Rob Kampia: What Can We Learn from DOJ Memo?

Sep 04, 2013 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week, the Department of Justice announced that it would not prioritize marijuana enforcement against businesses that were following state law and adhering to a set of criteria established by Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Given the administration’s history with marijuana policy, there is a lot of speculation about what this memo will mean for the future of reform efforts and the legal marijuana industries in Colorado and Washington, as well as the 20 states and the District of Columbia that allow marijuana for medical purposes.

Rob Kampia

Here is an excerpt from an in-depth analysis by MPP’s executive director Rob Kampia in the Los Angeles Times:

The Cole memo was the equivalent of no policy at all, since the federal government goes after very few individual marijuana users. In 2012, it sentenced only 83 marijuana-possession offenders to probation or prison, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Meanwhile, the DEA raided more medical marijuana providers during Obama’s first term in office than it did during the eight years under President George W. Bush.

So what can we learn from the Obama administration’s words and actions?

The key lesson is to write state-level marijuana laws correctly. There have been hundreds of outrageous DEA raids on medical marijuana clinics in California, Montana and Washington state, but these three states’ laws don’t explicitly authorize the clinics in the first place. (These states simply authorize patients and caregivers to grow their own.)

In contrast, there have been zero DEA raids on clinics in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont. In these states, plus the District of Columbia, there has been a clear licensing process for medical marijuana businesses.

Read the full article here.

4 responses to “Rob Kampia: What Can We Learn from DOJ Memo?”


    In 1988 the US Department of Justice published a report that stated, “Nearly
    all medicines have a toxic, and in some cases, potentially lethal effects.
    But cannabis is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive
    medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced
    fatality. In practical terms, cannabis cannot induce a lethal response as a
    result of drug-related toxicity.”

    Cannabis , more commonly known as marijuana is a vasodilator which is why if
    you smoke it, your eyes get red. A vasodilator is a medication or substance
    that relaxes the muscles around a blood vessel, which allows the blood
    vessel to dilate.Vasodilation means that the the blood vessels expand,
    resulting in the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls,
    in both the large veins, large arteries, and smaller arterioles, and
    capillaries, Thus in addition to delivering more oxygen and nutrients to
    your brain and bodily tissues more efficiently and expediently, it also
    eliminates toxins more efficiently, such asthe resistant bacterial
    afflictions Staphylococcus aureus.

    Cannabis also has muscle-relaxant properties which are beneficial in the
    treatment of the symptoms of numerous diseases and disorders that are
    congenital as well as acquired. This is why the stiffness and contraction
    associated with conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Strokes, Cerebral
    Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and paralysis and spinal cord injuries, and
    Associated Sensory Neuropathy caused by accidents.

    In clinical applications applications Cannabis researchers have found its
    use to be beneficial to people who suffer from a variety of afflictions of
    which the most commonly known include the treatment of nausea, vomiting,
    premenstrual syndrome, Anorexia Nervosa and unintentional weight loss,
    lack of appetite, and insomnia., as well as asthma diabetic glaucoma”and the
    disabling side side effects of the Chemotherapy used in Cancer treatments.

    In more recent studies findings imply that Cannabis, and Cannabis based
    medicines could be beneficial in the treatment of other medical infirmities
    such as Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Migraines, and Fibromyalgia.

    Preliminary findings also indicate that cannabis-based drugs could prove
    useful in treating a plethora of other conditions, . The list of conditions
    that have been improved by the use of Medical cannabis is astounding. From
    the amyotrophic effects of diseases like Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    And while many psychoactive drugs clearly fall into the category of either
    stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogen, cannabis exhibits a mix of all
    properties, and as a result is being used with encouraging results in the
    treatment of the debilitating effects of psychoactive disorders such as
    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and its usefulness in
    treating alcohol abuse is being considered.

    From sickle-cell disease,a genetic blood disorder that primarily affects
    African Americans, Latinos, and those of Mediterranean origin.
    Tourette Syndrome, the list of physical maladies and disease that respond
    positively to treatment with Cannabis seems endless, and is growing.

    In a controlled study of Cannabis in the treatment of Tourette syndrome,
    researchers found that patients being treated with Marinol, a synthetic
    version of tetrahydrocannabinol which is the main psychoactive chemical
    found in cannabis, showed that the patients had a beneficial response
    without serious adverse effects, while other studies have shown that
    cannabis did indeed have a favorable effect on Tourette patients. Case
    reports found that cannabis helped reduce tics.

  2. Dear Mary Ann Mac Cabe,

    Your comment is great. Please consider posting it on Wikipedia, with references. I would love to post a link to it on my site; I’m sure many other people would too.

    If you do, please let me know at

    Best regards,

    Richard DeBiase

  3. Your article is truly informative. More than that, it??s engaging, compelling and well-written. I would desire to see even more of these types of great writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *