The Buck Stops Where?

After the recent federal crackdown on medical marijuana in California, advocates are understandably upset and want to show it. This week, they took their complaints right to the top, with hundreds of people turning out to protest President Obama in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Shortly after this, however, the U.S. Attorneys in charge of the California crackdown said that the Obama administration had nothing to do with it.

According to a statement made by California Eastern District spokesperson Lauren Horwood prior to these protests, “California U.S. Attorneys decided to take action on their own because the situation has grown out of control among recreational users. But she acknowledges they received Obama’s blessing.” (quote from original author paraphrasing Horwood) After a massive outcry, and after protests specifically targeted at Obama, the story changed.

“What I said, or at least meant to say, was that the U.S. Attorneys in California saw the need for coordinated enforcement actions and spoke with folks in Main Justice in D.C. (not the Obama Administration),” she told the Huffington Post in an email.

Okay, so who at Main Justice is responsible?

According to Horwood, approval came from Deputy Attorney General James Cole, author of the Cole Memo that said only individual medical marijuana patients should expect to be left alone by federal law enforcement, not growers or distributors. Cole, however, seemed to be awfully uncomfortable talking about this for being the person directly responsible and lobbed the blame back to the U.S. Attorneys in California when asked if other medical marijuana states should expect this type of enforcement.

Okay, so is it really the California U.S. Attorneys who are responsible? Wait, no.

Kevin Sabet, former senior policy advisor for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was not as uncomfortable answering that question, however. “Remember, all actions have to be approved by Attorney General Holder, so it’s hard to imagine that California would be the only place the Department of Justice is focusing on,” Sabet said.

So now the blame is on Holder?

Why can’t we get a straight answer from these people?

Whatever the reasoning for the crackdown, it appears that everyone is trying to draw responsibility away from the men at the top, but not allow it to be put solely on themselves either. After seeing the outrage of medical marijuana supporters in California this week, perhaps the president realized that this sort of interference is alienating his base. And while Attorney General Holder is surely thankful that this issue is distracting people from the fact that the DOJ and ATF provided Mexican drug cartels with assault rifles for two years, he certainly doesn’t need any more blame for unpopular decisions heaped upon him when he is under the gun. And the U.S. Attorneys certainly don’t want to look like they are going rogue, but direct popular anger at their bosses.

We are basically left with two options: either Obama is knowingly breaking his campaign promise to leave medical marijuana alone, or he has completely lost control of the Department of Justice.

And unless the former is true, everyone in the chain of command has the power to stop this wasteful insanity and allow states to run their medical marijuana programs free from unwanted federal interference.

The buck stops with all of them.

22 thoughts on “The Buck Stops Where?”

  1. •“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
    ~ Harry Anslinger,
    U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics,
    testifying to Congress on why marijuana should be made illegal
    (Marijuana Tax Act, signed Aug. 2, 1937; effective Oct. 1, 1937.)

    Based only on the above the entire marijuana prohibition act should have been thrown out with the trash long ago. Why we still cling to it is a mystery to me. Do people really still believe crap like this? It makes me ashamed of my government! And more ashamed of the people who still believe in reefer madness.

  2. What a coward!!!!? Since when did Obama quit being responsible for his administration, and who does the U.S. Attorneys work for? If the president has nothing to do with it then California has the right to arrest the four U.S. Attorneys for conspiracy.

  3. Anyone who continues to support the “War on Some Drugs” can be characterized as belonging to one of two (or maybe three) groups:
    1. the uninformed,
    2. the just plain stupid, or
    (3. those profitting from this war).

  4. Dan givens…

    I would reverse that list:

    1. those profitting from this war

    2. the just plain stupid

    (3. the uninformed …maybe)

  5. why can’t these morons in public office do as the people want-thats their job as elected officials! the money wasted on the war on drugs could pay off our national debt and increase the tax income for the states

  6. One could see early on the US Attorneys were acting on their own. It was especially evident when Duffy suggested going after media for accepting advertising, and the other 3 US Attorneys pushed her in front of the bus ALONE on that one.

    Silence from the Obama administration and Eric Holder’s office was evident enough for me. If they had a hand in it, they would have tried claimed it for political advantage.

    Hence, I was deeply disappointed to see MPP acusing the current administration of breaking campaign promises. I personally believe the current administration will respond in favor of ending Marijuana prohibition, just not yet. Still too early in the campaign cycle. I’d expect July 2012.

    Someone at MPP should build a nice interactive timeline, with recent news…
    Week 1 – Duffy Announces Dispensary Crusade via USPS
    Week 2 – Rand corp releases then withdraws study on dispensaries
    Week 3 – For the first time in US History, a MAJORITY of citizens favor ending Marijuana Prohibition, and a SUPER-MAJORITY favor Medical Marijuana.

    Cause and effect.

    Remember:

    IT’s Not “Just Recreational” Anymore !!

  7. Even if the US Attorneys were acting on their own, Pres. Obama could put a quick stop to it. He has the ultimate say of anything that goes on in the DoJ and as he has not yet put a stop to it; thus he is responsible for it. He promised not to mess with medical marijuana users and this is a direct violation of that promise as taking out the state-legal distributors threatens the end-user by forcing them to either not use, or to get the product from unsafe / illegal sources which is the most likely outcome. He has lied to us yet again!

  8. It is all about harassment. In Spokane last April the Feds raided the shops then 3 days later gave everything back. No charges were ever filed! Hold your mud and sell your bud!!!

  9. Also – technically, Duffy followed the ‘company line.’ She did not spend otherwise precious resources on the MM community…

    Truly, a press conference, and 16 ‘ish letters containing the same old threats of stealing real property through ‘forfiture’…but with a 45 day grace period?

    Any of these folks having a sale perhaps?

    Refresh my memory, How many dispensaries/collectives are in CA again?

    They did this to test the water. The result, they got BITCH SLAPPED by America.

    Relax…toke up…now we are in the majority.

  10. Honest Gary Johnson wants to legalize marijuana. Too bad the people in CA. aren’t smart enough to elect someone that has their best interest at heart. Since that won’t happen the people have another option. Click my name and read the contents linked to coin #159

  11. Let me refresh everyones memory – President Obama is the Head Man right now and just like the Captain of a ship, He’s RESPONSIBLE for what on on His watch. It don’t matter where the order came from, But it did come from His administration. Here’s some more food for thought, Not even the President has the right to tell Federal Authorities not to enforce the law. But he does have the right to place a Stay Of Action on the situation if He plans to get the amendment over turned on the War On Drugs. In my opinion He ran on that to get more support from voters with no intention to reverse the War On Drugs at all. It’s great that the American people are in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. Even if was voted legal by the people the government would still find a way to it tied up and in courts for years. Yes, it sucks. I love my Country and would die for it today, but I totally dislike my government and would not die for the first one of them. We are govenored by people who are only in Washington for their own benefit and not to represent us the people like they are suppose to be. If they spent as much time taking care of business instead of bickering and running us broke we’d be a lot better off. Our Government has way too many irons in the fire and need to quit meddling in family and personal affairs that do no harm to anyone. Marijuana should be legal and alcohol illegal. Thats right – I know people who have died from alcohol abuse but never marijuana abuse!

  12. I’m very, very interested in the anti-tumor efforts of marijuana. My father died of metastatic cancer that began in his colon. He retired at 65 and was dead within in two years.

    I’m 62. I don’t have time for this cruel nonsense.

  13. Everything this fracking government does is treason. Cannabis laws are gross abuse of power, crimes against humanity. Hemp laws are treason against the Republic making competition and free interprise illegal. We need a president not another dictator.

  14. here is whats really happening:the government wants pot legalized.for the money.it lost in the last election by a very narrow margin.guess who controlled the swing vote in that election?i’ll give you a hint:they profited the most at status quo.the growers and medicinal suppliers.ask everyone of them.they voted no on legalization.so the administration wants to piss people off enough to vote it legal 2012.think about then vote for it.

  15. Open your eyes people..the Obama administration is crooked!! The DOJ is under the microscope right now and there will be some heads rolling..cant happen soon enough..bottom line is this Obama is a F’n liar..he needed the Independant Voters to win last time and with his slick tongue and outrageous promises he did just that..but my eyes are WIDE OPEN to what this guy is all about and Im not the only Independant that feels this way..think about how many of us Cannabis useres voted for this LIAR..there are more arrests under this SOB then there were under the Bush Admin. !!! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! I pray to God that Ron Paul will get his time in the spotlight to put an end to this War on the most medicinal plant that grows on earth! Food Fuel Fiber and medicine…screw Obama. Let the truth be told..

  16. Get rid of dispensaries. Get rid of organized crime in the dispensary business, PATIENT TO PATIENT is the answer. grow your own smoke your own TRADE with other growers. TAKE THE $$$ out of the equation

  17. When are we as Americans going to step up and take back are.country. All You Have To Do Is VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are at election time VOTE the right way. Get off your lazy stoner ass and VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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