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Obama Declares War on American Drug Users

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Speaking in Mexico today, President Obama embraced the exact hard-line drug war philosophy he rejected on the campaign trail:

Obama acknowledged that the United States shares responsibility for bloodshed and kidnappings in Mexico that have spilled across the border into the United States. Acknowledging that U.S. drug use fuels the cartels, Obama said, "I will not pretend this is Mexico's responsibility alone."

"We have a responsibility as well, we have to do our part," Obama said. He said the U.S. must crack down on drug use and the flow of weapons into Mexico. [AP]

Specifically, he said, "We have to crack down on drug use in our cities and towns," and while I've been accused at times of giving Obama too much credit when it comes to drug policy, there's just no silver lining in any of this. A crackdown is a crackdown. Anyone who talks that way is a full-blown drug warrior. He's always talked tough when it comes to Mexico, but this flat-out endorsement of busting drug users here at home is a new low.

Thus, Obama becomes a rather peculiar specimen as far as drug war politics are concerned. This is a guy who's talked about decriminalizing marijuana and "shifting the model" in the war on drugs, only to then take a step backwards after achieving enough to power to actually move those ideals forward in a meaningful way. Some have questioned his sincerity all along, but I don't. Drug policy reform just makes sense, so when I hear someone talking about it, I assume they understand the words coming out of their own mouth.

…which brings me to the tragic conclusion that Obama is doing all of this even though he knows it's wrong. Lives are being lost in a brutal and escalating war, while billions are being wasted away during an escalating economic meltdown, and he's opting to fan the flames rather than show real leadership. It's arguably even more disgraceful than what we've seen from our opponents in the past, because Obama bears the burden of knowing the truth.

Regardless of whatever the hell is going on in the President's head, it is just a fact that the American people have never been so sick of the war on drugs as they are this exact moment. There is a national dialogue about our drug policy taking place in the press on a daily basis, fueled to no small extent by Obama's own hypocrisy and intransigence. Determined though he may be to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors, Obama will not escape scrutiny as they did. That much is already clear.
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Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Damn him to hell and tear him a new asshole on the way

That's what I say.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

"...........Same as the old boss!!!"

"Change we can believe in!!"

The more things change the worse they get

Drug Warrior Obama's "change" is an escalation and militarization of much more of the same.

Once change Obama has been trying to make is, like too many of his changes, simply a change in the rhetoric. He and his crew have stopped using the terms 'drug war' and 'war on drugs'. Semantic manipulation of the public debate. He wants the aggression of the drug war but he does not want to be rhetorically associated with aggression.

So whenever I write about President Obama I try hard to refer to him as Drug Warrior Barack Obama. Since the internet distributes blog and forum content based on such reference identifiers, over time, The American online lexicon of Obama in searches should become ever more associated with him being a drug warrior.

So I encourage all reform 'online' activists to try to use the term "Drug Warrior President Barack Obama" or "President Obama, Drug Warrior". The more it gets used the more it will appear thanks to Google algorithms and usage weighted indexing of the internet.

What was it Lord Acton said?

Oh, yeah -- "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Malkavian's picture

and adding ...

...that if there's a pile of Absolute Power right over there you'll see a certain type of people acting like flies do with piles of shit.

The Press

Thank you for pointing this out. If only the larger press establishment would be so uniformly critical, right? I mean, they defile themselves and their charge by not reporting the truth about the drug prohibition and Obama's position...and to think this country started off bleeding a lot of blood for the right to have a free press to check harmful, idiotic policies! Honestly people, the proper policy on drugs is really not that hard to think through logically -- it kind of really Policy 101...legalize, regulate, tax, really is just that simple. I used to believe in Obama. I supported him with my money and time. He just doesn't seem to understand how important this issue is, how devastating is the impact of prohibition. I'm through with him and I'm sending a check to Stop the Drug War!

This is our call to action for 4/20

We can take this statement for face value and talk to our choir about how the President is again toeing the drug warrior line, or we can re-double our efforts to communicate our thoughts to the Administration.

I, for one will use this statement from President Obama to energize my friends and contacts to communicate to their politicians. This is the time for our movement to exercise our strength and political muscle that we have accumulated over the last ten years of growth.

In three days, thousands of our supporters will gather in parks across the country to "celebrate" the cause of marijuana legalization. I for one will be at the event in Denver and use the words of the president to ask people to join NORML, MPP, DRC, DPA and LEAP and work for change.

I did not start working on this issue thinking that it would be an easy job or that there would be a moment when the laws were suddenly changed. Ten years ago Kevin Zeese told me that it would be a twenty year fight and progress would be measured in baby steps.

There have been more stories in the mainstream media in the last month calling for the legalization of marijuana or calling for the issue to be debated than I have ever seen.

I will and I encourage anyone that reads this comment to keep working and double down your work and we will win. Remember a baby crawls, then walks, then and only then will the baby run.

Join my Facebook group: 4/20 is national write your congressman about Marijuana Reform day event

Join my Facebook Cause: Grassroots marijuana voters project

Everybody ask this together now:

Where would Obama be with a "youthful indiscretion" marijuana arrest on his record? To be realistic, change does not ever come from a bunch of martini-drinking elite with their pearl necklaces mingling at dignitary banquets on Capitol Hill. It comes from the people on the ground who decide one day you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet.

he obviously forgot about

he obviously forgot about his use...


I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Swan song

I hope he likes his SHORT tenure as President because I seriously doubt he'll have the same backing he had in the last election. While he openly lied to the masses to get elected, those masses are not the little old men and women who will quickly forget those lies. That community that he laughed at will remember and, no matter who runs against him, will garner the winning total. He seems to forget that we voted him in and we can just as easily vote him out. At this point, an 8-year Presidency is nothing more that an Obama "pipe dream."

I just find it interesting that he didn't see this coming. He's not stupid. But he sure is ignorant. I will now support, via votes and contacts, any and all voting and/or individuals who are against him. How's THAT for labeling me an "extremist?" Prepare to vote the turd out of office. It's our "right!"

The Audacity of False Hopes

Dallas Morning News March 15, 2009

A brief 3 segment looping animation of a quote of Drug Warrior President Barack Obama defining his War on Drugs policy.

Change You Wanted and Change You Got........Yea Right

Could you not see this coming? O well the fight goes on. For those who are already suffering wounds from the war and are 1st time non-violent offenders convicted of a federal felony, go to read and sign the petition that you will find there supporting HR 1529. A real 2nd chance bill currently languishing in the judiciary committee. There is hope but it is yet another battle to fight. Most wars have many "fronts." Perception is everything and the perception must be changed.

Some had a bad dream

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King, JR

Had more Americans listened to Martin Luther King in the selection of Barack Obama, rather than defiling King's dream by making the selection based on the superficiality of skin color, a lot more Americans might have voted for actual drug war reform candidates. There were at least three alternatives to Barack Obama but American liberals, progressives and starry eyed Democrats, 'just said no'.


Welcome back to the fight.


I'm not surprised to find you feeling smug over this, Pat. It's true that I have not condemned Obama as vigorously as you'd have liked, but everything I've ever said about him is right here on the site and it ain't exactly a lovefest.

Not smug

I take no joy from being right about these horrific outcomes.

You have tried to be a critical optimist and I don't fault you for that. I wish I could be the same way but reality long ago disabused me of any delusion of optimism about American politics. American politicians are authoritarian no matter what the majority wants. Or what is best for all.

Now maybe we can work together to rip these bastards the new one they so richly deserve.

"Obama betrayed me, waaah waaah waaah!"

Knock it off with the self-righteous indignation about how Obama betrayed you; he flubbed the decriminalization question at a presidential primary debate in 2007, so what makes you so surprised and shocked and appalled now?

This will most likely be a second term issue.

It's not right that only the issues with political capital get to be taken on right now, but the point is, you're going to be spinning your wheels if you're going to try and badger Obama with this right now. Focus your energy towards the states, especially medicinal, where it'll be much more effective, and by the second term, most likely there'll be not much more to lose.

Congress is the War on Drugs

Not the states or any single sub issue.

While the efforts in the states serve to show the depth of support for reform in the end no meaningful change can happen unless and until the United States Congress changes the federal drug laws. This will not happen without a debate at the federal level that includes our drug warrior president Barack Obama.

This war, in its entirety, is destroying lives and killing people. Being distracted to only medical pot and only the few states where change is currently possible neuters reform. A vast majority of the energy is diverted from the one place where change must happen.

If we reformers don't tell congress, NOW, that we disagree with Drug Warrior Obama the congress will not hear any views in opposition to Obama.

Your Democrat pandering advice may do the Democratic Party and Barack Obama a lot of good but it will do drug policy reform no good at all.





Arrogant Obama Sycophants

The only argument that you arrogant Obama sycophants have is to imitate Drug Warrior Obama in deriding and belittling drug reformers.

This issue is going to cost not only Obama but the Democratic Party millions of votes going forward. Obama has disillusioned millions of good Americans who sincerely wanted to believe in him. Now you Obama apologists come along and sneer at the sincerity of these American voters.

Democrat Americans who are angry with the drug warrior Obama should download voter registration forms, fill them out as Independent's Greens or Libertarians and change you political affiliation NOW!

The Democrats do not represent your social justice values. The Democrats do not reflect you antipathy to the war on drugs. So why should you allow the Democrats to misrepresent you vote?

Join a group that reflects and respects your anti drug war values. Become independent or a Green or a Libertarian.

Demos keep asking reformers to hold their breaths... DON'T STOP

If don't happen now, it may not happen. Right now the wind is blowing strong behind us and we need to keep the pressure on.


Now is the time to turn it up to the point where the congress won't have the luxury Obama took in this latest drug warrior declaration of civil war.

There are damn good national security, public safety, public health and social justice reasons for escalating the legalization debate. The Obama administration's foreclosing on the legalization debate before it is even joined will not look good to too many in congress if they see it incite enough anger among constituents.

Now is the best time.

Bull crap!

If you really believe that, I have a bridge in Scottsdale, AZ that I will sell you, cheap.

I found this comment over at the Agitator; Radley posted a link to something about this, and this freedomfan guy answered your excuse much better than I could have, so I'll just quote him:

#12 | freedomfan | April 16th, 2009 at 10:40 am

J, that’s the exact same thinking W Bush’s supporters used to tell me during his first term. I would ask them when they thought he was going to get around to some of the small-government, fiscal conservatism he campaigned on in 2000. I asked about the Medicare Modernization Act (which W had promoted as costing about $100 billion and had then immediately admitted would cost over $500 billion after it passed), and further federalization of education, and steel tariffs, and so on down the line. All I got was “He can’t spend all his political capital on controversial things in his first term. Wait until he gets re-elected.” When I mentioned that it seemed like he was blowing his ‘political capital’ by not doing the things he campaigned on doing, I got, basically, “Yeah, but War on Terror; Supreme Court Justices; Ooga, booga, booga.” Well, we all know how much of a fiscal conservative he turned out to be during the second term.

BTW, I used W as an example because he’s the most recent. We could do the same thing with Clinton supporters claiming he would revisit the causes he let go (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, drug policy rationalization, etc.) in his second term. Same with Bush senior (who rightly never got a second term to get his mind right on gun bans, tax increases, the ADA, massive environmental regulations, etc.) and Reagan (passed on his chance to eliminate several federal departments he had criticized when campaigning, eliminate draft registration, reform Socialist Insecurity, etc.).

There will always be some excuse for a politician to not do what he really should. The reality is that Obama may not get a second term and it’s simply irrational to expect that he is secretly planning to do all things his fans want him to do once “he doesn’t have to worry about re-election.” The best predictor for what he will really do is the pattern he is establishing now. That is the best data we are ever going to get on how Barack Obama will act as President. If he doesn’t do what he said now, that’s an indication we should vote him out, not re-elect him

The second term argument is a sham. If the President can’t stand up now, then we are suckers to think he will stand up later. Politicians always have some reason for not doing anything that would disrupt the status quo. I guess they’re the ultimate procrastinators. All talk, no action.

Whoever is president will expand government more than the previous guy. Debt will grow more than the previous guy. And, you will be less free. There will also be a “military action” that used to pass as war. More Keynes. More socialism.

No, I don’t care who is president. Why would a president want change? They know exactly the game that made them happy before and got them elected to the office…why change?

This prediction will be true until there is an actual revolution in the US.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Political Capital Explored Further (also shorter)

Other Alternatives

There is another way to approach this issue, it is called Jury Nullification.Jurors have the right not only to decide the facts in the case, but the law itself as well. Under our Constitution, if there is no loss, (injury or property) there is no crime. Jurors have the right to ignore the judges instructions based on their own beleifs.

This book (free download) is written in plain english (not lawyer gibberish) and is simple to understand. It explains the jurors rights with complete historical record by our founding fathers as well as court cases establishing these rights. Remember that the Jury is supposed to be a safety net between a defendant and a tyrannical government run amok. Time for us to step up to the plate and get ON juries (not try to stay off of them). A juror (you) has more power than the judge,all of the congress and the president in the courtroom. All it takes is one vote of not guilty to hang the jury. If they (government) cannot get convictions, they will have no choice but to change the laws.
I urge you all to download a copy of the book and read it. Know your rights and exercise them. Once you understand those rights, teach your friends, neighbors and relatives the rights afforded to them by our Constitution and our founding fathers.
Knowledge is Power. No knowledge is power.
Let's all get together and fight the good fight on multiple levels. Good luck in your endeavors!

420 rallies are only good for pot reformers

Its very limited and has a jaundiced reputation in the American media.

Reform absolutely requires a show of force that cannot be marginalized or denied with dismissive put downs by politicians like Drug Warrior Obama. We need to be out in the street in large enough numbers and in unequivocal opposition to the drug war as a whole. This would put reform in the faces of congress and the drug warrior President Barack Obama.





Obama is now a "race traitor."

Since drug war prosecutions in America are arguably weighted against African-Americans our DWIC (drug warrior in-chief) has just endorsed the racist application of our ridiculous drug laws against his own people. That's a race traitor. Just more change that he lied about I guess. No surprise actually.

Having Lived 45 Years in Arizona

Obama is a globalist and an appeaser. Has not that been made clear during the G-20, bowing to the Saudi king, and such. Mexico is one of the richest countries in the world, both with it's oil and hard drug sales. The Mexican government is in bed with those cartels - and I would check those claimed 'deaths" in Mexico, since the Mexican government will lie, cheat and steal to get Americanos dollars.

Decriminalization is one thing. Legalizing marijuana (non-addictive, and with medicinal benefits) is something else again. But decriminalizing sales of hard core drugs for other than personal use is something else again. Those dealers that are affiliated with those cartels market to the young primarily, in order to "hook" potential customers for life, in front of local high schools and middle schools. Those drug monies are feeding Mexico's economy, and they are not about to give up those profits. If those cartels were truly getting their guns from the U.S., and the government was truly in a war to stop them - don't you think Mexico also would be screaming for the border fencing in order to contain the problem, and also to stop the flow of profits and guns? No, mark my words, as those cartels grow stronger and our economy worsens due to feeding the likes of Mexico and Israel, watch those Black Hawks Hillary just promised them be used against the U.S. and quite possibly we stand to lose the Southwest if this continues.

This foreign aid is nothing more than paying blackmail to Mexico, and the bulk of those monies will not trickle down to the "war" on drugs in their country at all, after the federal officials get their share of that foreign aid.

This is a corrupted country, and prints and send maps for its poor to the U.S. in order to also get some of those Americanos dollars.

Obama works for the bankers - and the further they get us in debt, the more interest they make on that debt. Obama and Bush are one in the same - simply lackeys for the bankers - as are all on the Hill for their own survival and illusions of power.

The real war we will have is coming up in the no so distant future. And all those whose allegiance is to Mexico, or the drug business are actually costing more and more Arizonans and Americans their lives and property each and every day. Legalizing the sale of hard core drugs will not stop the problem - those cartels will still fight over territory and get their product to market and merely then concentrate even more so on young children than they already do.

We need the fencing up pronto in order to stop the trafficking, auto and property thieves which also result in our high insurance rates now throughout the country which are increasing every year due to the increase in crime these hard core drugs directly and indirectly are responsible for. An addict will do anything to get a fix - anything.



Knows Too Well

Obama knows the contitution better than most, that is why he is using international treaties to circumvent it and the congress completely. As with most LIARS, he is quite shrewed in his approach. Read my other post above for a alternative way of fighting our corrupt vipers in D.C.

Knowlede IS Power, No knowlege is....NO POWER

Hey Scott

Please watch 1:06 of this video, just in case you were parking your Unicorn and missed it.


I don't understand

Janet Napolitano says no to legalization. What does that have to do with my unicorn? And since when do I have a unicorn anyway?

Let me explain

People that live in the Land of Make Believe ride Unicorns.
Janet Napolitano says no to legalization, because your Saviour, her Boss, has told her to say no to legalization.

you need anything else, hollar.


Re: Let me explain

Robert, what specifically is it that I've said about Obama that is provoking all this hyperbole from you? "Your Savior..."? Show me something I've written that could reasonably be characterized as making Obama my savior. Everything I've ever said about him is right here.

I'm astonished that after the series of posts I've written attacking Obama over his opposition to legalization, you would come in here and try to surprise me with the news that Janet Napolitano is opposed to legalization. What do you want from me?

That's right Scott!

Where do these guys get of saying you call Obama savior? I guess because you don't want to riot in the streets, you are a pussy!? What I have noticed, on the months I have been on here, are that there are some on both extremes, that sound insane, at times. Being optimistic is far from claiming Obama as your savior! Do these guys think they garner support by attacking you and the site? Keep up the good work.

aahpat-are you picketing your county courthouse regularly?

If not, why not? Gotta start somewhere, and it would increase the credibility of your calls for mass protest. You know what they say- think globally, act locally. What are you waiting for?
As for your insults towards reformers who don't agree with you, I'll just try to ignore them, and save my venom for the alcohol supremacists.
Most of the action is in the states at this point, not at the federal level, in my view.

If you would actually read what I write

You would see that I have been pushing organizations to start public protests campaigns. For advocacy against an authoritarian government organizational cover is an absolute necessity. Anyone out on the street without organizational cover is fair game for police and prosecutors.

For years I have been face to face confronting politicians on the campaign trail. I not only write to the politicians regularly but I get letters published almost monthly confronting politicians about the drug war. (I have a letter approved at my local paper now that is in the cue for publication.) And i maintain web pages and a blog to excoriate politicians and offer Americans alternative perspectives and new arguments to help carry the reform effort forward.

At least I have the balls to put my name to what I advocate. While you anonymously snipe at me. what do you do beyond parroting the Drug Warrior Obama thuggery tactic of belittling people you cannot refute.

Then you don't understand American government

"Most of the action is in the states at this point, not at the federal level, in my view."

The states can't act without the federal government. Sure its not supposed to be that way but it is. The accumulated change in the states helps to push the federal government only to a point. Eventually critical mass on the streets must kick in motivated by the successes in the states.

In America's political system the state action leads inexorably to federal action. It is long past time that reform organizations now make the federal action a priority. LEAP has been doing it for a couple of years and they have the congress ripe for change. They need to have masses of people in the streets to punctuate the good work that they have been doing lobbying the congress on a daily basis.

It All Depends on What Obama Means by a ‘Crackdown’

A crackdown involving intensified policing efforts against drug consumption by casual drug users is pointless because there is just no way to arrest them all.  Only an unlucky few get the opportunity to be sullied by their own government for engaging in their constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The rest party on.

Once sullied, cannabis and other drug users have no reason to stop their drug use beyond the random but very limited possibility of another arrest.  Meanwhile, some among the lucky remaining percentage of non-prosecuted rebel scofflaws wind up being elected governors, senators, and even presidents of the United States.  The hypocrisy is obvious to all but the hypocrites.

An effective crackdown on drug consumption will require more emphasis on medically-based addiction treatment and harm reduction education.  Other than these approaches, I can think of nothing else that better reduces drug consumption than drug legalization.  By that I mean prohibiting drugs produces a scientifically demonstrable forbidden-fruit-effect that leads people to engage in higher rates of illicit drug use under prohibition than we find under the legal cannabis policies that have worked so well in Portugal and the Netherlands.

It is high time the government understood that Americans have long become accustomed to better living through chemistry.  Drugs such as marijuana are here to stay.  Illicit drugs are the means by which many people choose to compensate and enhance their lives while surviving heroically in what is the most energetic, hardest working, economically productive and innovative country in the world—this despite marijuana’s use and flirtations by a third of the U.S. population.  It is easy to predict that disturbing America’s delicate balance of work and play is likely to lead to a toxic national morale that reduces the ability of the nation to sustain its economic and political momentum.

In an effort to reduce drug consumption in the United States, if not drugs, I would applaud Obama’s ‘crackdown’ as long as his efforts are realistic; for instance, as long as his policies comprise drug treatment on demand, candid harm reduction drug education, and drug legalization and regulation.


Face value

Instead of your five tortured paragraphs parsing what Obama might be doing why not take the words of this consummate politician and lawyer at their face value?

I don't believe that any form of "crackdown" is appropriate. Except maybe a crackdown on authoritarians their appeasers and their apologists.

Face Values versus Real Values

I favor a crackdown on the authoritarians, too, but before the crackdown must come the war.

With truth being the first casualty in war,  I never take the word of any politician at its face value, ever.  Especially when contradictions exist between their actions and words or available evidence.

Obama’s actions regarding the drug war have so far favored reform.  His publicly announced support for medical marijuana, and his appointment of a moderate to head the ONDCP, indicate someone who is open to change on the drug issue.

Obama’s actions contradict his words when he talks about crackdowns.  That’s a better political position for drug law reform than if the crackdowns are real.  If and when the added police activity shows up along with an increase in the numbers, I’ll know what was real and what was empty rhetoric.

Until then, I think much of Obama’s behavior regarding the drug issue can be blamed on delicate political issues that are yet to be worked out.  The adverse statements Obama makes on the drug issue keep the Republicans off his back long enough for him to get other things done.  The president’s opponents are clearly in a panic to find any reason to attack Obama, and I think if the Republicans get the chance to revive and expand a dying drug war to discredit the president, they won’t hesitate to act.

Also, Gil Kerlikowske hasn’t been approved yet by the Senate as ONDCP chief.  For now, a perceived status quo on drugs is safe politics for both Obama and Kerlikowske to guarantee a Senate approval.

when you can prove

any of your theories about what Obama could be may be might be or will some day be thinking its all just misleading silliness to ascribe any intentions other than the intentions that he actually articulates.

Your theorizing Obama's motives and back room tactics only serve to lead people down a primrose path.

The Democratic leadership in the U.S. has always been authoritarian. They have always used the drug war to win right-wing voters by looking tough on their own poverty oppressed and minority constituencies. Obama is no different.

Can’t Prove a Negative

So I won’t try.  But having BushCo in power for eight years taught me to be wary when Bush claimed environmental responsibility by appointing a logging executive to head the Dept. of the Interior, et al.  With GWBush, to know what was going on, you had to watch what he did, and ignore what he said.

Also, we expect an orator of Obama’s legal abilities to be precise in the words he chooses.  It’s obvious he thinks before he speaks.  However, by itself the term ‘crackdown’ is just too vague a word to draw any conclusion from based on the short sound bite that’s aired.  The choice of the word is intentional.  We don’t know who he’s planning the crackdown for, or on what.  Coke?  Meth?  Oxycontin?  Doubtful for pot.

Is he referring to cracking down on cartel-linked drug operations in the United States?  Probably.  That would put it into the context of the speech.  Maybe he’ll arrest Limbaugh on some upgraded federal drug conspiracy charge.  Maybe not.  But the possibilities are still there for reform.

Delusional possibilities dilute the debate

Asserting delusional "possibilities" have have no context in the discussion serve only to dilute criticism of the authoritarian Obama.

With Obama all anyone has to do is actually listen to what he says and they know where he is going. Unfortunately, there are a lot of reformers mike you who insist on muddying the waters with delusions that misinform and misrepresent what Obama is actually saying.

You are subverting critical analysis of drug warrior Barack Obama.

You’re Right. I’m Subversive. But No Dilution.

Thank you for the subversive part.  It’s what I do best.  But I don’t engage in delusional possibilities when I say that Obama or his speechwriter is being vague.  The English language backs me on that one.

Also, Obama is no absolutist or ideologue.  And he has to know what most people know, that the drug war is a failure.  He will act based on what he thinks works, and since nothing works when it comes to a drug war, he’s stymied before he begins.  Really, what’s he going to do?  It's pointless.

Also, for the record, Obama is not an authoritarian.  He’s the virtual opposite.  People like G. Gordon Liddy and Chuck Colsen are authoritarians.

Authoritarians are like the angry white guy who keeps complaining that the world is going to hell in a hand basket because 'all them damn dirty hippies is smoking dope.'  Authoritarians are always complaining about a decline in society’s morals.  They don’t advocate any kind of change unless perhaps it’s to change the Constitution in a way designed to eliminate a certain segment of the population.  Authoritarian idiots bomb first and ask questions later.  I note this not so much to make a point about Obama, but because it’s important that everyone understands that this type of person makes up a big part of the crazies we know as drug warriors.  Check out John Dean’s book “Conservatives Without a Conscience” and Robert Altemeyer’s books on the subject.  Authoritarianism in all its gory details is an eye opener, and it’s scary.  Know your enemy.  Seriously.

As for a subverting critical analyses of Obama, I don’t have a subversive intent.  I just don’t think Obama can legalize pot and survive politically.  He said (and I believe him this time) that the administration doesn’t favor legalization.  He didn’t mention the reason, but it’s obvious that appearing pro-drug at this time in his career would unleash authoritarian attack dogs on his presidency at a precarious time for him politically and at a precarious time for the country.  At the moment, he can’t even shake hands with President Chavez of Venezuela without being attacked by Fox News.

The problem for drug law reform is that it still needs Obama to accomplish various goals related to legalization.  There’s a pressing need among other things to reorganize the NIDA, HHS and DEA to allow qualified scientific research on illicit drugs, even though results of the research might somehow prove that the drug isn’t so bad, no matter what the ONDCP says.  Giving Obama grief doesn’t help.  He knows what we want.

Legalization of drugs will come from a groundswell of support from below and through the individual states.  Washington, D.C. will demand to be dragged kicking and screaming through the door of legalization.  Obama can’t lead on this one.  Legalization is our job.

Obama's not an orator in my book.

The cadence of his speech is just plain awful! I cannot understand why people think he's such a "great speaker", even with a teleprompter he pauses (long pauses) after every third word. Drives me crazy, I cannot listen to him at all, I have to turn him off or leave the room.

Maybe he was chosen just because of that horrible speech pattern, just to drive the nation's real patriots nuts.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

War on Addiction

Why do people always choose to interpret statements in the most negative light possible. I do believe that the war on drugs should end and be replaced by a war on addiction. I believe that is what President Obama has in mind.

the Search from Within...

I really appreciate your thoughtful approach in considering addiction. As a whole, addressing the reptilian pleasures of the human mind whether it is to gratify the physical, emotional or psychological centers is a question we must all ask of ourselves. A positive change on an individual level would make such a difference in this world towards spiritual and communal enlightenment.

no "wars on"....anything...

i don't understand why it is acceptable to many (most?) cannabis advocates that cannabis continue to be seen in a negative light - to say that cannabis should be reclassified under public health and addiction is little better than its current criminal buys into propaganda we are all supposed to be fighting: that cannabis is addictive - all the well done research i have seen says it isn't. furthermore, the term "addiction" is used in very broad sweeps, some good, some, to your desired war on addiction, how exactly would that work? people get "addicted" to many things; most are not illegal, immoral, or even harmful...who determines the lines between a passion, an obsession and/or an addiction? (was einstein addicted to his physics?) when it comes to a strict definition of addiction - that there are withdrawal symptoms, then it is a fact that people do actually get addicted to caffeine (withdrawal headaches) should caffeine be regulated? should the government intercede in the lives of the millions of people who use caffeine? should caffeine be restricted to adult use?
when it comes to addiction, in many ways *we* have let the addiction industry define addiction - so that they can sell their treatment...when for most cannabis users treatment is not necessary, nor is drug education or any other gimmick in prohibitionist's bag of one would ever think the person who has one or two glasses of wine with dinner needs drug counseling or any other intervention...why should cannabis users accept anything less?

thanks, but turning cannabis over to another intrusive governmental body is not what i'd like to see...
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"the states can't act without the federal government"

says aahpat. What are you talking about? 13 states have legalized medicinal cannabis and Obama is on record saying no drug raids unless state laws are being violated. That leaves 37 states to go. And 50 states to legalize recreational weed, a few of them might do it by referendum next year. If that happens Obama would have to decide how to handle it. If people like you make him hate reformers enough, it could backfire, but then that might be ok with you, you probably don't want any cannabis only laws to pass anyway.
Obama's apparently going to do the only thing he ever promised us, laying off raids on MMJ dispensaries in MMJ legal states if they obey state laws. You expect him to continue to allow cannabis smugglers with 499 pounds to escape prosecution? That's not what he got elected for.
To repeat, why aren't you picketing your county courthouse? You're such a big fan of protest in the street (I think it's a great idea too actually) what are you waiting for? You have heard of think globally, act locally, haven't you?

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