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Must-read on the Medical Marijuana crackdown

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject so far.

In a Strange About-Face, the President Tries to Hack Medical Marijuana Off at the Knees by Ray Stern in the Phoenix New Times.

There was no doubt about it: Obama was intent on killing an entire industry — in the middle of a depression, no less. Left unexplained was why, especially since he was giving the finger to voters in 16 states just a year before he would face them in his own election.

Except one group, says Salazar: “It’s a mystery . . . where the pressure is coming from. My sense is it’s coming from law enforcement.”

Makes sense to me.

As more research comes in showing that pot can be an effective treatment, and with America’s elderly population exploding in the coming decades, interest in its medicinal qualities apparently will only rise.

Ignorance, false propaganda, and rank political posturing tend to be the foundation of the anti-marijuana argument. (Throw in bureaucratic turf protection, as well. The DEA, for example, would need fewer agents if pot was decriminalized nationwide.)

Bingo.

The author does a great job of ridiculing the public servants who try to push propaganda rather than science:

Last December in Arizona, Will Humble, the state’s Department of Health Services director, held a proposed-rules-on-medical-marijuana news conference about the state’s new Medical Marijuana Act. He took a moment to remind reporters that more than 1,000 Arizonans died last year from accidental overdoses of prescription drugs.

But when asked how many of them died from marijuana, Humble refused to answer — to chuckles from the audience. He referred the question to his chief medical officer, Laura Nelson, who would only say she’d “have to do the research on that” before she could answer.

Then Nelson began stammering about the danger of marijuana related to “car accidents” — though she had done no research on that, either.

He covers the importance of state action.

Like women’s suffrage, the medical-marijuana movement has — in 10 states, anyway — benefited by the direct democracy of citizens initiatives. These elections have taken the pulse of voters in a way that congressional elections cannot.

And he points out the challenge that the crackdown faces:

[Pheonix attorney Ty] Taber thinks the president may have underestimated his foe. “The people behind this marijuana movement — they’re committed. They are zealots. And these are smart people — not stoners saying, ‘Hey, dude, pass another slice of pizza.'”

Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza.

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30 comments to Must-read on the Medical Marijuana crackdown

  • Ziggy

    I can’t imagine that law enforcement is driving this crackdown. This is a ruse to hide him from so other terrible offense. Deflecttion at it’s political core.

    Look, Solyndra, the Guns to Mexico, any number of other things. This is a president running scared. Of what, I’m not sure yet, but certainly is going to do everything he can to hide behind something else.

    I can’t be certain, but my gut says Watergate quality offenses or worse have been committed. There is no other reason to try to alienate your base and cow to the other side.

    • darkcycle

      Solyndra was Bush. His administration set that deal up before he left, it just happened on Obama’s watch.

      • Bush didn’t like the Solyndra deal, and succeeded in slowing it down. It was Obama who rushed it through – a distinction worth mentioning. Obama has been a disappointment on many levels, and his betrayal of those seeking drug policy reform is the highest on my list.

    • Ed Docter

      My gut says the same thing, I wish a new Woodward and Bernstien would rise up and expose this b.s. Keeping my fingers crossed

  • filthy assistant

    Hi, Ziggy: While Solyndra and the gunwalking cases are pretty bad/stupid, I don’t think they rise to the level of requiring a coverup. My donut says it’s corrections, pharmaceutical, and substance abuse treatment industry money talking. More people who need MMJ and can not get it legally (“decriminalizedly”) means more heads in prison beds (and CCA makes money) and more money for law enforcement (shiny new toys, whooo!). Ditto Big Pharma (who will be more than happy to sell you something else that may or may not work, may or may not have side effects). Subtance abuse “treatment” is big money in federal and other grants, don’t underestimate this sector. Sadly, the cartels, black marketeers, and other scum make money under this scheme while folks who are capable of growing quality product, paying taxes, providing jobs, and so on are denied the opportunity to legally do so.

    The thing I don’t get is why those who wear the Republican name tag are silent or opposed to state MMJ programs — aren’t they supposed to be beating the drum of states’ rights and getting big gubmint out of our lives?

  • dt

    In Vineland by Thomas Pynchon the villain is Brock Vond, a sadistic control freak US Attorney who busts marijuana users in California and is a lot like the four horsemen out there right now. These assholes have too much power.

  • claygooding

    You don’t think it is a coincidence that more and more ex-ONDCP and DEA people are investing or moving into the rehab field has anything to do with their determination to keep the court ordered mariholics flowing into rehab has anything to do with it,,,do you?

    That would be a conspiracy theory and we don’t want to go there,,especially while the conspiracy is happening,easier to point out after they are completed.

    If our economy hsd not hit the ditch right after Kerli announced that the war on drugs was over,,balanced approach crap,,etc,,and investors had built the rehab centers he needed to implement his strategy,across the nation,,we would be seeing a lot more court ordered rehabs.

    But dang the luck,,he tried to change over to rehab at the wrong time,,no investors bit.

    They sat back and waited,,and the economy is still going down,,no money for rehab centers,,no change,,so the drug warriors had to go back to work,,that is how I see it Vern.

    • kaptinemo

      “You don’t think it is a coincidence that more and more ex-ONDCP and DEA people are investing or moving into the rehab field has anything to do with their determination to keep the court ordered mariholics flowing into rehab has anything to do with it,,,do you?”

      Clay, that’s been the pattern almost from the get-go. Typical ‘revolving door’. Every single one of these guys (and gals, let us not forget dear Andrea Barthwell) either went into the testing and treatment industries after pushing for drug testing, or went to Big Pharma to push for hyper-inflated-priced cannabinoid medicines (Barthwell).

      Hypocrites and liars, to a soul. Using our money to lie to us and destroy lives, while knowing prohibition was a crock o’ caca.

      Dante said the 9th Circle of Hell was reserved for such as them. I pray he’s right…

      • claygooding

        I did notice Barthwell’s absence in the infamous statement by all those DWE(dicksw/ears) about medical marijuana last year,,,I guess her lobbying for Sativex was just to much of a conflict in interest,,,and her pocket book.

        Or Tandy’s involvement with Phillips and per se drugged driving laws

  • Paul

    Millions of people are going to remember Obama’s betrayal come next year. It is not just a little white lie, but a dagger in the back of everyone who thought they were finally electing a president who gets it on marijuana.

    His betrayal is complete and total, and completely undeniable. I hope his little chuckle over medical marijuana questions was satisfying, because he’s going to regret it come election day. I’m not saying I think all these MJ voters are going to suddenly vote Republican, but his disenchanted base may just stay home rather than come out and vote for the turncoat president.

    Problem is, the only sane Republicans are Paul and Johnson, and neither of them has a prayer. At the moment it looks like dull and reliable Romney, “attack Mexico!” Perry, or fence electrifying Cain.

    Depressing.

  • strayan

    Superb comment by malcolmkyle.

  • Dante

    Paul said:
    “His betrayal is complete and total, and completely undeniable. I hope his little chuckle over medical marijuana questions was satisfying, because he’s going to regret it come election day. I’m not saying I think all these MJ voters are going to suddenly vote Republican”

    That is why Ron Paul or Gary Johnson still have a chance. People who feel the same as you (angry at Obama’s betrayal) will be able to hold their nose and vote for a Republican.

    • Windy

      I’ve been reading comments on HuffPo to articles on the drug war and on Ron Paul, you might be surprised (I was) how many former Obama voters are saying they are crossing party lines to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, I always reply to them with this link:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtGRHg3a8Iw
      along with the comment that some States don’t have primaries so they must use the caucus system to become a delegate for him in those States if they really want him to win the nomination. The link is to a video that explains how to do it in each kind of State system (open primary, closed primary and caucus). The video is easily understoon, quite helpful.

  • Francis

    I read Obama’s reversal on medical marijuana as a sign that the prohibs miscalculated. Obama’s promise not to interfere with state-law compliant providers of medical marijuana was supposed to be a relatively harmless way of bolstering his “hope and change” bona fides without materially threatening the status quo. It’s not like he was promising to have cannabis rescheduled or to pursue legalization or decriminalization at the federal level. The problem is that laws are only laws when they are enforced. The perception of medical marijuana instantly went from “legal under state law with a big asterisk” to essentially just “legal.” In addition, the prohibs are waking up to the (possibly related) fact that public opinion on cannabis is moving very, VERY fast. They recognize that the wall they’ve spent (wasted) their lives building and defending is starting to crack, and they’re beginning to panic. The medical marijuana crackdown is their desperate attempt to patch the cracks in that wall before they find themselves buried in the rubble.

    • Peter

      Francis…..as I commented on the “Offical Misbehaving” thread yesterday, the efforts of DARE officers and other local LE fund-raiser/propaganists are being kicked into overdrive as they see public opinion moving away from their favorite milch-cow, the war on some drugs…. I expect to see more direct contact at the local level in the coming months.

      • kaptinemo

        “I expect to see more direct contact at the local level in the coming months.”

        Heheheheh…and we’ll be waiting. They will finally be forced into the debates they are pee-their-pants scared of. Because they will have to answer very sharp queries from public officials on the hot seat themselves, to justify their continued gorging at an exponentially shrinking trough.

        Get the anti-DARE studies ready, folks. And ask the pols at these coming festivities if they want to continue funding such a boondoggle, when there are kids in danger of homelessness and malnutrition who need that money more than Officer Jack Boot does? What’s more important, lecturing kids about drugs or making sure they are safe, warm and fed?

        And yes, use those terms. Be that blunt. The time for parliamentary niceties is past; no ‘bridge of silver’ for fleeing enemies fighting a rearguard. Not with vampires such as these. Time to drive the stake home.

        • Windy

          Speaking of the local level, pay particular attention to your county’s election for Sheriff (if your county no longer elects the Sheriff, you need to work toward getting that reversed). The reason for this is, within the borders of his/her county the Sheriff is the highest level of law enforcement — the Sheriff outranks municipal police, State police and even federal law enforcement agents. If the people in your county support cannabis (medical, recreational or both) your Sheriff should not only refuse to aid federal agents in any busts, s/he should also forbid State and local cops from aiding the fed agents within your county and even make the federal agents LEAVE the county. So you need to make certain your county Sheriff is on your side in this war.

          Luckily, darkcycle, divadab, and I have just such a candidate for Sheriff in our county election this year, I just hope enough voters recognize that fact, this candidate hasn’t had much chance or money to campaign, and the old Sheriff is well entrenched (and corrupt).

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Haven’t I mentioned before how the only scenario that makes any logical sense is that aliens from outer space are in a conspiracy with our government officials and are the ones actually calling the shots from “behind the curtain” as it were?

    Not the hideously violent aliens from the pages of human generated science fiction, but kinder, gentler space aliens, space aliens who also happen to be 12 steppers “in recovery.”

    I don’t think anyone can deny that this analysis is contrary to Ockham’s Razor. It really is the only possibility under which any of this nonsense makes any sense at all. While I don’t pretend to know why our saviors from outer space don’t make themselves known, I’m sure they have excellent reasons.

    Why can’t we all just get along?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=MPMmC0UAnj0

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Well it seems that someone is counting the bodies:

    Pennsylvania Drug Suspect Dead After Swallowing Baggie

    By Phillip Smith

    Editor’s Note: Drug War Chronicle is trying to track every death directly attributable to domestic drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing or death related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at psmith@drcnet.org.]

    A New Kensington, Pennsylvania, man being pursued by police died Saturday after he was seen swallowing a plastic bag suspected of containing illegal drugs. Curtis Patterson, 40, becomes the 41st person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
    /snip/

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/231

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    The coroner’s verdict is in: Amy Winehouse died of a fatal overdose. Apparently people were fibbing back in July & August when we were told that she didn’t have a particularly high BAC at the time of her death. It’s really incredible that a BAC of .416 was represented as not particularly high.

    0.416 for the love of god. Why the heck was there any discussion about what killed her? Oh that’s right, they didn’t mention that her BAC was 0.416.

    http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2011/10/26/entertainment/doc4ea8247231a6d828400777.txt

    I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand. ~ Linus Van Pelt

  • Peter

    “12 steppers in recovery”… nah, don’t think they’re the conspirators….too busy having “no opinion on outside issues”
    need to follow the money here Duncan

  • vickyvampire

    I’ve always liked Ron Paul years ago I knew he had it together finally people have got on Ron’s band wagon a little so funny my son is always saying mom did you what Ron said Yeah, He was around before you were in diapers.

    Look I hang around and post on certain conservative sites cause I hate them trashing Gays so I go after them still agree on a few conservative things to.. I have noticed when subject of Cannabis is brought up ajoining another similar subject it either split 50-50 for and against and or some of the folks whom are very conservative on other stands are supportive of Pot and see it has no big deal and actually think Booze is a larger problem.

  • […] Must-read on the Medical Marijuana crackdown by Pete Guithier, October 25, 2011 […]