Obama Confused About Power To Reschedule Pot
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Obama Confused About Power To Reschedule Pot
Posted by CN Staff on February 01, 2014 at 06:20:27 PT
By Steven Nelson
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Washington, D.C. -- President Barack Obama said Thursday it's not his administration's job to reschedule marijuana, but supporters of rescinding the drug's federal classification as one of the most dangerous narcotics say the president is confused and should act immediately. "What is and isn't a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress," Obama told Jake Tapper of CNN. "It's not something by ourselves that we start changing. No, there are laws under  undergirding those determinations." Marijuana advocates point to the U.S. Code and say that's not entirely accurate. The 1970 Controlled Substances Act, which created five tiers of restricted drugs, says the attorney general may "remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule."
If a substance is banned by international treaties  as marijuana is  the law grants the attorney general the power to place it "under the schedule he deems most appropriate."Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., tells U.S. News it's "very clear" that the law "actually permits reclassification administratively.""I don't dispute that Congress could and should make the change, but it's also something the administration could do in a matter of days and I hope they will consider it," says Blumenauer, who is currently circulating a letter among colleagues asking Obama to do so. Eight members of Congress have signed the letter so far.Schedule I drugs are deemed to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value.Blumenauer says it's clear marijuana doesn't belong in the highest schedule alongside heroin and LSD. He says it does have accepted medical value in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where its use for certain conditions is permitted, and that it's relatively safe compared to other drugs  notably cocaine and methamphetamine, which are ranked Schedule II.Among the benefits of rescheduling pot, Blumenauer says, is easing banking restrictions for state-permitted recreational and medical marijuana shops, which mainly deal in cash because banks fearing federal penalties refuse their business."It's a common-sense approach that would allow us to move on," he says. "We're in this 'Alice in Wonderland' world where the country has moved on, but we're still arresting more than two-thirds of a million people a year for something 58 percent of the population believes should be legal."Obama told The New Yorker in a story published earlier this month that pot is safer to consume than alcohol, thrilling marijuana activists. But his reluctance to reschedule it accordingly is a frustration."It's very unfortunate that President Obama appears to want to pass the buck to Congress when it comes to marijuana laws, especially when his State of the Union speech this week focused on actions he can take to move America forward without having to wait for the legislative branch to get its act together," says Tom Angell, chairman of the group Marijuana Majority."If the president truly believes what he says about marijuana, he has a moral imperative to make the law match up with his views and the views of the majority of the American people, without delay," Angell says.Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), says rescheduling marijuana "is not 'a job for Congress,' as the president says.""The whole point of the law is to set up a process for scheduling of drugs and delegate it to the executive branch so Congress doesn't have to concern itself with that level of minutia," Riffle says.Scheduling decisions often are handled by the Drug Enforcement Administration, an agency supervised by the Department of Justice, Riffle says.The MPP is currently petitioning Obama to reschedule the drug.One possible snag for reformers is fierce opposition to marijuana policy reform from DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, who called marijuana an "insidious drug" during a June 2012 House committee hearing. During a closed-door Jan. 22 speech, Leonhart reportedly contradicted Obama's position that pot is less harmful than alcohol, earning a standing ovation from a crowd of sheriffs.The MPP launched a petition Monday asking Obama to fire Leonhart. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., demanded her resignation Wednesday and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., denounced her as "completely incompetent and unknowledgeable.""The president famously said he has bigger fish to fry, but he has some people in his administration who are still frying those fish," Blumenauer says.Blumenauer calls Leonhart's position "goofy," but also says he's focused on rescheduling pot and is "less concerned about whether the woman stays or is fired."If Obama were to approve administrative rescheduling, he might find a willing participant in Attorney General Eric Holder, who is currently soliciting clemency applications from prisoners convicted of drug possession and who announced Aug. 29 his department would not sue to block the opening of marijuana stores in Colorado and Washington.Colorado and Washington state residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2012. The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to follow suit Jan. 15, but the bill is in limbo because of opposition from the governor and upper chamber. Voters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington, D.C., may vote on legalizing recreational use later this year."The public's not waiting, and within two or three years it's going to be game over and it will be treated just like alcohol," Blumenauer predicts. He plans to cast a ballot for legalization in November.Source: U.S. News & World Report (US)Author:  Steven Nelson Published: January 31, 2014Copyright: 2014 U.S. News & World ReportWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 03, 2014 at 07:39:32 PT
Yup! Like a hookasmokingcaterpillar
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on February 03, 2014 at 07:36:13 PT
Remember what we used to say? "It doesn't matter what they're saying... the music is great!"Annagottadavita!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 02, 2014 at 20:41:54 PT
They were good but I couldn't understand what they were singing about. Congrats to Seattle!
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 02, 2014 at 18:43:20 PT
I liked it.
Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chile Peppers.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 02, 2014 at 17:25:35 PT
We haven't seen it yet. We keep pausing it a lot so we will see it soon. I'm glad to read that it is amazing.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on February 02, 2014 at 17:18:25 PT
half time show!
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on February 02, 2014 at 12:03:19 PT
I agree, The GCW, and FoM.
This article is good. I felt informed. I learned things.Thanks, Steven Nelson. Thanks U. S. News & World Report.Thanks to Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon., Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado. These courageous men, and the women representatives and journalists that I know are doing the same things, have my admiration and respect. They are patriots to the country that was founded on freedom from oppressive government. They are brave. They are standing up in the face of dangerous and powerful prohibitionists, for the sake of those they represent. 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on February 02, 2014 at 11:39:07 PT
He knows. I'm sure.
He wants the media to tell him publicly, plenty of times, because they are telling everyone that, "Yes, this can be done". After awhile, a short while, let's hope, people will understand, and realize, that he's doing the right thing, a thing he can do, and a thing that should have been done administrations ago. Of course, the prohibitionists and burdensome rules are good for you people won't be happy, regardless of how it's done. There's people that will actually, in their hearts, believe the administration did the right thing but they will be furious about it publicly, in some way, to keep up their hate filled public persona and political agenda.It needs to be done sooner rather than later... because it's been going on too long already. Way too long. 
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Comment #7 posted by Oleg the Tumor on February 02, 2014 at 08:50:12 PT:
"Obama Confused"?
This always happens when you are "the last to know".The endgame has arrived and not everyone is ready for it. Oh dear! Time to court the MJ users, quick! Midterm Elections dead ahead! Tack! Tack! Pull boys, Pull!Will she clear the iceberg in time?It doesn't matter. Peak Oil and Peak Credit have both passed like options expiring in the night.Now the financial markets are scrambling to go their separate ways and they can't. Most readers of this site have already read "The Elkhorn Manifesto" by R. William Davis. We all know that Big Oil has been threatening to shut off the US Military since Feb of 1942, as described in the section marked "Standard Oil of New Jersey-Now Exxon". Now, if you are threatening to shut off the Military's oil supply to get your own way, then you jolly well better have a supply of oil, no matter what. It is not a good idea to screw with guys who have guns, money and no need for the law or lawyers.As Ayn Rand said, "Watch money."The week ahead should be terribly interesting, whoever wins the football game.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 01, 2014 at 07:24:58 PT
It's snowballing just like our fields.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 01, 2014 at 07:15:40 PT
There's a new world coming. This one is coming to and end!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 01, 2014 at 07:12:22 PT
Mama Cass Elliot - New World Coming
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on February 01, 2014 at 06:43:06 PT
This article is one of the best I've read.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 01, 2014 at 06:39:08 PT
Everyday I think we are getting closer to the end of this madness.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 01, 2014 at 06:34:24 PT
Famous for ending one of America's worst policies.
The (snow)ball is rolling and it's getting huge.Imagine how this is and has been an issue activist have been pressing on Obama's mind for the last bunch of years (perhaps most of His life too).He can completely get rid of this issue as far as He's concerned by RE-Scheduling the God-given plant.& at the same timeBecome famous for ending cannabis prohibition.
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