Alternet.org: Marijuana Reform Is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why Are Obama's Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?

My latest essay, published today on the Alternet.org website, expands upon some of the themes touched upon by NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre yesterday, as well as many of the ideas I previously articulated on The Hill.com — primarily the notion that marijuana law reform should be viewed on Capitol Hill as a political opportunity, not as a political liability.
Unfortunately, it does not yet appear that either President Obama or the new Democrat-led Congress has gotten the message.

Marijuana Reform Is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?
via Alternet.org
[excerpt] Of course, it is not yet known whether Obama directly authorized the DEA raids. (Both the DOJ and the DEA are staffed, in large part, by holdovers from the Bush regime.) That said, there’s also no indication that anyone at DOJ or DEA has been admonished for their behavior either. Obama’s silence on the issue so far may be telling. It may also be politically detrimental.
… According to a national poll commissioned by CNN and Time Magazine, 80 percent of Americans support the physician-supervised use of cannabis, and some 3 out of 4 say that adults should be fined, but not jailed, for using pot recreationally.
In short, marijuana-law reform should no longer be viewed by legislators as a political liability. It isn’t. Instead, for the new administration and for 111th Congress, it is a political opportunity. The sooner our federally elected leaders recognize this fact, the sooner we, and they, can begin to undo the damage caused by America’s longest and costliest war, the so-called war on drugs.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback both here and on Alternet.org.

0 thoughts

  1. Your efforts are appreciated. I think once the stimulus bill gets out of the way we might start to see the rubber hit the road. All the tax dollars from a regulated industry could prove to be an invaluable political wedge in then end. We have to play the political game and billions of dollars in revenue speaks volumes in the current economic situation.

  2. I think the medical marijuana issue is clouding the real issue and gets in the way of what really needs to be done : legalization!
    Why make medical marijuana the “middle man”. Just cut to the chase and be done with it. We are wasting too much money in the mean time.

  3. “Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?”
    Revelation 12:12 The devil is filled with fury, he knows his time is short.
    In fact just look at the chapter and verse, it’s not the 11th hour, it’s past it, his time is past.
    (Please note this is not, in any way, meant to denigrate Legitimate Execution of Authority by Police, or, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition http://LEAP.cc Like them, I am extremely concerned that due to the enforcement of crooked laws, more harm than good has taken place, including not having respect for the police, many of whom are caring people, only trying to help society and protect us from the REAL EVILS.)

  4. I don’t believe Obama is directly authorizing marijuana busts in Medical Marijuana states. I think what he is doing is leaving the DEA and the current drug laws and operations status quo for awhile until the economy gets back on their feet.
    Sure, legalizing marijuana would save the government money, but that’s only a couple billion compared to almost $1 trillion dollars in debt (trust me, it’ll get that high). He stated in early interviews that changing drug policies would “not be a priority”. That doesn’t mean he won’t consider it. We just gotta be patient and let the man work. It’s only been a week since he was sworn in….. he’s got 4 years (8 possible years) to change those laws. We’re in an economy that’s on the edge of tanking. I would like things changed now too, but we have greater issues on our hands. Don’t worry… when they’re solved, we’ll have our turn. Just give it time.

  5. Obama is no different than any other major party President, in my opinion he was just the slicker liar. I wouldn’t depend on this guy to do anything for us. The change is going to come from us the people not the politicians. He may or may not be responsible but one thing I do know is we are getting ignored…again!

  6. Heres what i figure we get about 200000 in dc and every one just light up. can they arrest 200000 people in one day, maybe but can they do anything about it, it would over clog the courts and systems things would back up forever if they did. and if nothing else it would hit the news that 200000 stoned people went to jail for a freedom that has long been denied, and then others will come and follow the lead if they can see that that many people are willing to fight. give them no chance but to listen. you can do it peacefully and get your point across. sure its illegal but were citizens we make the laws and if theres a big enough stink theres nothing they can do.

  7. What happened to Obama’s Citizen Briefing Book? Marijuana and hemp legalization was the top rated idea posted, receiving 30,000 citizen votes over the #2 idea ‘Going Green.”

  8. With the economy as it is, I don’t really expect any marijuana change any time soon. How would Obama look if he put marijuana as his priority over the economy? I think we just have to wait and see what happens.

  9. Tim has a good point. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. If we all believe in something strongly enough, we should organize together and make a point. The POWER should belong to the PEOPLE, not the government. Let’s take back our country. Legalize marijuana, stop big government waste and spending. NOW is the time. WE are the ones we have been waiting for.

  10. I just do not see how it is legal for the government to do this. I grew up believing that the government is there to support the people’s beliefs while protecting us from others, not ourselves. They are taxing us and using the money on what the public disagrees with and is this not a form of taxation without representation. They represent some things but change.gov shows what the publics sees as important and they refuse to represent them even acknowledge them. It all just sounds illegal and it sounds like the reason we had a revolution in the first place.
    Also, if the government really feels that everyone who uses cannabis should be in jail then…arrest the country. Look at the numbers, I’m sure arrests of that magnitude will show that our economy will wither and die because there are smokers (recreational or medical) in every industry.
    I just wish there was more I could do for the cause. I have spent hours on many different days handing out brochures I made to my suburb but I don’t even know if the politics that matter even care about the people (who voted them in.)
    Maybe the best idea would be to have everyone who uses cannabis to stop paying taxes. If everyone who uses stopped paying taxes the government would need to find ways to get money and in the end will have to allow cannabis, because there is not enough money in our already in debt country to support a quarter of the citizens out of work and in jail (having their food and everything paid for by the gov.) Another idea I had but it might not be as effective was to have everyone who uses some form of cannabis to get any seeds they come across (I know that a lot of people including myself smoke weed without seeds but I know I can find a lot of them) and plant them in appropriate conditions. They might not be the most potent plants but how can you fight something that is EVERYWHERE.

  11. “Marijuana Reform Is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?”
    Because obama’s full of SHIT!

  12. Hey Beano
    I agree with most of what you said. The only thing is that a couple billion out of a trillion may not be alot, but you have to start somewhere. That is the problem with so many politicians is that a billion dollars seems nothing so they leave it alone, but eventually all those billions add up and there ya go, our national debt. I hate the system. Appreciate this essay. one step closer.
    just out of curiousity, is this whole 4/20 march on washington actually going to happen? i’m sick of an important issue like this getting delayed over and over.

  13. It’s pretty ironic when stoners have more common sense than the politicians that oppress them. This is really an easy fix to the economy, both at the Federal AND State levels (since a lot of the states are in big trouble money wise as well).
    First and foremost: CUT UNNECESSARY EXPENSES!!
    I would say making Cannabis (or any other drug for that matter) LEGAL would quickly empty the prisons of non-criminals, saving billions of dollars on their cell space and the enforcement of these “non-crimes”.
    Next, issue an order at the Federal Level declaring that all non-violent drug offenders be released and offered a full pardon and that all previously illegal drugs will become legal (starting with Cannabis first, of course:) effective immediately.
    After this, provide incentives for all states to legalize by also emptying the prisons of non-violent drug offenders and allowing individuals to create their own businesses where varieties of Cannabis can be sold (similar to the liquor store model), with both a State AND Federal Sales tax attached to the sale of it.
    There is nothing but upside to this, and as far as “Stimulus” packages go, this one easily makes the most sense in that it would generate MUCH MORE revenue, not to mention DRASTICALLY REDUCE the costs currently being spent to arrest, process & house these non-criminals.
    Never mind the fact that the courts, hospitals & law enforcement will operate much more efficiently and more dangerous criminals will serve their full sentences; making the world a better place for everyone.
    Maybe I’ll run for Congress one day. . .
    LEGALIZE FREEDOM!

  14. For the love of God, will people PLEASE stop blaming Obama for the recent DEA raids. He JUST got into office a week ago and he’s got bigger fish to fry. Quite yer bellyachin’ and give the man some time.

  15. Only time will tell I’m sure pot smoking is not one of Obama’s Top priorities. With all the problems in the world I think he would pretty stupid if he made it one!
    But I just feel eventually it will be positive for people that like to spark up now and then.

  16. I agree that I in no way believe that Obama has played some authoritative position in these recent raids. As has been stated the DEA is still acting under the supervision of many Bushies. I think at present nothing has been undertaken to discuss the legalization of marijuana because of the more threatening issues at hand i.e. the economy. I do however, believe that the mere legalization of marijuana, accompanied by regulation and taxation, could provide and excellent means with which to deal with insurance premiums in healthcare; a major issue in the new administration. My opinion is that Obama will most likely not even look at legalizing the substance within the first year. He will most likely look to combat the issue of DEA harassment against medical patients as he is quoted saying that it is not a good use of our law enforcement. Hopefully though later in this administration we will see true change, saving us from the hypocrisy of our current marijuana policy.

  17. with all the thing’s that can be made from the marijuana plant you would think it would be legal for making paper fuel oil medicine clothes or just recreational use.This is why the people need to take the government from the insurance industry and big business.let people make the choice.

  18. Marijuana needs to be classified with alcohol and tobacco when teaching “just say know to drugs”. So it will not be the gateway drug, weed is so mild that when it is tried the assumpion is that all illegal drugs are not that bad! I feel pot is nothing like any other illegal drug. Put a tax on it, use law enforcement on bigger issues and educate the public and create jobs.

  19. #1 issue on change.gov:
    http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/
    ideaList.apexp?c=09a800000004fo6&lsi=2
    How much longer will the government ignore us?
    Obama could have very easily dealt with this by now. One signature, his, is all it would take. Assuming Obama backtracks on his word to end the DEA raids, or that it doesn’t happen within the year, something tells me he’s in for a shit storm like no other.
    LEGALIZE NOW!!

  20. The economist’s who sent Bush an open letter about regulating and taxing marijuana should get together and send one to Obama.

  21. I say this with no regards to the policemen who are on the right side of law enforcement, but fuck the police and politicians who run this country with crooked intentions. I mean that with the bottom of my heart, fuck them.

  22. What he gov does not realize, nor many of us, is this. If Hemp were a legal crop. then the quality and strenght of outdoor MJ will go down. millions of acres of hemp make a snesamilla crop dicey outdoors, and the cross breeding will moderate the thc levels back to low. I am all for legalazation. this is just a problem i think we would hav eif it were legal.

  23. Instead of complaining to a blog on NORML, why don’t you people send emails and snail mail letters to your elected state reps? I do, regularly. Instead of just sitting and waiting for change, why don’t you press for change.

  24. Like its been said it wouldn’t take Obama much effort to legalize marijuana considering the public support of the idea. I don’t think he has the political will or courage or whatever you would call it to actually do it. Hes a liar and two faced and will do what he thinks is politically savvy to consolidate his power and get a second term. Marijuana smokers are an easy class to violate their rights and throw them to the wolves and that is what he is going to do.

  25. I was just surfing the web, when I stumbled onto your site. I realize this is a growing movement and can only take solice in knowing I have never been addicted to anything, not even caffeine, nor have I ever smoked anything.
    What amazes me is it appears you really believe what you are saying? You really believe legalizing marjuana will help the economy when your apparent ultimate goal is, is to grow your own? How can that be regulated, how can that be taxed? How will that help the economy? You can’t have it both ways.
    To accomplish what you are saying the administration would have to make it illegal to grow your own, but legal to smoke, and we all know that would not solve the marijuana crime issue.
    What you are asking this administration to do is to legalize another addictive substance that destroys your memory, causes people around you to have to not only deal with the awful smell but deal with the second and third hand smoke and high effects. While current medical research clearly shows it causes repiratory issues, mental issues, as well as other health issues. With our current medical insurance crisis, why would Obama want to add another nail in the coffin?
    Who are you kidding?

  26. If I remember right Obama said he ” can find better things for the DEA to do, but wasn’t going to spend a lot of time on this”. He was once one of us. He knows what marijuana is and isn’t. He knows the war on marijuana is a sham and he knows if he still smoked it he would now be working at a Honalulu Burger King.

  27. I would also like to know if there will be a 4/20 march in washington. And I wanted to say that I completely agree with taxing Marijuana, selling it through stores, ran and managed like a liquor store, this would be simple. They already grow it, they already have acres of land producing for “medical perscription”. How can anyone in their right mind think that legalization would hurt anyone, when they sell alchohol legaly, what medicinal use does liquor serve? It only fucks up your liver and lower’s your IQ. And people do not obey the law’s about drinking and driving, yeah there might be a few of us who are actually responcable, alchohol is a thousand times more dangerous then marijuana. That’s a simple truth. Have you ever heard of someone dieing because they smoked too much, no they took a nap, literally.
    And I am going to start writing letter’s. We all should. And if this isn’t progressive, I’m moving to canada, I don’t deserve to go to jail for what I do, it improves my quality of life. That shouldn’t be illegal.

  28. Jo,
    Put your money where your mouth is and prove to me using peer-reviewed studies that cannabis causes mental issues (in the people that smoke it).
    If cannabis causes YOU mental issues without you inhaling any that is your own damn problem.
    Many people have difficulty differentiating causation from correlation. Hopefully you will overcome this when you get older.

  29. Give Obama some time to fix things first. Bush left him one hell of a mess to clean up, and that’s going to take some time. He has only been in office for less than one month, and people are already saying that he’s “the same” and doesn’t want to change anything. The real gripes here are that “he hasn’t fixed my issue yet, therefore, he’s the same, and he doesn’t care.” GIVE ME A BREAK WITH THE WHINING ALREADY!!!! I bet once he gets things lined up,legalizing marijuana, selling it in stores, and taxing it like alcohol and cigarettes (or decriminalizing it at the very least. I’m hoping for the first option myself.) will be next in line. These things take time, plus he has to work with his crew in order to pass the law. People act like he has a magic wand and he can undo eight years of complete and utter incompetence in four weeks. Give him some time. I know a lot of cannabis users can’t wait because it may be a matter of life and death for them, but they have already been waiting for quite some time now. At least this time, they may not be waiting in vain.

  30. Dear #32, Jo, you are overlooking many facts,
    1. You can build your own house now. You can knit your own socks. You can grow your own food. But how many people do these things? There will always be hobbyists and skilled crafts-folk who take matters in their own hands, but there will also always be others who are content to let others do their growing for them.
    2. Do you wear clothes? Did you know that cotton is a serious leech of nutrients from the soil? Did you know that hemp/marijuana fiber has been the best source of rope for thousands of years? Did you know that hemp fiber can, and is, used for clothing?
    3. The assumption/logic in your 3rd paragraph is wrong, please see my point #1. Also you seem to be ignoring the black market which, last I heard, lets hundreds of billions of dollars pass through its hands, but perhaps you are the kind of person who thinks that just because you don’t see something, then it doesn’t exist.
    4. Your tired villainizations in the 4th paragraph… Since the 1970’s I’ve seen that most cigarette smokers are considerate people, who have no problem blowing their smoke some other direction, or smoking outdoors, or sitting in their own sections. Besides you are straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel, our food, water, and air are much more poisonous to us courtesy greedy mega-corpses than what you are scared of.
    I say there are more drunkards who haven’t touched a glass of alcohol than those that have. Drunk off their own self-righteousness, and their ability to lord their authority over others.
    If you don’t want to enjoy marijuana, fine, that’s your right. But until this country stops it’s illegal war against citizens, you can expect it to continue to fall to pieces.

  31. Let me tell you, it’s a crying shame, but he will only get a slap on the wrist. I have three little girls who got there rights severed because their parents chose to smoke a little weed, and I got 4 counts of child indangerment. where’s the just-us in that? I see 3 little girls who have no hope left in there life, the oldest one did just fine for herself ,she went to two years of college on her own. MOM (I) must of done something right for that one. This wouldn’t have happened to my girls if I was a rock star, movie star or athlete with lots and lots of money. Smoke one for the little people.

  32. HARRY ASLINGER and dupont ,same story .The evil lord elites, corrupt corps and puppet governments are not in the business of saving the planted and people.hemp could have saved many trees and oil helping save the world,made land more restorable for other trees and crops . and the sacred ganja was used in herbal medication long ago, then taken from the books. the old pharmacy ,we are getting denied of and with the likes of codex , monasanto , pharmacutical companys to take away your heath freedoms,trying to mutate things,and make all the money.herbs and organic foods treated as drugs an illegal health charge busted for vitamins ,no home garden even !!and only genetic corp foods,pesticides,herbicides ,cows with bovine hormones only.only gm food and pharm drugs and other chemical based products for the masses what is left of them as vitamins are listed as toxins :<( if people do not wake up now petition now!codex alimentius founded by a nazi war crim that made gas for the jews ,codex are trying to get it passed those that control food control the masses. and the water already poisoned with chemicals ,metals ,waste drugs, ect .the air already always filled with chem trail military jet spray in the sky,may be barium and other harsh particles of harsh metals. it can be used as a carrier for more deadly things like biological and chemical keep that in mind. and also the car pollution and other things we breath in the air. mercury in vaccines you seeThe Evil Lords are masters at population reduction and control!with femma military camps ,martial law ect . have some a few slave left overs, every one micro chipped and watched 24 7 and controlled, a sick fetish to have , a very twisted big brother . they do not care .they have other plans for you. get the picture! what to expect from a world that is based on WAR.the lies the scams . the new wold order,we need a new world without the order! they are way out of order !!!.what do you want from a satanic blood line.human sacrifice.with our animal friends.or nuke war one worst case. all the doom and gloom i not making this up research take action!!!.its a shame our world is not more pure!!!!

  33. I agree with comment 9. Good idea Tim, we need to start leaveing a bigger impact. Its the only way to bring about change in our ignorant society.

  34. Hell yea, we need 2 start figuring out ways to leave a bigger impact—-check out myspace. Look up display name “theSHRoOMROoM” for info on how to join ranks with the HEAD-icated…new pothead ideas welcome.

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