GOP Senator Blasts New Medical Marijuana Policy

GOP Senator Blasts New Medical Marijuana Policy
Posted by CN Staff on March 20, 2009 at 08:05:05 PT
By Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Washington, D.C. -- Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley criticized the Obama administration Thursday for moving to loosen restrictions on medical marijuana.At a gathering to discuss health care reform, the Iowa lawmaker criticized the Justice Department's new policy of targeting California's medical marijuana distributors only if they violate both federal and state law.
That's a break from the Bush administration, which targeted dispensaries under federal law even if they complied with the state's law allowing sales of medical marijuana.  The shift was outlined by Attorney General Eric Holder a day earlier."The first rule of medicine, first do no harm, is being violated by the attorney general by his decision," said Grassley.The senator said the new policy is counterproductive because marijuana leads to use of harder drugs.Advocates for medical marijuana defended the president."The Obama administration deserves credit for basing policy on facts and science, not the myths perpetuated by Sen. Grassley," said Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.Associated Press writer Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles contributed to this report.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Devlin Barrett, Associated Press WriterPublished: Friday, March 20, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on March 26, 2009 at 07:48:25 PT
I am not into isms because I never believe everything they say. I believe in issues and how best we can change what is important to each of us as individuals. I believe in people power.
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on March 26, 2009 at 07:30:31 PT
Thank you. I appreciate your good humor.Also, I'm going to do some research on the Socialist party and socialism to relieve a bit of my ignorance.So far, according to , I don't think I care for it. Even more power to government? No thanks!But I am grateful you don't have a short trigger on your personally held political theory! Thank you.
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Comment #21 posted by Vincent on March 25, 2009 at 11:39:41 PT:
Oh no, I'm not offended at all. Lots of people laugh when I say that. Do you mean that you really don't see more Socialists on this board? Problem is that the word Socialist is associated with Communism, which has been discredited (somewhat). If more people knew what the Socialist platform offered, they might not dismiss it so quickly. For example, regarding Marijuana legalization, the Socialist position is exactly the same as the Libertarian position. The difference is in the methods used to achieve this result.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on March 23, 2009 at 21:02:22 PT
I'm sorry. I guess I shouldn't have laughed. I apologize. I thought you were joking. You're the first registered Socialist I've conversed with. Guess I put my foot in my mouth first thing.I've been accused of being a socialist before.I do hope I didn't offend you... too much. Still, I may say it next time it comes up with anyone. Maybe not "Registered", since that would be a lie. It does have a more dramatic, powerful quality to it though, that unregistered doesn't.I'm also thinking that maybe, I just might lean a bit more to a bit of socialism than any amount of fascism... that's for certain.
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Comment #19 posted by Vincent on March 23, 2009 at 19:51:57 PT:
Funny perhaps, but true. I am registered with the Florida Socialist Party. I considered the Libertarian Party but they are a little too cozy with Republicans.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on March 23, 2009 at 07:48:37 PT
"... a registered Socialist"
Lol!That's so funny, Vincent. I may try that next opportunity I get.
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Comment #17 posted by Vincent on March 23, 2009 at 07:42:41 PT:
Forgive me. I was just being strident again, as is my custom. By the way, when somebody asks me what my political affiliation is, I proudly tell them that I am a registered Socialist.
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Comment #16 posted by Mahakal on March 22, 2009 at 21:16:37 PT
For what it's worth, I'm a liberal and will happily accept being called the same. To the extent that I have conservative tendencies they are mainly based in fear of change and growth, and obstruct the same. This is not to say that we should be inconsiderate of the past and lessons that have been learned; we should take care by their example.
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Comment #15 posted by christ on March 22, 2009 at 20:18:54 PT
political belief labels. site suggestion.
from my experience (including what i see on facebook), when Americans are asked which political belief system they align with, most people say something like, "I'm somewhere in the middle" or "I don't fully agree with either end of the spectrum." Some people DO identify with one end of the spectrum. Here's something funny... say for example they identify as a liberal. If someone they don't agree with calls them a liberal, they get offended. Same for conservatives. They never say, "thank you for understanding me." LOL.Since people are offended at divisive language, may I suggest that this site keeps it to a minimum (just like profanity)? I don't want to see C-News community decline because of differences unrelated to cannabis. 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on March 22, 2009 at 08:25:12 PT
Words are hard for me to figure out. The word conservative to me means religion and moral values. Conservatives from my point of view want to lock up people who don't march to the beat of the religious right. Liberal to me means a live and let live way of thinking. 
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Comment #13 posted by Vincent on March 22, 2009 at 08:14:19 PT:
Tell me, what is it with Conservatives, anyway? Why do they try to make themselves look so stupid by making these outrageous statements? Just to please their small-minded political base? For example, during the presidential campaign, there were several debates. During one, a moderator asked the Republican candidates if they believed in Evolution. Almost all of them said no. That tells us what they are.
   Take Sen. Charles Grassley--PLEASE! Why does he feel the need to constantly show his Conservative stripes by making foolish statements. I think that part of the reason is to show his hatred for President Obama. 
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Comment #12 posted by user123 on March 21, 2009 at 13:09:14 PT:
Hey MPP, (I'm a contributor) hire some Private Investigators to follow politicians like this around, because you can bet there is something he's doing that he wouldn't want anyone to know about. Shame 'em into shutting their pieholes.
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Comment #11 posted by OverwhelmSam on March 20, 2009 at 21:57:53 PT
Funny name for someone who opposes grass. Time to send this pig farmer back to browner pastures.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 20, 2009 at 19:17:50 PT
It's good to hear from you. I'm really happy to read your life is full and exciting. It's a special time getting your first apartment. Enjoy!
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Comment #9 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 20, 2009 at 19:11:03 PT
Good News all around
It's getting better with each and every passing day. Four years ago I would be saying the exact opposite. Change is really happening right before our eyes.I wish I had more time to post. I've been busy with moving, a new relationship, and compassion club meetings. Not to mention work is starting to pick up with the weather starting to get nice. I'm almost all moved in to my new apt. Hopefully I can get the internet up and running over there soon. I can't wait to wake up on my futon, make a pot of coffee, roll up a nice spliff, and log on to C-News in my own apartment :)Ahh better days are on the way!
FleetWood Mac- Go Your Own Way
Fleetwood Mac- Don't Stop (Thinking about Tomorrow)
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Comment #8 posted by christ on March 20, 2009 at 18:48:55 PT
Here's what I recall posting to
Grassley is just throwing a sucker punch to make people forget that he got beat up on the playground this week when he said that some American citizens should kill themselves.In this article he says, "The first rule of medicine, first do no harm...." So he's saying: do no harm, but it's ok to kill yourself. I wonder what medical school taught him that. Doesn't sound like he is a doctor (let alone a logical person).Let medical professionals craft medical policy.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on March 20, 2009 at 16:29:21 PT
I vow to never vote for politicians like Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.Further, I will work to expose them in order to help My fellow humans and the planet earth.
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 20, 2009 at 11:25:52 PT
Chuck, Chuck, Foe Fu....
And not only did the other kids make fun of the Senator's first name, they made fun of his last name, too - "Hey, Suck Grassley ought to be able to get us some pot!""Nah, he just sucks ASSley!!"
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Comment #5 posted by knightshade on March 20, 2009 at 10:34:57 PT:
bringing sticks to knife fights
when are our opponents going to come up with some kind of well-and-many worded argument to throw at us?prohibitionist: WEED! BAD! DRUGS! EVIL!
us: why?
us: well this is our verifiable effidence that youre 100% wrong
prohibitionist: MALARCHY! WEED! BAD! 1937 SAID SO!sigh...oh and uhh... 'first do no harm?' yeah, because that chemotherapy and morphine really HELPED my granny... helped her into a box. 
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on March 20, 2009 at 09:16:05 PT
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley
is the epitome of American politics, old and way out of touch with reality, let alone science. Removing this senator from office would be of tremendous benefit to the American people!
On a mission from God!
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on March 20, 2009 at 08:54:00 PT
paul armentano
Great response to the Senators comments Paul. You do fine work and very professionally.Sorry to step on your post with my smart alecky comments about Grassley.
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on March 20, 2009 at 08:50:31 PT
And in this latest report, Senator Grassley has authored legislation declaring the world is flat. Amendments to the bill declaring that the flat earth is also the center of the universe are being considered.Throw some salt over your shoulder and hope for the best.
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Comment #1 posted by paul armentano on March 20, 2009 at 08:45:23 PT
The Hill: Policy on Medical Marijuana Is Right
My take on Holder's comments and Chuck Grassley's response is online today on The Hill's influential Congress blog -- which is primarily read by Capitol insiders, staffers, and legislative aides.Want to send Grassley a real message -- right in his backyard? Post some feedback on the Hill's blog to my commentary. Your message will get to him, trust me.’s New Policy on Medical Marijuana Is The Right OneMarch 20th, 2009President Barack Obama campaigned on a platform of ‘change.’ Two months into his Presidency, it is clear that this ‘change’ pertains to the way Washington governs U.S. marijuana policy.Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed that he will not authorize federal justice resources to target or prosecute medical cannabis users or providers that are compliant with state law. Holder’s statements clarify remarks he made last month when he said that the Justice Department would uphold President Obama’s campaign pledge not to use the power of the federal government to circumvent state medical marijuana laws.The Attorney General’s position stands in marked contrast to that of prior administrations. During George W. Bush’s eight years in office, federal law enforcement charged numerous state-sanctioned medical cannabis providers with federal law violations – many of whom are now serving sentences of five to ten years in prison. More commonly, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents performed so-called “smash grabs” on state-authorized dispensaries, a tactic whereby federal agents would seize cash and but never press criminal charges. This latter policy was similar to the approach endorsed by the Clinton administration, which ordered the U.S. Justice Department to seek to civil injunctions against dozens of cannabis cooperatives in an effort to seize their assets and permanently close their doors.But not everyone is pleased with the administration’s new ‘hands-off’ approach. Iowa Senator and longtime marijuana law reform opponent Charles Grassley immediately criticized Holder’s announcement, stating, “The first rule of medicine, first do no harm, is being violated by the attorney general by his decision.”Grassley’s ideological opposition, though predictable, are offensive to those who support both science and the right of self-determination.Contrary to the GOP Senator’s assertion, cannabis possess an impeccable safety record. Marijuana’s active components, known as cannabinoids, are virtually non-toxic to cells and major organs, and are incapable of causing a lethal overdose. In 2008 investigators at McGill University in Montreal reviewed over 30 years of data on marijuana and “did not find a higher incidence rate of serious adverse events associated with medical cannabis use” compared to those who never used the drug. Even aspirin can’t make such a claim.Further, Grassley’s arrogant allegations are an affront to the 72 million Americans who reside in the thirteen states where the use of medical cannabis is legal. They are equally objectionable to the 80 percent of voters nationwide who support the physician-supervised use of therapeutic cannabis.Funny, last time I checked Chuck Grassley represented the state of Iowa and only the state of Iowa, which is not one of the states that have legalized the possession and use of medical cannabis under state law. Perhaps in the future Senator Grassley should stick to commenting specifically on those policies that directly impact the voters that he is elected to represent. When it comes to the laws the govern the lives and health of everyone else, the good Senator ought to simply mind his own business.ShareThisPermalink | Comment on this post (0) By National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Deputy Director Paul Armentano
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