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Pot and the President

“When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!’ and took an extra hit.”“Barack Obama: The Story,” by David Marinass

via Buzzfeed

MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION is long overdue, with medical marijuana a societal benefit that should be respected and embraced instead of treated as a crime. Both would be more likely if we didn’t have so many politicians preening they were above inhaling or didn’t have a past of pot-smoking.

We are not our parent’s generation and that’s a good thing.

This story was teased in Mike Allen’s Playbook, for those of you who don’t start your mornings there.

The picture above is from Buzzfeed, titled “Choom Gang.” You say wha?

A self-selected group of boys at Punahou School who loved basketball and good times called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb, meaning “to smoke marijuana.”

As the video above reveals, Obama admits he wouldn’t want to use “a whole lot of political capital” on the issue of medical marijuana. That’s one thing, but the Obama administration has instead led a crack-down on medical pot that exceeds anything George W. Bush did.

It’s change that’s very hard to believe in.

ROLLING STONE: Let me ask you about the War on Drugs. You vowed in 2008, when you were running for election, that you would not “use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws about medical marijuana.” Yet we just ran a story that shows your administration is launching more raids on medical pot than the Bush administration did. What’s up with that?

PRES. OBAMA: 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 — 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.” That’s not something we’re going to do. I do think it’s important and useful to have a broader debate about our drug laws. One of the things we’ve done over the past three years was to make a sensible change when it came to the disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. We’ve had a discussion about how to focus on treatment, taking a public-health approach to drugs and lessening the overwhelming emphasis on criminal laws as a tool to deal with this issue. I think that’s an appropriate debate that we should have.

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21 Responses to Pot and the President

  1. cjoblak@hotmail.com May 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I think the government makes too much money busting people for them to ever want to legalize marijuana. I’m sure that whatever the reason is that they don’t legalize it has at least something to do with income.

    Someone should do a financial analysis for the government showing them how much they could make if they were to tax the sale of legal marijuana. maybe they already have and it doesn’t measure up to what they make busting people.

    • Lake Lady May 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Huh? More like campaign contributions from the beer and spirits industry not to mention big pharma.

      Police departments get to keep cars of people who have been busted. They make DARE( a program that does not show results) cars out of them and supply police departments with SUVs.

      • cjoblak@hotmail.com May 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

        Didn’t I just say it had to do with money(income)?

    • mjsmith May 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      I think the government makes too much money busting people for them to ever want to legalize marijuana.

      Not just the government. There is more profit for the criminals too. There is great profit for businesses who do drug testing, and therapy.

      • cjoblak@hotmail.com May 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

        exactly.

  2. Chuckg May 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    is this better or worse than the haircut?

    • cjoblak@hotmail.com May 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      I think he’d look good in braids. I really like that look. A lot of the pro football players are wearing them. It makes me wonder whether they are real or hair extensions.

  3. Lake Lady May 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    word salad alert! What a pile of ca-ca. His generation growing up in Hawaii smoked pot. He knows it is harmless. This is another sacrifice of people who don’t matter to him in the pursuit of impressing the Rethugs,just like his high rates of deportation.

    It will probably take an enlightened Republican to decriminalize pot. If there is one left on the face of the earth.

    • mjsmith May 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      The only republican I know who is for legalization is ROn Paul. Unfortunatley he is also in favor of legalizing heroin and cocaine too.

      • Cujo359 May 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

        Unfortunatley he is also in favor of legalizing heroin and cocaine too.

        I am, too. While these substances are dangerous (far more so than marijuana), it would be less expensive and less disruptive to society to just treat addictions to them as medical conditions.

        • mjsmith May 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

          Something has to be done about cocaine and heroin. If I thought legalizing them would help any, I would be all for it. I am 100% positive that drugs like crystal meth, heroin, and cocaine are incompatible with happiness. I do agree with you to treat these problems as a health issue. What good does it do to lock someone up for no other reason than they are a substance abuser? It is a long tough road to recovery. If you listen to or read Keith Richards’ autobiography “Life”, you may get the shivers like I did, listening to his experiences of heroin abuse.

  4. T-Steel May 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    First and foremost, the afro almost makes the Prez looks cool but it’s a bit raggedy and needs more volume. But he definitely looks like he could be part of the Mystery Machine crew from Scooby Doo!

    Crack down on medical pot, eh? Well you know Professor Obama has grown up. And has some professorial indignation at pot slowing the mind down THUS slowing down the education process. So he’s just making sure we can keep brains, uh, FREED from the… slowdown??

    I don’t know anything anymore…

    • cjoblak@hotmail.com May 25, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      Yep, just what we need, Big Daddy Barry telling us what to do with our brains.

  5. mjsmith May 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Is pot harful, yes. Is it especailly dangerous for children, yes. Should it be legal, yes. I do not even smoke pot and I think it should be legal. Nothing pissis me off more than people who hide behind other sick people, especially with cancer, and say they grow weed to help them. THese people grow weed and bring it in from Canada to make money. Yes people with cancer should smoke pot to help them with their pain and agony. People who want to get high and play the guitar or drums or a computer game should. I am not afraid of getting killed or punched in the nose from a person all “smoked out” on weed. I am terrified of drunks.

  6. angels81 May 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Well I can see its a slow news day if this is all Taylor can find to post.

    • cjoblak@hotmail.com May 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      It’s Friday before Decoration Day.

    • casualobserver May 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      Well, she can’t very well write about swatting Brett Kimberlin or Elizabeth “Pocahantas” Warren on these liberal pages, can she?

      I was out in LA for the weekend Lakers games and the AI finale and my host discussed how intense the Fed pressure is for CA to close down the clinics. I tried to score a prescription card, but found it difficult to adequately fake the glaucoma and had to jet back empty-handed.

      • T-Steel May 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

        Well, she can’t very well write about swatting Brett Kimberlin or Elizabeth “Pocahantas” Warren on these liberal pages, can she?

        Well CO, there’s a conservative Memeorandum pow-wow and war pseudo-declaration on liberals going on. So wading in may just cause unwanted static. I feel the issue is more about the growing number of unhinged in America than a liberal “something plot” or condoning. BUT both sides have had their share of association planting.

        Brett Kimberlin is a stone cold domestic terrorist that NO American should tolerate.

  7. jinbaltimore May 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    The blatant hypocrisy of punishing those for what he got away with…insane.

  8. mjsmith May 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dFCwtoxX60g&quot; target="Are you a pothead Focker?!?!?!

  9. Ga6thDem May 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    As someone who came of age in the 70′s, I am simply sick of all this stuff. It should be treated the same as alcoholism or any other substance abuse issue. I agree with CJ above that it’s all about the money that police departments, privatized jails and the like get from the “war on drugs”. It’s not like it being illegal has stopped anyone from using them and most of the people are hurting themselves and their families not the general public.

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