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Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:29 PM

Attn Gen. Holder: Yes, The Executive Branch Could Remove MMJ from DEA Hands

Some people here have argued that the executive branch can do nothing to decriminalize medical marijuana - that this issue is solely dealt with by Congress.

I have begged to differ in the past - and explained how the process of decriminalization by the executive branch could work here:

How the DEA, the Attn General or Congress Could Reschedule Cannabis
http://www.democraticunderground.com/117069

Attn Gen. Holder reiterated this truth at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

http://justsaynow.firedoglake.com/2012/04/30/holder-admits-obama-misled-rolling-stone-about-marijuana-law/

Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use.

“That’s right,” Holder said.

After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but that some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws.


In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Obama provided a factually wrong answer that radically distorted the nature of federal law in an attempt to deflect criticism for the federal crackdown on medical marijuana. Obama claimed he “can’t nullify Congressional law” when it comes to medical marijuana, even though the Controlled Substance Act actually gives the Executive branch the authority to “reschedule” (reclassify) marijuana without Congressional action. By simply moving marijuana to a lower schedule the Obama administration could make medical marijuana legal under federal law. Obama would not need to nullify this Congressional law, because Congress already gave him the authority to change marijuana’s legal status.


So, just to be clear - Obama chose to do the wrong thing in regard to medical marijuana. Admitting this does not mean I'm not going to vote for him - but it's important to recognize that Obama is playing politics with people with life-threatening illnesses because some Republicans would attack him for doing the right thing, and doing the right thing would upset some powerful people within bureaucracies like the DEA, within the pharmaceutical industry, and within the prison industry.

I'm sorry that Obama chose to do the wrong thing on this issue. He's not the first, of course. Clinton was on the wrong side of history on this issue too. Throughout history many otherwise laudable politicians have been on the wrong side of various issues.

But let it be clearly understood: Obama is on the wrong side of this issue based upon the scientific and medical research and based upon the will of the American people. The only reason for someone to side against science and the wishes of the majority of the American people is special interests.

Eight in 10 Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use.
http://abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/Politics/medical-marijuana-abc-news-poll-analysis/story?id=9586503#.T570rL9gLDw

16 States have passed medical marijuana laws. 16 more states have medical marijuana laws pending.

It's not good to be the last man standing on the wrong side of an issue, as someone recently noted in relation to other social issues.


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Reply Attn Gen. Holder: Yes, The Executive Branch Could Remove MMJ from DEA Hands (Original post)
RainDog Apr 2012 OP
msongs Apr 2012 #1
anti-alec Apr 2012 #2
RainDog Apr 2012 #6
anti-alec Apr 2012 #8
RainDog Apr 2012 #12
phleshdef Apr 2012 #3
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #5
phleshdef Apr 2012 #10
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #13
FedUp_Queer Apr 2012 #29
RainDog Apr 2012 #33
TheKentuckian Apr 2012 #32
RainDog Apr 2012 #9
phleshdef Apr 2012 #11
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2012 #14
anti-alec Apr 2012 #23
RainDog Apr 2012 #18
stopwastingmymoney Apr 2012 #24
RainDog Apr 2012 #22
frylock Apr 2012 #28
RainDog Apr 2012 #31
FedUp_Queer Apr 2012 #30
RainDog Apr 2012 #35
RainDog May 2012 #36
RainDog May 2012 #45
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2012 #15
RainDog Apr 2012 #19
MindPilot May 2012 #37
theaocp Apr 2012 #4
Royal Sloan 09 Apr 2012 #7
duhneece Apr 2012 #16
RainDog Apr 2012 #21
xchrom Apr 2012 #17
Uncle Joe Apr 2012 #20
spanone Apr 2012 #25
RainDog Apr 2012 #27
jaysunb Apr 2012 #26
Better Believe It Apr 2012 #34
DLevine May 2012 #38
RainDog May 2012 #39
DLevine May 2012 #40
RainDog May 2012 #41
DLevine May 2012 #42
RainDog May 2012 #43
RainDog May 2012 #44
jmowreader May 2012 #46
rusty fender May 2012 #47
RainDog May 2012 #48
Romulox May 2012 #49

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:32 PM

1. so correct the misreading of the law and do the right thing :-) nt

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:32 PM

2. NH recently passed MMJ laws - make it 17 states with legal MMJ laws.

 

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:38 PM

6. Yes - but still needs the Senate vote - and the DEMOCRATIC governor is opposed

As I noted here -

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002610567#post8

The law is almost there for NH - which is why I didn't yet include it. Democratics need to get on the right side of history on this issue, including the Governor of NH.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:39 PM

8. Oops. Thanks for the correction

 

And Lynch needs a swift kick in the ass.

Repeatedly.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:45 PM

12. You can help by NICELY calling to indicate your support

Lynch worries about a "slippery slope" if mmj is regulated in his state. This, to me, is just another way in which this issue has been so distorted because other nations that have decriminalized all use do not have the same rates of use among teens as America, with its criminalization, does.

Why? Because, like alcohol, legalized marijuana is regulated and sold in venues that check ids.

KIDS sell to other kids in schools. If people want to reduce use among teens - then they should support legalization.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:35 PM

3. Why do people keep ignoring the fact that the vast majority of MMJ clinics are not being bothered...

...in any way shape or form?

Why do people keep ignoring the fact that in a lot, if not all, of these cases, there have been regulatory reasons for raiding the clinics that have been raided?

People who sell or create any controlled or semi-controlled substance are subject to a shit load of rules, whether it be medication, alcohol or tobacco.

I'm pro legalization all the way and have been a marijuana user in the past. But I don't want people to just go nuts with it, whenever, wherever and however they want.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:38 PM

5. Do you think the same rules should apply to alcohol?

Or do you not care if people "go nuts" with booze "whenever, wherever and however they want"?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:41 PM

10. You have to have special licenses to sell alcohol or create mass quantities of it to sell.

And there are all kinds of laws from state to state on how thats handled, where it can be sold, where a liquor store or bar can be located, etc.

Do you think you can just start a brewery anywhere and start selling it in your town without being subjected to these types of regulations?

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:48 PM

13. I haven't noticed the federal government enforcing state liquor regulations..

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:24 PM

29. As a non 420-er...

 

I find this whole thing silly. The federal government spending one penny on marijuana enforcement is one penny too much. I know I've seen plenty of people drunk people who start fights, get the behind the wheel of a car, kill people, etc. I've also seen plenty of 420-ers who, baked off their a**es, are calm, mellow and will eat just about everything in sight. This is just another reason to puke money into military and law enforcement.

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Response to FedUp_Queer (Reply #29)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:15 PM

33. The two issues get conflated: medical or nonmedical use

however, the reality is that cannabis is, for many people, the MOST EFFECTIVE means of fighting side effects from chemotherapy and HIV drugs.

The DEA killed an author, Peter McWilliams, in the 1990s because of another incident in which a Democratic President was in office and that President allowed the DEA to abuse the rights of citizens in this nation b/c they are so brainwashed or making so much easy money they cannot accept the validity of THOUSANDS of scientific papers that indicate medical value for cannabis via research (that has been paid for, often, by the U.S. but was done in other countries.)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117065

It has been notoriously difficult to get funds for cannabis research in the U.S. because the agency that must approve the research must, as part of its reason for being, deny the legitimate medical use of marijuana.

So, while this is also about the way in which the alcoholic beverage industry is given preferential treatment concerning laws related to recreational practices (oh, and the beer lobby gave money to defeat CA's 2010 law - and the Alcoholic Beverage industry gave money for Drug Czar programs - that, interestingly, didn't note that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis - the issue is equally, if not more, important as a medical one.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:54 PM

32. Let the states enforce their own regulations

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:40 PM

9. The DEA needs to let states work out their laws

If states have passed laws - let them implement them and let them regulate this industry.

The DEA is acting as if the people in various states have not passed laws that want a regulated industry. The DEA DOES NOT work to regulate this industry - it works to prevent it.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:42 PM

11. FACT: The DEA has left the vast majority of MMJ clinics in these states alone.

Dispute this fact or admit that I'm right. Your choice.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:49 PM

14. US attorneys have sent out more than 300 threat letters to dispensaries and landlords in California.

The DEA and the US Attorneys virtually wiped out dispensaries in Montana.

They have targeted dozens in an ongoing campaign in Colorado.

It's only been a year since the Obama administration initiated this crackdown with the Montana raids, and only about six months since the US Attorneys in California went apeshit.

Your fact may be correct, but its underlying premise is wrong: The DEA doesn't believe in medical marijuana. The only reason it hasn't gone after all dispensaries yet is because it lacks the resources. It does have other drugs to worry about, too.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:08 PM

23. My favorite dispensary was shut down last week

 

because it was too close to a school. I call bullshit on it. The state law maintains that dispensaries are at least 1,000 feet away from schools. I assumed it meant public schools which makes sense - state supported schools should have that right, and they frequently post "DRUG-FREE SCHOOL ZONE".


Why?

1) The school aformentioned is a PRIVATE JEWISH SCHOOL. - It should be wholly disqualified because the state is not paying for anything to send Jewish kids to these schools, thus not qualified to consider special treatment in terms of state law and MMJ.
1) 1.5 - nothing out there that correctly displays that Hillel Academy is a school zone.
2) The school's philosophy itself is far right wing (Think Hasidim).
3) The dispensary was more than 2.5 blocks away from the school.
4) The school is located in the middle of the hill, the dispensary is in the bottom of the hill, 3 block away.

Truth be told, they even have caution lights (on both sides of the road) to slow down (UP THE HILL with a 6% grade!) which I think they do not deserve to get from the state - I don't think they pay anything for that, and truth be told - I think they should billed $100,000 annually from the state in order to maintain that stupid light.

Hell, there's a public high school nearby (same one I graduated from) that is about 3 blocks away from a nearest MMJ - and it's not shut down.

The whole thing is stupid.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:58 PM

18. Where's your link?

Last edited Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:26 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't know the status of all clinics - which is why I did not respond directly to your claim - but you offer NO EVIDENCE for your claim. So, if you want to make the claim - supply evidence - from someone other than the executive branch.

I do know, however, that the DEA does not want to allow the operation of any legal mmj organization. That's fact. They have HARASSED politicians based upon their statements of support for mmj.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/dea-investigates-montana-state-legislator-medical-marijuana-views-222007610.html

The DEA has targeted people who are operating within the law, who have cooperated with local law enforcement, who are working as non-profits - in accordance with the law.

In CA, Michigan, CO, Montana... BANKS who allow mmj operations to do business with them, PUBLIC EMPLOYEES whose jobs include issuing state licenses... so, NO. THIS HAS BEEN A SYSTEMIC ATTACK ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA. and not "a few dispensaries. That's a lie.

http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/mendocino-county-pot-program-risk-after-raid-13408

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2010/dec/08/dea_state_cops_raid_legal_michig

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/04/medical_marijuana_boulder_dispensaries_cu_campus_federal_letters.php

http://mmjbusinessdaily.com/2011/11/17/montana-dispensaries-latest-targets-in-widening-medical-pot-crackdown/

edited to add this article targeting banks in Seattle posted by EmeraldCityGirl:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014110286

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Response to RainDog (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:32 PM

24. Kick for later reading

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:05 PM

22. Where's your evidence? n/t

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:03 PM

28. PROVE this is indeed FACT or admit you're wrong

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Response to frylock (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:59 PM

31. Still nothing to support that claim

I don't know the number of dispensaries in operation across the 16 states with mmj laws, nor if the majority of them were left open after raids in Washington state, Montana, Colorado, California and Michigan...

So, where are the facts to back up the claim of a fact? Maybe it is true, but I have no reason to believe it just because someone makes a claim here.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:37 PM

30. Government resources

 

Isn't the fact that the government, particularly the federal government, is doing this at all the real issue? Aren't there more important things to do, like hunting down bogeymen with box cutters or patting down four year olds?

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:07 PM

35. still waiting for you to show that FACT

don't make a statement if you can't back it up.

otherwise people will think you're lying.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Tue May 1, 2012, 07:17 AM

36. Still waiting to see that evidence of what you call fact...

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #11)

Wed May 2, 2012, 03:36 AM

45. Here. I dispute it. As does the San Fran. Democratic Party

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002635269

At least 5 permitted San Francisco dispensaries have been forced to close in the last few months as a result of the Obama administration's heightened attack in California. The operators and landlords of these and several more dispensaries were threatened with federal criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture in an effort to shut down access points for the city's tens of thousands of qualified patients. San Francisco has been especially hard hit since October, when California's four U.S. Attorneys escalated an already vigorous federal campaign against medical marijuana.

The DCCC argues that, "the U. S. Attorneys in California are not targeting individuals and organizations that are operating outside of the law, but instead are aggressively persecuting a peaceful and regulated community, wasting Federal resources in using a series of threatening tactics to shut down regulated access to medical cannabis across the state of California." The DCCC also accuses the federal government of "depriving...the State of California much needed tax revenue."

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:53 PM

15. "Regulatory reasons"

States that have dispensaries regulate them under state or local laws. Since when does the federal government enforce local land use and business permit issues?

If dispensaries are violating state or local laws, that should be and is a state and local--not federal--matter.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:01 PM

19. Exactly.

There is no getting around the reality that this administration has attacked the mmj movement across the United States, and not only via dispensaries or growers.

The DEA has gone after politicians, banks, public employees and more.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #3)

Tue May 1, 2012, 09:12 AM

37. Perhaps because that's not our reality?

I can't speak for any other parts of the country, but in my neck of the woods, they are all closed down. In the past few months San Diego has gone from several hundred dispensaries to about three. The shutdown was accomplished by the DEA notifying landlords and building owners that their property would be seized if they didn't evict tenants running dispensaries. Even when there were actual raids, no arrests were made. Draw your own conclusions, but that seems to be a pretty heavy-handed way to deal with "regulatory reasons".

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:38 PM

4. Stroke of a pen, baby.

Stroke of a pen. Comment from anybody else in the WH? No?

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:38 PM

7. No F' In Way!

that would ever happen with this group in charge. they could but they won't. Pass it on,

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:55 PM

16. You inspired me to write to Mrs. Obama

Our local NAACP donated "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration..." to our library recently (very anti-drug-war on the basis of racist implementation) AND the national NAACP passed a resolution opposing the War on Drugs. I started the letter with your information & will enclose copies of the donation & resolution.

Will let you know of any response, however 'canned.'

Just trying to reach that 'tipping point'....

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Response to duhneece (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:02 PM

21. That's a great book

Michelle Alexander is telling the truth about the racism that informs marijuana laws in the U.S.

This is another thing that the executive does not own up to - that it is involved in enforcing some of the most racist laws left on the books.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:57 PM

17. Du rec. Nt

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:01 PM

20. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, RainDog.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:35 PM

25. ain't gonna happen in an election year...that's just politics

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Response to spanone (Reply #25)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:07 PM

27. "Just politics" has killed people

and has resulted in the United States gaining the dubious distinction of the nation that imprisons more of its people than China.

Out of all people who have been targeted for arrest for drug offenses in the U.S. over the last year, the huge majority has consisted of people arrested for possession of cannabis - whether medical or not.

We are a nation that imprisons people for engaging in an activity that is less harmful than drinking a glass of beer.

What does that say about our politicians?

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:38 PM

26. Let's wait and see what 2013 brings

in terms of this matter. I just hope they don't shut down "MY" despensary before then,

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:29 PM

34. K & R

 

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 10:50 AM

38. Huge K&R. Marijuana saves lives (one of them was my brother). n/t

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Response to DLevine (Reply #38)

Tue May 1, 2012, 12:57 PM

39. What's your brother's story?

When my stepmother had ovarian cancer - I wish she could have used mmj. She wasted away to nothing.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #39)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:13 PM

40. My brother had Hodkins Lymphoma.

He was undergoing some serious radiation treatments that caused him to vomit up everything he tried to eat or drink, even water. I was taking care of him at the time, taking him for his treatments. He was dehydrated, so they gave him IV fluids to keep him going, but he was losing a lot of weight, averaging a pound a day weight loss. It was a living hell for him. Marijuana was the only thing that finally enabled him to keep food & water down so that he could survive his treatments. Anyone who has personally experienced this would never deny anyone medical marijuana. And by the way, I think it should be legal for everyone, not just for medical purposes.

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Response to DLevine (Reply #40)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:08 PM

41. I'm so glad he had access that could save his life

My stepmom lived in a state with draconian laws. She would never use marijuana because she was a victim of all the propaganda about it - even when it could have extended or enhanced the life she had left.

She did have a lot of morphine, however, in the latter stage of her disease.

Marijuana's positive effect on people who deal with MS and CP is pretty amazing. I don't know if you've ever seen videos of people who use mmj to control spasticity - they made me cry. It is very helpful for a lot of people who have used it to help control epileptic seizures, too.

It is really, really shameful that the majority of politicians are willing to allow unnecessary suffering in order to score political points.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #41)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:22 PM

42. I am so sorry for what happened to your stepmom.

Yes, it is a terrible thing, this anti-marijuana propaganda. Very disheartening. And yes, I am well aware of the many people who benefit from marijuana. Lives can be saved, and for many, many people, their quality of life can be improved dramatically. For me, it's a no-brainer.

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Response to DLevine (Reply #42)

Tue May 1, 2012, 04:05 PM

43. I think about these women

I think about women, not just my stepmom, who want to do the right thing, who want to protect children from possible harm. Women, as a group, tend to be less supportive of legalization than men. I think about them because I know they want to do the right thing - but prohibition isn't the right thing to do. We have data from other nations that indicates the best way to deal with the concern about use among children is to decriminalize. However, when you are fed scare stories over years and years, and when you don't want to have to accept that institutions in which you put your faith are lying to you... it's sad.

I don't think most women these days are like my stepmom, but a lot of them are, still. A lot of them will suffer needless pain because they don't want to go outside the law, and even when some are willing to try something that others have reported is so useful - they don't have connections to find something illegal and they cannot afford to relocate to a state with more compassionate laws.

This realization is sort of what got me outraged about this whole issue.

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Response to DLevine (Reply #42)

Tue May 1, 2012, 04:11 PM

44. oh, and here's another reason why this is an issue for women - and men

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117012

CBD cannabinoid COMPLETELY prevents neuropathic pain from breast cancer chemo

“We found that cannabidiol completely prevented the onset of the neuropathic, or nerve pain caused by the chemo drug Paclitaxel, which is used to treat breast cancer,” said (Sarah Jane) Ward, who is also a research associate professor in Temple’s Center for Substance Abuse Research.

Ward became interested in this current study after attending a conference in which she learned about a pain state that is induced by chemo-therapeutic agents, especially those used to treat breast cancer, which can produce really debilitating neuropathic pain.

Cannabidiol has also demonstrated the ability to decrease tumor activity in animal models, said Ward, which could make it an effective therapeutic for breast cancer, especially if you “combined it with a chemo agent like Paclitaxel, which we already know works well.”

According to Ward, there are currently about 10 clinical trials underway in the United States for cannabidiol on a range of different disorders, including cannabis dependence, eating disorders and schizophrenia. Because of this, she believes it will be easier to establish a clinical trial for cannabidiol as a therapeutic against neuropathic pain associated with chemo drugs.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 03:55 AM

46. They COULD reschedule pot tomorrow, but they won't...

at least not until after the election. If the Repukes are swiftboating the president over killing Bin Laden, just imagine what would happen if he moved marijuana to anything lower than Schedule I.

I think that's one of the major drivers in all the raids and DEA actions we're seeing now: the need not to be attacked by the Republicans, who don't know how to do anything else.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #46)

Wed May 2, 2012, 11:45 AM

47. Prediction: The Obama crackdown on MMJ clinics will continue, unabated,

after the election. In fact, I think that the crackdowns will increase during Obama's 2nd term.

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Response to rusty fender (Reply #47)

Wed May 2, 2012, 02:27 PM

48. Yeah, I don't think this adminstration will do the right thing

That's why I noted that Obama is on the wrong side of history on this issue.

The momentum is coming from people and their legislatures at the state level - this isn't like the Carter-era legalization moment.

Research into medical marijuana has change the discussion.

I think the administration is trying to keep herbal marijuana illegal to pave the way for Sativex to enter the American market. This also allows the DEA and other law enforcement agencies to continue to arrest mostly young black men and remove them from the voting rolls, harass solidly Democratic demographics and transfer money to conservatives via the War on Drugs prison complex.

great strategy there, Democrats.





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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 03:40 PM

49. "Barack Obama supports medical marijuana!"

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