Overkill in the war on pothttp://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-lee-medical-marijuana-20130122,0,6773192.story
Lost in this fray is the fact that marijuana is medicine.
As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama emphatically stated that medical marijuana use was an issue best left to the states. One of the first promises he made as the newly elected president was that he was "not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws." This was even reiterated formally in the so-called Ogden memo of 2009, in which the Department of Justice instructed U.S. attorneys that federal enforcement should apply only to medical marijuana operations that were not in clear compliance with state law.
Obama has since "clarified" those promises, but it still makes no sense that Matthew R. Davies, a business school graduate who set out in 2009 to create a medical marijuana dispensary that would be in full compliance with California law, is facing up to 15 years in prison with a mandatory five-year sentence.
This is just one more puzzling incident in the history of a president who not only made these promises but has also admitted to heavy recreational use of marijuana himself in his youth. As a second-term president, with little to lose, why is he continuing his odd campaign on a state-approved industry that employs people, pays taxes and distributes a safe and clinically useful product?
Lost in this fray is the fact that marijuana is medicine. My son is autistic and has an autoimmune gastrointestinal problem for which, at my suggestion, his doctor prescribed him Marinol (a synthetic THC drug). When that proved ineffective, the doctor agreed to prescribe medical cannabis, which is legal in Rhode Island where we were living and, unlike in some states, such as California, is approved for pediatric use.
The medical cannabis stopped this behavior that was hurting the author's son. She goes on to explain the process of finding the right strain for various medical issues and asks a question that so many of us are asking: Why does Obama deny the reality that he knows from his own life, that marijuana is not a harmful drug that deserves the kind of treatment the federal govt. continues to force on Americans who have voted to change bad law.
but I don't see it happening...yet.
I do hope he breaks the shameful tradition of Democrats using marijuana as a way to look like a law and order kinda guy - because that's a shameful legacy of the Clinton administration that Obama does not need to emulate.
I also support decriminalization.
The War on Drugs is an abject failure and needs to stop. Immediately.
Matthew Davies can't sue the Obama administration for leading him on into believing he could safely open his business under Obama. This is not like any other "promise" they make on the campaign trail. This man's life is now in jeopardy because Obama told him he would be safe. I know it sounds ridiculous to sue Obama over this, be HE did say he would leave it to the states. If he can't hold up his end of the bargain, then just close the shops down with NO arrests.
This man put everything he had into his business, only to be fooled. He deserves some compensation for that. He doesn't deserve jail time.
Not just Matthew Davies. But, yes, Obama explicitly stated he was not going to interfere with states who wanted to be "laboratories for Democracy" in the matter of marijuana's legal status in the U.S.
Another thing Democrats should think about is that the majority of independents side with liberal Democrats, not social conservative Democrats, on this issue.
It also makes me sad to think that Obama would choose to be on the wrong side of history on this issue. Maybe his ideas will evolve, as they did on the issue of equal rights for homosexuals.
Maybe he should go talk to people who have medical problems that have shown improvement after they could legally obtain cannabis for treatment.