Obama's Hypocritical War on Marijuana
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Obama's Hypocritical War on Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 25, 2012 at 16:29:25 PT
By Ethan Nadelmann
Source: Huffington Post 
USA -- A forthcoming biography on President Obama is making headlines, with new details about the president smoking marijuana with his teenage friends in Hawaii.David Maraniss' book, Barack Obama: The Story, describes Obama as a marijuana enthusiast: "When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted 'Intercepted!' and took an extra hit," Maraniss writes. Maraniss also describes Obama's technique of "roof hits" while hot-boxing cars. "When the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling," he writes. Obama has been less than shy about his drug use in the past, writing about the topic in Dreams from My Father, "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it," he writes in the memoir.
While Obama's term began with great promise for drug policy reformers, in the past two years it has been difficult to distin­guish Obama's drug policies from those of his White House predecessors. Although President Obama has acknowledged that legalization is "an entirely legitimate topic for debate" -- the first time a sitting president has made such a statement -- his administra­tion has made a string of increasingly disappointing moves over the last year. Half of all U.S. drug arrests are for marijuana -- more than 850,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana in 2010 alone, 88 percent for mere possession.Barack Obama won a lot of hearts and minds some years ago when he talked so openly and frankly about his youthful marijuana use. That contrasted refreshingly with Bill Clinton's hemming and hawing about not having inhaled, much less George Bush's refusal to even acknowledge what old friends revealed about his marijuana use. But the president has been losing lots of hearts and minds, especially those of young voters, with his striking silence on marijuana issues since he became president -- apart from providing lame excuses for the federal government's aggressive undermining of state medical marijuana laws. Most disappointing is his failure to say a word as president about the fact that half of all drug arrests each year are for nothing more than possessing a small amount of marijuana, which is something Barack Obama did lots of in his younger days, or to offer any critical comments about the stunning racial disproportionality in marijuana arrests around the country. Roughly twice as many people are arrested for marijuana possession now as were arrested in the early 1980s, even though the number of people consuming marijuana is no greater now than then. If police had been as keen on making marijuana arrests back then, it's quite possible that a young man named Barry Obama would have landed up with a criminal record -- and even more likely that he would not have his current job. With 50 percent of Americans -- and 57 percent of Democrats -- now in favor of legalizing marijuana use, according to Gallup's most recent poll, President Obama needs to come clean once again about marijuana -- but this time he needs to speak not of his own youthful use but rather of the harmful consequences of today's punitive marijuana policies for young Americans today. Ethan Nadelmann is the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance ( Huffington Post (NY)Author: Ethan NadelmannPublished: May 25, 2012Copyright: 2012, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 26, 2012 at 13:46:15 PT
Obama's girls are getting older and hopefully he will have a long talk with them in a year or so. I hope he listens to this song.Teach Your Children:
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Comment #8 posted by BGreen on May 26, 2012 at 13:34:49 PT
Maybe, FoM
There's also a chance that he will come to the realization that seeing his precious daughters in a jail cell for their experimentation with cannabis isn't worth his effort to see other kids and adults locked up. The punishment doesn't fit the crime and he's way too smart not to know it.I would also point out that a big excuse that many parents give for their intolerance for the LGBT community is also this false impression of it somehow protecting their children. Cannabis will always be here just like LGBT people will always be here. We just have to stop them from making lives a living hell for both groups by making the "solutions" much more deleterious to humankind than the so-called "problem" they so narrow-mindedly attempt to address.Prison will not protect the Obama girls from cannabis no more than it will protect anybody. Obama know that. He's my age so I understand him. I could have easily been one of the guys in the car with him. I think we're in for a surprise after he's reelected.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 26, 2012 at 13:02:23 PT
You know who I think gives Obama pause? Being a father of underage children. When people become parents that don't want their children to get caught up in anything at all. I knew having young children would make Obama more reserved. 
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Comment #6 posted by BGreen on May 26, 2012 at 12:29:28 PT
I believe Biden is a big impediment to our cause
Joe Biden has always been a rabid prohibitionist. So much so that I would bet good money on the fact that he is blocking movement on legalization of cannabis. I strongly believe that President Obama can NOT come out in favor of cannabis legalization until after he is reelected. His acceptance of marriage equality is risky but it's easier to defend as a matter of civil rights. The fact that his stance on marriage hasn't killed his career, and taking into account more people currently support cannabis legalization than support marriage equality, I think his second term is going to look very good for us.I'd also like to hope that the LGBT community will understand how much help and love has come to them through the cannabis culture. Many times it was the "potheads" who were there holding their hands as they were sick and dying when the rest of the country seemingly had abandoned them. I would hope that the LGBT community will lend a hand to our civil rights issue once their own battles are diminished. I accept the rights of all LGBT people to live their lives the way they choose and without undue governmental interference. All I ask is for their acceptance of our rights, too.I am an ordained minister and I would be proud to perform the ceremony for any loving couple, straight or gay. I can't say I've always been that open minded but I'm very proud to have grown up since then.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on May 26, 2012 at 08:50:32 PT
Good post. Have a good holiday.
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the Tumor on May 26, 2012 at 08:22:31 PT:
The definition of "inappropriate"?
Unfortunately, the Cannabis hemp issue does not seem to be about a non-toxic, albeit psychoactive plant as much as it seems to be about the credibility of the federal government itself. By insisting that marijuana be a "federal case", each successive President since Nixon has only provoked greater scrutiny to the issue than his predecessor, ultimately guaranteeing an outcome precisely the opposite of any administration's intent: the ultimate examination of who knew what, when, regarding Congress, the role of America's financiers (and their client/industrialists) assisting Nazi Germany to prepare for World War II while simultaneously financing that country's reparations in gold for World War I! For this issue to be addressed and this information revisited in the year 2012, with the European economic situation the way it is would be "inappropriate".Perhaps this is what Pres. Obama meant when he flagged our petition to legalize cannabis as such. We thought he was talking about marijuana. A topic he apparently knows something aboutFor a president who, as a candidate, campaigned chiefly on the issues surrounding health care, maintaining his opposition to medical marijuana is a betrayal of someone's liberty, if not his own –as he is "estopped" from coming clean with America's problems to go forward as its leader, then mine – as I am presumably expected to "do the patriotic thing," and remain silent on the medical cannabis issue in order to protect the Almighty dollar from collapse.
That is asking a bit much from seriously ill people fighting to keep their families from going under financially, particularly when they are surrounded by a Mickey Mouse DEA and "Gils Gargoyles".   The "other" issue successfully avoided by each president since Nixon is what to do (if cannabis is decriminalized) with nonviolent prisoners serving sentences for marijuana possession?
Special-interest groups representing the corrections industry, police unions, Big Pharma and the alcoholic beverage industry seem to think that they should have some say in the cannabis issue. 
Many people, those of us who understand what this plant, and by extension, nature itself has to offer, disagree. 
But who are we?  
Cannabis sativa, ("sativa" means "useful") was not a problem in American society until Congress acted in 1937. In fact, cannabis hemp was the most important source of revenue for the state of Kentucky for over 150 years. That this industry was destroyed at the height of the Great Depression is difficult to comprehend. In fact, we need the hemp industry back, and as soon as possible.To say that this issue will eventually be settled at the ballot box by retiring, ailing, baby boomers unwilling to hand over their Social Security money to the cartels is almost academic. 
10,000 baby boomers will be retiring each day for something like the next 19 years.
The number of states with cannabis policies contrary to the federal policy will continue to increase with Colorado, Oregon, and the state of Washington seeking full legalization this November.There is a distinct risk that this issue could, for all practical purposes make the Office of the President, irrelevant to the taxpayer. What then? Do we really need an "Office of the President"? George Washington did not think so. Constant change is here to stay and no one has yet figured out how to stop it, least of all candidates hellbent for election or reelection.We Need Jobs! We Need Sanity! We Need the Hemp Industry Back Now! We demand that this issue be resolved in 2012!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 26, 2012 at 04:34:23 PT
I believe that corporations really run our country. They are even classified as people now. 
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 25, 2012 at 21:27:46 PT
US president is a frontman for financial interests
Sadly, the propaganda machine promotes ideas such as, we have a choice.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 25, 2012 at 16:35:58 PT
I Support Obama For Other Reasons
I never thought he meant Pot Shops would be allowed. As far as I know he has left WAMM alone unlike President Bush.If I was Obama I would wonder why so many people came out swinging at him right after he was elected. If I was him I would have felt it was coming from right leaning people not Democrats. I would like to see progress but the Republicans would surely play it up and he might not get re-elected then we'd have Romney. I can't imagine he would be on our side since he doesn't even feel it is worth talking about and he doesn't even know what Hemp is!
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