Tag: Gonzales v. Raich

Obama’s Pot Wars

At this point, blogging about Obama’s reprehensible approach to the marijuana issue is beating a dead roach. I’ve previously blogged on it here and here. But it seems like more people are catching on to his hypocrisy and promise-breaking. This week, Rolling Stone has a great article that is one-stop shopping for how far Obama is pushing the fight against legal marijuana.

But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts. “There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana,” says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “He’s gone from first to worst.”

The federal crackdown imperils the medical care of the estimated 730,000 patients nationwide – many of them seriously ill or dying – who rely on state-sanctioned marijuana recommended by their doctors. In addition, drug experts warn, the White House’s war on law-abiding providers of medical marijuana will only drum up business for real criminals.

It’s an absolute must-read. Each paragraph is more enraging than the last. What we’re seeing here is just how easy it was for the government to reverse the enlightened course it had followed in the late Bush years and early Obama years. About a year ago, the DEA decreed that medical marijuana had no legitimate purpose. And once that wall was breached, a million ambitious prosecutors and agents flooded through the gap. And now the hordes are stampeding over every law, every jurisdiction, every decent instinct. They are threatening not only the dispensaries but anyone who works with dispensaries — banks, landlords … even state regulators.

There are two possibilities here: either Obama, frustrated with Congress blocking his other initiatives, is acting because he wants to do something. Or he has lost control of his own government. Either way, our federal government is acting like a gang of thugs, shoving aside state law at every opportunity and using every tool in their arsenal to … let’s not forget this … keep sick people from smoking a joint, something hat 70% of the America public support.

And that’s the one glimmer of hope we have: the American public. No one is going to holding a protest and get hit by rubber bullets for pot. But our federal government is now so out of step with the public, so up it’s own ass with Drug War propaganda, that this … perhaps … is the thrashing of a dying monster. 70% support medical marijuana. Half support marijuana full stop. Full legalization barely missed in California. Two central American leaders called for legalization last week. Two of the Republican presidential nominees — including the #3 man in the polls — openly support legalization. It is not a taboo subject for anyone … anyone except Congress, that is.

The tide is turning. But the Drug War Monster is strong. It has seduced the law enforcement establishment. It has fed two million people — two fucking million — into our prison system. It provides easy propaganda to spineless politicians. It has all the power and all the guns. And now it’s reminding us of this.

PS: And while we’re on this subject, may I just take a moment to thank justices Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer and Scalia, whose Constitution-shredding Raich v. Ashcroft decision opened the door for all this? You see what you twits unleashed with your sophistry? Here was what Lee had to say at the time, in response to Stevens saying the issue should be decide by Congress:

Hey, Stevens, you dick. I agree with you in principle, that the best solution to issues is usually through the democratic process. But the court system exists for a reason, and it’s to restrain government power over the rights of the individual. In this case, ten states have, through the democratic process you think is so neato, chosen to permit sick people to use marijuana to alleviate their pain, yet you decided to crap all over that by ruling that a guy who grows a plant in his house for his own personal use is somehow covered by Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce.

Basically this is a huge green light for Congress to basically do whatever the fuck it likes if it can somehow, in some way, sorta, kinda tie it in to interstate commerce. Our highest court just sold us out. And Scalia, fucking Scalia, the one true federalist on the court, actually sided with the majority in this idiocy. I’m just disgusted by the whole thing.

All you social conservatives, remember this the next time you piss and moan about some liberal activist court. This decision is the LITERAL DEFINITION of judicial activism.

Lee was a fucking Cassandra on a lot of this stuff. It’s take seven years, but the full power of our federal government has now being turned against the people of 17 states.

Tightening the Pot Noose

Barack Obama smoked marijuana. So did George Bush and Bill Clinton and probably a lot of other Presidents and most of Congress. Just keep that in mind as these hypocrites continue to crack down on legal pot:

Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California, warning the stores that they must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property even if they are operating legally under the state’s 15-year-old medical marijuana law.

In an escalation of the ongoing conflict between the U.S. government and the nation’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, at least 16 pot shops or their landlords received letters this week stating they are violating federal drug laws, even though medical marijuana is legal in California. The state’s four U.S. attorneys were scheduled Friday to announce a broader coordinated crackdown.

16 is what they can confirm. The last time, the US Attorneys sent letters to all the dispensaries. This might seem like empty bluster. But when you combine this with a recent DOJ memo advising agents that cracking down would now be a priority, the IRS telling dispensaries they can not deduct any business expenses, the EPA starting to snoop around — and you’ve got a pattern. A pattern of hypocrisy, anti-federalism and bullshit.

This all comes, of course, from Gonzales v. Raich, one of the worst SCOTUS decisions of my lifetime. Give credit to Lee, who called it at the time:

Basically this is a huge green light for Congress to basically do whatever the fuck it likes if it can somehow, in some way, sorta, kinda tie it in to interstate commerce. Our highest court just sold us out. And Scalia, fucking Scalia, the one true federalist on the court, actually sided with the majority in this idiocy. I’m just disgusted by the whole thing.

It’s taken six years, but they are finally following through.

The thing is, they don’t have to do this. That’s one of the things these limp-dicked fascists don’t seem to grasp: that just because the government can do something, it does not follow that it must. Bush — fucking George Hitler Bush — understood this and had the DEA back off. Obama — Mr. Hippy Liberal Power to the People Man — is bringing down the hammer. Just something else to go with his generally hideous record on civil liberties and criminal justice.

Here’s my favorite quote:

Duffy, the U.S. attorney for far Southern California, planned to issue warning letters to property owners and all of the 180 or so dispensaries that have proliferated in San Diego in the absence of compromise regulations, according to Goldsmith.

“The real power is with the federal government,” he said. “They have the asset forfeiture, and that means either the federal government will own a lot of property or these landlords will evict a lot of dispensaries.”

Asset forfeiture. That relic of 18th century law in which you charge property with a crime and just fucking take it; no conviction required.

While I have every respect for federalism, there’s a part of me that wishes the governors of 16 states would stand up to this, would basically announced that any federal agent who raids a legal dispensary will be arrested for violating state law. It won’t happen, of course, but someone is going to have to stand up to these fuckers. Maybe we should just wheel a bunch of sick people into Congress and have them moan, groan and cry in pain until Congress fucking gets it, passes the Paul-Frank bill and ends this madness.

Forget Wall Street. Occupy the Capitol.

Update: It’s even worse. The Feds are threatening landlords with big prison sentences, especially if he dispensary is within 1000 feet of a school or park. Jesus.