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I don't like pot. I don't like the smell or the high, never did. But I had a come-to-Jesus moment lately when I had to take medication that made me horribly nauseated for ten straight days, and the Compazine my doctor prescribed to take the edge off wasn't much help. I found myself thinking that if marijuana would have made me feel normal again, I'd have been thrilled to have it. Why should anyone be denied a harmless medicinal herb that helps them? I'm still waiting for some rational explanation from the Obama administration as to why Eric Holder's Justice Department is going after marijuana providers - and users:
SAN FRANCISCO - April 27 - The San Francisco Democratic Party adopted a resolution yesterday demanding that President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag "cease all Federal actions in San Francisco immediately, respect State and local laws, and stop the closure of City-permitted medical cannabis facilities." The resolution was co-sponsored by 21 members of the party's Central Committee (DCCC) including: its author Gabriel Haaland, Assembly member Tom Ammiano, State Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor David Campos, Supervisor David Chiu, former State Senator Carole Migden, and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.
The DCCC argues that, "the U. S. Attorneys in California are not targeting individuals and organizations that are operating outside of the law, but instead are aggressively persecuting a peaceful and regulated community, wasting Federal resources in using a series of threatening tactics to shut down regulated access to medical cannabis across the state of California." The DCCC also accuses the federal government of "depriving...the State of California much needed tax revenue."
This reminds me of the mostly toothless Rolling Stone interview with Obama conducted by Jann Wenner in the new issue. Wenner did manage to get in a question about pot, and Obama's evasions went unchallenged:
Let me ask you about the War on Drugs. You vowed in 2008, when you were running for election, that you would not "use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws about medical marijuana." Yet we just ran a story that shows your administration is launching more raids on medical pot than the Bush administration did. What's up with that?
Here's what's up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, "Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books." What I can say is, "Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage." As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.
The only tension that's come up – and this gets hyped up a lot – is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we're telling them, "This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way." That's not something we're going to do. I do think it's important and useful to have a broader debate about our drug laws. One of the things we've done over the past three years was to make a sensible change when it came to the disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. We've had a discussion about how to focus on treatment, taking a public-health approach to drugs and lessening the overwhelming emphasis on criminal laws as a tool to deal with this issue. I think that's an appropriate debate that we should have.
Wenner's just so tickled to be interviewing Obama that his brains leaked out his shoes. Can't ask the Justice Department to "ignore completely a federal law that's on the books?" Puhleeze. Tell that to Wall Street! And there's not even a question that medical marijuana users are being prosecuted. How dumb is Wenner?
And elsewhere in the same article, Obama contends that in many cases, Wall Street was only "technically" wrong, not actually guilty of breaking laws.
I suppose this is why this administration is pushing hard for the state attorneys general deal that will indemnify banks and mortgage companies against criminal prosecution? Because they didn't do anything criminally wrong, only "technical" violations?
Wenner should have taken Taibbi with him. We might have gotten some real answers.