Archive for the ‘white house’ category

White House Drug Control Budget: Failed Drug War Tactics Prioritized Over Prevention and Treatment

April 11th, 2013

The Obama Administration has released its National Drug Control Budget for the FY 2014 and despite their claims that “the war on drugs is over” and that they have “bigger fish to fry” the Office National Drug Control Policy is still prioritizing failed drug war tactics over prevention and treatment.

whbud2The new budget calls for 9.6 billion dollars to be spent on domestic law enforcement, 3.7 billion for interdiction, and 1.4 billion for international drug control efforts.

Prevention, in the form of education and outreach efforts, receives a paltry $1.4 billion dollars. While this is a 5% increase over the previous year’s budget, it is still a minuscule sum when you consider we are spending nine times more on arresting people than we are to educate them on risks of drug use and stop them from ending up in the criminal justice system in the first place. The budget calls for an additional 9.3 billion to be spent on treatment programs for those considered to have drug abuse issues (though $80 million of this funding goes to the drug court program, infamous for giving defendants the “choice” of serving time in rehab or spending time in a jail cell).

For all their rhetoric, this recent budget shows that little has changed in the federal government’s priorities when it comes to the War on Drugs. Funding is still disproportionately spent arresting people or diverting them into treatment programs after the fact, while only a small fraction (13%) of the overall drug budget is spent trying to fix the problem before it starts.

It is time for the Obama Administration’s policy to match its language on the issue of drug law reform. President Obama once promised that he would allow science and factual evidence to guide his administration on issues of public policy, but when it comes to marijuana laws, we are still waiting for him to deliver.

You can view the full text of the budget here.

Industrial Hemp Reform Emerging From Marijuana Legalization Election Victories

January 20th, 2013

One of the major public policy and business fronts to end cannabis prohibition in America is to pressure the federal government to allow American farmers the same ability to cultivate industrial hemp like farmers in the United Kingdom, France, Russia and even Canada do under current so-called anti-drug international treaties. Ninety percent of hemp used in the United States is cultivated and imported from Canada.

What sane reason can be employed by the federal government to ban industrial hemp cultivation when Canadian farmers can prosper from cultivating it?

Numerous states–just like with decriminalization, medicalization and legalization–have passed industrial hemp reform laws that run afoul of the federal government’s anti-cannabis policies. This has created upward political pressure on Congress to introduce needed hemp law reform.

Check out this recent Washington Post article profiling lobbying efforts to get hemp legalized.

You can help out by signing the White House petition to bring the matter of industrial hemp law reform before the Obama Administration for a public reply.

See the dozen or so state hemp laws here.

To learn more about hemp and law reform efforts in states and Congress check out VoteHemp.

Tell Obama To ‘Just Say No’ to Joe

January 6th, 2013

A White House online petition telling Obama to listen to the voters of Colorado and Washington about the future of cannabis legalization, not the famously anti-cannabis/pro drug war architect Vice President Joe Biden, only needs 7,000 more signatures to be brought to the president’s attention. The signatures are needed by Wednesday, January 9.

If you’ve not yet taken a moment to let the White House know that you too support the voters of Colorado and Washington, please sign the online petition to put it over the top, and get the White House on record to not interfere with the will of voters in states who no longer support cannabis prohibition and want it legalized and taxed.

President Obama Breaks His Silence on Marijuana Legalization: We’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry Than Cannabis Users

December 14th, 2012

Breaking his silence on the topic of marijuana legalization since two states approved ballot initiatives to regulate cannabis, President Barack Obama addressed the issue in an interview with Barbara Walters this week.

While the administration’s broader policy is still being developed, the president stated that arresting recreational users in these states would not be a priority.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry. It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal. – President Obama

The president also clarified that he personally is not in favor of leglization, but that it is a more complex issue than his own view on it:

“This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law. I head up the executive branch; we’re supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we’re going to need to have is a conversation about, how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it’s legal?” – President Obama

One line stands out as particularly interesting, during his answer he says:

“What I think is, that at this point, in Washington and Colorado, you’ve seen the voters speak on this issue. – President Obama

This is a great start and an encouraging sign that the federal government doesn’t intend to ramp up its focus on individual users. Though considering it is extremely rare for the federal government to handle possession cases (only a few percent of annual arrests are conducted by the federal government), and that this is the same stance he took on medical cannabis before raiding more dispensaries than his predecessor, his administration’s broader policy will be the one to watch and according to his Attorney General Holder that pronouncement may come soon. Speaking yesterday in Boston, Attorney General Holder stated that:

“There is a tension between federal law and these state laws. I would expect the policy pronouncement that we’re going to make will be done relatively soon.” – Attorney General Eric Holder

UPDATE: Politico has now posted President Obama’s interview for viewing. Check it out below.

Listen To Voters President Obama, Not The Vice President!

December 12th, 2012

According to Rolling Stone: “There are not many friends to legalization in this administration,” says Kevin Sabet, director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida who served the White House as a top adviser on marijuana policy. In fact, the politician who coined the term “drug czar” – Joe Biden – continues to guide the administration’s hard-line drug policy. “The vice president has a special interest in this issue,” Sabet says. “As long as he is vice president, we’re very far off from legalization being a reality.”

Really?!

We’ve got a decidedly baby boom president and former leader of the Choom Gang as the so-called elected leader of the free world, but reform of cannabis prohibition is supposedly being held up by the World War II era-influenced, and current self-described “drug warrior” Joe Biden?

Let’s send a clear message to President Obama to sensibly pay attention to public polls and election vote totals regarding the tenor of America quickly moving away from the failed eight decade-old federal cannabis prohibition and embracing logical public policy alternatives–notably taxing and regulating cannabis products in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco products–and NOT to his stodgy, longtime prohibitionist and disconnected Vice President.**

Please sign this White House petition here.

**Joe Biden, when he was a Senator from Delaware, led the Democrats’ efforts in the 1980s to try to rebuff longtime and successful Republican efforts to paint Democrats as ‘being soft on crime and weak on drugs’ by helping to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy (AKA Drug Czar’s office) and inserting into its mission statement one of the most anti-democratic and anti-free market charters of all time in a government bureaucracy.

According to Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225:

Responsibilities. –The Director– [...]

(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–

is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

 

 

Help Put White House Petition For Medi-Pot Prisoner Over-The-Top

December 9th, 2012

[Update: By 1:15PM (eastern) the 25,000th signature put this White House pardon petition for Chris Williams over the top. Thank you!]

At the dawn of the cannabis legalization epoch that was ushered in on election night when the commonsense-minded voters of both Colorado and Washington elected to end cannabis prohibition in their respective states, let’s not forget that the criminal justice system in the United States is still chewing up the lives of another cannabis consumer, seller or cultivator every thirty-eight seconds in America (based on approximately 760,000 annual cannabis arrests).

Almost 25,000 of our fellow citizens concerned with this kind of expensive and wasteful injustice have signed a White House petition asking President Obama to pardon Montana medical cannabis provider Chris Williams, who is currently facing a potential eighty year federal prison sentence.

This presidential pardon petition is getting very close to the 25,000 signatures needed to be acted upon by the Obama Administration, please take a moment, sign the petition and send the clear message to President Obama and his staff: Stop arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating citizens involved in state-sanctioned medical cannabis programs!

Thank you in advance!!

 

Marijuana Activists Kick White House’s Butt In Softball

June 12th, 2012
Anastacia CosnerThe One Hitters were already kicking the Drug War's ass -- now they kicked the White House softball team's butts, too.The White House softball team was unceremoniously smoked by the On

Barry Obama Loved Marijuana, President Obama Now Locks People Up For It

May 25th, 2012

[Editor's note: The infamous Chinese animators at New Media Animation (NMA) poke some good fun at America's first known cannabis connoisseur president,  'Barry' Obama. Watch animation here.]

New insight into the early life of Barack Obama has been recently made available in the form of excerpts from the forthcoming biography, “Barack Obama: The Story.” Apparently young Barry Obama, like countless of his contemporaries, enjoyed partaking in the use of marijuana. The president even was a trendsetter amongst his peers:

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.”

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.

He also was unafraid to go against proper smoking protocol:

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.

What is clear from these anecdotes is that not only did Barry Obama try cannabis, but he was what many would refer to as a recreational user, a “stoner” if you will. Which begs the question, when exactly did Barry Obama, who participated in three foot bong hitting contests, become President Barack Obama, who laughs off the issue at town hall meetings, oversees the annual arrest of 850,000 Americans for marijuana violations, and ramps up the war against medical marijuana to new heights?

It is time the President says publicly what he already knows personally: Responsible marijuana use should not be a crime and it is time we put an end to the war on cannabis consumers.

Read more marijuana related excerpts here.

Kimmel Addresses MJ Legalization At WH Dinner

April 29th, 2012

- While delivering his remarks at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, comedian Jimmy Kimmel addressed the issue of marijuana legalization.

“What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply?” Kimmel said. “Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote.” Kimmel then posed a challenge to the crowd, which was made up of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and George Clooney.

“I would like everyone in this room to raise your hand if you’ve never smoked pot,” Kimmel said.

Few hands went up.

Noting the crowd’s reaction, Kimmel addressed Obama directly.

“Marijuana is something that real people care about,” Kimmel said.

Obama, who recently said he doesn’t “mind a debate” about drug legalization, has increased the crackdown on medical marijuana producers across the nation, including a recent high-profile raid on a California training school. He addressed the crackdown and attempted to clarify his 2008 comments that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws [on medical marijuana]” in a recent interview with Rolling Stone:

Speaking with Rolling Stone, the president tried to explain his original comments, claiming that the recent pressure on dispensaries and providers was in line with his intent.

“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” 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.”

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.”

Source: Huffington Post (NY)
Author: Paige Lavender
Published: April 28, 2012
Copyright: 2012 HuffingtonPost.com, LLC
Contact: scoop@huffingtonpost.com
Website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Kimmel Addresses Marijuana Legalization At White House Dinner

April 29th, 2012
Yahoo! News"What is with the marijuana crackdown?" Kimmel asked, looking directly at President Obama. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel addressed the issue of marijuana legalization while delivering his rema