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Holder's Latest Comment About Medical Marijuana

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The Attorney General seldom discusses federal policy regarding medical marijuana, so even a brief remark is enough to get my attention. His latest comments at an event in Missoula were hardly groundbreaking, but interesting nonetheless.

Holder said he made a decision early on that the scarce federal resources would not be used in going after the people who used marijuana according to their state's laws.

"To treat chronic illnesses, to alive pain from live-ending illnesses, but made clear that we were not going to allow those laws to be used in a way to cover activity that was criminal in nature," Holder said.  [KPAX News]

We're all pretty familiar by now with Holder's lead talking point that targeting legitimate medical marijuana patients and providers is a poor use of "scarce federal resources" that could be spent jailing other people instead. It's a barely-tolerable position that carries with it the tragic implication that we would perhaps resume such persecutions if only our budget would allow it.

Fortunately, here we find a rare concession from the Attorney General that medical marijuana is actually used "to treat chronic illnesses." This isn't a particularly startling revelation to anyone who hasn't struggled to remain willfully ignorant on the subject, but it certainly exposes the absurdity of marijuana's placement in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which requires that the drug have no accepted medical use. When the CSA's primary enforcer is acknowledging legitimate medical applications and declining to exercise prosecutorial authority, that sets a rather remarkable precedent.

I'm not suggesting that we be naïve about the threat of federal harassment that the patient community continues to face. The fight isn't over and won't be until medical cannabis users are no longer considered criminals anywhere in America. But winning that battle requires that we take seriously even the most subtle rhetorical shifts in the debate we started decades ago. When the top law enforcement official in the nation acknowledges that marijuana is medicine, that's a victory for us, and one that seemed all but impossible in the very recent past. Though it may seem like a minor concession in the face of overwhelming evidence and continued drug war excesses, Holder's remark reflects the gradual maturation of the medical marijuana debate and we're lost if we fail to notice it.

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Thanks to prohibition we're

Thanks to prohibition we're about to lose all semblance of that once ordered, prosperous and safe society. Myself, along with many others, have been debating prohibitionists on this for many years. We have shown what destruction prohibition has wrought on all the civil institutions of this once great nation, -we've always provided facts and statistics - they, the prohibitionists, have countered with either lies, personal abuse or even serious threats of violence.

Ending the insanity of drug prohibition by legalized regulation, respecting the rights of the responsible users and focusing on addiction as a sickness, like we do with alcohol and tobacco, may save what remains of our economy and civil institutions along with countless lives and livelihoods. Prohibition continues unabated for shameful political reasons. It cannot, and never will, reduce drug use or addiction.

Prohibition has permanently scarred our national character as well as our individual psyches.  Our national policies and cultural practices have become pervaded by the fascistic, prohibitionist mind-set which has turned our domestic police force into a bunch of paramilitary thugs who often commit extra-judicial beatings and executions while running roughshod over our rights in order to "protect us from ourselves".

When we eventually manage to put the horrors of this moronothon behind us, we'll need to engage in some very deep and honest soul-searching as to what we want to be as a nation. Many of our freedoms have been severely circumscribed or lost altogether, our economy has been trashed and our international  reputation for being "free and fair" has been dragged through a putrid sewer by vicious narrow-minded drug warrior zealots who are ignorant of abstract concepts such as truth, justice and decency. We'll need to make sure that such a catastrophe is never ever repeated. This may mean that public hearings or tribunals will be held where those who’ve been the instigators and cheerleaders of this abomination will have to answer for their serious crimes against our once prosperous and proud nation.

Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­'s inquisition­, it's supporters are servants of tyranny and hate; if you're aware of but not enraged by it's shear waste and cruel atrocities then both your heart and soul must surely be dead.

Something to waste your valuable time,...

"if you're aware of but not enraged by it's shear waste,..."   should read; "if you're aware of, but not enraged by, it's sheer waste,..."

I Love what you're doing here, let me know if I could help in any way! G.W.

roadrunner856's picture

A Brief History or Democracy to Tyranny

It is called The Drug War, and it has been America's longest war.

The federal government had no role in the health and drug trades until early this century, when labeling requirements were placed on patent medicines. Prohibition was repeatedly ruled unconstitutional until:

  • 1919The 18th Amendment banned commerce in alcohol on a national level. The violent and corrupt "Roaring Twenties" ensued.
  • 1933The people had had enough. The 21st Amendment repealed the Volstead Act, ending Constitutional authority for Prohibition.
  • 1937Prohibitionists disguised the Marihuana Tax Act as a revenue bill and banned an entire plant species through regulation enforcement. The narcotics bureaucracy had found a gateway drug law.
  • 1961The UN adopted the Single Convention Treaty on Narcotic Drugs, opening the way for more stringent enforcement. The CIA went into Vietnam and heroin began to flow into America from Asia.
  • 1968The U.S. signed the Treaty. In the grips of the Vietnam War and the "generation gap," federal policy continued to harden.
  • 1969The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Marijuana Tax Act was unconstitutional. Drug control authority was eventually written into a "scheduling" hoax that extended prohibition enforcement. Under this system, drugs are not officially 'prohibited'; they're 'illicit'. But people still go to prison for using them.
  • 1970Congressman George Bush joined the growing majority of office holders who opposed mandatory minimum sentences "because they remove a great deal of the court's discretion."
  • 1972President Richard Nixon appointed a National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. The panel, known as the Shafer Commission, called for decriminalizing marijuana and a policy of control based on medical risk, so Nixon denounced its report and declared a"War on Drugs". Nixon's war faltered amid a cloud of curruption when he resigned office during his second term, while facing impeachment charges.
  • 1978President Jimmy Carter publicly advocated decriminalizing up to an ounce of marihuana in his statement to Congress on drug policy, but behind the scenes moved to steer the Drug War back on course.
  • 1980Drug warrior Ronald Reagan assumed office and brought the military industrial comples into the battlefield. The CIA went to Central America and cocaine began to flow back to our cities.
  • 1984Reagan announced: "You ain't seen nothin' yet!" and promptly militarized the Drug War. Zero tolerance became the stepping stone to widespread implementation of urine testing. His 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act went farther, adding property forfeiture law under Nancy's rallying cry: "Just say no."
  • Late 1980sDemocrats and Republicans vied to out do each other in criminalizing and punishing drug users. As Vice President and later as President George Bush supported the return of Mandatory Minimum prison sentences. Physical evidence was replaced by sentencing guidelines. No knock search warrants, hearsay evidence, and high-tech surveillance systems extended the realm of thought-crime into conspiracy laws.
  • Early 1990sBaby Boom President Bill "I didn't inhale" Clinton campaigned on MTV, stating "The punishment should fit the crime." Once in office, he reversed gear and pursued yet another round of escalations in the Drug War, including, for the first time ever, the death penalty for growing marihuana in the 1994 Federal Crime Bill.
  • 1995The 10 millionth marijuana arrest since 1965 occurred in Ohio when Tod McCormick, a medical marijuana patient with a Dutch prescription, was pulled over in an illegal roadside search. A national survey found that 95% of police officers believed the US to be losing the Drug War.
  • 1996More than 60% of federal prisoners are locked up for drug offenses. While mandatory minimum sentencesrequire that drug offenders serve full term sentences, mandatory release programs put violent felons back out on the streets to reduce prison crowding. Marijuana arrests are at an all time high, and citizens of California and Arizona vote overwhelmingly to legalize medical marijuana. Federal policy continues to lose support when appointed officials threaten to arrest doctors and patients.
  • 1997Business as usual. The Clinton administration begins the year with an all-out assault on doctors and patients for medical marijuana until a court orders them to desist. Malicious prosecution continues. The rate of incarceration for African American males hits a new record high, as does federal spending on the failed drug war. A new war is beginning to be waged on tobacco users. The National Istitute on Health reports that needle exchanges clearly save lives, and congress instantly forbids it from relaxing the ban on clean needles. Oregon legislators vote to recriminalize cannabis use, and a voters' referendum is launched to block it from taking effect.
  • 1998When confronted with scientific proof that needle exchange reduces infectuous disease without increasing drug use, Janet Reno and Drug Czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey decide to ignore the results and continue the ban. Clinton launches a multi-billion dollar propaganda campaign that uses federal tax money to purchase advertising time and space for the private sector's leading advocate of prohibition, the PDFA (Partnership for a Drug Free America). Congress takes time from its investigations of Clinton to pass ever more repressive legislation. Numerous new studies vindicate the medical marijuana reform position, and voters in five states pass initiatives at the ballot box to legalize it. Faced with an overwhelming favorable vote, Congress directly intervenes to block the vote count in Washington DC. At the same time, Oregon voters overturn the state legislature's attempt to reinstate criminal penalties for marijuana, and Arizona voters vote to medicalize all controlled substances (illegal drugs). California votes its leading drug warrior, Dan Lungren, out of office by a huge majority. Teenage use of all drugs levels off nationally.
  • 1999 Public revulsion at the hypocrisy of the federal government is at a record high. Yet another drug warrior is elected speaker of the house, and Congress fights in court to suppress the count of the Washington DC popular vote to legalize marijuana for medical use.

None of this has had a substantial effect in reducing drug use or making the public more safe - only in reducing respect for human rights. The Drug War is an abject failure, and it is time for America to cut its losses and change political course to solve its problems 

Holder

Mr Holder;

Better Hurry  up sport.

and get with the people.

 

Don Land.

Founder of Thai Cannabis Corporation

Funny how America's

Funny how America's politicians are calling for "democracy and freedom" in Egypt, yet they squash freedom right here at home by continuing the prohibition against cannabis.  Someone sitting in his own home smoking pot is not hurting anyone, yet if found, you'll have a gun held to your head by an armed thug with a badge.  That is not freedom.

True words need to be spoken

True words need to be spoken more often, thank you.
 

The Majority of Voters Say "YES" to Medicinal Cannabis!

Medical Canna-business will grow and flourish, regardless of all the obstacles thrown it way. From the Holistic point of view Cannabis is markedly pro-evolutionary, as it increases appetite, induces rest, suppresses violent urges and enhances sexual experience. Cannabis is not physically addictive, as it lacks the documented "physical withdrawal" syndrome, necessary for a physical dependence determination. The so-called "gateway drug" theory has already been determined to be invalid, and the recent scientific study declared it "half-baked". Drug Marinol is NOT medical marijuana (and it would seem that any reasonable person would understand this), as the whole plant has over 70 active compounds, therapeutically interacting with one another in many intricate and complex ways. It is very important to stress again and again that Cannabis use, as opposed to alcohol use, suppresses violent urges and behaviors, and that any increased anti-Cannabis repression in this country will be accompanied by increase in drinking, hard drug use, and violence, including among young people. Now, to say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is the same as to say that the earth is flat, and this would simply not be considered a "rational" statement. Would then the fact that Shafer Commission recommended an immediate decriminalization of marijuana back in 1972, or the fact that Judge Francis Young called marijuana "one of the safest therapeutically-active substances known to man" really surprise anyone? I don't think so. To win this struggle, just like with all Civil Rights struggles, we will need to overcome the "consciousness of fear", and repeat the TRUTH about Cannabis again and again, until the necessary "qualitative shift" occurs in our common consciousness, and we will be amazed that the ridiculous Cannabis prohibition really lasted for as long as it did!

Most Voters Say "YES" to Medicinal Cannabis!

Medical Canna-business will grow and flourish, regardless of all the obstacles thrown it way. From the Holistic point of view Cannabis is markedly pro-evolutionary, as it increases appetite, induces rest, suppresses violent urges and enhances sexual experience. Cannabis is not physically addictive, as it lacks the documented "physical  withdrawal" syndrome, necessary for a physical dependence determination. The so-called "gateway drug" theory has already been determined to be invalid, and the recent scientific study declared it "half-baked". Drug Marinol is NOT medical marijuana (and it would seem that any reasonable person would understand this), as the whole plant has over 70 active compounds, therapeutically interacting with one another in many intricate and complex ways. It is very important to stress again and again that Cannabis use, as opposed to alcohol use, suppresses violent urges and behaviors, and that any increased anti-Cannabis repression in this country will be accompanied by increase in drinking, hard drug use, and violence, including among young people. Now, to say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is the same as to say that the earth is flat, and this would simply not be considered a "rational" statement. Would then the fact that Shafer Commission recommended an immediate decriminalization of marijuana back in 1972, or the fact that Judge Francis Young called marijuana "one of the safest therapeutically-active substances known to man" really surprise anyone? I don't think so. To win this struggle, just like with all Civil Rights struggles, we will need to overcome the "consciousness of fear", and repeat the TRUTH about Cannabis again and again, until the necessary "qualitative shift" occurs in our common consciousness, and we will be amazed that the ridiculous Cannabis prohibition really lasted for as long as it did!

Thanks

Outstanding. I don't know what to say, you seem to have hit the nail on the head, so to speak. Nice work.

Holder's comments

The subtle shift of AG comments that reflect reality not delusion are, nonetheless, weighted down by the political intransigence of governmental officials at all Federal  levels. As politicians battle over the de funding of our society, my guess is that cannabis prohibition will be considered a cow too sacred to eliminate. And, in my opinion, the entire quagmire of "medical" use, cannot be adequately resolved until prohibition ends.

When, eventually, the Feds get around  to dealing with mmj, as they eventually will, the new rules will forbid patients growing their own medicine, and institute a policy  of dispensing  only through pharmacies, medicine that is grown in government greenhouses with non--organic practices, and irradiated buds that cost more than patients  will be able to afford.

ED Glick

I know the subject of this post is MMJ, but

The fight isn't over and won't be until cannabis users are no longer considered criminals anywhere in America.

FIFY.

(Sorry, strike-thru didn't function)

dred scott case

Economics

15 separate businesses can exist in both Vancouver and Amsterdam that cannot exist in the states why?  15 separate business supporting employess, paying taxes, supporting plumbers, electritions ,machine makers, inspectors and carpenters and yet they take a taxpaying business like cheech and chong and turn it into a liability for the state and the tax payer. Why?  They do this not for science not for logic but claim to have some moral justification, the moral they promote is the moral of the Talibomb, the moral they promote is a crime, consisting of violence, crime, cheating and stealing, and lying a moral that is in direct violation of Jesus Christ the Christian bible, freedom, and peace. A crime against the American declaration of independence that feeds their prison empire and breeds corruption as it creates a repressive regime that destroys our property values our economy and guts our cities. These 15 business are just the tip of the iceberg from * “fuel, cement, clothing and materials, plastics, food and pharmaceuticals” the manufacturing and production process would dwarf these small retail establishments that could peacefully exist in every major city and yet we have to pay the Arabs 5.00 per gallon and live in poverty for their morality that they can’t back with science logic or religion. Who is behind this probation against Gods nature? The talibomb, the pharmaceutical international corporations the medical monopoly, or their raciest bounty hunters and when will the Christian not be forced to condemn the Christian bible, when will the modern day Dred Scott get free from these adrenaline junkies who control the crave and **“subvert the true science of weed” as they work to deny us the power granted in the first page of the Christian bible all in the name of their morality which is as immoral as you could be. A civilized society is based on liberty and tolerance and prosperity comes with peace; until we bring these cowards out of hiding and expose the truth that they just don’t steal cars from the handicap or attack scoliosis patients,  but control the crave and are carrying out a genocide, or else  the talibomb will continue to flourish or just say no to big pharm. And read more in the book About Christians and [email protected]

 

  • *BBC Radio 2-26-2010
  • ** Time magizine

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