Arrived: DOJ Memo On Medical Marijuana

The Star-Ledger in New Jersey published the long awaited ‘clarifying’ memo on medical marijuana last night from the Department of Justice.
It appears from the letter that the Obama administration’s DOJ is going to continue to walk the fine line between allowing ‘self preservation’ for medical cannabis patients (i.e., a patient can possess and cultivate a small amount of cannabis for their personal use) and prohibiting what they call “large scale” medical cannabis cultivation and sales.

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole, in a letter addressed to every state attorney general, reaffirmed “it is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen … and their caregivers.”
But the large-scale growing and scaling activity seen in some states troubles the Obama administration, according to Cole’s letter.
“There has, however, been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution, and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes,” according to the letter. “For example, within the past 12 months, several jurisdictions have considered or enacted legislation to authorize multiple, large-scale, privately operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers. Some of these planned facilities have revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants.”
The earlier memo “never intended to shield such activities from federal law enforcement and prosecution, even when these activities purport to comply with state law,” according to the letter

75 thoughts

  1. I lol’d when I read this. millions of dollars from tens of thousands of plants? Do they have any idea the kind of space needed for tens of thousands of plants? And what, are the plants only putting out like a ounce each or something? Are they filling warehouses with autoflowers?

  2. Well it seems to be a bit of a conundrum. To use medical marijuana, someone is going to have to provide it. I don’t understand.

  3. “large scale” medical cannabis cultivation equals competition for big pharmaceutical companies and the liquor industry. In addition, large scale medical cannabis cultivation would mean (rightfully so) increased political influence. Because in our nation money equates to political influence.


  5. Sounds like more governmental double talk. And why will our senate not even discuss legalization when its a gross waist of our money , resourses and lives to keep pushing the failed war on drugs. Why cn’t politions see what a gross waist of money proibition of marijuna really is?

  6. No matter how you slice it – the DOJ is still dictating policy over state sovereignty. If they keep it up – the American public will reject them to the point of lawlessness. I think they thrive on confrontation. To them it’s headlines – to us it’s notoriety. What it is – plain and simple – is oppression – so what’s new.

  7. Here’s the government: “We can’t afford to keep doing this but we’re gonna anyway!”

  8. Ya know! …I have one question – and – one question only…”WTF is this government trying to pull?” It sure isn’t about cannabis. Cannabis is a “False Front.” It’s got to be much, much bigger. In my humble opinion – the “2012 Prophecy” has already become reality. The “One World” Prophecy is out of the model stage – and – December 21, 2012 is progressing according to plan. “God save us all” – it’s going to be “Dooms Day” alright – Dooms Day for our country, our Constitution, and our freedom.

  9. EXACT same policy as George Bush! “Change”? Maybe on some relatively small items but not on foreign policy, domestic policy, the economy, spending, drug policy, and on and on. Obama = another puppet whose priority, first and foremost, is to get reelected by catering to his fundraisers. Big pharma and the prison industry supports whoever is in power!

  10. Well, medical marijuana does need to be grown and distributed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just appear out of thin air from warm wishes. Not everyone can grow it themselves. So how do they expect people who need it to get it. While I am thanful that the memo tells the Gestapo to leave patients alone, I don’t trust this administration to honor it. I have yet to see this administration actually do what was promised in 2008. Why marijuana “troubles” the Obama administration is anyone’s guess. But being that Yemen and Libya “troubled” him enough to violate U.S. law and order military action, we can surmise that what “troubles” him is the loss of power.

  11. Still no explanation on why the administration is threatening state employees who distribute medical cards to those with cancer and such.
    I find it hard to stand behind the large scale growers. Most in California opposed Prop 19 to protect prices and not have any part of their income go to pay taxes like the working people of our country do. They support the police state and disintegration of the American family so they can make as much money as fast as possible without paying taxes on it. Legalization will devalue Cannabis and they will have none of that. Most people on restricted incomes still have to purchase their medications from the criminal underground because they cant afford dispensary prices. Only legalization will make medications available to all and push out the criminal elements. Including most commercial growers.

  12. It’s time for another civil war since the feds keep stomping on the rights of the states…AGAIN.

  13. What happens when a government doesn’t listen to it’s constituents? They either violently rebel or create a new country based on what they feel are their undying freedoms. And now we have a country, founded on freedom, destroying lives. The “land of the free” has become the land of the criminal, and I’m a criminal.

  14. I have been receiving a lot of solicitations from the Dems and the Obama re-election campaign lately. Here is my response – maybe if more people try this it could have some effect.
    “I will make a donation to your next campaign when I hear you or your attorney general go on the record to announce that you will once and for all stop allowing federal agencies to interfere with state’s medical marijuana laws. By allowing federal prosecutors and the DEA to continue to threaten patients/caregivers and to raid dispensaries you are standing in the way of patients’ rights to obtain a medicine that has been approved of by their state’s laws. This is not only cruel and inhumane but also a tremendous waste of the taxpayers’ money. I cannot in my heart support your campaign while you continue to let this ride.”

  15. We’ve just entered what a farce territory when it comes to our cannabis policies in the U.S. What is wrong with Obama that he doesn’t see the consequences of keeping cannabis as a black market product which results in untold misery as our future of a planet that is having a global crisis of epic proportions?
    I’m sure Thomas Jefferson is turning over in his grave at what our rulers have done with the gift of democracy. Only support politicians that support us in bringing an end to this epic FAILED Drug War! Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Barney Frank, Jared Polis are on the right side of history and frick the rest of them that talk pretty and do nothing. I’m done with Obama and his half-assed policies, if not for the grace of God that man would be in prison and not heading the presidency since he admitted himself he broke the laws multiple times and now he has no sympathy for the rest of us because he got his prize.

  16. For Obama’s townhall– ask the question like this:
    GOP won’t raise taxes. DEMs won’t cut spending. The only answer is a new industry. Can we finally talk about cannabis????????

  17. Here we go again. Too many people to watch so take the easy road out and propose that large corporations take over the business to be able to regulate easier. its just a matter of time before they get a grip hold on the business and its assets. Medical marijuana wont be helping anyone at that point and profit margins will soar through the roof. Large business have the start up money capable of running the show. Meaning there would only be a select few that can grow it and unfortunately it would be the campaign contributors that give the most cash and pressure the most. Typical downfall. The cannabis would suffer at this point. Anyone whose grown it knows it takes a lot more than just planting it in the ground and watering it. Look at how they add additives to cigarettes. Don’t fool yourself to think they wont do it with medical cannabis. Big Money wins again..

  18. We can learn a lot from our founding fathers:
    “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” – Abraham Lincoln

  19. Perhaps Prohibitionist Lamar Smith and Obama are the same person? They don’t seem to even differ one bit on marijuana policy.

  20. For instance, define “Large Scale” Is 100 mature plants too many? What if I have cuttings or rooted clones? What if Im also providing for my fictional wife?
    With all the double-talk and legalspeak that goes on in the “Halls of Power” you’d think that they would realize that this published memo/statement is still quite a bit unclear.

  21. Just another opportunity to stand up and do what’s right, and he chose the campaign contributions. Unbelievable. He should’ve clarified the “Ogden Memo” as soon as he started to see all these states enacting MMJ laws. But he waits, then walks the GRAY line again. This man can’t take a stand on ANYTHING, and KEEP the same stance for anytime too long.

  22. Is it funny to them that the people who need cannabis don’t have the energy to fight the federal government?
    Is it really that big of a joke to keep fucking around with the simplest of logical solutions, and pretending it doesn’t exist? LEGALIZE.
    Fuck these idiots in the DoJ, DEA..

  23. They have been happy to take the money paid in federal income taxes all these years. Fuckers! Stop wasting money!

  24. So what is allowable? Mom & Pop small scale operations, as long as they don’t pop up on every block and be more than the number of Starbucks in that city?

  25. In California you may posses as much as your need requires – if approved by your attending physician. Otherwise it’s 8 oz.of dry female flower.

  26. Not an efficient use of resources, eh?
    And if it was an efficient use then they would be arresting everyone.
    No morals to speak of: just pure power politics.

  27. I feel that advocates for “Legalization of Marijuana” should be considerably troubled by several reversals in Acceptance of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. All sides of this matter should be given careful consideration, and evaluation, in order to avoid much more serious reversals in all Communities! In my opinion, the problem could be corrected if Dispensaries were allowed to sell large enough quantities that people would not have to come back in for more products so often. Prescription Medicine is not doled out one pill at a time! People should be able to take their goods, go home, and use their Marijuana in their own privacy.
    Regarding upcoming State Initiatives, I recommend that the Initiative tactfully explain that selling of small daily quantities of Marijuana is excessively burdensome to a business district due to repeat daily individual transactions.
    I feel that the most reasonable approach would be to allow both, Bulk quantities, and Packs of 20 Count, Sales at Dispensaries. Why would anyone take Marijuana to another state to sell, since Marijuana is already being sold in all U.S. States, and without being taxed?
    I also recommend that the initiative stipulate that Impure, and, or, Non-organic, adulterated Marijuana, not be allowed for sale in Licensed Dispensaries.

  28. What we need is for the national, state and local Cannabis reform organizations to organize a national sick out day. Say next July 2nd. That falls on a Monday before Independence day. With protest in every capital in the country over the weekend. And one in Washington on Monday. They will be in time for those running for office in 2012 to rethink their position and support. Shut the country down for the weekend and Monday. Send a message to all governments and corporations.

  29. I wonder how these prohibs feel about “Independence Day’ beings there is no “Independence?” Any prohib that celebrates the 4th is a hypocrite.

  30. It’s just more bad news from the Obama administration. The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder did kept his promise to the nine former DEA administrators and Drug Czars and finally had the October 19th 2009 “Ogden memo” overridden.
    The DEA are not at all bothered by the increase unpopularity of the Obama administration. It doesn’t matter to them if president Obama looses his re-election.
    The House Bill 2306 must pass.

  31. The libertarians got just under 500000 votes in 2008, let’s send the Dems and Repubs. a message in 2012, no repeal, no vote for you. I would wet my pants on nov 9 2012 if the libertarians picked up, oh let’s say “5 or 10“ million votes. Imagine their reaction!

  32. We are the largest collective lobby in the entire US. Larger then Big pharm, Unions, Beer and Wine, Distillery, cotton etc. Use our power!

  33. For those who live in Wa.St. New Approach Washington is a coalition of Washington citizens who believe that treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, and that it is time for a new approach. We include doctors, lawyers, treatment and prevention experts, business people, and parents. We are united in the belief that Washington should stop wasting law enforcement resources on adults who use marijuana, and instead create a tightly regulated system that generates tax revenue for our state and local governments.

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