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Will The DEA Raids Continue? Now Even The Mainstream Media Is Asking The Question

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 29, 2009

    Count me among those pleasantly surprised — no, make that stunned — to see both the mainstream media and the blogosphere grilling the Obama administration over last week’s DEA offensives against medical marijuana providers in California and Colorado.

    Today, noted San Francisco Chronicle commentator Debra Saunders weighs in on the issue, reminding readers that the DEA’s raids are precisely the sort of things that President Obama — when he was a candidatepledged to end.

    Two things Obama could do on medical marijuana
    via The San Francisco Chronicle

    [excerpt]

    So will Obama keep his word by directing federal drug agents to concentrate on going after drug kingpins instead of sick people?

    I understand that Obama has bigger issues on his plate, which probably is why the White House has yet to respond to my Tuesday query. That said, this issue is vital to many Californians with health problems.

    … Obama has made much of his commitment to “restore science to its rightful place.” Here’s his chance.

    Journalist Maia Szalavitz also expresses her dissatisfaction with both the Justice Department and the new Commander and Chief in an excellent op/ed published today on HuffingtonPost.com

    Obama sends drug warriors to UN, DEA to CA: stop fighting Bush’s wars
    via HuffingtonPost.com

    [exceprt]

    This is not the 70’s or even the 80’s or 90’s– like Bush’s economic policies, his drug policies have visibly and risibly failed. The main power drug warriors have left is politicians’ outsized fear of their past success. Don’t give them undue credit–and don’t underestimate how the ground has shifted in favor of sane, humane drug strategy, not war.

    In short, it’s becoming increasingly clear that neither the American public nor the mainstream media are any longer willing to accept the ‘drug war as usual.’ Is the White House?

    28 Responses to “Will The DEA Raids Continue? Now Even The Mainstream Media Is Asking The Question”

    1. Florida is a fascist swamp says:

      It amazes me that the obama administration is willing to state right on their web site support for the trans gendered but still nothing for us.

    2. Ross says:

      Never underestimate the power of the press. (or overestimate..)

      Hopefully it continues to cause a stir.

    3. Jeff says:

      Why Is OuR Government so dang stubborn?

      Face the Truth about Marijuana FoR Once…

    4. Jared says:

      I think Obama will turn this around one way or another. I do understand theres alot of his plate right now, thats why i have been so patient with him so far. This will happen though, i believe!!

    5. Darrell Kilgore says:

      How does one go about getting a bill or legislation on a certain topic,say Marijuana Decriminalized,to begin with? By a politician with enough guts to actually submit such a bill or legislation? Alas I know of no one,possibly Barney Franks,but I don’t think anything will come of it. Sad times in the good ol USA.

    6. Good to have an article up on HuffPo again.

    7. Gabriel Robles says:

      i alredy am thinking did he turn his back on us…man i feel like starting a riot lol…i dont think obama is going to do anything exept keep the war on drugs funded…keep wasting 40billion and keep non criminals in jail…this is stupid why does the goverment hate the people so fucking much!?i just feel like grabing a gun and killing evrey one of them and arrest evrey cop who consumes tobacco or alcohol shit so much violence to keep something thats great for humans and mother earth

    8. Bob Jetton says:

      I sent President Obama a lengthy email a few days ago via NORML’s contact the president page telling him how strongly I feel about this issue (DEA Raids) and the issues of both medical cannabis rescheduling and legalization of marijuana. I encourage everyone else to do the same!

      I recently read an article wherein the author said he feels our efforts to convince lawmakers to change their minds on these issues will not work because it has not worked thus far. I disagree with that opinion. I think the real problem is that way too many of us have been silent on these issues. More than happy to preach to the choir but afraid to take a stand and voice our opinions to the people who can actually reform the laws. Combine that with lawmakers who for whatever reasons refused to hear the facts and it made for a tough road to hoe for marijuana reform. Times are changing though.

      Not only do we have more public support than ever before and more scientific evidence to support our arguments than ever before but we now have lawmakers who seem receptive to at least listening to the facts. We also have an economy in such a sad state that it helps cast a glaring spotlight on how both marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs are costly financial as well as practical failures.

      Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi challenged us to speak out about marijuana law reform and for good reason. She knows we’ve never had a better chance to convince Congress and she knows the only way they will do the right thing is if we tell them this is what we want. The will of the people.

      I’ve also read some interesting comments from people who said they think some reform (maybe decriminalization) is possible but not likely until his second term. I say we don’t give anyone another term in office unless they hear us now and prove they are willing to make real changes. We need to make this an issue that has to be dealt with NOW and make it very clear that our votes depend on it. It’s that simple. We are after all, the largest special interest group there is…the American Voter.

      Obama’s campaign people were smart enough to realize that the difference in the last election hinged on using the internet to it’s fullest in gaining the younger, internet savvy voters support. What they apparently failed to realize is that once they got us involved they can not turn their backs on us. We did our job in helping get him elected now it’s time for him to do his job in affecting the changes we want.

      Getting Obama elected was not the end of our work though, it was just the beginning. We need to hold him accountable and the best way to do that is keep the pressure on.

      Educate yourself with the facts, contact your representatives and tell them how you feel. Contact President Obama and voice your opinion. Write letters to the editors of your favorite news venue. Speak out. Take a stand now or quit crying about how things never change!

    9. Snoodies says:

      For anyone that voted for Obama and is feeling uneasy now, I can only ask: What did you expect?

      Obama has never been for change. If the same people who voted for Obama, with wishes to end the drug war, eliminate the DEA, and legalize marijuana, they should have look past the bullshit rhetoric and focused on Ron Paul. Ron Paul had pledged in laymans terms to eliminate the DEA upon his first day in office. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A HUGE STEP! We are not focusing enough on the instances of this reform and we are just shooting for the stars. We’ll never get their without a ship.

      Did you guys really expect anyone on the left to be supporting civil liberties? Let’s not forget that marijuana reform is a civil liberties issue. It should not be viewed as a judicial issue. The more we categorize marijuana reform as something that belongs in the courts, the more we push ourselves away from the solution. Only if marijuana reform is seen as a civil liberties issue, will it be treated appropriately like one.

    10. Vote like a Beast says:

      Everybodies homework assignment. Watch how the NRA and AARP operate. They Organize, they publish voting guides so their members KNOW where their elected officials(oops I almost said leaders) stand. AND THEY ACCEPT NO COMPROMISE. During his first (only) term George The First signed a very reasonalbe ban on imported assault rifles. This caused zero pain to hunters or the self defense crowd, and was probably a boost for American gun manufactures. The result, the NRA screamed bloody murder (yuk yuk) and let their members know loud and clear that their was absolutely no reason whatesover to re-elect George the First. Most gun nuts I know either voted for Perot or sat out the election of 1992. Did they think they would like Clinton better? Of course not. But they sent a message and their voice was heard in the only language that counts in this country.
      Review the elections where Medical or Decrim (a waist and a trap) passed. THE REASON MED AND DECRIM GET NO RESPECT IS BECAUSE THOSE SAME VOTERS WHO GAVE REFORM A LANDSLIDE THEN WENT DOWN THE BALLOT AND VOTED FOR OTHER POLITICANS WHO OPPOSED THESE MEASURES. NO WHERE DOES IT SAY YOU HAVE TO VOTE ON EVERY RACE ON THE BALLOT. I VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION, YET I HAVEN’T VOTED FOR EITHER CANDIDATE IN THE SENATE RACE FOR 20 YEARS. DO I PREFER ONE CANDIDATE OVER THE OTHER, ON OTHER ISSUES YES, BUT SINCE THEIR IDENTICAL ON THE DRUG WAR, THEY DON’T GET MY VOTE.
      The reform crowd will be taken seriously when we take ourselves seriously.

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