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It’s time for Obama to end the war on Marijuana if for nothing else than for the sake of empathy, or rather his ability to walk in the shoes of Marijuana users.

Details from a new book Barack Obama: The Story contains in-depth details about his frequent marijuana use as a young man. Although Obama admitted to using marijuana in his memoir Dreams From My Father, we now learn for example that Obama was a frequently indulging aficionado who was a big fan of hot boxing in cars
http://justsaynow.firedoglake.com/...
I am so glad that Obama did not incur a criminal record due to his marijuana use. Otherwise, he might not have become our President and a man I admire and respect. Republicans would surely have manipulated any such record as a vicious attack against him.

But not everyone is as fortunate as Obama.

While Obama was lucky enough not to get a criminal record for his mostly harmless marijuana use, hundreds of thousands of other Americans this year were not as fortunate, especially young African American and Latino males who are disproportionally arrested at much higher rates for marijuana. Many of these young people will be burdened with a records that could permanently hurt their employment prospects and they will lose the federal support they need to attend college.
So Mr. President, I think you should place yourself in their shoes. I think you should realize that you too were once like them. Your innocuous marijuana use as a youth harmed no one and it did not cause any damage to your life in the long run. You did not become addicted to marijuana. You turned out alright. In fact you turned out more than alright. You turned out to be the most powerful man in the world.

As FDL goes on to note:

If Obama were a young man today and got arrested for his marijuana use under our currently policy, the negative consequences from such an arrest could easily have stopped him from ever becoming President. Clearly, the actual use of marijuana didn’t hurt Obama by making him less successful, but the consequences of our prohibition easily could have. But not only does Obama support maintaining this current drug policy, which is more damaging to people than the drug itself, but his administration has taken the federal war against medical marijuana to new heights.
So Mr. President, end this absurd war on Marijuana. Let future children just like you grow up to be doctors, lawyers, engineers and yes…even Presidents.

Originally posted to Shawn on Sat May 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My daugher has grown up using sign language (18+ / 0-)

    because her brother, my son, is deaf.  She went to school to formalize her education and applied for a state job at the Washington School for the Deaf as an Interpreter.  She's very good at sign language.  They hired her almost immediately, then a week later let her go because they found an arrest for the weed on her record when she was 16.  Two joints.  She not only can't become President, she can't become a sign language interpreter with the state.  For two joints.  
    The hyprocrisy of those who make our laws is off the charts.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 26, 2012 at 10:56:35 AM PDT

  •  I'd love to see the president "evolve" on this (9+ / 0-)

    issue the way he did on marriage equality, but I don't think it's going to happen, and I honestly don't know why. I don't know anyone who votes who would go crazy over marijuana decriminalization. And I know he's smart enough to know that this is such a shameful waste of resources.

    I think that we're going to be stuck with the status quo on this for a very long time. Which is not to say that we shouldn't push for it- we've seen that sometimes pressure does work. But I think it's going to be a very long battle, and probably over a generation away.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sat May 26, 2012 at 10:58:30 AM PDT

  •  This is worth posting again, Penn Jillette's rant (4+ / 0-)

    on marijuana and Obama's hypocrisy.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Sat May 26, 2012 at 11:09:00 AM PDT

  •  Hmm... Tricky (3+ / 0-)

    I had heard about this, and considered diarying it. My first reaction was almost exactly what you've written here. I agree with you, strongly.

    But I wonder how the President and his camp took the news. I wonder also how it will be spun. The shroud of reefer madness still covers a ridiculous amount of Americans.

    Some other excerpts from Barack Obama: The Story

    As a member of the Choom Gang, Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends. The first was called "TA," short for "total absorption." To place this in the physical and political context of another young man who would grow up to be president, TA was the antithesis of Bill Clinton's claim that as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled.

    _

    Along with TA, Barry popularized the concept of "roof hits": when they were chooming in the car all the windows had to be rolled up so no smoke blew out and went to waste; when the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling.

    ___

    When you were with Barry and his pals, if you exhaled precious pakalolo (Hawaiian slang for marijuana, meaning "numbing tobacco") instead of absorbing it fully into your lungs, you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around. "Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated,"

    Yep, despite President Obama's words and actions concerning marijuana I thought it was exceedingly awesome that my President enjoyed marijuana so much. But I can't say I approve of this bogartry
    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.
    I mind. You know that pesky black-market markup thing means that grass is far from as cheap as grass anymore. Put in, man. (snark)

    Seriously, though, within the reefer madness mythos all of that is very disturbing behavior, and how much or how little the Republicans try to capitalize on that is restricted only by their will to be dishonest lying snakes. I think we will agree here that part of them is not in short supply.

    All of that said, his propensity to play it extremely safe on this issue makes the hypocrisy as thick as hotboxed double-doobie smoke.  

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

    by Hammerhand on Sat May 26, 2012 at 12:06:55 PM PDT

  •  How? You can't really change drug policy by (0+ / 0-)

    executive order. And Congress will immediately overrule it even if he tries. I bet by enormous majority.

    •  He can stop doing this for starters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, too many people
      President Barack Obama’s emphasis on raiding medical marijuana dispensaries drew a rebuke from none other than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this week, who warned in a prepared statement that she has “strong concerns” about her political ally’s policy.

      Since President Barack Obama took office, “more than 200″ state-approved medical marijuana facilities have been raided, according to Kris Hermes, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access (ASA), who spoke to Raw Story on Thursday.

      “That exceeds the number of raids his predecessor, George W. Bush, oversaw during his entire eight years in office,” he said.
      http://www.rawstory.com/...

  •  Why is this addressed to the President? (0+ / 0-)

    Do you think he personally ordered the raids, or that he's going to expend political capital to stop them in an election year?  You just sound ignorant saying this shit.

    Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

    by Troubadour on Sat May 26, 2012 at 11:14:47 PM PDT

    •  Yes. Let's read the quotes again from FDL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      too many people, Hammerhand
      But not only does Obama support maintaining this current drug policy, which is more damaging to people than the drug itself, but his administration has taken the federal war against medical marijuana to new heights.
      I am not going to link it because, I already did in my diary.

      Now let's read a Rolling Stone Article:

      Back when he was running for president in 2008, Barack Obama insisted that medical marijuana was an issue best left to state and local governments. "I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue," he vowed, promising an end to the Bush administration's high-profile raids on providers of medical pot, which is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

      But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst."

      http://www.rollingstone.com/...

      •  That's called a claim, not a fact. (0+ / 0-)

        And the fact that it's from FDL speaks loads.  Why don't you go there and post this bullshit?  Or do they consider this insufficiently anti-Obama?

        Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

        by Troubadour on Sat May 26, 2012 at 11:32:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a fact I even cited the statistics. Once more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          too many people, Hammerhand

          here it is again.

          With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts.

          http://www.rollingstone.com/...

          If you don't like those facts contact Rolling Stone Magazine.

          http://www.rollingstone.com/...

          Tell me what they think of you after you do.

          •  That's called a correlation. (0+ / 0-)

            Once again, zero evidence of the actual claim.

            Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

            by Troubadour on Sat May 26, 2012 at 11:40:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not a correlation when the Obama admin (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              too many people, Hammerhand

              is doing it. Why don't you just read the RollingStone Article instead of asking me to spoonfeed you information like a baby.

              One more time for even those that are not the sharpest tools in the tool-shed:

              the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.

              Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/...

              If you respond to me define what Obama administration means. Define what unleashed means and define what crackdown means.

              Stop being intellectually lazy and actually read what I give you and what I quote blatantly.

              If you still are not convinced sue Rolling Stone Magazine or compel them to make a retraction.

              As long as they have the article up I will cite it and make the same conclusion they did.

              •  There should be a few question marks in my above (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hammerhand

                response but I am too tired and made a few grammatical errors.

              •  "It's not a correlation when the Obama admin (0+ / 0-)

                is doing it."  

                I rest my case.  You don't seem to know what the hell you're talking about, even down to a basic understanding of how the Executive branch functions.  In your world, it's all some magical fiat process where the President sets out a design and it becomes the shape of what the other hundreds of thousands of federal employees do.  You don't know what you're talking about, and you obviously don't care that you don't.  This diary is totally fucking useless to the issue it claims to represent.

                Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:26:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah yes! That's why my diary on the same subject (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hammerhand

                  was on the recommended list and had over 200 recs. The diary is here:

                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  It's called Nancy Pelosi Wants Obama to Stop Raiding Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

                  So thank you Troubadour, over 200 people agree that I don't know what I am talking about. You have shown me the light!

                  •  You'll keep repeating the same BS claims (0+ / 0-)

                    no matter what anyone says, or what reality is.  USELESS.  Please, consider some day doing something that is of some use to someone.  Right now you're just being a tool to the people you probably, dimwittedly believe you're fighting.

                    Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                    by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 12:46:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Since you believe Obama is a hero on this issue (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hammerhand

                      sign the petition, which urges him to reschedule marijuana. That's within his control and power:

                      http://action.firedoglake.com/...

                      President Obama can reschedule marijuana without congressional approval.

                      Since you claim I am useless why don't you be of use and demand that Obama reschedule marijuana without congressional approval?

                      •  I agree it should be rescheduled. (0+ / 0-)

                        There is no scientific or medical basis for it to be Schedule I.  However, I'm not going to demand it in the middle of an election year, and I'm not going to fucking lie and claim he's personally attacking medical marijuana because he's not personally intervening to stop the DEA and its vast network of associated business interests from doing so.  If you've spent more time demanding things from him and accusing him of shit than you've spent campaigning for him, then yes, what you're doing is useless, degenerate, toolish bullshit.  Present your petition to President Romney, asshole.

                        Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                        by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 02:01:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I guess Raw Story is lying too then? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Hammerhand
                          President Barack Obama’s emphasis on raiding medical marijuana dispensaries drew a rebuke from none other than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this week, who warned in a prepared statement that she has “strong concerns” about her political ally’s policy.
                          http://www.rawstory.com/...
                          It seems everyone is lying except you Troubadour. By the way you were banned at least twice from this blog already. You sure you want to start a flame-war and get banned again? Kos also said he doesn't like personal attacks.
                          The first thing to remember when writing a comment is that it is going to be read by other people. Personal attacks are strongly discouraged. If you disagree with what someone is saying, express your disagreement, but don't go directly after the other person. Because tone of voice and facial expressions are lost in online discussions, it's easy for something to be taken the wrong way. Flame wars do nobody any good.
                          http://www.dkosopedia.com/...
                          Calling me an asshole is a personal attack.

                          I can report you to Kos and we will see what he thinks, how about that? If I were you I would chill out!

                          •  When will you stop circularly-citing (0+ / 0-)

                            other people's opinions as evidence of your own?  When will you simply tell the truth?  That's what marijuana issues boil down to - wanting the federal government to reflect the truth.  If you can't hold yourself to a basic standard of fact in the things you say, then what the hell good is anything you say going to be for an issue like this?  You're just acting like another rabid ideologue mindlessly berserking against someone because they're prominent.

                            Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                            by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 03:35:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I cited everything I said. You did not do the same (0+ / 0-)

                            and wrote some incoherent and ambiguous sentences, without reference or citation to backup your claims.

                            I think we can tell who is lying and who is telling the truth. Hint it ain't me and I have the links to prove it.

                          •  Should say it ain't me lying nt. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  There is zero evidence (0+ / 0-)

                            that the President directly ordered or supports these raids.  Zero, none, zilch.  You simply make the claim without evidence, and cite other people who make the claim without evidence.  Show me a speech, show me an Executive Order, show me a direct appointee of the President who has done so.  Otherwise just admit you're obsessing on him like some stalker.

                            Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                            by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:46:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here is your evidence with quotes (0+ / 0-)
                            Obama said. "I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana -- and the reason is, because it's against federal law."

                            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                            Which means that he is okay with raids on producers of marijuana.

                            However, President Obama can reschedule marijuana without congressional approval.

                            He had plenty of time to do it and he didn't do so.

                          •  From the article: (0+ / 0-)
                            The president continued: "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.' As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes."
                            Sounds like he doesn't support making marijuana raids a priority, but won't directly intervene to stop agencies from doing so.  In other words, not what you're claiming.  Usually when you present "proof" of something, it should prove the thing you're claiming, not involve no proof to that effect and significant evidence to the contrary.  Oops.

                            Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                            by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:07:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He is lying! (0+ / 0-)

                            Because,

                            President Barack Obama’s emphasis on raiding medical marijuana dispensaries drew a rebuke from none other than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this week, who warned in a prepared statement that she has “strong concerns” about her political ally’s policy.

                            Since President Barack Obama took office, “more than 200″ state-approved medical marijuana facilities have been raided, according to Kris Hermes, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access (ASA), who spoke to Raw Story on Thursday.
                            http://www.rawstory.com/...

                            and,
                            Obama deliberately led everyone to believe that his DOJ would stop targeting facilities that operated legally under state law. That's why everyone is pissed off that the raids haven't stopped. If I misinterpreted his words, then so did most of the marijuana reform movement, the entire American press, and several state legislatures. When the Obama Administration's pledge to respect state laws was making front-page headlines, they sure as hell didn't speak up to clarify that they'd meant no such thing.
                            http://stopthedrugwar.org/...
                          •  So when you think what he says (0+ / 0-)

                            supports your bigotry, it's proof, and when it contradicts your bigotry, he's lying.  In other words, there is no combination of facts that will stop you from believing as an article of faith that President Obama is an evil, evil scumbag trying to rob cancer patients.  Just go join the Tea Party and stop playing these idiotic games.

                            Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

                            by Troubadour on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:45:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nah. I am a liberal in fact a socialist-anarchist (0+ / 0-)

                            I rather have Obama than Romney or any Right Winger for that matter as President, so I think I will stay with the progressive movement.

                            You however, can check yourself out of my diary and don't let the door hit your behind on the way out.

                          •  Here are more lies (0+ / 0-)
                            I don't know how one could fairly characterize this as anything other than complete nonsense. Obama wants credit for stopping the arrests of medical marijuana users, which is just ridiculous on its face. It's not like the federal government was bringing misdemeanor possession cases against sick grandmas until Obama came along. That was never the issue and he knows it.

                            This is a debate about whether the federal government should be stomping on state-regulated medical marijuana programs, thwarting the will of voters, prosecuting responsible providers, and depriving patients of access to their medicine. The President said, "I will not be using justice department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue," and that statement was made in response to repeated questions about whether the Obama Administration would continue the deeply unpopular dispensary raids that began under Bush. Nobody thought he talking about something else.
                            http://stopthedrugwar.org/...

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