My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that's something I'm open to, because there's no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.
--Presidential Candidate Obama
When Rhode Island first enacted its medical marijuana law in 2006, it was a relief to people like George DesRoches, who uses marijuana to alleviate the extreme pain he suffers due to fibromyalgia. But while Rhode Island’s initial law protected him from arrest, it didn’t provide a safe and regulated means by which he could obtain his doctor-recommended medicine.
So, like many others, he turned to the black market. Once, while attempting to purchase marijuana on the street, he was robbed at gunpoint.
After hearing stories like George’s, Rhode Island lawmakers expanded the state’s medical marijuana policy in 2009 to create state-licensed compassion centers, where patients can go to purchase their medicine in a safe and above-ground environment.
The state was set to license three such compassion centers this summer. That is, until U.S. attorney Peter Neronha sent a letter to Gov. Lincoln Chafee this April threatening federal law enforcement action should the state move forward with its plan to open the centers.
Bowing to these Obama administration threats, the governor suspended the compassion center program, leaving patients like George to fend for themselves on the black market just to obtain their doctor-recommended medicine.
Anyone who thinks President Obama has ushered in a new era of compassion, science-based policy and respecting states’ rights to enact medical marijuana laws needs to have a chat with patients like George.
I refuse to equate the drug cartel violence in present day Mexico to kids getting high in Hawaii in the 70s. (Even if one of those kids is currently the president.)
Despite his protest to the contrary, he can decline to enforce federal drug law just the same as he declined to enforce DOMA.
I'm a total David Simon on this issue, but if you think Obama has the power to affect drug policy enforcement in any more than the most limited ways, or think it's a viable option for him to spend political capital trying to push reform, you're not being very realistic.
Re. Mexico, maybe a different US drug policy would have helped if it had been put in place decades ago. But if weed were legalized in the US now, when there is a massive US market for it legal or illegal, and the cartels control production, I don't see how anything is going to change. Who has the power to take production away from them? Is R. J. Reynolds going to head down to Michoacán and step all over their action?
The MPP's chart is a bit like arguing that Lincoln avoided regulating the airline industry.
"Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." ~ Abraham Lincoln
She probably doesn't. As I said, US attorneys enjoy a great deal of autonomy and are not directly answerable to the USAG, so it's a mistake to think of them as flunkies
Oh gimme a break on the Mexican drug war death statistics. This is Hawaii we're talking about. You don't import weed to Hawaii. You bend over and pull it out of the ground. Sheesh.
Is R. J. Reynolds going to head down to Michoacán and step all over their action?
There is the West Wing argument that a president can only ever get anything substantial done during the first two years of his administration
But actions have consequences, and it's possible that Obama going all out on legalization could give Romney a better chance at winning--in that sense it's a no brainer to play it safe and create the illusion of being "tough on crime".
Or simply an example of a man changing his mind. Having children can do that to you.
The cries in this thread that Obama has his hands tied and can do nothing remind me of the same argument that was put forth in every thread previously on gay marriage.
We were not made in its image
but from the beginning we believed in it
not for the pure appeasement of hunger
but for its availability
it could command our devotion
beyond question and without our consent
and by whatever name we have called it
in its name love has been set aside
unmeasured time has been devoted to it
forests have been erased and rivers poisoned
and truth has been relegated for it
we believe that we have a right to it
even though it belongs to no one
we carry a way back to it everywhere
we are sure that it is saving something
we consider it our personal savior
all we have to pay for it is ourselves
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