The Obama Administration Opposes Legalization — So Tell Us Something We Didn’t Already Know

The mainstream media is in a frenzy over statement’s issued today by the Justice Department alleging that the office will “vigorously enforce” federal anti-marijuana laws in California, regardless of whether voters enact Proposition 19 this November.

Even if Prop. 19 passes, federal drug laws will be ‘vigorously’ enforced, official says
via The Los Angeles Times

The nation’s top federal law enforcement official said the Obama administration would “vigorously enforce” drug laws against people who grow, distribute or sell marijuana for recreational use even if California voters pass a measure to legalize it.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., in a letter sent Wednesday to nine former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, wrote, “Let me state clearly that the Department of Justice strongly opposes Proposition 19. If passed, this legislation will greatly complicate federal drug enforcement efforts to the detriment of our citizens.”

The initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot would allow Californians 21 and older to grow up to 25 square feet and possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It also allows cities and counties to authorize cultivation and sales. Several cities, including Oakland, appear poised to do so if the law passes. [Author’s note: Oakland appears poised to do regardless of whether Prop. 19 passes or not.]

Holder’s letter was made public Friday.

… Possession and sales of marijuana are illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. In his letter, Holder wrote: “We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

To which I’d respond: So what? Of course the Obama administration is wedded to America’s failed prohibition policies. After all, it is their policy.

And of course the voters of California cannot change the federal Controlled Substances Act via a statewide vote. Nobody ever claimed that they could.

However, here’s what is noteworthy. Despite the claims of various Prop. 19 opponents that the measure is in ‘direct conflict‘ with federal law or is somehow ‘unconstitutional‘ and would thus be ‘preempted’ by the Feds, at no time today did the federal government challenge the fact that Californians have the legal right to determine their own marijuana policies. Rather, the federal government simply reinforced that they remain of the opinion that marijuana ought to be criminally outlawed — a position that is out-of-step with the American public’s sentiment.

Furthermore, Californians have been here before, and not just in 1996. Seventy-eight years ago this November, Californians overwhelmingly voted for the repeal of a morally, socially, and economically failed public policy – alcohol prohibition. Voters did not wait for the federal government to act; they took the matter into their own hands. And they will do so again this November.

Finally, it goes without saying that the federal justice department — verbal bluster aside — lacks both the resources and the political will to take on the role of targeting and prosecuting the estimated 3.3 million Californians who are presently consuming cannabis for non-medical purposes. These duties are relegated to state, not federal, law enforcement officials. Just as medical marijuana has existed as a legal market in California, in obvious violation of federal Controlled Substances Act, Prop. 19 will too remain the law of the land post-November 2.

Which ultimately begs the question, “If a government’s legitimate use of state power is based on the consent of the governed, then at what point does marijuana prohibition — in particular the federal enforcement of prohibition — become illegitimate public policy?” Perhaps it is time to ask President Obama and United States Attorney General Eric Holder?

131 thoughts

  1. WOW! This is getting ridiculous. Our first presidents would be so ASHAMED of how this country has turned out. It use to be all about what THE PEOPLE wanted. Now its what the government wants and what they think is BEST FOR US. I only live once the last i checked so i think ill do whatever the fuck i want without shitty ass government who doesnt know ANY OF US personally. Its bad enough having parents tell you what to do, but the government and obama think they have a say too? They are nothing but a cult, is what it seems like. So worried about weed, and dont have NO proof of any deaths from it or even harming someone. but yet, we still have cigarettes legal. nobodies even considering making those illegal. I see 14 and 15 year olds smoking cigarettes ANYWHERE i go. when i was 15 (21 now) EVERYBODY was smoking cigarettes, because it was the cool thing to do..(not really but it was). This country is going in the wrong direction and i TOTALLY UNDERSTAND why countries hate us so much. They try controlling our lives and what we can and cant do, just like our government tries to Tell other countries what to do and shit. We think we run this world. We dont. So When the next attack happens, thank our wonderful government for putting us in danger. Its funny, the people of this country get murdered and have bad things happen because of our government. just like 9/11. So MANY innocent people just doing their job had that happen to them when its our government talking shit and starting things. Its like your parents fighting and you end up getting beat or hit for them being angry at each other. Just isnt right. At all. I hate it here. I feel like a slave in my own country. So sad. Oh and “with liberty and freedom for all” , thats just a bullshit lie to cover up this madness here. Fooling other countries who dont know what happens here. Supposibly our troops are fighting for OUR freedom, but what freedom do we have, really..? We have no freedom at all. We have to wake up and work, especailly with how the economy is today, ( thanks for our government), We are told what we can and cant put in our bodies (apparently cigarettes and alchol is only aloud, Just the ones that can kill us), We can go to war at 16 years old or 18 but we cant legally drink until we are 21. You only live once, who wants to live like that?

  2. This just goes to show you, the government doesn’t know what “Change is” and what should and shouldn’t Change as well. Proposition 19 will pass, people will participate and California will make revenue off it. The government will come in and think they are best and try to imprison as many as they can. How about they just fix what they broke so long ago?

    I wish lived in California to give them that one extra yes..but all I can do is cheer and add my verbal support. I live in Arizona and we are voting for Medical Marijuana..

  3. I just wished that the federal government would quit importing drugs through the CIA. They have been caught so many times importing drugs into America, for them to say they will enforce federal laws confuses me, does the profits have to go for funding illegal CIA operations before they accept the facts of the peoples choice?
    Maybe the CIA is afraid to lose the revenue stream importing drugs into America gives them.

  4. My hounds are restless, as is my soul

    Proposition 19 is a resolution, an adamant statement, from the people that demand Justice and Honor

  5. I’d like to see the federal government just try to pull this shit on Cali after the proposition is ratified. There will be such a swift rebuttal against the federal government by our own citizens that Obama’s head will spin. I hope the government does try to do something because it will be a public red flag to the rest of the country and will show the citizens what thugs the government actually is right now. I agree, the founding fathers would have never stood for this kind of shit; but the government has systematically turned most of America’s citizens into brainwashed pussies who won’t fight for what they believe in unless the government tells them what to believe. Yeah go die in a foreign war for a flag, failed policies, gang members, drug cartels, Jersey Shore, Oprah, pimp my ride, rap music, and all the other shit that defines America while the government tells you what you can do in your own house. How are you free if the government can come take away everything you have if they want to if you don’t pay taxes? Tell me honestly how is that freedom?

  6. If the feds think that they can enforce cannabis control on their own in California if Prop 19 passes, I can’t wait to see how they handle the inevitable passage of similar measures in other states in it’s wake.

  7. Why the DEA can’t ignore Prop 19 or any other cannabis reform laws if voted into law:

    Go to 22:48 in the timeline… Check out This is a great video from one of our nations TOP freedom fighters, you will want to educate yourself and watch the whole 45 minute video, enjoy!

    INTERVIEW WITH SHERIFF RICHARD MACK: Explains in simple english, how the state’s have the ultimate power over the federal government through our forefathers writing of the 10th amendment outlined in our Constitution. The recent letter signed by the current and past directors of the DEA is a prime example of abuse of power and their ongoing war mongering speak and threat to continue to steal our civil liberties and turn non-violent people into crimminals.


  8. I wonder what angelfire thinks, she’s been against prop 19 saying to wait till 2012, just to see that her effort would be worthless as well. As long as we live under a dictatorship, we will never free the weed. I think its time to stop our MLK ways and go the Malcolm X route.

  9. Ive said it many many times. We are lawing our selves out of freedom. The more laws there are, the more corrupt the government. Man should not rule over man, for any man can be corrupted . Government as it is and leaders of such government are out dated. Dont we ever learn, history have proven governments only get more corrupt to the point of enslaving the people.

    Let them come to cali in force…it will prove just how corrupt a system this is.

    Let the real criminals go…politicians and money men….but bust the heads of people doing no harm.

    Corruption: A disease that spares no one.

  10. I was going to support the demon-cratic ticket but just to be a prick (like Holder and Obama) I think I’ll vote for Sharon Angle. LOMAF Fuck you all on the Hill!

  11. For anyone who thinks that the feds are going to have an easy time running roughshod over the will of California voters when Prop 19 passes, I suggest you read the legal analysis of the wording of Prop 19 done by J. David Nick, San Jose Cannabis Buyers Collective’s primary attorney. He has posted an open letter at the SJCBC website, explaining in plain English exactly how Prop 19 will strengthen legal protection for medical MJ patients, and exactly how the proposed law will create a situation where local law enforcement is prevented from “attempting to” seize any cannabis plants/products that are lawfully grown.

    Because the feds do not have enough manpower to one-sidedly enforce federal drug policy in CA, they depend virtually 100-per-cent on the cooperation and manpower of local law enforcement bodies. Prop 19 will prevent local police from cooperating with the feds, because the language of the law expressly forbids them from any/all “attempts” to raid/seize lawfully grown product. Local law enforcement will also not be able to “call in the feds” to get around the statute (as they do now to ‘teach the coops a lesson’), because the language of the law prevents “any attempt to seize” legal crop.


    Here is the url for the article/letter at SJCBC:

    I would suggest everybody read it, because there are also some other very nice features of prop 19 that not only strengthen protections for medical MJ patients, they also provide serious protection to a recreational user in his/her own home.

  12. Just keep up the drumbeat of the war with the cartels going on along the U.S.-Mexican border and how dangerous it is. The story of the husband and wife boating on the lake along the border where the husband unfortunately fell victim is a perfect example. Americans need to be reminded of the human tragedies of mass gangland executions and beheading and similar acts of violence. Americans ought to be compassionate at the polls and vote both for Prop. 19 and to de-fund federal law enforcement of marijuana prohibition in states where it is legalized for both medical and recreational and industrial purposes.

  13. If President Obama inhaled he knows good and well that MJ is not a demon plant that the dea seems to think it is. Maybe he is worried about everybody getting fat when they get the munchies. We use to love Domino’s pizza late at night. (They were the only ones that would deliver that late)

  14. My fellow AMERICANS…
    I have posted my opinion on this website several times, in regard to HOW t bring this sick cyst on the ass of Lady Liberty to a final head, so that its poison can be drained. It ALL comes down to a date and a time. I am SO grateful for the statement that US attorney Eric Holder has made on behalf of the current administration. Instead of waiting for the leaders of our movement to do the most simple thing…GIVE US A DATE AND TIME TO MARCH ON WASINGTON…(which they have consistently failed to do…Mr. Holder has thrown down the gauntlet at our feet, essentially INVITING the wrath of over one half of the population of one of the most powerful states in the Union, and I am certain that he and his puppet-masters will reap the whirlwind for it.
    Go outside and smoke on November 3rd? Hell, we do that EVERY day anyway. What NEEDS to happen is for EVRYONE in the country to show up on the steps of the Capitol building, the US Supreme Court, and ESPECIALLY outside Mr. Holder’s building…and create the LARGEST CLOUD of cannabis smoke this country has ever seen. CALL THEM ON THEIR BULLSHIT!!! Until we are willing to go en masse to the temporary barbwire camps that they will have to build to hold us all, they may do just what he is saying…but one by one, garden by garden..citizen by citizen.
    I LIVE for the day when ONE PERSON in our movement does what I have suggested…simply state a date and a place…for EVERY american who is SICK of this DAMNED drug war to stand up and end it once and for all. If you dont want to march, at least call in sick. Hell, remember the “blue flu”, when the cops were protesting their wages by just calling in sick? It caught the medias attention, it caught the nations attention, and it got results. Remember the Vietnam war protests? Changed the course of history. Remember when homosexuals had had ENOUGH, and kicked down the closet door? Remember the Civil Rights movement? Brought an entire culture of rascism, DRUG it out, kicking and screaming, into the LIGHT OF DAY, and changed the world.
    As long as we allow those who WE placed in power to continue to DISOBEY US…as long as we tolerate statements like that of US attorney Holder…we deserve anything and everything that they do to us. By Mr. Holder stating that he will not only DISRESPECT the will of the people of California (once they express that will), he has not only proven himself to be a traitor to his people, but that he AND his bosses have no more concern for the foundation of our country…PERSONAL LIBERTY…than would Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, or Saddam Hussein.
    If the federal government doesnt make a choice…either back away from this issue, or pass legislation to provide for the UNIFORM manufacture, dispense, and USE of cannabis, this issue is CERTAIN to snow-ball into another reason for a civil war. California is PRIMED to be the flash-point for civil law to break down entirely, and this issue, added to the poverty, misery, unemployment, and utter INSANITY that is LIFE in modern-day America, may seem like something that we can either incarcerate or legislate our way out of…but we are FAR beyond that point.
    My brothers and sisters…my fellow citizens, and people who love liberty around this world…this is the BOTTOM LINE.The United States Federal Government has gone out of its way to SEND A MESSAGE that it can and WILL crack down, when a State speaks out against it. That is as close to a declaration of impending MARTIAL LAW as you will get before the troops and tanks roll in. If we stand by, if we DO NOT PEACEFULLY PROTEST this issue, and create balance, there WILL be a civil uprising…because just as the Federal Government will not back down, neither will the citizens of the GREAT STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
    I say this, as my DUTY as an American Citizen…IF the Government makes good on its PROMISE to enforce the INSANE Federal Prohibition Law in California, I will move to California, and I will suffer whatever pains this regime seeks to impose on my brothers and sisters in that state. I cannot speak for anyone but myself…but I invite anyone who reads this to remember some famous words by a great PATRIOT…”I know not what course others may take..but as for me…GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH.”

    God save us from what we have allowed our precious nation to become.

    Brian Davis
    October 2010

  15. Obama really loves his wars. Between the drug wars and the middle east wars, this guy just does not stop. His mongering even makes Cheney blush!

  16. Now All you Greedy growers in Cali that are against prop-19 should be in favor of it just to spite the Federal govt. The kinks can be worked out just like with alcohol over time. This is the time for all citizens to rise up and show the Feds we are plucking this chicken!!!

  17. Real simple…

    President Obama – if Prop 19 passes, and you wage war on Californians over pot, you lost my vote.

    Just remember that I was one of the people who voted you, an admitted pot smoker, into office. I will absolutely cast a vote against you in the next election if you follow through on this absolutely obscene policy.

    Also, I live in a swing state, not in CA.

  18. “I am the great and powerfull OZ”. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, pulling the strings.

    We need more of your tax money to buy more weapons, so we can bust more druggies, so we can confiscate more of their posesions, so we can sell them to buy more bullet-proof vests, so we can take more children from their parents, so we can bust down more doors and shoot more family pets.
    We know what’s good for the country, the people certainly don’t.

  19. hopefully one day the federal government will listen when people speak and the way it looks the people are going to say legalize pot

  20. The problem with Obama vs. GOP—they’re equally worthless in moving forward. Democrats or Republicans, it never matters. It’s the guesswork of trying to decide which is the lesser evil–who will f*** us over less.
    Regardless of the obvious outcry to legalize marijuana, the media almost never keeps a pot related headline in their top news stories. The same goes with biased administrators on thehill dot com. It’s crystal clear that marijuana prohibition never worked and that it’s destroyed countless lives and will continue to do so as long as it is implemented. I’ve never been angrier and more ashamed of the government in this “allegedly” free country. Never had a criminal record until one day I found who I ‘thought’ was a friend 2.2 grams of marijuana. Four months later the feds stuck me with a felony which will undoubtedly affect me forever. Californian’s–support and vote YES on Prop 19, but don’t stop there. We need legal marijuana in all 50 states. Not in another 80 years, but NOW.

  21. The Pres, the A.G, the Drug Zar, have never said they were for legalization. They did give us the American Policy on medical cannabis – God bless them – but they have never been for legalization. But – here’s the deal – did they ever stop to think that the whole world would press for legalization once the caved in on medical cannabis? Duh!

  22. I read your article on feds
    still enforcing even if prop 19 passes. I am wondering if the feds have a legal
    leg to stand on since congress can only regulate interstate commerce this bill
    will only affect the state of california and is not designed for export to
    other states. Also it should be rescheduled in a different class of drugs under
    its current class the drugs can not have any known medical benifits, there
    numerous study from the nations top universities that confirm medical benifits.
    It has been legal in the us twice in the last 200 years and hemp was even
    requested to be grown during ww2. I wish you would write a article about the
    governments unwillingness to listen to the people of which they serve.

  23. PAY attention to what I am talking bout,K!! forget that dope smokin shit , that is irrelevant ,K! my situiation is more important!

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