Oh, what's this here? A video of Penn Jillette talking about Barack Obama's drug policies as President. This ought to be pretty funny…
Oh, wow. That wasn't funny at all. Like, at all! Some of that stuff was actually the opposite of funny, assuming that the opposite of funny is really intense and kind of scary.
Anyone know where I can get a little something to take the edge off?.
Tags: Barack Obama, Crime, Drugs, Marijuana, Penn Jillette
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Barack Obama was reminded of his 2008 campaign pledge to not "use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws about medical marijuana."
It's a promise broken, with federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries exceeding the number of enforcement actions under the Bush administration. Obama's crackdown on medical pot culminated in a raid on Oaksterdam University earlier this month, because apparently Oakland is free of other public safety threats. What's up with that, O-bummer?
Here's what's up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana [dispensaries] — and the reason is, because it's against federal law. 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.
That is some fine, high-grade OG-Kush-potency bullshit. Reason magazine points to a 2008 interview in which candidate Obama was explicitly asked whether he'd stop Drug Enforcement Agency raids on growers and responded by saying, "I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism."
As for Obama's powerlessness in the face of federal law, we're caught in a catch-22. On the one hand, marijuana use is banned. At the same time, it's impossible to understand the administration's position on executive authority without being a little high. President Obama, you see, can unilaterally decide which American citizens to assassinate using drone strikes without congressional authorization or judicial oversight, but he can't ask federal prosecutors to downgrade federal drug cases. It's a problematic position, especially since the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance is a determination made by executive agencies, not Congressional action.
With so much evidence arrayed against current policy, many critics of the Obama position insist that campaign contributions from the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries prevent a saner policy toward drug use and medical marijuana in particular. If that's the case, anti-prohibitionists are going to need their own large donors in 2012. I'm looking at you, Big Funyun.
Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Drugs, Health, Marijuana
Gazillionaire and marijuana legalization-advocate Richard Branson on what he and the President talked about at the White House dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron the other night…
"I asked him if I could have a spliff."
Branson claims he's only joking. He also claims the White House didn't have any.
Tags: Barack Obama, Drugs, Marijuana, Money, Quote Unquote, Richard Branson
The world's most powerful turtle, Senator Mitch McConnell recently stuck his neck out to explain to a constituent why he was opposed to legislation, sponsored by Ron Paul and Barney Frank, which would legalize marijuana at the federal level. McConnell's reasoning? Weed Kills…
"Because of the harm that substances like marijuana and other narcotics pose to our society, I have concerns about this legislation. The detrimental effects of drugs have been well documented: short-term memory loss, loss of core motor functions, heightened risk of lung disease, and even death," McConnell wrote.
Everything about that statement seems accurate except for one common misspelling. I think the harmful substance McConnell described is spelled B-O-U-R-B-O-N and T-O-B-A-C-C-O, which Kentucky produces in abundance. The CDC reported 24,518 alcohol-induced deaths for the last year data was available. Cannabis-induced death doesn't exist as a statistical category, though in fairness to prohibitionists, Funyun-induced death is very much an issue considering our nation's obesity problem.
Nevertheless, many officials agree with McConnell. The Obama administration has been aggressive in shutting down medical marijuana operations, drug arrests during Obama's first year in office were higher than they were in George Bush's first year, and federal funding for the War on Drugs has risen.
Maybe the President, who like the two presidents before him has had experience with recreational drugs, believes that the state has to forcibly intervene lest young people be led down the same path he's traveled. If only Barack Obama's youth included an arrest record instead of benign neglect, he wouldn't have to deal with people like Mitch McConnell today. He's just protecting Americans from the outrageous stress that an arrest-free youth can bring in successful adulthood.
It's compelling logic, especially if you don't wait around for legalization while trying to follow it.
Related: Pat Robertson, Pothead
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Drugs, Marijuana, Mitch McConnell, Ron Paul
What does Pat Robertson have in common with Cheech and Chong, apart from a fondness for offensive racial stereotypes? Apparently, they all love pot.
The televangelist doesn't use the stuff himself but he does support its legalization…
"I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol," Mr. Robertson said in an interview on Wednesday. "I've never used marijuana and I don't intend to, but it's just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn't succeeded."
Mr. Robertson's remarks echoed statements he made last week on "The 700 Club," the signature program of his Christian Broadcasting Network, and other comments he made in 2010.
While those earlier remarks were largely dismissed by his followers, Mr. Robertson has now apparently fully embraced the idea of legalizing marijuana, arguing that it is a way to bring down soaring rates of incarceration and reduce the social and financial costs.
It makes sense that a man who believes gay people caused Hurricane Katrina would endorse a mind-altering substance. He's already living in a delusional fantasyland. Why not let others join him?
Let's face it, marijuana is probably the only thing that could make a Christian rock concert bearable. And just like a pothead, Pat Robertson would freak out during a planetarium laser show about the Big Bang.
Fun fact: If you watch The 700 Club while high, it's like Robertson is actually coming out of the screen and calling you a sodomite.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Christianity, Drugs, Laws, Marijuana, Pat Robertson