Alternet.org: Marijuana Reform Is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 28, 2009

    My latest essay, published today on the Alternet.org website, expands upon some of the themes touched upon by NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre yesterday, as well as many of the ideas I previously articulated on The Hill.com — primarily the notion that marijuana law reform should be viewed on Capitol Hill as a political opportunity, not as a political liability.

    Unfortunately, it does not yet appear that either President Obama or the new Democrat-led Congress has gotten the message.

    Marijuana Reform Is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?
    via Alternet.org


    Of course, it is not yet known whether Obama directly authorized the DEA raids. (Both the DOJ and the DEA are staffed, in large part, by holdovers from the Bush regime.) That said, there’s also no indication that anyone at DOJ or DEA has been admonished for their behavior either. Obama’s silence on the issue so far may be telling. It may also be politically detrimental.

    … According to a national poll commissioned by CNN and Time Magazine, 80 percent of Americans support the physician-supervised use of cannabis, and some 3 out of 4 say that adults should be fined, but not jailed, for using pot recreationally.

    In short, marijuana-law reform should no longer be viewed by legislators as a political liability. It isn’t. Instead, for the new administration and for 111th Congress, it is a political opportunity. The sooner our federally elected leaders recognize this fact, the sooner we, and they, can begin to undo the damage caused by America’s longest and costliest war, the so-called war on drugs.

    Please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback both here and on Alternet.org.

    42 responses to “Alternet.org: Marijuana Reform Is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?”

    1. Jake says:

      Your efforts are appreciated. I think once the stimulus bill gets out of the way we might start to see the rubber hit the road. All the tax dollars from a regulated industry could prove to be an invaluable political wedge in then end. We have to play the political game and billions of dollars in revenue speaks volumes in the current economic situation.

    2. Mark says:

      I think the medical marijuana issue is clouding the real issue and gets in the way of what really needs to be done : legalization!

      Why make medical marijuana the “middle man”. Just cut to the chase and be done with it. We are wasting too much money in the mean time.

    3. concerned says:

      I hope that a small step like this could be passed.

    4. CAP Admin says:

      “Why Are Obama’s Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?”

      Revelation 12:12 The devil is filled with fury, he knows his time is short.

      In fact just look at the chapter and verse, it’s not the 11th hour, it’s past it, his time is past.

      (Please note this is not, in any way, meant to denigrate Legitimate Execution of Authority by Police, or, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition http://LEAP.cc Like them, I am extremely concerned that due to the enforcement of crooked laws, more harm than good has taken place, including not having respect for the police, many of whom are caring people, only trying to help society and protect us from the REAL EVILS.)

    5. BEANO says:

      I don’t believe Obama is directly authorizing marijuana busts in Medical Marijuana states. I think what he is doing is leaving the DEA and the current drug laws and operations status quo for awhile until the economy gets back on their feet.

      Sure, legalizing marijuana would save the government money, but that’s only a couple billion compared to almost $1 trillion dollars in debt (trust me, it’ll get that high). He stated in early interviews that changing drug policies would “not be a priority”. That doesn’t mean he won’t consider it. We just gotta be patient and let the man work. It’s only been a week since he was sworn in….. he’s got 4 years (8 possible years) to change those laws. We’re in an economy that’s on the edge of tanking. I would like things changed now too, but we have greater issues on our hands. Don’t worry… when they’re solved, we’ll have our turn. Just give it time.

    6. Jeff says:


      You PROMISED Us You will Change

      Now Show Us You are Different Than tha other Presidents

    7. Jared says:

      Obama better get things turned around!!

    8. Keith says:

      Obama is no different than any other major party President, in my opinion he was just the slicker liar. I wouldn’t depend on this guy to do anything for us. The change is going to come from us the people not the politicians. He may or may not be responsible but one thing I do know is we are getting ignored…again!

    9. tim says:

      Heres what i figure we get about 200000 in dc and every one just light up. can they arrest 200000 people in one day, maybe but can they do anything about it, it would over clog the courts and systems things would back up forever if they did. and if nothing else it would hit the news that 200000 stoned people went to jail for a freedom that has long been denied, and then others will come and follow the lead if they can see that that many people are willing to fight. give them no chance but to listen. you can do it peacefully and get your point across. sure its illegal but were citizens we make the laws and if theres a big enough stink theres nothing they can do.

    10. Mary Moss says:

      What happened to Obama’s Citizen Briefing Book? Marijuana and hemp legalization was the top rated idea posted, receiving 30,000 citizen votes over the #2 idea ‘Going Green.”