Is President Obama Responsible for the Latest Attacks on Medical Marijuana?

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As controversy over the federal government’s escalating nationwide assault on medical marijuana continues to swell, some federal officials are trying to shield the President from the political fallout.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. attorneys have a message for California's medical marijuana advocates: Don't blame Barack Obama. After it was announced that the crackdown on medical pot establishments in the Golden State was a collective decision by the four U.S. attorneys in California and not the result of any directive from Washington, spokeswoman Lauren Horwood emphasized that the administration never even green-lighted the ramped-up enforcement actions.

The only D.C.-based official with whom California U.S. attorneys coordinated, Horwood said, was Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who was chosen by Attorney General Eric Holder, an Obama appointee. [Huffington Post]

This is amazing. Literally, we are being told by presidentially-appointed officials not to blame the president when they do things we find disgusting.  I don’t recall ever being handed a ballot with the name Lauren Horwood on it, and the same goes for James Cole, Eric Holder and every other federal prosecutor presently presiding over this massive new war on medical marijuana patients and providers.

When the president’s own appointees defy his campaign promises and dishonor the values of the American public, the president himself is so obviously, thoroughly, and undeniably at fault that it seems silly to argue the point further. 

After all, any effort to sugarcoat this mess is indicative of an increasing awareness at DOJ that their approach to medical marijuana is becoming a bit of a political fiasco. Deflecting criticism from the president is a smart strategy for avoiding a scenario in which mounting public outcry forces Obama to revisit the issue. The lesson here for advocates is to apply more pressure on the president, not less. 

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Lazy President

There is only one possible explanation: the President is extremely lazy.

I'm glad to see some good

I'm glad to see some good original reporting, Scotto!

Your work, since your return, has made a marked improvement. You have begun to bring new stories, not being reported elsewhere to SDW and while you have kept the brevity of your previous work, the articles no longer seem to have that sense of being "dumbed down".

Keep up the good work!

Gang of Four

The president usually doesn’t mingle in the daily affairs of individual U.S. Attorneys.  The president has AG Eric Holder do that for him.   If necessary, as in an emergency, the U.S. Attorneys can be fairly autonomous in the resources they allocate for specific crime fighting activities. 

The U.S. Attorneys have quotas.  They use benchmarks such as the amount of money they seize through drug forfeitures to keep score on how well they perform on the official charts from one year to the next.  This dubious scoring process was inadvertently revealed by David Iglesias, the dismissed New Mexico U.S. attorney, in his book In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration.

There could be other motives for the four U.S. Attorneys besides forfeiture money, although it’s difficult to see how the Attorneys or the people are helped by all this when a clear majority of Americans approve American citizens’ access to medical marijuana.

It’s easy to speculate about motive.  Is there some quid pro quo waiting for the current Gang of Four in some cushy corporate legal department in the near future?   The drug detection business is pretty much saturated with former drug enforcement bureaucrats and propagandists—not much room there anymore.  Maybe some aspiring bureaucrat wants to become the new drug czar; appointed by Republicans, of course.  The current four California U.S. Attorneys are not doing Obama or the Democrats any favors at the moment by busting dispensaries.

The situation certainly makes Obama look like a weak president if he can’t control the Justice Department just because of some pontificating benchmarkers who reside lower in the judicial food chain.  A Republican conspiracy, perhaps?  Again, speculation, but speculation which begs for an investigation.

Real dangers arise if the U.S. Attorneys have crossed a political threshold.  It just so happens medical marijuana is about as political as it gets.  The Gang of Four have made a serious blunder.  Like any bureaucrat or politician who wanders into prohibition’s career graveyard, it’s not like they lacked substantive warnings. 


U.S. Attornies

Who signs their paychecks?

Blundering U.S. Attorneys lose their jobs

Wouldn't that be a great headline?  That's what should happen.  Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on a plant that the good book already says is ours for the using... for medicine, food, ect.  Whatever happened to freedom of religion?  I want green herb in my brownies!

Blundering U.S. Attorneys lose their jobs

If that DOESN'T happen, then Obama has given his approval.  There's no way around it, the buck stops with the president.

The last I heard, US

The last I heard, US Attorneys, including the AG of the US, I presume, serve at the pleasure of the President.  All the President has to do is make a few pointed remarks, and if these bozos don't fall in line, he should remove them.  If he doesn't he's well on his way to being removed from office in 2012, because a lot people in his base are tired of his shit.  Keep on busting MJ smokers, keep it up. . . .

Your Fired!

Where I come from the Boss is responsible, and Shit runs down hill; so it's the Presidents responsibility to get his cronies in line or Fire there ASSES!!!


I voted against Mcain in the last election.

I will vote against Obama in the next one.

Send a message even the idiots in Washington DC can understand.


Vote all incumbents out.  Both parties.  Every time.

I Agree!

If we would stick together and continue to vote them out they will hopefully catch on and realize they are there to SERVE US! In A Democracy when 50% of the people want something you LISTEN!

Instead of voting AGAINST someone

vote FOR someone who will actually change things, who always tells the truth and has maintained the same principles and positions for 30 years in government (and opposes the federal war on drugs to the point he co-authored the HR 2306 bill in congress that would remove the federal ban on cannabis, currently being held up in committee by Lamar Smith) -- Ron Paul!

This how to get him the nomination:

This is part of why:

As is this:

In addition to the above, Ron Paul does NOT take campaign donations from corporations, only from individuals (and he's amassed quite a "war chest" on those individual donations -- each donor is limited by law, thanks to McCain and Feingold, to $2300 per candidate), he refuses to participate in the congressional pension plan, and he returns every penny of the unused portion of his congressional office's budget to the treasury each year (and he keeps his office's expenses low).  What more could one ask of a candidate for president?


If you cannot vote 'FOR' someone, do not vote. It is a privilege not designed for voting AGAINST!

kruzty's picture


  I just don't figure him, He can't be that stupid, as to think he'll get re-elected by attacking Medical Marihuana states. He knows we're the ones that put him there and kicking the sick and dieing under the bus is no way to retain our vote.

 I didn't vote him in to turn a blind eye on the weakest group of people in our country,,,,, THE SICK.

 I'm ashamed......

First they ignore you, then

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

A lying idiot just like the others

Funny how when "our first black president" spoke people actually thought things were going to be different. He has time and again proved himself to be if not just as incompetent even more so and even a bigger liar. He has done nothing to improve anything else. I guess if he cannot put us to work might as well put us in jail. Makes perfect sense to person who has shown so incapable to overload a system that is already overwhelmed with harmless criminals. Seems to be the newest presidential game to see who can tell the biggest lie and still get away with it. Time to let the liars know that they can no longer lie to us and have their underlings put powdered sugar on it and get us to say "yum, yum".

Gang of Four US Attorneys in Bed with Cartels?

Who gains the most by the actions of the US Attorneys in California? The drug cartels. Aggressive enforcement of marijuana laws will only drive up the price of black market pot. Clearly one has to wonder whether the drug cartels are in bed with these four US Attorneys (and maybe others in DOJ and DEA). There can be no other rational explanation given US Attorneys 1) serve at the pleasure of the president who is allegedly sensitive to the needs of medical marijuana patients; 2) the citizens of California have said they support medical marijuana usage through laws enacted in that state; 3) there is no known lethal dosage of marijuana .... compare that with aspirin, booze, etc. If you take out the dispensaries you immediately drive up the price of pot. Only a cartel member or close associate of a cartel member would see a benefit to that type of action. Somebody needs to check the pocketbooks and assets of those US Attorneys. I don't use pot. I am a former prosecutor (11 years). I am a fiscal conservative. I want to feel safe vacationing in Mexico. Legalize all dope, treat substance abuse addiction as a health issue, and you will strip the cartels of the profits associated with drug dealing. The drug war: We never stood a chance.

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