Obama Supports Gang Violence with White House Policies

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Obama Supports Gang Violence with White House Policies

Postby palmspringsbum » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:00 am

Send2Press wrote:Obama Supports Gang Violence with White House Policies Says Pastor Craig X Rubin

Fri, 27 Mar 2009, 12:28:01 EST
Edited by Carly Zander


LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 27 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Pastor Rubin of The Family Church takes donations for medical marijuana at his Beverly Hills Green Cross located at 2370 Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles. The Pastor says, "Obama is missing the boat on cannabis and Clinton's policy promotes the type of violence we are seeing in Mexico rather than ending it."

Harvard economist Jeffery Miron recently wrote an opinion piece where he directly placed the blame on the violence in Mexico and America as coming from prohibition or the profits created by the "Drug War," which in reality is a war on marijuana as 85-percent of all drug arrests are for marijuana with nearly one million Americans arrested annually.

Speaking out against a government sponsored prohibition at a top university could mean losing your job even in a free country, but the fact is a majority of the country agrees with Miron. It is the White House that seems to be out of step with the American people in this one. In the article Miron noted, "There was no violence associated with the alcohol industry before or after prohibition." The article goes on to show the direct correlation between prohibition and violence noting the violence occurring in Mexico.

The President finally commented today regarding marijuana with the words. "We took votes about which questions were going to be asked, and I think 3.5 million people voted. I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high," the President could have said one subject, "and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience...(Laughter)...this was a fairly popular question. We want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no. I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy."

Not much of an answer for the number one subject as Obama joked about an "on-line audience," hinting that people on-line were high on pot. It was the on-line crowd that believed in Obama and famously raised money for him during the election. President Obama has promised to listen to the voice of the people, but he continues to ignore that voice. During the worst economic crisis in decades the top four questions under the heading of "Financial Security" concerned marijuana.

The White House gives credit to marijuana organizers, but Pastor Rubin gives credit to God stating, "God created marijuana and Ron Paul. Liberty is not dead in this country." The pastor was joking regarding law enforcement's warning regarding Republicans with American flags, Ron Paul or alternative bumper stickers being dangerous.

When it came to the heading of "Budget" marijuana was in the top four positions as well. Marijuana has been part of America's economic past having been grown by nearly all of the Founding Fathers including George Washington. Under the heading "Jobs" marijuana questions were in the first and third positions.

Pastor Rubin knows that cannabis creates jobs as he was unemployed until he opened the Beverly Hills Green Cross. Rubin played the owner of a medical marijuana club on Showtime's Weeds, but was arrested for doing it in real life back in 2006. Rubin stated, "I think the judge recognized the economic potential better than Obama. It allows me to support my wife and seven children."

Marijuana questions also topped President Obama's list under "health care reform" and "green jobs and energy." This could be because the DEA seems to be ignoring Attorney General Eric Holder's request that cannabis clubs actually be violating state law before they kick down the doors at these state sanctioned patient dispensaries. This week the DEA raided a medical marijuana club in San Francisco without the assistance of local authorities who claimed they were not informed of the raid ahead of time.

This action would seem to contradict the Attorney General's earlier statements that patient clubs were not going to be raided unless there were violating both state and federal law. So far, the DEA refused to say what state law had been violated or why they were suddenly enforcing state law.

www.BeverlyHillsGreenCross.org - coming soon

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Hey Obama, those potheads have a point

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:05 am

The Philadelphia News Examiner wrote:Hey Obama, those potheads have a point

The Philadelphia News Examiner
by Jane Roh | 27 Mar 2009

It's a little depressing that the top question asked of President Obama during yesterday's virtual town hall had to do with legalizing marijuana. Obama gamely answered it, though, first by poking fun at the questioners ("I don’t know what this says about the online audience") and then saying he didn't think legalization was a good way to help the economy.

Twitterers were upset, though, according to the Christian Science Monitor. (Pretty sure I know what that says about Twitterers.) Responses ran along the vein of this one, from @frekur: "Honestly? Obama is disappointing … me right now. Made a joke out of marijuana, and dismissed entirely universal healthcare."

Make fun of tokers all you want -- I frequently do -- but there's a serious point to be made here.

To say that the war on drugs is a failure is an understatement when you factor in all the innocent blood shed and lives lost in this pointless fight. Americans are finally waking up to the damages south of our border, mainly because of the very real threat it poses to border states. This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first major American politician to acknowledge our role in this failure.

"Clearly what we've been doing has not worked," Clinton said at the start of a two-day trip to Mexico. "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police, of soldiers and civilians."

A report from the EU for a U.N. conference on drug policy earlier this month found that drugs have become even cheaper in the West and that there was "no evidence that the global drug problem has been reduced during the period from 1998 to 2007."

Few dispute the damage narcotics cause. But as the saying goes, if what we're doing isn't working it's insane to keep doing it in the hope that it will. According to the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, production of cocaine and opium hasn't changed from a decade ago, while production of marijuana has grown. Cocaine use in the States is down, but is higher than it was in the 1990s. Meanwhile, cocaine use is on the rise in Europe, according to an Economist analysis.

That a publication as conservative and staid as the Economist advocates legalizing drugs as "the least bad option" should be a wake-up call. Legalization of hard narcotics like heroin or cocaine will almost certainly never happen in the United States, at least in our lifetimes, for political reasons mostly. Since drugs and drug violence disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, there's little incentive for those who walk the halls of Congress to take radical steps to change drug policy.

But if there's ever been a shot at rational drug policy reform, it's now. Barack Obama is the first president in recent memory to have understood that the bifurcated state of the capital he lives in -- one half white and powerful, the other half black or brown and poor -- should not stand. When TV anchors wonder aloud whether the chaos in Mexico could happen here, they should just drive all the way through D.C. It's already happening here.

That the nation is once again being governed from the cities after eight years of rural rule is a good and hopeful thing. One of Obama's campaign pledges was to shift the focus from lockup to treatment for drug offenders. Considering the makeup of Congress, that's suddenly become possible. The easiest thing to get done -- legalizing medical marijuana -- is already getting done. Obama's decision to quit going after medical pot facilities in states where they're legal has opened the door for other states like New Hampshire and New Jersey to start the process of legalization. That's a good start.

More difficult to realize will be the steps advocated by the Economist:
<blockquote>"Legalisation would not only drive away the gangsters; it would transform drugs from a law-and-order problem into a public-health problem, which is how they ought to be treated. Governments would tax and regulate the drug trade, and use the funds raised (and the billions saved on law-enforcement) to educate the public about the risks of drug-taking and to treat addiction. The sale of drugs to minors should remain banned."</blockquote>Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley summed up the opposition to legalization last week when he complained, "Marijuana is a gateway to higher drugs."

Please. Marijuana is a gateway to Cheetos consumption. Thankfully, the issue of medical marijuana will soon be a non-starter, as those who oppose its use by cancer patients are generally older. And even under the Bush administration the government relaxed its drug policies for new hires. So: Hope. And maybe even Change, someday.

To better understand where our drug policies went wrong, this must-read 2007 Rolling Stone piece from Ben Wallace-Wells should suffice.

[UPDATE] Looks like Change is on the way: Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., are fronting prison reform legislation that includes an overhaul of U.S. drug policy.

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President Obama -- Out of Touch, or A Hypocrite?

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:54 am

The Salem-News wrote:<small>Salem-News.com (Mar-28-2009 14:17)</small>

President Obama -- Out of Touch, or A Hypocrite?

Erin Hildebrandt

<span class=postbold>When I think about the vast numbers of people who are serving time for nothing more than marijuana possession, and the havoc incarceration wreaks on them, their families, and everyone they will meet in the future, I'm very sad.</span>


(SALEM, Ore.) - On Thursday, March 26th, President Obama hosted an Internet town hall meeting, inviting the public to submit and vote on questions to be asked about the economy.

It was exciting to see that several of the most popular submissions were questioning the economic wisdom of continuing the drug war, and specifically the war on marijuana consumers, in these tough economic times.

Unfortunately, while the President clearly got the message that there's tremendous public interest in this issue, he seemed to be out of touch with the realities of today's drug war.

His only response was to joke, "There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high, and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation, (and I don't know what this says about the online audience).

The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy."

Although there were many questions asked about cannabis, most had little if anything to do with legalizing it to "grow our economy."

People were asking very serious questions related to the massacres south of our border, and whether bringing the drug profits funding them into a legal, taxed, and regulated market might help turn the tide. They were asking our President if he believes that chasing down cannabis consumers is really a wise use of our scarce resources in these difficult economic times. But he turned this important discussion into a tasteless, offensive joke, disparaging the citizens he had asked to submit questions in the first place.

Considering our tax dollars are spent to incarcerate more of our citizens per capita than any other nation, not to mention the societal costs of having 1 in 31 adult Americans behind bars or on parole or probation, this seems to me to be a serious issue.

Adding in the cost of all of the lives lost and families torn apart in an ideological and hypocritical pursuit of a "drug free America," (brought to you by Merck and Pfizer, of course), I don't understand what President Obama found so funny.

When I think about the vast numbers of people who are serving time for nothing more than marijuana possession, and the havoc incarceration wreaks on them, their families, and everyone they will meet in the future, I'm very sad. In addition to being punished through the loss of their freedom, there's also the enormous risk of prison rape. People who've ever been incarcerated more than 72 hours are not allowed to donate plasma because the doctors assume they've been raped and may have contracted a blood-borne disease. There's nothing funny about that.

Again, I don't understand what President Obama finds funny about any of this. Maybe it's only funny if you got away with using cannabis and became President, and you never again have to worry about being arrested, incarcerated, raped, and stigmatized for life.

<hr class=postrule>
<small>Erin Hildebrandt wears many hats. She's wife to Bill Hildebrandt, mom to five beautiful kids, activist, artist, legally registered Oregon medical marijuana patient, public speaker, and an internationally published writer. She co-founded Parents Ending Prohibition, and her writing has been printed in Mothering Magazine, New York's Newsday, and Canada's National Post, among many others. Erin has been interviewed for a front page story in USA Today, and she has been published in the American Bar Association Journal. Speaking as a survivor of child sexual abuse, Erin also appeared on the Geraldo Rivera show. She has also testified before Oregon Senate and House committees, and Maryland Senate and House committees. We are very pleased to feature the work of Erin Hildebrandt on Salem-News.com.</small>

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Marijuana No Laughing Matter, Mr. President

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:11 pm

The Huffington Post wrote:
The Huffington Post | March 29, 2009

Marijuana No Laughing Matter, Mr. President

by Norman Stamper

The president's busy. He's got important things to do, like rescuing the economy, saving jobs and mortgages and industries. But we ought not to let him off the hook for his frivolous dismissal of a widely popular question he faced in Thursday's Online Town Hall.

At the top of the televised event, the president announced that of the 3.5 million votes on the thousands of questions received in advance, one topic "ranked fairly high." It was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and encourage job creation. He responded: "The answer is no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy." He then asked rhetorically what the question says about "the online audience."

Get it? His in-the-flesh audience got it, chuckling politely at the allusion to a Stoner Nation plugged in to the "internets."

The problem for Mr. Obama is that marijuana reform was at or near the top of the list of all questions in three major categories: budget, health care reform, green jobs and energy. Our leader doesn't seem to understand that millions of his interlocutor-constituents are actually quite serious about the issue.

Which is not to say that drugs, particularly pot, doesn't offer up a rich if predictable vein of humor. Cheech and Chong's vintage "Dave's not here!" routine is still a side-splitter. As Larry the Cable Guy would say, "I don't care who you are, that's funny right there."

But there's nothing comical about tens of millions of Americans being busted, frightened out of their wits, losing their jobs, their student loans, their public housing, their families, their freedom...

And show me the humor in a dying cancer patient who's denied legal access to a drug known to relieve pain and suffering.

Having just returned from Minnesota whose state lawmakers are entertaining a conservative, highly restrictive medical marijuana law, I can tell you what's not funny to Joni Whiting.

Ms. Whiting told the House's Public Safety Policy and Oversight Committee of her 26-year-old daughter Stephanie's two-year battle with facial melanoma that surfaced during the young woman's third pregnancy. The packed hearing room was dead quiet as Ms. Whiting spoke of Stephanie's face being cut off "one inch at a time, until there was nothing left to cut." She spoke of her daughter's severe nausea, her "continuous and uncontrollable pain."

Stephanie moved back to her family's home and "bravely began to make plans for the ending of her life." The tumors continued to grow, invading the inside and outside of her mouth, as well as her throat and chest. Nausea was a constant companion. Zofran and (significantly) Marinol, the synthetic pill version of THC, did nothing to abate the symptoms. Stephanie began wasting away. She lost all hope of relief.

Joni's other children approached their mother, begged her to let their sister use marijuana. But Ms. Whiting, a Vietnam veteran whose youngest son recently returned from 18 months in Iraq, was a law-abiding woman. And she was afraid of the authorities. There was no way she would allow the illicit substance in her house. As she held her ground, her grownup kids removed Stephanie from the family home.

Three days later, wracked by guilt, Joni welcomed her daughter back. "I called a number of family members and friends...and asked if they knew of anywhere we could purchase marijuana. The next morning someone had placed a package of it on our doorstep. I have never known whom to thank for it but I remain grateful beyond belief." The marijuana restored Stephanie's appetite. It allowed her to eat three meals a day, and to keep the food down. She regained energy and, in the words of her mother, "looked better than I had seen her in months."

Stephanie survived another 89 days, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family.

Shortly after the holidays, Stephanie's pain became "so severe that when she asked my husband and me to lie down on both sides of her and hold her, she couldn't stand the pain of us touching her body."

Stephanie died on January 14, 2003 in the room she grew up in, holding her mother's hand. A mother who, as she told the legislative committee, would "have no problem going to jail for acquiring medical marijuana for my suffering child."

Following Joni Whiting's presentation, it was all I could do to hold it together during my own testimony. Such was the power of this one woman's story. And of the sadness and rage roiling inside me as I reflected on the countless other Stephanies who are made to suffer not only the ravages of terminal illness and intractable pain but the callousness and narrow-mindedness of their leaders.

When I finished my testimony, a local police chief, a member of the committee, angrily accused me of disrespecting the police officers in the room--who'd shown up in force, in uniform, to oppose medical marijuana. Wearing a bright yellow tie with the lettering "Police Line, Do Not Cross," the chief charged me with placing more stock in the opinions of doctors than of Minnesota's cops. Guilty, as charged. Who are we, I asked him, to substitute our judgment for that of medical professionals and their patients? Who are we, for that matter, to deny the will of the people.

There's much value in humor, even during times of pain and tragedy. So long as the joke is not at the expense of the suffering.

It's been a bad couple of weeks for the president. His Leno comment about the Special Olympics while self-deprecating and not malicious was certainly tone deaf, followed soon after by his casting gratuitous aspersions at serious advocates of marijuana reform.

But Barack Obama is a decent and honorable man, compassionate and wise. I can't believe he would do anything other than what Joni Whiting did if, God forbid, he faced similar choices within his own family. I can't believe he doesn't realize the political value of taking a more reasoned, courageous stand on drug policy reform in general. Or of at least providing honest, thoughtful answers on the issue.

Perhaps we should show him what's in it for him? Perhaps we should make certain that in every future "town hall" the president is reassured of the seriousness of the legions of voters working to end cruel and ineffective drug laws.

Git-er-done!

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Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:50 pm

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“I really believe that as soon as we legalize and decriminalize marijuana we can actually afford a really good governor who won’t keep taking money away from education and from teachers and send him back to Hollywood where he can do ‘D’ movies and we can get an ‘A’ governor,” referring to former movie action hero and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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