Six National Drug Policy Organizations Call on President Obama to End Unnecessary Assault on Medical Marijuana Providers

Apr 04, 2012 , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the wake of recent attacks on medical marijuana providers and patients by multiple branches of the federal government, including Monday’s raids on Oaksterdam University in Oakland, CA, a coalition of six national drug policy reform organizations is appealing to President Obama and his administration to follow its own previously stated policies respecting state medical marijuana laws. In the letter, posted in full below, the organizations call on the Obama administration to bring an end to the federal government’s ongoing campaign to undermine state efforts to regulate safe and legal access to medical marijuana for those patients who rely on it.

The Obama Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy Report 2012, reportedly being released in the coming days, is expected to cling to failed and outdated marijuana policies which further cement the control of the marijuana trade in the hands of drug cartels and illegal operators, endangering both patients in medical marijuana states and citizens everywhere. The members of this coalition stand together with members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, current and former Latin American leaders whose countries are being ravaged by drug cartels, state officials from five medical marijuana states, and tens of millions of Americans in their call for a more rational approach to marijuana policy.


April 4, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House

Washington D.C. 20500

Via Fax: 2024562461

Dear Mr. President:

Our coalition represents the views of tens of millions of Americans who believe the war on medical marijuana patients and providers you are fighting is misguided and counterproductive. As your administration prepares to release its annual National Drug Control Strategy, we want to speak with one voice and convey our deep sense of anger and disappointment in your lack of leadership on this issue.

Voters and elected officials in sixteen states and the District of Columbia have determined that the medical use of marijuana should be legal. In many of these states, the laws also include means for providing medical marijuana patients safe access to this medicine. These laws allowing for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana actually shift control of marijuana sales from the criminal underground to state-licensed, taxed, and regulated producers and distributors.

Instead of celebrating – or even tolerating – this state experimentation, which has benefited patients and taken profits away from drug cartels, you have turned your back as career law enforcement officials have run roughshod over some of the most professional and well-regulated medical marijuana providers. We simply cannot understand why you have reneged on your administration’s earlier policy of respecting state medical marijuana laws.

Our frustration and confusion over your administration’s uncalled-for attacks on state-authorized medical marijuana providers was best summed up by John McCowen, the chair of the Mendocino County (CA) board of supervisors, who said, “It’s almost as if there was a conscious effort to drive [medical marijuana cultivation and distribution] back underground. My opinion is that’s going to further endanger public safety and the environment – the federal government doesn’t seem to care about that.”

The National Drug Control Strategy you are about to release will no doubt call for a continuation of policies that have as a primary goal the ongoing and permanent control of the marijuana trade by drug cartels and organized crime. We cannot and do not endorse the continued embrace of this utterly failed policy. We stand instead with Latin American leaders, members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and the vast majority of people who voted you into office in recognizing that it is time for a new approach on marijuana policy.

With approximately 50,000 people dead in Mexico over the past five years as the result of drug war-related violence, we hope that you will immediately reconsider your drug control strategy and will work with, not against, states and organizations that are attempting to shift control of marijuana cultivation and sales, at least as it applies to medical marijuana, to a controlled and regulated market.


Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

cc:  Eric Holder, Attorney General, Department of Justice

James Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice

Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

34 responses to “Six National Drug Policy Organizations Call on President Obama to End Unnecessary Assault on Medical Marijuana Providers”

  1. I feel I have the right to chose the Med. Marajiuana to treat my illness’s. The pill’s they have me on cause more problem’s then help. [ I take 28 pill’s a day ] My Doctor’s have told me that!!!I know the reason is the Goverment does’nt want to addment they have been lieing ti us all these year’s ! But It’s time to let us to make that choice. IT’S OUR RIGHT !!!!!!!

  2. Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized.

    State and local governments that need money are in a weak financial position and will get sick of having to spend scarce money just because the feds say so. Hence, legalization of cannabis for revenue instead of spending revenue.

    That prohibitionist George Will (Mr. Fuckin’ Baseball) is writing and talking shit against legalizing– A G A I N! I saw in horror his syndicated column with his haggard old argument lumping cannabis legalization in with legalizing hard drugs, and droning on about how the costs of alcohol and tobacco outweigh the revenues to society so why add more drugs, including heroin and various forms of cocaine. He quoted Wilson, dead prohibitionist crime analyst.

    And, the bastard mentioned in the column that there would be more columns addressing the topic from his perspective.

    You need to target assholes like that specifically. People like him and the former drug czars and Califano-ites need to be neutralized the way Barr and McKay et al. politely at first then via their own faults being exposed.

    No one is without fault, not even George Will, Dan Lundgren, The Haag Hag and ilk of bitches and bastards.

    More television shows with many repeats and syndications drum the legalization message into people’s heads long after their assholish articles and soundbites receive no coverage.

  3. I find it difficult to vote for anyone that supports these policies. It’s frightening this war on drugs. There are thousands of people in prison for victimless crimes. What cost is that to society?

  4. It is really a pity. President Obama lied on marijuana and so many other issues AFTER he was elected…like so many asses do. A policy on tobacco forbidding the use of usps to mail cigs and etc, two face or about face on the medical marijuan laws….helping the disabled and elderly and retired but instead cutting food stamps, social security with no raises for 3 years (gave one this year .. and cutting heating assisstance at HEAP (by more than half)being an election year… Favoring cutting taxes for big oil, letting hem place the prices for heat, gas and food at all time highs and at rip off levels to accompany stupid greedy Wall Street… Come on Obama, get the shit out of your pants with all those lies. Sorry, but you ask for my support now…but I have NOT and will not forget your pervasive record regarding the most needy in our country…The United States of Surveilancre/ Shame on you…shame on all of you!!!
    Norman Croteau

  5. I am a big fan and supporter of our President Obama. And, either way, I will be voting for him again in this coming election. I am in favor of the so called “ObamaCare” and would like for him to understand that this is yet another issue that we need his help and support with.

  6. Having supported Obama in 2008 and even contributing to his election campaign I have been receiving e-mail requests to support his re-election.
    Last year I decided to write a response to one of the requests stating that I will not give another dime until he and the DOJ put a stop to this particular brand of madness. I strongly urge all of you who read this to do the same and share it with others who are in accord. Maybe if we flooded them with letters refusing to contribute they might get the point. Just a thought.

  7. How about a war on POVERTY NOT medical or any marijuana. What are you?/ A caveman ! Get real like Ron Paul has…End the drug war and star a damn war on POVERTY. There’s more of that than anything else now in this God forsaken country of te risch and suoer rich. Or do they OWN YOU too? Restore the rights guarenteed under our constitution. Didn’t you attenmd school at university to study constitutional law?? Thought so…
    Norm Croteau

  8. When will the greed and corruption of big business, the pharmaceutical companies and the law makers takings the lobbyist dollars stop. How can this be legal? There is no doubt that anyone still trying to keep Marijuana illegal is not working for the people. They are being paid off and their vote belongs to who paid them.
    Let’s vote them all out!!!!!!

  9. This is a true no nonsense issue as to the fact that M. J. should be legal, that one has to wonder about what was said above pertaining to the question [ Why does the Government want Crime Syndicates to continue to control M.J. instead of the D.E.A. ] To me this should be thought about with a concerned mind.

  10. One thing is certain, prohibition does not work. People will do what they will do, legal or not. What happened when the government made alcohol illegal? People drank anyway, but now they were criminals. and they didn’t care about the law, they wanted to do what they wanted to do. My state has voted to make medical marijuana legal for those who need it, it is the safer choice and Obama, you agreed pre-election… and then take it back? This is our constitutional right, so ‘just say no’ to your pharmaceutical lobbyists (the REAL drug dealers) and let the American people make these decisions! We, the people, are sick of this ignorance, and the waste of time and money! We’re not the ones hurting anybody and we all know it!

  11. 69 tons of pure oxycodone-42 tons pure hydrocodone dispensed in 2010..14,800 overdose deaths in 2008 need we say more ? Associated Press Article in April, 6 2012

  12. DON’T forget us, in N.Y.S. I was ready to go under 6ft. under a friend, who has compassion, Michael was DEAD right. We where rapping in 1966, when will marijuana be legalized, shit, we still waiting! I take 23 pills a day= hep.c for 42yrs, bi-polar, High blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, don’t eat for days, which for me is very dangerous. These legal pharmaceuticals drug dealers are killing people. Make it a federal law across the whole U.S.A I wear my t-shirt and people look and i stop and let them read the t-shirt. Tax it, like liquor, or cigarettes, these two WILL PUT YOU IN THE HOLE, like 6ft. under, i have written to everyone possible and yes last year i contributed, but i will pay the 12.50. BUT,,, please don’t forget N.Y.S. i wrote to the Pres. he probably didn’t read, in it i put down a lot of his promises, he made to us.. Once elected, they forget who put them in office. We don’t have a choice Mitt the Dick,or Mr. President. I admire the job he has done, two of them nit wicks could. I could understand it’s an election year, he probably would not get elected by these assholes who get federal aid then turn around he goes against it…We hope we clean house of congress and then MR. President it’s your turn now you have all the ammo you need, included the Carl “THE PIG ROVE, and his band of three. Bush and the other two should have been impeached right away, in politics you can’t be a play ball with these assholes, they the repugs don’t know if he’s going and the hell has he done,,,HE IS A FLIP FLOPPER remember that against Kerry and Gore had his election won but he wimped out. Take them kid gloves off, don’t give these crazy ass teabaggers, You do know what a tea bag is , don’t you? MY cojones!!! Pres. get with the program, cause this might be a close race which i honestly beleave you’ll win, THEN WHAT IS EXCUSE THIS TIME. Mr. Luis M. Diaz

  13. Marijuana is a drug that is dangerous because it’s illegal. It isn’t illegal because it’s dangerous. There are drugs in use that are far more harmful than marijuana–such as alcohol. Legalize marijuana and the dangers go away. Regulate it so that children can’t buy it on the street corner. It’s time to bring marijuana under a legal regulatory framework. Our current approach to the regulation of marijuana is a failure. It has resulted in a massive black market that is creating violence in our communities and pouring millions of dollars each year into the pockets of criminal supply networks. Taxpayers are footing the bill for ineffective law enforcement efforts and unnecessary judicial expenses. And the most that can be achieved is to keep a few people from purchasing an herb that appears to be much less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. It’s time to get rid of the black market and bring marijuana sales under a legal regulatory framework. In this way, we can stop the flow of money to illegal drug networks, generate new funds for our communities, improve public safety, and create new jobs in growing hemp for food and fiber.

    – Dr Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for POTUS

    Obama gives some good speeches when he’s hunting for votes, but in reality, he’s nothing but a bunch of hot air. He works for the corporations that do not want cannabis/hemp legalized. I refuse to vote for him this time around.

  14. We should all Tweet Obama demanding an end to his administration’s attacks on medical cannabis and the State’s obedience to their voters who approved medical cannabis. Tell Obama to call of Holder’s attack dogs!

  15. The current definition of marijuana is an abstruse, racist, 104 word tautology.
    It is no wonder that 50% of the people don’t want to legalize that.
    What should the definition of marijuana be?
    It should be simple.

    With a simple definition of marijuana, we can again grow cannabis to make oil, paper, medicine, and food, then have a reasonable debate about the rescheduling of cannabis smoke.

    I have a dream, that during this election season, people – black, brown, red, white, blue – people from all across the country, will speak out at their caucuses, townhalls and conventions, to say this to their representatives:

    I demand this simple definition of marijuana
    which actually shows respect for our Constitution!

    16. The term ‘marijuana’ means all parts
    of the smoke produced by the combustion
    of the plant Cannabis sativa L.

    For more information, google Talking Points for the Peloton.

  16. I suffer day in and day out with nerve pain, pinched nerves, muscle spasms, chronic insomnia, headaches, arthritis throughout my body, migraine headaches, and so on. I cannot take the medications prescribed to me because of the side effects – the drugs do not out weigh the desired effects. I cannot take anti spasmodics, or “head’ drugs either. They have caused hives and my entire body swelling up. My face looks like a baloon ready to pop completely red w/ my lips oversized and my eyes squinty. My life is nothing but suffering and it is absolutely reduculous that MM is not legal!!! I have worked as a nurse my entire life and have NEVER seen anyone come into the ER with problems from Marijuanna!!!! It’s all about MONEY – and CONTROL!!! I pay taxes and I do not understand why I can not grow something natural and beneficial on my property! It’s ABOUT MONEY!!! Not one person in congress or the house or all of DC know what it is like to live MY life or the real work and worry in a mans life. Not one individual in CONGRESS or DC knows what it is like to suffer and worry about the economy and cost of food! It’s just like alcohol prohibition – IT”S about MONEY – The Drug War has not done one bit of good! It is keeping the money and power in the hands of the politicians, judges etc. and destroying families torn apart by reduculous persecutions, jail, and lifelong fines and costs.
    If the gov’t CARED, they would stop allowing chemicals and dye’s to be put in our food and the animals we eat! The health issues caused by the chemicals, dyes, preservaties, additives, (ALL THE CRAP) was prohibited from food we WOULD NOT ALL BE DYING FROM THE FOOD THE GOVERNMENT SAYS IS SAFE!! IT IS NOT SAFE NOR are the drugs they pump into us!! They have pain relief THC tablets too – my brother was given them 30 yrs ago! WHY should I continue to suffer and rot away in my home not being able to do the things I need to do b/c the “flipping government” thinks they know more about ME AND MY BODY than I do! STOP the gov’t, STOP the cartels and drug dealers – stop making the criminals rich and the poor sick suffer! LEGALIZE MARIJUANNA!!! Please read SMOKE AND MIRRORS and Kevin Trudeau’s books. It’s CONGRESS that is poisining us, it’s Congress who owns the FDA who allows people to die in trials, it’s Congress and Representatives who keep getting richer while the poor indingent people suffer at their hands! Marijuanna DOES NOT kill people or hurt people! DRUGS KILL, destry and mame. Ya want world peace???? Legalize Marijuanna!!! Generate money to pay for GETTING THE CRAP OUT OF OUR FOOD AND OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT – BY LEGALIZING MARIJUANNA! Give the needy and homeless medical coverage with the money generated from Marijuanna! GET THE IDIOTS out of Washington! Clean up our streets and our food and stop making the politicians wealthier by corruption and deciept!

  17. EVERYONE knows that marijuana is NOT a schedule 1 drug. It does NOT affect one’s thoughts the way the other drugs in it’s catogory do. Prohibition does NOT work and one can get whatever one wants, at many locations, in every area of this country??? Not to mention the cost of the war, along with all the non-violent offenders in prison, for a harmless substance that does no harm to anyone??? Did prohibition on alcohol work? Of course not, and neither will the war on marijuana. Mr. Obama, I voted for you, step up and do whats right. Call for the regulation of marijuana, in line with the regulation of alcohol

  18. Time and time again Barack Obama has campaigned for change yet things in America couldn’t be worse under the Obama admin. Why waste anymore effort trying to change Obama’s mind? He’s not one of us! The insurance and big pharma lobby claimed his arse when they took over the country! Now, we’re all under their thumb control since passage of Obamacare. I pray the U.S., Supremes overturn Obamacare.

  19. I could have swore that we could “Sue” someone for false advertisement. If you say something is one way. Then we buy into what that salesmen is saying. We sign the contract and then what you get is a broken piece of shit! Then, we as a civilized society have to do what is right, send it back and demand a refund. Back out of the contract due to item being a piece of shit and not doing what was stated in the contract and that was to uphold the Constitution! Send that piece of shit back to wherever it came from.

  20. Obama is not going to read a single letter from any of the six organizations, and the only reply will be from the Drug Czar that has been repeated many times in the past. No current issue will be addressed.

    Remember that when you vote!

  21. Obama’s changes. Bigger government. More prisoners. Way less freedom. Increased spying on the people of this country. Trillions added to our national dept. Forced health care. Increased union powers. The lie about how Obama would not get involved with state med mj laws were just one of thousands. now he is bowing to the russians and chinese. The demacrat party wants us to be just like russia. Mexico wants to legalize drugs but Obama would cut the billions in aid we give to Mexico. Now it has come to my attention that Obama may or may not be linked to a murder that occured during the race for his bid for the democratic nomination back in 08. That would not surprise me at all if it is in fact true. Oksterdam was raided and shut down because the owner donated one million dollers in support of legalization, not because it was to close to a school as was reported by the feds. We will never get anything as long as obama is our leader.

  22. Now is the time to try and get this over the media and put pressure on President Obama, during his bid for re-election, and make it a requirement for him to publicly state his position and how he will guide the DEA and other Government departments on this position. Now is the time to make him feel the pressure by getting media behind us in even a small amount. If other media outlets feel this is a problem for the President, they will follow and put pressure on him. He made a promise and even though I didn’t vote for him he still made a promise. I believe that he admitted to smoking, which means that he committed a felony violation of law. We need to get media after him in public view and maybe we can get him to state a direction.

    We also need to make sure that the public knows that we caused the Drug Cartels in Mexico as we did killing the main crop of Jamaica by enforcing our Prohibitions on other countries. We are just as responsible as the people who pulled the trigger in Mexico.

    Thanks, no lets get it together!

    Jack Wilborn

  23. I forgot to add that the Government get it’s authority from the people. They are not listening to their constituents and therefore have no power in this area. Most of these states have legally put laws on the books by popular vote, a democratic process. They need to quit violating states rights. Maybe a civil suit against the right people is what we need?


    Jack Wilborn

  24. Imagine a place where personal liberty meant something again. A place where responsible adults were free to live and taste everything life could offer without undue interference from their government or police. A place where laws are based on reason, facts and truth and are directed at only those who harm others. Prohibition is about control over all the People, even the responsible ones. I rather doubt that we need to prohibit marijuana. Just let science tell us the truth and leave it up to us to decide if we want to use it or not. It’s a non-toxic, less addictive, gentle and safer alternative to alcohol. Could we be harming people by not allowing them a safer alternative? How about the hundreds of kids who die every year of alcohol poisoning? They would they still be here if they had smoked a joint that night instead of drinking themselves dead. A hundred joints would not kill them but one pint of vodka will. So Mom’s of America, which do you prefer, a stoned daughter who will laugh alot, munch alot and have a very good nights sleep…or a sloppy, stinky dead drunk daughter? One other thing, drunk rapes don’t happen to marijuana users. They never pass out, black out or lose control of reasoning. They walk straight lines, say there ABC’s just fine and never lose control like boozers. No vomiting or peeing on yourself either. No violent stupity. Holy cow, let’s lift this prohibition and save some lives here people. Quit forcing people to drink, give them a safer alternative.

  25. Hold on people, You aint seen nothing yet. Obama has allready been elected. Nothing you or I can do; vote all you want. Goverment is not listening to you. Obama’s second term is going to change all our civil rights into a distant memory. It was a noble ideal to think we had a voice but the truth is in your face. YOU and I don’t matter.

  26. Obama scares the living daylights out of me. I agree with the comment above this post. POTUS recently stated in the news after a pow-wow with other gov’t officials from Mexico and So. America that legalization is not the solution to illegal drugs flowing in to the U.S. So, I’m wondering how much worse are things going to become for marijuana tokers here at home? Will Obama start killing Americans with drones if we refuse to give up our bongs, hookah pipes and herbal preference for what ails us? How far is he going to enforce his will in the U.S.? Do you realize he’s already killed a U.S. citizen with a drone? If the U.S. Supreme Court does not overturn ObamaCare, how will Obama prosecute marijuana users who refuse to become enrolled in the big pharma drug cartels? Anyone know if there will be insurance plans available for herbal medicine and medical marijuana patients? Other than the Big House or private prison industrial complex?

  27. Ron Paul is a seemingly right way for me,less of a war thinker,more freedom fighter and world leader. Simple decision ,and one more vote.

  28. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are
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