APRIL 24, 2012 4:11PM

Stein: Obama Irrational On Marijuana, Medical or Otherwise

Rate: 13 Flag

 

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a physician and public health advocate:

“A win/win solution is within reach if we can just shake off the Bush/Obama past and embrace a rational, effective drug policy for the 21st century.”

At the 420 rally in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Stein addressed tens of thousands of marijuana reform advocates. Dr. Stein declared that one of her first actions as President would be to "order the DEA and the Justice Department to cease and desist all attempts to harass or prosecute medical marijuana clinics or other legitimate marijuana-related businesses that are operating under state laws."

Stein asserted that hundreds of thousands of patients who suffer from chronic pain and cancers are benefitting from medical marijuana. It has been deemed legal in 13 states.

Stein criticized Michele Leonhart, a Bush appointee who Obama has promoted to head of the DEA. Leonhart has been behind the “overzealous” attacks on medical marijuana.

"The President promised us change, but in promoting Michele Leonhart he gave us more of the same. One of the first things I would do as President would be to fire Michele Leonhart."

Stein stresses the injustice of the DEA placing marijuana in the most dangerous category of drugs (Schedule 1) along with heroin and LSD. She said that she would direct the DEA to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 and place it in a more appropriate category as determined by medical science.

"President Obama promised to use a science-based approach to public policy. But when it comes to marijuana, he has continued the unscientific policies of George Bush, and has even gone far beyond Bush in his attacks upon medical marijuana clinics. He supports the irrational classification of marijuana in the most dangerous drug category, and he supports the ban on commercial hemp growing. This is mania-based policy, not science-based policy."

Why in this day and age, when 80% of the country is behind the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, would our supposedly Democratic President be against it? For political, impression management considerations, of course. Obama is willing to forego affording a vast number of citizens the benefits of medical marijuana to prevent a generalized “soft on drugs” labeling of himself from conservative Americans, for whom he has pandered and accommodated since day one of his administration.

In addition, this continuing Bush to Obama demonization of ALL marijuana users brings staggering human and financial costs. Hundreds of arrests, trials and jailings. Keith Stroup, founder of NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Law explains:

“The biggest argument opponents throw at us is that marijuana is a gateway drug to worse things. But 9 of 10 marijuana users don’t use anything else, ... And no one blames alcohol and smoking for leading to marijuana use.”

Stein’s platform on marijuana is reality-based, pragmatic and focused on the needs of our society, not on sacrificing citizen welfare and justice for political advantage:

Stein advocates regulating marijuana in a similar way to alcohol, and has long supported legalization of that drug. According to Stein, this would prevent billions of dollars in profits from pouring into the black market, and would greatly reduce the violence associated with illegal marijuana sales. She feels it would also reduce underage marijuana use, as well as allowing the commercial operations to pay appropriate taxes, thus helping to balance budgets and fund programs to reduce drug abuse.

snip

Stein has toured the country calling for a Green New Deal that would create 25 million sustainable jobs to end unemployment in America, and shift to a new, more democratic economy and politics. "As part of this, I want to see a thriving commercial hemp industry providing food, fiber, and other products from the hemp plant. This will be good for the environment and good for our economy. A win/win solution is within reach if we can just shake off the Bush/Obama past and embrace a rational, effective drug policy for the 21st century."

 

[cross-posted on correntewire and sacramento for democracy]

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Makes sense but only if it's covered by Medicare and Medicaid and the prices are regulated so we can reduce prices of what is and always has been what is basically a free weed. Eliminate extortion and slimey opportunistic criminals!!! Do it now!!!
This is one of those subjects which intrigues me. ILSTT)
(* Ilearnedsomethingtoday, thanks!) An informative post.
I have fibromyalgia....I wonder if there has been any research with respect to "weed" and "fibro". Do you know?
thanks for commenting, jmac. Yes, it would bring on a whole new realm of regulation but that is what a good citizen-sensitive government should be for. It certainly would be a big WIN for the so-called War on Drugs since marijuana does not belong in the Schedule 1 category and it would eliminate the dangerous and profiteering criminal activity surrounding its use. best, libby

ande, thanks for commenting! I am so sorry to hear about your fibromyalgia! I just googled webmd:

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-medical-marijuana

"Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, is hard to treat and impossible to cure. With pain so debilitating, patients may wonder about trying medical marijuana to ease their discomfort."

"Still widely controversial, "medical marijuana" refers to the smoked form of the drug. It does not refer to the synthesized version of THC, one of the active chemicals in marijuana, that's available in a medication called Marinol. The FDA first approved Marinol (dronabinol) in 1986 for nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. It later approved its use for nausea and weight loss from AIDS."

snip

"Medical marijuana was prescribed by doctors until 1942. That's when it was taken off the U.S. pharmacopoeia, the list of commonly available drugs.

""Marijuana has been a medicine for 5,000 years," says Donald I. Abrams, MD. "That's a lot longer than it hasn't been a medicine." Abrams, who is an oncologist and director of clinical research programs at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco, is one of a handful of top-flight doctors in the country researching medical marijuana. "The war on drugs is really a war on patients," he says.

"So why research medical marijuana when a pill, Marinol, is now available?

"Marijuana -- the plant's Latin name is cannabis -- has a host of components called cannabinoids. These components may have medicinal properties.

""There are 60 or 70 different cannabinoids in marijuana," says Abrams. Marinol contains only one cannabinoid -- delta-9 THC. When THC is isolated from the plant, other ingredients are lost, including those that might be buffering any adverse effects of taking "straight" THC. "In Chinese medicine," Abrams says, "they prescribe whole herbs and usually combinations of herbs."

"Abrams goes on to point out that, "In 1999 the Institute of Medicine did a report -- Marijuana and Medicine. And they said, in fact, that cannabinoids have benefit in relief of pain, increase in appetite, and relief of nausea and vomiting.""

it goes on ...

best, libby
Haven't been keeping up with Jill Stein, Libby...so I am glad to see your post keeping me informed.

She is sounding more and more like a politician! I wonder if you consider that a good thing...or a bad?
Lambert at correntewire reminded me of the time Obama, after commissioning an online poll, mocked those sincerely inquiring about legalizing marijuana (who again participated in OBAMA'S OWN poll, so you would think this would save them from being the butt of his political pandering jokiness). He was willing to score cheap political points at their expense. Here is the transcript of the televised Obama reaction to substantial sincere and thoughtful inquiries about legalizing marijuana:

THE PRESIDENT: Three point five million people voted. I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy — (laughter) — and job creation. And I don’t know what this says about the online audience — (laughter) — but I just want — I don’t want people to think that — this was a fairly popular question; we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don’t think that is a good strategy — (laughter) — to grow our economy. (Applause.)

Enuf said, apparently, by Obama ... or so he thinks!

Jill Stein has big news for him come November!
Really, Frank? How many politicians would go to the 420 legalizing marijuana rally in Denver and risk getting politically demonized by the right for that? How many would stand by the Santa Monica protesters who got roughed up by the cops?

Stein cares about PEOPLE and is so not playing status quo politics. Principle above personality.

As I said in the blog above, Obama will throw people under the bus, even those struggling with cancer, so he does not lose ANY votes. Sacrificing whomever for his second term job security as he did after using them to get in originally. Always obsequious to the one percent cronies with their money and power. Though he will be talking faux-populism talk and trying to use rhetoric to coax those sympathetic to the OWS movement to get votes for 2012, when he is such an enemy himself to OWS movement.

He thinks that he can count on the votes of the original people who got him in by "lesser evil" default. To me, that is BIG evil and deserves no reward!!!

By the way, Frank, Stein is a DOCTOR as well as a political candidate. Got some credibility there, especially with this medical marijuana analysis, I'd say!!!
Libby, Libby, Libby. Don't you understand? Repealing the war on drugs would interfere with the profits of the defense contractors!
absolutely ONL, and don't forget all that money from the prison privitization contracting. We need prisoners so the one percenters can get rich. Non-violent criminals? Who cares if they are not violent and not even seriously criminal. Marijuana users, AND soon more and more people of conscience committing civil disobedience to fight the capture of our government by the amoralist.

All the prisoners they can round up as long as they are not the evil white rich patriarchs including rich pols who commit crime after crime, economic, war, whatever!!!!!

In Obamaworld you get locked up for whistleblowing travesties, not committing them. Look at how well BP is doing compared to the rest of us. $26 billion 2011 profit.

As Maddow once said, "it is an ethical freakshow of a universe"!

best, libby
Let the people have thier pot!
I never liked pot but it helps so many in pain. Like you said, they need to keep those prisons full and they want to build more.
Absolutely. An attorney friend was appointed to fill a vacancy as prosecutor in a rural Virginia county. He announced at the news conference that he would end the practice of prosecuting marijuana cases - possession and dealing. Victimless crimes, he said. He kept his word, but did not seek election to serve a full term. This was in the early 1980s. He's still practicing and is a damned good defense attorney.
Just let me grow a little in my yard for my own use. Like jmac said it is just a free weed, Obama, and you even smoked it. Geez.
Money, money, money, and more money. The only reason any politician does anything is the big money. What the big money wants, the big money gets. Scientifically and any other "...ocally" there is zero doubt about the benefits of both marijuana and the great hemp. The big money and its gofers do not care what the people want. Again, Obama does what he is told. Excellent post, Libby. R

@ Ande
Yes, weed help with fibro, even if only with the pain. Please, ask your physician; meanwhile google it. I am sure there is tons of info on the net.
Legalize it! This is so scary for every stripe of politician, given the reverence now accorded the NRA. We really have to work on our priorities.
Jill seems much more in step than many of our leaders. Make it legal? Well that would be a crime -- for certain people, whom are unnecessary in these times. It's all about our priorities, is it not?
When will we focus on what matters?
Wow, sounds like a massive rally, like many Nader held (attending mainly by young people) when he was a Green Party candidate in 2000.

I'm curious exactly which constituency Obama represents in opposing legalization. For the most part, local police and sheriff's associations want to end prohibition, as do judges, doctors, Latin American leaders and the American public. Imagine how many alcoholics and addictions we could help if we used all the money we waste on marijuana enforcement on substance abuse treatment.
Libby…I was a member of NORML back in the early 1970’s…writing essays and op ed pieces championing decriminalization of marijuana when it was still dangerous to do so. I appreciate the fact that Jill Stein is on that bandwagon…but it is much too far down that path to consider it much of a “bravery” move.

And I am sure she “cares about people.” Most people do.

My point was that from your quotes, she seems more like a typical politician than earlier. But that was to be expected…and in my opinion, is to her credit.
By the way, back on March 4, 1989 I had an op ed sized letter published in the New York Times challenging A. M. Rosenthal’s opinion column about legalization and decriminalization. I got lots of heat on that piece. Back then the notion was much more unpopular than it is now.
fernsy, thanks for comment. Our prisons are brimming with non-violent criminals. I'm guessing with all the massive economic stress, there will be even more motivation for smoking pot. But as Rahm says, every crisis has an opportunity for the opportunists who will enable evil for the payoffs. Prison contracting as lucrative as bombing the shit out of innocent people to the top tier powers that be and those they are pimped to.

Chicken Maaan, yeah, victimless criminals are the juiciest kind for the powers that be, since the one percent are already in bed with or simply are, let's face it, organized crime. Prison profiteering = sub, sub, sub, sub-basement evil.

toritto, good for your daughter and her hubby!!!! a racist assembly line of injustice is what it all should be called out as!!!

zanelle, interesting framing. yes, it is a free weed. but look what will happen to free water in the near future. things are grim.

thoth, thanks again for commenting! you are so right. zero doubt of scientific benefits never stops bottom feeding scum sucking opportunists who want to make profits uber alles.

inthisdeepcalm, Jill Stein is in step and putting her conscience on the line in these corrupt times! thanks for commenting.

Stuart, I don't get Obama either. Some perverse pleasure he gleans maybe in flying in the face of common sense and citizen will by combatting all that with media propaganda and "trust me" personal amiability. Black and Democratic party myopic cronyism doesn't hurt either. His continual lesser evil default card which I have long ago decided is not lesser evil at all.

Okay, Frank, considering your outspoken stance on legalization, how do you reconcile Obama's stance? Especially that little press appearance he did mocking anyone taking legalization seriously I quoted as a comment above?

Do you really know anything about Jill Stein or her conduct or her candidacy or are you just throwing out hostile accusations because that is what the other team does? That is sure what it is sounding like.

best, libby








zanelle, thanks for commenting!
God bless Jill Stein! It's all about money, Libby. The "gateway" drug argument is so lame, it isn't a gateway to anything but pain-release.
Okay, Frank, considering your outspoken stance on legalization, how do you reconcile Obama's stance?

What do I have to reconcile, Libby? Some people agree that pot should be decriminalized…and some people disagree. That happens on lots of issues.

Especially that little press appearance he did mocking anyone taking legalization seriously I quoted as a comment above?

I would treat it the way I treat you…respectfully and with some love. You often mock people who disagree with you (which includes me) and I continue to respect you and want to be a friend of yours. I reach out to you when there are New York City meets…so we might break bread or have coffee or a drink together.

Do you really know anything about Jill Stein or her conduct or her candidacy or are you just throwing out hostile accusations because that is what the other team does?

I know what you tell me…I read everything you write. I am skeptical of third party candidates…that despite the fact that I am a registered Independent. I think the remediation of our political system will not happen as a result of a third party growing…and I am grossly skeptical that the Greens will be appreciably more honest or immune to political corruption than are the Democrats or Republicans. I am not “throwing out hostile accusations”, Libby, I am discussing things with you and the others here…respectfully and reasonably if I can.

That is sure what it is sounding like.

I’m sorry it sounds that way to you. I will try to further temper the way I say things, but I already take great pains not to be unreasonable or insulting in my posts.

I hope we can discuss any of these things with as little rancor as possible. I truly mean that.
All You have to do, Libby is smoke 5 or 6 joints a day, and this is the important part, ALWAYS take a day or two off a year, and then You can think clearly, like passive-aggressive fRANK.

fRANK's interest in any possibilities beyond his agnostic lord and savior, obama, is so deep and abiding that he swears he reads everything You write.

This imbecile is so dense, he fails to recognize what a clown he is.

I get PMs daily from the audience reporting the latest moronic things he says, so I don't even have to follow him around anymore.

WHOOOPEE!

-R-