Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, March 06, 2009

DEA Will No Longer Persecute Medical Marijuana Patients

Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the DEA will no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries as long as they’re in compliance with state laws.

During a campaign speech in late 2007, Obama said: “My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to. There’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.”

Did he say — “Science???” OMG, there really IS a new sheriff in town.

It’s been a slow change. During the first week of February, the DEA raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in California. And here is a White House website that hasn’t been updated recently.

But there have been signs of intelligence — sanity — since November. On Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, where I live, there’s a local version of this issue. Last summer the Border Patrol started conducting the occasional highway roadblock. The stated purpose of these checkpoints is to look for terrorists and illegal aliens. In spite of the agency’s name, the “Border” Patrol can stop anybody for any reason if they’re within a hundred miles of the border.

Last summer one of their checkpoints snagged a medical marijuana patient. He was in total compliance with Washington state laws — and he was in Washington — but the Border Patrol arrested him. (Your tax dollars at work.)

Then in mid-November the U.S. Attorney’s Office informed the Border Patrol that they would no longer prosecute anybody for possession of medical marijuana, or any other cases where small amounts of marijuana were involved. And they instructed the Border Patrol not to bring them any more such cases.

Great news for everybody, except for the arresting Border Patrol agent, who broke into a screeching tantrum when he was told that his heroic drug bust wouldn’t be prosecuted. (Here’s the full story.)

Enjoy this window of sanity. At some point we’ll probably get another one of those “states’ rights” “limited government” Republicans in the White House again, and our “morals” will be back under the microscope.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Anonymous Bee said...

Tom, I was thrilled when I read the articles about this, too. What a major achievement, given what we've had to get used to for the last several decades.

My hubby ran across a snippet of knowledge somewhere (and who knows where he gets this stuff) that the biggest opponent, lobby-wise, to any attempts to legalize marijuana in any form, medical or recreational, is the liquor industry. Wow, they sure are afraid of that competition.

March 6, 2009 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

Between this and the stem cell research, things are really looking up! Hooray for science!

March 6, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Ow!Ow! My glaucoma! My glaucoma!

Seriously, this is change I can believe in.

March 6, 2009 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tobacco and alcoholic beverage industries both have a vested interest in continuing the irrational, wasteful and futile war against marijuana.

After all, raising, curing and otherwise processing one's own tobacco isn't very practical for most people. A home distillery or winery is equally out of the question for 99 percent of the population. But marijuana can be grown in the back yard or even indoors, in a flower pot.

That makes marijuana a serious competitive threat to the alcohol and tobacco industries. It also makes it a threat to government. Many careers depend on the drug "war." And anything that crimps alcohol and tobacco sales pinches tax revenues as well.

Holder's order on medical marijuana is humane and sensible. I hope to see the day when marijuana is no longer demonized as immoral and a cause of insanity. It should be legalized, regulated, taxed and available to adults at liquor stores.

Considering the incredible danger presented by things like meth and paint sniffing, there's no excuse for wasting time, money and resources busting people for marijuana possession or use.

March 6, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Oh great, now we're going to have more heroin, cocaine and psilocybin addicts thanks to this. Someone obviously wasn't thinking of the children!

SWA, I always feel bad following your reasoned comments with snark. Well, off to sniff some paint.

March 7, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger rockync said...

SW- I couldn't agree more! Don't we have more serious crimes to solve like child abuse and murder?
Marijuana can be legalized and regulated like tobacco and alcohol and would then be far easier to keep out of the hands of minors than it is now.
It is a mild, mood altering drug in the same mein as alcohol although probably less physically damaging.
I find it interesting that GOP hardhats that want less government and want more state rights are pushing so hard to have prosecutions based on fedral law. Amazing how changable people can be...

March 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Internal, suspicionless Border Patrol checkpoints:

"Why worry if you have done nothing wrong?"

A legal medical marijuana patient in Washington State was cited at a roadblock here last summer- for a legal amount of medical marijuana.

I get that federal law does not allow for medical marijuana- still- the man did nothing wrong and was stopped and cited for a legal amount of marijuana at an internal “immigration” checkpoint.

I attended a Border Patrol forum in Port Townsend in late February. The BP was asked what will happen to the next legal Washington State medical marijuana patient- with a legal amount of medical marijuana- who is stopped at a checkpoint?

Video here: http://tinyurl.com/czowft

BP said they will cite the individual and attempt to prosecute- if not through the US Attorney's office- then through state and local courts.

Federal government credibility is squandered by using checkpoints to fight the "war on terror" and citing medical marijuana users.

The desire to govern ourselves should count for something.

Port Hadlock

March 7, 2009 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: I wouldn't doubt that a bit, that the booze industry is the biggest opponent. If they can't lick 'em maybe they'll end up joining them. "Smoke Seagrams." "Jim Beam makes the best joints." Or something.

Mauirgirl: Yes, good old science. This must be what the Renaissance was like.

Lew: Ow, my back injury is flaring up again. I need to smoke some more medicine.

SW: Good point -- anybody can grow pot, but that's not the case with booze and tobacco. And the Prison Industrial Complex is probably one of the country's biggest employers; and pot laws are their lifeblood.

Randal: But there's a positive side to drugs and children. If your kids get too rowdy or defiant, just give 'em a little heroin and it calms 'em right down.

Rockync: Yes, there certainly are more pressing issues than marijuana. This sure brings out the schizoid nature of conservative views. They can spew out "limited government" and "we need a big crackdown on..." at the same time, without catching the irony at all.

Alex: Thanks for stopping by; I'm glad you found my "other" blog. The Port Angeles blog is a lot more low key; mostly just a forum. I do my real venting and ranting over here.

Thanks for the video link. I can't believe the Border Patrol is so gung ho about prosecuting medical marijuana patients. It sure gives the lie to their claim about "we're just looking for terrorists."

March 7, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous USpace said...

There is nothing positive about the 'War on Drugs', absolutely nothing. It just makes all drug related problems worse.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
marijuana is evil

especially to stop pain
must use costly chemicals

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
disregard states' drug laws

the Federal Government
must protect the drug war

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never create more addicts

if it makes less criminals
and leads to less prisons

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
outlaw all alcohol

make cigarettes illegal
organized crime takes over
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
Visit: HaltTerrorism.com


March 7, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger DB said...

I never fully understood how "small government, state-rights" conservatives were advocates of this anti-marijuana mantra. I understand their reasoning, but it clashes with their "principles". I am not an advocate of marijuana legalization (I am apathetic on the issue and can honestly care less), but I can certainly see the failure of conservatives and their principles on this issue.

While I can care less about the issue in general, I do think the laws are pretty extreme. I can be wasted on alcohol all day long and show up to work and my only punishment will be counseling (I work for the government lol). If I smoked pot once, on my own time on vacation outside the borders of the US, I would lose my security clearance and be terminated with no second chance. I am not making an argument for legalization here, just pointing out the utter stupidity in the laws/rules governing these substances.

March 8, 2009 at 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Bravo! I can't think of anything to say at 5:00am that hasn't already been said.

The Philosophy of Liberty site was excellent!

March 8, 2009 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

USpace: Nice poem. Thanks for the links.

DB: There's something about marijuana that just pushes people's buttons; more than any other drug. I think pot must be 180 degrees removed from some deep American/Judeo-Christian archetypes. Alcohol is OK because if you drink too much, you'll pay for your sins by wearing a lampshade in front of everybody and/or throwing up, and you'll wake up with a pounding headache the next morning. Pot doesn't do any of those things and it isn't addictive. Manly men get drunk and get into bar-room brawls, as God intended. Sissy potheads just sit around staring into space and listening to weird music.

I'm just guessing, but there really seems to be something about pot that deeply offends some aspect of the American consciousness.

Carlos: I liked that site too.

March 8, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom wrote: ". . .there really seems to be something about pot that deeply offends some aspect of the American consciousness."

Exactly right and why I wrote, "irrational, wasteful and futile war against marijuana."

I daresay most Americans who saw "Reefer Madness" back when it actually had the power to scare the bejesus out of people — not come off as a tacky self-parody of ignorance, scaremongering and traditional family values run amok, as it does today — have passed on. What seems to keep the scaremongering going now is the allegation pot is a gateway drug, so today junior puffs pot and in no time, just wait and see, he'll be mainlining heroin. And that's when he's not sniffing cocaine or crack, or whatever.

It seems to me that those who do that scaremongering fail or refuse to get behind having objective studies determine if in most cases pot only serves a gateway role for addiction-prone individuals. IOW, people who are going to get hung up on some substance or other no matter what.

Without that determination, we're making as much sense and doing as much injustice with our laws and public policy as did those who held the Salem witch trials.

March 8, 2009 at 2:59 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

Gopper Leader Limbaugh won't be happy about this, but the Oxy will probably keep him from popping a blood vessel.

March 8, 2009 at 3:43 PM  
Anonymous northern lights yield said...

Many people just see one side of the coin and that side screams: marijuana is bad!!! Really now? Then why are cigarettes legal? Cigarettes contain nicotine which is classified as an addictive drug. Nicotine is an illegal drug, but cigarette companies are allowed to sell it and even advertise it. Let me put this way: I would rather smoke marijuana than cigarettes. It's much healthier for me.

August 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM  

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