Loading

Latest Casualty In Obama’s War On Pot: The First Amendment

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 14, 2011

    The First Amendment is the latest casualty of the Obama Administration’s stepped up war on cannabis.

    On Wednesday, the US Attorney for the southern district of California, Laura Duffy, announced her intent to target media outlets — in particular alt-weeklies like the San Diego Reader and the San Francisco Bay Guardian — that accept advertising dollars from medical cannabis operations.

    Feds to target newspaper, radio marijuana ads

    via California Watch

    U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy, whose district includes Imperial and San Diego counties, said marijuana advertising is the next area she’s “going to be moving onto as part of the enforcement efforts in Southern California.” Duffy said she could not speak for the three other U.S. attorneys covering the state but noted their efforts have been coordinated so far.

    “I’m not just seeing print advertising,” Duffy said in an interview with California Watch and KQED. “I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children – it’s against the law.

    … Duffy said she believes the law gives her the right to prosecute newspaper publishers or TV station owners.

    “If I own a newspaper … or I own a TV station, and I’m going to take in your money to place these ads, I’m the person who is placing these ads,” Duffy said. “I am willing to read (the law) expansively and if a court wants to more narrowly define it, that would be up to the court.”

    Whether or not Duffy’s unconventional interpretation of federal law has any legal merit is, of course, beside the point. Her intent is to create a climate of fear that is so pervasive that media outlets ‘willingly’ cease accepting advertising revenue from dispensaries and other like-minded business.

    Such threats are nothing new for the federal government, which in recent months has successfully utilized similar tactics to coerce state and local banks to drop their accounts with state-sanctioned marijuana-related businesses and to intimidate landlords who rent their properties to tenants involved in medical cannabis facilities.

    Yet despite the government’s heavy-handed behavior, California bureaucrats have remained largely — and disappointingly — silent regarding the Justice Department’s intimidatory tactics. That is why it is more important than ever that you send the Obama Administration a clear and consistent message here.

    92 Responses to “Latest Casualty In Obama’s War On Pot: The First Amendment”

    1. Dennis says:

      I’s not Obama’s fault. He’s up to his armpits in Zionists Corporate thugs and NeoCons. And like a long line of puppet Presidents, he is working under duress, probably under threat.
      Let’s join forces with the OWS worldwide movement.

    2. TheOracle says:

      If advertising has gone mainstream in a western democratic republic, the R E A L thing that is unacceptable is cannabis prohibition and its enforcement. Cannabis prohibition is a colossal waste of money, and people who enforce it are colossal asses.

      The excuse that they are only doing their job is also unacceptable!

      Ever heard of passive resistance?!

    3. KurtDaBear says:

      The best cure for all of our Constitutional problems would be to get Ron Paul elected president in 2012.

    4. B. Tucker says:

      The battlefield I haven’t seen anyone address here yet is the jury box. Please visit Fully Informed Jury Association at http://fija.org/, and learn how 12 common people can overturn nearly any law in our nation. If even a decent minority of people arrested for possession of cannabis were to insist on a jury trial, and we got a few well spoken individuals in each county in the U.S. we could swing a jury into doing what should have been done in the late 60′s, not only acquitting the defendant but issuing a finding that the Controlled Substance Act and any state laws based on it are unconstitutional we would have a precedence which would have to be addressed by federal courts. Get juries in all the different federal circuit court districts and eventually we get 2 circuit court decisions which conflict and then the U.S. Supreme Court has no choice but to hear a case. There is only 1 reason the Supreme Court has dodged this issue for so long, they know there is no basis for criminalizing the ingestion of any substance without an amendment. One jury declaring the CSA unconstitutional triggers every honest defense lawyer into fighting every possession charge. Most DA’s will offer non drug misdemeanor charges (creating a public nuisance, for instance) to avoid the whole issue, but a few will insist on drug charges in every state and of course most juries will convict. This is actually the good news since state appellate courts will rarely overturn convictions based on jury nullification and this opens up federal appeals which will eventually force a case into the Supreme Court. We’re talking years here, not decades. Put Ron Paul into the White House and we can watch most DEA agents end up working for the Border Patrol. Fighting prohibition in Congress successfully would require restructuring our whole tax code to get rid of the power it creates and that is a fight that will get bloody since your taking on every special interest at once. Just some thoughts, but every lover of liberty must learn what the phrase “ballot box; jury box; cartridge box” truly means.

    5. Keith Mullins says:

      Why don’t we start a War on Poverty,on Hunger,No lets start a War on an Herb that is Natural Medication For Millions,It saddens me to be apart of a country that could have such potential,but Wastes it on Useless things,We need to as ONE Stand Up Once and For all for this,”People shouldn’t be Afraid of Their Governments,Governments Should Be Afraid Of Their People”~V” For Vendetta. The worst part for me is that i know How many people have Changed for the Better By Smoking Herb,I know i Love just about every thing on this Planet,I Don’t Even kill Ants.Oh no! The Big Goddamn Reefer~Ruining peoples Lifes,Once i see a change that has been for the better of all the Countries People,Then i will Stop But Until Then i will fight the Cause Till Death Becomes me.

    6. David762 says:

      #38 OldUncleDave

      “I guess the campaign contributions mean more than the votes.”

      We the Peoples’ votes haven’t counted since Congress (D & R) passed the “Help America Vote (Our Way) Act of 2002″ which made easily hacked electronic voting machines ubiquitous in the USA. Most of these machines have no paper trail — no way to contest and correct a fraudulent vote count. Congress spent at least $8 Billion on HAVA voting machines, before any testing or minimum standards were put into place. Both parties are complicit, but the Corporations that build these voting machines are primarily Republican.

      Corporations control the media, control the various public poll results, and control the counting of votes. Except for voting booth exit polls, there is no longer any traction to contest the election outcomes, and exit polls have been discounted in the USA since 2004, even though multiple European nations rely upon them for early vote results.

      When you factor in voter caging, new restrictions on voter identification, and the ‘War of (Some) Drugs/War on People’ that primarily target minorities, it is apparent that Republicans seek to disenfranchise a majority of voters, with quite a bit of help from DLC Democrats. The USA is not a democracy, nor even a democratic republic any longer — it is a domestic Police State run by Monopoly Capitalist Kleptocrats, aka National Socialism or Fascism.

    7. David762 says:

      The Obama regime has pulled out all stops in their battle to maintain control of this country by the Monopoly Capitalist Kleptocrats, using the IRS and every other Federal agency to instill control & terror among We the People. In that regard, Bloody Barack ‘Hoover’ Obama has been measurably worse than the ‘village Idiot’ he replaced. Does the Obama regime really believe that USAian cannabis consumers will genuflect before the DLC Democrats and hand Obama the Presidency again in 2012?

      One does not need to vote for a Republican instead — it isn’t a matter of choosing the ‘lessor of two evils’. There is a 3rd Way, by voting for a 3rd Party candidate, which I would recommend at Every level of elections, Local, State, and National. There are 2 parties that would end Cannabis Prohibition — the Libertarians and the Green Party. Of those two, the Libertarians would shrink government small enough to drown in a bathtub, with ultimately every government service privatized. The Green Party would ‘right-size’ government, while balancing the needs of the citizens against the grotesque over-expenditures of the Military Industrial Complex.

      Not voting is not a good option. Voting (D) or (R) only maintains the status quo. If your Candidate and Political Party are not on the ballot, you can take the extra 2 minutes to write them in on the ballot. That is the difference between a real live citizen and our would-be Corporate Overlords — no matter how much money They pour into election campaigns, it only sways and not buys the Votes of Citizens. The populist power of OWS may be a game-changer for the 2012 elections. One can hope …

    8. claygooding says:

      According to all data I have seen,heroin,meth and cocaine all pass through your body in 3 days and you are capable of passing a urinalysis,while marijuana remains in your system for 30+ days.

      Why?

      Could it be that cannabis belongs in your body while the others don’t,so your body passes the other drugs from your body much more quickly?

      PS:That makes our bodies smarter than the prohibs too.

    9. claygooding says:

      Keith Mullens,,we need to prohibit education and technical training,,if it goes as well as drug prohibition,our country will be full of rocket scientist.

    10. Bri says:

      #58 claygooding, I am sorry but it is not as romantic as that. It is all about the solubility of metabolites. I love the intent of your comment, but lets stick to science.

    11. [...] NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform Share and Enjoy: [...]

    12. guy christopher says:

      It is easy to figure out; O’Bamaa lied to the people; said, “No federal intervention would be made on state laws, regarding cannibus; and no one would be shut down? The Gov’t wants the giant industry of marijuana to be controlled by the alcahol and tobacco industries; and…the BIG PHARMS. They do not want the people of each state, to make their own laws regarding marijuana. Another big plot by BIG CORPORATIONS; TO TAKE OVER. Wake up people, before, it is too late.

    13. guy christopher says:

      and………..keith…your statements are so true. Amen

    14. M says:

      the “we are responsible and reasonable and will just keep writing letters” approach is great. But if you’re face to face with one of these nazi’s– just remember how they’d LIKE to treat us. All law enforcement is looking for an excuse. Prohibitionists are just the lowest of the scum.

    15. katiespaw says:

      wow… what the hell has happened to this country?

    16. rettinger says:

      Has anyone tried a hunger strike?
      It worked for Ghandi.

    17. Hello:

      Marijuana as scheduled (Schedule 1) is open for federal government action. This shedule 1 is a historic shame. Marijuana has been used for ,at least 4,000 years effectively and safely for various maladies. Also, check the AMA, FDA, and American Colleg of Physicians for their opinion of what schedule marijuana should be. Thanks for the opportunity to give my comment on this very important subject in America. Please, fellow citizens, act NOW by submitting your opinion in various polls, and by contributing $money$ to the attorneys who fight the good fight in our courts of law.

      Sincerely,

      James Shields

    18. bud says:

      It’s truly amazing that Obama would go after so many people that supported him in the last election. Oh well, just vote for the new third party… OWS!

    19. Price Charles says:

      Hey DEA!, Please read the United States Government Patent #6630507 -Cannabinoids as Antioxidants And Neuroprotectants. Issued on October 7, 2003 states, Cannabinoids from the Cannabis Plant have antioxidant properties making it useful in the treatment of inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are also found to act as neuroprotectants in limiting neurological damage associated with diseases, such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and HIV dementia.

    20. Toby says:

      Perfect example of the government’s failure. How many attorney comercials do you see for some drug causing some kind of condition, or such? What the hell is the FDA for then. They spend all this money and time supposidly making sure the drugs are “safe”. What a load of crap, they are waiting for the check to clear from these pharmacitical company’s before approving these medications. F D A a load of crap!!!!!

    21. Richard says:

      You liberals voted for the purple lipped bastard, he fed us all a big bowl of horse shit and told us it was pudding and because he was so good with his words we all beleived him. you know the old saying,if it looks like shit and taste like shit chances are it is shit. Things arent going to change until we all,liberals,concervatives,indipendants and others unite and stand together,get involved with the political proces and demand the representaives we elect to fight and make the changes we want and if they dont vote their asses out and vote someone else in that will. Until then we are all shiting in one hand and wishing in the other.

    22. wbs 101 says:

      We are such a silly country full of silly leaders.

    23. UFeedMe says:

      I hope the big media gives them some serious backlash over this

    24. Hello Norml
      What do you think about reminding our “fearful leaders” of the stupid reasons they prohibited Marijuana in 1936. One I think would be good is they were afraid black men would get high, get out of control using, and they would rape white women.

      Nancy Lee Garrett

    25. Hi NORML
      I forgot to ask when it comes election time,will NORML tell us who if any, candidate for President is the one we know is supporting our cause? There are some people who aren’t as politically active. They are too busy working 2 jobs. I think they are so subjugated they don’t have time to find out what is going on. I think they would like to know who NORML would recomend to vote for.
      Thanks for all the hard work. Where would we be without NORML??

    26. [...] – Chicago Daily HeraldChicago Daily Herald: Bed Bugs at Lombard Hotel Send Woman to HospitalLatest Casualty In Obama’s War On Pot: The First Amendment div.socialicons{float:left;display:block;margin-right: 10px;}div.socialicons p{margin-bottom: [...]

    27. Douglas says:

      Yea Yea Yea it will back fire on them.

    28. rebelrev says:

      vote duffy out of office
      I dont care what she believes in,I believe the 1st amend.was made to get rid of people like her.the newspapers will not have someone in government telling what they can print,write or who can advertise,this was america at one time.let the revolution begin.

    29. Retread says:

      This Obama nonsense should not be a surprise. You cannot have a powerful government without it becoming OVERpowering. Just doesnt work. If the government is powerful enough to give you everything, it is necessarily powerful to take everything from you as well.

    30. Michael B says:

      Laura Duffy has decided that not only is it her job to uphold the law, but she has the right to rewrite the first Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an estalishment…or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;”. In 1760′s, imagine Laura Duffy going after Benjiman Franklin, because she thought what he was printing would be “Bad for the Children”.
      Personaly I believe it’s a bluff. Where are they getting the manpower or money?
      Who is the judge that is going to sign all these warrants.
      We the Citizens need to start investigating them. Bust them. Who knows maybe one of her kid’s sells weed.

      The founding fathers of this counrty literaly put their lives on the line to form this country. Would you do the same?

      How about this. One thousand citizens show up at her office each with a gram of weed. Then absolutely, no one takes a plea of any kind. Then every single one demands to go to court. You can go to court to fight even just a ticket, just like a traffic ticket.

      The chaos would be great. In California it is just a hundred dollar ticket, an infraction, but you still have the right to have your day in court.

      Our founding fathers would have been shot or hung for treason if their plans had been known.

      What are you willing to do for someone else’s rights?

    31. Disappointed says:

      To 90% of you. Put the pipe down, pick up a book. Better yet, get a bookstand so you can do both at the same time. It shouldn’t be my job to educate the community. That’s what schools and libraries are for. But come on! Read a law book! A political science book! Hell just a book on basic government would be better than nothing! I’m no genius but some of the common sense stuff everybody is overlooking when they post leaves me worried about our future. They’re winning because they’re smarter! Get pissed off, read a book, and change that.

      P.S. Only the ignorant would blame the President for problems that exist in this country. There’s two other branches to the government. Look it up. Or assume it’s all Obama’s fault like Congress wants, and watch the red go back in office. Rinse, repeat.

      Open your eyes America! The only way change will happen is to get smarter than the opposition!

    32. Andrew says:

      “When any court violates the clean and ambiguous language of the constitution, a fraud is perpetuated and no one is bound to obey it.”

    33. merrill says:

      I worked for the goverment, US Forest service, The US goverment violated my civil rights more than anyone, I can honestly say i’m a disabled american veteran, and a Disabled fire fighter, I recieve no benifits for that, except ssi I had to fight for, Medical marijuana kept me working 20 yrs longer than I should have, I LOVE AMERICA, but being a nadleehe , native american, having PTSD & back injury from a grenade accident, and numerouse back injuries forest fires, I was fired Illegally twice by the gov. and shut out a third time from continueing my career, Civil rights are for those who can afford a lawyer, and polititions are owned by corperations who compete with marijuana,fact is if a goverment agency doesnt like you or what you do, you dont have rights.

    34. [...] and began issuing memos threatening operators and landlords of these properties. Threats were even waged against news publications who ran advertisements for medical marijuana businesses. All of this in [...]

    35. [...] writes: “Whether or not Duffy’s unconventional interpretation of federal law has any legal merit [...]

    36. [...] same US Attorneys are now threatening to legally pursue newspapers and magazines that advertise what are otherwise legal, state and city-authorized businesses and their lawful [...]

    37. [...] same US Attorneys are now threatening to legally pursue newspapers and magazines that advertise what are otherwise legal, state and city-authorized businesses and their lawful [...]

    38. [...] same US Attorneys are now threatening to legally pursue newspapers and magazines that advertise what are otherwise legal, state and city-authorized businesses and their lawful [...]

    39. [...] same US Attorneys are now threatening to legally pursue newspapers and magazines that advertise what are otherwise legal, state and city-authorized businesses and their lawful [...]

    40. [...] Mad, delusional and opinionated  people have infiltrated all levels of power throughout human history. Some are Cops that extort, then protect the very drug cartels their paid to bust. Others are judges that allow their own person hatred of a plant, and need for absolute control over others lives to interfere  with any pesky personal civil liberties… like the 1st Amendment. [...]

    Leave a Reply