Not What I Expected

 

mishima666

mishima666
Birthday
December 31
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Still above ground.

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OCTOBER 6, 2011 7:24PM

Medical Marijuana and the New Obama

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Obama in 2008:

"What I'm not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue, simply because I want folks to be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism.  We've got a lot of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with."  (see the above linked video at 2:11)

Obama in 2011:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)— Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California, warning the stores that they must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property even if they are operating legally under the state's 15-year-old medical marijuana law. 

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Mishima ~ looks like a classic case of the infamous "flip-flop" to me! Also, not the type of "change" so many were counting on.

Great to see a new post from you!
Thanks for stopping by!

I really don't get this new policy. Surely the government has better things to do than to shut down taxpaying businesses operating legally in their own state.

Dispensaries make regulation of medical marijuana easier, as well as keeping patients out of the black market. So it's not clear to me how the federal government is helped by shutting them down.

This is yet another example of hearing one thing from Obama and getting another, perhaps the most blatant example to date. We expect a certain "flexibility" in the promises that politicians make, but in my opinion this reversal is without justification.
What's the deal? Sheesh. I'd expect that from President Perry or President (urk) Bachmann or one of those liberty-means-doing-what-we-say people.
Sounds about right!!

Rule #something.something: Politicians will say anything to get elected.
Around here the typical argument for voting for Obama is that he's better than whatever the Republicans would have to offer. But I think that difference is rapidly disappearing. With respect to civil rights I think it has already disappeared. For example:

In late September the ATF sent memoranda to federally licensed gun dealers saying that medical marijuana patients are forbidden from purchasing or owning firearms or ammunition.

And now, the Obama administration has a legal opinion authorizing the killing of Americans -- but they won't release the opinion. So much for civil liberties and transparency in government.

However anyone feels about voting for Obama, I think it is clear that he cannot be trusted on any particular issue. Maybe he'll do what he says, maybe not.
I'm still thinking of running away from the States. Not sure where. Why can't we have a politician that will tell us the truth, I think I can handle it, I had a Vice President(of accounting-finance even!!) tell me the truth once, it was scary but refreshing!! ~shrugg~ :)
Anyone with two adjacent brain cells can see the War On Drugs is causing far more harm than it alleviates. Thanks for posting this.
As Patrick said, the War on Drugs has failed miserably. It’s very puzzling why this Administration is still pursuing it. I would be curious to see why he changed his position on this issue (for political gain most likely).
No more of a shocker than any of his capitulations, I guess.

The strange thing here is two fairly recent commerce clause cases. The first, US v. Lopez legitimately finds no connection between school zone guns and interstate commerce. Tosses fed case out.

Gonzales v. Raich manages to find a connection in California home grown and free medical pot and interstate commerce where there is none. That's why the Feds can play now. I wouldn't want to bet the guns v. drug difference wasn't in play.

Maybe if there was a NPA that was as powerful as the NRA...but really, there was no connection in either one, and both enforcements or otherwise should be left to states.
and your second link just goes to a sign in page for google news
He really could have made a difference here if he had done what he said and more. Legalizing it and taxing it could save the economy and our souls. Sigh.
Mishima I understand your frustration. I only wish that my fellow mmj activists could understand that the President cannot tell federal prosecutors who to prosecute and who not to prosecute. I'm racking my brain for a comparable issue on the other side.
Mishima I understand your frustration. I only wish that my fellow mmj activists could understand that the President cannot tell federal prosecutors who to prosecute and who not to prosecute. I'm racking my brain for a comparable issue on the other side.
Mishima I understand your frustration. I only wish that my fellow mmj activists could understand that the President cannot tell federal prosecutors who to prosecute and who not to prosecute. I'm racking my brain for a comparable issue on the other side.
"I only wish that my fellow mmj activists could understand that the President cannot tell federal prosecutors who to prosecute and who not to prosecute."

Barry, could you expand a little more on that? It seems to me that the feds could prioritize where they put their resources, and that in so doing they could conclude that shutting down dispensaries legally operating under state law is not a very high priority.

Shutting down dispensaries will only drive people into the black market. Thus, the state and federal governments will lose visibility over who is selling what, in addition to losing tax revenue.

The feds lose, the state loses, and the medical mj patients lose. Surely there has to be a better way, and the 2008 version of Obama seemed to understand that.

The new policy of shutting down the dispensaries I call the "Mexican Drug Lord Assistance Act," since they will likely be the main beneficiaries of the policy.
Expanding - Individual prosecutors have much autonomy and many are not following AG Holder's directive from back in '09 usually referred to as the "Ogden memo." Recently there was the "Cole memo" http://www.freedomisgreen.com/full-text-department-of-justice-memo-on-medical-marijuana/
Even Gov. Christie's reading of that memo lead him to decide the DEA would leave New Jersey's operation alone. But here's the thing, federal prosecutors are free to prosecute any case brought to them by the DEA. While we like to villanize Pres. Obama or AG Holder, neither can legally tell a prosecutor not to press a case brought to them by any law enforcement agency. It is illegal under federal law to possess cannabis for any reason in any amount. While both Pres. Obama and AG Holder agree that it is not a wise use of federal resources to go after medical marijuana they are powerless to stop prosecutors or the FBI or the DEA pursuing these cases. The only way to change this is to insist that our governments both federal and state change the law to allow for the medicinal use of cannabis. Or even better still simply legalize marijuana, period. You can read about the struggle in Maryland by reading my other blog, Casey's Dream http://caseysdream.blogspot.com/
Expanding more - I asked Marijuana Policy Project what more the president or attorney general could do. In short they said they could issue another memo telling prosecutors to stop arresting mmj patients and dispensary owners. The president could even fire those who don't. Sometimes medical marijuana activists can be like a thoroughbred charging towards the finish line with blinders on. Don't they think that if he were to do that in the third year of his first term he would be handing the Republican candidates an issue they would hammer him with all the way into the White House.
Obama is a man who vilifies justice as divisive.
Barry, thanks for your additional comments. They are very helpful.

The question I have is how the Justice Department prioritizes its work. Someone has to make a decision on what the priorities are. They could focus on fighting terrorism, investigating and prosecuting while collar criminals on Wall Street and elsewhere, or shutting down dispensaries legally operating in California. Given limited resources, someone has to determine how those resources are deployed.
It's always been hard for me to figure out what obama's core values are or what his guiding philosophy is.
So what's so shocking?
With all due respect Mishima, he lied all through his campaign about anything and everything and hasn't stopped since.


-R-