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"Hey, dude, light the bowl!"
May 25, 2012 4:27 PM   Subscribe

"Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "Intercepted!," and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind." A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama.

I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, "Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books." What I can say is, "Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage."
posted by T.D. Strange (171 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't wait for all the wingnuts to start referring to POTUS as "Bogart Orama".
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:31 PM on May 25, 2012 [31 favorites]


That shit's not cool.
posted by BobbyVan at 4:33 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone here read this and not think Obama had the greatest high school experience ever?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:34 PM on May 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


Growing up in Hawai'i in the 70's sounds awesome.
posted by cell divide at 4:36 PM on May 25, 2012 [19 favorites]


So, despite having an absent African father and being born to an out of wedlock teen ager, he had a pretty typical high school and college experience?
posted by Grumpy old geek at 4:36 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yo, Prez, puff puff pass, dude...
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on May 25, 2012


Bong water coffee.
posted by clavdivs at 4:38 PM on May 25, 2012


Re #3 - TIL that President Obama invented hotboxing.
posted by Blue Meanie at 4:41 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


what
posted by Night_owl at 4:44 PM on May 25, 2012


Dope & Choom?
posted by chavenet at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2012


That second picture is cool as all get out.

Wanna choom with that President.
posted by truex at 4:50 PM on May 25, 2012


Penn does not approve
posted by sineater at 4:52 PM on May 25, 2012 [28 favorites]


It does seem like quite an idyllic adolescence for Barry Brobama.
Makes you wonder how his life turned out so poorly.
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 4:54 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


And remember this is Hawaiian dope we're talking about, which means the president smoked better shit as a teenager than most of us could even dream of.
posted by spitbull at 4:56 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Has anyone replaced the "H" in the infamous Hope poster with a "D" yet?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:00 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Penn does not approve

I don't say this very often without at least a little equivocation, but Penn's right.
posted by The World Famous at 5:03 PM on May 25, 2012 [29 favorites]


I agree with Penn, none of this is remotely funny.

Mexico's Drug War: 50,000 Dead in 6 Years. Just last weekend, 49 decapitated bodies were reportedly discovered on a highway in northern Mexico.

NPR: As Mexico's biggest agricultural export, marijuana generates billions of dollars in revenues each year for the brutal narcotics cartels. By some estimates, it is the most profitable product for the Mexican drug gangs.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:03 PM on May 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: Roof Hits in the Choom Wagon
posted by salishsea at 5:04 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has anyone replaced the "H" in the infamous Hope poster with a "D" yet?

You're kidding, right?
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:04 PM on May 25, 2012


Maybe we're all, like, figments of Barry Obama's imagination. Maybe, I dunno, maybe we are like pulses of energy in the synaptic gaps of Barry Obama's brain born in a billowing cloud of smoke and infused with sentience by a burst of gamma rays and a lightning storm over Oahu?

Damn, bro, this pakololo is giving me visions.
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 5:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


This President can personally dispatch the US Armed Forces to deploy Operation Choom Harvest and bring every single ounce of pot back to the White House and smoke himself out until the entire D.C. area code levitates. He's still fierce and the best in the game.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Prez is a year younger than me, so these pictures look very familiar to me.

I even had a VW bus just like the choom wagon (without the pop top). My vanity plates were actually "MAJYK", and, more often than not, there was a cloud of smoke inside.

("Do as I say, not as I did, UNDER PENALTY OF LAW" is a shitty philosophy, by the way.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Catalyst for proving that Marijuana is in fact not harmful and should not be criminalized? Hopefully. This stoner became the president for crying out loud! That's just awesome!
posted by PipRuss at 5:07 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


How did such a stoner grow up to be so good at picking his battles and spending his political capital strategically? It makes me wonder if Penn might have benefitted from a hit or two.
posted by R. Schlock at 5:07 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think he's a hypocrite. He's allowing another generation to do as he did: smoke dope in violation of the law. If he changed the law he'd be taking something away from them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:08 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why oh why couldn't Penn be the silent one?
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:13 PM on May 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


Mexico's Drug War: 50,000 Dead in 6 Years.

Funny how no one wants to mention decades and decades of mind-blowing corruption in a Third World government.

But no, I'm sure it's the fault of the U.S. government trying to keep Mexicans down because we're all just racist fucks. We certainly couldn't benefit from having another Canada on our border. Nope, can't have that. Don't want another G8 country we can drive to. Better to prop up a proxy war so Washington bureaucrats can all smoke cheap weed.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:13 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, I linked the wrong search above. Meant to do this one. The other one was more of a "confirming my worst fears about what else might be out there" thing. Apologies for that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:19 PM on May 25, 2012


>Washington bureaucrats can all smoke cheap weed

Dude, do you know how expensive bud is in DC? It's insane.
posted by Catblack at 5:20 PM on May 25, 2012


Could the corruption in the third world government be in any way connected to the exploitative practices of the first world?
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


I agree with Penn, none of this is remotely funny.

For god's sake. The fact that there are horrible drug wars in Mexico, thousands of people killed and drug cartels running wild is an argument for legalizing marijuana, not for condemning Obama for having experimented with a substance that is not remotely as harmful as tobacco or as addictive as alcohol. Are there wine cartels out there? No, of course not, because alcohol is a substance we're all allowed to imbibe freely. Do the same for marijuana, and the drug lords will lose their power.
posted by peacheater at 5:27 PM on May 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


I don't care if he smoked weed back in the day. So did I.

Is it really relevant now?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:28 PM on May 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Actually, the narco-lords in Canada do their fair share of dismemberments and decapitations, but you never hear about it because we're too polite to discuss the matter. It's bad for national unity.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:28 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't care if he smoked weed back in the day. So did I.

Is it really relevant now?


Depends on which day it was.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:32 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


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.)
posted by Catblack at 5:33 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


The fact that there are horrible drug wars in Mexico, thousands of people killed and drug cartels running wild is an argument for legalizing marijuana, not for condemning Obama for having experimented with a substance that is not remotely as harmful as tobacco or as addictive as alcohol.

You didn't listen to Penn, apparently.

Is it really relevant now?

That's a good question.

Let's posit that there's nothing wrong with smoking weed and doing "maybe a little blow" in one's youth - that it's not a bad choice to make. In that case, it's relevant because he insists on maintaining laws that put people in prison for it, based, apparently, on strictly political considerations.

On the other hand, let's posit that there is something wrong with smoking weed and doing "maybe a little blow" in one's youth - that it is a bad choice. If that's true (and I doubt many people here will think it is, but this is the flipside of the previous coin, so bear with me), then the question is whether a candidate's poor judgment as a teenager and in college are relevant to his or her qualification to serve as President. I think most people agree that it is relevant when it comes to candidates they oppose, but irrelevant when it comes to the ones they support.
posted by The World Famous at 5:35 PM on May 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


I agree with Penn, none of this is remotely funny.

For god's sake. The fact that there are horrible drug wars in Mexico, thousands of people killed and drug cartels running wild is an argument for legalizing marijuana


Believe me, Penn and I know this. The condemnation is for the cowardice of refusing to make the right choice and save lives because it will be damaging to political ambitions.

It's for the fact that if a child of mine was caught by the police he would face legal penalty and the President supports those laws even though he knows damn well if he ever caught his kids he wouldn't be calling the police.

It's for refusing to let people use medical marijuana as a medicine when doctors are willing to recommend it, he knows it can be used safely, and 80% of this country wants it.

The terrible corrupting and violence inducing influence of prohibition is well known, it's not some conspiracy of Washington bureaucrats, it's a bad policy at local, state, and federal, and international levels fueled by inertia and propaganda that can only be solved when people start to take the issue seriously and tell the truth. Especially people with positions of leadership. Especially the person in the most powerful position of leadership in the world.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:35 PM on May 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


Penn does not approve

Penn might be less of an asshole if he'd smoked a little weed back in the day.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:36 PM on May 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


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.)

How about drug violence in Hawaii? How about laws, which the President supports, that send people to prison for being involved in the marijuana trade in Hawaii?
posted by The World Famous at 5:37 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


then the question is whether a candidate's poor judgment as a teenager and in college are relevant to his or her qualification to serve as President

I prefer that my candidates get all their irresponsible shitheadedness out of their systems in high school &/or college so they don't just tableflip and fire the douchecannon every single day of their adult lives instead.
posted by elizardbits at 5:39 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here's the problem I have w/ Penn:

1) in some ways, we are on the exact same side: the war on drugs is fucking insane and horrible in every way, and it needs to be addressed seriously by the government immediately.

2) I hate the way he links it to some of the more sophisticated Tea Party lingo like "state's rights" -- a real concept but misappropriated for partisan gain -- so that he can try to lure in stoners, and also manages to insert the wedge issue of gay marriage in a way that is plausibly deniable in both ways. Scummy rhetoric.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:39 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


This would be hilarious if Barack Obama was not harsher on prosecuting the war on drugs than George W. Bush. Stop the presses, politician revealed to be a dangerous hypocrite.
posted by psergio at 5:43 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think if Obama agrees none of this is relevant to the present, he should support repealing the drug laws because with a cocaine conviction he never would have been President. Somewhere out there the potential next transformative political figure like Obama might be rotting in jail.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:44 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


I prefer that my candidates get all their irresponsible shitheadedness out of their systems in high school &/or college so they don't just tableflip and fire the douchecannon every single day of their adult lives instead.

I'd prefer a candidate who had never been an irresponsible shithead. Are you really saying that a candidate with skeletons in their high school or college closet is more likely to have learned from those mistakes and be good as an adult than if they had not done bad things back then? (I'm not saying that what Obama did is a "bad thing," necessarily.)

Penn might be less of an asshole if he'd smoked a little weed back in the day.

If that were true, and given the prevalence of weed smoking in high school 25 years ago or so, I'd expect there to be a lot fewer assholes adults in the world. I suspect your premise is flawed and that youthful pot smoking has no effect on one's propensity to be an asshole.
posted by The World Famous at 5:46 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bong water coffee.

Acid head reflux.
posted by y2karl at 5:49 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


2) I hate the way he links it to some of the more sophisticated Tea Party lingo like "state's rights"

Not all that sophisticated given that "state's rights" has long been used as a dog whistle for racists.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:49 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


In regards to the Obama quote above, what can the president to do enact legalization/decriminalization? In a legal, federal branch sort of way?
posted by zardoz at 5:49 PM on May 25, 2012


The President's Schedule doesn't show many meetings at 4:20. Coincidence?
posted by kirkaracha at 5:52 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I prefer that my candidates get all their irresponsible shitheadedness out of their systems in high school &/or college so they don't just tableflip and fire the douchecannon every single day of their adult lives instead.

Penn is upset because Obama is hypocrite for sending people to be sexually assaulted in prison for crimes Obama himself has committed... and Penn is the asshole? I'm glad Obama had a youth and made mistakes and learned from them, but that's the whole point here. He's denying that same freedom to other people.

Obama is doubly a hypocrite because he's worked in those neighborhoods and he knows most of the people caught up in the drug game aren't dangerous. He also knows that the incarceration rate appears to hate black people. And yet he continues support policies to throw them all in jail without saying word one about it. As far as I know, he's even been silent about the Stop and Frisk policy.

Penn's right, and Obama rightfully deserve to be called an asshole and a hypocrite for the continuation of the drug policy. He knows better, but he's trying to get re-elected. That doesn't make it any better for the people spending the night in jail, or the people who have to pay to keep them there.

Our best hope right now for a sane drug policy is a Biden gaffe. How fucking pathetic is that?
posted by deanklear at 5:55 PM on May 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Romney supporters who said that his youthful bullying doesn't matter because it was a long time ago are saying the same thing about this, right?
posted by kirkaracha at 5:56 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sorry, did you mean to quote someone else? Where in that comment did I call Penn an asshole?
posted by elizardbits at 5:57 PM on May 25, 2012


In regards to the Obama quote above, what can the president to do enact legalization/decriminalization? In a legal, federal branch sort of way?

He has a lot of control over the DOJ, so he could certainly be doing something about federal raids in states pushing for local decriminalization.
posted by St. Sorryass at 5:58 PM on May 25, 2012


In regards to the Obama quote above, what can the president to do enact legalization/decriminalization? In a legal, federal branch sort of way?

It's complicated. No federal decriminalization without congress and they definitely are not ready. And even after that, the state laws would have to go down too.

The best thing he could do is voice support for medical marijuana, since that is a politically safe move, and try and get a bill through congress. I think that could be done under his watch.

There are also issues with the drug schedules under the Controlled Substances Act that are more in executive control if I understand correctly. Removing marijuana from schedule 1 would be a big deal.

Even outside of concrete actions, he has a powerful bully pulpit and could try and persuade people to change their position. Support for gay marriage is at a historic high and opposition at a historic low after his decision to take the morally and politically correct position on that matter.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:59 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


In regards to the Obama quote above, what can the president to do enact legalization/decriminalization? In a legal, federal branch sort of way?

He could make a public statement supporting drug policy reform. He could call on Congress to draft a law. He could come up with some creative executive orders.

Who knows, maybe he just forgot he's the President.

Sorry, did you mean to quote someone else? Where in that comment did I call Penn an asshole?

Are you saying I should call Obama a douchecannon instead? I can make that compromise.
posted by deanklear at 5:59 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney supporters who said that his youthful bullying doesn't matter because it was a long time ago are saying the same thing about this, right?

Exactly. And it goes both ways.
posted by The World Famous at 6:01 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


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
posted by deanklear at 6:01 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can call him whatever you want dude, just don't pull random comments out your butt and attribute them to me. I am perfectly capable of talking random shit on my own and besides your butt might get jealous and grumpy.
posted by elizardbits at 6:02 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


He could call on Congress to draft a law.

ROFLCOPTER.

Yes, I am absolutely positively one hundred percent certain the John Boehner is not legalizing pot because the president didn't ask nicely.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:04 PM on May 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


In regards to the Obama quote above, what can the president to do enact legalization/decriminalization? In a legal, federal branch sort of way?

Despite his protest to the contrary, he can decline to enforce federal drug law just the same as he declined to enforce DOMA.

Or at the very least not conduct paramilitary raids with Federal forces on medical marijuana wholesalers in California and other states with legal state drug regimes in place.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


He could have thrown it into the ACA with all the other self-contradictory crap that nobody bothered to read before they passed it. Seriously, legalizing medical marijuana by way of that bill would have been the literally easiest thing in the world if anybody - anybody - in the White House or Capitol Hill had their head anywhere other than up their ass when they pushed it through after Kennedy's death.
posted by The World Famous at 6:06 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, of course not, because alcohol is a substance we're all allowed to imbibe freely.

Yeah. What ever became of that Kennedy Cartel?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:12 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


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. You can call him a hypocrite or attach the douche- suffix to any word you like, but it's not going to change the reality of politics in the US.

Sorry I'm a jerk
posted by palidor at 6:12 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Whoops I meant "douche- prefix"

Sorry I'm a doucheprefix
posted by palidor at 6:13 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry elizardbits: didn't you imply Penn "tableflips and fires the douchecannon" on a daily basis? Asshole didn't seem like a stretch. Anyway, I'm not grumpy. I just think Obama is an hypocrite and an asshole on this issue. Doesn't mean I'm voting Romney or anything.

Yes, I am absolutely positively one hundred percent certain the John Boehner is not legalizing pot because the president didn't ask nicely.

And I'm 100% certain if it became an election issue and Boehner was going to lose his job over it, he'd flip in a microsecond.
posted by deanklear at 6:14 PM on May 25, 2012


For god's sake. The fact that there are horrible drug wars in Mexico, thousands of people killed and drug cartels running wild is an argument for legalizing marijuana,

Yes, but is US drug policy the sole cause of those drug wars? Canada is also a major producer of marijuana; 'BC Bud' is an export crop said to be worth $6 billion to the Canadian economy. For context, here are some estimates of the size of the US marijuana market.

Now, for sure that some violence and murder takes place in the Canadian drug trade. (Crime stats; recent example) but the homicide rate in Mexico seems to be almost 7 times higher while only 1/5th as many drug crimes are prosecuted (stats). Even if you normalize for the different quantities exported from the two countries, Canadians seems much less inclined to murder each other over drugs.

Maybe economic inequality or the relative economic disparity between the US and Mexico explain the difference. Butthere might be some other cause entirely. While I support legalization, I'm not sure that doing so would necessarily end Mexico's homicide problem. It might equally eb related to Mexico's use of a civil law system.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:14 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: Sorry, I'm a doucheprefix.
posted by deanklear at 6:14 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


palidor: you're not a jerk. I pretty much agree with you, and there's no WAY I could be a jerk.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:15 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Asshole didn't seem like a stretch.

Yeah but its sorta like the TARDIS: there's much more space inside than you'd expect

and a swimming pool.
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2012


didn't you imply Penn "tableflips and fires the douchecannon" on a daily basis?

I was thinking about the current crop of Repub candidates, actually. (and since my friend is currently reblogging all manner of Angel gifs I absentmindedly assumed it was Penn the psychotic Puritan vampire, which would be hilarious in this context.)
posted by elizardbits at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2012


Doucheprefix was the most unpopular of the Gauls in Asterix' village.
posted by The World Famous at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [19 favorites]


a viable option for him to spend political capital trying to push reform, you're not being very realistic. You can call him a hypocrite or attach the douche- suffix to any word you like, but it's not going to change the reality of politics in the US.

Medical Marijauana polls better than Mom and Apple Pie across all party lines, ideologies, and age groups. That is a reality of American politics. It even has near 70% approval among seniors. That is where reform efforts should be focused.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't care if he smoked weed back in the day. So did I.

Is it really relevant now?

Depends on which day it was.


Uh, a weekday?
posted by ovvl at 6:22 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe economic inequality or the relative economic disparity between the US and Mexico explain the difference. Butthere might be some other cause entirely. While I support legalization, I'm not sure that doing so would necessarily end Mexico's homicide problem. It might equally eb related to Mexico's use of a civil law system.

The state doesn't have the monopoly on force in Mexico. In Canada it really does; it's not like either the police or armed forces can be corrupted or out fought en masse.
posted by jaduncan at 6:22 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]



And I'm 100% certain if it became an election issue and Boehner was going to lose his job over it, he'd flip in a microsecond.


So, is it the president who should urge congress to change, or the constituents ?

I mean, everyone talks about what a slam dunk gay rights are, and SC still went 60+% in favor of constitutionally banning gay marriage.

I don't think pot legalization has even that much support.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:23 PM on May 25, 2012


Anyway, here's my problem with the guy:
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.
Contrast that with his quote while he was seeking my vote, and hopefully you'll understand why I have my position. He lied to me to get my vote, and not only on this issue. So while I'll begrudgingly vote for him again in 2012, it still pisses me off that the only other option is Mitt frikken Romney.
posted by deanklear at 6:23 PM on May 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


There is also Gary Johnson and several other third party candidates. Gov. Johnson has a compassionate and reasonable position on drug war issues and was ahead of the curve compared to Obama on publicly supporting gay marriage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:27 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


All I can hope is that the next time someone asks Obama who his favorite character from The Wire is, instead of going with obvious Omar again, he says Bunny Colvin.
posted by palidor at 6:28 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


While I support legalization, I'm not sure that doing so would necessarily end Mexico's homicide problem.

The foreseeable effect of marijuana legalization in the U.S. on the drug trade from Mexico would be a shift from importation and trafficking of pot to importation and trafficking of other illegal drugs. This has already started to happen as California and Arizona have cracked down on marijuana and, through law enforcement, had some measurable effect on demand.

Organized crime and drug trafficking across the U.S./Mexico border does not exist as the result of marijuana's illegality, but as the result of a shadow economy and shadow government emerging in Mexico in reaction to the collapse and general non-existence of a viable primary economy and government.
posted by The World Famous at 6:28 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


I mean, everyone talks about what a slam dunk gay rights are, and SC still went 60+% in favor of constitutionally banning gay marriage.

I don't think pot legalization has even that much support.


NC, yeah. I'm getting my driver's license here next week... wasn't quite the welcome I was looking for in hoping I moved to a bubble of reason in the South.

I think pot is one of the issues that cross over. If a Republican is asked without knowing it's a democratic platform, they support it until they're told to think otherwise. In fact, it recently became the majority position to legalize.
posted by deanklear at 6:30 PM on May 25, 2012


Obama is worse than G.W. Bush on the medical marijuana issue. In fact, he's arguably been the worst president ever.

Don't tell me there's nothing he can do about this -- he has clearly done plenty. If he'd simply ordered the DOJ and other agencies to de-prioritize the issue (you know, like he promised he'd do) there'd be no problem.
posted by vorfeed at 6:31 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney supporters who said that his youthful bullying doesn't matter because it was a long time ago are saying the same thing about this, right?

Exactly. And it goes both ways.


Well, except for the part where Romney cruelly humiliated another person, and Obama... apparently would cut in line when a joint was being passed.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:41 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, except for the part where Romney cruelly humiliated another person, and Obama... apparently would cut in line when a joint was being passed.

Indeed. As I noted above, that line of argument only applies if you think smoking pot and using cocaine are bad choices.
posted by The World Famous at 6:45 PM on May 25, 2012


Obama could decline to enforce DOMA because the Justice Dept reviewed the law and found it to be likely unconstitutional. They can't similarly decline to enforce drug policy because it's simply not. Unless, of course, we can agree that it's okay for the executive to decline to enforce any law they disagree with on a policy basis.

But I don't think that's the way it does, or should, work.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 6:49 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


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? With whose army? Not Mexico's, anyway.
posted by jfuller at 7:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


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?

Right. Because there's no chance of a huge corporate agricultural company ever buying out and taking over a market like that.
posted by The World Famous at 7:07 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Who has the power to take production away from them?"

Domestic farmers? "Grown Right Here In The U.S. of A!"
posted by MikeMc at 7:12 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, except for the part where Romney cruelly humiliated another person, and Obama... apparently would cut in line when a joint was being passed.

Romney cruelly humiliated another person, and Obama has other people thrown in prison for years, or just executed, for committing a victimless crime that he himself is guilty of.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:13 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


They can't similarly decline to enforce drug policy because it's simply not.

There are far more crimes being committed than the Justice Department has resources to investigate and prosecute. It is entirely within the president's authority to decide how to allocate those resources. If he decides that pursuing, oh, I don't know, foreclosure fraud is a better use of time and money than arresting cancer patients, then the priorities change accordingly. This is not theory. After taking office, he made the decision to shift resources toward medical marijuana crackdowns. He could just as easily shift them away.

And that's discounting the fact that drugs are assigned to schedules by executive branch rulemakings, not acts of Congress. Obama, through the DEA, could literally legalize marijuana with a stroke of the pen, by removing it from Schedule 1.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:18 PM on May 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


I don't care if he smoked weed back in the day. So did I.

BUCKET LIST

Dinner at The Fat Duck
Get baked with St. Alia
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Obama is worse than G.W. Bush on the medical marijuana issue. In fact, he's arguably been the worst president ever.

As much respect as I have for the Marijuana Policy Project, whose executive director wrote this op-ed, don't you think it's just a tad disingenuous to offer this sort of checklist, while omitting and mention fo the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (which has had a rather noticeable effect on the US incarceration rate), and that the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, of which it was a part, significantly increased penalties for trafficking in drugs and widened the reach of criminal forfeiture? What about the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988? There's a reason the Reagan administration is so strongly associated with the war on drugs; one might ask why Reagan made no attempt to veto either of these bills.

While Obama has certainly disappointed marijuana legalization advocates, one can't seriously ignore the massive increase increase in US incarceration rates over the last 30 years, and it might be worth noting the Obama administration is the first to buck the trend, even if they began by addressing crack sentencing disparities rather than marijuana policy. The Obama administration is the first in 30 years to oversee a drop in incarceration rates.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:36 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why oh why couldn't Penn be the silent one?

But that would make Penn the magician and Teller the beautiful assistant... ever since that realization, I am happy to listen to Penn, Teller's beautiful assistant, rage and vent.

re: state's rights - it might be a dog whistle for racists, but it also works for me. Let the Jesus States be racist and oppressive, just let the sane people have sane laws where they live, m'mkay?
posted by Meatbomb at 7:46 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Obama administration is the first in 30 years to oversee a drop in incarceration rates.

Stop The Drug War: Overall, 1,638,846 were arrested on drug charges in 2010, up very slightly from the 1,633,582 arrested in 2009. But while the number of drug arrests appears to be stabilizing, they are stabilizing at historically high levels. Overall drug arrests are up 8.3% from a decade ago.

Marijuana arrests last year stood at 853,838, down very slightly from 2009's 858,408. But for the second year in a row, pot busts accounted for more arrests than all other drugs combined,

It's good that they are looking at the sentencing guidelines, but the problems start way before sentencing and incarceration.

This isn't Obama's fault, it's mostly a state issue, but he certainly isn't helping. Both of these comments go way beyond the focused issue of Obama federal medical marijuana policy compared to G.W. Bush that you were replying to though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:50 PM on May 25, 2012


Obama has other people thrown in prison for years, or just executed, for committing a victimless crime that he himself is guilty of.

Obama had people executed for smoking pot?

Obama, through the DEA, could literally legalize marijuana with a stroke of the pen, by removing it from Schedule 1.

No, he could not. Not even theoretically.
posted by tommyD at 7:54 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama has other people thrown in prison for years, or just executed, for committing a victimless crime that he himself is guilty of.

The Federal government hasn't executed anyone since 2003. The US has never executed someone just for dealing drugs; most executions are for kidnapping or murder. I don't think any state has executed anyone for drug dealing either; almost all state death sentences in modern times are for rape, kidnapping or murder.

Statements like this make it hard to take you seriously. Who is it that you think Obama has had executed for taking or dealing drugs?
posted by anigbrowl at 7:57 PM on May 25, 2012


No one has ever been formally executed on charges of drug trafficking. Just shot by police during raids based on pot, which is... better?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:59 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is R. J. Reynolds going to head down to Michoacán and step all over their action?
Well, Philip Morris owns 50,000 acres in Humboldt, so I'd say they've taken legalization into their long-range plans.

Seriously, legalizing cannabis and regulating it like alcohol and allowing us to grow the vast quantities of hemp we currently import for industrial use could do the U.S. a world of good.
posted by notashroom at 8:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, Philip Morris owns 50,000 acres in Humboldt, so I'd say they've taken legalization into their long-range plans.


I'm gonna assume that is myth unless I can see a good link. There isn't much reason to buy up land now in anticipation of a legalization that will likely not happen for decades or longer.

I'm sure they would be on board if it happened and have no problem taking over the business after the cartels abandon it for more profitable black market items when the price collapses, but if they really wanted it now we would see it in lobbying efforts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:12 PM on May 25, 2012


As much respect as I have for the Marijuana Policy Project, whose executive director wrote this op-ed, don't you think it's just a tad disingenuous to offer this sort of checklist, while omitting and mention fo the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (which has had a rather noticeable effect on the US incarceration rate), and that the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, of which it was a part, significantly increased penalties for trafficking in drugs and widened the reach of criminal forfeiture? What about the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988? There's a reason the Reagan administration is so strongly associated with the war on drugs; one might ask why Reagan made no attempt to veto either of these bills.

None of that has anything to do with medical marijuana, which I (and the Marijuana Policy Project) specified.
posted by vorfeed at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2012


Politics is the art of the possible. Jimmy Carter has, as far as I know, always been in favour of legalisation - here's a recent op-ed of his on the subject - and if I remember a long time ago in another country correctly, he came to power saying as much. Couldn't do it: there were some parties where White House staffers got jiggy with the nose ningle, and drugs were off the Presidential agenda (this is half-remembered, so call me on this if you know better/were actually there/were over 13 at the time).

I'm quite prepared to believe that legal MJ is still political suicide, for reasons I consider asinine, harmful and reactive in the extreme. But smoking bud is (for most people) a pure lifestyle choice. Being gay and wanting equality is not, and we're still seeing paroxysms of hate over that It's still risky for Obama to come out and say what, my God, we've known he's believed (being quite a logical chap) since the year dot, on the matter. How much harder is it for him to saddle up the cannabis camel and steer it towards the oasis of sanity?

He's said he toked, and inhaled, and he's had no blowback. Is that more hypocritical than Clinton (who may indeed not have inhaled, but may have digested)? Is that a position from which he can make a move towards legislation more safely than any previous President could, when the time allows?

I remain more befuddled by society's take on MJ than I ever have done by the drug itself. But in matters of hedonism, crime and health, society is fucked up in so many ways that one must accept that these are things that wallow in the swamp of emotive conviction, and that's a swamp 400 years of enlightenment has yet to drain. We've built a few islands, but each one has been hard work. I'm not even sure I want to turn all those wetlands into golf courses just yet.

Obama is lobbing stones into that swamp. He only has so many stones, and some parts of the swamp are deeper than others. Too big a stone, and he'll be washed into the gunk. But others are cruising down there like it's their natural habitat, and I'd rather have a stoner like Obama than a gator like Romney.
posted by Devonian at 9:04 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


A Judge’s Plea for Pot
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


That shit's not cool.

WRONG it is the fucking coolest. There are no good arguments against legalizing pot. My country's prime minister's reasoning is apparently "drugs are illegal because they're bad" (he actually said this as a response to a question about decriminalization), which is stupid.

And I'm pretty sure the only reason people stop smoking pot is because it gets harder to find as you get older. Believe me, I know.
posted by Hoopo at 9:23 PM on May 25, 2012


My chiropractor-acupuncturist set me up.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:31 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one has ever been formally executed on charges of drug trafficking. Just shot by police during raids based on pot, which is... better?

Then why did you lay the responsibilities at Obama's feet? How many people are we talking about, and could you supply some sort of link for your claim?

None of that has anything to do with medical marijuana, which I (and the Marijuana Policy Project) specified.

According to Carlton E. Turner, Reagan's 'Drug Czar' from 1981-1986, medical marijuana has always been a 'con job.' Are you seriously asking me to believe that the Reagan administration's increasingly draconian and militaristic approach to drug policy included a benign approach to medicinal marijuana? Considering that the first state medical marijuana law (California's proposition 215) wasn't passed until 1996, I suggest to you that there wasn't any kind of medical marijuana program in place during the Reagan administration apart from the U. Miss. on dating from the Carter administration, and that the Reagan administration showed no tolerance whatsoever for medical necessity arguments. Reagan's attorney-general sounds pretty hostile to marijuana in this 1982 letter to Surgeon-General Everett Koop. Koop's reply and subsequent advisory statement to the public doesn't show any enthusiasm for marijuana either.

Please, find me one example of administrative support for medical marijuana from the Reagan era. One.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:48 PM on May 25, 2012


My theory is that only a Republican president could legalize pot (in the same way that "only Nixon could go to China"). I'm not saying that a Republican president will any time soon as there's a huge amount of pressure from moneyed interests (police and prisons) to keep it illegal.
posted by drezdn at 10:13 PM on May 25, 2012


Please, find me one example of administrative support for medical marijuana from the Reagan era. One.

When did I say that there were any?

That said, if you really want one: Reagan didn't touch the Federal medical marijuana program -- it began under Carter and persisted during all eight years of Reagan's presidency. G.H.W. Bush closed the program in '92.

That said, I agree with you that Reagan would probably have been worse than Obama on this issue, if today's medical marijuana movement had existed. However, it didn't, and MPP's chart compares things which actually happened, not things which would probably have happened. This is why I put the word "arguably" in my comment. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since Clinton, though, so if Reagan doesn't "count" there's still a fair comparison to be made with the last three presidents.
posted by vorfeed at 10:25 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember smoking dope, but that was back in the day, and I ain't like that anymore. I'm saying I remember that I smoked dope, not, you know, smoking it. Mostly it was the music. Probably Dr. Hook. Could have been Hendrix. Besides, like I said, I ain't like that anymore.

I mean, I don't smoke it in public anymore. Well, sometimes, like when I'm up in the mountains. Maybe at the beach. But that's not really public.

What...oh, yeah Obama. Penn sucks, is what that's all about.
posted by mule98J at 11:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The MPP's chart is a bit like arguing that Lincoln avoided regulating the airline industry. The additional problems they cite under the Obama administration include 2 examples of federal prosecutors opposing policy change and scaring banking service providers; except that US attorneys are largely independent of the DoJ and not subject to its approval, nor can they be easily fired without cause (you might remember the scandal that resulted when Bush tried to fire a bunch of them at once). So the administration is only indirectly responsible for that, and I find it very, very hard to believe that the US attorneys appointed by the Bush administration scrupulously avoided such actions, especially given the effort the administration spent litigating Gonzales v. Raich.

As for the ATF warning letter to gun dealers, it is a simple statement of their obligations under existing law, and the provisions regarding the Controlled Substances Act (subsection (s)(3)) date back to 1993. I'm not aware that the ATF has prosecuted a single dealer on this basis, and I find it kind of hard to blame them for simply stating the law.

Honestly, this reminds me of the complaints that Obama is planning to destroy the second amendment or disarm people for being (literally) blind drunk. I'm not saying that you should be happy about Obama's lack of leadership here, but we should evaluate him on some more objective criteria - such as the number of raids on dispensaries, which have increased under Obama...though I might note that a) there has not been an accompanying wave of prosecutions and b) there are a lot more dispensaries now than there were 5 years ago, and thus more potential for lawbreaking if a given dispensary is not compliant with state law, which is consistent with the 2009 Ogden memo. None of the previous administrations even had a policy of leaving individual medical marijuana users alone, but it doesn't seem like Rob Kampia is willing to give Obama any credit on that score.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:01 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Heineken part is pretty damming.
posted by srboisvert at 12:03 AM on May 26, 2012


b) there are a lot more dispensaries now than there were 5 years ago, and thus more potential for lawbreaking if a given dispensary is not compliant with state law, which is consistent with the 2009 Ogden memo.

Could you explain what state law was violated in this case?

KQED
: At an organic farm set in the sun-baked hills north of Ukiah, Mendocino sheriff Lieutenant Randy Johnson is having a most unusual meeting with the farm's owner, Matt Cohen...
--
Each plant on Cohen's farm has a red tag, stamped with a unique number that's registered with the sheriff's department. Under a county ordinance, Cohen can have up to 99 of these plants, and each can yield up to 15 pounds of dry bud. He delivers the processed marijuana to customers in the Bay Area who have a doctor's recommendation as required by state law. The program costs pot farmers like Cohen up to $10,000 a year, and they must submit to monthly inspections by deputies like Johnson...


Indeed. Last Friday, at a joint press conference of the four U.S. Attorneys for California, Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for Northern California, said the following:

"Another challenge in the Northern District of California and around the state is the phenomena of cities and counties assisting in the proliferation of marijuana shops and grow operations by licensing and ostensibly authorizing the commercial and very profitable cultivation and distribution of marijuana. In our view these licensing schemes are inconsistent with federal law."


It doesn't sound like he cares about the memo or state law.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:17 AM on May 26, 2012


None of the previous administrations even had a policy of leaving individual medical marijuana users alone, but it doesn't seem like Rob Kampia is willing to give Obama any credit on that score.

It's not leaving them alone when you prevent them from getting their medicine by supporting the federal prohibition that makes all of their suppliers criminals.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:19 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama could easily move marijuana off the schedule of controlled drugs, via executive order.
posted by wuwei at 12:45 AM on May 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Proof
posted by wuwei at 12:47 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It doesn't sound like he cares about the memo or state law.

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 in a prosecutorial hierarchy. Haag looks good on paper; she seems to be engaged in empire-building. I don't know what charges Cohen was threatened with, but he hasn't been prosecuted.

It's not leaving them alone when you prevent them from getting their medicine by supporting the federal prohibition that makes all of their suppliers criminals.

There's a qualitative difference between having an unreliable supply and being a likely target of arrest. Again, look at Gonzalez v. Raich. Raich & Monson only had 6 plants, and neither of them were engaged in commerce. Small-timers like that aren't being targeted by the federal government these days, AFAIK. That's progress.

Obama could easily move marijuana off the schedule of controlled drugs, via executive order.

Evidence suggests that any such move would be better left until after the election. Even in California, legalization has been a vote-loser so far, despite the promise of massive new revenue in the dpeths of a recession. Depressingly, most of the growers I know voted against it because they didn't want to lose market share.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:07 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a qualitative difference between having an unreliable supply and being a likely target of arrest...a qualitative difference that does not constitute leaving them alone. Of course, since the attorneys can just ignore it if they want anyway, that isn't much comfort. I don't feel I'm being left alone when I'm committing a criminal act that could result in jail time when I'm using my doctor approved medicine.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:11 AM on May 26, 2012


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.
posted by readyfreddy at 1:47 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am perturbed that the young Obama acknowledge his buddies, but not his mother in his year-book.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:51 AM on May 26, 2012


I acknowledged my girlfriend, the school literary magazine, and quoted Syd Barrett. I thought everyone did the standard [friend(s)]+[club(s)]+[overused maudlin song lyric] template for yearbook.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:55 AM on May 26, 2012


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.

Yeah it's different, the Mexican groups help export it from there.

justice.gov: Some locally produced marijuana is transported from Hawaii to the West Coast, primarily California, and to Canada and Mexico by local independent dealers and, to a lesser extent, Mexican criminal groups. These dealers and groups often exchange marijuana for methamphetamine or cocaine in the continental United States.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:15 AM on May 26, 2012


Well, Philip Morris owns 50,000 acres in Humboldt

Back in the '60's, people used to claim they'd trademarked the brand 'Acapulco Gold'.

Today, we'd turn our nose up at that ditchweed shit so more fool Philip Morris.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:56 AM on May 26, 2012


Today, Acapulco Gold is some dumbass streetwear company.
posted by box at 5:15 AM on May 26, 2012


Obama could easily move marijuana off the schedule of controlled drugs, via executive order.

No, he can't. Marijuana was specifically placed on the schedule by congress, so it would take an act of congress to unschedule it.
posted by gjc at 5:23 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This post is kind of bizarre. For most people who actually follow drug policy, Obama has been pretty terrible. When he initially came into office he said he was going to respect state laws on legalizing marijuana. But since then his DOJ has been escalating and cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state law.

But, while the stuff about Obama smoking a lot of pot in highschool might be interesting, combined with the quote from the rolling stone interview makes it seem like Obama is some kind of pro-pot guy or for decriminalization. Which he most assuredly is not.

Instead, he's just another politician who smoked a shitload of pot as a kid and now wants to prevent old people and cancer patients from doing the same thing today. It's ridiculous.

There have been a lot of efforts to end the drug war in Latin America, including in Mexico. At the recent conference of the Americas (where the secret service was caught trying to stiff prostitutes) the US again reiterated it's support for the war on drugs, while many Latin American countries wanted to end it.

So, while that is an argument for ending the drug war, it's also an argument the people who are waging it, which right now means the Obama administration.


The interesting thing is how this thread kind of illustrates how people who don't actually follow policy debates take up really naive ideas about what politicians stand for. So for example, if you believe in legalizing weed or even just medical marijuana, you should be upset with obama, because his position is the opposite.

Instead, people read an article like this, combined with an out of context quote intended to be highly misleading and think that Obama has the opposite position from what he actually does. And then assume anyone criticizing Obama is criticizing him for having smoked weed, rather then the actual criticisms of him for cracking down on medical marijuana

And then of course a smattering of "There is nothing he can do guys, stop complaning!" which always show up no matter how much power the president has on some issue, which, when it comes to federal enforcement in opposition to state laws is quite a bit.

And by the way, according to Rasmussen reports 56% of the public now support legalizing marijuana. This is actually a polling firm that many people think is biased towards conservatives, due to not polling cell phones, etc.

---
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.)
Right... has it occurred to you that those cartels are making money because of the drug laws one of those 'kids' is enforcing right this minute?
Despite his protest to the contrary, he can decline to enforce federal drug law just the same as he declined to enforce DOMA.
In fact, this is exactly what he said he was going to do after he was elected. The DOJ sent out a memo saying it wouldn't go after people who were not violating state laws. Since then, he's done exactly that and is continuing to crack down more and more. So the question is: why?

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.
So you think the DOJ, itself was being "Unrealistic" when it said it wasn't going to interfere with people who were not violating state law?

This the old "There is nothing he can do!" argument which we hear every single time anyone points out that Obama hasn't done anything. Except the problem here isn't even what Obama isn't doing, it's what he is doing, namely the opposite of what he initially said he would do: Crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state law.
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?
You don't think it's possible to grow marijuana in the US? Why would they need to head down to Mexico?

I don't think people grasp what "legal" means. Legal means you buy it in the store, just like alcohol. When alcohol was legalized, it went from being sold by the mob, to being sold in grocery stores. The reason drug dealers shoot eachother is because they can't sue each other, so they can't have legally enforceable contracts. Of course if we simply legalized marijuana alone, there would still be cocaine, heroin and other drugs for them to supply.

But, it would mean they would have a lot less money to buy guns and fund their operations, which would make it easier for the government to shut them down.
The MPP's chart is a bit like arguing that Lincoln avoided regulating the airline industry.
Speaking of Lincoln
"Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." ~ Abraham Lincoln
Also, I think you have it backwards. The point is that Obama was the worst president with respect to medical Marijuana, while someone said Reagen was worse.
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
When Bill Clinton was elected, he fired every single US Attorney General. The bush administration also fired a bunch, but got in trouble because they did it for political reasons. The Obama has the power to fire USAs at will.
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.
Holy crap dude read the thread: this is not about whether or not Obama's youthful pot smoking was a bad thing, but whether or not Obama, despite having done so himself, is actively cracking on people doing the same thing today. It's the height of hypocrisy.
posted by delmoi at 5:27 AM on May 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney supporters who said that his youthful bullying doesn't matter because it was a long time ago are saying the same thing about this, right?

Not a Romney supporter, but I did comment here that the Romney bullying thing didn't matter, and yes, I feel the same way about this.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:37 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have been holding out on my Obama disappointment. For me, he still gets his First Term Pass. He's playing realpolitik, toeing the middle road--which in today's climate is center right--in order to get the independent, center right vote. Maybe that's compromising his principles, selling out, being a hypocrite, and all that. 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". You and I know that's bullshit, but there are a lot of dumb voters out there that really believe in that phrase.

When that second term starts, though, my stopwatch is out and counting. Barry better deliver, not just on this issue but on quite a few others. Then he's fully accountable, no more excuses. Well, besides an obstructionist Congress, but that's a whole other topic...
posted by zardoz at 5:46 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the height of hypocrisy.

Or simply an example of a man changing his mind. Having children can do that to you.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:48 AM on May 26, 2012


2) I hate the way he links it to some of the more sophisticated Tea Party lingo like "state's rights" -- a real concept but misappropriated for partisan gain -- so that he can try to lure in stoners, and also manages to insert the wedge issue of gay marriage in a way that is plausibly deniable in both ways.

Where in Penn's rant does he say either of those things?
posted by John Cohen at 6:22 AM on May 26, 2012


The World Famous: "I'd prefer a candidate who had never been an irresponsible shithead."



And where would you find such a candidate?
posted by 2manyusernames at 6:38 AM on May 26, 2012


Is R. J. Reynolds going to head down to Michoacán and step all over their action?
R.J.Reynolds have killed a fuck of a load more people than the Drug Cartels, and probably given less of a shit about it too. Tobacco and Pharma companies probably think a basement full of dismembered policemen is quaint.
posted by fullerine at 6:47 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Growing up in Hawai'i in the 70's sounds awesome.

Much of the awesome was in the past. They used to have a church.
http://web.archive.org/web/20081010223721/http://www.freemarijuanachurch.org/

I can't nullify congressional law.
Alas, can't find the reference but didn't Antonin Scalia take a position on the bench (pre supreme court in a case that resulted in a $40,000 fine and a Congressman to jail) at one time that DOJ rules were superior to something Congress had passed?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:06 AM on May 26, 2012


Penn is one of those people that annoy me by being both able to make a cogent argument (although he takes way too long and is not so great a rhetorician) and kind of a douche. He lost me after "Our good friend Joe Rogan", as if that conspiracy-obsessed pig has cred.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:15 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna assume that is myth unless I can see a good link. There isn't much reason to buy up land now in anticipation of a legalization that will likely not happen for decades or longer.

My source was one of the marijuana documentaries. I think it was Weed Wars from the Discovery Channel, but unfortunately I am unable to confirm that. I do, however, have a link to that portion of the film on YouTube.

>Obama could easily move marijuana off the schedule of controlled drugs, via executive order.

No, he can't. Marijuana was specifically placed on the schedule by congress, so it would take an act of congress to unschedule it.


"Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents' dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama's reference to "congressional law" was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its "schedule one" designation, thereby recognizing its medical use.

"That's right," Holder said."

"[F]ormer New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson told a conference of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) Thursday that, as President, he would act immediately to remove cannabis from the classification under the Controlled Substances Act which makes it illegal under federal law."

So, a couple of fairly reliable individuals seem to think it IS possible for the President to reschedule it.

Please, find me one example of administrative support for medical marijuana from the Reagan era. One.

"[I]n 1981, the Georgia Legislature passed the "Medical Marijuana Necessities Act," which mandated the creation of a state-run program through which qualified cancer and glaucoma patients would receive prescriptions of cannabis sativa."

That act was co-authored by Newt Gingrich, BTW, and yes, it languished and essentially died under Reagan, but 1981 was during the Reagan era.
posted by notashroom at 7:23 AM on May 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have been holding out on my Obama disappointment. For me, he still gets his First Term Pass. He's playing realpolitik, toeing the middle road--which in today's climate is center right--in order to get the independent, center right vote. Maybe that's compromising his principles, selling out, being a hypocrite, and all that. 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". You and I know that's bullshit, but there are a lot of dumb voters out there that really believe in that phrase.

When that second term starts, though, my stopwatch is out and counting. Barry better deliver, not just on this issue but on quite a few others. Then he's fully accountable, no more excuses. Well, besides an obstructionist Congress, but that's a whole other topic...


There is the West Wing argument that a president can only ever get anything substantial done during the first two years of his administration. After that, presidents get too bogged down by scandals, current events and other more pressing matters to be able to work on any of their ideological pursuits.

But we remain hopeful...
posted by gjc at 8:19 AM on May 26, 2012


Penn is one of those people that annoy me by being both able to make a cogent argument (although he takes way too long and is not so great a rhetorician) and kind of a douche. He lost me after "Our good friend Joe Rogan", as if that conspiracy-obsessed pig has cred.

Just remember, he is a carnival barker. He is very experienced in manipulation. He is also very rich and lives in a home styled after a prison. He has the means to enjoy the chaos that his libertarian dreams would produce, and then the means to escape it.
posted by gjc at 8:25 AM on May 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's the height of hypocrisy.

It's more just a hypocrisy or built-in unfairness of the system - being a consumer's basically allowed (not technically but it's small potatoes and mostly ignored unless there's some other reason to go after the person), being a supplier isn't. He hasn't changed the laws. He was never a dealer so got away with it. Most high school students who want to can still get away with it, as long as they are just having fun and not getting involved in the business.

I guess you can call him a hypocrite when he starts telling his kids not to get high.
posted by mdn at 8:50 AM on May 26, 2012


So George W. Bush was the kind of guy you could share a beer with. Barack Obama is the kind of guy you'd do bong hits with?
posted by crunchland at 9:03 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is the West Wing argument that a president can only ever get anything substantial done during the first two years of his administration
I thought it was 100 days.
posted by fullerine at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2012


I think Obama can be moved on this and there is still time to make him move especially with the pressure of the election. The pro-legalization lobby needs a Superpac and an ad campaign ready to go.
posted by humanfont at 9:39 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I spent most of this thread wondering what Sean Penn had to do with any of it. *Must learn to actually look at the links in the comments.*
posted by milkb0at at 10:02 AM on May 26, 2012


being a consumer's basically allowed (not technically but it's small potatoes and mostly ignored unless there's some other reason to go after the person),

Most high school students who want to can still get away with it, as long as they are just having fun and not getting involved in the business.

The vast majority of drug arrests are young people being arrested for simple possession. Even in the best case conviction you must pay a lawyer, a fine, and end up with a mark on your record that is going to hurt your employment prospects for some amount of time.

drugpolicy.org: Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report. Marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (approximately 52 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States. A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests. Approximately 46 percent of all drug prosecutions nationwide are for marijuana possession. Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with possession only.

In 1991, 36 percent of drug arrests were for trafficking, but that number has since dropped to 19 percent. To judge by these numbers, the War on Drugs is now more than ever targeting users rather than dealers
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:03 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Heineken part is pretty damming.

Mr. President, a word please...
posted by palidor at 12:01 PM on May 26, 2012


He was drinking Bud Light at the beer summit. Finally upgraded to Lager eventually.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:08 PM on May 26, 2012


If you way to move the President you need to call your congressional rep and tell them to co-sponsor HR 2306. More democrats need to be in support of this.
posted by humanfont at 12:27 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


choom is mooch spelled backwards.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 12:57 PM on May 26, 2012


I remember smoking dope, but that was back in the day

Shit, and remember "back in the day" in this context is late '70s, Cheech and Chong, "Fridays" on TV with drug references galore. It was culturally prevalent and pretty well accepted. And then "Just Say No" came along...
posted by kgasmart at 1:01 PM on May 26, 2012


Great stories, smoking weed with his bros and just livin. I want to hear some stories about his Chicago years, those harsh cold winters, scraping together just enough for another ball, waking up at 6 pm with every muscle aching and dried blood on your pillow. Making your way to the bar down the street and knowing that inevitably someone will offer you a bump and the whole thing will start over.

I bet that dude still parties.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:01 PM on May 26, 2012


And by the way, according to Rasmussen reports 56% of the public now support legalizing marijuana. This is actually a polling firm that many people think is biased towards conservatives, due to not polling cell phones, etc.

Which is greater than the 53% who now support gay marriage.

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.

The President has a large number of resources at his hand, control over the DEA and scheduling being just two of them.

But he largest power he has is large control over the national discourse.

Obama was able to help bring African American support for gay marriage from 41 to 59%.

He wouldn't even have to bring the majority to support marijuana reform, since they already do. Hell, he even gets the coveted independent vote.

In short, the President has one large thing going for him, he is a leader, and he can choose to start leading again.
posted by formless at 3:05 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What do you mean, "he can choose to start leading again"? Because he's not leading now, due to his administration's entirely predictable anti-drug stance? They're Democrats. They're not going to waver on this without a strong grassroots call for change.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:20 PM on May 26, 2012


You can make an argument there would be political backlash for legalizing pot, it's a realistic point. But, and I can't repeat this enough, medical marijuana has 80% support and a strong grassroots movement across the country that has changed many state laws. There is simply no excuse.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2012


On the other hand: Democrats. I'm not excusing it; I'm just saying it's probably the explanation. The Obama administration's drug policy is one of the point with which I can really make no sense about, but fortunately I'm not a single-issue voter, and in the balance against what a Romney administration would be like, I will vote for him again but also see nothing wrong with keeping the pressure on him to legalize it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:24 PM on May 26, 2012


The explanation is that while the issue is popular, it isn't decisive in terms of how supporters vote or donate.
posted by humanfont at 4:41 PM on May 26, 2012


So basically they were the coolest people ever who had the most fun who grew up in the most gorgeous country. Jealous
posted by maiamaia at 4:56 PM on May 26, 2012


The explanation is that while the issue is popular, it isn't decisive in terms of how supporters vote or donate.

Which is just another reason to support it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:51 PM on May 26, 2012


If Obama framed it in fiscal terms, how much money we'd save through reduced usage of judicial resources and incarceration as well as DEA and state and local agencies, added to the revenue potential from licensing growers and sellers and taxing users, it could actually help energize the independents and the base to vote for him.
posted by notashroom at 6:24 PM on May 26, 2012


Fiscally, socially, in terms of foreign policy even, it could be framed in any number of ways. I think it'd be tremendously beneficial for all involved to move more towards decriminalization and legalization. I don't think this administration will be the one to do it, but stranger things have happened.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:11 PM on May 26, 2012


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".
Yes, but the problem here is that you are placing the consequences of political results above the actual, real-world consequences of, say medical marijuana providers getting shut down and thrown in jail. It's exactly because actions do have consequences, and especially consequences in the real world, with real people, outside of DC that this stuff matters.

Also, that doesn't really make too much sense. Legalization is popular, medical marijuana is very popular, and it's even more popular with independents who the Obama and Romney will supposedly be fighting over.
Or simply an example of a man changing his mind. Having children can do that to you.
I suppose it can, but if you were paying attention you would know that this is something that changed while he was president. Right after he was elected, the DOJ came out and said it wouldn't interfere with state laws. In the past during his political career he'd said he'd been in favor of decriminalizing marijuana (at least at the state level, in the state senate)

So, it really makes no sense to say this is something that he changed his mind on because he had kids.
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.
Sure, and just like with Gay marriage, simply coming out in favor of legalization would be huge. Rather than that, though the Obama administration opposed prop 19 in CA.
posted by delmoi at 9:05 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use." - President jimmy Carter

"When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down; when a government enterprise fails, it is expanded. Isn’t that exactly what’s been happening with drugs?" - Milton Friedman

"That is not a drug. It’s a leaf," - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?" - Henry Ford

There are plenty of highly-respected individuals who would publicly support federal reform of cannabis laws if there was momentum behind the movement. I don't think now is the time , primarily for the simple reason that it's an election year and Obama is going to be too afraid of the potential general election consequences from the far right (Fear! Horror! Code Elmo!) and the fact that the GOP could make hay of the jobs that would eventually be lost in the law enforcement and incarceration sectors (never mind the jobs that would be created for and by growers and distributors).

But if Obama is reelected, there ought to be an avalanche of pressure on him to make this right, to undo the harmful prohibition. It will take lots of planning to deal with how states will handle reform, including how and to whom to issue licenses and how to handle the influx back to society of the thousands of people currently incarcerated for marijuana offenses (who will need jobs, housing, and in some cases government assistance programs such as Medicaid or food stamps).

Obama plays the long game. We've seen him do it repeatedly on issues like DADT. Maybe that's his game here: rev up the opposition to cannabis prohibition by raiding legal dispensaries and growers and increasing discussion over the value of medical cannabis, so that by the time he comes out in support of ending prohibition, there is a groundswell of support on his side. I hope so.
posted by notashroom at 7:08 AM on May 27, 2012


Well, except for the part where Romney cruelly humiliated
another person, and Obama... apparently would cut in line when a joint was being passed


Romney...helped hold a dude down and cut his hair, right? I don't think that counts as "cruel humiliation.". I think it's a perfect example of how this stuff can never be evaluated coherently.

I don't care if Obama smoked pot and was kind of a jackass when he was in high school. I don't care if Romney hated long-haired dudes and was kind of a bully in high school. High school is there for us to do stupid stuff, realize it's stupid, and outgrow it.

So yeah, Obama was a pothead. He seems to have either put it aside, or not let it stop him from functionality. We should leave it at that.t
posted by corb at 10:55 AM on May 27, 2012


Not to derail, but re: Penn Jillette; I mostly know Penn from TV and Comedy Central, he was only on the radio in my area very briefly. When did he become the Rush Limbaugh from the "Mirror, Mirror" universe?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:03 AM on May 27, 2012


Romney...helped hold a dude down and cut his hair, right? I don't think that counts as "cruel humiliation.". I think it's a perfect example of how this stuff can never be evaluated coherently.

From Business Insider:

"The Washington Post has a report this morning that when Mitt Romney was at Cranbrook School in the 1960s, he once pinned down a gay student and cut his hair, in part of a prolonged campaign of humiliation.

The student in question was John Lauber, whom the Post describes as "a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney [who] was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality."

The report says that an "incensed" Romney shouted, "He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” to his friend Matthew Friedman, referring to Laubner's longer hair.
...
Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors."
posted by oneirodynia at 1:40 PM on May 27, 2012


Pot Prosecution Goes Up in Smoke Due to Warrantless GPS Tracking
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Penn is an unapologetic libertarian and skeptic. He's interesting to listen and watch, and his showmanship background makes what he says interesting just by way of delivery. It's kind of a grab bag on whether he delivers actual content or hands you a sack of bullshit burgers to gnaw on. I have a theory that his show Bullshit! was an attempt to take any subject and successfully give a "reasonable" argument propped up with as much bullshit as possible. I recall the recycling program being pretty entertaining. I recall that there was only about 3 minutes of factual content, and the rest of it was based on random assertions and a 10 minute bot about people sorting their recyclables. So his arguments use spurious reasoning and tend to be faulty.
You notice how he never makes a point but connects little bits to each other as if it is cogent. "It's class warfare". So Obama doesn't like the lower classes (brown people) or the lower classes are the only one who do drugs? It doesn't matter, he's separating Obama from everyone else. Why not? He's the president, he's the best man for the job. Why shouldn't he be separate? Because he's human, and he's just as fallible as anybody else. Well, not anybody, but he's not perfection embodied so that's a stupid fucking argument to drum up. You notice how the host says "750,000 victimless crimes" and Penn quickly retorts "not victimless" because then the bottom drops out of his rant. Penn wants to keep the tension between right and wrong so he can "other" the president, take the moral high ground and then bulldoze all the blame onto him. You'll notice he also quotes the president as saying "treatment" which is completely fucking wrong. Go watch the video for yourself. Obama says "prevention and education". Think about that, why or how would Penn misquote that? Because again the bottom would fall out the bottom of his rant. According to Penn, Obama is a misanthrope who is disconnected from himself as much as he is from everyone else. According to Obama, he admits to youthful indiscretion and wants others to make better choices. Kind of makes you rethink everything a person says when they obviously enjoy using BS as mortar to build their arguments.

So the idea here is that Obama is the wiz behind the curtain pulling knobs and pushing buttons so his minions keep him sated with a constant supply of drug busts. People keep talking about Obama apologists but the flip side is we keep seeing half ass arguments that have little to do with reality. DRUG BUSTS ARE UP! You mean with a substantial increase in legal and illegal drug activity that is marked off by a huge gray line thanks to everyone operating under different rules, busts have increased? Good non-point there.
Obama is waffling on this, and he needs some pushing from his constituency on this. If you want to blame him for that then fantastic but at least bolster your argument factually. I mean, I know it's not going to happen but be aware your selling garbage to people who are not buying.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 2:40 PM on May 27, 2012


Romney...helped hold a dude down and cut his hair, right? I don't think that counts as "cruel humiliation."

Umm, what? See how you feel when you imagine this hypothetical: I hold you down in public at your workplace, call you a sissy, then cut your hair forcibly in front of the group. Bonus points for me having blades by your throat, and me knowing I'll get away with it because I'm popular and you're not.

I suspect you would be wanting me sacked and/or criminally charged. Rightly so, too.
posted by jaduncan at 2:58 PM on May 27, 2012


Obama plays the long game. We've seen him do it repeatedly on issues like DADT. Maybe that's his game here: rev up the opposition to cannabis prohibition by raiding legal dispensaries and growers and increasing discussion over the value of medical cannabis, so that by the time he comes out in support of ending prohibition, there is a groundswell of support on his side. I hope so.

It's 11th dimensional chess, he's so much smarter, you have to excuse his short term excesses in view of the long term game, he's just playing at such a higher level than everyone else, surely he has "my" view in mind for his endgame, after he's reelected, I'm sure he'll show how "progressive/antiwar/antidrug/antidrone/onmysameexactpoliticalwavelength" he is, I'm sure of it, "Hope and Change" couldn't just be a marketing pitch, right?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:00 AM on May 28, 2012


Some locally produced marijuana is transported from Hawaii to the West Coast, primarily California, and to Canada and Mexico by local independent dealers and, to a lesser extent, Mexican criminal groups.

I am having difficulty buying this, but since it's coming from the US Government I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm not sure why the West Coast of Canada would be importing pot from Hawaii, we're hardly in short supply over here. That's before we even start to question how it would be in any way cost effective to ship pot from Hawaii to Canada or Mexico, 2 countries where there's significantly less risk involved in producing.
posted by Hoopo at 2:08 PM on May 28, 2012


It's 11th dimensional chess, he's so much smarter, you have to excuse his short term excesses in view of the long term game, he's just playing at such a higher level than everyone else, surely he has "my" view in mind for his endgame, after he's reelected, I'm sure he'll show how "progressive/antiwar/antidrug/antidrone/onmysameexactpoliticalwavelength" he is, I'm sure of it, "Hope and Change" couldn't just be a marketing pitch, right?

Characterize it that way if you like, but that's quite an exaggeration of what I said. I don't believe Obama is secretly the Progressive Messiah, or whatever it is that people thought when he branded himself Hopey McChange. He has objectively played the long game at least a few times, and gained ground by doing so. It's not such a stretch to think it's possible he's doing it here, or that it would be a desirable thing. It's also entirely likely that he had his mind changed by competing interests and won't be supporting legalization publicly ever, or until it's a done deal through the boldness of others. But, you know, enjoy your mockery and hyperbole.
posted by notashroom at 5:42 PM on May 28, 2012


It isn't 11 dimensional chess. It is a simple pawn sacrafice to setup a trap resulting in a knight or rook capture.
posted by humanfont at 6:00 PM on May 28, 2012


Convenience


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

W.S. Merwin
posted by y2karl at 10:37 PM on May 28, 2012


Umm, what? See how you feel when you imagine this hypothetical: I hold you down in public at your workplace, call you a sissy, then cut your hair forcibly in front of the group. Bonus points for me having blades by your throat, and me knowing I'll get away with it because I'm popular and you're not.

This has happened to males at my last workplace, repeatedly. With the exception of updated language for "sissy." So, yeah, this is not a hypothetical for me. The individuals in question were pissed, but got over it very quickly. I do not see how this is different.
posted by corb at 12:46 PM on May 29, 2012


It's assault dude, that some people might not be upset about it does not mean the attacker should not be held accountable or that someone who does care, decades later, is wrong to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:54 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


In regards to the Obama quote above, what can the president to do enact legalization/decriminalization? In a legal, federal branch sort of way?

As others have said, Barack Obama and Eric Holder could reclassify marijuana as Schedule II or III in less than an hour's work.

The fact that he has not is shameful. There would be less political percussions than declaring his (vague) support for gay marriage.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:58 PM on June 7, 2012


how to handle the influx back to society of the thousands of people currently incarcerated for marijuana offenses

Well that part will be easy because it ain't gonna happen.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:03 PM on June 7, 2012


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