President Obama: End Your War on Cannabis Patients

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director December 15, 2011

    Over the past several months, the Federal government escalated its war against medical marijuana to previously unseen heights. The Drug War machine kicked into high gear starting in October when the IRS began applying an obscure part of the US tax code, meant to target drug cartels, against medical dispensaries in attempts to shut them down. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joined in the fight when it issued a heavy handed one page memo to every gun and ammunition dealer nationwide informing them that they must, by law, deny sales to lawful medical cannabis patients. 

    The hammer really fell when the US Attorneys for the four federal districts in California formally announced a crackdown on medical marijuana dispensing operations 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 an environment where over 70% of Americans support medical use of cannabis, the country’s largest physicians group endorsed full legalization, and at least four governors are petitioning the DEA to reclassify marijuana based on overwhelming evidence of its medicinal value. Unfortunately, It doesn’t appear an end is in sight as new threats of intervention are looming in Colorado. 

    That is why today, in cooperation with other reform organizations, NORML is encouraging you to contact President Obama and tell him to end his administrations war on cannabis patients.  Click here to use NORML’s Take Action Center to directly email the below letter to the White House and tell President Obama to stand by his promise to not interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

    Dear President Obama:

    I urge you to end your war on medical marijuana patients. More than 70 percent of Americans are in favor of legal medical marijuana. 16 states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana legislation.

    At least four governors are petitioning the DEA to reclassify marijuana based on overwhelming evidence that it has medicinal value. While this reclassification is pending, your Administration should respect — not attack –state medical marijuana laws that provide patients with safe and reliable access to this medicine.

    Given the fiscal crisis our country finds itself in, it doesn’t make sense to waste federal tax dollars and law enforcement resources interfering with state medical marijuana laws.

    100 Responses to “President Obama: End Your War on Cannabis Patients”

    1. Politicians are too busy trying to impress their voters. Hope they can pass a law protecting medical marijuana users. There should be a clear law supporting Medicinal Cannabis patients and protecting them from violating the law.

    2. Legalizing marijuana would mean that more people will be open to the fact that marijuana is not at all bad for health.It means there will be more local medical marijuana dispensaries.

    3. muzzylu says:

      Seems like state and local governments are trying to force medical marijuana patients back into the arms of big pharmaceuticals and the liquor industry! How is marijuana worse than opiates or booze? But the government has to protect us from the evil cannabis.
      Great e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints!  goo.gl/iYjPn goo.gl/Jfs61

    4. Lionhart says:

      While major corporations have managed to get their federal tax bills down to zero, the IRS has determined that pot clinics can’t deduct salaries, rent, the cost of bud or other operating expenses on their tax returns. If a business can’t deduct those expenses, its tax bill almost always winds up exceeding even its profits.
      I can’t help but wonder what would happen if ALL drug companies in the USA were told that there were no deductions for those expenses!
      I would love to see someone with a big bank roll file a law suit with the Feds to change weed to a schedule 2 or 3! Let the DEA defend their position in open court! I find it hard to believe that the government is asking us to believe that crack and heroin are as harmful as weed.

    5. jeremey drake says:

      It is ok to admit you are wrong. All the people that will be freed will not hold it against you. This so called war needs to end. It all hinges on the pride of you in the federal government. Admit you are wrong. The drug war is a senior now, it has not worked, it will not work no matter how many dollars and countless lives you have wasted. Now is the time to retire the drug war. The federal government can be wrong, its ok to own up to your mistakes. eigthy years of the same results means it is time to say ” I’m sorry we were wrong, it is time for something new”. I do not use cannabis legal or illegal so this is not a stoner’s rant. i just know when something is wrong it is time to move on to a new angle.

    6. Amer Ican says:

      –==::RON PAUL 2012::==–
      The “president” said he wouldn’t allow this, and yet it happins. “They” are threatened by this medacine because it can replace so many expensive synthetic drugs.
      ALSO, they want to control you and let you know who is boss.
      YOUTUBE: MONEY MASTERS and watch the whole thing. After you understand how the system works vote RON PAUL!! HE WILL END THE DRUG WAR

    7. Justin Myers says:

      To be short and sweet the prohibition is not only wrong it is a crime against the people of this nation. A nation that is built for the people by the people and founded with the intentions to give its citizens the respect and privalage of freedoms we deserve and are entitled to as Americans and human beings. A life in the persuit of happiness and prosperity. Why then is there no representation taken seriously on an issue that is so supported by the majority even of the American people. Not only will decriminalization of canibus create jobs for thousands if not more Americans but it is a safe alternative to many perscription drugs that cause harmfull side effects not only to those who take them but can effect our children. It can even be used in clothing, rope, and cooking. So the time has come to stand up for smokers and patients by the citizens and our representatives. Thank you

    8. Kathy Florcruz says:

      It isn’t bad enough that the president & the entire government in DC has tromped all over states laws that want to STOP THE INSANITY of the useless drug wars against Americans-it’s even worse that the LEGAL drugs that patients are prescribed are highly overpriced AND unavailable. With the stoke of a pen by the governor of Florida-this noncompassionate fool made the already hard life of a patient suffering in intractable pain EVEN HARDER. And once again-legitimate patients pay the price for lousy governmental regulation & interference into our formerly privileged private doctor-patient relationships. That our rights are stripped more every day is despicable! Doctors HAVE GOT to stand up for us as well. I’m damned tired of seeing them just buckle & slink away-leaving us out on a limb.

    9. AW says:

      NORML if you are listening, get me a job there and I will be the biggest and best advocate you have ever imagined! I have spent years of personal research and study of the issue from fundamental and philosophical counterpoints. Grill me, I can do it!

    10. AW says:

      Great fact file points Mark. I have a couple of remarks that I think are novel and of interest to all who care about this issue:

      1.) Why did the US government apply for, and receive a US patent (6630507)for Cannabinoids? According to the patent filing, cannabinoids like those in Marijuana, have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism.

      “This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

      As it pertains to the inclusion of Marijuana on DEA Schedule I, three requirements must be met and it is the second requirement for Schedule I status that is germane to my argument:

      “The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States”

      The logical fallacy of our government’s position is that on one hand, they are saying that Marijuana has no medical use. Yet the government itself has applied for and received a US patent for medical use of components within the Marijuana plant. Specifically, these are non-psychoactive components (CBD, CBN) but it seems odd dosen’t it to maintain this position that there is no accepted medical use? Why is this not a topic of contention?

      2.) The American Medical Association itself has appealed to the DEA to have marijuana rescheduled, but it still has not been addressed and this charade continues as the DEA apparently is more in control of medicine than the eminent medical authority in the nation.

      3.) Finally, I am curious why nobody has caught on to this question. The government and prohibitionists in general are quick to point out the “dangers” of marijuana.

      We have NORML to fight for our rights to be free to responsibly use cannabis.

      Since marijuana is always lumped in with harder drugs tell me why is there no:

      -NORCL-National Organization to Reform Cocaine Laws

      -NORHL-National Organization to Reform Heroin Laws

      -NORPL-National Organization to Reform Psilocybin Laws

      Sounds like a silly argument but it is curious that we have an organization that works diligently to reform Marijuana use but no substantial one for any other drugs?

      Are Heroin and Cocaine users more apathetic than Marijuana users in seeking legalization?
      Doesn’t that run contrary to the prohibitionist view that Marijuana users are apathetic?

      Why are re-legalization supporters so adamant in their support of responsible Marijuana use when no other recreational drugs elicit such support?

      And why is more emphasis placed on Marijuana prohibition than any other drug, when all the scientific research is contrary to this approach?

      Food for thought!

      One more nugget of wisdom from former President Carter:

      “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”

      That quote is in a nutshell the basis of harm reduction. It seems our policies on Marijuana are actually having the opposite effect. Why would the government continue on this course of actually increasing the harm of Marijuana to society instead of seeking a real solution to the problem?

      Many more thoughts coming from me on this subject. It is clear to me that President Obama has no conscience about this issue and I heartily implore all those who support the cause to vote against him in the upcoming election.

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