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Obama: Marijuana & Drug War Questions 
Posted by CN Staff on January 28, 2011 at 06:42:06 PT
By Sahil Kapur 
Source: AlterNet
Washington, D.C. -- President Barack Obama on Thursday said America's long-running prohibition of drugs serves an important purpose, but advocated for "shifting resources" away from incarcerations of "nonviolent, first time drug offenders.""I think this is an entirely legitimate topic for debate," Obama said from the White House during an interview broadcast live on YouTube. But, he added, "I am not in favor of legalization."
His remarks came in response to a videotaped question from retired deputy sheriff MacKenzie Allen about whether the drug war may be counterproductive by way of fueling violence in market pushed underground."We have to go after drug cartels that are not only selling drugs but also creating havoc on the US-Mexican border," Obama said. But he added that drugs should be treated as a public health issue and that the United States would benefit by spending less time and money jailing offenders."On drugs, I think that a lot of times we have been so focused on arrests, incarceration, interdiction, that we donít spend as much time thinking about how we shrink demand," he said.The Associated Press reported last May that "[a]fter 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.""The president talks a good game about shifting resources and having a balanced, public health-oriented approach, but it doesn't square with the budgets he's submitted to Congress," said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)."Still," Franklin added, "it's historic that the president of the United States is finally saying that legalizing and regulating drugs is a topic worthy of discussion."The question about the drug war, which came from a member of LEAP, was voted the most popular ahead of the interview. All but a few of viewers' 200 top-rated questions touched on different aspects of the drug war.Obama's remarks reflect an unchanged stance but different tone on the issue than in 2009, when he was asked about drug legalization and responded: "I don't know what this says about the online audience -- but, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow the economy."Source: AlterNet (US)Author:  Sahil Kapur Published: January 27, 2011Copyright: 2010 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters alternet.org Website: http://www.alternet.org/URL: http://alternet.org/drugs/149709/CannabisNews Justice Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/justice.shtml
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on January 29, 2011 at 15:33:04 PT
He did?
From this article. "But he added that drugs should be treated as a public health issue and that the United States would benefit by spending less time and money jailing offenders."I don't really want to watch it again right now, but I don't recall him saying anything quite like that.He did, though, clearly say it was debatable. "I think this is an entirely legitimate topic for debate,"That's huge.Maybe.We'll see.I've seen statements and such I thought would be "Huge!" before... and they turned out to be obscured and forgotten quickly.But this is a sitting President saying it's debatable. Also with that statement he seems to be speaking to the people rather more like an equal than a tyrannical parent of a small child which is all the response we've gotten out of them before. Think McCain.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on January 29, 2011 at 14:57:11 PT
:0)
Thanks.
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Comment #15 posted by Garry Minor on January 29, 2011 at 08:10:38 PT
Hope
Hang in there!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 29, 2011 at 05:36:58 PT
John Tyler
I agree again. Maybe it's my disposition but I appreciate every little bit we can get from our President. The years under Republicans were very difficult.Garry, Thank you too. We all love our dear Hope. She's in the home stretch now thankfully.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on January 28, 2011 at 21:54:41 PT
Garry Minor Comment 11
I'm glad that you're not sorry to see me. Thank you. But, I usually do check in on news and comments at least once everyday, if possible, as a part of my daily routine. Coffee and C-News. Lots of others are just like me and consider checking C-News everyday rather a part of our lives at this point. So even though we don't always say something. We're reading, if it's at all possible. I really can't say something every single time someone writes exactly and so well, how I feel about a subject, too, or I'd have to say something about most comments. But sometimes I do, when I can and if someone ever says something directly to me, I hope I notice it and respond. It's just an unusual oversight on my part if I don't respond to someone speaking directly to me.You've never been rude to me. It's been a good thing reading your comments and having you share your thoughts about these things with us.I am doing well. I only have about twenty more radiation treatments to go. My hair and eyebrows and eyelashes are growing back. People around me are rejoicing about that. I look a lot healthier and I do feel better, too. It's nice not being infused with such potent medicine that it could kill me itself....mainlined to my heart through a tube attached to a port embedded in my chest. Yes, indeed. That feels better not doing that and slowly, hopefully recovering from it. I don't and haven't needed a walking stick for a long time. The port's out and I don't have to take rat poison to fight blood clots anymore. That's a huge relief. I'm taking vitamin D and aspirin everyday... just in case it helps fight cancer like they think it does as recommended by the oncologist. It's been an extraordinary "Trip". I appreciate all the love, however you thought it, expressed it, or prayed it. I thank you. I think it matters. It matters to me.
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Comment #12 posted by John Tyler on January 28, 2011 at 20:27:41 PT
not in favor is better than against
Obama said that he was not in favor of legalization, but he did not quite come out against it either. There is some room there. That is a whole lot better than the Republicans. At this point I am totally turned off by the Republicans. They may talk a good game and suck a lot of people in, but when it comes down to it they are of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. Donít get me wrong, rich is pretty good. I would like to be rich, but Iím not. So, I have to look out for my interest, and who is going to be on my side, and the Republicans are not on my side. The Dems may seem weak and wishy washy and annoying sometimes, but they are trying to get the job done in their own way.
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Comment #11 posted by Garry Minor on January 28, 2011 at 15:54:41 PT
Hope
Hi Hope!
It's good you see you out and about, if that's what this is? I need to tell you that if I've ever failed to respond to you here at CNews, it's not because I'm rude, sometimes I just don't go back to a certain article.Anyway, I think about you all the time and pray that all is well, and, that your treatments are about over. I wish you nothing but the best. You too, FoM, for giving us nuts a place to gather! You have to be very pleased that we have so much good news to be thankful for regardless of the bs and spin jobs the enemy throws at us. I imagine that there were days, not that long ago, that you wondered if it would happen in your lifetime. It is!!!!
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 28, 2011 at 12:27:52 PT
Garry Minor
I agree with your comment 5.It's not good enough... but it has gotten a bit better in spite of what ever it is, (dangerous, powerful prohibitionists, big business and corporate powers?) that is so irrationally, and powerfully, holding back progress in the drug policy field that is so littered with tragedy and death.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 10:30:53 PT
herbdoc215
I look at it this way. The USA is made up of freedom loving people and those with conservative views. Some folks would lose it if Obama legalized drugs (not marijuana) like the question asked. I wish drug people would stop tripping us up.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 10:27:07 PT
Garry
I agree with you. We have made great progress under Obama. What he has been doing for the Vietnam Veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange is so appreciated. One Veteran today received his money and his home won't be on the auction block in February. That makes me so happy.
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Comment #7 posted by herbdoc215 on January 28, 2011 at 10:09:43 PT
I would be as scared to wake up to Bbbiden
as President as Palin, as they are two peas in a pod if you ask me! Also please excuse my typing errors below as my keyboard has a mind of it's own today.
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Comment #6 posted by herbdoc215 on January 28, 2011 at 10:05:16 PT
FoM, Everybody HATES Palin 
Except the few of her crypto-racist followers and they are not many just loud...I always believed throwing her into the race was the repugs way of throwing it and now they have de-fanged her quite well for the next election in the media lately by showing her 'true' self. I would still vot Obama if that was the choice again but I also doubt (B)Hillery would have been one iota better either as the dems are as scared of pissing off their masters even more than the repugs it appears. Frankly I don't know where we go from her but after watching President Carter (who Obama seems to be channeling now) get this close to reform when I was a young supporter of NORML and still believed and then watch all that be swept away with Reagen makes me scared as hell this is only a temp reprieve if e don't go all the way NOW!
Museman, great point and prose...I only wish I could elucidate my points half as well? Peace, Steve   
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Comment #5 posted by Garry Minor on January 28, 2011 at 09:55:41 PT
Obama
I wonder if we would be sitting where we are today, with all of our successes, all around the country, if John McCain were our president?Considering the consequences and the powers he faces regarding this issue, I think Mr. Obama is doing the best he can without getting himself or a family member killed! The beast hasn't censored the Truth for all these years to give it up so easily. It's up to us to keep the pressure on!
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Comment #4 posted by museman on January 28, 2011 at 09:49:22 PT
herbdoc
I wholeheartedly agree. I published a music video on youtube right before the election. At the end there are two pictures; one with Mcain and Bush with their arms around each other, and one with Obama. The one with B and M has a circle with a line through it. The one with O has a question mark.I figured it out last year. It was hard to admit that we really got a big wooly blanket pulled over our eyes with O, and all those liberals and black people who were so happy after elections -most are still in denial.There is so much orchestration going on in political circles, they got to have some major playwriting going on. The Dog is being wagged so fiercely, its nearly impossible to draw the line between what is deliberately shown -and focussed on by the politically/economically controlled media, and the reality that eludes the awareness of most americans.The only ones who are aware are the almost 10% of the population that is currently unable to find a master to work for, and the others who have been on the short end of the american stick for a while -like cannabis users. And those who actually were paying attention because they valued the truth...You have to admit though, what they pulled on us with Obama was even slicker than Willie!What is important to note however, is that there are many many more people waking up to reality because of the continuing abuse of the Earth and Humanity, and these political do-nothings are so out of touch with what is going on in intelligent (not 'academic') people's minds, they do not see what is coming down the pipe.The system has failed. It was never meant to succeed in the ways the people -from the farmers and peasants who were duped to fight against the crown for their mercantile masters, to the young bucks killing, dying, and maiming and being maimed in the 'wars'- were promised and lied to about.The preoccupation of the people with basic survival, has always been the catch22 that all rulers have used since the beginning. The game is exclusive, and the only way to play is be part of the wealth and power that is the club of rulers. The only way to have wealth and power is to ignore the imbalance in the world and just walk right over whomever gets in the way. Those are facts that many who have a stake in the false belief that they will somehow be accepted into the club because they kiss their masters asses (SQAKs) make incredible concoctions of lies and justifications to keep themselves and others from actually seeing, knowing, and admitting the truth.There are two basic scenarios going on on planet earth; Conquest, and Liberation. The conquest has disguised itself as liberation, and many liberators often end up in jail or 
prison, because the Status Quo has engineered reality to appear assbackwards.But though the powers that have been and still are, think that all their clever distortions, subterfuge, and obfuscations are still going to go over on an awakening humanity, they are purely blind to what was glimpsed by some few back in psychedelic experimentation (by spiritual people, not by MK Ultra and that ilk) and is becoming more substantial and part of our evolving consciousness pretty damn quickly- compared to Millennia of deliberate ignorance taught and perpetuated by all the institutions of established power and 'authority,' and enforced through threat, violence, war, and destruction.They are so blind, I can state clearly; The time of Nations, and false 'Moral Authority' has passed. The corpse of the false values of class division, and economic exclusivity may be thrashing about, because it doesn't know the head is dead, but there really isn't all that much time left before it expires completely. Of course the collateral damage from all that thrashing will be just as extensive as we collectively allow, and the klingons of the failed system will be the last to get thrashed, but it is over. When the awareness and consciousness was achieved, and held in thought by more than an individual, the cat was out of the bag and it ain't getting put back in. Similar and definitely related to what happened to our collective consciousness when the message (not the church lies and dogma) of true freedom ("The truth shall set you free") was given to us by YSHWH.Yet though that awareness is right there for anyone who can put aside their false beliefs in the Status Quo, and all the social/economic/religious tweaks that have kept consciousness asleep and 'controlled and regulated' since Sumeria, these vestiges of falsehood and denial, these lazy, corrupt, do-nothings who present themselves as our 'chosen and worthy' leaders and masters will one day wake up to our real world, and they will hemorage with shock, and likely some will just burst into flame because they have no soul left after a lifetime of serving and servicing evil.I could look any one of them in the eye and tell them the truth, but they will still deny it to the end. No point in wasting any more time trying to get them to wake up, we got too much work to do with those who WANT to wake up.Imagine if they gave an election and nobody voted?LEGALIZE FREEDOMA recent version of the following song done live this summer;http://terryhubbard.com/hist/ARC/index.html#arcjuklast song in the playlist
To This Moment
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 09:22:58 PT
herbdoc215
Maybe he won't get re-elected. Maybe Palin will be the next President since it seems so many like her so much.
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on January 28, 2011 at 08:14:16 PT
Freedom Watch last night 
The Judge said the border guard that had just lost his job becauce he said he felt the drug war was making things worse at the border should be reinstated for telling the truth.fox 8pm dir tv ch 359
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Comment #1 posted by herbdoc215 on January 28, 2011 at 08:11:25 PT
If anybody here thinks Obama will be re-elected
 in 2012; I got money to bet you, and I'll give you 2-1 Odds as I have never seen such a do nothing President, Dems should change their name to the 'know-nothing' party as they are exactly the same as repugs. At last for all his supporters Bush came through and didn't care who thought what...Bending the constitution to the breaking point that Obama has been more than happy to leave broken. 
Economy is still in the shit-can and heading south, still bleeding jobs. Wars are still raging for no reason, kids STILL coming home with no limbs because he wants to appear tough in a war we have zero chance of winning and a 100% chance of spreading to Pakistan! He (Dems) had BOTH houses of the legislature and totally blew it, now it's nothing but gridlock and will continue that way into the next administration for quite a while I'm afraid! It's nice to know the establishment thinks we are all stoners whom can't know what is best for us...and it sure is nice to dismiss the dangers we all live with trying to stay alive when all it would have taken is ONE time getting caught snorting coke or smoking pot in his youth and he would be just another statistical brother in the system waiting for his chance to get a minimum wage job. Obama's appointments have said it all, from Gates to Leonhart has shown me he is a toady just like Bush. The definition of insanity is doing the exact same things over and over, expecting a different result every time? It's time to think outside the box. Peace, Steve 
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