Saturday, July 14, 2012

Prosecuting Medical Marijuana - O > W

The President has broken so many campaign promises, its hard to keep track. But it is hard to top the degree to which he has broken his promises regarding medical marijuana. Here is what Candidate Obama said in 2008.
"What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism. We’ve got a lot of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with.”
Of course, that promise has gone the way of other Obama promises. From the LA Times:
The federal government is moving to shut down the nation's largest and highest-profile medical marijuana dispensary operation, filing papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose where Harborside Health Center does business.
. . .
"The city of Oakland has developed a system to assure such distribution occurs according to state law in a fair and orderly process," Nancy Nadel, member of the Oakland City Council and vice mayor of the city, said in a statement. "It is most unjust to our citizen patients and distributors who have followed local guidelines to be harassed and treated as criminals by federal officials."
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, stated that she is targeting Harborside precisely because it is big. It is big, because it operates in an a trustworthy and above board manner. This appears to be consistent with the President's disdain for successful businesses. But, I digress.

Of course, where would administration lies and broken promises be without dissembling by the Attorney General.
"We limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law," Mr. Holder told a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.
As to that O > W comparison?
Many of California’s most prominent and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries and related facilities — including Oaksterdam University, Berkeley Patients Group, and Harborside Health Center (HHC) — flourished under the George W. Bush administration. But they’ll be lucky to survive President Barack Obama’s first term,” writes NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano.
For you conservatives who might not care about this issue, Gonzales v Raich is the precedent that allows the feds to prosecute dispensaries operating within state law. It was used as part of the constitutional argument made for Obamacare. That Justice Roberts called it a tax still means we are only one Supreme Court vote away from a unlimited federal power under the commerce clause. I am asking that conservatives and tea partyers make common cause with marijuana proponents; this is a state's rights and commerce clause issue. H/T for this article to StoptheDrugWar.

For those who might not be regular readers of this column or BeerswithDemo, Dean has developed a running list of areas of policy where Obama has exceeded Bush, and not in a good way. It started out as O=W, but soon Obama outdid the former President in so many negative ways.

Here is a sample list, to which we are adding the prosecution of medical marijuana issues.

losing Keeping open Gitmo.

Ending Formalizing the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists.

Ending Maintaining military tribunals.

Discontinuing Continuing other Bush-era policies like rendition, Project Gunrunner and TARP.

Ending Throwing into warp drive the politicization of the Justice Department under the leadership of the biggest hack in the administration.

Interpreting the Patriot Act to collect information on people via mobile phone geolocating

Engaging in an act of war against a country that posed no threat whatsoever to the U.S. with without the consent of Congress.

Swift Painfully slow response to national disasters.

Ending Maintaining the practice of signing statements.

For you visual types, how about a federal government - Goldman Sachs Venn diagram? (thanks, W.C. )

Signing off on predator drone strikes for the ostensible purpose of assassinating a foreign head of state. And then doing so.

Using executive orders and administrative actions and generally subverting the role of Congress in order to enact his agenda.

Shutting down Operating a seeming revolving door between the White House and Wall Street and K Street.

Signing legislation that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge. Got 4th amendment? Not anymore, you don't.

Authorizing a program to assassinate American civilians.

Actually authorizing a drone strike hit that killed American-born Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan (from this point forward, we never... never want to hear a peep about water-boarding)

And adopting another Bush-like tendency in combating the war on terror: refusing to provide the legal justification for the killing of U.S. citizens.


  1. Great post. The hypocrisy and deceit confounds even me.

  2. You might add Tim Geithner to your Venn diagram.

  3. Excellent job. Thanks for the link. Right back at ya, forthcoming.


  4. I need to add the name of al-Awlaki's 16 year-old son who was killed in same drone strike to that list.


  5. It's hard to read this when all the time, I have been screaming about "team politics". There is a horrible mental state in the nation regarding our policies; either you're R or D, get on board. Only the T party and Ron Paul (a few others)are attempting to change a party within.

    Where are the real liberals and the ACLU types not having their heads explode over this? I say it again, "team politics"

    Just talked to a N.O. Saints fan. His whole rhetoric was about, "they all do it", "it wasn't that bad", "Drew didn't know about it", "the punishment was too harsh".

    NO! They were breaking the rules, and hurting men and their careers. This behavior was criminal and punishments were not harsh enough.

    So Democratic apologetics will keep critics who would normally find the policies to be malignant, to be still and quiet.

    We have come as a nation to define ourselves as part of a team, R or D. As Libertarians, we can at least find some solace in the T-party, Ron Paul, and those who know the change needs to come from within the Team R.

    Team D is so far lost.

  6. One of the best wrap-ups I've ever seen of Candidate Anti-Bush and President When-in-Doubt-Bush.