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Fri May 4, 2012, 11:06 PM

Obama really could magically make the medical marijuana issue disappear...

...if it became the more politically pragmatic solution to actually do so. And from what we're seeing lately regarding this issue, I believe it actually is becoming the more politically pragmatic solution.

By executive order, the president could reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III or IV, as provided by law in the Controlled Substance Act. Pharmaceutical companies have won the reclassification of controlled substances. It's way past time for The People to also claim victory in the area.

Nothing would be smarter politically if the Democratic party is interested in guaranteeing young voter turnout. Marijuana laws hit young people particularly hard with the threat of incarceration, losing college financial aid, and having to report that you have an arrest record every time you apply for a job, for the rest of your life. There's no underestimating how much young people are aware of the insanity of these laws. And there's no underestimating the solidarity that could be generated by demonstrating good faith on this issue.

Rescheduling would also put an end to the ridiculous state vs federal dispute, allowing patients and dispensaries the freedom to treat pain while engaging in fair trade. It's humane and it's an issue of liberty.

From what I'm observing, people intend to vote Democratic, but they also intend to hold the party's feet to the fire to support us right back with policy decisions that reflect the popular will instead of the monied interest. This goes for many policy disputes beyond marijuana, from women's reproductive freedom to LGBT rights, wage issues and tax fairness.

We've turned a corner. We're seeing past personalities to the issues that impact our lives.

Obama can indeed make things right -- that's why we vote for him. He can make the issue of MMJ/drug war go away. It is within his power and ability. He just needs to do it. It's time.

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Reply Obama really could magically make the medical marijuana issue disappear... (Original post)
nashville_brook May 2012 OP
Lionessa May 2012 #1
HuckleB May 2012 #2
FarLeftFist May 2012 #4
Fumesucker May 2012 #8
SammyWinstonJack May 2012 #22
HuckleB May 2012 #27
Fumesucker May 2012 #42
FarLeftFist May 2012 #36
Fumesucker May 2012 #43
nashville_brook May 2012 #63
sabrina 1 May 2012 #78
Lionessa May 2012 #7
HuckleB May 2012 #26
RainDog May 2012 #46
jmowreader May 2012 #3
themonster May 2012 #6
Fumesucker May 2012 #9
alc May 2012 #18
LineLineLineLineLineReply !
KG May 2012 #19
SammyWinstonJack May 2012 #23
progressoid May 2012 #28
nashville_brook May 2012 #68
Occulus May 2012 #24
nashville_brook May 2012 #58
jmowreader May 2012 #81
DirkGently May 2012 #5
nashville_brook May 2012 #75
sofa king May 2012 #76
Comrade Grumpy May 2012 #10
RainDog May 2012 #11
Speck Tater May 2012 #12
CaliforniaPeggy May 2012 #13
a2liberal May 2012 #14
msongs May 2012 #15
cherokeeprogressive May 2012 #16
treestar May 2012 #30
rppper May 2012 #17
nashville_brook May 2012 #83
KharmaTrain May 2012 #20
nashville_brook May 2012 #21
RainDog May 2012 #47
randome May 2012 #25
nashville_brook May 2012 #32
RainDog May 2012 #48
randome May 2012 #49
RainDog May 2012 #50
RainDog May 2012 #51
randome May 2012 #65
RainDog May 2012 #69
randome May 2012 #71
RainDog May 2012 #72
randome May 2012 #73
RainDog May 2012 #74
treestar May 2012 #29
nashville_brook May 2012 #31
treestar May 2012 #33
nashville_brook May 2012 #37
treestar May 2012 #41
nashville_brook May 2012 #57
treestar May 2012 #88
RainDog May 2012 #45
DirkGently May 2012 #34
treestar May 2012 #35
DirkGently May 2012 #38
treestar May 2012 #40
nashville_brook May 2012 #64
prefunk May 2012 #39
nashville_brook May 2012 #56
FSogol May 2012 #44
Dragonfli May 2012 #52
RainDog May 2012 #53
Dragonfli May 2012 #54
RainDog May 2012 #55
Dragonfli May 2012 #59
nashville_brook May 2012 #60
DirkGently May 2012 #61
Dragonfli May 2012 #62
RainDog May 2012 #66
Egalitarian Thug May 2012 #79
marlakay May 2012 #67
RainDog May 2012 #70
bluestate10 May 2012 #77
DirkGently May 2012 #80
nashville_brook May 2012 #82
Doctor_J May 2012 #84
Jamaal510 May 2012 #87
Doctor_J May 2012 #89
RainDog May 2012 #85
limpyhobbler May 2012 #86
Savagegrace Jun 2012 #90

Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri May 4, 2012, 11:33 PM

1. Rec for a great article, but terribly naive; pharma and insurance and

 

police, military, and penal institutions . . . well, let's just say Obama isn't interested in fixing this at all, not even for the youth vote.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #1)

Fri May 4, 2012, 11:36 PM

2. This issue is not about pharma or insurance, but about perception.

It will take a second term Democrat, with a majority to make marijuana laws equitable to the laws in regard to alcohol. I don't know when that will happen, but the other stuff is just a sideshow on the way.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #2)

Fri May 4, 2012, 11:42 PM

4. Exactly. No one is touching this in their first term. Especially with high unemployment.

It's handing the GOP a gift: "Look, the food stamp president now wants everyone hooked on drugs". Smart people will understand the positive ripple effects decriminalizing it will bring for society. Unfortunately we live in a country where most people are fucking brain-dead and clueless and will eat the RW talking points all up. This issue will have it's day within the next generation.

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Response to FarLeftFist (Reply #4)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:57 AM

8. Always the bridesmaid never the bride..

Everyone knows this pattern is going to hold forever. "Just *one* more election and we'll stop punching hippies, we swear."

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:45 AM

22. +1.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:09 AM

27. Umm. Why the logical fallacy as a response?

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #27)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:52 PM

42. At the federal level this issue has been stuck since at least the sixties..

Eventually one must accept reality, there are too many powerful interests keeping pot illegal for it ever to be turned around..

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:19 PM

36. No, the tide is already turning. The prudes will die off soon and this issue will resolve itself

It will become inevitable in an organic way. Trust me, I'm 32, when my generation rises to power marijuana will be decriminalized within a decade. Honestly though, I can actually picture Obama going for it in his 2nd term. may be sooner than later.

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Response to FarLeftFist (Reply #36)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:01 PM

43. Your generation..

Twenty years from now they'll look like this..

Except with piercings and iMinds..



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Response to FarLeftFist (Reply #36)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:33 PM

63. totally agree with you on this -- also there's no putting the toothpaste back in the tube

for the 17 states (including DC) that have MMJ and varying degrees of decriminalization, this crackdown is fueling outrage aimed at the administration. as we saw with the birth control/war on women issue, you can't take away rights that have already been granted. it's far worse than never granting those rights in the first place.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2012, 06:26 PM

78. Exactly, it's always 'election season' somewhere. .

This is the pattern:



The People: The Civil Rights of every American needs to be a top priority in this country!

Political Operatives: Sure, but we're coming up to an election, this is not the time to deal with this. Be patient, you'll get your pony as soon as we win. For now, just shut up and vote!


The People:
Okay, we won. Now is the time to pass legislation guaranteeing everyone's civil rights.

Political Operatives: Look, they've only been in power for one month. You people have no idea how politics works. Give them some time.

The People: Okay, it's been a year. What happened to getting a bill passed guaranteeing equal rights for all Americans?


Political Operatives: You whiners have no idea what it takes to get a bill passed in Congress. Do you think they could get this passed without Republican votes, and do you really think any of the current bigots in the Republican Party are going to go along with this?

The People: Wait, that's not what you said eighteen months ago. You said 'if we get a majority, then we can do something'. Now it's eighteen months since we won. We want something done about it NOW:

Political Operatives:
Always whining, always wanting ponies. Look, we have an election coming up in six months. This is NOT the time for this, Republicans will use this against us. Grow up and try being pragmatic for a change. Stomping your little feet and holding your breath is not going to get anything done, get it? Shit, all you morons ever do is slam this party etc. etc.


Rinse, repeat.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #2)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:55 AM

7. Really, you don't see how legal marijuana would effect the profits of all those I listed????

 

Well, then I repeat, naive.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #7)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:08 AM

26. Your post does not seem to be responding to my post.

Further, it serves no good purpose to refer to others as "naive." Why not stick to the evidence and discuss the issues? On edit: Pharma and insurance would not lose one bit of money because of legal marijuana. After all, they haven't lost any money where "medical" marijuana is in place. Thus...

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #7)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:33 PM

46. I agree. Special interests, not the best interests of Americans

Last edited Sat May 5, 2012, 04:57 PM - Edit history (1)

is what keeps the currently bad policy in place.

That's what makes me want to puke about this - because the reality is that the current drug laws result in more than three-quarters of a million arrests a year - more than 750,000 - and those arrests are racially biased.

The govt. protects the alcoholic beverage industry from competition - which is corrupt at its core.

This administration has already signaled it is willing to continue to make herbal cannabis illegal while allowing for the idea of Sativex, which is nothing more than cannabis suspended in liquid - by the way it has parsed and modified its statements regarding marijuana's medical benefit.

Sativex is not the same as synthetic marinol, it's whole cannabis - which, obviously, has medical benefit and should IMMEDIATELY be removed from Schedule I because it is simply hypocrisy to allow current bad rulings to stand. Sativex is already legally prescribed in Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Germany... what all these countries have said is that cannabis has medical benefits.

The majority of the American people know this, as well, which is why the hypocrisy is so infuriating. It's the same mindset that bails out banks and throws out Americans into the street. Government of some of the (rich) people.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri May 4, 2012, 11:40 PM

3. Wait till after the election, please

The last thing we need is for the Fucking Republicans to have yet another thing to throw at him...in Republican parlance, moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III is exactly the same as putting a vending machine that dispenses blunts in every elementary school in America.

So...I would like Pot rescheduled to Schedule III alongside Marinol, but not until the middle of November.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #3)

Fri May 4, 2012, 11:45 PM

6. Correct

You're right. Don't give the Repukes an issue to capitalize on. I believe Obama will be re-elected. I see him taking more chances during his second term.

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Response to themonster (Reply #6)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:00 AM

9. But what about the '14 mid-terms?

Can't lose seats in Congress, pot would just give the Republicans something to snipe at, better wait until '16..

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #9)

Sat May 5, 2012, 07:22 AM

18. '16 will be a first term

better to plan for '20. Then it may be a good time unless '22 or '24 looks like it could be a tough election for the Ds. But if they aren't at least talking seriously about considering something by '28 we should start talking about considering another party by '32. Unless the Rs look too scary then and we should wait until '36.

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Response to alc (Reply #18)

Sat May 5, 2012, 07:37 AM

19. !

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Response to alc (Reply #18)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:46 AM

23. heh!

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Response to alc (Reply #18)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:38 AM

28. +1

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Response to alc (Reply #18)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:45 PM

68. +2

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #3)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:54 AM

24. That's not an acceptable answer re gay rights and it's not an acceptable answer for this one

The time is now, in this election. Obama can win every last youth vote in the country (and RE-win mine), and a whole hell of a lot of adults as well, if he does this.

The time is now, right now, in this election cycle.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #24)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:48 PM

58. word.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #24)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:42 PM

81. You are seriously insane.

The Youth Vote is more concerned about jobs than joints. The Adult Vote is more concerned about jobs than joints.

A two-pronged attack will be very effective:

Prong 1: We the Democratic Party will invest in infrastructure, education and reform. These things work to create jobs. (Then lay out hard statistics on how many jobs were created by infrastructure spending under the last five or six Democratic presidents.)
Prong 2: The Republican Party's strategy of austerity will cost jobs. (Then lay out hard statistics on job losses in every country that has tried austerity...which will confirm Einstein's assertion that insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results.)

Once Obama has ridden the Jobs Train to reelection, he can look at medical marijuana.

Let me ask a serious question: which is better here, to wait until after the election and then reschedule marijuana to Schedule III, or to reschedule it now, let Romney win the election after running "school baked sale" attack ads, and watch it get reset to Schedule I on January 20? (And trust me on this: that fuckhead would bring the executive order reinstating weed on Schedule I to the inaugural with him and sign it there.)

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri May 4, 2012, 11:45 PM

5. If reclassification is within his purview, why not?


Nothing's more off-base about mj policy than categorizing it with lethal, addictive substances like heroin. It's also a bit hard to swallow that all the sudden IRS & DOJ pressure is without his input.

I'd still be very surprised to see it. This is not a team to rile corporate powers-that-be with election on the line.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #5)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:49 PM

75. we'd all be surprised to see it b/c we've been conditioned to believe nothing can be done

It's the way it always goes. Right up until it's inevitable the common wisdom is that it's impossible.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #5)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:51 PM

76. I think this would be one reason why.

I think the talking point would be that rescheduling it keeps it illegal while lowering the penalties, raising demand, and giving fledgling crime networks a low-risk way to enter the business.

I personally think that legalizing marijuana at the federal level and leaving it to the states, taxing the hell out of it every step of the way, and using the revenue to treat other drug use as a public health problem in addition to a law enforcement problem is the solution most likely to produce a positive result. But nobody is asking me!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:08 AM

10. He should DEclassify it.

We social users don't want to have to go to a doctor and get a 'scrip to buy weed. That's silly.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:11 AM

11. k&r n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:19 AM

12. WILL NOT happen before elections. Probably won't happen after.

 

And that's my official Speck Tater® iron-clad bonded and guaranteed prediction of the day.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:21 AM

13. K&R!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:32 AM

14. Good luck getting people to admit that (n/t)

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:41 AM

15. you expect leadership on this issue? what have you been smoking lol nt

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:51 AM

16. Arguments like this make me laugh. Remember DADT and the way President Obama's

most ardent supporters defended him by saying "he can't fix this with a swipe of his pen"? That it was settled law and ONLY Congress could do it?

Who takes credit for the repeal of DADT today? President Obama. The ONLY thing he did though was sign the bill.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #16)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:42 AM

30. All he did was sign? A bill does not become law unless a President signs it

With those exceptions about the end of the session.

Those who think the Presidency is so "powerful" need to recognize this. Obama had the power to veto the bill.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:19 AM

17. I'm not so sure about....

Republicans not supporting legalization of weed...the older generation wingnuts yes, but most 'pubs my age or 30ish are for legalizing it and sin taxing it...at least the ones I know....

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Response to rppper (Reply #17)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:58 PM

83. it's a "freedom" issue for them. it's one of the attractions of Ron Paul for many

young people. And that's a real shame that our party lets someone like RP get traction with MJ. we need to take this off the table.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 07:54 AM

20. This Has To Be Corrected By Legislative...

Once again all the problems in the world can be done away with via an Executive Order. It's always intoxicating when it's your guy or party in power. It's even more inviting when your faced with an obstinate and obstructionist legislative, just sign an order and the Constitution be damned...agendas must be served. The irony is some who want President Obama to rule by fiat would be aghast when Executive orders were flying right and left by the previous regime.

Just as we're seeing with the change in attitudes and laws about gay marriage, the same is occuring with marijuana. The states are getting bolder and bolder with decriminalization laws but the federal hasn't caught wind. A lot has had to do with the lobbying pressures of a variety of interest groups from big pharma to the liquor industry that trumps opinion polls and will continue to do so until pro MMJ and decriminalization groups get their acts together and help elect more legislators who favor their cause. Time is the avenger here as the "reefer madness" generation passes from the political scene.

As others have pointed out...right now it's a liability to make this an issue that the rushpublicans would love to distort. It makes a perfect distraction for them from having to present their own real proposals. The time is now for groups like NORML to up the political ante and help win elections on the legislative level that would make passing laws a lot easier and no need for an executive order. Also what can be ordered can be recinded...

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #20)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:39 AM

21. The DEA was created "by fiat" Executive Order in 1973, by your reasoning it could be rescinded

But no one is asking for that.

Obama has no problem with issuing order when it comes to other issues -- it's what leaders do.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #20)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:36 PM

47. You're wrong.

this issue has several avenues to provide corrections at one level or another to move forward from the right wing attack on liberal voters that was the entire reason for these schedules in the first place.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:03 AM

25. Where are the millions of people demanding nonstop that this happen?

Hundreds at a rally, maybe thousands today during 'Million Marijuana March' -and for one day only.

Until the people demand this, it will not happen. The vast majority of Americans do not care about marijuana. I would hazard a guess that the majority feels as I do, that decriminalization is badly needed. But other than that? Most people just don't care.

On edit:
And you're conflating medical marijuana in your subject line with declassification in the text. Those are really two different things because medical marijuana is available, albeit under limited circumstances.

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:59 AM

32. the rescheduling would affect both medical uses and criminalization

you would not send a young person to prison for possessing anabolic steroids. There's rules for using them, and you cannot sell them on the street, but it's not considered a felony to possess these substances, b/c the lower schedule puts them in a different category.

Here's a graphical representation of the corner being turned:

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:41 PM

48. The millions of people have voted to change the law

Last edited Sat May 5, 2012, 08:42 PM - Edit history (1)

Are you really so oblivious to what is happening that you're unaware that DC and 17 states (nearly 18) have passed laws that indicate the drug schedule is incorrect?

And another dozen have legislation on the docket to overturn this bad policy?

PEOPLE HAVE DEMANDED THIS.

Only someone determined to remain ignorant to reality would try to claim that people have not demanded change on this issue.

That's 32 out of 50 states that either have or intend to undo this bad policy. Among the 17 states that have changed their laws, there are MILLIONS of people who have worked and voted to make that happen.

So, honestly, this is one of the most ignorant statements I have read about this issue - if only people did something to indicate support - well, what in the fuck do you think has been going on for 20 fucking years, if not that.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #48)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:50 PM

49. Oh, please.

I'm more of an 'etch-a-sketch' than Romney but by that I mean I will readily change my mind on an issue if I think a counterpoint has merit.

But I don't see any sustained pressure being brought to bear on this issue. If you say it's been going on for 20 years, then obviously something is not being done right.

On edit:
People have demanded this, you say. Votes have been taken but I don't see the 'demand' part of it.

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Response to randome (Reply #49)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:06 PM

50. Wow. You are really uninformed about this issue

it's laughable that you are trying to defend your position.

go read up on the way in which medical marijuana became legal at the state level, first in CA in the 1990s, and how that whole campaign has spread across the United States in every state that allows initiatives on the ballot - and in states where people have been able to elect persons who are willing to bring bills to the legislature in their states.

You're simply being willfully ignorant to pretend that the millions of people who have voted for laws, those who have worked at the grassroots level on this issue across the nation do not indicate a demand.

You have no argument to make here.

Reality indicates your argument has no merit.

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Response to randome (Reply #49)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:12 PM

51. The reason this issue has taken so long to address

Is because of the right wing benefit to drug laws that remove liberals, both black and white, from the voter rolls. That's what prompted Nixon to start this bullshit in the first place - to punish his political enemies on the left.

There are very wealthy special interests that do not want the law to change. They include the alcoholic beverage industry and the petroleum industry (because of hemp-based products that could replace petrol-based products.)

These aren't the only two, but I don't want you to continue to sit around in that vat of ignorance you are stewing in that allows you to make ridiculous claims, by pretending this is not an issue that demonstrates how undemocratic processes in the U.S. have become.

You can look at polls (though I know you won't because, in the past, you have simply chosen to deny the overwhelming evidence from every single poll that indicates support for legal, not decriminalized, medical marijuana at the least.)

What does that say about you - that you deny reality in order to support your belief? Because that is what you have done on this site since the moment I saw a post from you here regarding this issue.

What do you have to say that has any value or worth when you have demonstrated you choose willful ignorance over fact?

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Response to RainDog (Reply #51)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:40 PM

65. What I've always said.

Telling a pollster 'yes' on a poll is a lot different from bringing pressure to bear to actively change the laws.

I don't believe legalization will ever happen. You can cite all the studies and logic and reason you want, I don't see that people care that much about the issue.

People say they think the homeless should be better cared for but how many people actually campaign on their behalf? Not enough.

If you truly want legalization to occur, then the first step is to push for decriminalization. Legalization may follow after that. Or it may not.

But the reality as I see it is that pushing for both decriminalization and legalization at the same time is counterproductive.

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Response to randome (Reply #65)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:50 PM

69. So you choose to ignore actual voters for laws

and instead make a comment about polls.

you know, in the case of marijuana - people are not more likely to tell some anonymous person they support something illegal, right? Your claim is silly and you have NO EVIDENCE to support it - just your belief.

Where you CAN find EVIDENCE is at the level of state and local laws. You choose to ignore these, repeatedly.

However, the reality is that a near-majority of the voting population of the United States, at the level of the state, has voted to legalize medical marijuana. The reason the laws took so long to be implemented was because of the nasty-ass politicians in states who wanted to ignore the will of the people.

The evidence indicates that Americans are FAR, FAR AHEAD of politicians on this issue.

The evidence indicates that politicians have such CONTEMPT for the American people that they have worked to undermine laws that people have voted to pass.

That's the reality. It really doesn't matter what you think when the history of legislation on this issue shows you are wrong. But, see, this is the strange thing - you don't give a damn that evidence indicates you are wrong. You insist on repeating things that are clearly bullshit.

So, again, why do you bother to comment on this issue when your comments are demonstrably lies?

It's like arguing with a creationist.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #69)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:57 PM

71. Now you're gettin' nasty.

And surely you know I have no problem at all with medical marijuana. I suppose I drifted a bit from the original point of this thread but the thread quickly morphed into posts regarding the drug war and legalization in general.

I'm not 'lying' about anything, just offering my opinion.

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Response to randome (Reply #71)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:11 PM

72. I am talking about legal medical marijuana

that is what every post to you here, from me, has talked about.

The extension of that issue is legalized marijuana, in general, but you make claims about polls that are lies. The reason I and everyone else can see they are lies is because people have voted to legalize medical marijuana at the state level in 16, almost 17 states (waiting on the Senate vote in N.H.) and 16 more states have legislation pending.

The reality is that this fact indicates the polls that show support are more likely to be accurate than not.

So, again, your claim about polls cannot be supported by reality.

You are lying when you state an opinion that is demonstrably false and the evidence is there to show this. The only reason to continue to state such an opinion is because you don't want to accept reality.

It's absurd for you to argue this issue as you do, repeatedly, because it indicates you refuse to accept reality. That's called delusional thinking.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #72)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:16 PM

73. So...no birthday gift from you this year?

Okay, okay, I'll stop.

But like I said, I didn't realize we were talking about medical marijuana. I thought we were talking about legalization in general.

My bad.

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Response to randome (Reply #73)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:22 PM

74. read the title of this thread

Obama really could magically make the medical marijuana issue disappear.

YOU are the one who claimed this would become about the entire War on Drugs - not me, not the author of this thread.

Every answer to you from me has addressed medical marijuana.

If I could, I would buy you a clue for your birthday.

best wishes.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:40 AM

29. This is like DADT and the public option

About how the president is so powerful, he could just decree that something happen. Someone finds something somewhere and develops this theory - who knows if it would be wise for the President to use these magical powers. And who wants a President to have that? We'd be against it if it were a Republican. Funny when it's the same people who want to criticize Obama saying that we are OK with it so long as there is a D after his name. Well here is another example.

Legislatures should decide which drugs are illegal, not executives alone.

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Response to treestar (Reply #29)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:55 AM

31. Congress gave the president authority to reschedule controlled substances

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/811

And probably for good reason, that safe access to effective medicine should be granted by "executive" and administrative review of those with specialized knowledge and authority, rather than being subject to the 'tyranny of the majority.'

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #31)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:10 PM

33. Was the intent of Congress really to let the Executive Branch

arbitrarily have complete power over what substances are legal or illegal? This sounds like one of those trumped up "great ideas" of amateur legal analysts. Look I found this statute that gives the POTUS power with the stroke of a pen! He can use that. There was something of that in the budget debate too, I believe.

Imagine the headlines if Obama just did that. Somebody'd have an opposing argument. The People would be appalled to think the POTUS had that power, very possibly.

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Response to treestar (Reply #33)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:26 PM

37. yes, imagine the headlines: "Administrative action ends decades-long drug war"

"Private prisons cry foul: violent offenses create unsustainable economic model"

"Rescheduling attracts 'freedom voters' to Democratic Party"

"Border violence drops significantly as decriminalization undercuts cartel profits"

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #37)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:38 PM

41. You've heard of Fox News?

No, those wouldn't be the headlines.

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Response to treestar (Reply #41)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:46 PM

57. FOX is not the only news. And, there's nothing the Dems can or SHOULD do to court them.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #57)

Sun May 6, 2012, 10:12 AM

88. But the point is that it would be widely reported and used

to discredit our candidate. Legalized drugs!!!!!!!!!! Hell they call him a communist now. Wait until they call him a drug enabler.

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Response to treestar (Reply #33)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:21 PM

45. In 1988, a DEA Administrative Judge MADE THE RULING

Judge Francis Young oversaw TWO YEARS worth of hearings on this issue and the Judge's recommendation was to remove cannabis from schedule I (no doctor may prescribe) to schedule II (doctors may prescribe.)

http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

ONE PERSON, someone nominated to his position by Ronald Reagan, overturned the ruling. (John Lawn, who was Administrative Head of the DEA at that time.)

The Controlled Substances Act contains provisions that allows the DEA to remove something from the various drug schedules that does not require Congress - in fact, CONGRESS HAS LITTLE TO NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT DRUG SCHEDULES.

They created the Act to oversee the process. CONGRESS DOES NOT NEED TO BE INVOLVED, and rarely is involved.

So, honestly, your argument is ridiculous. Yes, Congress made the provision that others can reschedule drugs - that is, in fact, how resheduling hearings and petitions have commenced since the first one in 1975 on to the latest one. Congress has nothing to do with it.

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Response to treestar (Reply #29)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:11 PM

34. Except that it isn't. Drug scheduling is up to the AG. So is much of enforcement.

And the DOJ is part of the Executive Branch, under the President. So, no, it's not up to the legislature. As for DADT, that's supposed to be a big Obama victory, right? Can't have it both ways.

USC › Title 21 › Chapter 13 › Subchapter I › Part B › § 811
PREVNEXT
21 USC § 811 - AUTHORITY AND CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFICATION OF SUBSTANCES

USC-prelim
US Code
Notes
Currency
Authorities (CFR)

This preliminary release may be subject to further revision before it is released again as a final version. As with other online versions of the Code, the U.S. Code Classification Tables should be consulted for the latest laws affecting the Code. Those using the USCPrelim should verify the text against the printed slip laws available from GPO (Government Printing Office), the laws as shown on THOMAS (a legislative service of the Library of Congress), and the final version of the Code when it becomes available.

Current through Pub. L. 112-90. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

(a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing
The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule—
(1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he—
(A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and
(B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) ofsection 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or
(2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/811


There is zero possibility that the huge surge in anti-pot enforcement by DOJ is occurring without the administration's support. Or, if so, the administration's own DOJ is defying its wishes, which would be indicative of an even larger problem.

The only similarity to this issue, the public option, and DADT is a desire to give the administration credit for making good policy happen, and exempt it from responsibility for bad policy. Policy is not a "magic wand." It's what we elect government leaders to do. The fact that it doesn't change all at once does not make it "magic." And in the case of marijuana policy, this administration not only not showing any signs of beginning to do the right thing, it is either condoning or encouraging the wrong thing.

It is our job as constituents to point that out.


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Response to DirkGently (Reply #34)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:14 PM

35. It reminds me of the budget one, people wanted to have the POTUS do something

That would certainly have raised eyebrows, because they thought they'd found some legal language somewhere that supported it.

That statute refers to "the requirements for inclusion" which are obviously to be interpreted. There's the Congressional intent behind the statute. Is there case law, and what do any regulations say? Obviously it would be a big deal to the People if they found the AG can make any substance legal because he wants to. So there is probably a lot more to this.

The problem with amateur legal analysis is that people think it is simple enough and spend five minutes on it when it should be five hours. Why doesn't Obama think he can just do this? He has good reason to hesitate.

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Response to treestar (Reply #35)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:28 PM

38. That line of reasoning might work if Obama was being thwarted somehow.


But he's not. The barriers are political, not legal. At the very, very, very least, the DOJ, and likely even the IRS harassment of dispensaries could be stopped. But instead, enforcement has picked up sharply during the administration. That's not coming from Congress.

It's one thing to say it would be too politically risky for the executive to make a sweeping legal change now. But it's simply not the case that the administration is supporting a healthier policy, but lacks the legal ability to do so.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #38)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:37 PM

40. Then he gets to choose what to enforce

To a degree. I recall the IRS getting stomped on for overdoing it - the IRS would have the power to harass everyone about little entries on their returns - they cut back on that.

There are some immigration laws the administration is going kinder and gentler on.

But if the administration chooses to enforce the dispensary laws, then they have that power. It may be Obama's opinion those laws need to be enforced. If a dispensary has power to dispense what is normally illegal in other circumstances, then it will be highly regulated and subject to abuse. So I don't see what's so horrid about it, or at least, why aren't the cases described better and why aren't both sides considered? Maybe the administration does have a good argument for enforcing this law (when they can enforce any law). I just won't jump on that bandwagon of "Obama is always wrong" when it comes to these things.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #38)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:36 PM

64. at this point it's too politically risky NOT to end the crackdown.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:30 PM

39. 100% correct, yet the administration speaks out of both sides of its mouth on this issue.

On one hand, the "official" position is that the Administration supports MMJ and the States right to decide, yet OTOH, the DOJ continually raids MMJ dispensaries for being contrary to Federal Law.

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Response to prefunk (Reply #39)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:45 PM

56. we're running out of hands :)

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:08 PM

44. Obama should fix everything.

That's what I would do.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:16 PM

52. He could, but he needs money from special interests that like the prison state.

The sensible thing to do is ramp up Federal interference in state legal dispensaries because his donors like it when people can't eat because of Chemo, like all the prisoners they get paid by the head for, like selling Marinal at 1000 times the cost with less effectiveness.

Why should he care about all those people that are sick in prison or otherwise have their lives ruined? We all know the issue is unimportant, lives don't matter, winning elections does, and that takes cash!

Cruel people with money are more important for his re-election, you understand.

We must support him in this no matter how many lives are ruined as long as those lives are the lives of the peasantry.
We are a team, and as a team we share the victory and the blame.

Go us!!

We all are choosing to keep it as class I, we all are fighting to do so, because we are required to support all things Obama!

It is the sensible thing to do, so let's just support him already OK?

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #52)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:25 PM

53. Mitt Romney's position is worse

Romney won't even admit there is a medical value to marijuana.

The Attn. Gen. from Utah felt the same way until he had to undergo chemotherapy. He didn't use medical marijuana himself but, because he was in a situation in which he knew the suffering that others experienced, he is no longer against the use of medical marijuana for chemo patients - because he saw its value for others, even if he didn't use it himself. I suppose he didn't want to break federal laws since he was an Attn Gen - how sad, honestly, that he had to endure suffering to uphold bad laws.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/12/utah-attorney-general-shurtleff-approves-of-medical-marijuana-after-battling-cancer/

Americans don't have a choice, at the federal level, of politicians who will do the right thing. Our system is SO CORRUPT that, unlike in the prohibition era, Americans cannot compel elected representatives to change bad laws, even when a majority supports the change - when science and medicine support this change.

Americans are forced to do battle with federal level corruption and incompetency and change bad laws from the ground up.

Republicans are not going to change the law and they're not going to be swayed by any arguments to change the law because their constituency, more than any other in this nation, is opposed to changes in the drug laws.

So, Democrats are the best that we have on this issue - even if they're not good enough.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #53)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:33 PM

54. Perhaps, we are nonetheless complicit in the ruined lives of many.

I feel we should be honest about this, WE chose the candidate that would allow suffering for political gain, our hands are not clean no matter how much hand ringing you indulge in.

We will never solve the problem by pointing out there are slightly more cruel men in the world, we might solve it by choosing candidates that are compassionate rather than just not quite as evil.

Own it like I do, WE ARE COMPLICIT, EVERY ONE OF US IN THIS PARTY and have been for quite some time before this candidate came around.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #54)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:45 PM

55. This is a ridiculous statement

That ignores the reality of governing.

By your reasoning, people who worked to get the Civil Rights Act passed in the 1960s were complicit in segregation and in preventing the bill from passage by voting for candidates who were better than the other option presented.

When people wanted to change the law and create prohibition - it took them 100 years to make that (bad) law happen. When people wanted to repeal prohibition, it took in inclusion of political groups in urban areas to push Democrats to move from support for "drys" to support for "wets" over many election cycles.

So, honestly, BULLSHIT. People work within the shitty system they have to make it better. That doesn't make them complicit. That makes them realists.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #55)

Sat May 5, 2012, 03:56 PM

59. You don't think we are responsible for the politicians we work hard to elect?

In this case it is far more simple than you would like to pretend, our candidate has the power right now to lesson raids against sick pot smokers but chooses the opposite instead, he can all on his own, re-schedule the damn thing but would rather please big money donors that make money off of this suffering.

We chose him,
We supported him,
We are largely responsible for him getting into office,

We are therefore responsible for the politician we put there.

It did not help us any that he made a pretense during his primary that he would at least stop going after cancer grannies.
We are not responsible for lies we have not told, but we are if we parrot those lies and pretend we are blameless.

I wish you all the best as you deny any and all responsibility, I know I have been complicit, I voted for him.
Perhaps you did not, in that case I apologize but would ask, "just who did you vote for"?

I will, Goddess help me, be forced to be responsible for yet more pain when I vote for him again, I just don't pretend I don't share the guilt of this tragedy.

I DO, and it makes me want to vomit.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #55)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:01 PM

60. you're ignoring the realities of being a citizen with interests beyond the personalities we elect...

This is an easy proof.

If we elect people who we believe will further our interests and support our issues.
Then we must work equally hard to insure they follow-through in supporting our interests and issues.

Otherwise we're just picking Coke or Pepsi. Political life is more complex and demands more involvement than retail transactions.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #60)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:05 PM

61. You'd think that would be axiomatic. But the allure of simplicity is strong.


None of us can afford to pick a brand or a candidate and stop there. If we don't push for our interests, corporate profit motives will happily pick up the slack. And we'll (continue) to have our policies selected by whichever lobbying group is willing to throw the most money at it.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #60)


Response to nashville_brook (Reply #60)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:40 PM

66. we are arguing for the same thing

but you are ignoring the issue of state-level political change as the impetus to force the federal govt to confront bad law - THAT is what has been effective - not any action at the federal level - since the 1990s - and before.

We have no candidate who will support the issue of medical marijuana or the end of prohibition in general at the Federal level. That's the reality.

The action is at the state and local level - and those actions, and those people are creating change. When 32 states have medical marijuana laws - is the federal govt going to continue to waste money to oppose something that those states support?

After a while, this tactic will become unsupportable - and this is the reality - those things have happened and will continue to happen no matter which party is in power at the federal level. Clinton opposed medical marijuana when the law was passed in CA and created whole new levels of bullshit to try to stop the law. The same has happened with Bush Jr. and Obama - tho Bush Jr. spent more time finding ways to torture people for terrorism than for medical marijuana.

You can try to argue this any way you like, but the truth is that change is happening whether the national Democratic party wants it or not and it will continue to happen and the best we can do is to contact people like Conyers to get H.B. 2306 out of committee and to support organizations that petition for rescheduling - and to tell the truth that neither party at the national level supports the will of the American people on this issue.

I would hope that Democrats would stop their ongoing lurch to the radical right and do the right thing - but I don't expect they will b/c history does not lead me to think that they will. Nevertheless, progress continues without them.

This is why I am not gung-ho about politics at the level of party. I care about issues. I vote for the party or candidate that will be more likely to create an atmosphere, if not the actual laws, that make other actions more likely. The talibornagains, who have control of the Republican party at this time, are not going to do anything to make this issue go forward and are far more likely to be worse for this issue based upon their stated beliefs.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #52)

Sat May 5, 2012, 06:34 PM

79. Some dark, cloudy day I'm going to read something you wrote that I can really argue against.

 

But apparently today is not it. +1 from another sarcastic SOB.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:44 PM

67. I would really go after this, but after the election

when he isn't trying to play to all sides…

I guess we will really know what Obama is all about when we see what he does when presidency is over…he is so young he could do a bunch more stuff.

I am really hoping he is more the volunteer type and not the get a million dollar job type...

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Response to marlakay (Reply #67)

Sat May 5, 2012, 04:52 PM

70. The joke is that people who worked to create these bad laws

are now working as lobbyists to change them.

and getting paid big money to do so.

This system is so corrupt it undermines people's faith in its processes working as they should.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 06:03 PM

77. Add another issue to your one issue screed.

There are many important issues to be decided in primaries and in November.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #77)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:40 PM

80. I don't think "one issue" or "screed" mean what you think they mean.

The OP is neither.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #77)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:57 PM

82. i love this new smear -- that any policy critique makes one a "single-issue voter."

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:11 PM

84. Obama is a conservative

Between the pot crackdown, domestic spying, gay marriage, the wars, guns, and so on, it should be pretty clear that the president is a social conservative. He's also pretty cowardly politically. So this is a nice thought, but completely out of the realm of possibility.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #87)

Sun May 6, 2012, 10:00 PM

89. differ on which part?

read the last highlight box and the comments and it's pretty clear that he's conservative. the ad is meant to bring liberals to the polls, and I think the president will win re-election, but if he continues the assault on public education and other Republican initiatives, the next four years are going to be a disaster

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:38 PM

85. Gary Johnson just gained the Libertarian Party nomination

I think he will cost Obama some votes among young voters b/c of Johnson's call to legalize marijuana.

I don't know if Obama will feel like he has to address this or not.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2012, 03:11 AM

86. I support the sentiment of this post but expect exactly zero movement

from President Obama on this issue. We're all voting for him anyway, so that takes the issue off the table from a political point of view. We'll get there eventually, to safe medical access and eventually recreational. But it seems like we are going to have to keep winning small victories for a while.

I'm holding out hope for the second term, but not really expecting anything.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

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