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RainDog

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74% of Voters, Across the Political Spectrum: Stop Interfering with State MMJ laws

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/republicans-state-medical-marijuana-laws_n_1519176.html?1337118069&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

Asked whether voters felt President Obama should respect the medical marijuana laws in these states, or use federal resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws, 74 percent of voters nationally said the president should respect state laws, 15 percent said he should prosecute in accordance with federal law and 11 percent weren't sure.

...Non-intervention polled well across parties and demographics, with 75 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents signaling their support for a hands-off federal approach to state medical marijuana laws. A full 75 percent of women stated they support states' rights when it comes to medical marijuana, which is somewhat surprising, given ample public polling in Colorado and California that suggests more women oppose legalization than men.

A non-intervention policy was also broadly supported across racial groups, with 73 percent of whites, 73 percent of Hispanics and 81 percent of blacks in favor, although polling for minorities may be less accurate: 71 percent of all respondents were white.

Respondents were interviewed nationwide from May 10 through May 14, 2012, by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. Eighty-five percent of respondents were 35 or older, and as a whole were split 48 percent male to 52 percent female.


Look at that! Americans can agree on something!

Colorado Runs Its First Legalize Marijuana Ad

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/10/colorado-marijuana-legalization-campaign-runs-first-tv-ad/

When have conservatives EVER been on the "right side of history?"



I'm not just talking about Republicans, either. I'm talking about social conservative Democrats.

I cannot think of one issue about which they have made the compelling argument for democracy in terms of economics, personal freedom, religious freedom... so WHY do so many people insist on modes of thought that they can look at, historically, and recognize that they're wrong?

Examples of Federal Agencies Targeting Legal State Level MMJ Activities

In Montana - the DEA was harassing a politician who indicated support for mmj.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/dea-investigates-montana-state-legislator-medical-marijuana-views-222007610.html

In California and other states, the DEA told state employees they could be charged with violation of federal law for implementing the states' policies as part of their jobs (the DoJ backed off on this after states protested, loudly.)

Agents armed with assault rifles and chainsaws raided Northstone Organics near Ukiah soon after the announcement, despite its sheriff's permit to grow medicinal pot.


and these actions have made local politicians less likely to permit dispensaries in their locales.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20111220/articles/111229947?p=2&tc=pg

In various states the IRS has threatened banks that allow dispensaries (no matter their location) to have bank accounts.

federal authorities have warned banks that handling receipts from marijuana sales remains illegal under federal law and could violate money-laundering laws.

The conflict is not isolated to Washington, one of 16 states — plus the District of Columbia — to allow therapeutic use of marijuana for certain patients.


This has nothing to do with violation of local ordinances. This has to do with the federal govt. attempting to stop the establishment of dispensaries at all from doing business in their states as legal entities - as they are under state law.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018103547_maribanking30m.html

Federal prosecutors in states with dispensaries have sent letters to landlords telling them that they face prison and seizure of their properties if they don't force dispensaries to close.

“This is not an idle threat. … What we’re trying to do is send a message as broadly as possible. … We are serious about enforcing federal law. … We are not just talking about it, but we are doing something about it. … Prosecuting marijuana cases is a higher priority now.” –statements of the US Attorneys for the four federal districts in California


- this is about enforcing FEDERAL law, not state law.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, at the federal level, said that someone's status as a mmj patient made that person ineligible to possess a firearm.

"Any person," bureau Assistant Director Arthur Herbert writes in the open letter to all gun sellers, "who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is ... prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition."


http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_19026921

Even tho the Supreme Court has already ruled that state law enforcement should implement the laws of the states, not the federal govt - i.e. the Federal Govt. cannot compel state law enforcement to enact its laws - they continue to use state law enforcement in these crackdowns.

“The actions taken today in California by our U.S. Attorneys and their (local) law enforcement partners are consistent with the Department’s commitment to enforcing existing federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), in all states,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole.


The state of Colorado does not have the same regulatory framework as the Federal Govt. and so the Federal Govt. is, again, applying its laws, rather than the state's, to shut down dispensaries.

On Sunday, 25 medical marijuana centers across Colorado closed their doors in response to a Department of Justice crackdown which did not appear rooted in state or local law, as the administration had previously promised it would be.

The Obama administration, through U.S. Attorney John Walsh, ordered the centers in March to either move, shut their businesses down, or face criminal charges because, according to Walsh, they were within 1,000 feet of a school.

Although nothing in Colorado's medical marijuana law specifies the distance between a shop and a school, the decision, like most such zoning matters, is left to local communities.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/medical-marijuana_n_1498694.html

In California, the oldest dispensary (a nonprofit) in the nation was raided and all the plants that had been inspected by the local sheriff that were also labeled for specific patients were torn out.

The argument, recently, to justify this thuggery on the part of the Federal Govt is that they did not make an arrest - but they can still make an arrest and they have harassed people who are working within the laws of their states.

Although our initial efforts in the Northern District focus on only certain marijuana stores, we will almost certainly be taking action against others. None are immune from action by the federal government.”


http://blog.norml.org/2011/10/07/federal-government-announces-escalation-of-its-war-on-cannabis/

-so, you see, the Federal agents themselves disagree with your claim that this is only about dispensaries that violate specific regulations.

In July of last year, the DEA said that marijuana had no medical use - which is an outright lie that the Obama administration supports. Leonhart said, "At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy."

Not only does this decision conflict with state laws... it also conflicts with a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the branch of the National Academy of Sciences charged with answering complex medical questions for Congress. Way back in 1999, the IOM said:

Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation; smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances.

Despite the issue of smoking marijuana, the IOM said that medical use of the drug is acceptable when other alternatives have failed.

In addition, in 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an investigational new drug application, or IND — which grants permission to study a drug with the goal of approving it for marketing if it is safe and effective — for Sativex, an inhalable marijuana-derived drug, which includes both THC and CBD, the main active components of cannabis. So, while one federal agency says the drug is too risky for use even under medical supervision, another is studying it for possible approval for marketing.

http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/11/u-s-rules-marijuana-has-no-medical-use-what-does-science-say/#ixzz1uKffzBR3

See, this issue comes down to RESCHEDULING and the bad law that is allowed to stand. Obama has indicated he has no desire to address the is bad law. HIS INACTION ALLOWS BAD LAW TO CONTINUE.

So, it doesn't, ultimately, matter if you want to argue that those raided were not in compliance - EVEN THO THIS IS NOT TRUE - because the reality is that this administration allows the continuation of unscientific policy to continue that allows the federal govt to interfere at all.

Four States have requested federal reclassification of marijuana

Those four states are: Colorado, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

fyi.

These requests were made in 2011.

Jimmy Kimmel Confronts President Obama re: MMJ

U.S. Supreme Court: Federal Law Does Not Pre-empt State MMJ Law

http://www.thedailychronic.net/2011/7350/supreme-court-state-medical-marijuana-laws-not-preempted-by-federal-law/

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a landmark decision today in which California state courts found that its medical marijuana law was not preempted by federal law. The state appellate court decision from November 28, 2007, ruled that “it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws.”

The case, involving Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove, was the result of a wrongful seizure of medical marijuana by local police in June 2005. Medical marijuana advocates hailed today’s decision as a huge victory in clarifying law enforcement’s obligation to uphold state law. Advocates assert that better adherence to state medical marijuana laws by local police will result in fewer needless arrests and seizures. In turn, this will allow for better implementation of medical marijuana laws not only in California, but in all states that have adopted such laws.

“It’s now settled that state law enforcement officers cannot arrest medical marijuana patients or seize their medicine simply because they prefer the contrary federal law,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy organization that represented the defendant Felix Kha in a case that the City of Garden Grove appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Perhaps, in the future local government will think twice about expending significant time and resources to defy a law that is overwhelmingly supported by the people of our state.”

“The source of local law enforcement’s resistance to upholding state law is an outdated, harmful federal policy with regard to medical marijuana,” said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. “This should send a message to the federal government that it’s time to establish a compassionate policy more consistent with the 13 states that have adopted medical marijuana laws.”

Obama's War on Medical Marijuana Ramps Up in Colorado

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/medical-marijuana_n_1498694.html



In its official party platform, the Colorado Democratic Party endorses the legalization of marijuana. In March, 56 percent of the Denver County Republican Assembly voted to support legal and regulated pot, a question which will be on the November ballot. And the state's Department of Revenue has announced it is seeking reclassification of marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe it as medical treatment.


Colorado's Dept. of Rev. joins the 42 members of the Washington State legislature who asked the Obama administration to reschedule cannabis in January of this year. With their announcement, they stated:

...it is clear that the long-standing classification of medical use of cannabis in the United States as an illegal Schedule I substance is fundamentally flawed and should be changed," the lawmakers wrote. "The federal government could quickly solve the issue if it were to reclassify cannabis for medical use from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug so that it can be prescribed, which we believe the petition provides substantiated peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support.

"The solution lies ultimately with the federal government," the letter reads. "We urge the DEA to initiate rulemaking proceedings to reclassify medical cannabis as a Schedule II drug so qualifying patients that follow state law may obtain the medication they need through the traditional and safe method of physician prescribing and pharmacy dispensing."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1170197


back to the original article link -

"I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation," Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett told Walsh in a recent letter. "The people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land use law.”

The push against the Colorado businesses and the patients they serve is just the latest in the Obama administration's bizarre action against a plant that was at one point a cultural flash point, but which now religious leader Pat Robertson says should be legal.

The timing is also curious given the upcoming November election. Colorado's nine electoral college votes are up for grabs, and Obama's path to reelection gets very steep without the state in his corner. The legalization amendment on the ballot in November could drive otherwise complacent voters to the polls, but they may not end up backing Obama. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is not ashamed to tout his support of pot legalization, threatening to syphon protest votes that otherwise would have gone to Obama.


READ THIS ARTICLE. It's full of good information. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/medical-marijuana_n_1498694.html

Public Policy Polling indicated Coloradans OVERWHELMINGLY favor legal medical marijuana.

Coloradans are even more strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, and they overwhelmingly believe it at least should be available for medical purposes. 49% think marijuana use should generally be legal, and 40% illegal. But explicitly for medical use, that rises to a 68-25 spread. Just five years ago, a referendum to legalize simple possession by people over 21 failed by 20 points. On the medical question, Democratic support rises from 64% for general use to 78%; Republicans rise from 30% to 50%, and independents from 54% to 75%.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2011/12/colorado-favors-gay-marriage-marijuana-use-loves-tebow.html


Obama is carrying out actions to please the reactionary right wing in this nation, not Democrats and not Independents. He did not tell the truth that his office has the capacity to request the DoJ deal with rescheduling. Instead, he pretended that only Congress can address this issue, when Congress left it to the DEA to schedule substances, not Congress.

Come on, Obama - you're on the wrong side of history and the voters who actually vote for you.

State of the States (and DC): medical marijuana laws (May 2012)

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002481

Total population of the U.S. (July 2011) - 311,591,917

States (and DC) with medical marijuana laws and their population numbers

Alaska 722,718

Arizona 6,482,505

California - pop. 37,691,912

Colorado 5,116,769

Connecticut (just passed!) 3,580,709

District of Columbia- pop. 617,996

Delaware 907,135

Hawaii 1,374,810

Maine 1,328,188

Michigan 9,876,187

Montana 998,199

Nevada 2,723,322

New Hampshire (pending Senate vote) 1,318,194

New Jersey- pop. 8,821,155

New Mexico 2,082,224

Oregon- pop. 3,871,859

Rhode Island 1,051,302

Vermont 626,431

Washington State- pop. 6,830,038


States with legislation pending to legalize medical marijuana:

Alabama
Idaho
Illinois
Kansas
Maryland
Massachusetts
Missouri
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania

State with pending legislation that amends current law but doesn't legalize

Kentucky

States whose medical marijuana bills failed in 2012
(these bills failed, for the most part, because they did not move out of committee and thus died at the end of legislative deadlines)

Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Mississippi
Oklahoma
Tennessee
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Drug czar flunks history and economics

Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: There are no good reasons to legalize marijuana.

You know, honestly, I wonder how this man can say this with a straight face, knowing current drug policy is among the MOST RACIST law in this land. It makes me want to vomit.

Or how he can say this knowing that economists think he's full of shit.

Or how he can say this knowing current laws have killed people who could benefit from marijuana as a secondary medicine for patients taking HIV drugs and undergoing chemotherapy.

Or how he can compare drugs with side effects like DEATH and physiological addiction when marijuana has NO LETHAL DOSE in its natural form and, if it is physically addicting, the consequences of withdrawal are less severe than coffee and last for a couple of days. His analogy is bullshit.

Or how he can say this knowing the history of alcohol prohibition.

Or how he can say this knowing that usage studies indicate legalization reduces use among teenagers.

(and if you want links to all this info, you can find them in the Drug Policy forum)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

via Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/02/drug-czar-there-are-no-good-reasons-to-legalize-marijuana/

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