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Obama, the Happy Drug Warrior
Townhall.com ^ | April 8, 2012 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 04/08/2012 8:26:53 AM PDT by Kaslin

Why is the federal government under President Barack Obama arguably tougher on medical marijuana operations than it was under George W. Bush? That's the question that anti-drug-war groups have been asking themselves for months.

In 2008, antiprohibitionists thought an Obama administration would not tread on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they are legal. Obama's 2008 campaign spokesman, Ben LaBolt, told me Obama "believes that states and local governments are best-positioned to strike the balance between making sure that these policies are not abused for recreational drug use and making sure that doctors and their patients can safely access pain relief."

Now that Obama's in office, however, the Department of Justice is not allowing the 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana to self-regulate. Exactly the opposite: Last fall, U.S. attorneys in California warned landlords that they must evict medical marijuana clubs or risk having their assets seized. In October, the Internal Revenue Service informed dispensaries that they cannot declare standard tax deductions, because they are criminal enterprises.

"Drug kingpins and cartels don't file taxes. We do," Steve DeAngelo, director of medical marijuana giant Harborside Health Center, told MSNBC. "But no business, including ours, can survive if it is taxed on its gross revenue. The IRS is trying to tax us out of existence."

On Monday, the feds raided the apartment of and the medical marijuana businesses run by Richard Lee, the wheelchair-bound pro-marijuana activist who put more than $1 million into the 2010 Proposition 19 campaign to legalize marijuana in California.

According to news reports, Lee's supporters came out to protest the raid, and some punctuated their point by lighting up in public. Such antics reinforce law enforcement's suspicion that recreational users are hiding behind the skirts of medical marijuana.

The thing is that Obama the candidate said he'd let locals decide how to handle any abuses, and there is local enforcement. According to the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris, there were 16,585 felony marijuana arrests in 2010. Some cities go after dispensaries suspected of illegal trafficking; others choose to use their resources on higher priorities. (Lee points out that Oakland police were detailed to control crowds that had gathered to protest the raid on his Oaksterdam University on the day of the horrific Oikos University shootings.)

An Obama official informed me that the administration has not changed positions. The administration always maintained that federal officials have the authority -- indeed, a duty -- under the Controlled Substances Act to go after traffickers who use medical marijuana as a pretext.

But Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, sees an escalation in federal raids. "Arrests have not been made every time there's been a raid," Hermes observed. "We call them 'smash and grab.' DEA agents come in, guns drawn -- ski masks, even. They destroy the place. They take everything" -- computers, money, plants.

This is what bothers me: The feds can use their ability to raid and to intimidate landlords without having to prove anything in court.

Lee's attorney, Laurence Jeffrey Lichter, told me U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has not charged his client, and he hopes she will not. To Lichter, raiding without charging beats prosecuting club operators.

Hermes, however, has big issues with Justice's big-footing. He sees an aggressive campaign to drive medical marijuana clubs out of business -- even if that means cutting off sick people's access to the drug.

"What happens if they're successful?" Harborside's DeAngelo asked. "Cannabis doesn't go away. Medical cannabis doesn't go away." Marijuana instead goes to the street, and the money winds up with "the Mexican cartels."

"Why are such resources, at a time of fiscal crisis, being used to go after a community that has such political support?" Hermes asked. One factor, no doubt, is that Attorney General Eric "Holder and Obama have basically been given a free ride by the mainstream media, and no one's really holding them to account."

Rep. Ron Paul -- the GOP presidential candidate who opposes Washington's war on drugs -- spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board Thursday. Asked about the Oakland raids, Paul opined that it's "all political," a calculation of the sort made in election years. But it's bad politics that don't keep up with how the country is changing.

Last month, pollster Scott Rasmussen reported that 47 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana to help alleviate the country's fiscal woes, while 42 percent oppose legalization.

So why is Obama the drug war's new Rambo?

Candidate Paul concluded, "I think they're out of touch."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: cannabis; drugs; drugwar; marijuana; medicalmarijuana; medpot; pot; warondrugs; wod; wodlist; wosd

1 posted on 04/08/2012 8:26:57 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Bump!


2 posted on 04/08/2012 8:36:00 AM PDT by corlorde (Drone strikes: the preferred method of killing by Nobel peace prize winners since 2009)
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To: Kaslin
After I got out of the Navy in 1987 I've been living in Washington and California. SO, I can't speak for other states.

But out here on the West Coast pot is mainstream. Normal even. From commie to conservative, just about everybody gets high.

3 posted on 04/08/2012 8:55:07 AM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Kaslin

[Why is the federal government under President Barack Obama arguably tougher on medical marijuana operations than it was under George W. Bush? ] 

 

First the commies deluded their Useful Idiot Pothead helpers into registering for "medicine" - then, after what's left of the Republic is junked...

 

...it will be bidness as usual:

 

"...Most of the activity of the department [KGB] was to compile huge amount / volume of information, on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion.  Publisher, editors, journalists, uh actors, educationalists, professors of political science.  Members of parliament, representatives of business circles. 

Most of these people were divided roughly into two groups:  those who would tow the Soviet foreign policy, they would be promoted to positions of power through media and public manipulation;  [and] those who refuse the Soviet influence in their own country would be character assassinated OR executed physically, come Revolution.  "
 
--KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov
--Soviet Subversion of the Free Press (Ideological subversion, Destabilization, CRISIS - and the KGB)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2095202/posts
 


 


4 posted on 04/08/2012 9:08:43 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: All
Good I hope the DEA seizes as many properties as possible.

The “215” Pot growers are criminals that bring crime to our area.

5 posted on 04/08/2012 9:10:26 AM PDT by troy McClure
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To: Kaslin

The IRS is trying to tax us out of existence.

Waaaa. The dopers want to be mainstream. Welcome to the mainstream. Get out your checkbook.


6 posted on 04/08/2012 9:51:24 AM PDT by Henry Hnyellar
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To: Kaslin

I know people who were impacted by this. It is an overreaching of fed powers, and the trauma faced by a peaceful family who were contributing to society and the community by jack-booted thugs is unacceptable.


7 posted on 04/08/2012 10:21:53 AM PDT by conservative cat
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To: Kaslin
>"the Department of Justice is not allowing the 16 states"

Rights??? You have none.

The Sinola cartel doesn't like the competition!

8 posted on 04/08/2012 10:40:33 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: troy McClure
Good I hope the DEA seizes as many properties as possible.

So you support using the expansive Commerce Cause when you agree with the policy?

Your contempt for the Tenth Amendment, and the Constitution in general, is noted.

9 posted on 04/08/2012 11:24:55 AM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Ken H
Commerce Clause
10 posted on 04/08/2012 11:26:25 AM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Kaslin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Q3dUh5ke0 (video)

http://www.redding.com/news/2011/aug/11/marijuana-farm-raided-near-hayfork/
Marijuana farm raided near Hayfork

Three people were arrested late last week after members of the Trinity County Narcotics Task Force found more than 2,000 marijuana plants growing in 22 greenhouses near Hayfork, a spokesman for the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office said today

Along with that, you have the cartel grows in the National Forest:

http://www.marijuana.com/threads/ca-46-000-marijuana-plants-seized-in-trinity-county-pot-bust.268220/
CA: 46,000 Marijuana Plants Seized In Trinity County Pot Bust


11 posted on 04/08/2012 11:32:24 AM PDT by marsh2
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To: Kaslin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Q3dUh5ke0 (video)

http://www.redding.com/news/2011/aug/11/marijuana-farm-raided-near-hayfork/
Marijuana farm raided near Hayfork

Three people were arrested late last week after members of the Trinity County Narcotics Task Force found more than 2,000 marijuana plants growing in 22 greenhouses near Hayfork, a spokesman for the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office said today

Along with that, you have the cartel grows in the National Forest:

http://www.marijuana.com/threads/ca-46-000-marijuana-plants-seized-in-trinity-county-pot-bust.268220/
CA: 46,000 Marijuana Plants Seized In Trinity County Pot Bust


12 posted on 04/08/2012 11:32:32 AM PDT by marsh2
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To: rawcatslyentist
The Sinola cartel doesn't like the competition!

I'd guess you're right. This article isn't about whether or not medical marijuana should be legal. It's about why the Obozo Administration is cracking down on it. I agree, yours is the best guess - the Sinaloa Cartel told them to.

13 posted on 04/08/2012 11:34:58 AM PDT by lonevoice (Klepto Baracka Marxo, impeach we much.)
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To: troy McClure

Whoa, big fella, statistically you are wrong. The DOJ released a study that debunks your claim. You may not like the folks but increasing crime at patient access points is not true.

Watch what you ask for concerning the Fed’s stealing someone’s property, you might find yourself on that ride someday. Just ask that waitress in Minnesota that had to sue the cops over a large tip left to her because it was “drug” money.


14 posted on 04/08/2012 11:38:24 AM PDT by bigfootbob
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To: Kaslin

It’s doubtful anyone has reliable statistics on the dispensary movement (yet), but I only knew of two people who got a prescription for “anxiety”. It seemed only a matter of time before the pot shops were kiboshed by the Feds.

If someone is demonstrably ill and can benefit from ANY drug in the context of treatment, I say GIVE IT TO THEM (not for free).


15 posted on 04/08/2012 11:57:38 AM PDT by avenir (I'm pessimistic about man, but I'm optimistic about GOD!)
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To: All
The Criminals that grow Pot in my area are causing plenty of problems including murders.

They are a criminal enterprise and the need to be locked up and their property seized.

16 posted on 04/08/2012 12:19:56 PM PDT by troy McClure
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To: troy McClure

“Good I hope the DEA seizes as many properties as possible.”

May the DEA exercise its uncontrolled power to seize whatever cash you have on your person for any reason it can dream up without due process.


17 posted on 04/08/2012 12:25:49 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: BlazingArizona
I have NO USE for Druggies.

POT is a Gateway drug pure and simple any Junky, Crackhead or Tweeker will tell you the started with Pot.

I favor the Singapore treatment for druggies.

18 posted on 04/08/2012 1:24:32 PM PDT by troy McClure
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To: troy McClure

I favor the Singapore treatment for drug war enablers.


19 posted on 04/08/2012 2:46:12 PM PDT by dcwusmc (A FREE People have no sovereign save Almighty GOD!!! III OK We are EVERYWHERE!!!)
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To: troy McClure

Well, I guess we can deduce that you are sure as hell anti-freedom.

Do you favor the Singapore treatment for alcohol users as well, or are you just in favor of the Singapore treatment for users of *some* drugs?


20 posted on 04/09/2012 5:09:24 AM PDT by dinodino
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To: dinodino
215 Pot growers are killing people where I live.

They are not some sick person with cancer growing a few plants in their back yard.

The are Criminals that are growing hundreds of plants under 215 and selling it out of state.

I have no use for Dopers, There is no reason to smoke pot or use drugs.

Nancy Reagan said it best “ Just Say No”.

21 posted on 04/09/2012 9:08:29 AM PDT by troy McClure
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To: troy McClure
215 Pot growers are killing people where I live.

They are not some sick person with cancer growing a few plants in their back yard.

The are Criminals that are growing hundreds of plants under 215 and selling it out of state.

How are they killing people by growing plants?

I have no use for Dopers, There is no reason to smoke pot or use drugs.

There is no more reason to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco; shall we ban those too?

22 posted on 04/09/2012 12:11:17 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: troy McClure

Many, many more people drive drunk and cause accidents using alcohol. Should we ban alcohol as well? How about cigarettes? Shouldn’t we ban those as well, because of secondhand smoke and the toll taken by lung cancer and emphysema?

Are you going to be consistent with your jihad against drugs, or are you going to be selective and only go after *some* drugs? Should alcohol and tobacco users be hanged as well?


23 posted on 04/09/2012 1:37:10 PM PDT by dinodino
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