by Scott Morgan It’s hard to imagine a worse job than defending the drug war every single day, and it looks as though Gil Kerlikowske has had about all he can take: President Barack Obama‘s drug czar is among the contenders to become the first Chicago police superintendent in Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel‘s administration, the Chicago News Cooperative has learned. Gil Kerlikowske, whose formal title is director of the White House [Click Here To Continue Reading]
Categories: Health, Lifestyle, Marijuana Tags: Barack Obama, Chicago News, Chicago Police, Contenders, Cooperative, Drug Czar, Drug War, First Chicago, Gil Kerlikowske, Job, Mayor Elect, Police Superintendent, Rahm Emanuel, Scott Morgan, Single Day, White House
It doesn’t seem accurate to say that any of really voted for him based solely on his promise to change marijuana policy, or that most of America thinks that should be one of his top priorities. Still it’s important for the pot community to not let the marijuana movement loose any momentum. Obama you can’t leave us hanging we’re dying out here. Some of more literally than others.
SFWeekly – That familiar odor wafting from San Francisco street corners, storefronts, and the neighborhood growhouse? It’s the smell of legality. Medical cannabis is the law of the land in California, 14 other states, and the District of Columbia. Yet, as many marijuana users will tell you, protection under state law hasn’t guaranteed protection under federal law at all.
It was more obvious under the George W. Bush administration, which pledged to “ignore” state medical marijuana laws and go after marijuana users. For eight years, the federal government “subverted” the will of the states, according to the ACLU, and in the process ignored the Constitution’s guarantees of state sovereignty, as many a pot user has tried to argue in court.
So when Barack Obama’s new administration delivered a message on medical marijuana in February 2009, it was heard loud and clear: The federal government was getting out of the business of busting pot in California and other states where voters had approved medicinal application of the plant. Obama the candidate promised as much during the campaign, and now the new attorney general, Eric Holder, had made it so by issuing guidelines protecting those following state law. Federal policy on medical marijuana had changed.
For that campaign promise — and for pledges to end the Iraq war and reform health care — Obama won many votes from San Franciscans, including people like the 30 medical cannabis users gathered at a former brothel on Mission Street on a recent evening. The low- and no-income folk who constitute the patient advocacy and activist network Axis of Love cannot use their Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits to buy their preferred tonic — federal law makes it thus — and so they must rely on the charity of a few San Francisco cannabis dispensaries for their medicine. Pot and meals are dispensed daily, free of charge, under the supervision of activist Shona Gochenaur. “Obama got a ton of votes from our community,” she says, “for the many campaign promises he made that things would change.”
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Categories: Health, Lifestyle, Marijuana Tags: Article Excerpt, Barack Obama, Blowing Smoke, Campaign Promise, Eric Holder, George W Bush, Land In California, Marijuana Movement, Marijuana Policy, Marijuana Users, Medical Cannabis, Medical Marijuana Laws, New Administration, Pot User, Reform Health Care, San Franciscans, State Sovereignty, Storefronts, Street Corners, Top Priorities
Once more President Obama wades into the online breach with yet another Facebook Town Hall to solicit questions on policy from the public. The event takes place on April 20th, a.k.a. 4/20, the unofficial national cannabis holiday, without any sense of irony that these forums have been dominated by marijuana legalization questions every time the public votes on these questions.
(President Obama’s Facebook) WHAT’S HAPPENING
President Barack Obama will hold a special “Facebook Live” townhall to connect with Americans across the country.
WHERE & WHEN IT’S HAPPENING
Where? Well, everywhere! The event at Facebook’s headquarters, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg & COO Sheryl Sandberg, will be live streamed for anyone to watch. Just come back here at the right time: Wednesday, April 20 @ 1:45pm PDT / 4:45pm EDT. Unless invited to attend in person, please do not show up at Facebook HQ. You can watch and participate via the event’s live stream.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
President Obama will connect with Americans across the country to discuss the tough choices we must all make in order to put our economy on a more responsible fiscal path, while still investing in areas like innovation that will help our economy grow and make America more competitive.
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
Facebook will be selecting questions for President Obama to answer during the event. Submit questions now by posting them right here, on this event’s wall. As an alternative, you may submit a question via WhiteHouse.gov/facebooktownhall.
So how in the world can the president avoid what will surely be voted the number one question once again by the online democracy of Facebook? Simple… don’t let the public vote. Scott Morgan from DrugWarChronicle has the scoop:
It had become clear that as long as Obama’s forums allowed the public to vote on topics for the president to address, the top-ranked questions would be about legalizing marijuana or even ending the War on Drugs altogether. Reluctant to confront the issue further, the White House recently changed its approach and announced an April 20, 2011 event on Facebook in which participants will not be allowed to vote at all. Questions can be sent in by email or posted on the Facebook page, but Obama’s staff will make selections without any public input.
The inherently democratic, vote-powered economy of ideas on the Internet has proven to be a remarkably powerful tool for discovering content of social value. The ability to click on what you like is the currency of social media and it offers insights into public opinion that may be worth more than meets the eye. The participatory nature of a vote-driven web forum makes people care about the outcome. Advocates for a wide variety of causes are inspired to spread the word and work to make sure their issue gets votes. The Obama Administration has abandoned the process simply to silence one particular idea, but the effect will be to make the forum less interesting for everyone.
Moreover, the rise of marijuana policy into the realm of mainstream public discussion should fascinate, rather than frustrate, our political leadership. It’s a phenomenon that should at least interest our elected officials, even if they don’t yet fully understand or care that marijuana prohibition funds murder in Mexico, that innocent family pets are slaughtered in botched pot raids, that precious wilderness is being devastated by black-market marijuana manufacturing, that racism defines our marijuana arrest rates, that public servants are being corrupted before our eyes, and that we blow billions each year just to keep the situation as bad as it’s been for so long.