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June 2011



The Obama Administration demonstrates once again that it’s not interested in anti-war voters of any kind.

The “clarification” of the Attorney General memo on medical marijuana (AKA the “Ogden Memo” has arrived. No big surprise. This administration, like the others before it, has hitched its wagon to the drug warriors.

June 29, 2011


FROM: James M. Cole Deputy Attorney General

SUBJECT: Guidance Regarding the Ogden Memo in Jurisdictions Seeking to Authorize Marijuana for Medical Use

Over the last several months some of you have requested the Department’s assistance in responding to inquiries from State and local governments seeking guidance about the Department’s position on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana purportedly for medical use. Some of these jurisdictions have considered approving the cultivation of large quantities of marijuana, or broadening the regulation and taxation of the substance. You may have seen letters responding to these inquiries by several United States Attorneys. Those letters are entirely consistent with the October 2009 memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use o f marijuana (the “Ogden Memo”).

The Department of Justice is committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. The Ogden Memorandum provides guidance to you in deploying your resources to enforce the CSA as part of the exercise of the broad discretion you are given to address federal criminal matters within your districts.

A number of states have enacted some form of legislation relating to the medical use of marijuana. Accordingly,the Ogden Memo reiterated to you that prosecution of significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, remains a core priority, but advised that it is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or their caregivers. The term “caregiver” as used in the memorandum meant just that: individuals providing care to individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses, not commercial operations cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana.

The Department’s view of the efficient use of limited federal resources as articulated in the Ogden Memorandum has not changed. There has, however, been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes. For example, within the past 12 months, several jurisdictions have considered or enacted legislation to authorize multiple large-scale, privately-operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers. Some of these planned facilities have revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants.

The Ogden Memorandum was never intended to shield such activities from federal enforcement action and prosecution, even where those activities purport to comply with state law. Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law. Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA. Those who engage in transactions involving the proceeds of such activity may also be in violation of federal money laundering statutes and other federal financial laws.

The Department of Justice is tasked with enforcing existing federal criminal laws in all states, and enforcement of the CSA has long been and remains a core priority.

cc: Lanny A. Breuer Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
B. Todd Jones United States Attorney District of Minnesota Chair, AGAC
Michele M. Leonhart Administrator Drug Enforcement Administration
H. Marshall Jarrett Director Executive Office for United States Attorneys
Kevin L. Perkins Assistant Director Criminal Investigative Division Federal Bureau of Investigations

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94 comments to The Obama Administration demonstrates once again that it’s not interested in anti-war voters of any kind.

  • darkcycle

    Bad news for the dispensaries, bad, bad news for patients who rely upon them. This is disgusting but oh, so, predictable. The new campaign should be: “Go ahead and HOPE for change”.

  • greg

    ah, now I see. If it looks like you’re making too much money, then we come after you.

    Got it.

    Reminds me of an interview I saw of Richard Lee (Oaksterdam U.) where he was repeatedly asked about his finances, and he refused to answer for exactly this reason.

  • darkcycle

    Greg, it’s worse than that: “Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law. Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution”
    “The term “caregiver” as used in the memorandum meant just that: individuals providing care to individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses…”
    Those two parts of the statement, taken together, seem to mean ANYBODY providing cannabis to a patient, other than a care giving family member, nurse’s aid or hospice provider can be targeted.
    The problem is that the toothpaste is out of the tube. When the DEA and L.A. Sheriff’s raided and shut down all those dispensaries, new ones had opened up to replace them by that weekend. Same in Michigan, Spokane, and every other place they’ve hit with these mass raids. Pete, I drink my coffee out of one of the Cafe Press mugs you sell that says “We can win the war on drugs, just lock up 100,000,000 more Americans.” There’s an ironic truth buried in there, to win the war on drugs they will have to do just that. And they manifestly cannot. All they could accomplish was intimidation, and intimidation has ceased to work.

    • DdC

      Yup, what he said…

      “What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state [medical marijuana] laws.”
      ~ Barack Obama, Oregon Mail Tribune, March 22, 2008

      Although as a bonded hospice home health aid I’ve never been hassled, even before Prop 215. Not by Cops, ME’s, Paramedics or Doctors. Perpetuate is the profits. Zero tolerance is as bad to the Neocons as legalizing. I never supported Obombo or sir Hilary. But I also never banked on his past statements to mean anything positive either. The only reason for Prop 19 is to sell pot. Not a bad thing unless it tweaks 215. The Compassionate Use Act already covers anyone for any reason, including non bonded caregivers. No limits other than what you think you require. It also covers 18 to 21 year olds mature enough to shoot Iraqi kids but not old enough to smoke a joint. That’s why 19 will fail again. Many sat by while the initiative was disregarded by the republicans wilson and lungren. After Klintoon when the explosion of buyers clubs hit LA and Oakland many were only in it for the money. Still are. They are not covered under Prop 215 and that is who you hear whining now. Blame Obombo for being a typical Kratzy jerk off war monger moneyslut wannabe all you want but he didn’t lie about his intentions. He isn’t busting individuals or their caregivers. We have to forget normal politics concerning the Ganjawar. This war only profits if it continues. It only keeps natural alternatives off the market shelves if it continues.

      “In any civilized society, it is every citizen’s responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen’s responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
      ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

      Note. Compassionate Use Act not the MMJ Act

      The ‘Virtues’ of Ganja
      The Politics of Pot

      Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage

      Do We Really Want Bennett & Califano On American Soil?

      There is a duty in refusing to cooperate in any undertaking that violates the Constitutional rights of the individual. This holds in particular for all inquisitions that are concerned with the private life and the political affiliations of the citizens.
      ~ Albert Einstein

  • Jim Rogers

    Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug.
    Millions of people across the globe have determined that marijuana and hemp are useful.Would someone please tell me why we are listening to this bunch of rich blowhards called congress,when they show total disreguard for scientific fact and personnel experience acquired through the years.
    I’ve lost all respect and would like to say that I am not going to vote for any of these people, because they just don’t listen.I don’t think anyone should vote.They won’t help us attain the peaceful world we need, we shouldn’t provide them with the votes they need.

    • Oh, they listen alright — just not to the “plebeians.” Obfuscation of important issues, side-stepping, feigning ignorance, and petty squabbles are all par for the course in creating a “smokescreen” for these looters and criminals. All in a days work in what essentially is a “managed democracy.”

  • Eridani

    Grrr! Letters like this make me so mad! The hypocrisy! The cruelty! This is my “favorite” line: “…sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels.” The DOJ is basically saying “yes, we know the black market exists, and we know that legalizing it would remove them, so we’re just gonna keep it illegal to keep the criminal organizations running smoothly. Don’t like it? Tough.”

    Will the Drug War ever end? Are there enough good people out there? Will I live to see the day when marijuana is legal?

  • our saving grace? Lies and the liars who tell them will get their due eventually. Especially if their lies get constantly pointed out as lies…

    And yes, it is getting old. Someone of note, of papers and authority, needs to stand the fuck up and call bullshit. Not calmly and politely but with fire and passion and more than a bit of ‘tude.

    I don’t know what it’s gonna take, but something has got to give…

    • Chris

      They won’t necessarily get justice for what they’ve done, but the dinosaurs will eventually die out and be replaced with people who look back at history and think “what the hell were they doing?”

    • fuked

      the “war” is over. those who want freedom lost long ago. it will take a revolution but i reckon too many are afraid. that’s why i drink profusely—so i don’t get arrested…again. i love freedom.

  • El kabong

    If it was legal the banksters wouldn’t be able to launder the money anymore. Many alphabet soup agencies have their only justification for existence because of the drug war.

  • Obama celebrates his Nobel Peace Prize by sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. And now he eviscerates what little credibility the Ogden Memo had. If he were a Republican he’d be decried as a warmonger and a hypocrite by the mainstream media. That he’s a Democrat seems to qualify Obama for a pass, which is exactly what he’s received from mainstream media outlets.

    It will be interesting how Ethan et. al will spin this one….

  • Tony Aroma

    No doubt about the meaning of THIS memo. Anyone involved with mj is fair game, subject only to the DEA’s whim. Not only those involved in the business, but those facilitating it, like landlords or state employees. Also those engaged in transactions involving the proceeds of the business, like banks or credit card companies. I’d say it’s pretty clear that Obama’s going to do everything in his power to put an end to medical mj. The gloves are off. Any more questions?

    • Duncan20903

      Sure I’ve got a question. Are you really just figuring this out Tony? Well I’d be willing to wager that you’ve still gotten it faster than the majority of our fellow cannabinoidians. I don’t mean to be flip here, but the day a few months back when the Feds raided dispensaries in 3 (maybe 4?) States simultaneously, and the IRS audits focusing on 280(E) were pretty conclusive of that assertion to this observer.

      On 1/23/2011 Duncan20903 said:

      “Well one thing that might have been missed in Mr. Gettman’s article is the current IRS audit of Harborside Health Center in Oakland and San Jose. I believe that this is part of a plan by the Obama Administration to close down every operating dispensary in the country, to do it quickly, and with no animus or repercussion to the current administration. No one is going to fault them for closing down a tax cheat. Of course most people don’t know about section 280E of the tax code. A perfidious little piece of excrementalism, this particular rule disallows any expenses as deductions if a businesses primary revenue is from sale of schedule 1 substances.”

  • Duncan20903

    In the “half a loaf is better than no loaf” category, Montana medicinal cannabis patients got a temporary injunction which suspends parts of SB-423 scheduled to take effect.

    Hey I’ve just realized it’s July 1st here on the East Coast and that means that I’ve been enjoying cannabis for 34 years. Of course I remember the exact date. It was a sea change for my point of view and it was most certainly a net positive that significantly enriched my life overall, all things considered. I’m going to shut up before I wax nostalgic too deeply.

  • Ed Dunkle

    And the DCCC has the nerve to ask me for money. Fuck it, I’m voting Republican.

    • that won’t help. both the repubs and demos are complicit in keeping the insanity turned up as high as possible

      • Ed Dunkle

        How about Gary Johnson? (I’m just very tired of whining Dems asking me for money. I’m on the wrong email lists.)

      • if gary johnson gets the nomination and *if* he embraces his earlier position (i.e. whole drug war has to go), instead of his current watered-down “well, maybe pot should be legal” stance then *maybe* it would be worthwhile to vote for him.

        but, since he’s left the governor’s job, he has been a lot more tepid about ending the drug war — out of “political expediency” of course.

        which is why we need leaders in this country instead of spineless toady politicians

      • Windy

        Leaders like Rep. Ron Paul, who, unlike Johnson, has clearly stated (and often repeated in all sorts of venues) that the drug war MUST be ended. A vote for Dr. Paul is a vote for freedom, and not only for those who are involved (one way or another) in the “illegal” drug trade, but for all Americans.

      • ron paul is *absolutely* saying the right things and probably would do his best to follow through if he was elected as President. however, his odds of getting a shot at the white house are probably only slightly better than mine ;^)

  • Ned

    What is going on here is a sort of cold war. Sure actual raids and arrests are hot war but if total hot war was possible, there would be no above ground activity ongoing at all. It isn’t possible, Federal resources are not capable of going after every sizable offender in every state. They absolutely desperately need states to act on their behalf. States that are fearful and deferential to Federal power are doing their work for them.

    This is an example of high level Federal bureaucrats skillfully leveraging Federal power to issue indeterminate threats. They reserve for themselves the power to act at any time or place against anyone they feel inclined to. That discretionary power, wielded as an open threat, is incredibly useful for them. They can and are using it to scare state officials who are entertaining expansive policy ideas or to provide ammunition for state officials seeking something they can point at to impede any state action to move forward on MMJ.

    They stumbled on the threatening letters to timid, fearful (or resistant) state policy makers and the success those had have emboldened them to turn up the threat level.
    These bureaucrats live in the DC world of bureaucratic solidarity, they back up and reinforce each other on maintaining the status quo. They pat themselves on the back as being the “grownups in the room”, who remain solid in the face of adversity, as generated by misguided children. They are powermad and delusional of course but very dangerous.

  • Bobby

    Damn even “Fed Up!” Rick Perry is looking good right now and probably has the best chance at beating Obama.

    • Brandon E.

      Bobby, are you insane? How on earth does Rick Perry look better than Ron Paul, or Gary Johnson? Rick Perry is loosing support steadily in his own state, he’s not going to be elected to the president’s office.

      • Bobby

        Because he believes in states rights on marijuana. He is also more likely to get elected than Ron Paul. Gary Johnson does not show up on the radar, hence why he was not invited to participate in the CNN debates.

      • Maria

        Just out of curiosity where or when has he said this? I’m not trying to pick at you, I’m genuinely curious.

        Everything that I’ve read about or heard from Perry suggests that he believes strongly in states rights BUT is also a strong supporter of the current criminal justice system, expanding the “Texas System” style, and rule by law of Christian morality.

      • Windy

        Bobby, he is NOT more likely to get elected than Ron Paul, especially if all of us fighting prohibition were to vote for Paul in the primaries and caucuses (and the straw polls).

        Johnson was not excluded from CNN’s debate because he “does not show up on the radar”, CNN deliberately left him off their polls prior to the debate, even tho he was polling fairly well in other venues and had already declared his candidacy. He met all their stated criteria, but they ignored him. And the likely reason was they didn’t want TWO candidates calling for an end to unconstitutional laws like the Patriot Act and the drug laws.

        CNN also invited some to the debate who had NOT declared, and a couple of those had even said they would not run. They are, AGAIN, trying to manipulate the voters into only seeing certain candidates as “electable” and you have fallen for their tricks, like so many others.

      • Bobby

        Months before liberal Congressman Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, teamed up with Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to back an effort to de-criminalize marijuana, Perry was making essentially the same point in his book, writing that Washington has greatly overstepped its bounds by making pot use a federal crime.

        “It ought not be the federal government’s job telling them they can’t do it,” Perry said in that November interview. “I totally and completely disagree with the concept of legalizing marijuana, but it ought to be California’s decision.”

    • Bobby

      Consider this tidbit: The attorneys general of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, three strongly anti-drug states, filed a brief supporting medical mj patient Angel Raich on the grounds of states’ rights.

  • Tim

    This is the ‘exterminator’ strategy in action.

    Any good exterminator (as my college roommate was as a side job) assesses the threat before deploying the bug spray. Assess the infested area, gather intelligence, and then deploy. You don’t want to waste bug spray or get it into non-affected areas.

    A very tortured metaphor, I know, but quite apt.

    I saw this coming. 🙁

    • Maria

      Hah. It’s not tortured at all, they also try and get the rats/ants/roaches out into the open and take the bait. Maybe it’s not fully applicable since unlike the “vermin” there will be push back, but it’s definitly not tortured.

  • unbelievable

    Did they really just say the reason they won’t bust a person with cancer or other serious illness is because they do not have the resources rather than.. i dunno…maybe out of compassion..
    I guess they can not actually admit that it is a legit medicine. Let us see what happens the next time a cancer patient goes to the federal court and has their medical defense banned from court yet their new defense is that the USA does not have the funds to follow through with the case. Sounds like a bad law remains on the books if it will not be prosecuted now. “hey judge and jury, please view this clarification of the ogden memo as evidence that we do not have enough cash to put a seriously ill person in prison anymore for violating the drug schedule that says cannabis has no medical use” if we had money..

  • fallibilist

    People who are serious about ending the Drug War need to start withholding their votes from candidates like Obama who will not roll it back.

    I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to talk to the many, many, MANY people I’ve spoken with online who like what Gary Johnson has to say on the Drug War but won’t give him a second listen because he’s a fiscal conservative. Even though they SAY they hate the Drug War, they won’t vote for anyone who’s reform-minded if they have an (R) next to their name.

    Enjoy your United States of Prison Proliferation, you Democratic Robots.

    • Leonard Junior

      You get a +1 cookie for vocalizing my thoughts perfectly. And so-called “social conservatives,” don’t like him even though he could garner a lot of moderate votes.

      So instead the (R) primary will probably go to Baroness of Insanity, Michelle Bachmann. And when she’s considered the one to beat soul-brother and chief, this is a scary election indeed, but we’ll see what happens in the primary, I suppose.

  • Jake

    It sounds like they realised they let the cat out the bag with the Ogden memo and are rapidly trying to shove it back in so that legalisation isn’t on the cards next year. I imagine that quite a few in power don’t really care if it is legal.. but just don’t want it to happen on their ‘watch’…

  • kaptinemo

    The reality the DrugWarriors always turned a blind eye to and tried to ignore has come home to roost…and is crapping in their nests.

    The latest memo illustrates that reality:

    “…advised that it is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen…”

    One side of the Sword of Damoclese hanging over Fed DrugWarrior heads: bad publicity. More and more Americans have come to the conclusion that cannabis is indeed medicine, and picking on patients is no longer a politically cheap, risk-free endeavor.

    But this is the real kicker, the other side of that Sword, and demonstrates what has been said here for years:

    “Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district…”

    They’ve finally admitted it, but in a very back-handed fashion: the fiscal noose is tightening around DrugWarrior necks. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify DrugWar excesses to a cash-strapped and increasingly restive, angry public, many of whom are desperate for the funds being wasted on the DrugWar.

    As we are seeing with the recent declarations by African-American civic leaders in their (IMNHO inexcusably tardy!) denunciations of the DrugWar as racist, we will eventually see similar actions from other civic leaders when they realize just how much of the money wasted by the DrugWarriors could have been used to keep those desperate people fiscally above water.

    When some pol realizes this and stands up in Coin-gress (not a misspelling; all most of them are interested in is money) and suggest that the 40+ Billion a year given to DrugWarriors is bread out of the mouths of the children of the unemployed and destitute, then the ax blade falling since the beginning of the Great Recession will be within inches of drug prohibition’s neck. And no PR stunt (again, paid for by taxpayers) by DrugWarriors will stop that blade’s fall.

  • from the Oh-no-they-didn’t file, Joe Califano and William Bennett in their WSJ Oped Do We Really Want a ‘Needle Park’ On American Soil?:

    Legalization in other countries has had disastrous results. In the 1990s, Switzerland experimented with what became known as Needle Park, a section of Zurich where addicts could buy and inject heroin without police interference. Policy makers saw it as a way to restrict a few hundred legal heroin users to a small area. It soon morphed into a grotesque tourist attraction of 20,000 addicts that had to be closed before it infected the entire city

    I suppose it’s not lying, exactly… altho’ I must give the boyz props on their 4th of July weekend oped’s conclusion:

    Drugs are not dangerous because they are illegal; they are illegal because they are dangerous.


    • ItReallyDoesSuck

      These two ignorant prohibitionists shamefully forgot to mention that when the Swiss closed Needle Park, way back at the beginning of the 1990s, they immediately replaced it with an extremely successful ‘Heroin Assisted Treatment’ program. — Addicts are now provided with several daily dosages of pure and legal Heroin in a controlled and clinical environment.

      At the end of 2009, 1356 patients were undergoing HAT at 21 outpatient centres and in 2 prisons.

      HAT is now being carried out at centres in Basle, Bern, Biel, Brugg, Burgdorf, Chur, Geneva, Horgen, Lucerne, Olten, Reinach, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Wetzikon, Zug, Zürich and in two prisons Oberschöngrün (canton Solthurn) and Realtà (canton Graubünden).


      In many cases, patients’ physical and mental health has improved, their housing situation has become considerably more stable, and they have gradually managed to find employment. Numerous participants have managed to reduce their debts. In most cases, contacts with addicts and the drug scene have decreased. Consumption of non-prescribed substances declined significantly in the course of treatment.

      Dramatic changes have been seen in the situation regarding crime. While the proportion of patients who obtained their income from illegal or borderline activities at the time of enrolment was 70%, the figure after 18 months of HAT was only 10%.

      Each year, between 180 and 200 patients discontinue HAT. Of these patients, 35-45% are transferred to methadone maintenance, and 23-27% to abstinence-based treatment.

      The average costs per patient-day at outpatient treatment centres in 1998 came to CHF 51. The overall economic benefit – based on savings in criminal investigations and prison terms and on improvements in health – was calculated to be CHF 96. After deduction of costs, the net benefit is CHF 45 per patient-day.

    • DdC

      Do We Really Want a ‘Needle Park’ On American Soil?”
      * cybrary linx

      Do We Really Want Bennett & Califano On American Soil?

      The 1969 marijuana shortage and “Operation Intercept”
      The extent of marijuana use and distribution in the United States was brought to nationwide attention in the spectacular failure of “Operation Intercept,” an elaborate and determined effort by the government to shut off the flow of smuggled marijuana from Mexico. The program was based on the belief that Mexico was and would remain the primary source of marijuana for Americans.

      * God Help Bobby and Helen
      the panic in needle park.jpg

      William Bennett: Dirtbag: Misery Sales and Service Inc.
      The Virtues of Losing $8mil in the slot machines. Tzar’s Black Budget?

      Caliphony: Court Ordered Rehabilitation Inc/Corporate Pisstaster
      Why would they want a drug war?

      * Demonization

      * Prohibition


      * Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA* Chairman and Founder
      The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
      Effective and Affordable Recovery $4500.00 for 30 days


      DEATH TO THE DRUGGIES by Julian Heicklen
      February10, 1998 A Look at Prohibitionist Rhetoric and Its Consequences
      Senator Orin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 28 Senate co-sponsors have introduced Bill S. 3 that mandates that a person convicted of bringing into the United States “100 usual dosage amounts” of several illicit substances including two ounces of marijuana be sentenced to life without parole for a first offense and death for a second offense.

      Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and 37 House co sponsors have introduced Bill H. R. 41 with the identical provision. On May 8, 1997, Speaker Gingrich said: “If you sell it, we’re going to kill you.”

      William Bennett, the first U. S. “Drug Czar” has said: “The non-addicted or casual irregular user is likely to have a still-intact family, social and work life. These are the users who should have their names published in local papers. They should be subject to drivers’ license suspension, employer notification, overnight or weekend detention, eviction from public housing, or forfeiture of the cars they drive while purchasing drugs.”

      * Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage

      * The New American Century by Arundhati Roy
      (January 22, 2004 (February 9, 2004 issue)

      In the great cities of Europe and America, where a few years ago these things would only have been whispered, now people are openly talking about the good side of imperialism and the need for a strong empire to police an unruly world. The new missionaries want order at the cost of justice. Discipline at the cost of dignity. And ascendancy at any price. Occasionally some of us are invited to “debate” the issue on “neutral” platforms provided by the corporate media. Debating imperialism is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape. What can we say? That we really miss it?
      Signatories to its statement of principles included future Bush administration officials Elliott Abrams, Dick Cheney, Paula Dobriansky, I. Lewis Libby, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Paul Wolfowitz. Other signatories included Gary Bauer, William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Midge Decter, Frank Gaffney, Norman Podhoretz, Steve Forbes, Eliot Cohen, Fred Ikle, and Dan Quayle.

      * Teabaggers to be Subverted into the System; Resistance is Futile

      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.

      ” U.S. leaders commit war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity, as their imperial role calls for keeping subordinate peoples in their proper place and assuring a “favorable climate of investment” everywhere. They do this by using their economic power, but also … by supporting Diem, Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto, Savimbi, Marcos, Fujimori, Salinas, and scores of similar leaders. War crimes also come easily because U.S. Ieaders consider themselves to be the vehicles of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost. It is also immensely helpful that their mainstream media agree that their country is above the law and will support and rationalize each and every venture and the commission of war crimes. ”
      ~ Edward Herman, political economist and author

      Bill Bennett’s Bad Bet: The Bookmaker of Virtues

      If Bill Bennett is slouching toward Gomorrah, he has a layover in Las Vegas. Bennett, the former drug czar and author of “The Book of Virtues,” has lost up to $8 million gambling in the past decade, according to published reports. He says he does not have a gambling problem.

      Body Count: Moral Poverty
      How to Win Americas War against Crime and Drugs
      William J. Bennett, John J. DiIulio, Jr., and John P. Walters

      Kids Who Kill
      Predicted wave of ‘predators’ fuels debate on stricter …
      Secretary of Education William Bennett and ex-federal drug enforcement official John P. Walters. The book was condemned as inaccurate and alarmist by liberals

      Juvenile Crime, Adult Time: Why are we so afraid of our kids?
      John J. DiIulio, Jr., a Princeton University political scientist
      Co-authored with former Drug Czar William Bennett and John P. Walters, warned of thickening ranks of juvenile sociopaths, “radically impulsive, brutally.

      “Suddenly Losing the War Against Drugs,”
      William J. Bennett and John P. Walters
      Drug Warriors Bennett and Walters Attack Clinton for Inaction
      Washington Times, Feb. 7, 1995

      Studies have not proven that needle exchange programs actually reduce the spread of HIV, in part because such studies depend on an unreliable population, have no control group, and cannot tease out the different modes of transmission in the subjects, argue John P. Walters and James F.X. O’Gara in an commentary in the Washington Times.

      Philanthropy Roundtable
      John P. Walters President 01
      The Philanthropy Roundtable is a national association of individual donors, corporate giving representatives, foundation staff and trustees, and trust and estate officers. The Roundtable is founded on the principle that voluntary private action offers the best means of addressing many of society’s needs, and that a vibrant private sector is critical to creating the wealth that makes philanthropy possible.

      John P. Walters is the president of the New Citizenship
      H.Rpt.104-486 NATIONAL DRUG POLICY: A REVIEW OF THE STATUS made, not the nightmare world of drugs.” e. Testimony of John P. Walters John P. Walters, president of the New Citizenship Project.

      Bush Religion Initiative headed by CIA Think Tank
      DiIulio wrote a 1996 book about the war against crime, “Body Count,” with John P. Walters and William J. Bennett, the former education secretary and drug czar.

      Family Research Council: Insight
      Cited in testimony of John P. Walters, former Acting Director and Deputy Director for Supply Reduction of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

  • BluOx

    It’s been said before but needs repeating, “Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim” ,Santayana. I think this has also been said before in some form, but Obama doesn’t care about black people.

  • Randy

    The tyranny continues. Way to go, Obama. Turd.

  • Price

    They deferred to Congress…it would be nice to see them reclassify Cannabis as a safe drug.. which is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

  • no worries, really — medical cannabinoids are coming soon to a pharmacy near you. of course, we’ll lose the “compassion” card, but that was always the 3 of clubs in the deck anyway.

    it’s getting old watching this train wreck though:

  • Ed Dunkle

    Mad props to Malcolm Kyle for having the patience to debate the nattering nincompoops on the Wall Street Journal comments section.

    • Malc

      Thanks Ed!

    • Randy

      Seconded! Nice job Mr. Kyle!

      • Malc

        He grinned his aw-shucks grin, then, passing a hand over his face, said, “It’s 21:40 on this side of the pond and there’s a spliff plus a can of 9% polish beer waiting to be savored; that’s me done for the day!”

    • the WSJ is one of those wwweb sources that just take toooo damn long to load on a dial-up modem… dang it, I miss the comments again.

      And yes, Malcolm keeps a keen edge on his machete (I think he has “Debate THIS” etched on it) and wastes no words or energy on irrelevancies and personal scuffles.

      His art is long practiced and as John Kerry found out, Malcolm and his host of amigos and amigas can turn the heat on full and keep it there. Pete’s old blog had a bulletin board that was highly useful in providing us a modicum of privacy to discuss debate/discussion targets. Linda “it’s a scam people” Taylor was one of our early candidates and proved to be a particularly effective practice dummy.

      I encourage all to be as polite, concise and direct as Brother Malcolm.

  • ItReallyDoesSuck

    Interesting comment here by luv2skiCO – June 30, 2011 1:16 PM EDT

    “Obama knows why it happened. They wanted to amp up the crime guns traceable back to US gun stores. It was part of the under the radar comment Obama made to Sara Brady and she reported to her followers on her website.

    Why else would ATF agents be instructed not to follow the guns after the straw buyer illegally transferred them to the real buyer? They were never interested in tracing out the illegal trafficking operation so they could roll up the cartels. That would have required cross-border coordination with the Mexican government.

    The DOJ team running this operation would rather look incompetent than expose the ugly truth. They were willing to enable extremely violent people to kill on both sides of the border so they could get their “crisis” to push for more gun control.”

  • denmark

    What this means is fanatical police activity, they’ve been given the green light by Bambi. Put on your boots, the sheyit is about to get another couple feet deep.
    True life experiences of those caught with cannabis or something else should be highlighted, over and over again.
    Then again television has desensitized the public to police actions. The air waves are rampant with cop shows.

    “distribution of marijuana purportedly for medical use”

  • vickyvampire

    Government and religion has perpetuated lie after lie about BOOZE,Pot,Nicotine,Health remedies,and surrounding Holistic industries,and suppressed and on occasion ignored or belittle meditation and certain hallucinogens the most powerful form of spirituality.

    These authorities regardless in government or religion are power hungry,ignorant and dangerous destroyers of the human spirit.

    I asked my gay Libertarian son the other day what ,he currently thought of Obama, he looked at me, and said He’s done nothing, of any substance, his whole term.
    Yes Obama is a rabid anti-gun person.

    Tryanny marches on, I think, to many people get off not just cops on get back at someone for something,and people using Drugs and in trouble over drugs pointing a judgmental finger at them their judgement of it it’s a weird adrenaline shot like from seeing a car wreck or something it just sick, emotional judgement feeling of satisfaction someone getting screwed so they don’t have to look at there own miserable selves.

  • darkcycle

    Been out of the major skirmishes lately, but Malcolm is keeping the fire lit under their feet. I wanna get back, as soon as time expands geometrically to allow me to get everything done….
    Good on Malcolm. Proud to call him my friend.

  • Ron Combs

    Cannabis is not illegal because it makes us feel good.It’s illegal because it’s a threat to the profits of the corperations that control our government.Oil/Paper/Cotton/Pharmacuticals.Just to name a few.And i think we all know how government works.They could be replaced with a vending machine.Just insert coin and recieve bill.

  • Peter

    I noticed that one Lauren Kurilchik had a lot say on the WSJ comments page, which Malcolm Kyle patiently tackled, despite her continual resorting to ad hominems. It seems she is a Tea party activist and supports “less government involvement” in our lives. Bit of a disconnect therefore that she argued continually for more government involvement in the lives of anyone who takes drugs which she does not approve of. She has a section on her webpage about “beer drinking tea-party patriots” check it out:

    • Malc

      Thanks for that, Peter!

      I’ve just posted the following at WJS:

      Lauren Kurilchik, it seems you are a Tea party activist and therefor ostensibly support “less government involvement” in our lives. Isn’t that a bit of a disconnect with what you’ve been posting here? which is for more government involvement in the lives of anyone who takes any drugs except for those you happen to approve of. — I see you have a section on your webpage about “beer drinking tea-party patriots” For those wishing to check it out, just google “Lauren Kurilchik cheers meetup”

      Why can’t you admit the obvious, Lauren? The misguided and counterproductive policy of prohibition has failed; the “unintended” consequences are disastrous. Untold Thousands of people have lost their lives in prohibition-associated violence. Drug lords have taken over entire communities. Misery has spread unabated and corruption is undermining fragile democracies everywhere.

      We’ve had decades of interdictions, spraying and raids on jungle drug factories, but Latin America still remains the world’s largest exporter of cocaine and marijuana, while Afghanistan, even with American occupation, continues to produce over 90% of the worlds opium and heroin.

      To continue prohibition is ludicrous and if you can’t see that by now, then you must be on something far stronger than any of us here have even heard of.

      Do you think you’re protecting the children, Lauren?

      • Peter

        Your welcome Malc. I just added this in rply to your post on WSJ:
        Here’s what Lauren Kurilchick has to say on her webpage about the use of a drug (alcohol) which she tells us helps her vent her political views…. interesting that she repeatedly attacked other posters on this thread as being “drug-addled.”
        She writes “Come have a beer and vent your political frustrations!!
        Are you frustrated with an out of control government? Do you feel like you’re the only one waiving a red flag and nobody’s listening? Come join us once a month at a local bar for a beer and an opportunity for you to vent your frustrations and meet like minded people. You don’t have to be an official Tea Party or 912 member. I believe it’s important for us to establish a face to face local like minded community NOW to help all of us face the music in what’s most likely to come in the near future. It would be nice for people to have a social support system, and at the very least, a simple way to get together and vent, educate each other, and share ideas. The beer helps, but is not mandatory of course.”
        Sounds like she’s planning a beer hall putsch.

      • Duncan20903

        Did you know that right after the 21st Amendment ended the idiocy of drinking alcohol that beer was only 3.2% ethanol? After lots of research and whatever alchemist’s voodoo went on that today’s beer can come in in excess of 5x that figure? This beer is not your grand daddy’s beer. Why isn’t anyone thinking about the children?

      • Malc

        Thanks for that additional post at WSJ, Peter!

        I added this in reply:

        Lauren Kurilchick needs to wake-up from her alcohol-haze and realize that most of the nation is now far more informed than during times when ‘Her Ludicrous Hysteria’ was easier to sell. Prohibition is perverse; a human rights and social justice atrocity. And her posts here are a text book example of that perversion. Individuals like herself who perpetuate the idea that ‘We the People’ should continue spending billions upon billions of dollars to fight ‘Their Unwinnable War’ should be made to stand before us with their heads hung in abject shame, for the grave damage they have caused our ‘once free and prosperous’ nation.

  • A timely release:

    Portugal drug law show results ten years on, experts say

    Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.

    “There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

    The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

  • palemalemarcher

    I subliminally understand collective outrage over this ministration abject refusal to deliver on online pledges, but what is striking is Bill Clinton’s apology heard on DTNetwork. But the gop too is also ignoring Rev. Robertson’s courageous advice. I suggest that the community abstain from the gop also for moving in lockstep with Gov. Scott.

  • darkcycle

    The GOP, beholding as it is to big money and big business, is not a friend of the legalization movement, no matter what the “party principals” are or were. There is a huge divide between the positions of either party and the majority of citizens in this country. Until people begin to abandon both parties wholesale and get behind some as yet unidentified third party, there is no room for change. The positions of the two parties in the corporate state? you couldn’t work a razor blade between them.

    • Duncan20903

      Wow, and I thought I was approaching extreme when I compare the party designation of left or right being akin to the double yellow lines regulating undivided highways. Not only are the parties both closer to the lowest common denominator “middle” of the road rather than left or right, whether the party is left or right depends on which direction you’re headed.

      You know DC fanatics have periodically infested one of the two major parties and drastically changed the party line throughout US History. For example, the pentecostal christian taliban equivalent has had significant influence on the Republican Party’s position platform. Yeah, our domestic al Queda members are idiots but they also don’t have much trouble walking in lockstep and doing as they’re told and a cohesive voting block can wield significant political influence. Unfortunately walking in lockstep, speaking as one, and following orders are most certainly absent from the pothead cohort.

      I think it very ironic that the very character traits that make an absolute prohibition of cannabis a fool’s errand is the same combination of character traits that (at least so far) have made it impossible for us to succeed in getting the idiocy of cannabis prohibition repealed. Go figure that one out.

      Would you think it possible to get our fellow potheads out to vote in the Republican primaries to give Gary Johnson a significant bump in street cred? Are there many of us that give a shit what happens in the Republican primaries absent a specific motivation to make ourselves heard? There’s zero chance that the Democratic primaries will be contested barring the proverbial dead girl or live boy coming to the attention of the voters.

  • Duncan20903

    Willie Nelson, who’s your daddy?!?

    Poor Willie got fucked by the judge when Willie went to Texas to formally dispose of his possession of cannabis charge from earlier this year. Now this is a fascinating turn of events in a train wreck sort of way.

    Does anyone think that they’re going to have future trouble getting defendants to accept plea deals in that judge’s courtroom? Without plea deals the entire system would collapse under its own weight, and rather quickly too I might add.

  • Peter

    “The judge claims any other person would receive a more severe punishment.”
    Like what for instance? What is the standard sentence in this judge’s court for possession of a pipe and the “smell of pot smoke?” Seems to me that a fine of five hundred dollars plus costs is pretty steep already.

  • palemalemarcher

    I just am very worried that my impulse from the AG’s gambit could embolden the scheme going on in Florida.

  • palemalemarcher

    If anybody can remember, a local appellate court in New Mexico ruled in favor of MMJ some months ago. I may be wrong but was it a federal bench ruling or state?

    • darkcycle

      Would’ve had to be State, PMM. In Federal courtrooms in Marijuana cases, you cannot mention Medical….anything. They will even prevent you from letting the jury know you’re sick.

      • aye… and that perhaps is the most egregious wrong in all of this. In all the places where truth counts, one’s testimony should be free and unfettered in a court, under oath. Such a gagging is the antipode of real justice. It is a criminal act against civil order committed by our gummint against we, the people.

        And please, note that the drug warriors (like Bennett and Califano in their recent WSJ screed) never mention those killed by Prohibition II. That litany will be the lynch pin that unhitches their wagon… they are afraid to death of those skeletons in their closet.

        Speaking of Bennett and Califano… I’ve seen 3 LTEs pass by the MAP sentlte list to the WSJ oped already. It’s a great target for a pile on of letters. Here’s the article again, at MAP:

        and the email addie for the WSJ is

        Shoot for 100 words, live with 120… don’t pass 150 words (mine was 148).

  • […] For those involved in supplying marijuana for sick people in full compliance with state law, they are “subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution,” including civil or criminal action, and utilization of federal money laundering statutes and other federal financial laws. […]

  • and more on Bennett and Califano:

    E D Kain in American Times, Bill Bennett: Still a Drug Warrior After All These Years

    Bill Bennett’s piece at CNN that Kain is initially responding to (I’m on dial-up and while waiting for the CNN page to load I noticed the title and had to laugh) Why Barney Frank and Ron Paul are wrong on drug legalization. [now you know why I laughed the page is still loading so I can’t see if there are comments open… oh yeah! Over 3,700 comments so far!]

    And Jacob Sullum at Reason, Bill Bennett Explains Why Freedom Is Slavery

    And they even join the dogpile at Lew Rockwell (with LEAP, the Global Commission and Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the article), Why Legalize Now?

    Who woulda thunk it but Bennett and Califano’s Oped get a resounding “THUD!!”

    Send those letters folks! Dogpile in Progress!

  • darkcycle

    Coming in late on a piece like this with folks like you around is like being the last jackel to get to the carcass. Nothing left but the flies.

  • CallAnotherPressConference

    The ruling was the result of the National Youth Cooperative v. U.S. case. Minors of varying ages were outraged by the numerous appeals to their welfare made by politicians and parent groups without first consulting them, leading children to seek legal counsel and file numerous lawsuits.

    “We did it,” cried Victor Hamile, age 17. “Now people have to use facts and actually listen to us.”

    The majority of Republicans blasted the decision, with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin calling it a “serious blow” to campaigns nationwide.

    “We shouldn’t have to provide proof, but now we do,” said an exasperated Palin in a recent CBS interview. “Now we can’t tell people to invade a country for the sake of their children’s freedom. I’m not sure I want to live in that America.”

    More Here

  • jimmyd

    We must vote. A non or no vote still gets a Dem or Repub elected. However if you vote Libertarian you will have the satisfaction of having your vote registered. I plan on contacting my congressman on nov 9, 2012 and let him know where my vote went. If they see an increase over 2008 they will get the message loud and clear.

  • jimmyd

    Everyone here is a true loving patriot! There is power in numbers. We have the numbers, we need to use them, this is OUR REVOLUTION! When I was in my teens (60’S) We fought this, at 56 the fight continues. Love and peace to you all.

  • thelbert

    plant a revolutionary seed today and water the trees of liberty. may patriots love their lives as much as tyrants fear their deaths.

  • jimmyd

    Hey Allan: Didn’t Bill Bennett have a gambling issue a few years back. I wonder how many people have been ruined by gambling, you know, lost their jobs, marriages, lives not paying off gambling debts. We have a hypocrisy issue with these folks. Another question, why hasn’t the entertainment and movie industry been out in force to help change these laws, just wondering out loud.

    • Duncan20903

      The success of highly regulated casinos favors the proposal of cannabis re-legalization and regulation.It does so in the same manner that the successful end of drinking alcohol prohibition supports the same. A big difference between the two was that after implementation of the 21st Amendment everyone was pretty much involved and had agreed that it needed to be done. Las Vegas was founded by organized criminal syndicates and for a very long time was the plaything of gangsters big and small. Today it’s totally corporate and there’s no criminals involved, at least any that have been caught. One of the major complaints filed by the Know Nothings is that they believe the medicinal cannabis vendors are run by criminals. To paraphrase a Clintonism, it really depends on your definition of the word criminal. Regardless, in this case the perception is reality for all practical purposes.

      The gambling hotline number has been prominently displayed in every casino I’ve ever been it, but it is true that it’s not a very large sample. Hmm, maybe it is just a New Jersey thing.

      BTW there isn’t any actual gambling taking place in a casino. The word gambling implies that there is at least some reasonable chance that the house could actually lose money at the tables. It really is much more efficient to just mail a check if you want to give your money to a casino.

  • jimmyd

    For you folks in Wa. St. New Approach Washington Files Initiative to Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana. Signatures will start being gathered in mid Aug; for the Nov 2012 ballot. So hypothetically, if enough states were to legalize it, that would leave the Feds with a huge P.R.problem when they start enforcing federal law. I’m pretty certain that these states will be threatened as was done recently in Wa, RI and Az.

  • Duncan20903

    Wow, I actually read the Declaration of Independence. Today I learned that the fact that signing that document was a capital offense isn’t just speculation. The British caught, tried, convicted and executed 5 of those 56 old white men.

    When some Know Nothing prohibitionist clown says that “the law is the law” I often think of how our country was founded by felons and our 1st government document was a crime. The I often think about how the tradition in this country of getting unjust laws repealed is to break those laws. It started on 7/4/1776 and has more or less been constant ever since. Suggesting that blind obedience to each and every law is our duty is a slap in the face of the oldest American tradition of withdrawing consent to be governed by unjust and ill advised laws.

    People often attempt to ridicule the issue of cannabis law reform as being unimportant. If we still had slavery, overt Jim Crow laws, sedition laws violating the 1st Amendment, and all the other heinous things that have been kicked to the curb by lawbreakers I agree those would be the priority. I even think that cannabis law reform isn’t really important in the scheme of things. I’d rate it at the same level of importance as where you sit on a public bus.

    [segue to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”…]

  • jimmyd

    History has aired a program called: Marijuana: A Chronic History. Did you know the first settlers carried Marijuana and it’s sister plant HEMP. Lincolns wife was given Marijuana shortly after he was assassinated, to calm her nerves.

    • Duncan20903

      More likely Ms. Lincoln took tincture of cannabis. There isn’t anything particularly remarkable that it happened. Today’s equivalent would report that she took an aspirin for a headache. Until the advent of aspirin cannabis was the most frequently used analgesic on the apothecary’s shelves.