)
    4) drugged driving (I don’t own a vehicle.)
    5) The FDA approved marinol. (Marinol is marijuana which was made by a pharmaceutical company in a lab. Oh wait, that is not mentioned in the article.)
    6) cited in this article, “Addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco, which are legal and taxed, already result in much higher social costs than the revenue they generate. The cost to society of alcohol alone is estimated to be more than 15 times the revenue gained by its taxation.” The Journal of Preventative medicine. (I haven’t been to a doctor since 2009. How is my alcohol consumption costing the society anything? Before you answer see number 4 again.) To be a scientifically valid statement, one must state the statistic being used in the article and how it actually applies. I could say that diabetes cost the society 100% more than the revenue collected by taxing the causes of diabetes. On the flip side of the coin: look at guns. They cost the society 200% more than the revenue gained by its taxation.
    7) Marijuana legalization would not eliminate the black market for marijuana. (It eliminated the black market in Colorado and Washington state.)
    8) Dramatically lowered prices could mean substantially lower potential tax revenue for states. (How is this economically possible? If they don’t tax it now it means no tax dollars are brought in. If they tax it even one dollar per year, they are actually making money no matter what the price is at the store. The potential tax revenue for the states is zero right now. If they tax it, the potential tax revenue will only rise.)
    And why did this article not say anything about the presidents who have actually smoked marijuana? Which presidents you ask? The last three including the current one and many before them.

    So, in closing, I am not a child. I am an adult who does not own a car, does not go to doctors, and had a 3.0 or better for all of my years in school and most, if not all, of my college career. So why are adults, like myself, unable to relax this way? (I only drink because I can not smoke.) why is the federal government two faced? The FDA approves marinol but won’t actually approve of the God made plant. How is that fair to nature?

  22. I worked for the Arizona State Mental Hospital for over 7 years. The Hospital has NEVER in it’s history admitted anyone for marijuana addiction. Marijuana would hurt illegal sales and drug dealers. The government is not telling the truth and these arguments are not scientific nor scientifically proved. It is smoke and mirrors. “Reefer Madness”, the bizzare film about marijuana was made by the government and shows how uninformed they are. I assume it is the pharmaceutical companies who are really against marijuana and our politicians will certainly take the money from corporations. After all we have become the United States of Corporations.

  23. Danny Noonan-Miss on

    The Obama White House is simply a complete and utter failure and now they show once again how it is hard for Big Govt to ever consider that maybe FREEDOM should be put ahead of their own petty self interests. Big Govt does not want to lose control of the punitive laws that it gets to impose on people. The legalization fight will take many more years I’m afraid.

  24. Danny Noonan-Miss on

    Correct Drew…..I never voted for the “messiah” as I’m not a leftist and knew he was just a puppet of Big Corporations, Big Labor, Big Abortion, Big Banking Industry, and Big Govt Police State. But, he’s been an even bigger failure than most everyone thought. We need a true conservative, who believes Govt should not be intrusive into people’s lives….people who just want to smoke a plant, for crying out loud, should be left alone.

  25. Danny Noonan-Miss on

    No previous president had states voting recreational cannabis in, so your argument is a non-starter. Odumbo has been a COMPLETE FAILURE. He’s done zero for legalization. He took years to even state that medical marijuana users would not be pursued and prosecuted by his butt buddy Eric Holder and the rest of the Nazis there in DOJ. Obama is the problem. Leftist Big GOVT folks like Kennedy (D) Connecticut who are actively running organziations opposed to marijuana legalization, are the problem. Get educated. Get the facts.

  26. Danny Noonan-Miss on

    Wrong. ODUMBO could have pushed for legalization if that is what he wants, but clearly he does not want that. He was in the Choom Gang like 30+ years ago…since then he used that silver spoon to get a supposed Ivy league education and became President with just a cup of coffee in the Senate. Why is it assumed big Govt leftists are for legalization? If they are, why did they not legalize at some point in the last 80 years since a Democrat put in place prohibition??

  27. Danny Noonan-Miss on

    WRONG….this is the OBAMA White House. Don’t you Leftists get tired of being used as pawns by rich leftist elitists? They could care less about this topic. What they want is a larger more powerful central govt and a police state employing more public union employees, as well as millions more people dependent on the Fed Govt. That is what Leftists want. The false argument that Leftists are for freedom, has been disproven a thousand times over.

  28. Danny Noonan-Miss on

    No anarchy is not the right answer, but Communism, and 3rd world dictator type of lousy Communism with criminals like Obama, Eric Holder, etc, is also obviously not the answer. 18 trillion in debt and rapidly climbing. Employment levels at unbelieveably low levels, rising costs of energy, groceries, healthcare, rising regulations, crony “green” capitalism, increasing debt, lawlessness at the Fed level and all the way down, a virtual police-state, etc etc. This is what Obama’s awful 6 years (and the 2 years of Dem control of Congress when they caused the Great Recession w/their housing bubble collapse and mortgage scandals) we get as a society. Marijuana needs to be legalized because it should have never been illegal to begin with. It is a plant, with medical benefits, and very little negatives.

  29. Did you even read my comment. I was responding to the comment “MJP is not addicting” since yoiu quoted 9% then i guess yoiu agree with me that it is, not for everyone but it can be addicting. I never said rehabs are full of pot heads.

    How many medicines…..
    1. Comes in measured doses? (all)
    2. Come in excact strengths?(all)
    3. Voted on by public? lol my favorite (the lay public are experts on what should be a medicine, how many blood pressure pills have you voted on? 4. It’s can’t be prescribed, because its not a medicine, it;s recommended….gee wonder why, its not a real medicine.
    5. Requires no health screening……alot of meds docs give with no health screening
    6. Grow there own medicine.(like HI) We ask a lot of our patients to grow there own medicine.
    7. How many medicines are smoked? Lets count them……zero, nobody has come into my hospital and i set something on fire for them
    8. Has no warnings of harm……..all medicines have warnings, even oxygen. MJP has a clear one….dont drive!, but is that on the package? no, because its not a regulated medicine.
    I can go on and on with what true medicines are, MJP is now a political battle and is being used to move voters, this will punish the small % of people who can benefit from MJP as medicine.

    “PTSD, chronic pain, Chron’s Disease, chemotherapy, glaucoma, anorexia.” besides the Glaucoma all the conditions i think can benefit from MJP, too bad >80% of people with “medical card” don’t have them, they are white males between 18-30 with history of drug abuse.

    And as for your Glaucoma, it does refuce press in your eye until you stop smoking it, and then gee guess what there is goes back up again, and trials show that we have real medicine that works better. How many eye docs prescribe it….hmm…NONE

    And for your final stoned moronic comment, “God gave us water to drink and cannabis to cure” he also gave us the mind to choose what is good for us. One can also say “God gave us water to drink and the coca plant and Opium poppy to cure” LOL…same thing, and those two god given plants are destroying are world and are filling up are rehabs.

    But down your bong, fatty or bowel and get an education. Learn about your body and brain and how any chemicals that disrupt is bad. I don’t know why i even reply on a pro MJP site.

    Don’t reply i won’t read anything else you say, it will be deleted. I have too many patients to see and too many lectures to write on drug prevention. Thanks for your reply though, the stupidity means its too late for you but maybe we can reach someone else before they “dope” there brain…..hmm why do they call it “dope” It is gods medicine……LOL

  30. PTSD, chronic pain, Chron’s Disease, chemotherapy, glaucoma, anorexia… Marijuana treats all of it plus many many more. And umm, I guess that’s why so many states have legalized it MEDICALLY as a MEDICINE you genius. God gave us water to drink. He gave us Cannabis to cure. And I hate to tell you this but rehabs aren’t full of stoners. Probably because only 9 Percent get addicted. Do you even understand the subject in which you are discussing or are you really just 100 percent ignorant about it?

  31. We have far more dangerous drugs that are legal, prescription drugs, especially anti-depressant’s are far more dangerous on society than medical marijuana in every way. They kill hundreds of thousands of people a year and drive the rest to suicide and mass shootings. Let’s not deny the fact that this plant was one of the most important medicine for the past 5,000 + years and there was never a study that showed a negative result. Yes, some of the strains of MMJ affect people that makes them lazy, forgetful or a tad slow, but that’s because that is an Indica strain which is a relaxant. The Sativa strain will make you creative, energetic and motivated. Each strain varies the compound of CBD and THC, and each compound controls a different disease. If you’re depressed you want a sativa, if you are anxious you want an Indica let’s be responsible and look at the “whole” picture not just one aspect.

  32. Same old same old!, These are all the same as alchol. But alchol is far worse, for its liver, violence, young drinking high percent alchol. its just all so stupid to carry on this fasard that it is so bad when alchol is obviously the worse of the two. you never hear of wife beaten from stonner! more like hugged too much lol. never hear of the young going to hospital for new liver because they drunk vodka/wiskey in such large quantitys. you can OD on marijuana- you just go to sleep- alchol you can keep drinking, be sick and carry on until you have blood poisoning!. This is still the most stupid debate in the world! its in the fkin bible! its grows everywhere! even animals love it! trust me- if you grow a plant outside they will eat it!. For the love of mother nature I wish the US and England- rest of the world would just let it go and focus on saving the planet we live on. there are much worse problems to focus on- or maybe that is why they want to drag out the debate? so people dont pay attention to the real problems! Fkin joke this world. grow up! elect a government that really wants to go places rather than be in the pocket of a bank or part of a family. nothing you do can actually do anything anyway. its all too curupt and we all doomed i tell’s ya Doomed!!!! lmfao

  33. The government didn’t pump kids, parents and physicians are to blame for that. There are real needs for those meds. Are the way over prescribed….YES

  34. MJP is not medicine…..it has no common threads with real medicine. Cannabis is not addictive, then why do so many people go to rehab wanting off of it?? Poison Ivy was sent from god too, go smoke a bowel of that. There is over 400 poison plants god sent. Opiates are a horrible drug, gee is there a plant that is comes from.. Could you be any more wrong???

  35. Sounds like some pretty soft excuses not to allow this MEDICINE to help those in need. Cannabis is not addictive. You have to put limits on your activities, whatever they may be. Alcohol IS addictive (and perfectly legal). What’s the real reason they won’t legalize this harmless plant that was sent from God himself? We all know that, “..to all seed-bearing plants he gives to us..” so why are we supposed to believe it’s a horrible substance?

  36. Vote republiCon & see where that get’s you idiot! You are probably a right wing tool anyway!

  37. Ummm, in case you didn’t notice, prohibition has been around for quite a bit longer than the six years Obama’s been in office. Yes, Obama has failed to take any action (and look where that has gotten him, popularity-wise), but the real villains here are not our President.

  38. why is it that the same facts can be found for aderal, welbutrin, ritilin, yet not only are these drugs legal they are forced onto our children, im so glad i was pumped full of dextroemphetamine, cause with out it i bet i never would have found meth and the ni might still have my teeth, thanks pfizer. jackasses

  39. Rivera Miguel on

    You are uneducated on this subject, so of course you have no clue what I am talking about. You definitely come off as a retard, nothing wrong with that, just as long as you stay in your lane.

  40. Perry Sloope on

    Its a lame response with no teeth and includes half-truths and basically lies. They fail to note that recent studies have shown that states with medical marijuana have not seen any increase in use among those under 21. The Marijuana is addictive argument is a matter of the definition of addiction. Pot is not physically addictive and that is well known. Some researchers use a definition of addiction that would make chewing gum an additive substance and those are the ones they apply to pot. No one is advocating that children be allowed access to pot, but keeping it illegal means those who get it will get it from dealers who may eventually entice them with harder drugs. You can consider the harsh laws to be the gateway to harder drugs. Their response also does not consider the significant social harm to society caused by the laws. The loss in tax revenue from productive people harmed by these laws probably exceeds the cost to enforce the laws. And don’t get me started on the useless DEA which consumes over 2 billion each year of tax payer funds to basically do nothing useful. Its just welfare for bureaucrats.

  41. James Anderwald on

    Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking.- copy+pasted from this article, from the governments response. which is EXACTLY what nytimes said they would say,

    Hemp
    and Marijuana

    Myths &
    Realities

    Abstract

    Surely no member of the
    vegetable kingdom has ever been more misunderstood than
    hemp. For too many years, emotion-not reason-has
    guided our policy toward this crop. And nowhere
    have emotions run hotter than in the debate over the
    distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. This
    paper is intended to inform that debate by offering
    scientific evidence, so that farmers, policymakers,
    manufacturers, and the general public can distinguish
    between myth and reality.

    Botanically, the genus Cannabis
    is composed of several variants. Although
    there has been a long-standing debate among taxonomists
    about how to classify these variants into species,
    applied plant breeders generally embrace a biochemical
    method to classify variants along utilitarian lines. Cannabis
    is the only plant genus that contains the unique
    class of molecular compounds called cannabinoids. Many
    cannabinoids have been identified, but two preponderate:
    THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis,
    and CBD, which is an antipsychoactive ingredient. One
    type of Cannabis is high in the
    psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, and low in the
    antipsychoactive cannabinoid, CBD. This
    type is popularly known as marijuana. Another type
    is high in CBD and low in THC. Variants of
    this type are called industrial hemp.

    In the United States, the debate
    about the relationship between hemp and marijuana has
    been diminished by the dissemination of many statements
    that have little scientific support. This report examines
    in detail ten of the most pervasive and pernicious of
    these myths.

    Myth: United States law
    has always treated hemp and marijuana the same.

    Reality: The history of
    federal drug laws clearly shows that at one time the U.S.
    government understood and accepted the distinction
    between hemp and marijuana.

    Myth: Smoking
    industrial hemp gets a person high.

    Reality: The THC levels
    in industrial hemp are so low that no one could get high
    from smoking it. Moreover, hemp contains a relatively
    high percentage of another cannabinoid, CBD, that
    actually blocks the marijuana high. Hemp, it turns out,
    is not only not marijuana; it could be called
    “antimarijuana.”

    Myth: Even
    though THC levels are low in hemp, the THC can be
    extracted and concentrated to produce a powerful drug.

    Reality: Extracting THC
    from industrial hemp and further refining it to eliminate
    the preponderance of CBD would require such an expensive,
    hazardous, and time-consuming process that it is
    extremely unlikely anyone would ever attempt it, rather
    than simply obtaining high-THC marijuana instead.

    Myth: Hemp fields would
    be used to hide marijuana plants.

    Reality: Hemp is grown
    quite differently from marijuana. Moreover, it is
    harvested at a different time than marijuana. Finally,
    cross-pollination between hemp plants and marijuana
    plants would significantly reduce the potency of the
    marijuana plant.

    Myth: Legalizing hemp
    while continuing the prohibition on marijuana would
    burden local police forces.

    Reality: In countries
    where hemp is grown as an agricultural crop, the police
    have experienced no such burdens.

    Myth: Feral hemp must
    be eradicated because it can be sold as marijuana.

    Reality: Feral hemp, or
    ditchweed, is a remnant of the hemp once grown on more
    than 400,000 acres by U.S. farmers. It contains extremely
    low levels of THC, as low as .05 percent. It has no drug
    value, but does offer important environmental benefits as
    a nesting habitat for birds. About 99 percent of the
    “marijuana” being eradicated by the federal
    government-at great public expense-is this harmless
    ditchweed. Might it be that the drug enforcement agencies
    want to convince us that ditchweed is hemp in order to
    protect their large eradication budgets?

    Myth: Those who want to
    legalize hemp are actually seeking a backdoor way to
    legalize marijuana.

    Reality: It is true
    that many of the first hemp stores were started by
    industrial-hemp advocates who were also in favor of
    legalizing marijuana. However, as the hemp industry has
    matured, it has come to be dominated by those who see
    hemp as the agricultural and industrial crop that it is,
    and see hemp legalization as a different issue than
    marijuana legalization. In any case, should we oppose a
    very good idea simply because some of those who support
    it also support other ideas with which we disagree?

    Myth: Hemp oil is a
    source of THC.

    Reality: Hemp oil is an
    increasingly popular product, used for an expanding
    variety of purposes. The washed hemp seed contains no THC
    at all. The tiny amounts of THC contained in industrial
    hemp are in the glands of the plant itself. Sometimes, in
    the manufacturing process, some THC- and CBD-containing
    resin sticks to the seed, resulting in traces of THC in
    the oil that is produced. The concentration of these
    cannabinoids in the oil is infinitesimal. No one can get
    high from using hemp oil.

    Myth: Legalizing hemp
    would send the wrong message to children.

    Reality: It is the
    current refusal of the drug enforcement agencies to
    distinguish between an agricultural crop and a drug crop
    that is sending the wrong message to children.

    Myth: Hemp is not
    economically viable, and should therefore be outlawed.
    Reality: The market for
    hemp products is growing rapidly. But even if it were
    not, when has a crop ever been outlawed simply because
    government agencies thought it would be unprofitable to
    grow?

    http://www.naihc.org/hemp_information/content/hemp.mj.html

    also, in addition to all this information there is the organization known as L.E.A.P., also known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

    even their current and former enforcers are against prohibition. all it does from their perspective is destroy the citizens value of police and other enforcers. for instance have you ever heard of Hogweed? it is a very dangerous plant. http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72556.html

    IF YOU look up what it does it is some seriously serious chemical that jacks you up like that.now if what the government has ever said about weed were true, EVERY single person that has ever come into contact with cannabis in any capacity (technically we all are, even the government, especially when they take and massively burn crops of cannabis to uphold this farce.

    http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2010/02/dea_to_burn_boastful_growers_bud.php

    also, there is the whole fact that the us government, in the citizens interest, have a patent or 12 for cannabis and its MEDICINAL VALUE. FACT. FACTUAL. ACTUAL.

    In
    1994, studies at the Medical College of the University of Virginia were
    funded by the Institute of Health in the hopes that research would show
    that marijuana damages the immune system. What the scientists found instead was that THC – a cannabis component – slowed the growth of three kinds of cancers.

    These types of cancer were lung, breast and a virus induced leukemia.
    Also, in 1974, researchers learned that THC – the active chemical in
    marijuana – shrank or destroyed brain tumors in test mice.

    The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) quickly shut down
    the Virginia study and destroyed its results. This ‘protective’ agency
    went on to stop (and destroy) all research – throughout the country –
    pertaining to cannabis and granted exclusive research rights to major
    pharmaceutical companies. Does this sound like a ‘free and open
    society’ – geared toward the betterment of mankind? – See more at: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/politics_health/0909_cannabis_patent.html#sthash.IfGu3SoT.dpuf

    References:
    US Patent 6,630,507 Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants

    http://uspatent6630507.com
    http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ds.shtml
    http://www.change.org/petitions/immediately-remove-cannabis-from-the-csa-and-single-convention-treaty
    http://gut.bmj.com/content/57/8/1140.abstract
    http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/factsheet/medical-use-of-cannabis
    http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/05n0479/05N-0479-emc0004-04.pd
    http://primalhealthnews.com/cannabinoids-occur-naturally-in-human-breast-milk
    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/04/25/high-on-health-cbd-in-the-food-supply
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080624-marijuana_2.html
    http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system
    http://the-human-solution.org/education-resources/education/cannabis/the-endocannabinoid-system
    http://www.cannabiscure.info/files/cannabis_breastmilk.htm
    http://montanabiotech.com/2011/03/26/scientists-find-new-sources-of-plant-cannabinoids-other-than-medical-marijuana
    http://www.medicaljane.com/2013/01/19/cannabis-the-foundation-of-health
    – See more at:
    http://www.naturalhealth365.com/politics_health/0909_cannabis_patent.html#sthash.IfGu3SoT.dpuf

    bottom line: everything about the end of alcohol prohibition TECHNICALLY applies to ALL prohibition.

  42. James Anderwald on

    omg. nytimes said for adults 21+ only; therefor the first 2 “public health issues” are irrelevant. 3 is irrelevant because SUGAR IS ALSO doing this; 4 is irrelevant because smoking a cigarette and driving is far more detrimental than cannabis ever will be.

  43. Oh what a sickening argument. How dare you spin a FAIL ON OBAMA to “Rich racist white men”. Who is the executive who signs the bills? If he is just a puppet who has no control, it’s curious he has been able to use his Pen to subsidize his buddies in the exact same industry you are speaking of.

  44. Dan Richeson on

    From the ONDCP website (about selected paragraph)

    Anti-legalization Policy[edit]

    By law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form) of illicit drugs. According to the “Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998” the director of the ONDCP

    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that —

    1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

    The Government Accountability Office has found that this law authorizes the ONDCP to disseminate information in order to oppose legalization:

    Finally, apart from considerations of whether any particular law has been violated, you have asked whether the Deputy Director’s letter disseminated misleading information in connection with statements relating to the debate over legalization of marijuana. Clearly, the Deputy Director’s statements reflect one perspective regarding marijuana – a perspective that is disputed by others with different viewpoints. However, ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for “taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of certain controlled substances such as marijuana – a responsibility which logically could include the making of advocacy statements in opposition to legalization efforts. The Deputy Director’s statements about marijuana are thus within the statutory role assigned to ONDCP. Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director’s individual statements in detail.

  45. History portion was released today. It wasn’t written well, especially for an editor of a major newspaper. Here’s all they wrote about the Shafer Commission report.

    “The country accepted a senselessly punitive approach to sentencing as long as minorities and the poor paid the price. But, by the late 1960s, weed had been taken up by white college students from the middle and upper classes. Seeing white lives ruined by marijuana laws altered public attitudes about harsh sentencing, and, in 1972, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse released a report challenging the approach.

    The commission concluded that criminalization was “too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use,” and that “the actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.” The Nixon administration dismissed these ideas.”

  46. Try reading some of the against legalization comments on the NY Times articles. They’re pretty absurd. Makes you want to force them into a NORML (or other factually correct and informative) lecture and not let them out until they’ve passed a knowledge test.The GOOD news is that the against legalization comments, across all of the articles, amount to less than 5% of the total for, against, or unsure. Combined with the unsure, they amount to 5.5%. This means that of 10,000 votes/polled (though some may be duplicates), 95% are for marijuana legalization.

    Here are some examples from the History portion released today.

    “Yes; I used to be in favor of decriminalization. Not so much anymore, after seeing the contemptible behaviors in California and other states, where getting a doctor’s “card” to require marijuana for a obviously phony medical condition is openly abused. And seeing marijuana put into candy and lollipops, and other items clearly intended to appeal to young children (and in very high doses!). The situation is very ripe for abuse.”

    “Yes. I am wondering if I am the only person that has had bad experiences with marijuana? The feelings of paranoia made me sick to my stomach and totally frightened. I tried a few times and each experience was worse than the previous…I wouldn’t wish those feelings on anyone. Plus, have you ever been a passenger in a car driven by someone who is “high”? Totally scary!”

    “I listened to the various accounts over the years and find finally that legalization will inevitably substantially increase its’ use in the teen population introducing many unfortuante outcomes within that immature group.”

    “Yes! I think it should more criminalized. If marijuana is legalized, more people who become addicted and suffer. It will not make out country better!”

    “There is evidence that student’s grades plummet with it’s use–or overuse,as young people are wont to do. My views have not changed. The US Navy was vitally concerned since sailors-average age 19 were working on airplanes and as Pot use increased,so did the accident rate and ‘readiness’ decreased.”

    “Marijuana is a drug just like any other drug. It leads to worse drugs and is also highly addictive.”

    “I am the kind of person that would try marijuana if it were legalized. I’m that dumb. I worry that increased access would induce persons to try it to their detriment. I worry that I’d end up becoming dependent on it. I need the government to save me from myself.”

    “Legalizing marijuana sends the message that we approve of using it. Generations growing up with that impression will result in more impaired people living among and interacting with us.”

    “My views have not changed. I am very disappointed with this series by the NY Times. While it is true that the ad campaigns of the 1930’s were dramatic and inaccurate, I do not feel that your reporting is helping the cause today. Marijuana research shows that it is harmful to young people. By reporting pro marijuana youth are getting only one side of the story and do not learn the profound negative effects on developing brains. Please help people make accurate choices by showing the current research on IQ, mental illness and brain development.”

    “Not significantly. As a practicing pediatrician, I watched many teenagers lose any ambition academically by smoking dope regularly.”

    “It is just another intoxicant. Alcohol abuse is a major problem, and the cause of many social problems and criminal activity. To add another legal intoxicant does not make any sense at all.”

    “My major concern is the inducement of lung cancer and other lung diseases and the effect on driving. The medical literature is far from showing that cannabis smoking has no effect on health or fitness to drive.”

    “Contaminating the air with smoke runs against trends, as does increased use of intoxicants generally. Cigarette smoke is considered so harmful that it is banned practically everywhere, but everyone seems to think pot smoke doesn’t place others at risk.”

    “I have become more negative, because of the experiences of friends and relatives addicted to marijuana for 30-40 years. It really does change personalities, and not for the better. People who haven’t observed this are living in lala land. This is NOT a harmless drug as medical professionals will tell you. Why do we need another addictive drug that changes the brain and damages the lungs?”

    “If Marijuana becomes legal, then I am afraid the crime rate would increase. I understand it’s similarities with alcohol but it benefits the gang members who would now be public about it.”

    “Marijuana may not be as harmful as we used to think, but it’s still a dumb choice that lowers our national productivity. I could support the Texas approach of decriminalization. We don’t need to fill our jails with smokers, but we could levy $500 fines for every arrest just so society doesn’t send the message that something that kills brain cells is a good idea.”

    “Yes. Marijuana is so much more potent than it was in the 1930’s. Plus it remains a gateway drug to heroin, which is Afghanistan’s (and therefore Al Qaeda’s) crop of choice. Using marijuana is basically saying yes to terrorism.”

  47. You can’t give an inch then take a yard !! first he says less dangerous than alcohol, now he’s changing his tune ? Pls , this is just another ploy to satisfy his consituencey. He smoked, and didn’t mind it , now because he’s pres, it’s a different ball game, NO, you have to maintain the same line of thought other wise your just another actual politician wanting to control the masses. Well guess what, you can’t destroy the will of the people!!

  48. As a result of this statement put out by God knows who at the White House, our government has “lost their legitimacy to lead”. Isn’t that what they say about every third world tyrant they have decided to throw to the dogs ie. Assad, Qadafi, Saddam Hussein? Time to go boys. History has spoken.

  49. Daniel Dillon on

    it gave me my life back, ive come this far with its help, how far can it make me reach?

  50. If it came from the Obama administration, it’s just another example of same bullshit different day. The easiest way to tell whether an administration spokesman is lying is just watch to see if his lips move if they do he’s lying. In this case where they commit their response to paper, you know they’re lying.

  51. Scott Griffin on

    Who cares the gpvernment is about to collapse and get run out of here by a generation of people ready totake their futures back into their own hands.

  52. It always odd to read disparaging comments directed at the only modern President with enough courage to allow a two State retail recreational cannabis experiment to proceed. If you voted for Mittens Romney you’d be lucky if iced tea were still available.

  53. I believe Native Americans, who have such a high rate of alcohol abuse, believe that cannabis will exacerbate this problem. Of course, the truth is actually the reverse.

  54. As a white woman who has smoked bud, I always wondered what that… feeling… was. :D

  55. Although this language supposedly comes from the “White House”, this response is actually a dying gasp from the the old, wealthy, racist white men who run the pharmaceutical and law-enforcement industries and who lobby ceaselessly in Washington. Ultimately, these selfish, spineless men fear the impact that legalization will have on their bottom line. The American people are sick and tired of these corporate bastards and their blindness to what is good for the country. Fortunately, their days are numbered; it’s a new dawn.

  56. Such a feeble response to what has already been a comprehensive, well-reasoned, and supported series of arguments by the New York Times. Perhaps the authors were distracted by the horror of a shrinking budget and political influence if the removal of such a major player in its raison d’être should occur. I look forward to the rest of the NYT series.

  57. Jacob Satterwhite on

    Our government has forgotten that they work for the will of the people. And currently, the will of the majority either agree that it should be legal or outright don’t care about the legalization issue either way. It’s not ‘supposed’ to be about what our officials ‘THINK’ the problem is (which is clearly stated in their response), it’s what the people want. Whatever makes the people happy. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of folks out there who want their favorite medicine/recreation legal. Which begs the question, why in the living FUCK is this still a damn issue? Back door pharma

  58. Ricky Ableidinger on

    Hey does any one else taste the bullshit that the Whitehouse is trying to shove down our necks.Wake up and do your jobs as like you r expected to do.You r not working at the local Gas station pumping gas and charging the public for your service.Look there r a lot of FACTS to Weigh and it is your job to get it RIGHT…The offices that u hold r important and no one wants to make fun of the way u do your job but HOW MANY HIGH POWERED GOVERNMENT LEADERS R GOING TO KEEP TELLING THE VOTERS THE SAME OLD LIES AND KEEP ASKING TO BE RELECTED OR TRUSTED..IT IS SO SAD TO NOT HAVE ONE POLLITITON BE DISCRACED WHEN THE POWERS TO B CAN NOT FIX THE BROKEN TRUTH LIKE THEY R PAID TO DO. I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THEY CAN KEEP A JOB IN PUBLIC OFFICE WHEN THEY WILL NOT USE THE DATA AVAILABLE TO REPAIR THE BROKEN TRUST IN ELECTED LEADERS. HOW CAN OUR PRESIDENT GO TO STATES AND ASK THE PUBLIC TO VOTE 4 HIM AND THEN SAY THAT THOSE PEOPLES VOICES DO NOT COUNT.

  59. Rivera Miguel on

    It will cause white woman to sleep with negros, we all know nothing is worse than that. One of thee reasons its illegal in the first place. Plus cigarettes are better for you.

  60. The whitehouse isn’t worried about the public health. It’s worried about losing the support of big pharma, who will lose millions if people are able to stop using processed drugs and start using mother natures cure for their ailments. It’s a sad fact that the only bad thing about marijuana is that it’s illegal, yet it has the potential to help so many.

  61. Prohibition AND THE INDUSTRY THAT IS FED BY IT; THE PRION INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, IS NO LESS THAN A FORM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

  62. Bla bla bla. Hey Washington D.C you keep saying the same things over and over since the 70s. People are not buying this these tails any more. I agree kids should not use marijuana or any drug. But if you are 18 and old enough to join our military and o to war to kill or be killed or both. Than guess what this 18 year old can use marijauna, drink, smoke what ever he chooses in my books. If they can be sent to die for our country. Than they should be able to use marijauna. Legalize America , the taxe revenue will get bigger as prices get lower.because more people will be able to afford a better intoxicant than alcolhol .

  63. David_Rogers_Hunt on

    There are over half a million deaths every year in America due to the use of Alcohol and Tobacco products. Should Betty Ford have been sent to prison for her abuse of alcohol? Should Obama have been sent to prison and given a permanent criminal record for his adolescent drug use? If it is really the function of Government to protect people from their own self destructive activities then why not start with dangerous recreational activities like mountain climbing, sky diving, bungee jumping, stock car racing, etc.?

    The drug war is not about public health, it is about saving face for public officials. It is a damn racist lie from beginning to end by either people who are ignorant and believe whatever lies they are told by those in authority to those who make money confiscating people’s property to finance their own government budgets.

    If a women owns her body to the extant that she can unilaterally evict an unwanted child from her body, then it is certainly her choice what intoxicates she may choose to put in it.

  64. “Increased consumption leads to higher public health and financial costs for society.” Oh you mean like the shitty food and drink industry? Were those the words of the fat greasy prison guards? Or was it the Oxycontin peddling legal drug lords? Go fuck yourself if you think you have the right to choose what people do.

  65. Those are great questions. It is like they want their tax revenue and drug war money to eat too. The two should be mutually exclusive for the real deal.

  66. This is why the Obama administration has been such a dismal failure and is abjectly low in its popularity ratings. The administration is tone-deaf to the American public, and is particularly oblivious to what the people are recognizing about the absurdity — and indeed the harm — of prohibiting marijuana. I am ashamed to say that I voted for this empty shell of a politician twice. He really suckered me with all that “Hope” and “Change” bullshit.

  67. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt on

    Its all bs! I know tons of people who been smoking weed every day since 9 yrs old and they are in Harvard or have graduated college at the top of the class and are now successful business owners and family people. Loving, balanced and in no way the typical stone stereotype…

  68. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt on

    Every rebuttal they give can be destroyed in 5 min…, They sound so silly . Like some old, crazy racist who still believe the propaganda of old… Fuck you Washington!

  69. I just might throw my vote for hillary his way if Hillary doesn’t get on board with legalizing Cannabis.

  70. Adult Brains are already developed and your current policy hasn’t done anything to help, and has made things worse. So on top of being wrong now your just ignorant, and those so called ‘studies’ listed are a complete joke! they do not hold scientific credibility as they have no proper controls. and once again, The Adults that you jail are Not school age children . . . evidently with Your mental acuity you are not able to distinguish the difference . . .

  71. I can’t believe any doctor would recommend that anyone start smoking cigarettes. Is tobacco actually supposed to help UC? Even if it did help the potential/likely results of using tobacco could be far worse. I’m glad to hear that your spurned your docs advice.

  72. The government simply needs to go tuck its self in a corner, while lighting its self on fire. Let’s elect Ron Paul, and see what happens with marijuana legalization.

  73. There are a number of issues with this response.

    1/ Marijuana affects the developing brain in children and adolescents. Even if true, not a factor with a minimal age of 21. Most of the children using cannabis medically in my practice are more concerned about surviving their cancers than getting in to Harvard. The folks that started Google, Apple and Microsoft are rumored to have ‘possibly’ used marijuana, and so have a couple of our recent presidents… how do the drug warriors explain that?

    2/ Marijuana is the “illicit drug most frequently found to be involved in automobile accidents, including fatal ones.[5]”… Now would that be active thc or the inert COOH-THC that stays in the body for up to 60 days? Just because I had a beer last weekend does not mean I can be considered to be ‘driving drunk’ today, yet if we had a test to see if we had anything to drink in the last 2 months I bet the story might change a little. But as a paramedic for 12 years and a doctor now, I can assure the readers that alcohol is the major factor in auto accidents, followed by sedating antihistamines if anything. Cannabis users tend to be overly cautious if anything. Drunks blow through stop signs. Cannabis users wait for the stop sign to turn green.

    3/ 9-17% of marijuana users become addicted to marijuana. Really, define addiction. Do people like marijuana, yes. I like steak, does that mean I am addicted to steak? Do marijuana users withdrawal? No, not unless you count “We are out of weed, oh well, back to the office”. Does marijuana force women to prostitute themselves? No (but things like crack and meth do).

    4/ I’ve personally been involved in medicine since 1981. In all that time, I have NEVER had a patient in the back of my ambulance, exam room, er or hospital due to only the effects of marijuana. Not one, EVER. Alcohol, thousands. Tobacco, thousands. Narcotics, thousands. But marijuana, not one.

    I can only think of one good reason to maintain the current illegal status of marijuana…money. If marijuana were legal, we would need fewer jails, police and drug courts. Lawyers wouldn’t get as many criminal clients. Drug teams would have to actually pay for their own equipment and vehicles rather than rely on seized assets from grandmothers with glaucoma. In Grand Traverse County Michigan, like many other counties in Michigan, over 70% of ALL drug arrests are for simple possession. They present themselves as keeping us safe from meth labs, yet get headlines for raiding well marked medical marijuana dispensaries. Seizing cash as they do it.

    Dr. Robert Townsend
    Michigan

  74. Walt Westfall on

    Word play. They said illicit when refering to marijuana and accidents. Alcohol is not illicit. You gotta dissect these bastards.

  75. Walt Westfall on

    LMFAO. Really, thats the best they got?

    PUBLIC HEALTH marijuana legalization would reduce drinking and marijuana use helps counteract the negative effects drinking and tobacco use has on the body.

    ADDICTIVE AND HARMFUL So is Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Facebook, video games, and even porn.

    NO ONE wants kids using marijuana or drugs. But I was a junkie at 15, so I know NOTHING will stop kidz from finding ways to alter their perception or escape reality.

  76. The effect cannabis has had on my life is almost universally positive. My asthma, depression, anxiety and eyesight have improved immeasurably. I get sick less and handle stress better. I’m more capable of understanding abstract concepts and grasping the “big picture” in situations. I’ve had a highly successful career as a professional musician, and developed a reputation as a dependable and reliable worker despite the cheap stereotypes of “lazy, stupid, unmotivated potheads.” If smoking pot destroyed work ethic, there’s no way I could have spent the last ten years practicing my instrument 3-6 hours a day to get to where I am now.

    There have been a couple episodes where I used cannabis unhealthily and developed a dependance that had a negative impact on my life. You know what was so much worse than those episodes in every possible way? The time I got arrested for possession. I was almost constantly sick and suicidal for months. I had migraines so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. I drank myself into a stupor trying to make the pain go away. I lost interest in music and developed injuries from playing my instrument. After a lifetime of being a total goody two-shoes, who used to mock my “pothead” friends in high school for their stupid life choices, I began to see myself as a criminal. The police officers I had once thought of as my protection against evil became the enemy. And that was just an arrest – the charges got dropped. I only spent a couple hours in jail. I got so damn lucky. I shudder to think at what would have happened to the course of my life if I wasn’t white, or if I’d been busted in a neighbouring county with harsher policies towards first-time non-violent offenders.

    I will never forgive the government for doing that to me in an effort to “protect” me. Before the arrest I was a guy who smoked weed a little too much. After it, I was a complete wreck and a danger to myself and to most of the people around me. Prohibition is way more harmful than cannabis, and smoking pot does not destroy your future, as former pot smoker turned President Obama knows damn well. The time for the White House to set aside the bullshit and draft an intelligent drug policy isn’t now, it’s several decades ago – but the second best time is certainly now.

  77. what a crock of crap! first off, nobody is proposing to let kids smoke it so lets’ not get ahead of ourselves with that crap. secondly, alcohol is the most common element in traffic related statistics. Thirdly, this smacks of the same old, worn out dogma that started prohibition in the first place. Fourth, obviously they prefer to cater to the pharmaceutical companies so that they can continue to sell their snake oil which does not cure squat but relies on dependency so that doctors and the other 1%ers can continue raping and pillaging the rest of us. Obama smoked so much weed in college they called him Barack Oganja. Hypocrites and liars every last one of them.

  78. TL,DR: marijuana’s an important issue, but we’re too preoccupied with the midterm elections to give a shit.

  79. Agreed. Based in my extensive research and experience and experimenting with weed, there’s so much about this plant that needs to be researched. For example:different strains, ie sativas vs indica. Vaporizers vs smoking and the effects of each. Plus all the medical canabinoids like , thc, cbd, thcv thca cbg cbn etc.The future is very bright.

  80. Intergalactic Pimp on

    I’m completely with you on that, YMI. I think I’m sensitive to that argument because I hear the prohibitionists bashing us repeatedly, saying things like, “you dumb potheads say its not a drug and nonaddicting.”

    Personally, I think who gives a shit if it’s a drug and/or addicting. That’s not the point of this movement. And yeah, while a drug, it’s mostly not bad, IMO, and there is no doubt that while addicting psycologically for a small percentage, it’s not a big deal. Hell, tons more are addicted to food than cannabis!

  81. Don’t think I’m ignorant to the negative effects of weed, trust me I had my share of bad experiences with weed. THAT’S why we need to set up a educational programs to educate the public about the proper use of weed. Remember weed is a spiritual plant .

  82. I hear what you’re saying, however, there are “good” drugs like cannabis, mushrooms, mescaline etc.and then there are “bad” drugs like tobacco, alcohol, pain pills etc.

  83. Intergalactic Pimp on

    Yes, weed IS a drug. More specifically, THC is a drug by definition. But being a drug is NO reason to keep it illegal, just like the other drugs you mentioned. Please, let’s be more honest with our discourse. I’m all for legalization, but we have to honest, unlike the prohibitionists that just make crap up.

  84. Weed is not a drug. Alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, pain pills, Those are REAL drugs.yet are legal, ENOUGH OF THE BULLSHIT!

  85. I believe adults should have the right to use marijuana responsibly,
    whether for medical or personal purposes. All penalties, both civil and
    criminal, should be eliminated for responsible use.
    I feel a legally regulated market should be established where consumers could buy marijuana in a safe and secure environment.

    Finally, I believe that if hemp, the tough, coarse fiber of the
    cannabis plant were legal to grow in America, it would have a positive
    effect on the economics of this country. Hemp has an estimated $500
    billion annual potential worldwide market. Anything made from trees,
    cotton or petroleum can be made from hemp.

    Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is it’s destruction. a
    friend with weed is a friend indeed so keep calm and pass it on. The
    therapeutic capabilities of marijuana is unobjectionable and one day
    this cruel/selfish government will acknowledge and embrace this truth
    for there can be no true freedom in a world where nature is deemed as
    illegal.

  86. Doc Deadhead on

    What this report does not mention is the fact that childhood alcohol use is DEADLY……not that it MIGHT slow some brain functions, but it KILLS.

    substance use with school age children, again, alcohol use in school age children KILLS THEM

    Pot use is associated with cognitive impairment: heavy alcohol use over many years doesn’t just impair cognition…..IT KILLS

    Chronic pot use = 9% addiction
    Chronic alcohol use = 99% addiction
    Chronic tobacco use = 100% addiction

    illicit drug most frequently found to be involved in automobile accidents, including fatal ones…………I read that report and all it took into consideration was if the driver had pot in his system and we all know you can have it in your system for up to 3 weeks after using. NO WHERE in the report did it say they were ‘high’ at the time of the accident, obviously because the author was not on site for every accident to see if they were ‘high’. BADLY FLAWED REPORT.

    The haters will misuse and skew any report they can to try to bullshit the public into thinking pot is something evil.
    They did the same thing when alcohol was going to come out of prohibition.

    Didn’t work then, won’t work now. Now we have the information super-highway and can debunk any crap info they publish

    Do the math.
    Replace alcohol with pot in the legal system

    ALCOHOL PROHIBITION NOW (that should give the haters something to talk about!)

  87. StoogeWatcher on

    Kevin Sabet;Patrick Kennedy; Barack Obama: these three make the Three Stooges look like Rhodes Scholars.

  88. If you look at the article on the NY Times website you’ll see at the top that it’s actually a 6 part series. They may address it in the history portion that I believe said it comes out on Aug 1. I’m fairly sure the dates for each article were up there before, but they don’t seem to be now.

  89. In the book “Smoke Signals” Martin Lee cites a study NIDA commissioned in the 1970s to study the effects of regular cannabis use among Jamaican mothers and their children. What they found was that the plant was beneficial and not harmful to both mother and child. The study was suppressed because it did not find evidence of harm from cannabis.

    But then why should this be surprising. After all, the endocannabinoid system plays a central role in orchestrating and harmonizing all the body’s systems to achieve and maintain homeostasis (health and well being). Cannabis is a herbal food supplement (like vitamins) that compliments and enhances the body’s own endocannibinoids. Many of the chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.) that plaque modern civilized people can be attributed to deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system. But these endocannabinoids are never considered when obtaining a blood profile that could possibly confirm these deficiencies that could be addressed with cannabinoid supplements by consuming the whole plant.

    The White House is citing “science” done by NIDA which has a mandate to prove harm from cannabis. It is reductionist in approach and cannot see the forest (the wholistic healing benefits of cannabis) for the trees. When they commission studies to find harm like the Tashkin lung cancer study or the Jamaican children study that don’t find harm, but instead vindicate the herb, they ignore those findings and bury it. This is not true science.

  90. One has to wonder how they determined that, considering only 2 whole states have legalized at all, and Washington in still struggling with supply. Did they go around surveying black market drug dealers? Or did the DEA ask their pals in the Sinaloa cartel?

  91. Understand and agree but compromise is essential to success in this matter whether we like or not and I am sorry if you are under 21 but the greater good is more important… getting the laws to relax on age limits later may be a possibility but getting them to agree that under 21 is OK when alcohol and tobacco are governed as such will never happen in America, we will be extremely lucky to get it legal in any fashion by the feds for obvious reasons and this is very unfortunate it is today’s reality.

  92. Nobody should be shy about giving the White House your direct feedback. I don’t think I’ve typed the word “hypocrite” so many times, so furiously.

  93. WE NEED TO USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROTEST THE UNJUST WAR ON WEED, THE WAR ON OUR FREEDOM! LET’S DO IT NOW!

  94. Who says they haven’t, do you think they would broadcast it if they did knowing the ridicule and ignorant attacks it would bring?

  95. It boggles the mind how the government is trying to hold on to it’s control via , the big corporations. The modern Rome, aka America WILL FALL, IT’S A MATTER OF TIME. WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF YOU’RE GAMES!

  96. Utter and complete bullshit… the only addiction to pot is psychological and not physical which is a tremendous difference. I also take offense to anyone telling me that it hinders mental and intelligent growth of the mind… are you kidding me? I started smoking at 17 and I personally can vouch for it expanding the imagination and creative aspects to my thought which are way more important and completely part of who I am today as a result. I am getting really tired of a lazy irresponsible society blaming all their self inflicted problems on anything other than themselves. If you cannot or will not take responsibility for raising your children intelligently then don’t get pregnant morons. Seems to me that non-users are a lot more stupid and closed minded and that is a much bigger problem and concern to our society or at least it should be.

    Wake up fools!

  97. Snick Elfritz on

    Ive smoked almost everyday since high school and recently took an IQ test and did better than I did when I graduated in 05. All this data is subjective. Plenty of highly intellegent people use cannabis. Its not the weed thats making kids stupid, its the shit schools, and shitty parenting, and the fact that half of them are raised thinking sports are more important than intelligence or the arts. Also, regardless of the legal status of cannabis, why is hemp farming still illegal?

  98. Hahaha :) I have smoked since I was 14, and the only thing not making me kill myself in this fucked up propaganda war is weed..

  99. J C Uncapher on

    there is a time and a place for everything, and this is not the place for your religious nonsense… God is a fairytale story, he is not real, neither is Jesus Christ, they are bedtime stories retold over thousands of years and were originally based on SUN worshiping cultures religious beliefs about the sun and the stars in the sky.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

  100. I hope the New York Times Editorial board responds to this tripe. There is no justification for the war on cannabis in those reasons. 1) correlation is not causation 2) nobody wants kids to have pot except the white house and Dea. 3) Cannabis is not addictive like already legal substances, even if it was, still no reason for narco-facist drug ware. 4) There are plenty of drugged drivers on the road now and regular users compensate. It’s not like booze that gives you 3 roads and you drive on the middle one…

  101. J C Uncapher on

    here is a candidate that embraces legalization, and he has tried to do more for our cause over the last year than any other elected official in this country!

  102. Natural Rights on

    I wonder why tribal governments haven’t embraced the cultivation of cannabis, they are essentially independent countries after all.

  103. Weak reasons and rebuttals reeking of reefer madness bullshit, Fact big Pharma’s stock holders include many government officials and in the turn big Pharma own and controls government. They are scared because they know people can replace all their medicines with one effective and safe plant that costs pennies per dose and has danger of overdose or addiction. Big Pharma is doomed and I love it!!!!

  104. Anntoinette M Crouch on

    I would like to thank the current administration for letting the voters know whom to replace on Election Day. The people can end this senseless prohibition by their votes.

  105. Robert Dewayne King on

    Well , that’s what I was payng in Norfolk VA 9 years ago before I left for Scotland with my wife !
    The point was , If the cartels were rolling in BILLIONS of dollars at those prices then what makes the author of that piece of journalistic crap think that legal weed wouldn’t be just as profitable !!
    By the way , A chunk of GOOD hash here that keeps me buzzing like tuning fork and will last for 3 or 4 weeks costs me £20 ($34)

  106. I just sent the New York Times an email thanking them for their embracing Marijuana Legalization. I also told them that they should run the original “Shaffer Report” and that many people are unaware of it and would be surprised (Good Copy) to read it. They probably won’t do it but it never hurts to ask because “Even a Blind Pig finds an Acorn every once in a while:D

  107. Quit debating font color on

    Shut up. We live in a free country, that’s what we will defend.

  108. I am SO happy to see so many well thought out responses to this article. I’m also ecstatic to see so many NEW faces commenting as well. Good job y’all!

  109. Almost all of the arguments against marijuana legalization, especially public health statements, are about the same as reasons not to legalize tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol. Which are equally if not more addictive, damaging, and mood altering than cannabis or even legal prescriptions for that matter. Speaking of mind/mood altering substances. Artificial food flavoring and coloring literally trick and rewire your brain and they are legal substances as well that can be added for any reason, good or not, to foods and drinks as long as they’re loosely listed in the ingredients.

  110. Thomas Tony Vance on

    This is straight out of the ONDCP response to the editorial! The 4 talking points are repeated exactly and are pure propaganda!!!! There’s that cognitive impairment baloney. That, as I have said before started as, Marijuana causes schizophrenia, then it was it causes schizophrenia in teens, now it’s cognitive impairment but only if teens use it!! It mentions school age children a lot but they would be prohibited from using it so why are they even mentioned??? Simply put marijuana is not addictive any more than television or Twinkies are addictive! And finally driving. Marijuana smokers get into accidents at the same rate as straight drivers.
    For all of these things I ask, where are the bodies? Where are the cases of schizophrenia or marijuana induced lazy kids? Where are the traffic accident stats to back up this argument? There simply are none to support these arguments!

  111. OMGimaDONKEY on

    “Dramatically lowered prices could mean substantially lower potential tax revenue for states.”
    what you meant was: If we legalize we will have to swim in a smaller Scrooge McDuck style pool of forfeiture moneys. The assertion that the drug policies in america are guided by science and evidence is just too ludicrous to dignify with a response

  112. Obama is not relevant anymore on this issue. All he is going to do is run his mouth. Time to look for a candidate that embraces legalization and vote them in. This issue has a life of it’s own and continues to grow.

  113. U.S. Department of Transportation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/25000/25800/25867/DOT-HS-808-078.pdf their own study proves the driving response wrong.

    “Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate

    where they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving

    performance appear relatively small.” -Page 3

  114. “The New York Times editorial team failed to mention a cascade of public health problems associated with the increased availability of marijuana” Bullshit! Whoever wrote that bullshit should be fired and their boss too and their boss too. The democrats better watch out some of the smarter republicans are starting to board the Cannabis Train that’s rolling through this country.

  115. Natural Rights on

    Don’t forget the Choom Gang POTUS, you are a total hypocrite. Just because you never got caught for the same thing people are sitting in jail for right now, doesn’t make you any better. So effin ridiculous.

  116. Natural Rights on

    I happen to have smoked marijuana since I was 12 years old. I have an IQ 4 points below genius and am a graduate of the Naval Nuclear Power Program, which means I am in the top 1% of minds who enter the Navy. Although I did not smoke while in service of my country, I returned to it directly afterward and every job I have ever had I was a prominent member of every company with excellent performance records.

    What we are really talking about here is a God-given plant that when accompanied by our God-given rights clearly exposes who the true criminals are, the lawmakers and their enforcement arm.

    Both the Federal government and State governments have usurped the right of citizens of a supposedly free country and created a massive police and incarceration economy. It is time for we the citizens to take our rights back and tell the government to go after actual criminal who physically hurt other citizens or take their property.

    I do not consent to these laws and never have.

  117. Bill Batrowny on

    First this administration is pushing gas drilling/hydrofracking and now these bogus responses to the legalization of marijuana. I can no longer stand behind these fools. This proves that the power brokers have beaten Obama down and is
    forcing concessions. The fact that marijuana is still considered more dangerous than drugs suck as crack cocaine, meth etc and that the DEA is allowed to waste millions of dollars fighting the legalization of medical marijuana and Industrial hemp production is SHAMELESS.

  118. Robert Edward Njweedman Forchi on

    What the fuck – who in the administration wrote that piece of shit answer. : that answer sounds like a FoxNews commentator wrote it. Bill OReilly would be proud of it.

  119. John Silverio on

    Our government response is pure propaganda that benefits the elite and protected monopolies of power and wealth who have spread lies, myths, and exaggerations about marijuana for many years. If they are going to make a rebuttal, please at least consider our intelligence. This was simply insulting for our government’s response. We will remember this at the next election.

  120. I lol’d when it said we need to discuss it from science and evidence when they won’t even allow research unless it supports the “weed is satan” narrative. I expected so much better from a Dem president who smoked pot and admitted he inhaled. Too bad he doesn’t look at young Obama and how his own future turned out when making these decisions, rather than just turning it over to the people who would have destroyed his future, if he were caught. What a hypocrite!

  121. It appears the executive branch is no longer concerned with their creditability. It is a hard call on whether they’re very stupid or very arrogant in sending this message. Put Cannabis back in our fields and herb gardens. Repeal prohibition. Cannabis never should have been banned.

  122. Not only that, nobody was advocating giving it to “the children” in the first place. As someone else said, this is NIDA boilerplate bs.

  123. Yeah just like the little girl in Buffalo who died of her seizure disorder not one week after that gutless Cuomo signed the highly watered down Compassionate Care Act. He did a real good job of protecting that little kid didn’t? Protected her right out of her very life that fucking coward! She didn’t Have 18 months to wait for her CBD oil did she? Nothing short of PREMEDITATED MURDER!

  124. but “the children” are prescribed addicting and deadly pharmaceuticals for ADHD, like Adderall(an amphetamine!), and NOBODY bats an eye at that. What do amphetamines do to a young developing brain??? Better yet, what does the legal ALCOHOL do to a developing brain?

  125. Its not addictive lol..Drivers that smoke are more cautious when they smoke, If they normally speed when sober they tend to slow down when they are high,, Im not saying drive stoned just addressing their propoganda. Also just because its legal doesn’t mean more children are going to use it. If anything once its legal and the black market is taken away it will be harder for children to have access

  126. In all this discussion of “the children” and the harm it does no one is asking the question. What has 60 plus years of prohibition done to fix things? Nothing! Not a damn thing but they use these lies to keep it going. How dumb are we to let them get by with it?
    Portugal legalized all drugs 10 years ago and they have had great success in reducing addiction and drug use in general..

  127. Interesting that the federal government can tell people where, when, and how to do something. See the FEDS don’t make dime aka one red cent off of Marijuana. First the President says Marijuana is less harmful the Booze!, then Marijuana should be the decision of each state! which i agree. He has smoked it. Both Clinton’s have smoked it. You probably have done it but forgot.

    Next: Articles say nothing about The Dept of Health Services” in all the Legal Medical/Recreational states are in charge of the system. Saying Marijuana legalization would eliminate the black market for marijuana that is the dumbest thing i have heard today, the “Black Market” HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE since the 1930s, Next! Dramatically lowered prices could mean substantially lower potential tax revenue for states. Oh yes the state of Colorado is making less tax revenue then before legalization now that’s funny. (Probably make $ 1 BILLION in taxes this year)

    Next: Addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco, which are
    legal and taxed already result in much higher social costs than the
    revenue they generate. The smartest thing i have heard yet. The cost to society of alcohol alone is estimated
    to
    be more than 15 times the revenue gained by its taxation Yes it is
    because it Will Kill you O.M.G. Really!! The only way that marijuana
    could kill you is ( a TON of it falling on your head ) Marijuana has
    been legalized in states. Taxed at a rate almost 33% which is higher
    then alcohol
    and tobacco, States (people) are proving that Marijuana is a better
    choice in life for them. This approach is helping improve public health
    and safety in communities across the United States. (Smoke Marijuana. Can’t find keys,Take a Nap) ( Drink Alcohol die of Liver Failure or drive drunk and hit
    something or someone) ( Smoke Tobacco Die a slow death of Cancer)

    Source: The White House cannot ignore the basic scientific fact that
    marijuana is addictive and marijuana use has harmful consequences. answer: Have the policy makers
    ever smoked Marijuana? (the only things it leads to is The refrigerator-grocery stores- fast food establishments) Increased consumption leads to higher public health and financial costs
    for society ( Spend more Smoke more, Eat more & Sleep more) big financial cost to society. answer: stop at a local Fire Station and ask them this ? On a daily basis how many of your calls are for Marijuana? Meth? or Prescription pill OD.

    Everything has it’s good and bad sides. Everyone has there own opinions from big business ( New York Times) to We The People. With Marijuana there is such an IGNORANCE about it. If you were to look into it you may see the good it has done the jobs created and the revenue generated & medical benefits. if you don’t like change so be it but don’t stand in the way of progress because it WILL RUN YOU OVER.

  128. I guess they pulled my original post here it is without that word.

    WHEN was this written? I am easily addicted to anything, I quit marijuana cold turkey and never picked up another one until recently when I needed it for health reasons. Took me five years to quit smoking cigarettes.

    I agree kids don’t need pot. When I was in school marijuana was easy to get very easy hell its harder to find pot now that I’m in my 40s. Beer was harder to get I had to find someone to buy it for me. Whiskey was very hard to get I had to get a ride to the package store then find a buyer. If you want to slow down underaged users legalize the stuff.

    Driving? Hell I’m a better driver when I’m stoned, but I won’t drive high. Now I have a few beers better hide the damn keys, I won’t have a drink when I have access to a vehicle for this very reason.

    Wont end the black market if we legalize? Lets keep it illegal that should end the black market.

    What a bunch of MORONS the people want this. I thought we may have someone on our side in Obama, I guess I was wrong.

  129. This! Just yesterday I was talking with a friend and we were noticing that for 10,000 years of Cannabis use, everything was fine. Public health was pretty good, the whole public wasn’t running around stoned, crime was rather stable, and the plant was used and respected just fine. Then somewhere between 1930 and 1950, everything started going to hell, and the plant became taboo / illegal, and problems just increased, particularly public health. :(

  130. jah jah bonks on

    then profit off the prison system (which they make huge amounts of money on) which puts away people who smoke the governments expensive illegally sold product for more profit, cannabis when its illegal and controlled in this way probably makes 10 times as much money then if everyone legally bought it in a shop, let alone grow it!

  131. jah jah bonks on

    you missed a 0 on the end of those numbers, its $250, $300 and where im from iv seen over $500 an oz, and demand might not increase, anyone who wants to smoke it, does already, demand wont soar because “its legal” they are profiting off expensive black market prices through cartels, they made it illegal so it could be more expensive, then they control those cartels, that it optimal tax revenue, the fuking cunts

  132. disappointeddemocrat on

    The hypocrisy of this statement is enormous. Thanks for being a pussy Obama. Literally why did I even vote for your second term if you weren’t going to act like a second term president…this mofo needs to take a god damn side and stick with it.

  133. ALCOHOL KILLS MILLIONS AND ITS LEGAL AND THE PILL POPERS OVERDOSEING LEFT AND RIGHT , HMMMMM AND MARIJUANA NEVER HEARD OF THIS PLANT KILLING ANYONE OR OVERDOSEING ON MARIJUANA , ITS TIME TO LEGALIZE NATION WIDE , TAX IT REGULATE IT , JUST LIKE ALCOHOL OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT OUT ON THE MARKET. FREE TEXAS

  134. Robert Dewayne King on

    Black market price has always been “what the market will support” !
    Depending on where you are and what quality you are seeking weed can go for as much as $50 an oz to as low as $25 to $30 an oz !
    The cartels are ROLLING in money , they are coining in BILLIONS at those prices ! The fool that wrote that rebuttal to the Times is just embarrassing him/herself !!

  135. I’d argue that the kind of people that smoke marijuana as children have a lower IQ because they are also raised in unfavorable conditions and have parents that aren’t great. Cannabis should be legal for people at age 16 or whenever you can get married. 21 is overkill. Alcohol is a fucking crazy drug and makes more sense being 21 and over, but cannabis? it’s hurt no child ever

  136. Higher volume and lower prices could meet market demand and provide optimal tax revenue. That is what legalization is supposed to be. If market demand is not met, then tax revenue is lost via the blackmarket.

    What they may be worried about is the ripple effect of lost tax revenue in other industries if we all become self reliant independent individuals?

  137. “Marijuana legalization would not eliminate the black market for marijuana.” Then it really isnt legalization! Wishful legislation V. Natural Law

  138. Is their some kind of robot auto replying old info on legitimate requests? Funny how not researching the benefits looks that way. Maybe they are continuing the same policy to wait for FDA or congress to issue guidance to the feds? So to the people that don’t like the law, he didnt do that.

  139. I thought he claims he quit tobacco for the gum. Though, it would understandable if he had a relapse in that stressful job.

  140. Jeannie E. Hess on

    When has Obama (or the White House in general) ever been known for intellectual prowess?

  141. stellarvoyager on

    This is more boilerplate NIDA shite, the usual combination of lies, dismissive condescension, and faux “concern.” I have just one response: follow the money! (and yes, the science too, which debunks every single claim made in this letter).

  142. There are only a few things to be said here… 1. The government LIES!!! 2. These stats are crap!!! 3. Cannabis legalization would cripple many Fortune 500 companies, which are major “contributors” to political campaigns, & TREASON!!! 4. MOST IMPORTANTLY, U.S. Patent 6630507!!! Etc., etc., etc..

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

    No government has the right to tell you how to treat your ailments nor keep the cure from you… PERIOD!!!

    Make the change!!!

    Peace, LOVE, & Cannabis

    http://duggermmj.com

  143. In a survey taken a coupla years ago, kids said the easiest drug for them to get was ganga. Because it was illegal. No one loses a license to sell if it is illegal. So this is a specious argument White House!

  144. WHEN the fuck was this written? I am easily addicted to anything, I quit marijuana cold turkey and never picked up another one until recently when I needed it for health reasons. Took me five years to quit smoking cigarettes.

    I agree kids don’t need pot. When I was in school marijuana was easy to get very easy hell its harder to find pot now that I’m in my 40s. Beer was harder to get I had to find someone to buy it for me. Whiskey was very hard to get I had to get a ride to the package store then find a buyer. If you want to slow down underaged users legalize the stuff.

    Driving? Hell I’m a better driver when I’m stoned, but I won’t drive high. Now I have a few beers better hide the damn keys, I won’t have a drink when I have access to a vehicle for this very reason.

    Wont end the black market if we legalize? Lets keep it illegal that should end the black market.

    What a bunch of MORONS the people want this. I thought we may have someone on our side in Obama, I guess I was wrong.

  145. Kevin Valentine on

    Dramatically lowered prices could mean substantially lower potential tax revenue for states… ALL ABOUT MONEY!!!!

  146. Tiredofhearingit. on

    Obama is so full of shit…I’m sick of seeing his stupid face and that of his ol’ lady,2. Fuck ’em;both;sideways.

  147. Robert Ireland on

    roflmmfao. what a load of total crap. this is NOT what research is showing. this is what handlers are telling. research, and i have actually been reading it non-stop for 2 years, with over 14,000 of the estimated 40,000 research reports and abstracts available worldwide, already under my belt, says something much different. Folks, this isnt even a drug. This plant is the mother of nutritive foods, with an entire new class, possibly two or more of well over 250 essential, vital nutrients every one of us requires. it only took about 5,000 of these reports . before it hit me like a ton of rocks. I mean I literally froze. First we were told it could alleviate certain symptoms of a few diseases, then we were told it might actually arrest these and some more diseases. Now we are finding cannabis is dosage dependent and works in an entourage effect , is responsible for the health and function of our 210 cells types. Not only are there two cannabinoid receptors, there are also about 5-7 other g-coupled protein receptors on nearly every cell of the body and not one is affected negatively, rather al positively and never toxic leading to death. Not once in over 5,000 years of recorded medical history. These are NUTRIENTS and we are in about a 4th generation worldwide nutrient deficiency, that started to be seen affecting us at alarming rates as early as 1950 with the precipitous rises in two distinct groups of disorders …cancers and neurological. The Times AND the White House are laying everyone here. Thisd one plant, used as a regular food in our diets and the diets of our animals, will bring to us, all of us, man woman and child, even all mammals, two distinct things. Yes, it acts like a drug or medicine after the fact, as any nutrient might once reintroduced into the diet. However, if allowed back into th entire food chain the two benefits health wise will be,near non-existent disease and longevity wellinto the 90s and even into 100. Noting what is already known about micro-cultures who never eliminated it during this worldwide purge.we are about to walk back out of. If all the other research is taken into account and a more than ample body of witnesses who have used this plants compounds to cure their diseases, you quickly realize that all the fuss about certain brain abnormalities in adolescents is on the one hand conjecture, because even the researchers arent sure what to make of it …there is no consensus. Furthermore, considering that with every cell in the body being shown to have far more ability to ward off disease than we ever imagined anything ever coming from pharma could touch and do so without harming oter cells, organs or systems …I suggest what we really see is a more efficient brain with less neural cells and fewer connections, because the truth be told the bains of today are nearly ALL relatively diseased, for want of having cannabinoids missing for almost 4 generations!, except as an intoxicant and that has been almost exclusively via smoke inhalation, not ingestion, as we already know smoking destroys almost 95 percent of these compounds only a little past the boiling point,of water (100C or 212F) with much higher temperatures for burning. As I grew up over the past 55 years, I am hard pressed to recall cancers arising in middle agers, let alone children, and we never heard of a good many of the auto-immune disorders children are getting before or shortly after birth. Gen1 saw it rise in the elderly by 1950. Gen2 saw it dropping in age and appearing in increasing numbers in the middle aged. Gen 3 saw it happening in children. Gen4 sees even more diseases, heretofore so rare they were never in the news, and they are seeing it at birth. The very diseases we are talking about are all three groups undeniably affected with the introduction of cannabis. or rather the concentrated oil (Rick Simpson Oil, Hash Oil …consumed through ingestion, not smoking) Bottom line is this is not a drug. Even the two compounds responsible for the internationally understood …high …have tremendous health benefits …EVEN WHEN SMOKED! The things this plants over 80 cannabinoids and more than 120 terpenes are showing is that they each expose pharma as one breath taking and world stopping insanity because it has been nearly a total fraud, based much on pseudoscience driven by greed of profit, having absolutely NO INTEREST in curing any disease. They cure nothing, never have, never will. This plant does, and depending on what exactly it is, already alleviates pain, spasms, seizures and a host of symptoms of disease in seconds. It cures cancers in as little as 4-90 days WITHOUT HARMING A SINGLE HEALTH CELL, NOT ONE! Your pets, too! All for the price of a pack of seeds and a short (about 120 days on average) On a small back yard suburban plot, a person could grow enough in one season to set them for 5 years worth of curative concentrated oil!.You folks really, really do NOT understand this plant nor do you really have any right to entertain us with the BS notion, that even collectively NYT has come close to having read what I have since August2012 ignorant phoneys! This is first and foremost an agricultural commodity, even at what you all think is medicinal or recreational, too. Secondly, this is a vital resource ..or will be …once you fools and the even more worthless political game players who find it impossible not to lie.or outright screw us at every turn. You see, this Industry isnt about to begin., It never left. It never ended. In fact, it has thrived and grown into one of the largest cash crops decades ago. It is ALREADY regulated by supply and demand. The taxes these morons are all salivating at are not going to come the way they envision it, not if done right. Develop the full potentials this amazing fiber and oils have. put your heads around this.It makes a superior fuel for automobiles, coming from a renewable resource, grown by farmers, decentralizing energy and that is because it is …to put it lightly, environmentally and economically more sound put against ANY man made fibers. I have seen an estimate showing only 6% of our agricultural land is all that would be needed to gain energy independence from the oil it produces. All of us have got to come to terms, the shit has got to stop and we need ideas, NOW.Just fucking do it. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS BULL! STOp IT! GROW Up! Its over! leave everybody alone. It is none of your business any more than how many tomatoes I planted.

  148. woodwork_hodges on

    Where are they getting their information that marijuana is addictive? Because “addictive” has a medical definition and marijuana doesn’t qualify (no serious withdrawal symptoms). Cocaine, meth, heroin, all physically addictive. Marijuana? No more “addictive” than chocolate. (Something kids shouldn’t be eating either. Let’s ban it.)

  149. woodwork_hodges on

    We have to protect the children! Our precious children should only be on legal methamphetamine derivatives like Adderal, Ritalin and Vyvanse. Marijuana is the devil’s cabbage!!

  150. J C Uncapher on

    More propaganda and lies from the United States of America!!!

    How is it that our government can be as hypocritical as they currently appear to be? Prohibition of cannabis is wrong, the “War on Drugs” is a complete joke and a total waste of billions of dollars each year, and our government continues to lie to the American public on a daily basis.

    On one hand the United States Government constantly states that marijuana has no medical uses, while on the other hand, that very same government has sneaked behind the backs of the American public, by doing private research and in 2003 actually obtained a patent (6630507) that fundamentally proves that cannabis does in fact have medical uses… the US Government recently sold the exclusive rights to this patent to a company who I might add that prior to obtaining this exclusive patent licensing in 2011, did not even exist, that company is KannaLife Sciences Inc. The patent was originally taken out for the following medical research reason: “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”. The following is a quote from the patent which is held by the United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC).

    The quote is as follows:

    “The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

    The above quote sure sounds like it is stating that the cannabinoids in cannabis have a use in the field of medicine, however one of the major reasons the government says they originally placed marijuana in the schedule 1 narcotic category, and their present day basis for not reclassifying it to a lower category is because they still emphatically state to the present day that marijuana/cannabis has no medical use.

    I’m sorry, I must have misread patent 6630507, because I thought it said that they actually found it to have specific medical uses as an
    antioxidant and neuroprotectant, but maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me. Hell, maybe patent 6630507 doesn’t really exist; maybe this is all just a hallucination from my lack of cannabis use.

    Please keep in mind that the United States Government has managed to keep this patent (6630507) almost entirely hidden from the American public for more than ten years… don’t believe me?

    Okay, did you know about its existence… how many of your family members or friends are completely unaware of this patent? Google patent 6630507 to see the actual document for yourself and when you finally make your way past the initial shock of the realization that our government has lied to us all, make sure you tell as many people as you can about this conspiracy.

  151. Dan Richeson on

    “Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking.”

    Sorry, the government has no credibility since it has actively ignored / skewed and buried science that doesn’t support its ‘ideology and wishful thinking’.

    Here is what the government needs to understand: We will no longer tolerate: children being taken from the homes of good parents for no other reason than cannabis. Any prison or jail time. Any fines or forfeitures. Denial of employment or other opportunities. Extra judicial murders. There WILL BE reparations for those who have suffered these injustices. Any person or institution who has been instrumental in instituting and/or maintaining cannabis prohibition will be held accountable criminally and civilly.

    We will show as much mercy to prohibitionists as they have shown the cannabis community. (The canna community, as a whole, will probably be more merciful.)

    What you believe or think you know about cannabis is irrelevant. I along with others have made a declarative statement that it is our right to grow, possess and use cannabis and speaking for myself, willing to defend my right to do so. I have always been a peace loving person and I’m not spoiling for a fight but THIS PROHIBITION CRAP ENDS NOW!

    I encourage readers to read the text of the: Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users. (Google it) See in it the spirit of determined resistance and an option for peaceful coexistence, and if you are of a mind to print out copies, sign them and send them to your elected reps.

  152. Well we sure as hell didn’t get to vote on hydrocodine,percecets,loratabs,oxycotton,zanax,morphine,and much more and kids are getting a hold of that way more than they are pot and it kills them I would much rather a family member of mine be effected in the long run and still be alive than to live a short life and die but no stop the non sense your seeing way worse results by keeping it illegal you are spending more money than you could be making no wonder the USA is economically going down bad decisions are being made and we are getting laughed at by other countries because we would rather put half of our country in jail than deal with it I’m fed up with it .

  153. Nanny Pickaname on

    Oh, right. We only spread democracy to other countries full of brown people by destabilizing them…or just outright blowing them the fuck up. But I digress.

  154. starsandbars56 on

    Liar, liar, The reason they want to keep it illegal is the Pharmacy dollars will stop coming in if its legal! Shame on you!

  155. NIDA is part of the Executive branch, to label it as the The White House is fair, but not entirely accurate because they operate mostly on their own as an agency. Was there serious communication with top White House officials on this response? Hard to say for sure. Or did they just go ahead and do what they normally do? Probably. Can we knock the White House for letting them do that? Sure, no doubt. But can we just assume this is a statement completely totally backed by the President? I sure hope not. But this is a very delicate election year cycle for this President, so I imagine he’s avoiding all “sideshows” when there is the Ukraine, Gaza, the border problems etc dominating the headlines right now. Like it or not this White House always see’s bigger issues to deal with when it comes to major changes in cannabis policy

  156. Nanny Pickaname on

    Nevermind that most people in this…what is it called…”democracy” want it legalized. What does the will of the people have to do with anything? Kids might use it! Gotta protect the kids! Kids, kids, kids! Everyone’s lives must revolve around the children of this country! You can’t have anything under the age of 18 because you’re a kid. After 18? You can’t have it, either…’cause there’re kids everywhere! Don’t you see?! Eat your fat and sugar, pop your pills, drink your booze, smoke your ciggies; kids have no interest in that shit.

  157. I disagree with the health hazards and addictions part, aaaa what was I gonna say. Just kidding, I have been smoking for 40 years, I know that sounds bad but I never graduated to any thing harder, never wanted to. Now I use it for health issues, I have Ulcerative Colitis.My G I doctor says I could start smoking cigarettes and that would help. Dont want to do that. I stay home and mind my own business, Have been known to run a few power tools and work around the acreage. I can quit for awhile if I want to and I do. It is a relaxing way to go. And yes I believe that if it is legalized 18 should be the limit. I have a good job and am a productive person in society.I would not do it at work, the employer is paying for 8 hours of work and that is what he should get.

  158. Was this President Obama’s last chance to become a hero? (Yes, I think it might have been.)

  159. Office of National Drug Control Policy — Yes, why don’t we let these people decide what’s best? After all, they’re doing such a good job of it. (Not)

  160. Kevin LaBerge on

    The NIDA propaganda is getting old and tired. Your science is utter garbage as is your policy towards cannabis. You are a disgrace to decency and dignity on this issue Mr. Obama. All because you choose big pharma $$$ over people. Disgraceful.

  161. From the urban dictionary: Progtard, a left wing liberal or “progressive retard.” Mayor Bloomberg would be a fine example of a progtard.

    Are you trying to give hipsters a bad name? (Or just trying to be funny?)

  162. Christopher Johnston on

    9% addiction rate? As opposed to what with Nicotene and Alcohol which are already legal. And “Drugged driving” impairs your driving skills? At levels that would make a horse eat a bag of cheetos, there is BARELY any impairment. You are so wrong you are just sounding STUPID here.

  163. Leave it to the New York Times to leave out the most important factor of how this country deals with drugs: The feds fund the anti-drug programs — which fund the criminal justice industry — and the states are more than happy to admit that they’re not willing to live without that funding. (See Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.)

  164. Progtard Hipster on

    But Obama’s so sexy and smart! He went to Harvard AND plays basketball!

  165. Mike Lausier on

    Most of those reasons involve children. What part of “over 21” was unclear?

  166. Truthmatters on

    With this reasoning, alcohol and tobacco should definitely be illegal then.

  167. Yes, you shouldn’t give weed to kids. Yes, you shouldn’t drive if you are incapacitated. Is that it? It’s “addictive”? That’s true, but less than coffee, and much less than tobacco. However, their last paragraph is absolutely accurate when it states, “Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking.” Please, Mr. President, take your own advice on this subject.

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