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CBS News: Obama: Drugs Should be Treated as a Public Health Problem

I know a lot of you are deeply disappointed that Obama didn’t suddenly shed all his skin, emerge from a cocoon as some new kind of species and suddenly proclaim, after devouring his press secretary, that the U.S. government should pursue legalization of all drugs.

Well it wasn’t going to happen. However, what did happen had some real value.

Seeing this headline at CBS Political Hotsheet ain’t bad:

Obama: Drugs Should be Treated as a Public Health Problem

However, acknowledging that the “war on drugs” has not been effective, Mr. Obama said he thinks of drugs as “more of a public health problem.”

And then, CBS reporter Stephanie Condon quoted the entire question from retired deputy sheriff MacKenzie Allen.

Los Angeles Times:

In his second sit-down with YouTube, Obama again learned that the most popular questions as voted on by users of the online video hub were about the legalization of marijuana.

“This is an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” Obama said after initially chuckling about the subject matter coming up again.

The question posed to the president specifically asked him whether all drugs should be legalized and regulated, “thereby doing away with the violent criminal market as well as a major source of funding for international terrorism.”

“I am not in favor of legalization,” Obama said in response. But he said he thinks Americans should look at drugs more as a public health problem than a legal issue.

It’s going to be a lot harder for Kerlikowske now that Obama has shown that “legalization” is in his vocabulary.

San Francisco Chronicle: Obama: Legalizing drugs a “legitimate” topic of debate

And over and over again in tomorrow’s media, you’ll likely see that excellent question from LEAP.

Not a bad day’s work. Good job on voting.

And I second Scott Morgan’s comment:

Let me begin by saying that the substance of the President’s answer is inconsequential insofar as nothing more than this could possibly have been expected. The greatest significance of today’s event lies in the fact that a pro-legalization police officer overwhelmingly won the popular vote on YouTube and compelled a response from the President of the United States. By acknowledging the legitimacy of this discussion, Obama helps us to dig an even deeper grave for the dying notion that there is anything frivolous or unserious about arguing for an end to the War on Drugs.

The banal pot-jokes and rank stereotyping that have often tainted mainstream discussion of the legalization movement have no place in this conversation, and the President’s words should serve to discredit those who’ve voiced distracting insults instead of potential solutions. Whatever else the President may put forward, his singular decision to accept and defend our advocacy as “entirely legitimate” is a leap forward, both for the discussion as a whole and for Obama himself.

I will address in a separate post the appropriate criticisms of his specific remarks (of which there are many), but let us not fail to find any promise in today’s events simply because we expect much more. This is a heroic accomplishment by our friends at LEAP and really the entire drug policy reform community, which has achieved blinding visibility in recent years and shattered the presumption of public deference that has long sheltered the drug war from mainstream opposition.

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39 comments to CBS News: Obama: Drugs Should be Treated as a Public Health Problem

  • vicky vampire

    That statement sounds very palatable and reasonable,if your were by any means serious Pres. Obama you would start by having your Attorney General Reshedule Cannabis,

    Holder if I’m not mistaken,
    Holder has Authority to start proceedure to reschedule Cannabis.
    SO what WTF are you waiting for if it is a health issue.?

  • Duncan20903

    You better believe that I’m disappointed that he didn’t devour his press secretary now that you mention it. Darn it Pete, now I’ve got the munchies. I’ve got Peanut Butter cups in the freezer!

    • Duncan20903

      When I go in and look at my plants every day I don’t seem to notice them growing. If I leave them alone for a week it’s stunning how fast they’ve grown. Likewise public policy. When I look back and see the sum total of what’s been accomplished since 1996 ended I’m amazed. I think maybe we can call this can’t see the forest for the trees syndrome? Anyway, there’s no doubt we’re so far along we’re nearly there. Hopefully no nasty old just say no ladies come along and screw it up this time.

      Sometimes we don’t get what we want in life, perhaps you get to the freezer and find your wife beat you to the peanut butter cups. You just have to remember to hide them better in the future, and maybe you’ll find that the soy & whey protein drink is just out of this world delicious.

  • Ploo

    The bit about nonviolent drug offenders irritated me and hasn’t received much comment.

    “… and also look at what we can be doing when we have nonviolent first time drug offenders. Are there ways that we can make sure that we’re steering them into the strait and narrow without automatically resorting to incarcerations, drug courts and mechanisms like that…”

    Still too many people believe that it is the government’s job to determine what the “strait and narrow” is and that the government must also play a part in forcing people along the “strait and narrow”.

    It looks to me here that Obama seems to still support the old idea that nonviolent drug offenders need intervention from whatever scheduled substance they were found with, despite it being proven that substances have different degrees of abuse potential and there is an undeniably high chance that the said offender needs no intervention of any kind the government has to offer.

    • B-Snow

      I couldn’t agree more!
      This was the one thing that really ticked me off – I was cussing at the TV, just me and the dog and the President, with his “get people back on the straight and narrow” crap.

      We can only hoe that he’s really referring/thinking of drugs real people actually go to rehab over. Like, IV drug use w/(cocaine, speed, or heroin), or people that get addicted to smoking crack or smoking meth…

      Show me a person in ‘rehab’ for marijuana, And I’ll show you someone there by court order instead of jail time. Or someone with 0% willpower, or just maybe someone that is an escapist/addict that they’ll do anything and everything =an equal opportunity addict, that only admitted to using marijuana. Maybe because that’s what they were caught red-handed with?

      NOBODY, I mean nobody waits for a spot in a rehab center for a “marijuana addiction”, unless it’s a court ordered thing. Either that or they’re one of the absolute weakest-willed people on the face of the planet!

      That person – is a walking, talking statistical anomaly, go ahead, take a picture – cause you won’t see another one like that in the wild ever again.

    • Duncan20903

      Well he could just be paying lip service to those who think like that.

    • neurotech

      Easy. If you got up there and said that, there would be an outcry. Its hard to argue a healthcare approach. If he didn’t try to align himself to a degree with all those people who are genuinely fearful (and they are. and they vote and have a right to feel their government cares, blah blah blah) about the mayhem that would result from people smoking pot, they’d go ape on him. Sarah Palin would be riding shotgun on a jet-ski up the Potomac. (sorry, i don’t usually get nasty, but it was just a funny image. Unfortunately, change happens slowly.
      Come to think of it, Sarah might not. A real libertarian (not the caricature that the media and she have developed)opposes govt control over what people choose to ingest. In their own bodies. They don’t hold the people who commit antisocial acts responsible really, because everyone else who uses that substance but has no proclivity toward bad deeds is equally punished.We don’t regulate you based on how you act, function, behave, but rather on your proximity to and ingestion of a substance. Its like Minority Report, where people are arrested before a crime is committed, because the “precogs” new it would happen. If you have weed, you will do bad things, so we’ll arrest you now.
      Whew – sorry for the diaribe – my point was (and I did have one) that I bet Obama’s words were verrry carefully chosen, and discussed beforehand with advisors, etcetera.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pete Guither, Drug Equality. Drug Equality said: RT @DrugWarRant: Good things, such as: "CBS News: Obama: Drugs Should be Treated as a Public Health Problem" http://bit.ly/havDer […]

  • Paul

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you…

    I think we just officially passed the laugh stage, and are moving on to the “fight” stage.

    This is really good for us. The topic won the number one slot, and the MJ topic last year also was number one or two (right?). There’s a reason the issue floats to the top, and the President did not dare ignore it again like he did last year.

    Obviously, the Democrats still think the issue is dangerous, but it has grown to big to be simply ignored or laughed off. Republicans can still take a socially conservative stance and firmly oppose, but even they are going to start receiving flak.

  • darkcycle

    Laughing isn’t on the table as a response anymore. It needs to be driven home that “soft on drugs” is no longer a label politicians need fear. Now we need to compile our shit and put a few anti-prohibition Pols in office, and pass a few initiatives. Elections happen every year, not every two or four years, so there’s lots o drums to get out there and beat.
    A win feels good now and again, doesn’t it? And I think I’m starting to get used to that feeling.
    Duncan, one product, if you can find it: Employ, by plant healthcare inc. (was also sold as “Messenger”). It contains harpin protien. Prevents Powdery Mildew and enhances growth. Two inches or more growth within twenty-four hours of application in my Veg. I’m not kidding. Heck. I’d send you some if I knew where to send it, just to hear your response.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I just found that there were people making friends requests on Facebook today. I change my colors on my browser and in the last year or so and it makes some things on some pages just totally disappear. PM isn’t a problem on the east coast, I had never even heard of it before I started paying attention to the west coast. I’ve never owned or known anyone that has owned a sulfur burner. I don’t think they even sell them in the hydro stores around here. Have you ever used blackstrap molasses? I remember the day after my first application of that, thinking it was hooey. 2 inches in 24 hours seems about right in my memory. I just about dropped dead in shock that time, at $8 bucks a gallon. You get it at a horse tack store though they do sell good stuff on the organic foods aisle in the grocery store but that’s like $8 a quart.Anyway if you’re not familiar it’s an easy google. It’s the lowest grade of molasses, after they remove all the sweet stuff. They used to feed blackstrap to the slaves on the plantations because the white folks didn’t want it. I can’t for the life of me recall if you want low sulfur or high sulfur but it was one of those extremes. The girls really love their sulfur so I expect it’s the latter choice.

      There are re-legalization bills on the floor in Washington and Massachusetts. Both designed to fuck up the potheads ballot initiatives to re-legalize according to some potheads. If that’s how they intend to fuck us over I say please feel free to fuck me. I suppose you’d heard about the Washington bill and I think I-1068 or whatever the 2011 name will be is a sure loser at the ballot box so I actually hope that Sensible Washington doesn’t get the signatures.

  • Scott

    I agree with you, Pete.

    However:

    The case against the Controlled Substances Act is a slam-dunk. CSA proponents literally fail to provide one sustainable point in their favor.

    It is no surprise that we are moving in the right direction towards repealing the CSA.

    Considering those last two paragraphs, the relatively slow pace towards repeal is problematic (creating more needless suffering), suggesting we can do a lot better in sharing our message with the public.

    I have always believed that public relations is a key to victory, not just direct government lobbying and fighting this out in court.

    My continued hope is sufficient resources in our movement will be redirected towards public relations, allowing us to realize the repeal of the CSA in a timeframe most fitting for that abomination (i.e. A.S.A.P.)

    Now is the time to ramp up our efforts.

    Now is the time to firmly engage the public, including a public relations campaign essentially about constantly challenging CSA proponents to public debates (we win, whether the debate happens or not).

    The location for those debates should mainly be in areas where support for CSA proponents is strongest.

    Apparently, that includes many conservative strongholds.

    Winning a debate against a conservative is easy. Just let everyone listening know the sole connection the CSA has to our Constitution is by way of the ‘New Deal version’ of our Commerce Clause (an insane connection with legal ramifications affecting all Americans — e.g. ObamaCare).

    Read to that audience the first paragraph by Justice Clarence Thomas in his dissent in Gonzales v. Raich:

    “Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.”

    Take the Supreme Court’s illegal redefining of the Commerce Clause …

    “To regulate any activity having a substantial affect on interstate commerce”

    … and point out to the masses that their thought activity, determining every part of their buying and selling decisions, always rationally has a substantial affect on interstate commerce, allowing Congress to regulate their thoughts.

    • Sick........!

      Scott:
      If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.”

      That is the problem in this country, government ISNT answerable to us, WE THE PEOPLE.

      I have a protest, I work as little over time as possible. I cant see working my ass off and paying a huge portion of it to government to piss away. Now Im just one person, but think how much inpact this protest could have if millions did it. I know many families work over time cause they need it…but still…people need to hurt government finacially in any way they can till we win. Stop them from pissing away our lives…thats what taxes are..our life being wasted.

      So everyone needs to find their own version of my protest if they can. From many comes one voice.

      By the way, government has said tax revenue will be the lowest it has been in a very long time this year…YAY! that much less they can piss away.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        The Commerce clause says regulate commerce “between the States” which sure looks to me like the Founders meant commerce “between the States”, not two private parties that lived in different States.

  • Sick........!

    Ok , Mr. Obama has said it “more of a public health problem.”

    Now that he said it, you know damned well our drug czar and the ONDCP are going to dig in deep and drag heels if nessesary. Take note all you prohibs, its no longer a legal issue. Time to stop the BS , time to legalize and only arrest those who commit crimes while intoxicated as we do alcohol.

    Lets start with cannabis , if things go well, try to do something about the hard drugs.

    I just want to come home from work, sit in my chair, spark one up and RELAX ! What the hell is so wrong with that, why is that so difficult to understand… I dont like alcohol in large amonuts nor do I like cannabis in large amounts. Its about being able to relax responsibly with moderation . Those that cant handle that should find themselves in a court room…just like alcohol.

    So one more time, its a health issue, not a legal one, unless your stupid. Now lets get the ball rolling and stop this insanity called prohibition !

    On a side note; I just hope Obama didnt say that just to get us off his ass…it wont work. Come next you tube Q/A , well be right there AGAIN !

  • ezrydn

    So, how many citizens have had their home doors torn off the hinges and been shot for not wearing their seat belts? Me thinks he be playing the “apples/oranges” game again. How can he include seat belts in the topic and keep a straight face???

    • Sick........!

      Ya EZ, its all games with them when it comes to dealing with us, the public. Pacification and distraction it is.

  • tintguy

    And notice he didn’t say that we need to reallocate resources away from our punitive efforts and toward treatment and prevention he said that we need to find funds for those endeavors…. nor would he allow himself to utter the words harm reduction.

  • Matthew Meyer

    I am heartened to see big media framing this as a shifting perspective on the president’s part.

    My hope is, not that we’ll get window-dressing about treatment bla bla bla, but that this will constitute a promise to open the issue up more and more, a promise that we cannot go back to the “ridicule” stage in the debate over drug policy.

    Viva LEAP!

  • Tony Aroma

    Funny, I had a completely opposite take on Obama’s response. I interpreted it as just more BS. He said drugs should be treated as a public health problem, yet his very own national drug policy treats it primarily as a law enforcement problem. No change whatsoever from drug policy in the past 40 years. My take was that he was saying it should be treated as a health problem at some point in the future by some future president, but not by him. In other words, “do as I say, not as I do.”

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      What, you think Mr. Obama would manipulate us? The next thing you’ll be telling us is that he intends to close down every working dispensary in the country using the tax code to do it and to keep the people liking him.

  • warren

    I have so much smoke up my ass I won`t be able to see my colon for a week

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      At least you didn’t drown. I’ll bet you didn’t know before today that smoke up the butt is a cure for drowning, but it sure is a good thing they had a smoke enema device handy to save you.

  • […] Obama: Drug Legalization 'Worth A Serious Debate' CBS News: Obama: Drugs Should be Treated as a Public Health Problem DrugWarRant / Pete Guither / 1,28,2011 I know a lot of you are deeply disappointed that Obama […]

  • […] illegal drug use, according to last year’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Still, as Pete at Drug War Rant points out, what did happen had some real […]

  • treating it as a public health problem just means that they will ramp up drug testing: everyone, everywhere, every opportunity

  • WatchinItCrumble

    Wasn’t it few years back at some congressional hearing, that a senator/congressman equated talk of legalization of drugs with legalization of child molesting? I really ain’t sure, so please don’t rip me too hard if I’m screwed up on that recollection.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      The kiddie diddler comparison is standard issue Know Nothing prohibitionist hysterical rhetoric. Stupidity like that sometimes makes me want to just give up, and buy stock in the manufacturers of loafers and flip flops. How can you reason with someone without enough native intelligence to master the art of tying their own shoelaces?

      It’s really depressing to find that a lawmaker can’t tell the difference between a malum in se and a malum prohibitum law.

  • vicky vampire

    Yes guys you are so right in your posts above the commerce clause,I have been telling my hubby and kids for years,that it the one thing that gives the government gross amounts of power over the American folks, to do just about anything to us without any real way for public to stop its injustices under it.
    SO FRAKING SAD.

  • So Obama says it’s legitimate to have the debate. With all due respect (and it ain’t much, especially as it relates to drug policy) Mr. President, the debate has been going on now for over 40 years.

    To take Obama’s latest sop as a reason to be heartened is indicative of our timidity and inability to take a harder stand with the president and our other elected leaders over their support for the failed policy of drug prohibition.

  • DdC

    The drug war is a product of Fascism. Not any one particular fascist, but the economic method of incorporating business and government. It has nothing directly to do with violence or Jews or Blacks. Most business, schools, jobs and homes are more fascist than a democracy. No kid votes on bedtime. The Military can not rely on consensus, it dictates orders that are followed blindly. Same with the cops and that in and of itself isn’t bad. Fascism isn’t wrong anymore than cars or drugs. The people abusing it are. The reasons for using it are sometimes wrong. The drug war is wrong. We can retain American principals and use the powerful wealth to make things happen. As with space travel or medicine. The arrogance of anyone thinking humans are infallible enough to think it can’t happen here. Or not require oversight and checks and balances. It can, it has, it is happening here. But it has always happened so just because we acknowledge it doesn’t mean it can’t be a workable solution. People don’t have to die from drugs either. Millions use hard drugs daily and have a good time or suit their needs without dying. No one dies from Ganja. Those who depend on the black market have greater risk. Prohibition is the deadly ingredient in drugs. Greed is the deadly ingredient in Fascism.

    It Can’t Happen Here by Frank Zappa &† Mothers of Invention 1966

    “When fascism comes to America,
    it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”
    ~ Sinclair Lewis, (attributed)
    http://i53.tinypic.com/2ypdp1v.jpg

  • DdC

    The only problem I have with tweaking the CSA is those in profits would gladly re-schedule Ganja to a schedule#2 narcotic to sell in drug stores, with a triplicate, using sativex or another version of sublingual applications. Still banning Hemp and non Rx use. If we do anything we should demand a complete removal of all cannabis from the CSA. Except sativex.

  • Duncan20903

    Obviously, the Democrats still think the issue is dangerous, but it has grown to big to be simply ignored or laughed off. Republicans can still take a socially conservative stance and firmly oppose, but even they are going to start receiving flak.

    A recurring theme on these Internet threads are that the Demotards are our friends, and the Republitards are our enemy.

    In California 5 people holding the highest political offices lobbied against the passage of Prop 19. Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsome, Kamala Harris, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein. The current Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and US Senators. Ms. Feinstein chaired the “no on 19” crowd’s efforts to defeat it. Every single one a Democrat. In the meantime, a Republican signed the California decriminalization bill removing the threat of criminal prosecution for the petty possession of cannabis.

    In Maryland the current medical cannabis bill is sponsored by a Republican. In Virginia, a Republican is championing decriminalization of petty possession. Ron Paul is a Republican and has sponsored Federal decrim bills every year for as long as I can recall.

    Gary Johnson has made cannabis normalization a plank in his campaign to win the 2012 Republican nomination for President. He was instrumental in getting medical cannabis passed in New Mexico using the Governor’s bully pulpit and signed the bill when the legislature passed it. He is not only a champion of medical cannabis, he was a patient who used it as medicine when he was sick.

    The “liberals” like to denigrate Fox News. I’ve been trying to find out the name of the program on NPR that has a supporter of across the board re-legalization as host. Really, any “liberal” media outlet will suffice. The name of the program on Fox News with such a host is Freedom Watch, and the host’s name is Judge Andrew Napalitano. Can someone help me with this search? I can’t stand the idea of listening to NPR babble to find this particular proverbial needle in a haystack.

    From my observation Fox News is the most likely network to cover our issue and to do so with the professional gravitas it deserves. Yes, BillO is a buffoon and will denigrate us at the drop of a hat, yet he still hosts the television show that may indeed give the people who run MPP the most nationwide face time to state their views. Yes, he does this in order to denigrate them but the old saw that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is an aphorism, not an argument. In the early 1980s Timothy Leary toured the country with G. Gordon Butthole to promote the interests of liberty. People are more likely to tune into two sides vigorously debating an issue than the speech of a proponent speaking alone. Stand alone speaker’s very often find themselves “preaching to the choir”. Getting the message to fans of BillO is more productive even if he does denigrate our proponents. We own the truth on this particular issue, denigrate us all you want, it’s still the truth. Didn’t the people in the 16th and 17th centuries ridicule Galileo Galilei? Does anyone remember their names?

    Yes, I admit I stacked this screed and can name at least as many Democrats as Republican’s that are friends of freedom, but the point is that the right certainly isn’t bereft of such people.

    • DdC

      A recurring theme on these Internet threads are that the Demotards are our friends, and the Republitards are our enemy.

      What is it dunkem? Selective memory loss or just a typical Neocon gossip with no cares about it. If Democrats sit on their ass and do nothing its better than war monger GOPerverts murder and pillage. Stop hassling the bandaids while jack the ripublikon slashes the public.

      Prop 19 was bad law, get over it…

      Meg Whitman’s website states it clearly: “Meg is opposed to the legalization of marijuana, This is a gateway drug whose use would expand greatly among our children if it were to be legalized.” Meg promises to be yet another “tough-on-crime” governor in the mold of her Republican mentor Pete Wilson.

      As Governor, Brown signed California’s landmark decriminalization law eliminating felony penalties for possession. As Mayor of Oakland, he resisted DEA overtures to close down the city’s bustling medical marijuana scene. As Attorney General, Brown has respected the state’s medical marijuana by issuing workable guidelines that allow dispensaries to operate. A.G. Brown also offended prison reformers by opposing a Three Strikes reform initiative and the ambitious Prop 5 “Non-Violent Offenders Rehabilitation Act.” Though Brown’s record is mixed, it does include genuine accomplishments.

      SF Mayor Gavin Newsom has never hidden his drug reform sympathies, though his well-publicized problems with alcohol and cocaine have obliged him to tread discreetly. Like other state candidates, he has shied away from Prop 19. “This is a hard one for me… but I’m just not there yet,” Newsom told The Appeal. “I’ll never cede my strong support [for medical cannabis,” but concerns over exactly how full-on legalization would be implemented — from taxation to dispensation to “the message it sends” — soured Prop 19 in Newsom’s eyes. “I’m frustrated with myself on this one, to be truthful,” Newsom added. “But I’m just not there yet. I hope to be there someday, though.”

      Newsom’s opponent, former State Senator Abel Maldonado, compiled a dismal voting record in the legislature, consistently voting with his Republican colleagues against drug penalty reductions, medical marijuana, needle exchange, etc.

      Newsom, Harris Support Medical Cannabis

      Jerry Brown supports the will of the people.

      S.F. District Attorney Kamala Harris has a solid record of support for medical marijuana and civil liberties.

      Republican Steve Cooley, the District Attorney of Los Angeles, has led the city’s ham-fisted crackdown on dispensaries, resulting in hundreds of closures and lawsuits. Cooley has taken a crabbed interpretation of state law, arguing that it does not allow for the sale of medical marijuana, that delivery services are illegal, and that no one should belong to more than one collective.

      I’m not positive about Harris but the dispensary I go to has a big poster that say vote kamala Harris.

      In recent years, however, Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer has swung around to voicing support of medical marijuana, and this year she co-sponsored Sen. Webb’s bill to establish a national commission on criminal justice to study drug policy.

      Republican Carly Fiorina opposes the legalization or decriminalization of drugs, including marijuana.

      Rep. Mary Bono (R-Palm Springs), who attacked her opponent, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, for voting to allow a third dispensary in the city.

      Two Congressmen deserve credit for endorsing Prop. 19: Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) and Pete Stark (D-Fremont). Rohrabacher almost endorsed, but objected to the clause limiting employers’ right to drug test workers.

      The following California Congress members co-sponsored one or more cannabis reform bills this year. The measures included:

      (1) The “Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act by Rep. Barney Frank, allowing possession and non-profit transfer of 100 grams or less under federal law;
      (2) The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act by Rep. Barney Frank, allowing states to legally regulate medical marijuana as they please;
      (3) The Truth In Trials Act by Rep. Sam Farr, allowing federal defendants to present evdence in court that they were following state medical marijuana laws;

      Marijuana legalization
      Steve Cooley said he was opposed to a measure to legalize marijuana in California.

      The Republican candidate for California attorney general made his statement during Tuesday’s debate just moments after saying he would not take a position on another ballot measure, Proposition 23, because an attorney general must be in a position to defend any law passed by California voters.

      Cooley said he believes Propsition 19, the marijuana initiative is “preempted by federal law. My instincts are it is unconstitutional,” he said. “It’s a public safety issue, a public health issue. I am really strongly opposed to Proposition 19,” he said.

      As usual, voters who want to lodge a protest vote for legalization can look to candidates of the Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom parties.

      New Mexico PostMortem: Modest Reforms Enacted as Legislative Session Closes, Major Components of Johnson Package Await Another Time

      “Drug traffic is public enemy number one domestically in the United States today and we must wage a total offensive, worldwide, nationwide, government-wide, and, if I might say so, media-wide.”
      – President Nixon, June 18, 1971

      The U.S. government policy, starting in the Nixon and Ford administrations and continuing under Carlton Turner* (Drug Czar under Reagan 1981-1986)

      * Poisoning Pot Smokers
      * Phony Paraquat Kits
      * A Wanton Disregard For Life
      Turner said that he doesn’t even care if hundreds of kids die from smoking pot the federal government has deliberately sprayed with paraquat.

      “Marijuana leads to homosexuality … and therefore to AIDS.”
      GOP White House Drug Czar Carlton Turner 1986

      03-17, 2005 Boosh!
      This article was cited in the Canadian Parliament as proof that Canada cannot even decriminalize cannabis because of US opposition, “causing costly cross-border delays.” Lies have consequences, which is why people lie.

      GOP’s Ford:
      U.S. GOVT. COVERS UP MARIJUANA CANCER CURE!
      Last year, Spanish scientists found evidence that marijuana can destroy tumors in rats. But that came as no surprise to US. health officials, who quickly deep sixed the report. Drug-war-obsessed federal officials have known about the cancer-beating properties of pot for more than 25 years and have kept it a secret from the public!

      Maybe GOP John Walters, unbeknown to us, has medical expertise beyond that of the world’s leading physicians and researchers. Or maybe he’s lying in a desperate attempt to save a collapsing policy.

      Officials in Florida are planning to risk the future of the state’s agricultural economy in the name of eradicating marijuana. GOP Jim McDonough, the recently appointed head of Florida’s Office of Drug Control, is planning to spread a fungus genetically engineered to kill marijuana over areas where the plant is suspected of being grown. Is marijuana such a threat to the nation that it justifies recklessly interfering with nature?

      More vicious than Tricky Dick
      John Dean says the Bush team’s leaks are even viler than his former boss’s

      Tricky Dick’s guide to drinking and toking
      In newly released transcripts,
      Richard Nixon and Art Linkletter struggle to fathom the differences between demon rum and dope.

      One can imagine Nixon’s surprise when rumors began circulating in early ’71 that the “L-word” was on the table. He responded curtly at his next press conference: “Even if the Commission does recommend that it be legalized, I will not follow that recommendation.

      Timothy Leary was a Sixties radical, a revolutionary. Nixon called him the most dangerous man in America. From the perspective of the burgeoning counterculture no greater endorsement could be imagined.

      Republican Ganjawar Monger “DEAth” Cunningham

      Republican Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who has supported the death penalty for drug traffickers, made a tearful plea to U.S.Judge Reginald C. Lindsay for leniency for his son.

      The Bush-Cheney Drug Empire

      Bill Bennett’s Bad Bet: The Bookmaker of Virtues
      The news over the weekend—that Bennett’s $50,000 sermons and bestselling moral instruction manuals have financed a multimillion dollar gambling habit

      On the Larry King Show in late 1989, then drug czar William Bennett, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2000, said he had no moral problems with beheading drug dealers -only legal ones.

      Conservative Addiction Good, Liberal Addiction Bad!
      Unrepentant Junkies:
      Bush, Sen.Joseph McCarthy & DJ Rush Limbaugh

      John P. Walters criticized ABC News for reporting on the Montgomery case. Walters showed no concern for Montgomery but rather complained, “Apparently ABC couldn’t find a grandmother on death row for carrying a roach clip…”

      Soon after xDrugczar Carlton Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty. Just as G. Gordon Liddy went into high-tech corporate security after his disgrace, Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.

      • DdC

        Dr. Heath/Tulane Study, 1974
        The Hype: Brain Damage and Dead Monkeys (Jack Herer)

        If anybody is responsible for the death of Irma Perez (and many like her), it is people just like U.S. Congressman Mark Souder, who put the drug war above the lives of the citizens.

        Claude Shelby: The son of Richard “Death Penalty for Drug Kingpins” Shelby (R-Ala.) was arrested in Atlanta for possession of 13.8 grams of hash. He was fined a $570 “administrative penalty.

        Picture this: An indiscreet American college student returning from a vacation in Mexico is caught with two ounces of marijuana in his pocket. A judge is forced to sentence him to spend the rest of his life in federal prison. If this is his second offense, he will be executed. Could this really happen in America? Yes, if U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and his cronies have their way.

        A Lie College Students Might Want To Tell (Souder Thread)

        GOP’s Souder’s Drug Sentencing Reform Act
        Rape. Murder. Drunk driving.
        None of these crimes will cost college students their Pell Grants, but walking down the street with a joint could. As of July 1, 2000, a provision in the Higher Education Act mandated that students’ eligibility for federal financial aid be suspended if they are convicted under federal or state laws of offenses involving the possession or sale of controlled substances.

        The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted in closed session Tuesday to file a federal lawsuit against the state of California in an attempt to overturn Prop. 215, which, approved by voters in 1996

        The Murkowski administration will “hit the ground running” next session on a bill proposed last year to overturn a court decision on marijuana use, said Alaska Department of Law spokesman Mark Morones.

        Mexico Willing to Legalize Marijuana – Democracy NOW!

        Portland’s Cannabis Cafe on Democracy Now!

        Republican Ron Paul never passed a reform bill in Texas

        Republican Gary Johnson never passed a reform bill As Governor of New Mexico, from 1994 to 2002

        In early April 2007, New Mexico became the 12th state to approve legislation allowing patients in need to get access to medical marijuana.

        Republican Schism In New Mexico May Scuttle Drug Reform Efforts
        Some of Governor Johnson’s drug reform measures may have hit a roadblock in the state legislature

        Reform in New Mexico
        2010 Legislative Session

        During this short 30-day legislative session, DPA successfully passed the “ban the box” proposal to help people with criminal convictions find and secure jobs.

        We also made great strides for the treatment instead of incarceration bill but sadly ran out of time before the bill could have a final vote on the Senate floor.

        With your support, we successfully defeated an egregious 25% tax on medical marijuana that would have greatly harmed our state’s model production and distribution system.

        New Mexico News
        15 Nov 2010 First County Medical Marijuana Producer Approved

        However many of Johnson’s policies seem very sane and practical, especially in light of the widespread fearmongering that some Republicans are engaging in with impunity today

        House Votes Against Medical Marijuana Bill in New Mexico
        March 6, 2003

        On April 2, 2007, Governor Bill Richardson signed SB523, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act,

        On one hand, Bush violated international law by invading Panama to bring reputed drug smuggler and long-time Bush/CIA employee Manuel Noriega to the U.S. to stand trial. On the other hand, he refused to extradite Oliver North, John Hull, Admiral Poindexter, General Secord, Lewis Tambs, and other Americans to Costa Rica, where they are under indictment by that government for operating a drug smuggling operation there.
        (The Guardian, British newspaper, “Cocaine shipped by contra network”, July 22, 1989.)

        New Mexico Governor Leads Nation Toward Drug Law Reform

        “Republicans Feud Over Drug-Reform Legislation”)

        Medical Cannabis Program

        Backing Prop 19, California NAACP Calls Marijuana Legalization a Civil Rights Issue
        California’s Proposition 19 would authorize possession of one ounce of marijuana for personal consumption by people twenty-one and older, legalize marijuana use in private homes, and allow marijuana growth in private residences for personal use. Supporters of Proposition 19 argue that legalizing and taxing marijuana could help the cash-strapped state and reduce arrests of nonviolent drug offenders, who are disproportionately Black and Latino youth. We speak to California NAACP president Alice Huffman.

        Democracynow & marijuana
        Today’s show March 30, 2009 is covering Obama’s dismissal of our question on legalizing marijuana and the drug war in general.

        The show interviews Norm Stamper.

        It’s a good show today. for those of you who don’t know about DemocracyNow the news program you can view it on dish network, directTV and on line at DemocracyNow.org

        “Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
        I’m the only person standing between Richard Nixon
        and the White House.” ~ John F. Kennedy

        Richard Nixon On Pot

        While Nixon Campaigned, the F.B.I. Watched John Lennon

        “You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob?

        “You’re enough of a pro,” Nixon tells Shafer, “to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”
        – Richard Milhouse Nixon

        “Marijuana does not lead to physical dependency, although some evidence indicates that the heavy, long-term users may develop a psychological dependence on the drug”
        The Shafer Commission of 1970

        Tricky Dick’s guide to drinking and toking In newly released transcripts, Richard Nixon and Art Linkletter struggle to fathom the differences between demon rum and dope.

        Outside View: Nixon Tapes Pot Shocker
        One can imagine Nixon’s surprise when rumors began circulating in early ’71 that the “L-word” was on the table. He responded curtly at his next press conference: “Even if the Commission does recommend that it be legalized, I will not follow that recommendation.

        Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.
        – Richard Milhouse Nixon

        “To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement. I’m anything but skittish about government, but I must say this administration is truly scary and, given the times we live in, frighteningly dangerous.”
        – former Nixon White House counsel JOHN DEAN

        “You can’t depend on the man who made the mess to clean it up.”
        – Richard Nixon

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Wow, kindergarten level bullshit and two walls of text. I can hear Darth Vader saying “impressive”. With all due respect…

        Toodles!

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    There are perfectly valid, needed medicines being developed by “big pharma”. It is a red herring to claim they won’t want competition from whole plant cannabis. While we enjoy getting high the reality is that most people would prefer that didn’t happen when they are taking medicine, indeed most people don’t find cannabis particularly enjoyable. Duh, that’s how the enemies of freedom got it made illegal and have been able to keep it that way, while drinking alcohol prohibition died in short order. Most people do enjoy drinking alcohol. Insurance plans will pay for FDA approved whole plant medical cannabis derivatives and extracts, they won’t pay for whole plant cannabis unless by some miracle it gets FDA approved for prescriptions and some FDA approved manufacturer decides to manufacture and sell it. I’m sure not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. The people who point out that dosages vary too widely for valid prescriptions to be written are correct. Whole plant medicine is a stop gap measure because it’s better than nothing, not because it’s better than controlled extracts developed in accredited labs by scientists with advanced degrees and the specific expertise to do so. The pharmas don’t need recreational cannabis to be illegal to make a ton of money on medicines that promote the health of human beings.

    The medical cannabis movement enabled the research being done today. Sativex wouldn’t exist in the absence of the California CUA and subsequent medical cannabis laws. Moving whole plant cannabis to schedule 2 will promote the further development of cannabis derived medicines, and expedite the process. While true that removing cannabis from DEA scheduling entirely would promote the same result it is absurd to think that could happen faster than a move to schedule 2, if it can even happen at all as a practical matter. There are sick people suffering today, and tomorrow, that need help now. They’re suffering is several orders of magnitude more important than yours or my ability to freely enjoy cannabis as a mental relaxant.

    Hatred for “big pharma” is foolish, ill advised, and counter productive to promoting improvements in human health. I take medicine because I want to get better, not because I want to get high. Hate me all you like for this opinion. I’d rather see sick people get better than to hate the people who are going to make that happen.

    The improvements in human health in the last 100 years happened because people wanted to make the big bucks, not in spite of their “greed”. How many medical breakthroughs have come from countries that don’t allow their citizens to get rich? Is there even a single one? The best way to get filthy rich is to invent or promote something that makes people’s lives easier rather than stealing their money. Bill Gates and Larry Ellison have made 10s of billions. It wasn’t until last year that we had a billionaire thief. Bernie probably didn’t manage to steal even $2 billion into his own pocket. But even Bernie’s perfidy supports this assertion. He was only able to steal so much money because he conned people into thinking he was making their lives better. His criminal dog and pony show financed more than a few college degrees. Even the most successful con job of all time was built on the lie that the head con artist was making people’s lives easier. I still would like to know if Bernie gets to draw a social security payment every month while he’s in jail. A few thousand dollars a month in the Graybar Hotel makes you a wealthy man so ironically he may still be extremely ‘wealthy’.

    Dozens of people under Bill Gates in Microsoft made more than $2 billion doing better than Bernie, and they sure weren’t 70 when their wealth was totaled up. Not many people mention the number of billionaires produced in the wake of Mr. Gates’ efforts. Yeah right, Mr. Gates was blah, blah, blah, whatever the official line of nonsense from the haters of success is to explain the canard that he didn’t actually help make people’s lives better, that he didn’t help a single soul but himself. Go sell that line of hooey to some ignorant sucker, I’m not buying a bill of goods today.

  • Mark

    The DEA is a U.S. government agency whose mission is to destroy people’s lives. Under the pretense of fighting drugs, the U.S. government spends millions of dollars surveilling, following, snooping, breaking and entering, tampering and stealing, harassing, haranguing, heckling, taunting, pestering, bullying and assaulting its own people via the DEA–paid for with tax dollars. Every day, DEA agents ruin the reputations of innocent people via a circus of innuendo, slander, defamation, and character assassination, and they ridicule and humiliate them with their family members, friends and coworkers. The DEA perpetrates and perpetuates injustices. What the DEA does to trash the lives, the jobs, the livelihoods, and the psyches of our own American citizens is a crime.

  • DdC

    There are perfectly valid, needed medicines being developed by “big pharma”

    no, there arn’t, they’re all “treatments” to profit on symptoms. Nothing medicinal about them. Nothing to prevent or cure illness or disease. Your Neocon spin is the only red herring.

    It is a red herring to claim they won’t want competition from whole plant cannabis.

    That’s about as retarded a statement I’ve heard. You really believe a for profit Pharmaceutical corporation wants free homegrown weeds available to the public? Or lumping Hemp into the mix has nothing to do with the Neocon synthetic plastics and pollution. Go back to the Dick Armey and Calvina, I’m sure they get all giddy over your crack rants.