The president’s Justice Department won’t let Washington and Colorado smoke up in peace. Can we change his mind?
A crowd of people all exhale marijuana simultaneously at the University of Colorado in Boulder on April 20, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Mark Leffingwell)
From Salon By Alex Pareene
Barack Obama has pissed off the stoners again. He always does. In 2009 a question about marijuana legalization made him laugh, a hard to miss sign that he didn’t take the issue seriously. Worse than laughter has been his DEA, and its increasingly heavy-handed war on legal marijuana dispensaries. Now that recreational marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington, his Department of Justice is weighing its options, and, reportedly, none of their options seem to be “just let people smoke their marijuana, because it’s harmless.”
From Reason The Obama administration is strategizing how to fight legal pot in Colorado and Washington, reports Charlie Savage of The New York Times. While “no decision” is “imminent,” Savage reports thatsenior level White House and Justice Department officials are considering “legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives.”
A taskforce made up of Main Justice, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is currently considering two courses of action, reports Savage:
One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.
By John Schwarz, co-founder of ‘Superstring Theory’ and Theoretical Physics professor at California Institute of Technology
From Huffington Post Nov 1, 2012
Being a physicist, not a physician, I don’t usually comment on issues in medical science. But I can no longer remain silent while people in my family and profession run the risk of federal arrest so that they can follow the recommendations of their doctors. Medical marijuana offers relief to people I care about, yet it remains illegal in the view of the United States government.
Please see the first comment below to get a fuller picture
July 27, 2012
While studies touting the purported dangers of cannabis are frequently pushed
 by the federal government and, therefore, all but assured mainstream media coverage, scientific conclusions rebutting pot propaganda or demonstrating potential positive aspects of the herb often tend to go unnoticed
. Here are five recent examples of scientific findings about pot that the mainstream media (and the Feds) don’t want you to know about.
1. Cannabis use is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with psychotic disorders
In the years immediately prior to the passage of the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, exploitation journalists routinely, yet unfoundedly, claimed that cannabis use triggered psychotic and violent behavior. For example, a news story from the July 6, 1927 edition of the New York Times pronounced, “A widow and her four children have been driven insane by eating the Marihuana plant, according to doctors, who say there is no hope of saving the children’s lives and that the mother will be insane for the rest of her life.” While virtually every American readily dismisses such absurd claims today, nonetheless, decades later many of these same sensationalistic contentions continue to make their way into the mainstream press. A case in point: within hours after the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, ABC News Philadelphia reported  that shooter James Holmes’ rampage was likely brought on by smoking marijuana. Similarly, weeks earlier, various media outlets speculated  that cannabis may have motivated the unfathomable actions of Rudy Eugene, the so-called “Miami Cannibal,” after toxicology reports found trace levels of marijuana byproducts in his system.
From Stop the Drug War posted July 2 2012
Marc Ambinder has a totally weird and distracting piece in GQ today saying that unnamed sources have told him to expect important drug policy reforms if Obama is re-elected. I think it’s a bunch of crap.
According to ongoing discussions with Obama aides and associates, if the president wins a second term, he plans to tackle another American war that has so far been successful only in perpetuating more misery: the four decades of The Drug War. [GQ]
That’s just the first sentence of many, but we can stop right here because I think there’s been a huge misunderstanding. Marc Ambinder seems to think that Obama’s people talking about reforming drug policies is a meaningful event, but alas it is anything but that. Continue reading
Gil Kerlikowske, President Barack Obama’s drug czar, claimed recently that the White House is “interested in the potential marijuana may have” in medicine – but in an odd feint, he also insisted that the drug war’s Nixon-era prohibition policies are “based on science and research, not ideology or politics.”
Responding to a petition on the White House’s website that asked for a rule change to let disabled veterans use medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Kerlikowske said that soldiers should not be allowed to use the drug. The White House responded to the petition even though it only had 8,258 signatures. Others have typically required 25,000 signatures or more before officials will reply. Continue reading
From Huffington Post
For over a year now, the Obama Administration has been steadily escalating its assault on medical marijuana. What was already a mess has been getting worse from one week to the next, and each new attack revives the question of whether the feds have finally taken things too far.
If we aren’t there yet, we may well be getting pretty damn close. As the Huffington Post reported last week:
SAN FRANCISCO — An Oakland medical marijuana dispensary that has been billed as the largest pot shop on the planet has been targeted for closure by federal prosecutors in Northern California, suggesting that a crackdown on the state’s medical marijuana industry remains well under way.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has threatened to seize the Oakland property where Harborside Health Center has operated since 2006, as well as its sister shop in San Jose, executive director and co-founder Steve DeAngelo said Wednesday. His employees found court papers announcing asset forfeiture proceedings against Harborside’s landlords taped to the doors at the two locations on Tuesday.