Pelosi Talks Medical Pot

Hard to believe that the entire Democratic National Convention could go by without even one speaker paying lip service to the devastating folly that is America’s war on (some) drugs, but as NORML podcaster Russ Belville reports in his latest blog post here, the subject of marijuana law reform has been all but “invisible” in Denver.
Fortunately, thousands of users posed the following question to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi live on CNN: “As a taxable resource, what stops marijuana from being legalized, for medical or recreational purposes, throughout the country?”
(The question comes four and a half minutes into the video.)
Pelosi’s response is candid yet disappointing. While acknowledging that scientific research clearly supports the medical use of cannabis, Pelosi acknowledges that most of Congress — including many otherwise ‘progressive’ members of the influential Congressional Black Caucus — “just isn’t there yet. … There just isn’t enough support for it.”
Of course, anyone who has followed this issue knows that the Speaker’s Congressional assessment is painfully accurate.
That said, I find myself a bit incredulous when Pelosi says: “We have important work to do outside the Congress in order for us to have success inside the Congress for [the] use of medical marijuana. … [W]e need peoples’ help to be in touch with their members of Congress to say why this should be the case.”
While I agree that it’s both important and necessary for constituents to contact their elected officials, I’m disappointed that Ms. Pelosi still believes that the ‘heavy-lifting’ needed to successfully move this issue forward federally must be engaged in outside, not inside Congress.
Pardon me, but here in the real world (outside of the Washington Beltway) public voteafter public vote illustrates that the overwhelming majority of registered voters back the legalization of medical pot, and national poll after national poll consistently shows that upwards of 70 percent of the electorate support a patient’s right to use cannabis legally.
Here in the real world, numerous health and medical organizations such as the American Public Health Association and the American College of Physicians have passed resolutions urging Congress reschedule marijuana so that a physician may prescribe it, and scientific papers indicating that cannabis can inhibit diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis to cancer to MRSA are being published virtually every week.
Given this reality, I humbly submit that those of us who work ‘outside’ the so-called ‘hallowed halls’ of Congress have done our part. It’s now time for our federally elected officials, in particular Speaker Pelosi and Democratic Presidential Nominee Obama, to pledge to do theirs.

0 thoughts

  1. I am disappointed, but want to applaud Nancy for her honesty. Yes, if ALL THOSE citizens would contact their reps, it would help. Yes, it is also true that it shouldn’t matter given ALL the reseach and those in the medical community behind it.
    However, we’re dealing with a generally ignorant public that believes, since they’re also ignorant of the ONDCPs mission – “keep the status quo regardless of medical value”- whatever the gubment says is true. Until the Media will present ALL viewpoints and consider the facts/bias when presented propaganda by the DEA, NIDA and ONDCP, general public opinion, and commensurately our representatives, will be against any reform.
    I say people should write their local newspapers opinion columns, mention how the ONDCP is REQUIRED to lie “regardless of the medical value of a substance”, mention how the DEA committed a crime against humanity by suppressing the anti-cancer cannabis research findings in 1974(?) – they didn’t even report it to their “research” center in Mississippi for follow up !! – no care for cancer victims PERIOD. Just keep weed illegal.
    Finally, add how addiction is a medical and not a criminal problem, how the drug warrior/mercenaries don’t want ANY change because it might change money in their pockets, and a few other things NORML, LEAP, MPP, and others suggest.
    WE’VE got to WAKE UP THE PEOPLE before there will be any changes, and the media, who’re getting big bucks from the ONDCP etc., is probably not going to help us.

  2. I tell ya, it’s because if pot weren’t outlawed, the ONDCP would never be able to suck billions out of the federal budget every year for ever-increasing requests. Plus the benefit of prison labor taking the place of slave labor (US has highest incarceration rate in the world) after the north won the Civil War. (1865) First drugs started being outlawed around 1904, AFTER the ‘grandfather clauses’ that *other* racist politicians were found unconstitutional. Hmmm… see it yet?

  3. Nasty Pelosi needs to use MJ to subside the pain she has in her eyes from not blinking. Pelosi is wrong on everything including how much plastic surgery a person should have.

  4. Me thinks it is time for a peaceful revolution at the ballot box. From all the comments to these posts as well as the ones on “The Hill Blog” it seems that if we make some noise this November 4th we might have an impact. I just wish there was a listing of pro-cannabis candidates as I have not been able to find one. With Grandpa Munster most likely to carry this ass-backwards state, the current crop –E. Dole and Heath Shuler in the 11th district with Carl Mumpower(R) challenging — none of them is fit to carry water for my bong (even though we have “de-criminalized” MJ). All of the US legislators here believe in this insane war on cannabis, and none of the 3 in my district are apt to effect change. As far as Nancy Pelosi is concerned, we need a different Speaker who has the cajones to run the House according to the wishes of the people and NOT pander to special interests. With Grandpa Munster just announcing Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin as his Veep candidate, he’ll probably pull a bunch of Hillary supporters — PUMA’s — and we may just be stuck with another Repug in the White House. That is why I believe that it is highly important to send progressive independents and third party candidates to Congress.

  5. I’ve often wondered about something. We’re told that Soros is funding the drug reform movement. Whereas, it used to be Canada’s Emery.
    Why can’t there be a nationally covered series of round-table discussions on the points of Prohibition? Why are we fighting “piece meal”? Where’s the “I Have A Dream” multitude of marchers?
    Come on, George, put your funding in the right place! We need something that’s “in your face!” We’re doing what we are accusing our opponents of doing, using 20th century methods in the 21st century. It’ll never happen this way.
    There is absolutely no way available to us today to show Congress what our true numbers are. There’s not a single website, a single TV show, nothing! It’s time for our own movement leaders to bite the bullet, lay lateral oppositions aside and join forces into “One Army!” Just as all the civil rights groups yielded to one message, “I Have A Dream!”
    Without a showing like that, we’re going to be wallowing around in our own muck for a much longer time. Numbers and Multitudes are what Congress have to see to do anything. We’ve seen it time and time again. Quit this internal sqabbling and DO SOMETHING! You know what it would take. JUST DO IT!

  6. Pelosi might be right. There isn’t enough support in Congress – yet.
    regional NORML chapters need to organize their members to send letters to their local congressional reps. There should be a regional/local NORML chapter in every city in the US. Find yours and join.
    It might help us, the NORML members, if we knew what cities don’t have local chapters… NORML?
    It’s easy to organize a chapter. Get with NORML, put up a Myspace or Facebook, then flyer your local headshops.
    Get the work out to Congress. I did a letter drive for my Norml chapter to my local Congressional rep. I got several pages of signatures in a single night. More in the following days. It’s not hard. Just takes some time. Spend the time now, and reap the benifits later.
    Back in the day, my parents used to drag me to this ultra-conservative church. There, I got to see how the right-wing organizes. Man do they do it right. They get their members engaged and excited. One interesting thing I heard one day when they where lobbying for some Pro-Life anti-abortion initative, was that Congressmen rarely get written letters. If they get 3-4 letters on a subject, they consder it a loud message. Don’t think your letters won’t go unnoticed. One letter can equal the voice of thousands who agree, and your congressmen know that. WRITE THEM. Every one of them. It matters more than you realize.

  7. I believe when Mr. obama spoke last nigh in his acceptance speech when he stated “I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less – because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy,” if this being true could very likely include medical marijuana.

  8. I do value and appreciate Pelosi’s statement. She is correct about getting ppl on board. There are so many in congress who are against legalization of medical or recreational use. We have to start persuading ppl to our viewpoints. THe more statistics and scientific studies that help to show Medical MJ usuage will only help us! They can stay in the dark all they want, but when MJ is ready, the issue will no longer be ignored. Pelosi does look like she’s smiling all the time though..LOL..She needs to lay off the plastic that should be illegal!! What’s funny is her face is still sagging!!

  9. I give her props on answering the question honestly and sanely. Heck she and other congressional reformers have Mark Souder and a 70+ year stigma against them.

  10. Unfortunately it is only our elected officials that are unwilling to “do the work that is necessary”. They would have to give up millions of campaign contributions from corporate backers who profit from the prohibition of illegal drugs especially Cannabis. And they will never do that. It’s obvious that public servant means nothing to those who serve self and not public interests.

  11. Typical remark for a politican. Throw it back on US! what more can we do .I thought only congress or the president can change the laws. Regardless of over 70% even with 100% approval. These slimy hypocrits in D.C. do nothing but get rich and fat off the backs of those they serve.As a legit patient with a Dr. reccomendation I am sick of the DEA persecuting,intimidating and attacking my safe access.Making medicinal use a priority on their war on drugs.Everyone assumes Democrats are behind us.Hinchey/Rorbacher got 2 less votes than the yr. before with a dem. controlled congress.Pelosi,Feinstein and Boxer have done nothing to help our issue, except tell us we haven’t done enough.So much for women being more compassionate

  12. And the comment about the black caucusis way outta line!! So its their fault?! WTF is that the reason Hinchey/Rorbacher failed 6 yrs. in a row including getting 2 less votes this yr. than the yr. before, in a democrat controlled congress Marijuana was originally outlawed perpetrated by the lies of refer madness,and the WHITE mans fear of a so called black man and latinos drug.Maybe the botox effects her brain.

  13. If we as stoners decided to get out of our houses and do something about this we could. We need better leadership so we can pressure congress, if we want this done than it should be done. We should all go to Washington and spark a joint up in protest. Haha

  14. Check out my video on Obama flip flopping on marijuana reform. Don’t trust them with their saying it doesn’t have enough support. THAT’S A LIE AND INTENTIONAL TO CON YOU. Marijuana reform is more popular than any politician or any other issue in America! See my video on Obama. Proud to support NORML the only marijuana reform group holding the Democrats to the same standard that we demand for Republicans.

  15. I think Obama’s got the right idea with his suggestion that he favors further research into MJ. He can’t take the position to outright legalize it right now, but in a few years, maybe he can. I would say decrim might come if he gets a 2nd term. At the very least, I think he’ll open the door to more research, which is really what’s holding us up. That and the conservatives.

  16. I agree with Nancy Pelosi but the scope extends beyond what she says about the people doing their part. It’s not that we’ve got to just contact the relevant people in office but we’ve got to REPLACE them as well. That is how our voice will be heard. We have to put people in office that are willing to hear those voices, politicians who haven’t been purchased by big oil, alcohol, tobacco, and criminals.
    It will take more than a letter writing campaign. We need a total political overhaul!

  17. In the discussion above, George Soros was mentioned. I just got finished looking at a new booklet handed out by the LaRouchies (no, I didn’t give them any money, I found it) titled, “Your enemy, George Soros”. Just between us, I’ve got to like anyone LaRouche hates.
    Anyway, if you check the website of UKCIA (Cannabis Internet Activists) you will see they have big problems in Britain: (A) a large population of “mixusers” who roll cannabis and tobacco together in the same “joint” or “spliff”, and (B) an increasing threat of cantamination in the riefer supply– things like glass dust and lead (to make it heavier, increasing dealer profits). The victims, especially children, are at risk to get hooked on nicotine and with tobacco present how can you tell, from the taste, if there is something wrong with your cannabis???Gordon Brown doesn’t give a damn, he only cares about the tobacco tax money. (The health damage, of course, gets blamed on the skunk weed.)
    If someone has a chance to talk to Mr. Soros, they should suggest that he invest some money in subsidizing the increased marketing of vaporizers (vapourisers) in Britain, as well as a cheaper similar product, the E-Cigarette (with liquid THC in the capsule instead of nicotine), plus instruction for everyone how to make their own one-hitter out of a screened quarter-inch socket wrench or hose nipple with long drawtube, permitting low-temperature 25-mg. tokes, so all Brits even without money can convert to the Toke Pure standard with no tobacco. If we don’t stand up for our brothers across the sea some of this treachery could come over to bite us, regardless of what Pelosi does.

  18. I think there would be A LOT more civil support if people were sure they could voice their opinion and not get harrassed by the local GOOD OLE BOYS . I live in a small town in TN and have ALOT of VERY old neighbors and a few neighbors that are members of the police force. I’m confined to a wheelchair 100% of the time and would LOVE to use MJ as a legal medication.. but BECAUSE of the Tennessee laws and the GOOD OLE BOYS(Police) .. Myself and A LOT of other people just can’t find a safe place to voice our opinions.. I’m sure if someone could find a safe way for everyone to voice their opinion about MJ .. things would change FAST. I commend NORML and MPP and some of the other organizations for standing up for us and letting us post on here.. I have a letter to the editor written and wanted to send it to my local newspaper.. they insisted on my real name and address before they will even look at it.. (ITS A REAL SHAME but understandably we are ALL scared!! I cannot afford to smoke and use it as medicine and have my Social Security disability taken from me.
    I have seen this happen OVER AND OVER again.. Some doctors, Attorneys, even some police officers that are for legalizing it, or making it available as a medicine. wont/cannot say a word for fear of losing their jobs/lively hood..
    Someone explain to us or come up with a way for us to anonymouly let our officials know what we want and Me and my wheelchair will be the first in line!!

  19. I wonder how many NORML / MMJ supporters actually email or write their representatives. How many form emails have been sent from NORML?
    Local change is what’s needed i believe before Congress will step up. Your representatives in part answer to their constituents. This means local/regional chapters working together to inform those reps, i think quite a few of them are ostrich in the sand syndrome, marijuana is “illegal” and thus doesn’t get a second thought.

  20. I have had the fortunate chance to listen to the pod casts on Norml and read the many articles thanks to my loving husband who is paralized from his waste down due to a form of MS. He suffers from the spastic tremors and stiffening in his muscles. His medications have all failed as far as relief goes and they only make him tired, lathargic at times, and sometimes even make him depressed. He had an occasion to try some medical marijuana and was afraid that he would go to jail/cause us to lose our home/lose his disability, so he passed at that time. I do not wish to see him on hard prescription drugs as they are more dangerous than the alternative which is the medical M. We have even talked about moving to a state where he can legally get it.
    We do know that it has a different effect on him because a month ago we went on vacation to one of the states where it is legal and we visited a place for people to get help there. Just from standing in a room where people were smoking gave him some relaxation in his body. He slept all through that night and was a lot more energized the next day. He was treated to just a small amount the next day and again the same effect.
    Now our government who owns a patten on this product does not want patients who are dying of cancer, aids, suffering from Ms, and other disabilities that cause pain and suffering, to have relief without having the cost and long term effects from hard prescriptions. Why should the government have any right to say what a person can or cannot put in his/her body, especially if they are terminal and will not live another month, another week or even another day? Should we as humans not have a right to medicate our bodies the way we choose, whether its by man made drugs, or natural GOD made drugs, herbs, etc?
    Now, I have looked at statistics for deaths this past year and no where did I find someone died by using marijuana, yet the death rate among alcoholics was high, prescription misuse was up there, and so was regular tobacco use. If these items cause more deaths than marijuana, then why are they too not made illegal?
    Why, because corporations have their hands in the politicians pockets. Could you imagine the money that could be raised to help bring this country back up to par just by the government making Medical M legal across the board and selling it like they do your big name prescription drugs.
    Its time our government stopped wasting federal monies on arresting people for small amounts of marijuana and used that money to go after the big fish, corrupt politicians, corrupt corporate companies, and how about parents that owe child support in the thousands? How about going after real criminals, child molestors, rapists, etc?
    America is slowing fading from her glory, now is the time to revive her and make her shine again!

  21. i’ve been in server pain for going on 5 years now and the sorry doctors around here in my sorry state wont give out any pain pills. i’m told i have to learn too live with it .i have no ligaments in my right leg no akeles tenden,missing bone ,crush ankel so my foot is not on correct, sever nerve damage, bones deminerlizing ,cut nerves in lower back,rls… the list go’s on and on so to put is short i sometimes wish i would have stayed dead when i hit that buck on my bike yea i hit a deer doing wayyyyy above the speed limt.damn i hurt . i’m looking to move to a state that will help me deal with it before i go postal again. thanks for the site and the info from all.

  22. HA! Pelosi says we should contact our rep? It’s not even funny. No congressman ever had a more appropriate name than “doolittle”! (real name). He’s too busy covering his arse from jacabramoff. As if he would do anything risky! As long as users are seen as “dopers” and separated from “mainstream” no politician is going to stick his neck out.

  23. Many Activists here in Cali we email,we blog,we march,we support groups like NORML and A.S.A. We set up a great distribution system(safe access)even with the DEA attacking us!While not a perfect system state and local govt.were working to regulate dispensaries.The saddest fact if Mc Cain wins (god forbid),the movement is screwed at least for 4 yrs.This election could be the closest in history. Remember the last time that happened.Politicians run from the MJ issue,even medical use in the “legal” states.Yet for over 30 yrs.the feds have mailed out a canister with 300 pre rolled joints.I believe 6 patients are still alive and benefiting(eventhough the quality is poor by Cali. standards) how hypocritical that this is not available to all, especially the states where voters have already spoken on this issue.

  24. To BusGreg,
    There is at least one Presidential candidate who clearly states his position in favor of Ending the War on Drugs:
    That candidacy is Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez. Visit:
    Don’t hold your breath (or your smoke in) for Obama to bring an end to the war on drugs or legalize marijuana (their candidacy takes too much money from the pharmaceutical industry and don’t forget that under Mr. “I Didn’t Inhale” Clinton marijuana arrests escalated higher than under any other administration in the history of the US) or you might just pass out with delusional hallucinations of two party candidates that actually represent the people and not the corporate interests that empower them.

  25. I am tired of paying taxes to support ridiculous paychecks for judges and police officers who beat us, rape us, incarcerate us for – CANNABIS.

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