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Drug Policy in the 2012 Elections II: The Parties and the Presidential Race [FEATURE]

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #750)

As the 2012 election campaign enters its final weeks, all eyes are turning to the top of the ticket. While, according to the latest polls and electoral college projections, President Obama appears well-positioned to win reelection, the race is by no means a done deal, and there's a chance that marijuana policy could play a role -- especially in one key swing state, Colorado, where the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is running a popular and well-funded campaign to pass Amendment 64.

President Obama (
But other than that, marijuana policy in particular and drug policy in general do not appear likely to be big issues, at least between Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. That's because both candidates hold similar positions:

Both oppose marijuana legalization, which will also be on the ballot in Oregon, and Washington. Obama, while at least paying lip service to patient access to medical marijuana, which will be on the ballot in Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Montana, has presided over a Justice Department crackdown on medical marijuana distribution, while Romney appears irritated and uncomfortable even discussing the issue.

"With Obama, we've all been disappointed with the backtracking, although he also needs credit for the original Ogden memo and opening the gates to a wider proliferation of medical marijuana around the country," said Drug Policy Action head Ethan Nadelmann. "For the people most disappointed with that, the paradox is that Romney offers very little of promise."

That was illustrated by GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan's brief flirtation with medical marijuana. Last Friday, Ryan said medical marijuana was a states' rights issue. The comments came in Colorado, where the issue is hot.

"My personal positions on this issue have been let the states decide what to do with these things," he said in an interview with a local TV reporter. "This is something that is not a high priority of ours as to whether or not we go down the road on this issue. What I've always believed is the states should decideI personally don't agree with it, but this is something Coloradans have to decide for themselves."

But Ryan, who has a previous voting record opposing states rights to medical marijuana, did half a backtrack the next day, when one of his spokesmen explained that Ryan "agrees with Mitt Romney that marijuana should never be legalized."

Obama as president has supported increased drug war funding to Mexico and Central America, and Romney as candidate supports it as well. But his views are malleable. When running for the nomination in 2008, Romney suggested that spending on interdiction was a waste, and the money would be better spent on prevention here at home. Again, that is not so different from the Obama position which, rhetorically if not budgetarily, emphasizes treatment and prevention over interdiction and law enforcement.

The relative quiet around drug policy in the two campaigns is reflected in the Democratic platform and the Republican platform. There are only a handful of mentions of drugs or drug policy in the Democratic platform -- and the word "marijuana" doesn't appear at all -- all of them having to do with either combating international organized crime or touting the Obama administration's baby steps toward a slightly more progressive drug policy.

One of those progressive measures was overturning the federal ban on needle exchange funding, but the platform makes no mention or that or of the words "harm reduction." It does urge "supporting local prison-to-work programs and other initiatives to reduce recidivism, making citizens safer and saving the taxpayers money" and says the Democrats "will continue to fight inequalities in our criminal justice system," pointing to the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act as "reducing racial disparities in sentencing for drug crimes." The act actually addresses only crack cocaine sentencing.

While emphasizing their tough on crime positions, the Republican platform also takes some baby steps toward a more progressive drug policy. It calls for rehabilitation of prisoners and for drug courts, supporting state efforts to divert drug offenders to treatment, and it criticizes the federalization of criminal offenses. But the single most dramatic change in the Republican platform is that has eliminated what was in previous platforms an entire section on the war on drugs.

Just as with the candidates, the platforms give drug policy little time or space. In an election driven by the economy and the fires burning in the Middle East, the issue is going to get short shrift, especially when there is little daylight between the candidates on the platforms on the issue.

There are alternatives to the bipartisan drug policy consensus, but they remain on the margins. At least three third party candidates, Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, are calling for an end to the drug war and marijuana legalization, but they are all but shut out of presidential debates and media interest.

Mitt Romney (
Since there is little substantive difference in the drug policy positions of the two front-runners and since their positions on marijuana legalization put them at odds with half the country -- 50% now support legalization, according to the most recent Gallup poll -- neither candidate has much incentive to open his mouth on the issue. And they may be able to get away with it.

"Can the campaigns get away with not talking about marijuana?" Drug Policy Action head Ethan Nadelmann asked rhetorically. "That depends. First, will the question get popped at one of the debates? I don't know how to influence that. The second possibility will be if the candidates are obliged to answer a question somewhere, but I don't know how much they're taking questions -- their handlers are trying to keep them on message. The third possibility is that they will say something at private events, but who knows what gets said there?" he mused.

"They are certainly going to try not to talk about it," said Morgan Fox, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Given Romney's anger at a reporter for bringing up the issue and Obama's reluctance to address questions about marijuana policy in public forums, one can expect them to continue this behavior until forced to answer questions by the media or the public."

That leaves voters for whom marijuana reform is an important issue hanging out to dry.

"Unless one of the candidates sees an opportunity for a large boost in support by changing his position on marijuana policy, voters will be forced to choose between either third party candidates or the major party option that they think will do the least amount of damage to reform efforts going forward," said Fox. "If we consider Obama's behavior so far and Romney's staunch anti-marijuana statements (as well as the fact that he has never used it) it becomes a really difficult choice for voters."

Nadelmann begged to differ on that point.

"Romney has been more hostile on this issue than McCain or Bush or any Democratic candidates since Bush the Elder," he said. "He is visibly uncomfortable and even hostile regarding even the most modest drug policy reforms. Romney said if you want to legalize marijuana, you should vote for the other guy. That's very telling, with over 50% of independents and even more than 30% of Republicans supporting marijuana legalization. Why would Romney say that? The Obama campaign would have a hard time running with this, but someone else could."

Still, the lack of space between the major party candidates on the issue may leave an opening for Anderson or Johnson or Stein, Fox said.

"These candidates are the only ones offering real solutions to the quagmire of marijuana prohibition, or even taking definitive stances on the issue. The more they continue to draw public attention to marijuana reform while the major players stay silent, the more we can expect voters to pay attention to them and take them seriously," he predicted. "We can also expect their vocal support for reform to draw the attention of the major candidates and possibly elicit some sort of positive response from one or both of them. Whether that response will be sincere or simply lip-service to prevent third-party candidates from siphoning votes in key elections remains to be seen. However, even the latter would be a sign that the message is getting out and that politicians are at least starting to realize where the public stands on marijuana."

The one place where marijuana policy discussion may be unavoidable and where marijuana policy positions could influence the statewide electoral outcome is Colorado. Marijuana is a big issue in the state, not only because Amendment 64 is on the ballot, but also because of the ongoing war of attrition waged against dispensaries there by the DEA and the US Attorney. (The Colorado Patient Voters Project tracks federal activity against medical marijuana in the state, as does our own Medical Marijuana Update series, accessible with other relevant reporting in our medical marijuana archive section.)

Gary Johnson (
And it's a tight race where one third party candidate in particular, Gary Johnson, is making a strong run and exploiting his popular legalization position on marijuana. While the Real Clear Politics average of Colorado polls has Obama up 48.7% to Romney's 45.3%, the race tightens up when Johnson is included in the polls.

"I think Colorado is key," said Nadelmann. "It has the initiative and it's a swing state, and there is the possibility that Gary Johnson or the Green candidate could make a difference. The polling has been split, and the question with Gary Johnson is whether he draws more from Obama or Romney."

One recent poll may hold a clue. Among the polls included in the Real Clear Politics average is a new Public Policy Polling survey, which had Obama beating Romney 49% to 46%. But when the pollsters added Johnson to the mix, he got 5%, taking three points away from Obama, but only two from Romney, and leaving Obama with only a two-point lead, 46% to 44%.

This year's election results from Colorado could mark a historic point for the marijuana reform movement, and not just because of Amendment 64, said Fox.

"This is a state where we are really going to see the power of this issue as it relates to elections," he said. "This is possibly the first time that marijuana policy could affect the outcome of a presidential election. That just goes to show how far reformers have come in just a few short years. As public opinion in support of ending prohibition continues to grow, the paradigm is going to shift from politicians avoiding the issue at all cost or being knee-jerk reactionaries who want to appear 'tough on crime' to candidates addressing marijuana policy in a rational manner as a way to build support."

We'll see in a few weeks how this all shakes out, but before then, we'll be taking an in-depth look at pot politics in Colorado in the context of Amendment 64. Stay tuned.

Please read our last week's feature, overviewing the various state ballot initiatives: Drug Policy in the 2012 Elections I: The Initiatives.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


sicntired (not verified)

To give props to Obama for anything is such a stretch that it bears nothing but contempt.Obama misled several people into where they now face long prison sentences for just following what he promised.I know people don't want to take a chance on discouraging anyone from voting for Obama and the terrible fact is that that would be a huge mistake.It doesn't mean that any drug reformer should be an apologist for the most hypocritical President in recent memory.As for shifting votes away to third party candidates.What does it say when voting your conscience means supporting someone you despise?There is just no real choice for anyone who is opposed to prohibition and in favor of medical or legal cannabis.Or any progressive agenda of any kind.Both of these guys are wall street to the core.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 2:16am Permalink
TJLambert (not verified)

In reply to by sicntired (not verified)

I've had to say this to so many people lately that I'm sick of hearing myself say it, but here goes:

Obama hasn't misled anyone. Obama's position on cannabis has been the same for at least ten years now. He's in favor of, or at least open to, Decriminalization. While that's not really going to be the right policy -- The only way to TRULY decriminalize pot, as in 'get criminals out of it' is to legalize -- it's still a step in the right direction.

The fact is, no President all by himself is going to be able to change the law. The federal ban on cannabis is a federal law, and the only way a federal law is going to be changed is by Congress. There are bills which have been introduced to reduce or eliminate the federal penalties for pot, but they're being asphyxiated in committee. The committee chairmen won't let them out to even be voted on.

On the medical marijuana raids, people act like Obama's personally ordered them. He hasn't. The people making the raids happen are the DEA, the Department Of Justice (so-called), US Attorneys, and anti-pot people in the states. The President is not King, and he can't just order the DOJ to disregard the law.

The raids make me mad as hell, too. It also made me mad as hell when Obama laughed off the legalization question. I wish that he at least held the position that legalization was the way to go, because it is. But everybody acting like pot's illegal only because of Obama, insisting he lied about not interfering with medical marijuana, and thinking that any President could just issue a Proclamation, 'Pot Is Now Legal,' it's just not true, and it's not helping anything.

I'm not going to knock anybody for looking to a third-party alternative -- I myself have voted Libertarian and voted Green in the past. But it's worth remembering that it's just a fact of the 'winner-take-all' nature of our political system that we're going to have two major parties, and there's no way around the fact that, next January 20th, either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is going to be sworn in as President. And Romney's been quite clear; "If I'm elected President, you're not going to see legalized marijuana. I'm going to fight it tooth and nail." It's about the only thing on which he HAS been clear. 

I DO wish that Gary Johnson was more able to get the word out, that TV gave him more time for people to at least hear the message.

But, bear this in mind, too: At least as far as cannabis goes, more and more people are getting the message, and public opinion against the continued illegalization of pot IS changing. And what's going to get this law changed is when the people demand it. We all have to start leaning on lawmakers more. We have to vote for the measures in the states, cos that's where the wave of change is really going to start, That's what ended alcohol Prohibition 80 years ago.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 4:23am Permalink
Matt Buompensiero (not verified)

In reply to by TJLambert (not verified)

Obama has all the power in the world to publicly speak about marijuana. While I agree that he can't change the policy alone... although via an executive order he could have changed the class of marijuana from Schedule 1, thus putting the pressure on Congress to override him, and Congress' popularity rating is 10%... he could have sped up the public debate. Instead, he is doing everything he can to keep this terrible war away from the public spotlight. Also, don't forget Michele Obama's "Herp-a-derp, more of the same, I'm a wannabe Hillary Clinton, adore me NOW" comment regarding the War on Drugs. Yeah I added a bit of sarcasm to Michele's comment.

It's apparent we need to work on this "A vote for a third party is a wasted vote" sentiment. Nothing will change if voters keep falling for this. My solution is: From 2012-2016, there needs to be a "Both Parties Stink" movement in this country.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 3:58pm Permalink
TJLambert (not verified)

In reply to by Matt Buompensiero (not verified)

Well, first I want to be clear (In case I wasn't before), I don't consider a third-party vote a waste of a vote. But, if you have painful memories of the 2000 election (I can't be the only one who does), then you can understand that the 'pox on both their houses' sentiment can be downright destructive.

It's very frustrating, I know -- It's a frustration I share -- that 'third parties' can get but only so far, but it's just a fact of the 'winner-take-all' nature of the American political system that there's going to be two major parties. While neither party can claim 50% of the electorate, they're the ones who can get the closest. It would take an unprecedented political realignment for a 'third party' to come to the fore.

The last time there was a major political realignment in this country, it was when the South bolted from the Democratic Party in 1964, breaking from 80 years of voting solidly Democratic, when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act.  (Anybody points out that more Republicans than Democrats voted for it is missing this fact. Those then-Democrats became Republicans overnight.) Even then, the third party shift didn't take hold. The South went third-party in '68, before being wooed back to the GOP by the "southern strategy" in time to go for Nixon in '72. With only a couple of exceptions, they've stayed solidly 'Red' ever since.

Only if we completely made over the US government into a Parliamentary system (Like Canada's) could we get to a point where parties, unable to muster a clear majority, would HAVE to work together to get to an effective majority and get things done.  

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 6:24am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

In reply to by TJLambert (not verified)

This is one of the better posts I've seen here.  A lot of the marijuana people don't get it.  President Obama has not only done what he said by respecting medical marijuana patients, but allowed them to thrive.  When is the last time you read about an individual marijuana patient getting raided by the DEA?  Yet in the medical marijuana states there are thousands and thousands, if not millions, of patients growing their own and being respected because of the Ogden memo.

There have been casualties in the recent medical marijuana crackdown yes, but only large operations that borderline legitimate business.  So patients have been protected but business has not necessarily.  Anybody who thinks that a Romney is going to be as kind to marijuana people or patients is fooling themselves.  Romney would likely not only mop up the marijuana dispensaries, but most likely start going after patients.  Romney has said that he thinks marijuana should "never be legalized."  And his conservative religious views would also likely spur on his opposition to marijuana, not logic and reason.  President Obama has at least recognized the importance of using real science to establish policy.

Marijuana people would be fools not to vote for President Obama.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 9:40pm Permalink
TJLambert (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

And also, we've got to work to make Obama, and the lawmakers in Congress, understand what we (the growing majority) want to see happen, and why.

'WHAT Do We Want?' -- Simply put, an end to the Prohibition of cannabis.

'WHEN Do We Want It?' -- Well, about forty years ago would have been ideal, but I can't get anybody in 1972 to return my phone calls, so I can't warn them. NOW would be great, but we're not quite there right now (A fact I despise), but I really do see it happening sooner than a lot of people think. While the majority doesn't always get what they want in America, the movement into majority territory on this issue (Which only showed up in the numbers just last year) is a very hopeful sign of progress.

I'm going to pull another example from the tale of the Civil Rights Act here. LBJ, while he wanted to get that Act signed into law, he also told Martin Luther King 'Keep up the pressure. You've got to make me do this,' meaning that he knew that there had to be outside pressure on the government to support the action inside the government.

Or, an example from the end of Drink Prohibition in the 30s. There was, then, a growing consensus among the people that Prohibition was, A.) The wrong approach on Freedom and Liberty grounds, B.) Not working, and C.) Increasing crime, intensifying crime, feeding corruption, and getting people killed -- All of which sounds pretty familiar to us today. When the people turned against it, and the States began to turn against it, this was what provided the wave that helped FDR change it upon taking office (It was one of the things that helped FDR win).

One of the best things that can happen for us right now is that the people, in the states where anti-Prohibition measures are on the ballot, Register and VOTE to pass those measures. My friends in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, I'm lookin' at YOU! (And support the medical pot measures in the States where those are proposed, too!)

Remember what Frank Zappa said: "If You Don't Vote, Democracy Doesn't Work."  

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 7:14pm Permalink

Hey TJ,

It's a lot different than the the 1930s and Prohibition.  Today you have a huge economic infrastructure built up around the War on Drugs, the courts, lawyers, law enforcement, prison system, drug testing, drug counseling, etc., that would be almost impossible to dismantle because of the economic impact to the greater US economy.  They can't lay off a huge portion of government agencies and; and then tell the private anti-drug sectors of the economy that they were wrong and you are now out of business.  This is the major problem.  That is why I thing the Federal government has been grossly unreasonable when it comes to marijuana.  They are afraid of the shift.

I would suspect that at least one of the three states that have marijuana legalization on the ballet will pass.  But I suspect that the Federal government will put up a fight.  They will try to not let the state(s) implement their plans and they will be sending threatening letters.  It is about 50-50 if the particular state(s) sticks up for the people and challenges the Federal government.  If for example, Colorado wins 64, I think then Holder will send his letter.  If Colorado was smart they would sue the Federal government and challenge their contentions... and get the American people to rally behind the the particular 'free' state.  There is a huge huge economic impact with cannabis too, and this could be the prize for states that implement the will of the people instead of bowing to the Federal government without a legal fight.

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 9:19pm Permalink
Old_Cowboy (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

.Actually, it would not be as bad for the drug war establishment as the end of prohibition and even that wasn't that bad. Feds just went from busting barrels to busting tax evaders. The same thing would happen with marijuana. There would still be plenty of cocaine, amphetamine, heroin, etc. for the feds to play with in their little pens.  Don't think the feds would pass up the opportunity to tax weed.  As for the private biz, employers who test for weed now will go right on doing it.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 6:27pm Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by TJLambert (not verified)

he said he would be guided by science in making policy. He's shown nothing but contempt for science where cannabis is concerned. Any president showing a decent respect for science would have sent cannabis' schedule 1 status to the garbage can of history. It's a filthy lie that cannabis has no medicinal uses, and as president Obama is the leading advocate of that lie in the country. He stabbed us in the back.

Sun, 09/16/2012 - 12:52pm Permalink
Deborah Morgan (not verified)

In reply to by sicntired (not verified)


If there is one thing the news media loves, it's controversy for ratings. 

Call CNN. Call MSNBC. Call Fox News. If enough of us do it, they'll be compelled to listen.

The biggest boulder standing in the way of real change on the issue of marijuana law reform are We the Advocates. Sure, we do a great job of complaining on article comment boards and pro-marijuana forums, but we are preaching to the choir.

We are numbered in the tens of millions. Heck, even REPUBLICANS support marijuana law reform. So, why aren't we using the power of the media to pull our cause into focus? I call. Daily. Can you say the same?

Yes, they brush me off. They tell me they'll take the story into consideration. But if they were to get, say, THOUSANDS of calls a day, what would be their response?

We all do what we can to get the Neanderthals to join us in the 21st century... to get them to open their minds to mountains of scientific, economic, medical, and environmental evidence... to get them to see that alcohol and tobacco use cause a litany of problems while marijuana use is only detrimental when SMOKED (rather than eaten or vaporized) and because of the harm prohibition has caused.

But those whose minds are locked down tighter than Fort Knox are NOT going to budge until some flashy news anchors begin citing the facts. Because when that finally happens, millions will listen. And when THAT finally happens, political candidates will be forced to address it, whether they get irritated or not.

In the world of instant information we live in... Twitter, Facebook, CNN apps for smartphones, Reddit (that one was for YOU, Mr. Prez), Google Plus... this is something we can accomplish in time for the big presidential debates (as well as the V.P. debates so we can corner Paul Ryan on his recent vocal support and subsequent timid retraction).

There IS time. Can we make a difference in time for the election? 

Yes. We. Can.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 9:06am Permalink
Patent Lawyer (not verified)

In reply to by sicntired (not verified)

I would suggest you read it because Obama never promised to not raid dispensaries. In fact the memo clearly states exactly the kind of dispensaries they would raid.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 1:14pm Permalink
William Aiken (not verified)

On CNN's website, there's a forum to submit questions for the presidential debates. Obama's on-line town hall received more questions on legalizing marijuana than any other subject. If the same results occur on CNN's website, the right question(s) have a good chance of being asked. This is not just an issue of drug policy. The 10th amendment is at the heart of this issue. How the president would handle the passage of the initiatives in CO, WA, and OR reveals a lot on how he would govern. 

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 10:57am Permalink
David J. McDonough (not verified)

In reply to by William Aiken (not verified)

Ha. Just like the last time the bureaucracy under him will not let him. Last time "inappropriate" was the response. Do you really think it was the President that said that? You will get the same thing this time. BS.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 4:31pm Permalink
William Aiken (not verified)

In reply to by David J. McDonough (not verified)



I acknowledge  that a link from CNN isn't a huge mouthpiece to get our message out, however, it's there so why take an advantage of it? During Obama's on-line town hall meeting he chose not to ignore the most popular question which dealt with legalization of pot. If the CNN website produces similar results, there's a good chance that the issue of legalization will surface at the first debate in Denver. This debate will focus on domestic and social issues, so it's imperative that drug reformers flood CNN's website with questions that will force the candidates to explain there position on legalization. Here is the link, below. 

If Romney or Obama botches a question on legalization, it will be on record for the world to see. It's makes more sense to use the small vehicles available to the common voter to participate in the democratic process than to cynically dismiss them as BS. Had people taken a similar view to Obama's town hall meeting, he would have never even broached the subject.

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 10:08am Permalink
Malcolm (not verified)

Ending prohibition would greatly reduce, even almost eliminate, the market in illegal narcotics, cause a reduction in the number of users and addicts, greatly curtail drug related illness and deaths, reduce societal harm from problematic abusers, and bring about an enormous reduction in the presence and influence of organized crime. The people who use drugs are our own children, our brothers, our sisters, our parents, and our neighbors. By allowing all adults safe and controlled legal access to psychoactive substances, we will not only greatly reduce the dangers for both them and ourselves but also greatly minimize the possibility of 'peer-initiation' and sales to minors.

If you sincerely believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy then you can stop helping to enforce it. You are entitled—required even—to act according to your conscience! 

* It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict. 

* You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention before taking your seat on a jury.

* You are also not required to give a reason to the other jurors on your position when voting. Simply state that you find the accused not guilty!

* Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. If the Judge and the other jurors disapprove, too bad. There is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.


We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for: PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 12:44pm Permalink
Matt Buompensiero (not verified)

His pre-election comments concerning the War on Drugs and medical marijuana were clear and strong. "The War on Drugs is an utter failure" is one example, and him referring to federal interference on medical marijuana as "The War on the Sick" is another.

After his election, he became a giggling, dodgy drug warrior whose cabinet choices only cemented his unwillingness to have a rational discussion on drug-related issues. Worse yet, he cared so little that he let this Bush's bimbo Michele Leonhart run the DEA for at least four more years. He coldly rebuffed a young man concerned that his generation was saddled with these drug laws by saying, "The War won't end on my watch".

While I understand that Romney could be a very dangerous choice for drug reformers, maybe his totalitarian, Mormon-soaked hatred of marijuana might actually help spark a ton of controversy. I am voting for Gary Johnson, and urge every drug reformer to do the same.

The continued praise of any teensy-weensy little step Obama has made by NORML and other drug policy organizations makes me mad as hell. I once said that Obama is against medical marijuana, and NORML's Russ Belville called my statement "absurd". I think I'm even banned from posting on NORML's site. Continuing to support such small steps will result in medical marijuana never being federally recognized, and forget about the better option, full legalization.

You all do realize that "memo" in 2009 that made NORML swoon was issued because the country really was that broke, right? The second that they could get the money, the raids started again. Please tell me that everyone in high-level drug reform positions isn't that blind.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 1:55pm Permalink
Kurt (not verified)

You'll never see any change at the Federal level voting for Ds and Rs. They are implacably and unapologetically opposed to even participating in a conversation on rational drug policy. Obviously voting for Romney is counterproductive, but voting for Obama is perhaps even more so because doing so sends the message that there is no political cost to be paid for supporting the racist, harmful and irrational war on drugs.


No politician has any reason to listen to voters who will unconditionally support them. Voting for Obama is unambiguously a vote for a continuation of the failed policies of the past. Nothing changes until we make our support conditional on them listening to us. There are at least three solid third party presidents who all unabashedly support rational cannabis policy: Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson and Gary Johnson.  Vote for your choice, but whatever you do as a proponent of rational drug policy stop wasting your vote on legacy party candidates who are openly hostile to your cause. Doing so is stupid and self defeating. 

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 6:49pm Permalink
Kurt (not verified)

You'll never see any change at the Federal level voting for Ds and Rs. They are implacably and unapologetically opposed to even participating in a conversation on rational drug policy. Obviously voting for Romney is counterproductive, but voting for Obama is perhaps even more so because doing so sends the message that there is no political cost to be paid for supporting the racist, harmful and irrational war on drugs.


No politician has any reason to listen to voters who will unconditionally support them. Voting for Obama is unambiguously a vote for a continuation of the failed policies of the past. Nothing changes until we make our support conditional on them listening to us. There are at least three solid third party presidents who all unabashedly support rational cannabis policy: Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson and Gary Johnson.  Vote for your choice, but whatever you do as a proponent of rational drug policy stop wasting your vote on legacy party candidates who are openly hostile to your cause. Doing so is stupid and self defeating. 

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 6:50pm Permalink
Anon (not verified)

Any marijuana people that vote for Gary Johnson are just giving Romney more of a chance.  And Romney would most likely be far more against marijuana for his conservative political views as well as his strict Mormon religion than President Obama.

Marijuana consumers and patients would be fools to think that by voting third party that it is at least a protest vote and "sending a message" to the Republicans and Democrats. Romney would be a nightmare to marijuana law reform.  With the technology they have today, they could make the Reagan/Bush years look like a warm-up.

Help re-elect President Obama is the only logical choice for any marijuana consumer, advocate and or reformer.

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 10:01pm Permalink
Nemo (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

past few months. but that's to be expected from a DLC shill. Obama has effed over the cannabis community, and thinks we're dumb enough or desperate enough that he can pull the same stunt again? As if...

Obama had his chance. He suckered a lot of us, with his talk of 'science-based policy' and evidently still can. But he's lost my vote, forever, and no hair-splitting apologist ("He' didn't really say this, he meant that.") is going to convince me otherwise.

And, while we're at it, google the following:

Obama Clinton June 6 2008 Chantilly Virginia

then google:

Romney June 6 2012 Chantilly Virginia

When candidates for public office have to go on bended knee, hat-in-hand, to the wealthiest, most powerful people on the planet to be elected, and it happens with 'both' Parties, then all you're getting is Hobson's Choice, which is no choice at all. Why keep playing with a stacked deck?

Romney or Obama, still the same 'Two(?) Party' jackboot on our necks. Lick it all you want, but none for me, thanks.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 9:08am Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

no brainer for me. If I did live in a swing state, I might have to really, really hold my nose and vote to stop Romney, his policies and personality both really rub me the wrong way. And he's more of a cannabis hater than Obama.

 I like more about Gary Johnson than his views on weed and other illegal drugs. As someone who started a business on his own and grew it to decent size (as opposed to born on 3rd base vulture capitalist Romney), and who slashed unnecessary government spending as a governor, he has a more useful resume than Obama or Romney for these times of chronic economic weakness and out of control federal deficits. And he's more of a social libertarian than the other prominent anti-prohibition politician, who isn't going to be on the ballot in any case.

Go Gary Johnson!

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 1:43am Permalink
MenaceMotors (not verified)

"President Obama appears well-positioned to win reelection..." You are wrong again, just look at the latest news headlines regarding how he and his administration botched the intel on 9/11/12 . Four innocent people are dead. How many American lives. need to be lost until you wake up. This nation needs a real leader and not a Soros puppet. He apologized everywhere after getting elected to the world and look what it has gotten us. Shame on you Mister President and Hillary. You have failed this nation. We The People will speak clearly come this November election.
Fri, 09/14/2012 - 8:26am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

In reply to by MenaceMotors (not verified)

This "MenaceMotors" cat is a TROLL.  I've seen this creatures work before on other sites.  He must be working for the Romney team.  Hey Troll, OTO - pots ruoy esnesnonUoy gnieil tihs gab.

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 9:41am Permalink
MenaceMotors (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

You were fooled once in 2008 and by your lack of intelligence, you will be Fooled Once Again here in 2012. A person must earn respect, a title doesn't give you any. Pick up a book inbicile, and read something except for the back of a cereal box. You are part of the problem as we All can see by your childlike comments. Time to grow up and wear big boy pants. You are living in a dream world. Names won't deter me in saying what I feel. That's part of what America great. Obbummer doesn't understand that since he is trying to destroy it. It must be a age thing. No grown adult would throw your ugly words via a computer to another. My argument has been made through out these boards, it's MY OPINION AND I AM ENTITLED TO IT. it's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. You and your childlike behavior won't stop any real GOD FEARING AMERICAN from saying THE TRUTH. So go ahead baby troll. Go to your local library and pick out a book a educate your mind. That's where I'm off to today.
Sat, 09/15/2012 - 6:02am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

This website and people like Scott Morgan are responsible for swaying marijuana consumers away from the President, and making the whole MMJ crackdown out like it is a war on people.  When in fact the whole MMJ crackdown has been directed at businesses AND NOT patients.  Patients have been free to grow their own.  Vote for Romney and you will get a War on Drugs, WWIII, and a fleecing by the super rich.  Go for it you religious freak. 

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 10:52am Permalink
MenaceMotors (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

It's plain to see that your mind is clouded by that last remark regarding business only being targeted by Obbummer. Hey Rocket Scientist, How does business stay open when they are getting raided by the Obbummer govt goons of the DEA Ask Harborside if they have that warm feeling for the Obummer raids.. The Drug War is futile. So by you defending Obbummer, you are in turn defending the raids against the MMJ clinics (businesses ). makes no sence to me. Defend a liar while he SLOWLY stabs you in the back. Just admit it, you were wrong when voted for him in 2008. I knew far better then to trust him. Well, you can lat least say he earned his NOBEL PEACE PRIZE ....NOT !!!
Sat, 09/15/2012 - 11:11am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

In reply to by MenaceMotors (not verified)

This is a lot of fun!  Okay my troll friend, how will voting for Romney be better off for marijuana consumers and patients?  Please demonstrate how a Romney will likely handle MMJ?  Please, oh please thou art great man of wisdom, who would be better for marijuana reform, President Obama or Romney?  Please give examples with links.  Then great 'Master'  I will believe you.

The truth of the matter is this, it is plain as day that a conservative politician who practices a strict religion, Mormonism, already has a hardon for marijuana and MMJ.  Choom gan-O has proven to be sympathetic to patients with the Ogden memo.  This can NOT be denied.  There are millions of patients you maroon who have been protected.  And then you make out like a few hundred entrepreneurs; who by the way knew the risks and made money while it lasted, is the whole MMJ enchilada.  This is a distortion of the truth, Period. 

Wake up marijuana America, President Obama has been our friend. 

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 7:50pm Permalink
menacemotors@g… (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

You are in the DEA and love this ESCALATED DRUG WAR HE HAS CREATED. Wrong again baby troll. Now be a good boy and do what Obbummer says....and not what HE DOES. Boy are you a MINDLESS SHEEP! You gave him 4 years and now it's time for someone else. Let's just call it was this past four years have been all summed up in a neat little package even a baby troll like you can understand. THE EXPIREMENT OBBBUMMER HAS TRIED....HAS FAILED. NOTHING, NOTHING GOOD HAS COME FROM THIS FAILED ADMINISTRATION. WE ARE WORSE OFF. PERIOD. I am a MULTI ISSUE INFORMED VOTER, who sees through this his farce. Come this November election MILLIONS OF AMERICANS will choose the RIGHT PATH.
Sun, 09/16/2012 - 7:39am Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

If you want to respect people who don't have a shred of respect for you, that's your business. In my book, respect is a two way street. There are other options besides voting for alcohol supremacist thug #1 or alcohol supremacist thug #2.

Sun, 09/16/2012 - 4:17pm Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

If you want to respect people who don't have a shred of respect for you, that's your business. In my book, respect is a two way street. There are other options besides voting for alcohol supremacist thug #1 or alcohol supremacist thug #2.

Sun, 09/16/2012 - 4:17pm Permalink
MenaceMotors (not verified)

Vote for Romney and you will get a War on Drugs, WWIII, and a fleecing by the super rich....Well again Rocket Scientist you mis spoke. Under Obbummer we currently have a War on Drugs, on the brink of WW3 and I'm paying over 4 dollars at the Gas Pump. So, by this you can justify given Obbummer 4 more years??? As Charleton Heston once said in a movie, " It's a Madhouse, a Madhouse. ".
Sat, 09/15/2012 - 11:41am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

In reply to by MenaceMotors (not verified)

Yes motor-mouth we still have a WOD with President Obama.  But this has been going on for decades.  As you must know the trend has been nothing less than a psyop to scare the public about drugs, in so much that people were afraid to talk about marijuana for fear of persecution from the government.  The mind control worked for many years, but thanks to the Internet things are softening.  The marijuana consumers in the 70s would never believe it at the time that in just a few years, Reagan/Bust escalated the WOD like never before in history.  These people can do it again.  Even easier today with the technology.

With acts like Wiz Kalifa and Harold and Kummar you know we are living in a kinder gentler war on drugs with President Obama.  But that can easy change overnight if an ultra conservative religious nut decides he wants to attack the huge bank of marijuana patients, to solve budgetary issues with forfeiture bounties or hiding unemployment numbers by throwing people into prison, when he has decades and decades of anti-drug hardware and hysteria behind him.

There is no question that the world situation right now is on the edge.  President Obama has been handling the Netanyahu pressure to attack Iran very well.  I feel safer with President Obama not wanting to start a major war.  And anybody with at least half a brain knows that any major conflict with Iran includes Russia and China.  And then you have a WWIII senario, and it won't be a movie.  The key to world peace right now is not attacking Iran, period.  Let negotiations and sanctions work toward a more peaceful solution.  And that is why President Obama is better for the United States and the rest of the world.

Romney would follow Netanyahu into a disaster as Israel can't wait to pull the trigger.  Who are you kidding, troll?  Romney is a disaster for everybody except a few wealthy globalists who will hide in underground bunkers until they can come out and reclaim the earth for themselves.

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 8:43pm Permalink
menacemotors@g… (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

I think you should get up from your couch lock and see outside your mom and dads house and open your eyes to the whole world. You are living in a fantasy world with those statements of a " kindler gentle drug war" Are you old enough to vote? If you are old enough then Or are you just another hipster who never had a job, always in school, wears the latest fashions, owns the newest smartphone. You are the problem, the uneducated. You read Mother Jones to get your latest "news". You can't believe that someone would dare talk down about this clown Obbummer. He is Fake. He doesn't speak for I nor the millions of Americans he has screwed. Go back to sleep baby troll, dream heavy that in your clouded mind that all is well with Obbummer. Meanwhile the rest of us Grownups, will TAKE BACK AMERICA , this November Election. Middle America will produce the landslide victory for Change to making this nation great once again. You baby troll, can stay in your mom n dads house in the comfort of knowing that America is still Great. God fearing America, people who Want to Work ( not take a govt handout ) will change this nation back to the days of glory. I've made my case, shown my point of view, others if you have read them agree, WE AREN'T BETTER OFF, OBBUMMER HAS BEEN ONE OF THE WORST EVER HE LIES AND PATIENTS DIE !!!
Sun, 09/16/2012 - 6:56am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

Keep up the good work lunatic.  I'm getting bored with you because you reficul nos are like a broken record with the same shitty argument and rant.  Over and over again.  Spread your nonsense far and wide, please.  Keep posting this stuff, I command you.  OTO Your real master - morning star approves....

Sun, 09/16/2012 - 8:55am Permalink
Matt Buompensiero (not verified)

This is by no means a knee-jerk reaction, but I am being swayed by the anti-Romney arguments. I plan to barf a little in my mouth and vote Obama. While I still firmly believe that Obama misled people, I cannot ignore how dangerous Romney is. It's better for me to admit I was wrong now instead of later.

For the record, I am legally blind, Republican, and a practicing Christian.

With that being said, I strongly believe that the "Religious Right" is the #1 obstacle to a better
America. They have become so paranoid, inept, and corrupt that their message is lost in a sea of greed and hate. They believe that bad laws, fear-mongering, and shackles solve all the world's problems. They forgot that best way to reach people is to set a good example. Jesus was definitely not a Republican.

Romney is a flip-flopping, elitist, whiny, hostile, disconnected, tyrannical, Puritanical-yet-Snooki-loving, Mormon hypocrite. He doesn't have the guts to carpet bomb the Middle East anyways.

I truly believe Gary Johnson is the most qualified for the job, however I am not impressed with my dealings with the Libertarian Party. They are intent on running a "clean" campaign, when we all know that only controversy will get them exposure. I have contacted several members of the Libertarian Party in hopes of networking and becoming politically active. They are obviously disinterested in my "Both Parties Stink" approach. They kept telling me they would get me in contact with people with whom I could network, but a month has now passed. I now regret sending them a poster and a few songs/poems, and they better not use my material without my permission.

I do my political research unlike most Americans. Over time, I simply cannot ignore the evidence... At some point I hope Americans can re-unite... but it won't happen in 2012. There is not enough controversy to sway voters away from the two-headed monster.

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 1:08pm Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Matt Buompensiero (not verified)

There's only about 10 states that are seriously in contention, the others are safe for one side of the duopoly or the other. If you don't live in one of those states, why not vote for the candidate you like the best?

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 11:26am Permalink

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