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Obama’s DEA Nominee Pledges To Ignore Administration’s Medical Marijuana Policy

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

It was a little over a year ago when the United States Department of Justice announced that it would back away from pursuing cases against medical marijuana patients and providers who are acting in accordance with state and local laws.

“As a general matter, pursuit of [federal law enforcement] priorities should not focus federal resources … on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana,” The DOJ announced on October 19, 2009. “For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources.”

Apparently Michelle Leonhart, President Obama’s nominee to direct the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, didn’t get the memo.

Speaking yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on day one of her Senate confirmation process, Leonhart pledged to ignore the administration’s formal medical marijuana guidelines.

Michele Leonhart one step closer to officially heading up the DEA
via The Daily Caller

[excerpt] Acting director Michele Leonhart is that much closer to officially heading up the Drug Enforcement Agency after successfully navigating a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

If confirmed to the position she’s already held for three years, Leonhart said she would expand the DEA’s anti-cartel operations in Mexico and continue to enforce federal drug laws in states where medical marijuana is legal.

… Perhaps due to the failure of Prop 19 in California (and despite the passage of medical marijuana in Arizona), Kohl, along with Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Al Franken of Minnesota, made no mention of medical marijuana. Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, however, made it his prime focus.

“I’m a big fan of the DEA,” said Sessions, before asking Leonhart point blank if she would fight medical marijuana legalization.

“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people, I have seen the abuse, I have seen what it’s done to families. It’s bad,” Leonhart said. “If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws.”

“These legalization efforts sound good to people,” Sessions quipped. “They say, ‘We could just end the problem of drugs if we could just make it legal.’ But any country that’s tried that, Alaska and other places have tried it, have failed. It does not work,” Sessions said.

“We need people who are willing to say that. Are you willing to say that?” Sessions asked Leonhart.

“Yes, I’ve said that, senator. You’re absolutely correct [about] the social costs from drug abuse, especially from marijuana,” Leonhart said. “Legalizers say it will help the Mexican cartel situation; it won’t. It will allow states to balance budgets; it won’t. No one is looking [at] the social costs of legalizing drugs.”

It is shocking to learn that not a single Senator who attended the hearing, in particular Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, had the courage to demand that Ms. Leonhart respect the laws of the 15 states that have legalized the use of marijuana as a medicine. In the case of Sen. Whitehouse, his own state is now in the process of licensing state-certified marijuana providers and distributors; yet he appears to have no problem with the idea of appointing a federal official who declares her intention to put his own constituents in federal prison.

It gets even more disturbing. In the days leading up to Wednesday’s initial confirmation hearing, acoalition of advocacy groups — including NORMLAmericans for Safe Access, and others called on members of the Senate Judiciary to ask Ms. Leonhart tough questions regarding her public record, one that is incompatible with state laws, public opinion, and with the policies of this administration. Yet not a single Senator did so.

There is a growing divide between state and federal law concerning the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and it would only take members of the Senate — or Ms. Leonhart for that matter — a cursory scan of today’s google headlines to see it:

Prop 203 Passes: Medical Marijuana to Be Legal in Arizona
via CBS News

New Mexico approves six new medical marijuana producers
via The New Mexico Independent

Maine couple cleared to open marijuana clinic
via The Associated Press

DC revises medical marijuana regulations
via Comcast

As we’ve written before, as Interim DEA director, Ms. Leonhart has overseen dozens of federal raids on medical marijuana providers, producers, and laboratory facilities that engage in the testing of cannabis potency and quality. Yesterday Ms. Leonhart pledged to continue these actions — actions that violate this administration’s own written policies, and more importantly, actions that target the civilians of fifteen states and the District of ColumbiaThese people are the constituents of 30 percent of the U.S. Senate; yet not even one of these elected officials appears willing to speak up for them. That is disgraceful.

Want to write or call your Senator about Ms. Leonhart’s nomination process? You can still do so here and here.

William Randolph Hearst | Spanish-American War against Cuba | Yellow Journalism

William Randolph Hearst was a leading newspaperman whose influence on politics reached far and wide. In this video with Kenneth Whyte, author of The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst,http://www.WatchMojo.com learns more about his involvement and influence in leading the United States into war against Spain over Cuba in the Spanish-American war.

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Top Comments

  • 100% Complete bullshit coming from the man and that woman, what a sycophant.

    jpstenino 1 year ago 3 

  • This guy is insulting the intelligence of the American public… He probably thinks that we went to Iraq spread democracy or fight terrorism instead of trying to get control of their Oil… or we had a war with Mexico to remember El Alamo instead of taking their lands all the way to California… or that we created the country of Panama to save them from being a province of Colombia instead or our interest of constructing a canal… sure… we are always the good guys…

    mar0113 1 year ago 2 

Video Responses

This video is a response to Yellow Journalism: Origins and Definition
All Comments (14)
MiamiRSVP

Respond to this video…
  • BULLSHYT, Research “Francisco Vicente Aguilera”…. USA took advantage and stole money and all sorts of bonds (CORPORATIONS< SUGAR PLANTATIONS, planned to be run by secret CIA operatives including but not limited to Castro and many other uneducated minions) and gold/jewels to pretend they were going to help! WOW FRAUD IN HISTORY… AMERICA SUCKS!!!! BORN AND RAISED IN DADE AND EVERYDAY MORE BULLSHYT FLOATS UP TO THE LIGHT!!!

    MiamiRSVP 1 second ago

  • Cuba would be a much better place if Spain had remained in control. USA also fucked up mexico with imperialist wars

    dmax631 2 months ago

  • @Choblik they believed that William Randolph Hearst was the starting point of the war, he used yellow journalism, or simply propaganda to bring in the citizens at that time. People then thought did the Spanish fleet actually destroy the USS Maine? then a group of scuba divers dived in to check on the ship and it turned out the thermodynamic engine exploded which maybe a cause of the explosion on the ship 😦

    SuperTrigga3 4 months ago

  • Didnt Hearst made up a war?  Why do people like Spain?  It’s seems to be troublesome for many like Israel.

    Choblik 6 months ago Continue reading

Medical Marijuana Stops Spread of Breast Cancer – NBC NEWS

Medical Marijuana Stops Spread of Breast Cancer – NBC NEWS

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Emails May Reveal Obama’s Motive in Medical Marijuana Crackdown

Posted by  at 6:07 PM on June 8, 2012

Latest Emails Show the Extent Of Obama’s Ties To The Pharmaceutical Industry

obama marijuana

On the campaign trail Barack ‘Blaze a Blunt’ Obama promised not to sell out to special interests, but to stand up for change. Yet when big pharma came knocking at his door with a pile of money, he quickly changed his tune. The latest batch of emails released by House Republicans prove Obama will give in to any industry, so long as it serves his personal political purpose regardless of promises made to the contrary.

Back in 2009, drug industry lobbyists sought to stop Obama from supporting a bill aimed at lowering medicine prices by allowing the reimportation of certain pharmaceuticals. The obvious lever: support for his plan to overhaul healthcare. On June 3, 2009, a lobbyist sent an email to the presidents chief healthcare advisor, Nancy-Ann DeParle. Her response was that the administration had “made a decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation on the bill.”

During his campaign, Obama attacked the pharmaceutical industry, but as we all now know, when the chips are down, Obama folds like a wallet. The emails also detail Obama’s deep reliance on big pharma to finance the adevertising campaign in support of his healthcare overhaul. With Obama on the end of big pharma’s leash, no wonder he continues to crackdown on medical marijuana.

Basically, the prescription drug industry gave Obama 80 billion dollars in support of his healthcare plan in exchange for favorable treatment on other issues. From the beginning Obama promised to open up the decision making process to public view, but when the big drug boys came calling, all bets were off, and Obama starting making back-room deals.  I wonder how many back-room deals he’s made with respect to cannabis?

As an example of Obama’s two-faced dealings consider this email sent by  a union boss after meeting with Jim Messina, Obama’s then Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, to discuss financing the healthcare overhaul advertising campaign, “They plan to hit up the ‘bad guys’ for most of the $, they want us to just put in enough to be able to put our names in it — he is thinking @100K.”

Ultimately, the deals were made, and Obama gave up his principles for dough. Bryant Hall, then senior vice president of the pharmaceutical group, said it best, “We got a good deal.”

Democrats have rushed to the President’s defense claiming it’s just business as usual. Hold on just a minute. I seem to remember something about change. Beyond his general statements, Obama specifically attacked big pharma on the campaign trail stating:

The pharmaceutical industry wrote into the prescription drug plan that Medicare could not negotiate with drug companies. And you know what? The chairman of the committee who pushed the law through went to work for the pharmaceutical industry making $2 million a year. That’s an example of the same old game playing in Washington. You know, I don’t want to learn how to play the game better. I want to put an end to the game playing.

Yeah right bud. We now know that was just the sort of double talk we’ve come to expect from Obama. I hope when his head stops spinning it’s still facing forward, or ‘Million Dollar Mitt’ might beat him in November. Obama had better snap out of it before it’s too late. I really don’t want see how bad things can become in this country under another dunderheaded Republican–do you?

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The primary political unit of the United States is the State. According to numerous decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the 50 individual states and the United States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions. The United States was formed when the original 13 States signed the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The 37 additional states were admitted to the Union by acts of the United States Congress, beginning with Vermont in 1791 and ending with Hawaii in 1959. The United States Constitution establishes the authority of the Federal government of the United States and maintains the sovereignty of the individual states, limited only by either the powers that each state has specifically transferred to the federal government via the Constitution or the provisions of the state’s own constitution, which typically sets certain parameters for the exercise of the state’s sovereignty.

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PUFMM | Patience United For Medicinal Marihuana

#OpCannabis #Cannabis #420 #OpCannabis420 #NoMoreProhibition

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