DEA Rogues Test Obama’s Authority. And Resolve.

Jan 29, 2009 , , ,


I’m a city boy, so this could be a rural legend, but I’ve heard that when you cut off a chicken’s head, its body continues to run around, wildly and aimlessly.

I hope that’s the case with the DEA right now, where holdovers from the previous administration are continuing their war on medical marijuana patients and scientific research as though Bush were still in the White House.

My colleague, Aaron Smith, mentioned last week that the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., only two days after President Obama’s inauguration. Obama, of course, had repeatedly stated on the campaign trail that he would not waste federal resources interfering with states that have medical marijuana laws.

Meanwhile, DEA is poised to deny a final request from a University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor to establish a secure marijuana research facility as early as Monday if President Obama doesn’t intervene.

We’re calling on Obama to rein in the ideologues at the DEA who are running roughshod over his stated policies and principles. It’s understandable if he would rather focus on other matters in his first weeks in office. But his own subordinates have forced this conflict – not medical marijuana patients or activists.

With luck, the president will heed his own words, when he promised on Dec. 20 that he would ensure “facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology … [e]ven when it’s inconvenient.”


15 responses to “DEA Rogues Test Obama’s Authority. And Resolve.”

  1. Something happens to people elected to government, someone says something to them that scares the s%^&ih out of them when the word marijuana comes up>

  2. I used to live on an acreage with chickens. They have one other trait as well: if they’re next to a fence when you start walking toward them, they’ll keep trying to run through the fence over and over, completely ignoring the hole in it just a couple steps away.

    There’s a rather obvious analogy here.

  3. i highly doubt president obama will ever see this, and i highly doubt he’ll ever do anything about this issue. being a politician means making everyone like you and keep all happy while doing as little as you can. even if he was for it, he would lose voters; in their minds at least. so its easier to leave things the way they are than to draw attention to yourself.

  4. That’s a great analogy, Dan! Funny and dead-on. (The cutting edge of a hatchet is heated by the friction of sticking it into and pulling it out of a stump. This heat cauterizes the beheading and yep the headless chicken runs around a bit.) I, too, am hoping that Obama will address cannabis issues more rationally in his own time. It’s still immensely early in the administration, and I’d rather that he hold out until he’s ready to enforce equitable decisions than to establish inequitable decisions this early in the game.

  5. Obama said at one point that he wants to resolve the issue with sound science. Couldn’t he have someone working behind the scenes on this issue that he trusts while he spends time on other pressing issues?

    Maybe he doesn’t have someone like that right now, I don’t know, but it would be nice to at least have him acknowledge us in the meantime and say “Don’t worry guys, I haven’t forgotten about you and I’ll get to you before such and such a date with some solid answers.”

    That’s not asking too much, is it? Even considering it was voted the #1 issue on his own website?

  6. We shouldn’t accept the term “Marijuana.”

    We should all use the proper name, Cannabis. You would think out of the 3 or 4 major organizations that we could at least agree to this.

    The major reform movements should be ashamed of themselves for not finding a common ground and joining together to call for protests. I will give no more money to any of them until I see collaboration on some level.

  7. I would love to see the first person with lung damage
    from straight smoking marijuana. If anyone has lung
    damage, it is caused by cigarette smoking or working
    in manufacturing companies where people are exposed
    to harmful smoke. marijuana itself is harmless and no
    one has ever dies from it.

    As far as the raids I don’t know what to really think and if
    Mr. Obama wants to convince people of real change. He
    needs to step up and be a man. He needs to assert his power
    over the crazy left overs from the Bush administration.

  8. It’s been too quiet around here. Anything going on? Any Senators working on new bills, lobbying, court appeals, etc happening right now?

    Lets start a massive call our officials campaign. This week obtain your Senators and Rep phone #, State legislature, governor, etc. And on Friday, everyone call all day everyday.

    Tie up their phones, aides, etc. What do you think MPP? Maybe even get other groups involved, like ASA, Norml, Leap, etc.

  9. Al Roker has a show on Spike for the DEA. We should all send him an email requesting he gets involved with what goes on between the DEA and states with medical marijuana.

    Show the audience what a war on the American people looks like.

    His email is: [email protected]

  10. Well it’s premature to say that Obama isn’t thinking about re-doing policies or not. IMO he is getting his feel for the OVAL OFFICE, and the white house in itself. He just got there. He will get compfortable, well fed, and nice bed. He will get some more confidence, then maybe , just maybe, he will have an aphinany, and take that step towards re- freeing cannabis. And please please hemp.

  11. So, Mr. Bernath, what would you suggest that we average citizens do about this? What can we do to help? Obviously, we should continue to call and e-mail our elected officials, but what else can we do? What is the next step?

    It is time to turn up the heat. If this administration believes that it can continue the status quo position on marijuana (especially by not ending the DEA medical marijuana raids, which President Obama explicitly endorsed during the campaign) without major opposition, it will. My grandfather had a fantastic saying that has always stuck with me: “To teach the dog, you’ve got to be smarter than the dog, or else you end up with a dumb dog.” Right now, we’ve got the makings of an extremely dumb dog of an administration on marijuana issues. I know it’s extremely early, but these are very bad signs (IMHO). So, seriously, what else can we do?

    Keep up the great work, amigo.

  12. Matt- What we can do is get behind a proposal that would allow the government (both State and Federal) to make some income from marijuana, so let’s get the word out:

    If we’re serious about securing our borders, protecting our children from drug-dealing murderers, AND pumping some much-needed revenue into the public treasury, we’ll implement a Personal Use and Cultivation Permit, similar to a fishing permit, allowing ordinary Americans to grow a little marijuana in their own back yards. Sold by the States and splitting the revenue 50-50 with the Federal treasury, it the permit cost $100 per year, and if even one-third of the estimated 30Million Americans who use marijuana each year were to obtain such a permit, it would pump a Billion dollars into the public pocketbook AND rip the guts out of the criminal drug gangs’ cash flow. Right now, we put our own children in prison with violent criminals for doing something that both our current Democratic President and the recent Republican Vice Presidential candidate acknowledge having done themselves. Let’s put the drug dealing criminals out of business and let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

  13. Well, tokers, I’m a country girl and have watched my grandfather cut the head off roosters for Sunday dinner. They do continue to flop and try to run—giving him plenty of time to take aim again and again—just like anti-drug preventionists are going to do with your idiotic marijuana for medicine inititatives. Eventually, we’ll win.

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