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Hopes for prohibition's end - up in smoke.
July 1, 2011 7:36 AM   Subscribe

In an apparent reversal (err, 'clarification') of the Oct. 2009 'Ogden Memo' (previously), the DEA has has issued a new memo stating that "Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law."

PDF of the new memo issued by James Cole, Deputy Attorney General.
posted by FatherDagon (151 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
and those who knowingly facilitate such activities

So they're just going to sit outside the polls and arrest anybody who votes "yes" on a medical marijuana proposal?

At least it's direct.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:37 AM on July 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


sad trombone
posted by nathancaswell at 7:37 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm usually reticent to post from Reason due to their fairly visible bias, but it had (at the moment) the most comprehensive writeup on the new memo's release.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:38 AM on July 1, 2011


The whole government approach to pot is increasingly reminding me of a jilted boyfriend who just won't give it up long after it has become clear that things are over. A dangerous, vindictive boyfriend that keeps insisting everyone in the country is TOO against it, and --what? She's dating California and Colorado now! I'll kill them! I'll kill those bastards! Oh shut up about the tax revenue and full prisons...I will KILL YOU IF YOU TOUCH HER!
posted by umberto at 7:41 AM on July 1, 2011 [78 favorites]


Oh bumma.
posted by orthogonality at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, this sounds like a good Reason to post.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The DEA needs to take a quiet moment and light up a fat one and think all this nonsense through again.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:44 AM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Surely this....
posted by eriko at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2011


See, here's an opportunity for the Executive, without any interference from those criminals in Congress or those jackals in the bond markets or those nags in the media, to do what's right.

But the Executive passes on the opportunity.

Meh.
posted by notyou at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


If they start busting clinics again it's pretty much certain I won't be voting for Obama.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is why you always get it writing.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2011


Prosecuting war criminals: Dwelling on the immutable past. Must look forward.
Prosecuting harmless activities in the states where those activities are legal: We've got plenty of time for that!
posted by DU at 7:49 AM on July 1, 2011 [53 favorites]


Is it me, or is the Justice Department the most dsifunctional fuckwits to ever possess a badge, pass the bar, get a cushy gov't job.

Time to elect a hippie, a smart hippe.
posted by clavdivs at 7:49 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well gosh, I'm glad we've got everything sorted out well enough that our biggest problem is a dried flower with little to no harmful side effects.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:51 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Passes? This is the executive making the choice to do what's wrong.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:51 AM on July 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


This sucks, but this post is kind of misleading:

are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law.

This is a simple statement of fact, and the Ogden Memo never ran contrary to this:

Of course, no State can authorize violations of federal law, and the list of factors above is not intended to describe exhaustively when a federal prosecution may be warranted. Accordingly, in prosecutions under the Controlled Substances Act, federal prosecutors are not expected to charge, prove, or otherwise establish any state law violations. Indeed, this memorandum does not alter in any way the Department’s authority to enforce federal law

The Ogden Memo was about "resource allocation", it was never about rethinking the CSA. And the new memo- which was sent by the DOJ, not DEA- doesn't directly reverse Odgen:

"Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons 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"

Maybe the DOJ thought they stated the issue a little too strongly in Ogden and they want to dial it back a bit. So yeah, this may lead to more federal prosecuation, which is the real bad thing here. But he status of the CSA, state law vs. federal law, and the criminality of such activities were never in question, before or after either memo.
posted by spaltavian at 7:52 AM on July 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


clavdivs : Time to elect a hippie, a smart hippe.

I doubt anyone much closer to that than Obama could ever get elected in this country... And even if someone did, look how "effective" Barry proven.

Seriously - I find it telling that Obama started out as a pretty drastic change to the DC norm, promising all manner of things that made sense, that the people actually wanted. And he failed over and over and over to get anything done; But! As time went on, he has grown more effective - Completely in proportion to his shift to the "dark side". The closer he gets to "more of the same", the more he gets done.

We'll end the current experiment bankrupt and in revolution. And somewhat annoyingly, that will probably happen within our lifetimes.
posted by pla at 7:56 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


That's the point, Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish. Obama doesn't make wrong choices* because of the political landscape. He makes them because he's wrong.

------------------
*Bank bailout with no reform; torture memoes uninvestigated; broken HAMP; ACA w/out a public option; an early pivot to deficit reduction...
posted by notyou at 7:59 AM on July 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Arm up and hold on to your weed.
posted by brando_calrissian at 7:59 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure all the groups that normally trumpet State's Rights issues will be all over this even though it doesn't involve institutional discrimination against people they don't like.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:05 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]



"Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law."

So does that mean the DEA is going to arrest and prosecute all of their CIs and undercover agents?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:12 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I keep being told that Mr. Obama really wants to do the right thing but he's always being held back by others - Congress, the Senate, the other Democrats.

And yet in these cases, in whistleblower cases (particular poor Bradley Manning), in his unwillingness to prosecute criminal bankers or military torturers and murderers, Mr. Obama has pretty well carte blanche to do as he pleases and yet he aggressively does exactly the wrong thing.

What makes me really sad is the young people. I know an awful lot of young people (i.e. 30 or less) whose first ever Presidential vote was for Mr. Obama. Without exception, those I've talked to have said they will never vote again.

Even worse than having no hope is to have your hopes raised and then dashed. "The Audacity of Hope" is a very good summing up for Mr. Obama's Administration - we were audacious to expect any change and we are being punished for our audacity.

I do however hope that one day when Mr. Obama is a private citizen, I get a chance to tell him, politely, exactly what I and millions other think of him. I strongly doubt I'll get a chance, however.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:14 AM on July 1, 2011 [37 favorites]


Oh my stars, I do apologise for mentioning a particular apologist. Perhaps I should cut to the chase here:

Your Mr Obama is a twat.
posted by pompomtom at 8:15 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


But he status of the CSA, state law vs. federal law, and the criminality of such activities were never in question, before or after either memo.

DOJ not DEA, apologies - got my acronyms switched. However, the new memo is a pretty clear change in policy. Whereas the first one specifically said 'it's technically illegal on a federal level, however it's also a lowest-priority task for enforecement'; effectively saying 'find something else to bust'. This one says 'well shit, apparently some people took our policy of lax enforcement as encouragement to grow quantity in a safe and non-cartel-funded manner. That Will Not Stand!'

The saddest thing is that the memo says their reasoning is 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.' Then they go around and specifically direct agencies to focus their efforts on US-side commercial growers selling through legal (statewise, at least) distributors.. i.e. the exact opposite of murderous cartel gangs.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:16 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really wish I could find a copy of Enright's "Still Packing Them In" political cartoon from the 1930s criticizing the Volstead Act. (Prohibition) Of course, it's not like it can't just be described: an endless row of bodies being marched into a prison by a whip labeled "dry law."

In 1930s, a full third of them were incarcerated for Volstead violations.

If insanity, as the old quip goes, is expecting different results from repeated actions, then policy insanity is an apt description of the War on (Some) Drugs.
posted by absalom at 8:18 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's always 420 someWHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME?
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:20 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


a full third of them, being federal prisoners. Grar.
posted by absalom at 8:20 AM on July 1, 2011


Oh my stars, I do apologise for mentioning a particular apologist. Perhaps I should cut to the chase here:

Your Mr Obama is a twat.


Dope and Change, baby. Dope and Change.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:22 AM on July 1, 2011


Then they go around and specifically direct agencies to focus their efforts on US-side commercial growers selling through legal (statewise, at least) distributors.. i.e. the exact opposite of murderous cartel gangs.

Which, of course, drives business to the cartels. So, in their own way, they're actually advocating for more cartel activity. Do they have, like, stock in them or something?
posted by mrgoat at 8:26 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I approve.

If people in Colorado, California and similar states do not like the federal law, they have the means to change it: elect people who will change the federal law.

Colorado could help its case by having actual doctors proscribe pot and not be attached to a for-profit place that sells the pot. A doctor (who only treats patients looking for pot), who rubber stamps damn-near anything as a chronic illness so their for-profit dispensary meets quota, makes the whole thing smell fishy. Or skunky. Whatever. Chronic. lol.

Anyways - I am posting not because I expect to change hearts and minds, but because if I don't this thread will suffer the Digg Effect.
posted by andreaazure at 8:28 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um, not the Digg Effect (where websites go down because Digg linked to it back when Digg was large and mattered) but the effect of loud voices representing the whole.

sorry for the lack of clarity.
posted by andreaazure at 8:29 AM on July 1, 2011


This is where I would speculate that the cartels, trillion dollar influence machines that they are, are pulling the puppet strings to bring their enforcers/partners the DEA down on the competition to their own distribution network.

If I was paranoid or something, I mean
posted by tspae at 8:36 AM on July 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Citizens! Fear not. Clearly the affect of these mind-altering substances cannot be tolerated in our just and free society. If you are still having trouble coping with the stresses of getting arrested for free speech outside of freedom zones, of being groped when you attempt to travel, of being penalized for not having your paperwork in order, of being accosted by policemen who have no fear of repercussions for misbehavior, and of having your life and bank account drained to fight the evildoers to protect our amazing freedoms, your government has a legal and proper solution.

If you have insurance, and you have some extra money, and you have the time to see a therapist, and you have no prior record (or incorrect skin color), you can load up on all the drugs that you want that are approved by other adults whom we license.

You're welcome!
posted by notion at 8:37 AM on July 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


Which, of course, drives business to the cartels. So, in their own way, they're actually advocating for more cartel activity. Do they have, like, stock in them or something?

The CIA has had it's hands in cocaine, heroin, crack... and I wouldn't be surprised if the #2 lobbyists behind the private prison industry for maintaining prohibition is the Gulf Cartel and their ilk. Various control institutions have always had a very vested interest in maintaining a notable portion of the populace as disenfranchised criminals.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:38 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks from saving us from groupthink!

Anyways, the momentum is in favor of legalization. But it's not at that point yet. I wish Obama would push on this, but even as a chronic smoker, I don't think that pot legalization should be a priority before say, what the fuck we are doing in the Middle East, the recession, and even Obama's re-election campaign. Because I'd rather have a anti-pot Obama than Romney/Bachman in office.

That said, the point made above re: discretion in using resources is important. It gives those on the ground an out to not spend resources on such stupidity.
posted by angrycat at 8:39 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hear that?

That's the sound of an agency realising decriminalisation might mean a reduction in budget at some point in the future. How they going to pay for all of those tanks, helicopters and nifty shades if they can't justify them with no-knock warrant serves on potheads?

Which of course gives me pause for how the DHS will react when they start cutting its budget. Won't be pretty.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:43 AM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I approve.

If people in Colorado, California and similar states do not like the federal law, they have the means to change it: elect people who will change the federal law.


"Laboratories of democracy," indeed.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:44 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a nationalist, as opposed to a federalist, I'm certainly in favor of the idea that national laws trump local laws.

That said, this is insanely stupid.

The DOJ shouldn't be wasting resources on marijuana when there's torturers running around loose. They've got better things to be focusing on than the War on Drugs.
posted by sotonohito at 8:52 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


> If people in Colorado, California and similar states do not like the federal law, they have the means to change it: elect people who will change the federal law.

Words fail me.

We pushed as hard as we could to elect the best possible candidate for this purpose, someone who admitted to having smoked pot and enjoyed it... and we got completely and utterly fucked. In the very best case, the first time we'll have a hope of a new Presidential candidate worth supporting is in 2016, unless there's a serious challenge to Mr. Obama. Meanwhile, literally millions of people will have been arrested for victimless crimes, literally billions of dollars will have been pissed away.

The fix is in! No matter what the population thinks, we're going to keep going to jail for smoking pot because everyone in charge benefits, financially and otherwise, from this arrangement.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


> The DOJ shouldn't be wasting resources on marijuana when there's torturers running around loose.

Unfortunately, nearly all the torturers are on the same team as the DoJ, so there's no chance in the world of them ever being prosecuted. The best we're going to get is a couple of lower-downs twisting in the wind, following the time-honoured tradition of throwing the muscle to the cops - no one who actually ordered torture will ever even get a raised eyebrow from the Department of "Justice".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:57 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]



> If people in Colorado, California and similar states do not like the federal law, they have the means to change it: elect people who will change the federal law.


You hear that Cali and Colo? Vote for Ron Paul, not Barack Obama.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:00 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


We pushed as hard as we could to elect the best possible candidate for this purpose

Really; this is why you supported Barack Obama? This is like when people rail against him for breaking his promise to end the war in Afghanistan which he never made.
posted by spaltavian at 9:04 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even worse than having no hope is to have your hopes raised and then dashed. "The Audacity of Hope" is a very good summing up for Mr. Obama's Administration - we were audacious to expect any change and we are being punished for our audacity.

You know Obama has to get re-elected, right ?

Remember Kent state ? ~70% of the people surveyed after that felt the students had it coming. This is the same country.

Bradley Manning at least took an affirmative action that led to his arrest and treatment.

There is no way that Obama has the political capital to give you your ponies. Its not going to happen.

I'm not the very happiest with Obama. There is lots of room for criticism. However, realistically, given the tenor and scope of the political landscape in America today he is the best we're going to get.

This incessant crying would be more amusing if it wasn't so actually counterproductive.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Colorado could help its case by having actual doctors proscribe pot and not be attached to a for-profit place that sells the pot. A doctor (who only treats patients looking for pot), who rubber stamps damn-near anything as a chronic illness so their for-profit dispensary meets quota, makes the whole thing smell fishy. Or skunky. Whatever. Chronic. lol.

Medical marijuana is, in practice, basically an obvious legal hack. A con. An end run around the process by which law is made.

And, you know, I have to ask: Yeah? So?

In a better system, it would not be necessary to pull this kind of stunt on a grand scale. In a better world, it would also not be necessary to protest war, or engage in mass civil disobedience like, say, during the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

The rule of law and a democratic process for its formulation are, on balance, the sanest system of power we've yet managed as a species to put together on a large scale. That doesn't mean they don't need correctives from a citizenry willing to push sanity on the system where it's broken.

The stoners have found a set of mechanisms by which to normalize their (who am I kidding? my) habit to such an extent that the corrupt, tortured, perverse-incentive-ridden process of American lawmaking will eventually be forced to cope with the reality of the situation and reduce the number of lives it destroys. Good for them.
posted by brennen at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


Anyways - I am posting not because I expect to change hearts and minds, but because if I don't this thread will suffer the Digg Effect.

oh thank god you're here then
posted by Greg Nog at 9:09 AM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


elect people who will change the federal law.

Um, we did. That is, we voted for a guy who at least seemed to be not as hostile to changing the law as the rest of the pack was. Don't act like we all sat around going "Oh I know let's vote for the guy who will be extra-harsh and recalcitrant when it comes to doing something we'd really like him to do."

If you really want to counter the perceived Digg Effect (and since I don't hang out there, I'll confess that I'm not quite certain what that is, although from context I guess it means "echo chamber"), then you will have to bring better arguments than that.

Also, sometimes an echo chamber seems like an echo chamber because - surprise! - the thing we're all dissing is, in fact, shitty, stupid, and counter-productive. The way we've been running the war on drugs has indisputably not worked and has caused enormous harm. Those in the government who defend this policy cannot show any evidence whatsoever that it has worked in the least, and yet they are the most resistant to changing it. That is crazy.
posted by rtha at 9:11 AM on July 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


That is crazy lucrative.

FTFY
posted by Trurl at 9:13 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



There is no way that Obama has the political capital to give you your ponies. Its not going to happen.

This incessant crying would be more amusing if it wasn't so actually counterproductive.


You...you realize we are talking about something he clearly has the power to do since he already did it, right?

I was okay with that, because it was progress. I don't expect him to get all the way to legalization, progress isn't too much to ask for when it is clearly within his power. Going back on that and starting to raid clinics is a dealbreaker for me.

It's just getting so asinine listening to people defending him no matter what. He isn't the messiah, the purity of your Obama support can survive pointing out when he is about to make a mistake.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:17 AM on July 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


> Really; this is why you supported Barack Obama? This is like when people rail against him for breaking his promise to end the war in Afghanistan which he never made.

Right, we could have supported McCain, he would have fixed it!

The two cases, pot and the Afghanistan war, are actually very similar. Yes, we knew he wasn't going to rush out and withdraw from Afghanistan - what we didn't expect is that he'd escalate that war and start a couple of others. We didn't expect him to legalize pot, but we also didn't expect him to escalate the drug war and aggressively work against the States' brave attempts to decriminalize it.

The point is that we never get a choice of an anti-war candidate or an anti-drug-war candidate at all - we get candidates who present themselves as the voice of sanity, just like Mr. Obama, and then proceed to do exactly the same crazy things their predecessors do.

> There is no way that Obama has the political capital to give you your ponies.
> This incessant crying would be more amusing if it wasn't so actually counterproductive.

This is simply rude: treating us like we're stupid children doesn't improve the discourse.

I hate the fact that asking to not start new wars, not to expand the existing wars, and not to increase the war on drugs, are considered childish whines, like a kid asking for a pony, instead of rational requests that would save billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.

So between "If people in Colorado, California and similar states do not like the federal law, they have the means to change it: elect people who will change the federal law" and "There is no way that Obama has the political capital to give you your ponies" and "This incessant crying would be more amusing if it wasn't so actually counterproductive" we get a simple message:

You are a fool if you ever expect any change of any type and even asking for it is a bad thing.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:19 AM on July 1, 2011 [33 favorites]


The saddest thing is that the memo says their reasoning is that 'Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug...

I feel that they should need to defend this position. Because at this point, all the evidence appears to indicate the contrary, particularly when compared to the danger levels in drugs that are legal and provide revenue to the government though taxation.
posted by quin at 9:21 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, we knew he wasn't going to rush out and withdraw from Afghanistan - what we didn't expect is that he'd escalate that war

Bullshit. Barack Obama was extremely clear, during the primary and general elections, that he felt we had too little involvement in Afghanistan, and too much in Iraq, and that what he thought we should do was pull troops out of the latter and send them to the former. You may not like it, but go back and look at the man's comments and statements and I think you'll find a pretty consistent declared intention to ramp up Afghanistan first chance he got.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:22 AM on July 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


I feel that they should need to defend this position.

Simple: It's dangerous because it's illegal (instead of vice versa).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:24 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Medical marijuana is, in practice, basically an obvious legal hack. A con. An end run around the process by which law is made.

For a long time, I too thought that the dispensaries were just a clever way to get weed into the hands of customers who were willing to jump through a very minor hoop or two. But, more and more, I hear from people who take the medical distinction very, very seriously, and actively support the prosecution of anyone who subverts that specific intended purpose. I wish the reality were different, but it appears the fantasy of winkingly-sanctioned recreational use is illusory at best.
posted by mykescipark at 9:25 AM on July 1, 2011


The reason the Afghanistan comparison is stupid is that Obama did in fact campaign on ending the medical pot raids, not that the facts matter when it's time to spin anything and everything to defend Obama.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting Obama for America to inquire about the Senator's position on allowing severely ill patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.

Many states have laws that condone medical marijuana, but the Bush Administration is using federal drug enforcement agents to raid these facilities and arrest seriously ill people. Focusing scarce law enforcement resources on these patients who pose no threat while many violent and highly dangerous drug traffickers are at large makes no sense. Senator Obama will not continue the Bush policy when he is president.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Sincerely,

Obama for America

posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:27 AM on July 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


If I needed pot for medical reasons, I too would be upset with system-abusing recreational users who threatened to ruin everything. But I don't, so I'm not.

The more I accept that we're living in Post-Legal America, the more well-adjusted I feel.
posted by Trurl at 9:29 AM on July 1, 2011


I understand why the medical distinction is important to some users of the system, and I also fully support access to medical pot for the people it genuinely helps (these certainly exist, at the very least among sufferers of cancer, chronic pain, etc.), but all I can really say to

I wish the reality were different, but it appears the fantasy of winkingly-sanctioned recreational use is illusory at best.

is that I live in Boulder, CO, and I sure do notice a lot of cardholders who are non-illusorily stoned on a regular basis. Boulder, as I'm sure people will be happy to inform me, is not America-at-large. But as near as I can tell, more of America is looking like Boulder all the time. You can find dispensaries in the straitlaced suburbs of Denver and the little towns on the plains out East. Last time I spent any time in small-town Kansas, people were smoking ridiculously potent Oregon medical stuff. Maybe there will be a giant crackdown and we will regress 20 years, but it's hard to escape the sense that there is a cultural critical mass developing here.
posted by brennen at 9:36 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mr. Cole has issued his memo. Now let him enforce it.
posted by warbaby at 9:37 AM on July 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Time to elect a hippie, a smart hippe.

The "smart" hippies are all singing the praises of Friedrich Hayek, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul, or hadn't you heard?
posted by blucevalo at 9:58 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mentioned Ron Paul because it was suggested that we should vote for people who support changing federal drug law. Are we only allowed to vote for centrist dems who want to end the drug war? There aren't many of them running for federal office.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:06 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The saddest thing is that the memo says their reasoning is that 'Congress has determined that marijuana thinking anything through is a dangerous drug...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:12 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they start busting clinics again it's pretty much certain I won't be voting for Obama.

In a two-party system, you don't vote for the best party but for the lesser evil. And Obama is the lesser evil to President Bachmann by several orders of magnitude, and he knows it. He can completely stiff the progressives and they'll vote for him, out of fear of what will happen if they don't. They may even get out and campaign and donate, and put on their best face whilst sincerely asking people to vote Democrat, because while the Democrats' track record is awful, the alternative is too horrifying to think about.
posted by acb at 10:17 AM on July 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


In a two-party system, you don't vote for the best party but for the lesser evil.

I vote for whoever the fuck I want.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:22 AM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I vote for whoever the fuck I want.

You're free to throw away your vote, of course. Or you could hold your nose and push for a marginally more favourable realistic outcome.
posted by acb at 10:25 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


We all know that in the last election, we had the choice between two candidates, one of whom was very enthusiastic about the Afghan war, and one of whom was insanely enthusiastic.

And we had two candidates, one cautious about the war on drugs and one, again, insanely enthusiastic.

We only got two choices - and I'm sure if I suggested the possibility of a third party I'd again be mocked as being childish. To imply that because we selected the lesser of two evils, one who clearly concealed his real opinions under a mantle of lies, that we should then shut up and accept whatever he does is ridiculous and insulting.

At the time I believed that Mr. Obama was a smart guy and that he'd at least not start any wars and try to reign in the ones he was given, simply because the US cannot afford any more wars, because people are dying, and because these wars are simply not accomplishing anything.

Now, well, I simply don't understand. What does he think he's doing?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:28 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Guess what? Some people differ with your opinions on what constitutes a favorable outcome. It's crazy, I know, but that's why we all get a vote.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:28 AM on July 1, 2011


You're free to throw away your vote, of course.

Voting for someone who doesn't win ≠ throwing one's vote away
posted by Trurl at 10:29 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Trurl : Voting for someone who doesn't win ≠ throwing one's vote away

Uh, actually it does, in a "winner take all" system.

Y'know - Like the one used in the US? Where Bush actually said, publicly after the 2004 election, that he would have played a different game if the popular vote actually mattered?
posted by pla at 10:32 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sad thing is that Obama is a smart guy.

The even sadder thing is that substantial numbers of Americans are going to get behind the Bachmann hideousness just to "send the smart guy a message".

Please, please, please, America, don't elect Michele Bachmann. Please don't. Please.
posted by flabdablet at 10:33 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trurl : Voting for someone who doesn't win ≠ throwing one's vote away

Uh, actually it does, in a "winner take all" system.

Y'know - Like the one used in the US? Where Bush actually said, publicly after the 2004 election, that he would have played a different game if the popular vote actually mattered?


So...since he won...we all should have voted for Bush so as not to waste our votes?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:33 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Voting for someone who has no chance of winning (think third parties in the US)is throwing your vote away, or at least consigining it to a commentary piece buried in the parts of the paper few people read ("Electoral disaffection is up, as 29,206 people voted Green. Meanwhile, Pres. Bachmann has confirmed the appointment of Joe Arpaio as Attorney-General")
posted by acb at 10:34 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Conservative judges in some cases are friendlier on these issues.

Clarence Thomas believes, for instance:

Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that "commerce" included the mere possession of a good or some personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana.


So, in the absence of any progress from Democrats on these issues one might be encouraged by having a Republican President who nominates more judges like him.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:37 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The sad thing is that Obama is a smart guy.

He's a smart guy. And like most players in the US political system, he's a shrewd player, and not blinded by idealism. If he wasn't cynical and calculating, would he have made it as high up the greasy pole as he did?

His new-age liberal act, which got the volunteers out to carry him into the Whitehouse, was all calculated, as much as Bush Jr.'s Dominionist-theocrat act was. He played the liberals like a cheap fiddle.

The fact remains, though, that he is the lesser evil. And with the Republicans' move away from anything resembling moderation, the gap is wide enough to compel one to grin and bear it.
posted by acb at 10:38 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


He can completely stiff the progressives and they'll vote for him, out of fear of what will happen if they don't.
...
the gap is wide enough to compel one to grin and bear it.


It's weird that you keep saying these things even as left-wingers in this thread are actively telling you they won't vote for him. No one's compelled to do anything.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:46 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The fact opinion remains, though, that he is the lesser evil.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:47 AM on July 1, 2011


> The sad thing is that Obama is a smart guy.

Sorry, I don't see it. He's a good talker, certainly charismatic, bright even... but smart? Smart means making good decisions; it means appointing the right people to the right positions; it means working with your allies against your enemies; and the result is a track record of success.

I see this Administration as one failure after another, with tiny bones like DADT thrown in to keep people happy (and the fact that in 2011, Mr. Obama still pretends to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman tells you a lot about how "progressive" he really is...)

> The fact remains, though, that he is the lesser evil. And with the Republicans' move away from anything resembling moderation, the gap is wide enough to compel one to grin and bear it.

In other words, we'll simply never get any rational government at all, and we're irresponsible to even consider not supporting the Democrats, even though we support almost none of their policies at this point, and we should be happy that it's not worse.

This is why the wife and I are slowly but systematically planning our move to Europe - because you guys are terminally fucked and we don't want to go down with your ship.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:47 AM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


However, the new memo is a pretty clear change in policy.

No, it's a change of tone at best. Read the Odgen Memo again. It wasn't the radical document you seem to think it was. (It was, it terms of how insane policy has been in the past, but it didn't, and constitutionally couldn't, make an end run around the CSA.) The new memo still says that prosecutions should be within the resources of the relevant offices and is within the discretion of the prosecutor. Again, the difference is tone.

escalate the drug war

Escalate? Over what, the Bush administration? What is you metric in claiming that Obama is intensifying the drug war he inherited, rather than not winding it down. I believe that this new memo- which says the same thing the Ogden Memo- is still a dialing back of the overheated militarism of drug warriors past.
posted by spaltavian at 10:59 AM on July 1, 2011


So, in the absence of any progress from Democrats on these issues one might be encouraged by having a Republican President who nominates more judges like him.

I just snorted in derision so hard I got a nosebleed.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:00 AM on July 1, 2011


That's fine, but it's still true that in the interest of State's rights a judge like Thomas will put up with medical pot. He seems likely to be the closest model for who Bachmann would nominate.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2011


pompomtom: Oh my stars, I do apologise for mentioning a particular apologist. Perhaps I should cut to the chase here:

Your Mr Obama is a twat.


Are you trying to say he's kind of a dick?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


And I'm wondering if this will in any way lessen the number of ads for Pot Doctors, who will prescribe medicinal cannabis for whatever ails you. They have ads on the radio and in newspapers, not just High Times and stuck to bathroom stalls.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:10 AM on July 1, 2011


What bothers me is this:
The memo written by Cole and addressed to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and several members of the U.S. Attorney's office is a severe amendment to the Ogden memo. "The Department of Justice is committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in all States. 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," the memo reads.
It isn't congress you dipshit. And you fucking KNOW it. It's the DEA that schedules and classifies drugs, not Congress. Congress may make the penalties for doing the illegal thing, but if the DEA rescheduled it, then it would not longer be the Class I drug it is.

What fucking weasel words trying to deflect your own (executive branch) role in the situation.

Seriously this was the ONLY thing Obama had going for him, IMO (and the one thing I could try to sell to a few people who were otherwise apolitical). That and "he's not Bachmann/Palin/whateverdumbshitrepublican".

Why the fuck is he trying to make us not vote for him. I mean my fucking god. I know this wasn't necessarily straight from the horse's mouth but surely the directive must have come from above, not some deputy attorney general (what is that like 3 or 4 levels down the chain?)
posted by symbioid at 11:14 AM on July 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


> > escalate the drug war

> Escalate? Over what, the Bush administration?

Yes, over the Bush administration. The drug war has continued to grow at a more or less consistent rate through the last five administrations (all helmed by self-confessed illegal drug users, by the way...) and Mr. Obama has continued the tradition of growing it.

If you want complete unambiguity, I can say, "Just like Bush, Mr. Obama has steadily increased the spending on the War on Drugs."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


He can completely stiff the progressives and they'll vote for him, out of fear of what will happen if they don't.

Oh hai! Leftist here. I won't vote for him either, on the exact same grounds I wouldn't vote for Bachmann or any of the other right wingers. I don't vote for people who stiff the leftists. Just cause you've got a (D) after your name on the teevee doesn't mean you're a liberal. I'm tired of the lesser evil and the least terrible option. The hell with it. I'll let others vote until I get a candidate I can vote for.

And before I'm dropped in the "disaffected Obama fanatic" bucket, I never believed he was anything but what he's turned out to be -- another calculating right wing triangulator. I held my nose and voted for him in '08, but the hell with that. Now I feel like I actively helped elect him. I don't want that on me anymore.
posted by rusty at 11:28 AM on July 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


It is true that in general liberals will be loyal to Obama. Elections are lost because centrists, who are not afraid of Republicans because they are closer in ideology, vote based on results rather than ideology. Nothing angry anti-drug war folks do will matter as much as unemployment numbers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:30 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is where I would speculate that the cartels, trillion dollar influence machines that they are, are pulling the puppet strings to bring their enforcers/partners the DEA down on the competition to their own distribution network.

Probably a different sort of cartel, though. The kind named Anheiser-Busch, Pernod-Ricard, Altria or Eli Lilly.

(And yeah, the police and prison industry, of course.)

And I'm wondering if this will in any way lessen the number of ads for Pot Doctors, who will prescribe medicinal cannabis for whatever ails you. They have ads on the radio and in newspapers, not just High Times and stuck to bathroom stalls.

The good news is that all the competition is pushing down the prices. The standard dispensary price for marijuana seems to be $25/eighth. It's like 1994 all over again.

Seriously this was the ONLY thing Obama had going for him, IMO

Dude, the ONLY thing Obama has going for him is 72-year-old Stephen Breyer and 78-year-old Ruth Ginsburg.

Trurl : Voting for someone who doesn't win ≠ throwing one's vote away

Uh, actually it does, in a "winner take all" system.


...

Voting for someone who has no chance of winning (think third parties in the US)is throwing your vote away

Not really. Political parties in California need 1% to stay on the ballot. A vote for a third-party candidate now could lead to an actual electable candidate in 2052. You humans can't think past the next election cycle.

The sad thing is that Obama is a smart guy.

So why does he still smoke cigarettes? *ducks*
posted by mrgrimm at 11:40 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


> Why the fuck is he trying to make us not vote for him.

I wonder that too at times. Right before the last midterm elections, Mr. Obama went on a spree of alienation of the Progressive wing - admonishing us like naughty children, repeatedly venerating Cheney, and inviting Rice for a friendly fireside chat.

When he makes comments like "some days I think one term is enough", I'm just baffled. Why?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:42 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Despite all the trappings of power, being POTUS is massively shitty.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:45 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


> > escalate the drug war

> Escalate? Over what, the Bush administration?

Yes, over the Bush administration. The drug war has continued to grow at a more or less consistent rate through the last five administrations (all helmed by self-confessed illegal drug users, by the way...) and Mr. Obama has continued the tradition of growing it.

If you want complete unambiguity, I can say, "Just like Bush, Mr. Obama has steadily increased the spending on the War on Drugs."


I don't know about spending, but in terms of number of DEA arrests and amount of marijuana seized by the DEA, the Obama DEA seems more zealous than the Bush DEA.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:55 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The exact Obama quote is:
"I'm sure there are days where I say that one term is enough, what keeps me going is a belief that the work that we started in 2009 is not yet complete."
posted by humanfont at 11:58 AM on July 1, 2011


furiousxgeorge : So...since he won...we all should have voted for Bush so as not to waste our votes?

No. We "shouldn't" have, but we did effectively throw away our votes (mrgrimm's excellent point aside - Not all of us live in CA, or for that matter a state where any third party has any shot of even making a blip in the numbers*).

We "should", however, do everything in our power to shift to at least a marginally more fair system of voting, something like IRV where you can vote for your real favorite but still throw a bone to the lesser of two evils in the worst case. Not to call IRV the best of all possible systems, but it beats the crap we have now hands-down.


* Full disclosure, I actually do live in a state that satisfies both conditions - Though my state's favorite 3rd party pretty much only exists in my own state so doesn't matter on a national level.
posted by pla at 12:03 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Google Ron Paul ( and Barney Frank).
posted by 445supermag at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


humanfont: Yes, I know the full quote, but are you really telling me that Clever Mr. Obama could emit that sentence and not know for 100% certain that he's going to see the accurate quote, "There are days when I say that one term is enough," in the media?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:06 PM on July 1, 2011


So...since he won...we all should have voted for Bush so as not to waste our votes?

No. We "shouldn't" have, but we did effectively throw away our votes


I think we just disagree on what votes are for. To me, it's about letting your opinion be known. It's nice when you win but that is up to everyone else.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:08 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


At the risk of extending the derail, this thread is as appropriate as any to put forth some general thoughts on the events of the Obama Administration.

Even worse than having no hope is to have your hopes raised and then dashed. "The Audacity of Hope" is a very good summing up for Mr. Obama's Administration - we were audacious to expect any change and we are being punished for our audacity.

It really depends on who you are. I don't feel like I am being punished, I feel like I am learning some things about the world, and they are really good to know things.

Here's the deal: I felt that Obama was a smart man in 2008, and I feel that he is fucking brilliant now. The decisions he has made do not quite well match what I had originally hoped for, but the difference between now and then is that then I was naive to the magnitude of the energy problem the world faces (new fan of The Oil Drum as of late; and my simplistic view: planet with limited non-renewable resources is getting the life sucked out of it without an end to it in clear sight), and what Obama has done is try to strike a balance between helping those in need of economic assistance and the absolute necessity in the name of good order to not make the energy problem any worse.

Are his policies significantly different from Dubya's? No. Is his approach significantly different from Dubya's? Yes. Bush at first glance is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Obama is sharper, and unfortunately (or fortunately) first impressions rank high in a lot of people.

Digression: The function (if there is one) of global energy consumption is conservative in nature: it will get from point A to B (A > B) in some way. The difference between Dems and Republicans is that Dems will take/lead the nation through a route of least resistance, while Republicans (if you look at them in the right way, ignore the energy companies that tap them, focus on their free market economy bit) will attempt to take a more direct route. It's not that the only Republican candidates I see are factually off that repels me from voting for them, it's that I really do not know how fast they want to go to energy freedom/sustainability with respect to minimizing resulting public chaos (much like how I don't know how fast a roller coaster like the Millennium Force will really feel when I go on it).

So, are we leaving Afghanistan any time soon? No. Same, unfortunately, for a lot of other countries. Will top corporate executives continue to appear greedy? You bet. What about the drug war, will that ever end? Eventually, but bringing an abrupt end makes me think of a particularly good comment in a previous drug war thread, which essentially said there would be something to take the place of the war and we may not like it.

And... ultimately is it worth it to try and leave the US for a better life? Short term, maybe, but long term: Canada will eventually run out of petroleum in the north, Europe had Norway find some new stuff, but that will disappear fast, China and India are slowly getting crowded, Japan might have to resort to fossil fuel,... hopefully you get the point. As the fuels get more scarce (or to be more direct: as the fuels run out), the same political hackery will follow these seemingly more prosperous nations.

The trick will be learning to separate our desire for freedom from the use of energy. I have been biking a lot to and from work this summer, take a few days here and there to drive and recover, as clearly: it will be more sustainable to live within a few miles of work, food and maybe church if that's necessary, and bike/walk to those locations. Hopefully I will still be able to advise my own government on issues I care about, but the likelihood of me wanting to encourage it to invade countries for their resources will be very very low, as I won't need those resources as much or at all. And if I end up unemployed (due to energy of course, as that will rise in cost and companies will look to cut elsewhere), I hope to have a sustainable social network to work with and find new work (cause there is always work to do, question is do I want to do it, and I will if I need to).

(Additionally, I cut elsewhere. I went through the trouble of finding an LED bulb for my room, shut off lights where I can (even the energy efficient ones) around the house to the probable annoyance of my parents, go below the speed limit some places, force proper gearing in high speed situations, shut off the TV, etc. Working on my gardening skills too.)

Clearly my little thing here is probably off on a few things (it is not my area of expertise, I know a little though), but I hope to have driven a point: if we get to a point where our energy consumption is sustainable and our democracy still holds as it should, and pot becomes legalized at last, I'll be happy to smoke with you all. Not now though. Until then, stop having these arguments that get no where or feel like they will get no where (for reasons, some discussed here), and invest your energy in things that will get you places.

Cheers and good luck.
For things to change, I got to change. - Thomas Blackwell, a doctor in philosophy who lives nearby
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:56 PM on July 1, 2011


You know, Ron Paul is hypocritical and dangerous because if he was elected he would systematically dismantle social support services that are critical to a functioning democracy.

But he's smart about the drug laws. He knows that it's an issue with huge popular support. I'm actually guessing it's where he gets a lot of his followers from.

And yet almost none of the Democratic candidates have taken up this issue. Almost every public question forum Obama hosts the number one question is invariably about drug policy reform. And almost every time he laughs it off.

I can't wait for him to laugh off the results of 2012. He's playing into the conservatives hands here. Maybe Bachmann won't take up the issue, but Ron Paul and Rand Paul will. And the RNC will silently let them do their thing, siphoning off votes.
posted by formless at 12:58 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I held my nose and voted for him in '08, but the hell with that. Now I feel like I actively helped elect him. I don't want that on me anymore.

Good. Don't. That's what happened in the last election, and so far the results have been amazing. The Democrats learned their lessons and now progressive issues are at the forefront of the debate.

Except the lesson the dems learned is that the pansy assed whiners on the left won't be there for them, and the progressive issues that are being discussed are being phased out.

Yeah, it'd be nice if we had a real parlimentary multiparty system where everyone could vote their conscience. It would also be nice there were flying unicorns who shat rainbows.

In the meantime, the rest of us have to live in this country and your "protest" vote just serves to make that all the more difficult.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:01 PM on July 1, 2011


Yeah but liberals showed up and voted in the same proportion as usual, you lost because the economy blows. It still does. Less hippy punching, more thinking up ways to at least look like you are working on a jobs bill
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:06 PM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see the effect on our (many) local San Diego dispensaries. AFAICT, they're thriving.
posted by Lukenlogs at 1:21 PM on July 1, 2011


And if everybody votes for Democrats we get what, the liberal utopia of Barack Obama's first two years?

Fuck that. Democrats are going to run to the right no matter what. I'd rather vote for my own toenail clippings.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:24 PM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


And if everybody votes for Democrats we get what, the liberal utopia of Barack Obama's first two years?

And the fun part is after he governs as a centrist and gets his ass kicked for it by centrists and conservatives, we get to blame the liberals anyway.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:26 PM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I thought about it all morning and I just have to say this:

This notion that Obama is this big liberal who wants to do good things but "they" won't let him is just completely farcical. I'm sorry.

The man came into office in a landslide, with 70%-plus approvals and both houses of Congress. He had a mandate to do almost literally whatever he wanted. Time and time again he's veered towards the conservative, the anti-civil-liberties, the downright frightening. No one made him. Whether this is genuinely what he "wants" or whether he has been co-opted by certain national security advisers is an open question, but at the end of the day the result is the same.

Now let's contrast with Bush's second term: approval ratings stuck in the low 30s. Controlled neither house of congress. Universally despised abroad. Was Bush "forced" to change his core beliefs and enact a liberal agenda? I must have slept through that.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:43 PM on July 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Why does everyone assume the Republican nominee will be Bachman? Isn't it Romney's to lose?
posted by Bonzai at 1:45 PM on July 1, 2011


acb: "In a two-party system, you don't vote for the best party but for the lesser evil. And Obama is the lesser evil to President Bachmann by several orders of magnitude, and he knows it. He can completely stiff the progressives and they'll vote for him, out of fear of what will happen if they don't. They may even get out and campaign and donate, and put on their best face whilst sincerely asking people to vote Democrat, because while the Democrats' track record is awful, the alternative is too horrifying to think about."

Current election cycle: "Do you want me to fuck you up the ass with this 10 foot dildo or 2 foot dildo." *sigh*

10 election cycles from now: "Do you want me to fuck you up the ass with this 50 foot dildo or this 10 foot dildo?"
posted by symbioid at 1:48 PM on July 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Why does everyone assume the Republican nominee will be Bachman? Isn't it Romney's to lose?

It's scarier when you say Bachmann.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:53 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


He can completely stiff the progressives and they'll vote for him

It's even worse than that - Progressive ideals are not popular. Oh yeah, the individual tenets poll pretty well, but as a group, people vote against them time and again.

Even the recall elections in Wisconsin promise to be quite close, and that is with lots and lots of people finally making the noise nobody else on the TeeVee is.

And even with that - Wisconsin voted almost 70% in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Walker still polls quite favorably, and Prosser got re-elected on a pretty sizable margin in much of the state.

The left has a problem of lacking advocates, a lazy and unquestioning press corps, and the lack of any real personality to drive the issues - and worse, with advocates like Wiener and Edwards...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:57 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank goodness I still have my Victory Gin.
posted by lekvar at 2:01 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


pansy assed whiners on the left won't be there for them

Please, please let's not do this again. We've had this fight a billion times.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:07 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The left has a problem of lacking advocates, a lazy and unquestioning press corps, and the lack of any real personality to drive the issues - and worse, with advocates like Wiener and Edwards...

Guilt by association? Really?

If you find out Reagan had ever cheated on his wife, or said something inappropriate to a waitress, would that would invalidate all of his ideas? I do not understand how this makes any sense at all.
posted by notion at 2:23 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys, I defriended like ten of my relatives when I saw that one of them (a woman who has shown me much affection, and aside from the INSANE I feel the same for her) had a racist caricature of Obama on her facebook page.

What was racist Obama picture doing? Smoking a doobie while doing something else socialist-like. My theory (stolen from a friend) as to why a non-toxic (physiologically speaking) substance is banned, when so many economic benefits could be gained from legalization (say nothing of the lives saved from violence) is that mary jane is associated with black jazz musicians. And then hippies.

So you have the race thing. We have the fact that 50% of the population is capable of supporting looney politicians. I really don't know the motivation for the change (maybe it was the interesting sort of agency-funding justification articulated above). Maybe it was political. If so, I say, maybe, okay.

Maybe it's because I just smoked a bowl, but this pothead cuts the big O a break on this shit.
posted by angrycat at 2:29 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


pansy assed whiners on the left won't be there for them

Clearly, you are listening to growing numbers of people disaffected with Obama's conscious policy decisions. Keep punching those hippies!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Keep punching those hippies!

I don't need to. They do it themselves. VOTE NADER!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:51 PM on July 1, 2011


More Democrats in Florida voted for Bush than Nader. You should probably be punching the centrists.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:55 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


> and what Obama has done is try to strike a balance between helping those in need of economic assistance and the absolute necessity in the name of good order to not make the energy problem any worse.

Wasn't it Mr. Obama who just recently released oil from the strategic oil reserve simply to keep gas prices down for the tourist season?

Didn't he allow new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico - at about the only time in the world where he could have stood up to them, just saying, "Look at that last spill"?

The same one who has done nothing whatsoever about global warming except commit the US to act after he has left office?

And what's this bullshit that green technologies and energy conservation mean FEWER jobs - in fact, they mean MORE jobs, not just in conservation but all over, because we use our energy for labour-saving devices, eh?

And the dreadful response to the Deepwater Horizon spill could have been right out of Bush's administration?

What, precisely, has Mr. Obama done well in the energy field?

I don't even agree that Mr. Obama "hasn't made the problem worse" - but you see, "even not making the problem worse" isn't going to solve anything, because the problem intrinsically gets worse all on its ownsome.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:57 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought we were talking about weed. Are we really using this as a jumping off point to slag Obama on all things?
posted by angrycat at 3:00 PM on July 1, 2011


I don't need to. They do it themselves. VOTE NADER!

You come across as the archetypal bully who hits his victims in their heads with their own hands, yelling at them to stop hitting themselves in between calling them fags (sorry, "pansy asses").

Before you give more voting advice you might think on that for a spell.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:02 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



More Democrats in Florida voted for Bush than Nader. You should probably be punching the centrists.


Whatever. The big idea is that for leftists, perfect is the enemy of good. And I just took a 8% pay cut because they couldn't be bothered to show up for an off year election "to protest".

Thanks guys!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:04 PM on July 1, 2011


hahaha, you realize how delusional blaming Wisconsin on liberals sounds, right?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:07 PM on July 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Pogo seems like a secretly self-hating liberal to me. I would avoid him until he comes out of the closet and admits that he doesn't hate poor or working-class people, and that he knows how to share without getting his feelings hurt.

More Democrats in Florida voted for Bush than Nader. You should probably be punching the centrists.
Whatever.


Indeed.
posted by notion at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2011


You liberals just didn't stay outside in the cold protesting long enough! The centrists would have taken back their votes for Walker if you had been more frozen!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:11 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Though my state's favorite 3rd party pretty much only exists in my own state so doesn't matter on a national level.

I'm not sure this is true, at least not technically. Different third parties in various states could certainly agree to select the same presidential nominee, right? I.e. a candidate could be the nominee of several parties? I'm pretty sure Ralph Nader has been the nominee of multiple parties in the same election, Yep, 2008.

"While Nader ran as an independent, in some states he had ballot access with the Independent-Ecology Party, the Natural Law Party, and the Peace and Freedom Party"

I'm not a historian, but I think the Republican party was once just a local coalition of anti-slavery activists in Massachusetts, and within 100 years it was the most powerful political force in the country.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:12 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Except the lesson the dems learned is that the pansy assed whiners on the left won't be there for them, and the progressive issues that are being discussed are being phased out.

This to me sums up the Democrat's attitude to their core, committed supporters in a nutshell - blame them for all their problems by simply making up facts.

The fact is that the progressives showed up and voted, reliably as always - the reason the Republicans won is that the moderates didn't show up, and the independents voted Republican.


You NEVER see the Republicans abusing their supporters in such a way - even when the supporters want ridiculous things, they nod and treat them seriously - which is why the Republicans win so many elections.


> And I just took a 8% pay cut because they couldn't be bothered to show up for an off year election "to protest".

Saaaaay, what?! Wasn't Wisconsin the site of massive protests? Doesn't the first picture of that very link show tens of thousands of people demonstrating? Doesn't the article discuss how the Republicans used legislative and judicial means to get what they wanted?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:15 PM on July 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


And... ultimately is it worth it to try and leave the US for a better life? Short term, maybe, but long term:

Won't most of the U.S. be uninhabitable at some point for climate reasons?

If you are worried about peak oil, my suggestion would be to reserve some land in the mountains of Ecuador now, my friend. We won't need oil where we are going.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:19 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pogo seems like a secretly self-hating liberal to me. I would avoid him until he comes out of the closet and admits that he doesn't hate poor or working-class people, and that he knows how to share without getting his feelings hurt.

No, its less that than I see this self defeating rhetoric time and again from the left - that if it isn't perfect it isn't worth doing at all.

Well, the "protest" votes in 2000 and the "protest by not going" votes in 2010 didn't make things better - they actively made things worse - such that Obama is the thing standing between Grandma getting her SS check and having to eat cat food.

It's a discussion we shouldn't even be having, and we are having because Leftists wanted to punish the dems in 2010. Well, OK.


Saaaaay, what?! Wasn't Wisconsin the site of massive protests? Doesn't the first picture of that very link show tens of thousands of people demonstrating? Doesn't the article discuss how the Republicans used legislative and judicial means to get what they wanted?


It sure was awful nice of those people to show up 3 months after the election.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:20 PM on July 1, 2011


This thread is harshing my buzz.

Do the kids still say that? "Harsh my buzz"?

Maybe not...

posted by Trurl at 3:20 PM on July 1, 2011


And I just took a 8% pay cut because they couldn't be bothered to show up for an off year election "to protest".

This is such a ridiculous, baseless statement that I can only surmise that we're being trolled. You got a pay cut because a right-wing court said so, not because of the left that you hate so damn much.

You didn't win your cause, but people of all stripes were protesting in support of Wisconsin state workers across the country, ffs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:25 PM on July 1, 2011 [7 favorites]



It sure was awful nice of those people to show up 3 months after the election.


They showed up for the Supreme Court election. You still lost, because vast numbers of centrists disagree with you. Liberal participation was not down in 10, it was at the same proportion as it always is. You just haven't convinced the center to agree with you before or after the protests.

I can't fucking believe your reaction to this is to spit on the protestors.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:25 PM on July 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Whatever. The big idea is that for leftists, perfect is the enemy of good. And I just took a 8% pay cut because they couldn't be bothered to show up for an off year election "to protest".

Maybe you should blame Walker for the tax cut he signed; that probably had a bigger effect on your wages.
posted by MikeKD at 3:26 PM on July 1, 2011


Pogo_Fuzzybutt:

> and we are having because Leftists wanted to punish the dems in 2010. Well, OK.

You keep blaming the loss in 2010 on "Leftist" despite every bit of evidence to the contrary. I'd say at this point, "PROVE IT OR SHUT UP."

I'd frankly say that YOU are the problem - the Democrats' endless contempt for and hostility to their base, their use of the Progressives as punching bags.

And this:

> It sure was awful nice of those people to show up 3 months after the election.

Boy, it's hard to keep a civil tongue in my head when you curse out people who have given their all to try to help YOU, but let me point out that a lot of the people who stayed out for months in the cold to try to keep your 8% weren't even Wisconsin residents and thus could not have done one single, solitary, isolated thing to change that election - and that I'll bet that most of the people from Wisconsin who demonstrated, did, in fact, vote Democrat in the previous election.

I have a question for you: did you demonstrate, and if so, for how long?

Actually, I'm thinking I should stop feeding the troll....
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:30 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you want the story of 2010? Here:

Almost everyone surveyed — more than 80 percent — expressed worry about the direction the economy will take over the next year.

The four out of 10 voters who said things for their families are worse now favored Republican House candidates.

--
The exits showed Feingold behind Johnson by five percentage points. Polling in the race between Feingold -- a Democrat -- and Ron Johnson -- the Republican, appears below.

In any other election year, the three-term incumbent from this Democratic-leaning midwestern state should have easily beat opponent Ron Johnson, a wealthy businessman with no previous political experience and little in the way of specific policy proposals.

But voters were frustrated with the slow pace of the economic recovery and Democrats -- who control Congress and the White House -- bore much of the their ire.


Now ask yourself if you should be spending your time punching hippies or asking your president to stop signing Republican economic policy so he can get elected again.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:34 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let's talk about weed.

I met a whitebread rasta guy (no dreads, but only smoked from lit toothpicks) who had some "whitestar homemade setiva" or something. I should have known not to smoke with these pros. When it got around to me, I took one hit and everything went blank, and when I came to, my mouth was open and I was staring the the stars. I rotated my noggin forward, and all of the guys are staring at me, grinning with glee.

Now, when I'm high, the worst thing in the world is not being able to find my headphones. About three minutes later I'm clutching my mp3 player, in the common area, blankly staring left and right. I keep forgetting how long I've been there, or what I'm doing, and by the time I get around to remembering that I'm looking for my headphones, I make it to the other side of the room and then start over. After who knows how many rounds, wondering why those Austrian guys are find me so funny, I decide to start from the beginning.

My headphones are here somewhere, right? Right.

Wait a minute. I'm still here somewhere, right?
posted by notion at 3:38 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Let's talk about weed.

I'd certainly enjoy that more than watching a set of people who share broad cultural & policy goals rhetorically brutalize one another over the means to and/or possibility of those goals.

(Again and again and again, and no matter what side of the play-the-game / lesser-evil / fuck-you-hippie-no-fuck-your-realpolitik / perfect-vs.-good argument I'm feeling in my gut right at the moment, it always boils down to the sick thought that maybe we really are our own worst enemies forever and ever amen without any hope that we will put the knives away or at least turn them on a deserving target, and then I think geez, maybe I'd just rather be off deligitimizing the ongoing criminality of cannabis.)
posted by brennen at 5:12 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do the kids still say that? "Harsh my buzz"?

No, these days they're all "don't harsh my googleplus".
posted by flabdablet at 6:34 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Less hippy punching, more thinking up ways to at least look like you are working on a jobs bill"

"Keep punching those hippies!"

"Now ask yourself if you should be spending your time punching hippies..."

If you're all going to belabor dumb catchphrases like this over and over again in every political thread, could you at least try for some variety? The Tea Party has plenty. Demonrats! Dope and chains! Obummer! Nobama!
posted by Rhaomi at 7:17 PM on July 1, 2011


This is why I am a socialist republican on this issue.

A. throughs off the scent
B. decrim pot
C. let business have a chance, the customers can regulate the industry, it's pot. The model is already there.

D. Lets grow it for other needs, i have seen the film strips.

I'm ass-end crazy about civil liberties yet believe we need a strong defense for now. Vote for me in 2024, because hippies are forever.

I don't really talk about the president much, I did NOT vote for him. (I thought McCain being on SNL would be code to our generation that he would change a few things-in accordance with the political dance card that is the inanity of american politics-for instance President McCain: decrim if people want too, I'm the president and i need the votes.)

sorry, i forgot about Palin.

I have come to the conclusion(late march) that this country is already in Revolution. An idealogical one, one that the President seems to want little or no part of as I'm not sure what this President is about concerning this issue. (and many others, in some ways he is the worst president, in some ways one of the better-another ball of wax there)

Time has run out.

The forces that be are more then concerned, they are faced with the largest exodus of capital they have known and are scrambling to save a system that is flawed. The joke is that america is cash poor and yet we are rich as hell by comparison to most if not all. Cutting defense is not the answer. Policy changes will keep the military strong and stop fighting other peoples wars.

lets talk about weed.

What about these growers that skimp on the curing process. greed.

Unless, UNLESS, this is just a message to growers who are breaking the states guidlines...
posted by clavdivs at 7:21 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Colorado could help its case by having actual doctors proscribe pot and not be attached to a for-profit place that sells the pot. A doctor (who only treats patients looking for pot), who rubber stamps damn-near anything as a chronic illness so their for-profit dispensary meets quota, makes the whole thing smell fishy. Or skunky. Whatever. Chronic. lol.

The point of marijuana activism in general (and medical marijuana activism in particular) is not that marijuana use should be legal as long as you're not, you know, a big ol' obvious stoner about enjoying it.

The point is, as the skaters used to say, that marijuana use is not a crime.
posted by vorfeed at 7:30 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "smart" hippies are all singing the praises of Friedrich Hayek, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul, or hadn't you heard?

No zeppelin ride for you when i am elected prezdent, kidding, but no one-hits in the backroom.
posted by clavdivs at 7:33 PM on July 1, 2011


I thought CO had a law that said you had to have a pre-existing relationship with the prescribing doctor prior to getting an MMJ card while CA is the one where you can pick up the local Village Voice equivalent, flip to the back page, and find someone who'll write a script for $100 and a few minutes of your time.

This issue troubles me because I have pretty bad ADD and traditional medications like ritalin and adderall impact me in ways that are worse than the condition they are nominally supposed to be helping me deal with. Yet, get me some nice medical grade and I can sit down and in the span of 10 or 20 hours accomplish work of a quality that I couldn't typically reach without spending significantly more time on it. I've seen novel solutions to previously intractable problems. I've worried less and been happier, but now, strangers threaten to ruin my life.

I am sure that, in the scheme of things, my litany belongs more on /r/firstworldproblems than anywhere else, but as someone who has been the fortunate recipient of a lot of frankly undeserved privilege it's been an eye opening experience. My neighbors would ruin my life because they don't like the way something I do behind closed doors smells. It is truly staggering.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:01 PM on July 1, 2011


I thought CO had a law that said you had to have a pre-existing relationship with the prescribing doctor prior to getting an MMJ card

Something like that might be on the books, but if so, it hasn't affected anyone I've talked to.

(I want to acknowledge that, given context, my anecdata may be even less rigorous than usual on this point.)
posted by brennen at 8:16 PM on July 1, 2011


Ah, thanks, I didn't realize that it was that close to CA. Too bad I prefer beaches to mountains.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:18 PM on July 1, 2011


I'd certainly enjoy that more than watching a set of people who share broad cultural & policy goals rhetorically brutalize one another over the means to and/or possibility of those goals.

Hear, hear. I'm sick and fucking tired of reading through this slapfight over and over.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:49 PM on July 1, 2011




Voting for a minority candidate doesn't throw away your vote in the long run. It makes your party adopt some of the ideas of the minority candidate when they gain enough votes to act as a spoiler for the mainstream candidate and possibly cause losses for the mainstream party. Sure the Dems may loose an election, as they should for not being Democrats. Next time around they will lean to the left to pick up the votes they lost.

Voting for the Democrats when they behave like Republicans from 30 years ago ensures that they will continue to behave like Republicans and not address the needs of their more liberal constituents.

The term and idea of "Throwing away your vote" is disgusting and the antithesis of a rational determination of which political candidate best represents your moral and legal outlook. Picking the best representative candidate is at the core of Democracy. Voting for the candidate who polls the best demonstrates a lack of critical thinking skills which has led us into this mess in the first place. This turns the idea of Democracy into a sham.

Otherwise, Instant runoff elections please.
posted by dibblda at 1:58 AM on July 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


The thing about third parties is that they approach the problem from the wrong direction. As long as the current electoral system favors a duopoly, trying to build a viable third party from scratch is both difficult and counterproductive. Just look at the experience of other countries -- the Conservatives have a majority in Canada despite receiving a minority of the vote because the vote was split in so many areas between the Liberals and the NDP. And in the UK, even a monumental, sacrificial effort on the part of the Liberal Democrats failed to win support for an alternative voting system, thanks partially to the same old "perfect is the enemy of the good" mentality.

In a two-party system, it's so much more effective to pick the party closest to your views and work to change it from within. That doesn't mean opposing the party's candidates in the general election for not being pure enough -- it means doing so in the primaries (when a challenge is viable) and focusing on less glamorous state and local races, along with plenty of evangelizing to independent voters. That's what the Tea Party did (with generous corporate backing). And that's why they have significant representation in Congress now.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:11 AM on July 2, 2011


I'm not a historian, but I think the Republican party was once just a local coalition of anti-slavery activists in Massachusetts, and within 100 years it was the most powerful political force in the country.

If that anecdote teaches us anything, it's that small, local independent political groups should be rounded up, taken to warehouses and then shot, just so they don't have a chance to turd-blossom into Republicans 100 years down the line.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:28 AM on July 2, 2011


I'll be voting in the Republican primary this year. Why Republican? Well, there isn't going to BE a primary opportunity to pull Obama left so I have no idea why a primary is remotely relevant to complaints about him.

Besides that, one of the issues here is an assumption that everyone who complains about Democrats is actually in some way closer to them in their views. That just isn't the case for a lot of people, I disagree with both parties pretty equally.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:22 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


*this election.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:29 AM on July 2, 2011


Abuse of the interstate commerce clause has effectively nullified the 10th Amendment.
posted by republican at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If your saying
That's fine, but it's still true that in the interest of State's rights a judge like Thomas will put up with medical pot. He seems likely to be the closest model for who Bachmann would nominate.
implies that US voters should elect Bachmann over Obama because she would likely appoint a judge to the SCOTUS who is like Thomas, I have to wonder just what on God’s green earth have you been smoking?
posted by mistersquid at 4:32 PM on July 3, 2011


Yes, as a nearly single issue voter on drug war issues I can see quite an advantage to having judges who believe in state's rights. You are free to have your own priorities and vote accordingly.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:21 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]






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