cross posted at mLaw

The Burning Question / Reefer Madness movie poster: "Dope-created ecstasy avalanching into frightful perversions."

Obama’s just blowing smoke on cannabis.

All I can say today is, quite simply, spare me the bullshit.

As our government has reported:

  • In 2012, four years into the Obama era, 749,825 Americans were arrested for possessing cannabis.
  • This figure represents fully 48.3 percent of all drug arrests in the US in 2012.
  • Of these arrestees, 87 percent, 651,231 Americans were arrested for possession of cannabis for personal use.

That means that during Obama’s fourth year as president, one of his fellow American citizens was thrown in jail every 48 seconds because they use cannabis.

And, my compassionate friends, I ask you to try and remember a time when you were very ill – as we all have been at some point. When the pain was so horrible that you felt time slowing and as the seconds ticked by you felt hopeless. When your belly and back were sore from vomiting. When the headache pounded like a jackhammer to wake you up and 6am seemed like sixty days away. Every forty eight seconds of sickness and suffering was a lifetime. We have all been there, with most of us, thankfully, returning quickly to full health. Consider now if you can, chronic spasticity, paralyzing rigidity, incapacity to eat, palsy, fatigue, fever, inability to breathe or swallow.

Its great that science and medicine (and I’m not talking about health commerce, but study and experimentation that is largely funded socialistically, meaning through the support of all of us- as it should be) have found that cannabis can bring relief to patients who suffer from: glaucoma, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia/wasting syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease(s), Rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, Lupus and many other painful and life eroding diseases.

And, in the fourth year of the Obama presidency, our own government told its citizens who are hopeful for answers from medicine that can assist them and their oncologists that experiments performed over the past ten years show that cannabinoids “possess anticancer activity” and can actually impede the growth of tumors and help prevent the spread of cancer cells in the bodies of afflicted patients.

It is important to reiterate these scientific anti-cancer breakthroughs: cannabis not only relieves the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy as we have know for some time, but cannabis has also been found to inhibit the growth of cancer tumors and stop the spread of cancer to other organs in diseased patients. That is amazing and brings hope to millions of our fellow citizens across America.

With the citizens in two states taking the initiative from “some of the folks who are writing those laws” and legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use, and the promise of a substance the medical applications and usefulness of which have been knowingly ignored and shunned by the medical establishment for 80 years (for what is basically the entire history of modern medicine), one could say that we are truly at a moment of cultural epiphany – note I didn’t say “panacea.”

There are very few moments in history where we as a society, an egalitarian people who embrace science and have compassion for our sick brothers and sisters, a free society that is capable of understanding what it means to our fellow citizens when one of them is unfairly and unnecessarily jailed and given the life sentence of being an ex-convict, can together take simple actions that effect so many of our brethren and have such positive implications for our heirs. So it really rankles me to hear a dry doper elected official tell us that stopping kids from being arrested, making the daily life of my sick neighbor bearable and giving cancer patients the hope of a cure cannot happen today because, “There is a lot of hair on that policy.”

I’m supremely aware, as has been so often pointed out by patronizing “practical and intelligent” players of eleventy dimensional chess over the last five years, that I am simply too simple to understand what all that “hair” refers to, but I do have one question — asking the so-called “great men” who see themselves at the head of “great movements” to think beyond their scheming and dreaming and meme-ing about their personal “legacies” for a moment … how about the currently imprisoned and dying? What can possibly be more important than these human beings, what is more “hairy?”

Oh, I get it … “evolution.”

Thanks to the device of “framing,” provided by the soft-ball tossing hagiographer Mr. Remnick, we see now how a heavy cannabis user, who ran for US senate supporting cannabis decriminalization, who then consciously altered his view when he ran for president, and then once becoming president, refused to answer questions about the relative safety of cannabis for going on five years – five years that included making calculated and demeaning jokes at the expense of citizens who are seeking answers from this so-called “representative” of the people – we now are informed that President Obama has “evolved” with respect to his understanding that cannabis is, with absolutely no qualifiers, safer than the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol. With over 400,000 deaths yearly in the US over the last 9 years caused by tobacco and over 10,000 automobile accident deaths yearly in the US over the last 9 years caused by alcohol (as a matter of fact, Obama’s government reports that one in three auto accidents involve alcohol) during which time exactly zero deaths were caused by cannabis, one who is concerned about health and equal justice must gasp in a state of understandable amazement – Huh? Sorry to inform you Mr. Remnick, that’s not an evolution – it is cynical, thought out, intentional election year deception and voter manipulation, nothing more. Where I come from (Chicago, Illinois – Obama’s ‘home town’) we call that type of duplicitous bullshit what it is – lies spoken by a liar.

Obama wouldn’t have been lying if he had said that cannabis is less harmful than the legal products sold by our billions of dollars a year alcohol and tobacco industries in 1979 the year he graduated high school. If he made the statement in 1983 when he graduated college it would have also been true. He could have said the same thing in 1988 when he entered law school, or in 1997 when he started to write laws as a state senator in Illinois — but wait …

We also hear from Obama’s hagiographer that Mr. Obama chides “some of the folks who are writing those (cannabis) laws” because they themselves “have probably done the same thing.” Who is the president talking about here besides his own guilty self? 1997 is seventeen years ago – I know that Obama had some really important self-promotion to attend to over the course of those years, but- seventeen years of remaining silent about the simple to understand, easy to demonstrate and widely accepted fact that cannabis is less harmful than America’s debilitating and death dealing legal drugs? The math is easy with respect to arrests; 17×700,000= 11 million nine hundred thousand arrestees whose lives have been shackled to an arrest record that “folks” just like Obama (and including Obama himself) were blasé about – did nothing about – did not speak up about – did nothing to help. Yep, just let those Americans slide down the alimentary canal of our legal system. Nice.

Also known for decades by all (but revealed to be a concern of Mr. Obama just now in his fifth year as president) is the 80 year history of African Americans and Latino Americans being targeted in a discriminatory fashion by America’s collective law enforcement using drug laws. It’s good to know that Obama admits that he is aware of the near century of discrimination in drug arrests by local and federal law enforcement. And we can all be sure that Obama (although calculatedly never uttering this widely known fact) has known that this is the truth for many years, meaning it ain’t an ‘evolution.’ Eighty years of discriminatory law enforcement actions that have landed millions of our fellow citizens behind bars, in many cases ending these citizens’ chances to become full members of our society – to live productive lives and bless us all with their skills, intelligence and talents. Good to know – but, hey Obama, what have you done about it in five years as president, four years as US senator and seven years as a state senator? … cue crickets.

Finally, and echoing Obama’s cynical, deceptive, authoritarian and a-scientific modern drug war strategy, we get this slice of unctuous skanky bullshit from our dear leader;

I also think that, when it comes to harder drugs, the harm done to the user is profound and the social costs are profound. And you do start getting into some difficult line-drawing issues. If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that? If somebody says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?

Who, I ask simply, is suggesting that providing life supporting and life saving medications to Americans with fatal diseases and saving our future’s Americans from lives tainted with arrest and conviction records is a super-secret subterfuge attempt to legalize cocaine and methamphetamine? No one – besides pin headed propagandized drug warriors, the suburban moms that they scare the shit out of with their lies, and smarmy, calculatingly self-interested, dishonest, fake assed liars who know the truth (that cannabis is generally benign and medically important, which our government has made very plain to all of us and is upheld by years of scientific research) who don’t give a damn about the sick and dying or the unfairly imprisoned, and who are only concerned about their “legacy”.

Another thing that Obama knows but calculatedly does not utter to the public – he is happy as shit that cannabis will not be federally legalized on his watch. That is truly something that Obama has spent time, energy and political capitol endeavoring to prevent.

Long live the legacy.

nothing worse than a dry doper — g. singlaub

Image from the collection of Chuck Coker.