White House: No legalized pot, people, sorry

posted at 9:12 pm on October 31, 2011 by Tina Korbe

All those kids who once upon a time chanted “Yes, we cannabis!” must be sorely disappointed. Earlier this fall, the White House launched its “We the People” initiative to invite more input from the American people. The project allows anyone to submit a petition for government action — and promises an answer to those whose petition obtains a certain number of signatures. (The threshold changes, though. Right now, it stands at 25,000 signatures within 30 days.)

If my experience on a college campus is any indication, advocates for the legalization of marijuana have always been expert at organizing petitions. (They kinda have to be, given that the issue is mostly a fringe issue. How often have you heard it come up in the GOP debates, for example?) So, not surprisingly, it didn’t take them long to line up the necessary signatures to guarantee a response from the White House. WSJ’s Washington Wire reports:

A petition calling for legalization and regulation of marijuana “in a matter similar to alcohol” quickly vaulted into the top position, receiving nearly 75,000 signatures. Four others making similar requests were in the top 10. A total of eight marijuana-related petitions each received more than 5,000 signatures.

Unfortunately for these enthusiastic petitioners, the White House reiterated its ongoing opposition to the drug’s legalization. Wrote Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addictionrespiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20′s. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

Kerlikowske then touted the administration’s “comprehensive” drug control policy, which emphasizes “prevention and treatment.”

That bureaucratically formal answer will do little to increase Obama’s popularity with pragmatic millennial voters, who are among the most liberal on this issue.

Incidentally, as of Oct. 18, more people thought marijuana should be legal than approved of the job the president is doing. As Kerlikowske put it, marijuana is far from benign and increasingly potent. Seems safe to say the American people are similarly disenchanted by the deleterious effect of this administration on the number of jobs in this country.


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But..but..the Constitution was written on hemp paper.
OR something like that.

Electrongod on October 31, 2011 at 9:19 PM

States will keep exercising their rights to legalize medical marijuana, and the feds can shove it.

mythicknight on October 31, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Eat your peas!

SouthernGent on October 31, 2011 at 9:20 PM

(18 and counting)

mythicknight on October 31, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I wonder what all these hippies who smoked pot in the 60′s and now due to “chronic” issues are thinking of the Obama administration now?

upinak on October 31, 2011 at 9:22 PM

The white house’s response on this was pathetic. If you want a good rundown of why its utter BS, read this:

Also, they had the drug czar Mr. Gil Kerlikowske write the response. He is bound by LAW to oppose any efforts of legalization:

http://blog.norml.org/2011/10/29/white-house-response-to-normls-we-the-people-marijuana-legalization-petition/

Anti-legalization Policy
By law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form) of illicit drugs.[12] According to the “Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998″

So the White house didn’t take this thing seriously at all.

thphilli on October 31, 2011 at 9:29 PM

For the record, Gil Kerlikowske is obligated by law to oppose legalization. He is legally mandated to support criminalization in every relavant public statement. Plus, his arguments could easily be applied to alcohol and cigarettes. The whole notion that marijuana is illegal because it is harmful flies in the face of current policy regarding alcohol, cigarettes, and a host of other substances.

ernesto on October 31, 2011 at 9:30 PM

ernesto on October 31, 2011 at 9:30 PM

God help me, I agree with you…too a degree.

bazil9 on October 31, 2011 at 9:33 PM

All one has to do is look at the occupy wall streeters to realize it shouldn’t be legalized.

ctmom on October 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Law enforcement unions spend allot more on presidential campaigns than hippies. If they were to legalize pot, the size of our government might actually decrease…and we can’t have that.

repvoter on October 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM

I’m opposed to legalizing it in my state, but I don’t understand why an amendment was needed to ban alcohol but not marijuana. Well, I kind of do understand; federal departments like the FDA decide what we can and can’t do now. Liberty isn’t the default condition.

Buddahpundit on October 31, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I wonder what all these hippies who smoked pot in the 60′s and now due to “chronic” issues are thinking of the Obama administration now?

Liberty for thee, but not for me.

bmowell on October 31, 2011 at 9:39 PM

All one has to do is look at the occupy wall streeters to realize it shouldn’t be legalized.

ctmom on October 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Conservative tokers would disagree.

MadisonConservative on October 31, 2011 at 9:40 PM

If they were to legalize pot, the size of our government might actually decrease…and we can’t have that.

repvoter on October 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Actually it tends to increase as crime and violence rise following legalization. That is what has typically happened whenever it has been tried elsewhere.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Actually it tends to increase as crime and violence rise following legalization. That is what has typically happened whenever it has been tried elsewhere.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Is that due to the legal use of pot, or due to the lack of revenue for criminals?

MadisonConservative on October 31, 2011 at 9:43 PM

That is what has typically happened whenever it has been tried elsewhere.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:41 PM

The Portuguese would like to have a word with you…

ernesto on October 31, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Actually it tends to increase as crime and violence rise following legalization. That is what has typically happened whenever it has been tried elsewhere.

Got any unbiased sources for that claim?

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Conservative tokers would disagree.

MadisonConservative on October 31, 2011 at 9:40 PM

I dont imbibe but as a fiscal con that leans libertarian I believe it should be legalized. Alcohol is more damaging than the crap excuses Gil Kerlikowske gave. Maybe the GOP should make legalizing it a platform issue. The polls are on their side.

canditaylor68 on October 31, 2011 at 9:46 PM

I’m opposed to legalizing it in my state, but I don’t understand why an amendment was needed to ban alcohol but not marijuana. Well, I kind of do understand; federal departments like the FDA decide what we can and can’t do now. Liberty isn’t the default condition.

Buddahpundit on October 31, 2011 at 9:38 PM

More like Aquabuddhapundit :D , jk. I completely agree with your sentiments. I would also add that when I was in high school in the early 00′s, it was far easier to get street drugs than to get alcohol. Liquor shops ask for ID.

Lawdawg86 on October 31, 2011 at 9:48 PM

But..but..the Constitution was written on hemp paper.
OR something like that.

More to the point, the Constitution was written without so much as a single word that gives the federal government the power to control what plants a person can grow and/or consume within the borders of a state.

Fabozz on October 31, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Actually it tends to increase as crime and violence rise following legalization. That is what has typically happened whenever it has been tried elsewhere.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Cite?

Regardless, I say legalize it much like alcohol – 21 and over.

RedNewEnglander on October 31, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Is that due to the legal use of pot, or due to the lack of revenue for criminals?

MadisonConservative on October 31, 2011 at 9:43 PM

From what I have read its due to the crime associated with the drug trade, legal or otherwise.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:49 PM

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Can you share what you’ve read?

ernesto on October 31, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Cite?

Regardless, I say legalize it much like alcohol – 21 and over.

RedNewEnglander on October 31, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Oh come on guys, who seriously needs evidence for that claim. Everyone knows crime spiked after prohibition was repealed. . . . .

thphilli on October 31, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Big Brownie will not be contributing to PBHO’s campaign in 2012.

Bishop on October 31, 2011 at 9:54 PM

From what I have read its due to the crime associated with the drug trade, legal or otherwise.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Alcohol is a drug completely indistinguishable from marjiuana in the severity of its effects, and its distribution is pretty nonviolent. (Afterwards is arguably a different story, but marijuana famously doesn’t have that problem).

At any rate, the point is moot at the moment. Only Nixon could go to China, and only a Republican will ever legalize pot (whether or not one actually does, of course, is a different story).

HitNRun on October 31, 2011 at 9:55 PM

indistinguishable

HitNRun on October 31, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Err, perhaps that was the wrong word.

HitNRun on October 31, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Can you share what you’ve read?

ernesto on October 31, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Nothing that wouldn’t be ‘unbiased‘ in your opinion. Of that I am sure. Look up the experience of the Netherlands if you are interested… which I doubt.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Some people don’t approve of other people partaking of a substance that can harm their bodies, their looks, and turn them into bums and contributes to the delinquency of too many members of society. Which is why they banned alcohol. Thank heavens for that. And woe be the day they ever repeal that ban. That ban on booze is the only thing preventing this great country from becoming a wasteland of drunks.

And as anyone knows, it is only natural that a liberal conservative be in favor of the federal government spending hundreds of billions of tax dollars to enforce such a law imposed for our own good.

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Obama: Cocaine for me, no pot for thee.

disa on October 31, 2011 at 9:59 PM

We Weeded UP!!

Obama: Everyone Gets ‘Wee Weed Up’ in August
Aug 20 2009
************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTVjab2cHgk

canopfor on October 31, 2011 at 10:00 PM

So it’s OK for the Prez to use cocaine in College, but he turns down the kids today who just want a toke. As consistent and principled as always, I see.

I don’t buy that “bound by law” stuff anymore, Superpresident has been all too willing to suspend prosecution of any laws he doesn’t agree with when it suits his political purposes. If enough pot-heads vote Democrat (or just contribute enough money) I have no doubt the Party of Perpetual Power will vote to legalize it.

Socratease on October 31, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I’m opposed to legalizing it in my state, but I don’t understand why an amendment was needed to ban alcohol but not marijuana.

Because when the 21st Amendment was ratified, there was some lingering sense that the Constitution actually placed meaningful restrictions on the power of the Federal government. That ship, alas, has sailed. Where alcohol prohibition instituted today, it would doubtlessly be done by statute law relying on some absurd commerce clause justification.

And Gil Kerlikowske is a horrible little Nazi tyrant is either a fool or mendacious liar.

CTD on October 31, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Oops!
=====

Obama Needs To Honor His Medical Marijuana Campaign Promise
July 4 2011
***********

“What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state [medical marijuana] laws.”

Barack Obama, Oregon Mail Tribune, March 22, 2008

Last week, without any public comment, President Obama broke the above campaign promise to medical marijuana patients when his Justice Department issued a new departmental policy for enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states with medical marijuana programs.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole stated that while federal prosecutors should not go after sick and dying individuals, they may choose to prosecute businesses that provide marijuana to patients, even when the providers are abiding by state law.
(More…)
===============

http://www.theweedblog.com/obama-needs-to-honor-his-medical-marijuana-campaign-promise/

canopfor on October 31, 2011 at 10:10 PM

NewsFlash!

The Hopey/Changey Regime has gone to pot,details at 11!!
(snark).

canopfor on October 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Meanwhile…………………………

Obama to sign order directing FDA to ease prescription drug shortages, White House official says – Reuters

6:03am Oct 31, 2011
*******************

http://www.breakingnews.com/item/ahBicmVha2luZ25ld3Mtd3d3cg0LEgRTZWVkGOGZlQUM/2011/10/31/obama-to-sign-order-directing-fda-to-ease-prescription-drug-shortages-white-house-official-says-reuters

canopfor on October 31, 2011 at 10:17 PM

It would be great for a Republican candidate to come along and announce that he plans to decriminalize marijuana on a federal level, but that he is going to give the states a 90 day period to enact their own laws. A true 10th amendment believer basically.

thphilli on October 31, 2011 at 10:23 PM

As Kerlikowske put it, marijuana is far from benign and increasingly potent.

You’re young, so I can forgive your not knowing this, but that scare tactic has never held any water. Marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol (by orders of magnitude, going by LD50 toxicity) and the dubious potency claims (the concentration of trichomes known as hash has, after all, been around for millennia) are irrelevant in any case, given that people generally smoke until they’re as high as they want to be and then stop — more potent marijuana just means people smoke less, which is slightly better for them.

TallDave on October 31, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Look up the experience of the Netherlands if you are interested… which I doubt.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Is that the Netherlands that has lower cannabis, heroin and cocaine usage rates than the US?

That Netherlands?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:35 PM

As Kerlikowske put it, marijuana is far from benign and increasingly potent.

ROFL sure. Also I love the link to the “potancy” paper.

SirGawain on October 31, 2011 at 11:19 PM

All one has to do is look at the occupy wall streeters to realize it shouldn’t be legalized.

ctmom on October 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM

+ 1000. It sounds like we are the only 2 who haven’t been stoned!

Bambi on October 31, 2011 at 11:25 PM

So many years ago, I remember walking by Drug Czar William Bennett office in the Old Executive Office Building and seeing his secretary smoking a cigarette. It was shocking even then.

thuja on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 PM

So many years ago, I remember walking by Drug Czar William Bennett office in the Old Executive Office Building and seeing his secretary smoking a cigarette. It was shocking even then.

thuja on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Years ago, I walked into a tiny BBQ joint and saw Chief Justice Renquist alone at a corner table eating a sandwich while reading a magazine with BBQ sauce smeared all over lower half of his face.

I did a triple take.

rickyricardo on October 31, 2011 at 11:37 PM

Obama did drugs and was stupid enough to write about it.

They just want what Obama got to do.

Our “experimental” president gone badly wrong.

How do I despise thee? Let me count the ways….

Sherman1864 on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM

White House Correspondent Gushes Over Obama’s Blood Pressure: It’s ‘Superhuman’
Monday, October 31, 2011 10:06:21 PM · by chessplayer · 54 replies
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/10/31/politicos-white-house-correspondent-gushes-over-obamas-blood-pressure ^

I’ve always thought he was an alien.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on October 31, 2011 at 11:47 PM

but cigarettes and booze which actually kills people… that’s fine and dandy.

what Obama means to say is that “we will not dare give the republicans a campaign commercial that says Obama gave drugs to your children.”

Kaptain Amerika on October 31, 2011 at 11:49 PM

They kinda have to be, given that the issue is mostly a fringe issue.

42% of Americans have smoked marijuana. I don’t see how something that mainstream can be a fringe issue.

It’s insulting for the Obama administration to have a cop with no medical training offer the official response to this petition. Says Kerlikowske “Simply put, it is not a benign drug.” No, but it is more benign than alcohol and nicotine. Cannabinoids are not physically addictive. Even caffeine is more addictive. Cannabinoids can’t kill you (caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can and do kill people). It makes a wonderful painkiller, as many chronic pain sufferers have discovered. There is no reasonable argument for its continued illegality.

Mark Jaquith on November 1, 2011 at 2:00 AM

There is no reasonable argument for its continued illegality.

Mark Jaquith on November 1, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Other than it’s the destroyer of youth and makes you a Godless commie who hates freedom and the American flag, that is. Here – drink this booze instead.

:-)

Good Lt on November 1, 2011 at 7:54 AM

There is no reasonable argument for its continued illegality.

Mark Jaquith on November 1, 2011 at 2:00 AM

There probably is but it would be wasted on you.

SKYFOX on November 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Good. Don’t legalize it. Actually it should be RELEGALIZE, as it should never have been made illegal in the first place. Keeping it illegal keeps the price down, they would tax it worse than cigarettes and alcohol if it were relegalized. The Cannabis Trade is the last vestige of true Free Market Capitalism left. So thanks guys for not putting the Government’s slimy hands all over a beautiful thing. God’s own medicine.

adamsmith on November 1, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Obama said he would save us billions by bring home everyone from Iraq and releasing all the prisoners at Gitmo… and he did.
The dopers only assumed he would be as consistent about dope.

Observation on November 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Looks like HA has a lot of “persons who advocate?” reading and commenting.
Personally it should stay just like it is in Cali, nobody taxing my crop, nobody bugging me about what I put in my body.
No paying a cartel or the joke that Dispensaries have become,either,
Bob
Conservatarian

Bobnormal on November 1, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Legalized pot would be un-taxable… unless they made it a crime to grow your own. It is a weed and with minimal care can be grown in a quantity far above the consumption level of the average individual…
-
Not only that, the potency can be jacked up even after harvesting just by storing it correctly (incorrectly actually).
-
I know the law currently allows wine and beer production for personal consumption… but very few grow their own tobacco. Why? It’s not as easy as a weed to grow, and the post harvest prep is pretty involved, and a good taste is not easy to achieve…
-
With pot… a few seeds next to the tomatoes and… bang! You toking maaaaan……. Let’s see the government make any money on that… Believe me… alcohol sales would suffer too… (the drug of last resort for many pot smokers)… more taxes lost.
-
This will be a fight to the death because the governement see it as a lose-lose situation. No taxes, and no taxes.

-

RalphyBoy on November 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms.

In other words, it’s too much like alcohol and those guys pay us LOTS and LOTS of money to keep competition off the store shelves.

Note – This is not an endorsement of smoking pot. It’s an observation on the absurdity of our government’s “war on drugs”.

Benaiah on November 1, 2011 at 1:42 PM

With pot… a few seeds next to the tomatoes and… bang! You toking maaaaan…

Sure, if you like ditch weed, how do you think we get our weed so potent? Out back next to the ‘Matoes? Hardly.
If you don’t know don’t guess, :)
Bob

Bobnormal on November 1, 2011 at 1:56 PM

California decriminalized marijuana in 1976, and, within the first six months, arrests for driving under the influence of drugs rose 46 percent for adults and 71.4 percent for juveniles.Decriminalizing marijuana in Alaska and Oregon in the 1970s resulted in the doubling of use.

NeverLiberal on November 2, 2011 at 1:46 AM

RalphyBoy on November 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Most people would not feel like growing it themselves. People can grow their own tobacco but how many people actually do? If drugs were legalized, there would be endless lawsuits against drug companies and a slew of new laws would be required to govern its selling. Legalizing drugs would only serve to increase the size and role of government.

NeverLiberal on November 2, 2011 at 1:57 AM