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Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:50 PM

The biggest divide between DC politicians and America: medical marijuana

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/the-long-slog-to-legalizing-marijuana-in-the-us-is-just-beginning/267436/

Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and legal analyst for 60 Minutes. He is also chief analyst and legal editor for CBS Radio News and has won a Murrow Award as one of the nation's leading legal analysts and commentators...He is the winner of the American Bar Association’s 2012 Silver Gavel Award for his Atlantic commentary about the death penalty in America and the winner of the Humane Society’s 2012 Genesis Award for his coverage of the plight of America’s wild horses.

And he says:

Nowhere is the divide between Washington and America more evident than in this one court ruling on this one topic. (Medical Marijuana) The law may not permit the use of this drug to ease pain. Our government's tribunes may not yet trust the science that supports it. But the people have long since rendered their own judgment. For them, peer review begins at home.

Even though recent polls show huge public support for legalized medical marijuana, Congress has ignored the issue and the Obama Administration has been outright hostile to medical marijuana operations, especially in California

The plaintiffs in this case (recently ruled no by the DC Court of Appeals) asked the DEA to reclassify marijuana in 2002. The DEA then submitted the request to the DHHS. It took four years for the DHHS to conclude that such a re-classification was unjustified. And then it took the DEA five more years to formally deny the plaintiffs' request for a re-classification of the drug. To offer some perspective on the slow march in play here, during the nine-year span from 2002 to 2011 during which this issue was live before the DEA nine states and the District of Columbia passed medical marijuana laws.

At its heart, though, the ruling cements into place the image of the federal government's position on pot as something akin to a large boulder in the middle of a raging stream. It has been 40 years since the DEA concluded that that marijuana "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." Since then, 18 states and the District of Columbia -- one third of all such jurisdictions -- have legalized the use of medical marijuana while two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.


The Federal govt continues to insist that everyday Americans are criminals when the majority of Americans know the Federal govt is full of shit on this issue. Whether their blindness is racially motivated, class motivated - who knows. What Americans know is that, in this case, the Federal govt is the problem, not the solution, and, in fact, has become the enemy of people in regard to this issue.

But here's what we could do to make sense of this issue: remove marijuana, entirely, from the drug schedules and admit that it is not a drug. Cannabis is a plant, an herb, not a drug. Simply remove it from the drug schedules and the problem of a jurassic agency that wants to protect its turf will no longer be the issue.

Herbal supplements to other medications are also part of America's medicine cabinet, from valerian root to echinacea.

The AG could do this tomorrow.

But, of course, he won't.

And the Federal govt continues to target one group of people, harassing them, threatening them with prison, destroying their businesses, keeping cancer patients in jail for using and growing cannabis and, ultimately, killing those patients in more than one incidence. That's what the ultimate outcome of this intransigence really is - harm and death to otherwise law-abiding citizens.

thanks for the good work, feds! beat up on cancer patients. it makes you look tough.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply The biggest divide between DC politicians and America: medical marijuana (Original post)
RainDog Jan 2013 OP
villager Jan 2013 #1
RainDog Jan 2013 #3
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #2
RainDog Jan 2013 #4
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #7
xoom Jan 2013 #9
RainDog Jan 2013 #5
RainDog Jan 2013 #6
libdem4life Jan 2013 #8
RainDog Jan 2013 #10
libdem4life Jan 2013 #12
RainDog Jan 2013 #13
green for victory Jan 2013 #15
DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav Jan 2013 #16
RainDog Jan 2013 #17
libdem4life Jan 2013 #18
RainDog Jan 2013 #20
libdem4life Jan 2013 #21
WillyT Jan 2013 #11
LineNew Reply $
green for victory Jan 2013 #14
RainDog Jan 2013 #19

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:58 PM

1. Well, hell, they can't beat up on Wall Street Crooks! So they gotta beat up on someone!

"Tough on crime" and all that, don't ya know....

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Response to villager (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:02 PM

3. banks are too big to fail! - kick a veteran in the ass- no problem!

the recent ruling dealt with a veteran who cannot use medical marijuana for pain treatment because he gets his opiod medications from a VA hospital.

Marijuana helps veterans cut down on the amount of addictive opiod medications taken for injuries sustained during combat.

Opiods are legal for that veteran. But a substance that is not physiologically addictive is forbidden.

That's so fucked up beyond all recognition it's incredible.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:01 PM

2. Prohibition is a failed public policy...again nt

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:50 PM

4. intransigence causes harm

the feds are causing harm to people by refusing to admit what people know from their own experience.

I'm so glad to see someone with outstanding creds in legal issues speak up about how the federal govt. is making itself the enemy of the American people on this issue.

That's the reality and that's a shame.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 09:54 PM

7. +1

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:46 PM

9. +1,000

 

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 04:45 PM

5. kickety

cause the issue isn't going to go away.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 09:47 PM

6. is this post an ad hominem attack?

I'm looking for evidence that demonstrates such a claim.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:02 PM

8. I believe we'll see some sanity in the 2nd term. Get out of Grandma's stash, for god's sake.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:54 PM

10. If I were a betting person

I would be inclined to bet on the side of Democrats not taking the correct course on this issue.

The signals are all there.

Patrick Kennedy is the front man to try to frame the issue as one people should fear. He's providing the liberal cover for federal action against CO and WA state.

A lot of the northeast is sort of backward about this issue, for some reason.

As far as I know, the legal expert who wrote about this issue has no grandma and no stash, but if you think it's worthwhile to make that statement in reference to one of the most prominent legal observers in the nation - knock yourself out. If you're talking to me - my grandmother is dead.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:05 PM

12. I do think that. There is a large retirement, semi-rural development in No Cal. Last year a head

shop got easy City approval to move into a little strip center out there with their Taco Bell, Convenience Store and Gas Station. I thought there would be outrage...these are almost always Republicans, white, wealthy and politically engaged. They have an active homeowner's association...but not a peep.

There are a lot of grandmas and grandpas and greats, as well, that live there...but seems some are living even better with their aging aches and pains with a little toke every now and again. You know how it goes with those Republicans...they hate it until they need or want it...and at that point it is deserved, and appropriate.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:20 PM

13. The division on this issue doesn't always fall on neatly partisan lines

which is why it's problematic for some people who want to pretend it's only Republicans who keep bad law in place.

The difference is between social conservative Democrats and Republicans on one hand and liberal Democrats and economic conservatives on the other.

I did read a study that debunked the idea that the elderly get more conservative as they age. That's just a stereotype. And, yes, when people find out there is an effective medication for their particular illness or issue, they can change their stance.

The Attorney General for Utah, for instance, was very anti-marijuana until he got cancer. He said he didn't use marijuana himself while undergoing chemo, but he saw that it did help and he knows, first hand, how horrid it is to live your live over a vomit bucket.

But, as to the real issue, the political issue here - we'll see if federal-level Democrats can smarten up and figure out what their state legislators know - support for legalization is a winning issue unless someone lives in a right wing religious stronghold.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:36 PM

15. "want to pretend it's only Republicans who keep bad law in place"

 

all the recent drooling over Joe Biden-the creator of the "Drug Czar"- is sickening.

Joe Biden is not a friend of the common man, as his record shows.

Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about).

Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs. Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences). Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004′s horrendous RAVE Act.

http://www.theagitator.com/2008/08/23/biden/


With "friends" like Joe Biden, who needs R's?

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Response to green for victory (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:51 PM

16. He lost a lot of support from the very issues you point out. I'd never vote for anyone who

 

believes Americans need a Czar for anything. America = Police state.

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Response to green for victory (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:52 PM

17. see, this is what I know - I am not going to agree with everyone on every issue

I can support the Democratic party but still find issue with some of their stances and actions.

Biden is no better or worse than a lot of other politicians.

What will happen, and what is happening slowly, and has happened for many at the state level already, is that the federal-level politicians will have to give up their stances because they don't align with the American voting population.

Then they'll just not want to bring up the issue.

It's like the evolution of Robert Byrd. As a Southern Democrat, he supported horrid segregation legislation because that's what got him elected. Over time, however, even the people in his state had to back off on their reflexive racism because such a stance was no longer normalized at the federal level because so many people saw how wrong the Southern attitude was. When Bush was hawking the war on Iraq, people on DU were praising Byrd and were intentionally forgetful of the wrong decisions he made - they were wrong, ethically, but not wrong, politically, because, until the Civil Rights Act, Southern Democrats could align with white racists and win - that was one of the Democratic Party's strongest voting blocs, in fact.

But Byrd said he had learned. Maybe he had. I think the example that MLK gave to the world in such a situation was to forgive and move on, because Byrd was trying to stand up for something good, rather than something that was inherently repulsive.

I don't know why Biden has such backwards attitudes about cannabis, or even why he thinks the war on drugs accomplishes anything useful.

But I also have hope that he can change - as we've seen other pols change with the times.

Personally, I hope Biden doesn't run for president, but when my choice is Biden or some Republican who is beholden to some of the most hateful groups in the U.S. - including some of the most unreconstructed racists in this land - I'd vote for Biden every time.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:52 PM

18. In a way this reminds me of gay marriage.the issue is moving forward because people are experiencing

Real-life gay folk...their relatives...and suddenly Republican or Democrat...their opinions change. Another situation of what happens when "them" become "us"...and it's a different story...especially conservatives/Republicans. Each situation influences many and before you know it, there's a tipping point.

I think this is happening with pot and the Feds will ultimately back off...I'm not a smoker, but many of my friends are.

Interesting feds want gay rights to be handled by the states, but pot issue has to suck up to the feds.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:17 AM

20. Yes. Social issues are usually grass roots

The federal govt wouldn't have made the progress it did toward civil rights without the people who were outside of the political structure who were engaged in nonviolent protest. Time does help change things for the better sometimes. FDR refused to kowtow to the Southern Democrats with the New Deal and extended it to all people, not just white people who needed jobs. WWII showed white men who may have had limited contact with black men that they were brothers - and those white men saw that their fellow soldiers were treated horridly when they returned from the war because of the color of their skin. Truman made a few gains in acknowledging those soldiers. Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock in the 1950s. JFK supported civil rights, but didn't want it cost him elections. So the grassroots didn't give up on JFK - they pressured him - and then Johnson used the assassination as a way to pass civil rights legislation that he knew, ethically, was the right thing to do, even tho it could cost him, politically.

Voting rights for women had a similar pattern - women didn't always having the backing of politicians, even "liberal" ones. But they didn't stop until they were recognized as intellectual equals who, as adults, had the right to cast a vote that might be different than their husband's.

As I've said before - there's an affiliation between the gay rights movement and the re-legalize marijuana movement. As one of the centers of gay culture in the U.S., San Francisco was also hard hit by the AIDS crisis. AIDS often included a type of cancer and wasting was a problem, as with all cancers - sometimes the drugs can kill you because you lose so much strength because you can't eat.

The issue of medical marijuana sprang up out of the lessons learned while trying to ease pain and suffering.

The president at the time, Ronnie Raygun, basically said he didn't give a shit about anyone with AIDS and did not intend to do anything to help deal with the crisis. So, people had to learn what was useful and what was not. And Raygun ramped up the war on drugs to the point that people moved indoors.

Reagan's nasty attitude is the reason for the many hybrid strains that exist today.

That's his lasting legacy from the war on drugs. Someone should name something "White Widow Reagan."

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Response to RainDog (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:42 PM

21. Spot on...he also decimated mental health care in California...while he had Alzheimer's or

some other mental condition. What's for "us" is too expensive to provide for "them".

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:55 PM

11. Off To The Greatest Page !!!


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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:32 PM

14. $

 

The Federal govt continues to insist that everyday Americans are criminals when the majority of Americans know the Federal govt is full of shit on this issue. Whether their blindness is racially motivated, class motivated - who knows.


Someone like Cedric Chao could have tore the roof off.

But none of those "attorneys" are as smart as Chao:

Oakland cites surprise medical pot backer
http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Oakland-cites-surprise-medical-pot-backer-4113767.php

Oakland's latest round in its campaign to save the nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary includes a statement this week from Mayor Jean Quan saying federal prosecutors should back off, and the federal government's own patent application lauding the therapeutic qualities of cannabis.

Cedric Chao, a lawyer for the city, cited a 2003 patent application by the U.S. government (*IT WAS AWARDED-they left that out, didn't they) that said cannabis compounds are "useful in the treatment and prophylaxis (prevention) of a wide variety of oxidation-associated diseases," including certain types of strokes and immune-system disorders.

Chao quoted another patent application, by two government scientists in 2009, that referred to the "healing properties of Cannabis sativa," or marijuana, that have been "known throughout documented history."

"How can the government credibly deny the benefits of medical cannabis when the government itself is funding cutting-edge research proving the medical benefits of cannabis and seeking patents based on such research?" Chao wrote..."

more>>

reference: US Federal Cannabinoid patent
company awarded first pot patent:Kannalife
Toke of the Town coverage: Cannabinoid Patent Exclusivity Only Applies To One Condition

Federal Medical Marijuana Prisoners and Cases
http://www.canorml.org/costs/federal_medical_marijuana_prisoners_and_cases

Turns out the drug war was primarily about protecting big pharma, and shredding the Bill Of Rights. One of the most successful big gov programs of all time.

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Response to green for victory (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:59 PM

19. One of the people discussing the case mentioned the patent issue

the question was something like... okay, so the federal govt says there's no medical use for cannabis - so then why have they patented it.

the argument from the DEA is so full of b.s. it goes like this - cannabis has more than 400 compounds - that's because it's a plant, not a drug.

Plants are not simple molecular structures. The 4 points the DEA says that any medicine has to meet to qualify instantly disqualify cannabis, again, because cannabis is a plant, and not a drug.

That's why I say the world should just simply remove it from the drug schedules entirely - it's not a drug. It's a plant with psychotropic properties in some circumstances.

After nearly two decades of normalized use in Amsterdam and CA, the world hasn't come to an end, people are not raping grandmothers because they got high - none of the reefer madness scare stories have proved out.

And, what's really interesting about this is that Mayor LaGuardia, in NYC, was calling the federal govt on this shit just as he called them on prohibition. Too bad we don't have a Mayor LaGuardia in the northeast today to talk some sense.

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