Tag: Medical Marijuana

We Care Not For Your State Law

When Washington and Colorado legalized pot earlier this year, we wondered how the Feds would react.

Wonder no more:

Federal agents raided several medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday in Washington — a state which just decriminalized the drug last year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Seattle office confirmed in a brief statement that “several search warrants were executed today involving marijuana storefronts” in the Puget Sound region around Seattle.

It gave no further details, and the number of raids remained unclear Wednesday evening.

One of the dispensaries was the Bayside Collective in Olympia, the state capital, where seven government vehicles converged Wednesday morning.

Agents with guns drawn seized business records and about $2,500 worth of marijuana intended for cancer patients, Casey Lee, who works at the clinic, told NBC station KING of Seattle.

This was a result of a “two-year investigation”, according to the Feds. Unless that two year investigation found illegal trafficking, I’m thinking they would have been better off spending two years smoking pot than investigating it.

A gun-draw raid on a business selling marijuana to people with cancer in compliance with state law. Your federal government, people! Your civil liberties law professor President! This is your drug czar who claims we need to move away from a war mentality!

Delusions of Mediocrity

Ladies and Gentlemen. If you ever want to know just how deeply some people drink of the Obama Kool-aid, take a look at this image someone just sent me.

I know that’s probably hard to read, so I’ll take the claims one at a time so you can appreciate the delusion:

Three million new private sector jobs. This number sounds accurate enough. But over 40 months, that’s less than population growth. Job recovery has been very slow under this Administration, far slower than any previous recession since the Great Depression. You can argue it could have been worse — I wouldn’t, but at least it’s an argument. But I really wouldn’t be talking about jobs with this guy.

Smaller government. By what standard can you say we have smaller government? Is government spending less than it did before? Nope. Does it have less power than before? Nope. It has slightly fewer employees, but that’s mostly on the state level.

$2 trillion deficit reduction. Maybe in Fiscal Fairy Land, where you project that the Iraq War will continue forever and future Congresses will exercise the spending restraint that current ones won’t. And even this is only after the Republicans dragged him kicking and screaming to the table. But $4 trillion has been added to our debt in the last three years and he walked away from Simpson-Bowles. Again, I wouldn’t be talking about deficits if I were you.

Health Care Reform. Fair enough. He did it. Of course, he came up with something even worse than we had before. But in LiberalLand, doing something is the most important thing.

Wall Street Reform. See above. It was written by the two Congressmen most involved with the banking industry. And the “too big to fail” banks are larger than they were when Obama took over.

Saved the US Auto Industry. By screwing over investors in favor of unions, yes. And only if you assume the industry would have disappeared in a normal bankruptcy, which I don’t.

All “bailout money” returned, with interest. All right, now I’m really starting to get pissed off. First off, what’s with the fucking quote marks? It was bailout moeny. This isn’t some Tea Party delusion. This was fact. And that it has been paid back is a myth. Many of the banks did so from other federal funds. And Fanny/Freddie are still hundreds of billions in the red. Really, I wouldn’t talk about bailouts if I were you.

Three new trade agreements, Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Killed Osama bin Laden, Rescued American hostages: I have no complaints here. All true. All accomplishments. He dragged his feet on the trade agreements but … they are in place now.

Toppled Gadhafi without an American casualty. I’ll give a little bit of credit. But let’s also note that this was done without Congressional approval in violation of the War Powers Act, something even Rachel Maddow called him out on.

Unified the world against Iran. Uh, OK. Still hasn’t stopped them, has it? Maybe in his second term, he’ll send them a strongly worded letter.

Has the Arab League watching Syria. No word on who is making the popcorn. Just last week, we saw an absolutely brutal atrocity committed by the Syrian government. The Arab League sat on their hands.

No tax dollars spent on BP clean-up. Semi-true. The taxpayers do finance a fund to cover any liability for spills over $75 million. And really, this is like saying he didn’t wet the bed. The taxpayers shouldn’t be paying to clean up BP’s mess. It’s not like there was some great public clamor that Obama resisted. So he didn’t do something we weren’t planning to do and that one wanted done anyway. What does he want, a cookie?

More deportations than Bush. True enough, but illegal immigration has been slackening due to the weak economy.

Fewer regulations than Bush. It’s only year three. And many of the regulations, like those connected with Dodd-Frank, have yet to be written. And really, let’s just stop this right here. Saying “I was better than Bush on issue X” is like saying you’re skinnier than Roseanne Barr. There were innumerable issues where Bush screwed the pooch. I’m really not that impressed that you gave it some foreplay first.

Support’s states’ rights on medical marijuana. As you can guess, this is what set me off. I startled the cat with my cry of, “What the fuck!”. Barack Obama has been horrible on medical marijuana as we have documented many times. His agencies have threatened forfeiture of people who lease property to legal dispensaries. His IRS has disallowed business expenses for clinics. They have launched numerous raids and clinics in Denver and Washington have shut down out of fear of raids. They rebuked the Ogden memo. It is right here where this piece of shit crosses from “propaganda” to “outright brassbound lies”. Much of the other stuff — deficit reduction, for example — is “true” in Washington’s reality (e.g., $2 trillion off projected debts == $2 trillion in deficit cuts).

But this is a lie. This is false. This is bullshit. And anyone who says this needs to smacked upside the head with a lighted bong. I’ve recently seen this lie coming up in numerous places, including the mainstream media and the Center for American Regress. The Administration, having throughly violate their promises on pot, are now trying to persuade us that, no, they really kept their promises.

You can’t stomp on lies like that hard enough.

Ended the War in Iraq. On Bush’s timetable, but sure.

Reduced military spending by $500 billion. Isn’t that the same thing as the above?

Increased veterans’ benefits every year. Because we know how much Congress fights against automatic benefit increases.

Saved the world from global financial collapse. Oh, really? Look, you can’t blame Bush for TARP and then claim credit for the supposed effects of it. And I would say that global financial collapse is still very much on the table.

Hired more border patrol agents than Bush. Hey, this one is true! Amazing that one of the few true claims on this involves … expanding government.

and he quit smoking. Well, OK. Good. Although he is slowly driving the rest of us to drink and smoke.

Now let’s list the things not on there: funded green energy initiatives that funneled money to politically-connected interests like Solyndra and Tesla; massively expanded the drone war including the targeted assassination of an American citizen; entrenched policies on indefinite detention and rendition; blew the stimulus on tax cuts for people who don’t pay taxes and subsidies for the states; has been spent most of three years campaigning for four more; made numerous goofs on “Polish death camps” and bows to various royalty; continued the expansion of federal raids to include raw milk and guitars. And that’s just off the top of my head.

Debunking is fun but what really alarms me is the thinking behind that graphic. Only a handful of those are true and even those often include governmentspeak distortions. And several of those points: smaller government, TARP paid back, medical marijuana — are outright lies. You have to be deranged to take some of Obama’s biggest failing and proclaim them as successes.

And they think we’re crazy.

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.