The View from Abroad

Hard hitting commentary from an American living overseas

Kenn Jacobine

Kenn Jacobine
Birthday
June 03
Bio
Kenn Jacobine is an international educator currently teaching History and Economics for the American School of Doha, Qatar. He has also taught at international schools in Ecuador, Mali, and Zambia. His political transformation took place over the course of many years. Starting out naively as a big state liberal, he became a Reagan Republican in 1982. Disillusionment set in with the realization that small government rhetoric rarely translated into limited government actions. On Christmas day 1992, he became a libertarian. In 1994, Kenn ran for the State Senate in Pennsylvania on the Libertarian Party ticket garnering 5 percent of the vote. He has been active in freedom causes ever since.

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Salon.com
JULY 5, 2011 9:41PM

Obama is Wrong about Medical Marijuana as Well

Rate: 6 Flag

Presidents are supposed to be compassionate.  President Obama is showing his true colors as his Department of Justice (DOJ) sent out a memo last week on medical marijuana use.  The memo directed the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorneys’ offices nationwide to crack down on medical marijuana shops by making the investigation and prosecution thereof a top priority.  Even though the (DOJ) denies it, this newest memo reverses the Administration’s previous policy on medical marijuana use.  Under the so-called “Ogden memo of 2009, Obama gave habitual pain sufferers and the terminally ill “hope”  by making enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) with regards to medical marijuana use a low priority.  His election cycle about face is not compassionate as it will bring great harm to many who rely on cannabis for relief.

It has been determined that medical pot is effective in treating the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and epilepsy.  As far back as 1975, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that showed oral ingestion of marijuana is effective in relieving nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.  Other benefits include the lessening of depression caused by cancer and an increase in appetite which allows cancer patients to live better more comfortable lives.

But the Administration is bent on denying this needed drug to patients.  In last week’s DOJ memo, the reason given for increased enforcement of the CSA was that, “Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels.”  Well, in the first place, marijuana’s danger is surely negated by the medical benefits of the substance.  In the second place, the reason criminal gangs and cartels are making so much money on pot is precisely because Congress has made it illegal!  Is there no sanity in Washington?

In the final analysis this is not the federal government’s issue to legislate.  Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate what we ingest into our bodies.  The 10th Amendment reserves that power to the states.  Referring back to the memo, it states that individuals, who cultivate, sell or distribute marijuana “…are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA.”  Nonsense, just because Congress doesn’t consult the Constitution before enacting legislation doesn’t mean what it says goes.  It is proper and necessary for the states to interpret the Constitution and in this case take a stand against the federal government for violating their sovereignty over substance policy by nullifying the CSA.

Of course the President could nullify the CSA as well in much the same way he has stated that he will rightly nullify the Defense of Marriage Act.  He simply could refuse to enforce the law.  But, he answered that question in the memo released by his DOJ last week.  Apparently, political points are more important to the President than relief for the suffering and the supremacy of the Constitution.            

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina

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Comments

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A whore to the first degree. Talk is cheap cheap cheap
Spin is always an amazing sight to watch.
The War on Drugs must continue....
The public must be treated like children.
No one should question this on marijuana or anything else.
I keep all the change I get from Obummer in a jar on my TV.
It currently contains some shiny coppers...
Sarcasm is fun.
My husband's doctor said it would be cheaper to buy it on the street anyway.
I've never seen anyone loathe justice more than Obama. His only idea of justice is him getting re-elected.
First, a question for you:

Is Qatar pronounced "Kat- TAR" or, as the President and his Secretary of State prefer, "CUTter" as in "someone who inflicts wounds on him or herself."

I ask because everyone I know from that country pronounces it as Kat -tar not cutter. Some time back I said this here and was told in no uncertain terms that I was wrong. Then, I happened to see a television commercial for the Qatar Foundaton in which they pronounce the word as Kat-tar.

Believe it or not, this relates to my comment on your post.

The original opposition to marijuana came from the experience of two western states, California and Arizona, which aggressively petitioned the federal government to pass anti-marijuana laws to give those states a tool to use in persecuting the increasing number of Mexican workers who were flooding into those states...and bringing their marijuana with them.

Even during Prohibition, private individuals were allowed to make their own alcohol for their personal use without persecution by the government.

In this repressive prohibition, even growing small amounts of marijuana for your own use is "aggressively" prosecuted when it is discovered....despite the fact that millions of people are doing precisely that in defiance of the ban.

The reason for this irrationality stems from one single fact: the juxtaposition of marijuana use with the counter-culture and, specifically, with the anti-war movement.

The use of marijuana is so firmly -and rightly - associated with anti-establishment behavior that a frustrated political establishment, unhappy with its growing political impotence, uses the persecution of marijuana users as a means of persecuting dissent.

Think about it. How many marijuana users do you know who are right wing, conservative, republicans?

Liberals who do not support legalization are missing a beat. Focusing on this issue will win elections....if only they had the balls to embrace the issue in the first place.
First, a question for you:

Is Qatar pronounced "Kat- TAR" or, as the President and his Secretary of State prefer, "CUTter" as in "someone who inflicts wounds on him or herself."

I ask because everyone I know from that country pronounces it as Kat -tar not cutter. Some time back I said this here and was told in no uncertain terms that I was wrong. Then, I happened to see a television commercial for the Qatar Foundaton in which they pronounce the word as Kat-tar.

Believe it or not, this relates to my comment on your post.

The original opposition to marijuana came from the experience of two western states, California and Arizona, which aggressively petitioned the federal government to pass anti-marijuana laws to give those states a tool to use in persecuting the increasing number of Mexican workers who were flooding into those states...and bringing their marijuana with them.

Even during Prohibition, private individuals were allowed to make their own alcohol for their personal use without persecution by the government.

In this repressive prohibition, even growing small amounts of marijuana for your own use is "aggressively" prosecuted when it is discovered....despite the fact that millions of people are doing precisely that in defiance of the ban.

The reason for this irrationality stems from one single fact: the juxtaposition of marijuana use with the counter-culture and, specifically, with the anti-war movement.

The use of marijuana is so firmly -and rightly - associated with anti-establishment behavior that a frustrated political establishment, unhappy with its growing political impotence, uses the persecution of marijuana users as a means of persecuting dissent.

Think about it. How many marijuana users do you know who are right wing, conservative, republicans?

Liberals who do not support legalization are missing a beat. Focusing on this issue will win elections....if only they had the balls to embrace the issue in the first place.
Sagemerlin,

You know it is hard to nail down. The state airline in commercials is called kat-Tar airlines, but if you ask someone local what they are they will say Cutterie.

Seems the liberals follow a herd mentality when it comes to pot. With the exception of Barney Frank (he and Ron Paul are co-sponsoring legislation that would decriminalize pot at the federal level and make it a state issue) libeals seem scared to death to touch the issue.