Obama Tries to Rewrite His History of Promising Forbearance for Medical Marijuana Suppliers

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by oscar169, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. oscar169

    oscar169 Operation Dank



    Jacob Sullum | April 25, 2012
    [​IMG]In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama was asked to reconcile his administration's crackdown on medical marijuana with his promises of tolerance and noninterference in this area. His reply:
    Here's what's up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana [dispensaries]—and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, "Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books." What I can say is, "Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage." As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.
    The only tension that's come up—and this gets hyped up a lot—is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we're telling them, "This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way."​
    Here's what's up: Obama is full of shit. During his campaign, it is true, he often referred to medical marijuana users. But he also promised to leave suppliers alone. Here he is in a May 2008interview with Oregon's Willamette Week (emphasis added):
    Would you stop the DEA's raids on Oregon medical marijuana growers?
    I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism.​
    Two months earlier, when he was asked about medical marijuana in an interview with another Oregon paper, the Mail Tribune, Obama said, "I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue." If a U.S. attorneythreatens to prosecute people who are explicitly authorized to supply medical marijuana under state law, as John Walsh has in Colorado, surely that counts as "us[ing] Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue."
    Furthermore, Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, repeatedly has promised prosecutorial forbearance for medical marijuana suppliers—not just patients—and he has done so explicitly as a fulfillment of his boss's promises and wishes, as I noted in my October cover story about Obama's drug policies:
    Attorney General Holder...claimed to be implementing Obama’s promise to stop harassing state-sanctioned medical marijuana suppliers. "The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law,"Holder declared during a March 2009 session with reporters in Washington. "Given the limited resources that we have," he said during a visit to Albuquerque three months later, the Justice Department would focus on "large traffickers," not "organizations that are [distributing marijuana] in a way that is consistent with state law."...
    Alarmed by [a DEA official's threats against dispensaries in Colorado], Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) asked Holder at a May 2010 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee whether they were“contrary to your stated policy." Yes, Holder said, "that would be inconsistent with the policy as we have set it out…if the entity is, in fact, operating consistent with state law and…does not have any of those factors" mentioned in the Ogden memo [such as "sales to minors," "sale of other controlled substances," and "financial and marketing activities" inconsistent with state law]. He said those criteria would determine "whether or not federal resources are going to be used to go after somebody who is dealing in marijuana."​
    Holder continued to offer such reassurances even after it became clear they did not amount to anything in practice. Last December, Rep. Polis again asked him specifically about medical marijuana providers (not patients) who comply with state law. Holder replied, "Where a state has taken a position, has passed a law, and people are acting in conformity with a law, not abusing the law but acting in conformity with it, and, again, given our limited resources, that would not be an enforcement priority for the Justice Department." Polis followed up with a question about bank deposits by "legal, regulated medical marijuana shops and dispensaries in Colorado." Holder gave the same response: "If...the people seeking to make the deposits are acting in conformity with state law, that would not, again, be an enforcement policy for the Justice Department."
    Yet here is Obama saying, in the Rolling Stoneinterview, that he never promised to ease up on medical marijuana providers—only patients. As I said in my October article, that policy is indistinguishable from the Bush administration's. In fact, the Obama administration has in some ways been more aggressive in going after medical marijuana. That record cannot possibly be reconciled with Obama's promise to take a less meddlesome, more compassionate approach.
  2. GanjaAL

    GanjaAL Well-Known Farmer

    Funny how some MMJ providers are in fact patients... this guy is a snake!
    mal likes this.
  3. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    I think whoever wrote the article has let it go completely over their head that Obama does not have complete control over every administration which moves forward with these prosecutions. It's as he says--he doesn't have the capacity to circumvent laws which have been approved by congress and signed into law by a president. That isn't in his list of presidential powers.

    What he can do is try to "steer" his administration away from these things--but he cannot turn and actually command a subordinate of his to stop doing something which is lawful. What he's attempting to do is make congress the bad guy--because in truth they are the only ones with actual power afforded them under the law to circumvent those laws. What we, as Americans, have done is we've allowed congress to convince us that the president is the king of the USA (even though the right spent a huge amount of time fighting this notion under bush--and vice versa with how the democrats attacked him as gop do Obama now).

    If you want to reprimand somebody on this issue--reprimand congress, who could walk into the building tomorrow and pass a bill legalizing MMJ for all states.

    These are the people with power.

    Now if they were to do that and then Obama were to veto the bill--then he would be a snake and a liar. Failing that, he's been neither on this issue.

    It's his job to sign or veto bills, to direct the military, and to concern himself with foreign affairs--it is not his job to walk every American through a 4th grade understanding of how our system of government works.

    Just because he doesn't take time out of his schedule to explain to everyone what his job is on this issue (and the scope of what he's allowed to do)--does not make it his fault that the rest of the country doesn't get it.

    The laws which govern presidential power are publicly available--and anyone who takes the time to actually read them (so that they'll know what the hell they're talking about) will plainly see that Obama's hands are pretty much tied on this issue.

    Obama makes the point that he cannot do that, and he's absolutely right. Find me a law on the books which would provide for it and I'll shut my yap--but I'm betting it'll keep flapping as no such law exists.
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  4. jyip

    jyip Well-Known Farmer

    too much power for a muslim in this country for me!

    uummnn, i am not surprized



    ummmn, now i am surprized squiggly, so you are promoting obama then? all politicians are snakes, from presidents down to the lesser roles,,, its all bs, wordgames and other crap to promote or get what they want until they get it , then its game over, seeya!! nothing new here, and a kindergardener would see it, never minda 4 th grader....
    nangonug and mal like this.
  5. sanvanalona

    sanvanalona Well-Known Farmer

    "too much power for a muslim in this country for me!"

    REALLY? Please stop the negative rhetoric that is in fact a lie! He is not a Muslim. Also, while I can agree with you and say that there are many snakes in the program, I cannot say that every politician is a snake. Broad statements like that are in fact mindless and should not be perpetuated, to quote an old saying: " even a broken clock is right twice a day".

    That said, this does suck. Squiggly you are right about Presidential power to a degree, but every president since Washington has expanded Presidential powers through one way or another, e.g, Jefferson and the Louisiana purchase, Wilson's use of bully pulpit, F.D.R. staying around longer than usual and his little addition to the Supreme Court....haha, G.W. Bush and the Presidential singing and line item vetoes. Basically, I am saying that the President has many powers that are implied in the constitution and they are constantly attempting to expand upon their constitutional definitions, they are able to do many things that are not specific to their job description, I mean we have had how many wars now that are not "technically" wars because they bypassed constitutional protocol. I am not a constitutionalist, but have studied presidential powers and it is interesting to watch them unfold in action. I cannot believe that President Obama would even comment on the raids, as Colorado is one of those swing states that he surely needs in order to win, which is also why I believe they have seen the least amount of federal intervention. I mean shit, Montana has 3 electoral votes, far from a state to fight for. And California, well it will take an act of God for the state to vote Republican again so no real political jeopardy there. I do think that he could continue to ask for lower priority for mmj, maybe educate himself a little on the actual raids that have happened( I say this because it seems as if he thinks that all the dispensaries were involved in the black market and that is just not true), and apply all the backdoor pressure available for his underlings to listen to his desires, and we would be foolish to think he cannot do many things behind the scenes. I am a huge supporter, I really enjoy having such an intelligent man running for president, and one thing that comes to mind is that he reiterated over and over was his need for accountability. He said numerous times in his campaign that he needs the people to hold him accountable when he is wrong cause at times he is and will be, therefore, I think that in some way or another we need to show him that the justice departments actions toward the mmj industry post Ogden memo is not legit, a form of mass entrapment and that is not fair. He did not press charges on the rich tax evaders that hid their money in overseas accounts, shit he gave them an open ticket to get their money, get taxed and be legal. Now what if the justice department went after those millionaires for money laundering and continuing a criminal enterprise? I am just saying Squiggly, that as supporters we need to let the man know when he is doing wrong and on this one he is, at least by the words of this interview.
    kushtrees and pussOGbrah like this.
  6. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    He's not a muslim--it's just silly to say that.

    You might claim that he's not the best of Christians--but I feel like that's even pretty low. It's not for you to say what his religion is, and he's come out pretty clearly as a Christian. To deny that is very un-Christian in and of itself.

    Moving on to the rest of what you said:

    I am an Obama supporter--but that is honestly separate from what the law says in clear language about what the president can and cannot do. The idea that I support someone does not immediately mean that words written into law will change form on the page where they sit according to what it is that I do or do not believe.

    That would be an amazing power, and I'd love to have it--but it is not the case.

    Facts are facts--the guy can't do anything about this. The people driving the boat on these issues (who are republican, mind you) have actually come out and made a point of telling him and the American people that he can't do shit about it. It's funny because people are so ill-informed and ready to blame everything on the president that he ends up with shit on his face about it. The republicans wouldn't have it any other way--but you can rest assured if Mitt comes in we will be looking at more, not less, raids. Presidential clout counts for something--but not everything. Obama has done what he can, and if you look back to Bush you'll see it's quite a bit different in terms of who's been targeted.

    If you wanna see cancer patients dragged into court again--vote GOP.

    Call him a snake and a liar if you want, I think it's slightly un-American, but you could be doing much worse so its a bit of a moot point for me. The only thing I ask is that people make sense when they are doing it. Use logic. Make an argument, you know, with support--preferably factual and not spun by opinion. Have a debate--be open to comments, be open to new ideas.

    People who are not betray their idiocy before they have even opened their mouths--no man/woman on this earth is so great that they've got it all figured out and don't need input from anyone else (or only need input from people who agree with their infallible ideas and never question them).

    Why would it surprise you that I support Obama.

    I'm an avowed liberal, an atheist, and a freakin scientist (or as some in the GOP might call me "one of those quacks from academia". Democrats are kind of the only landing strip for me when it comes to politics--beyond that I just freakin' like Obama. I voted for him to become a Senator before he was president.

    The main problem I have with Obama is that he's almost too unwilling to just come out of his shell one day and release the frustration and anger that he must have over all of the retarded back-and-forth that has plagued the last four years.

    It's absolutely bullshit and he know it probably better than the rest of us. If you want things to change--think about who's writing the laws, not the guy who signs them (at least until we are sending the guy laws for fucks sake).
    kushtrees and sanvanalona like this.
  7. marski420

    marski420 Active Farmer

    Nothing like good ol religion and politics to make for an unenlightened conversation.Its all a game, the sooner you realize the sooner we can all stop playing, surf the cosmos and smoke our weed in peace! BTW about how you say congress has all the power, yes that is true but we give them their power.. Congressmen are in corporate interests back pocket and therefore dont care about the people.. straight fascism folks.
    nangonug, mal, kolah and 1 other person like this.
  8. GanjaAL

    GanjaAL Well-Known Farmer

    Sorry but as it goes it is his appointee doing the hunting.
    mal likes this.
  9. sanvanalona

    sanvanalona Well-Known Farmer

    I
    I am sorry but things are not that simple, would be nice but seriously just not true. Explain the following: social security, medicare, medicaid, pell grants, etc. The government, while not always having the people best interest as priority, still do help people to a degree, and there are stark and true differences between politicians.
  10. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    If you do some reading on how this all transpired--you'll find that Leonhart essentially told Obama one thing, and went against the grain and told him to get lost once she was in the confirmation process.

    If you pay attention to how things actually transpired you'll find that Obama is, at worst, guilty of poor judgment of character. Leonhart pulled a bait and switch on him big time. Is that his fault? Absolutely--but that's different from him being in a friggin jihad against MMJ which is what many would have you believe.

    It's just not the case, and I personally find it appalling that republicans would latch onto an issue like this one for which their party has been almost solely responsible throughout history. There is no question which party wants to keep drugs illegal--there never has been. If anyone scaly skin here I'd say it's those chameleons.

    Anything to sink Obama right?

    It's a joke. The party of family values is and always has been the only party which finds it reasonable to reach into the home and protect citizens from themselves (through censorship, prohibitions, etc.). If you want to know why the government wants to take your pot--do some reading up on the GOP's ideology and what it's overarching effects have been. One of its effects has been this mess. If you can make a reasonable, logical, argument which counteracts that--then you should go to Harvard and join the debate team.

    The shit can't be done.
  11. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    Couldn't agree with you more--and in fact I'd hoped this would be the subtext underlying my argument.

    I'd actually make one correction to that which is that we have the power--we do not "give" it to congress. We merely bestow upon each of them the power that they have--whilst retaining our own.

    I've said exactly this before on this board actually--that if we really must point a finger on this issue, we need to be pointing it at ourselves and our neighbors for not making it a priority. The same goes for just about every other real issue with a solution that is reasonably in sight (so things like abortion, etc, that we cant agree on come off the table for awhile so we can get something done).

    The process I'm describing there, wherein we table polar issues and get to the business of fixing some of the stuff that most Americans agree on (like this issue), is impossible and will never happen in this political atmosphere.

    It is our responsibility as citizens to recognize this and do something about it. That's the way the constitution is written. Guess who's pulling the strings that keep us focused away from that truth though. Who forgets to tell us?

    Congress.

    They, for decades, have kept this crazy runaround going on to the point its become ridiculous and fringe politics mostly--none of which resonate with the majority. None of us take it seriously and thus we forget our position and our responsibility. No one cares enough to actually read the subarticles and realize there is a process for establishing a new party--or for people to choose who will be on the ballot by majority vote.

    We have these powers under the constitution and we do nothing. If the politicians are so bad at their jobs and such liars and snakes and in so many pockets--then we are no less to blame. It is our job to stop that and we seem to be pretty fucking terrible at holding up our end as well (which I hope would begin with every citizen having a 4th grade social studies level knowledge of the governmental system--the number is somewhere in the 50% area at best).

    What's our excuse? Laziness? At least those fucks are getting rich off of it.

    I'd say greed is a better hubris than being a moron.

    It's all of us gentlemen and ladies, then congress, then the DEA (and the massive lobby that all of law enforcement represents--over 80% is for drug law enforcement), the attorneys general, and then the president.

    I'm not saying he's blameless. He's bumbled, he definitely is playing it safe because its an election year, and even if you accept that not much good can be said for it. There's been other mistakes, but I argue that his heart is in the right place--that if he did have the power to just change the law, that he would.

    That's the kind of guy I want in office just in case a bill does magically make its way to a president some day. What I don't want is a Mitt Romney if a bill gets through.

    Frankly I don't want it to be a republican written bill either because they'll turn weed into a narcotic and demonize it like its heroin. I'd like to see de facto legalization as a first step--and if that ever happens it's going to come from the left, no question.

    As it goes to this issue, that's where I stand. Despite my liberal-democratism, there are actually many issues where I stand firmly to the right--but I see through the GOPs long game on this one. I know that they think they know better for me than I do--I don't want them even approaching this issue because the issue is essentially that some collection of dickbags at sometime back in the day thought they knew better for me than I did.
    Fuck that. If I want to avoid things like that flying at my face, I tend to look right not left (unless we're talking taxes).
  12. GanjaAL

    GanjaAL Well-Known Farmer

    Sorry brother... I am not part of the GOP other than the backing of Ron Paul. I align myself more with a constitutionalist and Libertarian. No biggy...
    soserthc1, kolah and mal like this.
  13. Mississip Hip

    Mississip Hip Well-Known Farmer

    Obama is a liar.

    Like the rest of them.

    When are we getting out of Iraq again?????????????

    Obama doesn't have the power to back up his words? What..?.....did he not know the extent of his presidential power when he made the comments? Well he should have....he is the fucking president of the Unuted States of America.

    If thats true....then Obama doesn't even know the job description....much less how to effect positive change.
    mal likes this.
  14. 2DogWalker

    2DogWalker Well-Known Farmer

    Squiggly thanks for all the information Sharing there are quite a few others who could really brush up on your governmental knowledge.....IMO if u don't have ten plus million in liquid assets u should vote for Obama....

    or if you really want to make a stand, vote for whoever u want in November and after that day don't pay anymore taxes, anymore insurance bills and convince your hundred best friends to do the same....I promise you our government is just a stack of cards if one leg falls it all will...you want to make decisions take control of your $$ and their begging asses will follow w their listeners turned all the way up.....

    Thomas Jefferson stated many things to lead me to
    Believe our democracy will be overthrown, some of the statements I see above make me believe the need is imminent.....pulling up my waders.

    Regards
    2dogwalker
  15. sanvanalona

    sanvanalona Well-Known Farmer

    Hate to have to be real with you but.......WE ARE ALL LIARS! In one form or another, attempting to hold anyone to everything they have said is futile. Case in point, your comment on Iraq is a LIE. We have been depleting forces in Iraq, as of December no U.S. troops remain, at least according to the Brookings Institute and the B.B.C.: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16234723

    I think all people, Obama included, have no idea what they are in for when the become President, that is the case with many jobs. The job description for Presidents is non existent, and that really is not what is at fault here.
    The problem that I see is that the President stood behind the decisions of the justice department in raiding mmj and standing behind the ole "at least we aren't prosecuting people with cancer", and not seeing the bigger picture that somebody actually has to grow this wonderful medicine, and those are the people that have had their lives ripped out from under them. He should of remained silent on the issue, as the old saying goes: "if you don't have something good to say", but instead he opened up and defended some atrocious policies, I don't like that one bit. But, that is my criticism of him rooted in fact, not a feeling I get or a soundbite from Fox news. Unfortunately, marijuana I feel has been on the back burner in politics for a plethora of reasons, but the largest one is our lack of strength as a community, shit if we formed a voters coalition and had everyone out of the closet promising to vote in the guy most in line with our ideals, then we would see some positive political changes, but, rampant conspiracy theories usually deter most marijuana aficionados from ever even registering out of either fear of the government or a belief that the vote doesn't count, as long as we continue this horrible practice our interest will remain on the outskirt. This does not mean that I think we should vote for anyone else other than Obama, mistakes aside he still has our back much more than Mitt, trust me if you want to see the end of mmj just watch what a social conservative like Mitt will do.
    LocoJackSoco likes this.
  16. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer


    Show me the quote where he promised to make bud legal--or to change the federal laws.

    Go ahead, I'll wait.
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  17. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer


    I think you missed your neuroleptics today.
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  18. Mississip Hip

    Mississip Hip Well-Known Farmer

    I'm not the president.

    He is SUPPOSED to be held to a higher standard.
    mal likes this.
  19. Mississip Hip

    Mississip Hip Well-Known Farmer


    I never said that.

    Whats your point?
    mal likes this.
  20. sanvanalona

    sanvanalona Well-Known Farmer

    "I'm not the president.

    He is SUPPOSED to be held to a higher standard."

    Fair enough, but you are claiming that Obama is a liar, so is he never supposed to change his mind on anything, does learning and experience that result in making different decisions than one previously thought make one a liar? I don't think so. I think if you want to be critical of him than present some facts. The only fact you attempted to present about Obama being a liar was that the war in Iraq is still going on, and since that ended four months ago than one must wonder how much you really know about what you are saying. Obviously, President Obama has made many mistakes, but blatant claims with no factual basis are not really that cool, such as saying he is a liar. Hold him to a higher standard sure, just also please be aware of his actual policies, as they may very well change your opinion of him. As far as a higher standard, he has pulled through on most of his campaign promises, at least the ones he had control over, obviously mmj being the exception there.