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Medical Marijuana Community Decries Federal Threats Against Public Officials

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole issued a controversial memorandum Wednesday in an apparent attempt to clarify federal policy with regard to medical marijuana. Calling marijuana "a dangerous drug," Cole's memo threatened enforcement actions against "Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities," including local and state officials. The memo further underscored that "State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law."

Medical marijuana advocates are decrying this new policy as a retreat from President Obama's pledge that he was "not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws," and from the spirit of a previous memo issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden in October 2009. "It is disingenuous of the Obama Administration to say it is not attacking patients while obstructing the implementation of local and state medical marijuana laws," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy group. "The president is using intimidation tactics to stop elected officials from serving their constituents, thereby pushing patients into the illicit market."

Despite the wording of the Ogden memo that federal resources should not be used for "individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana," Cole claimed that his memo was consistent with that of his predecessor. However, patient advocates are questioning what they call glaring inconsistencies. "How are federal threats against local and state officials who are adopting public health measures warranted at any time, let alone at a time of fiscal constraint?" asked Sherer. The Cole memo rejects attempts by state governments to design laws under which medical marijuana providers could be in "clear and unambiguous compliance."

Over the past few weeks, U.S. Attorneys have sent letters threatening public officials from at least 10 states with criminal prosecution if they implement laws regulating the production and distribution of medical marijuana. The Cole memo appeared to be an attempt to reinforce those threats. "At the same time the federal government is recognizing the rights of people living with cancer and other debilitating diseases to use medical marijuana, it is also denying them the means to obtain it legally," continued Sherer.

Unwilling to accept this level of hostility from the federal government, patient advocates are putting energy behind a number of initiatives, including a pending petition to reschedule marijuana from its current status as a drug with no medical value, and a number of Congressional bills that aim to reduce federal restrictions on how states implement their own medical marijuana laws. "Until states and localities have the ability to adopt and enforce their own laws regarding the production and distribution of medical cannabis, federal interference will continue to undermine the rights of the very patients the Justice Department purports to recognize," emphasized Sherer.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana for patients with physician approval. Laws regulating dispensaries exist in 10 states -- Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont -- but some states have suspended those laws as a result of federal intimidation. Notably, the states of Vermont and Delaware recently stood up to federal threats and defied such intimidation by passing laws licensing the distribution of medical marijuana.

Further information:
DOJ memorandum from June 29, 2011: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/James_Cole_memo_06_29_2011.pdf
DOJ memorandum from October , 2009: http://blogs.usdoj.gov/blog/archives/192

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: San Diego Americans for Safe Access
Copyright: San Diego Americans for Safe Access
Contact: San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access
Website: Direct Email


On Vacation

You could bet everything that you own that if this was happening during the Bush administration the it would be front page news and headlined on every network to include Fox and CNN. But because it is Obamas' watch the media sycophants have not uttered a peep about this at all. So here we are letting the people who work for us dictate and control our lives.


On Vacation
you... you think Bush was any different? In-term of controlling the media?

Bush is not the subject....The media is the subject. Anybody who is intellectually honest can see the glaring difference in media coverage between Bush and Obama.

Bush was skewered by the media and made front page news for every thing he did. Almost every story had a negative spin.

Obama seems to be able to get away with anything he wants and the media supports him, even when he allows these abuses of power.


New Member
The economy is in shambles, human suffering in the USA is at an all time high, the deficit is the highest it has ever been in most states and the fed, and the one sure fire thing that will generate revenue and ease suffering is the focus of attack. Smart move Exlax, I mean Obama.


On Vacation

Believe it or not, this is the media

I know this is off topic but it does need to be adressed here; 420MAGAZINE is not "The" media...we are a bunch of like minded people who believe that it is our right to be able to enjoy marijuana and we like to talk & share ideas and information heard from around the world. Basically we're singing to the choir when we complain to each other about the injustices committed agains people who enjoy marijuana.

The media I am referring to is the mainstream network,cable and print media who are diligently ignoring a large segment of society that is being abused by the powers of this current administration.


New Member
What the heck is the deal with you responding to people like
Any clear thinking and reasonable person understands this.
Anybody who is intellectually honest

Maybe you should stop these lame comments. You can get your point across without them, I would hope.

Back to the topic...

G-dog, what do you mean
The economy is in shambles, human suffering in the USA is at an all time high, the deficit is the highest it has ever been in most states and the fed, and the one sure fire thing that will generate revenue and ease suffering is the focus of attack. Smart move Exlax, I mean Obama.

Not the Exlax joke, I understood that... Care to elaborate on the rest of your post?

I haven't been getting much sleep, so things aren't "clicking" quite as quick for me.

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
This thread is getting out of hand.

Seems like its settled down now. Lets everyone keep to topic and disagree respectfully < generalizing, not directed at anyone specifically.


New Member
Prohibitions -

The issue of Prohibition became a highly controversial one among medical professionals, because alcohol was widely prescribed by physicians of the era for therapeutic purposes. Congress held hearings on the medicinal value of beer in 1921. Subsequently, physicians across the country lobbied for the repeal of Prohibition as it applied to medicinal liquors.

Two other amendments to the constitution were championed by "dries" to help their cause. The Federal income tax replaced the alcohol taxes that funded the federal government.

From its very inception, the law lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the public who had previously been drinkers and yet completely law-abiding citizens. The public in some instances viewed the laws as being “arbitrary and unnecessary” and therefore were willing to breach them.

While the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol was illegal in the U.S., Section 29 of the Volstead Act allowed the making at home of wine and cider from fruit (but not beer). Up to 200 gallons per year could be made, and some vineyards grew grapes for home use.

Making alcohol at home was very common during Prohibition. Stores sold grape concentrate with warning labels that listed the steps that should be avoided to prevent the juice from fermenting into wine. As well, some drug stores would sell a "medical wine" with around a 22% alcohol content; in order to justify the sale, the wine was given a medical taste.

Despite the beliefs of the prohibitionist movement that by outlawing alcohol crime would surely be reduced, the reality was that the Volstead act led to worse social conditions than were experienced prior to prohibition as demonstrated by more lethal forms of alcohol, increased crime rates, and the establishment of a black market dominated by criminal organizations.

Furthermore, stronger liquor surged in popularity because its potency made it more profitable to smuggle.

Wine historians also note Prohibition destroyed what was a fledgling wine industry in the United States. Productive wine quality grape vines were replaced by lower quality vines growing thicker skinned grapes that could be more easily transported. Much of the institutional knowledge was also lost as winemakers either emigrated to other wine producing countries or left the business altogether. Hard-liquor was popularized during the interim, as good beer became more difficult to find. Because this form of liquor was much harder than the popular drinks had before 18th amendment, other forms of the drinks were developed; mixing and watering down the hard alcohol became popular, especially rum and gin.

The Volstead Act specifically allowed individual farmers to make certain wines "on the legal fiction that it was a non-intoxicating fruit-juice for home consumption", and many people did so. Enterprising grape farmers produced liquid and semi-solid grape concentrates, often called "wine bricks" or "wine blocks". This demand led California grape growers to increase their land under cultivation by about 700% in the first five years of prohibition. The grape concentrate was sold with a warning: "After dissolving the brick in a gallon of water, do not place the liquid in a jug away in the cupboard for twenty days, because then it would turn into wine." One grape block producer sold nine varieties: Port, Virginia Dare, Muscatel, Angelica, Tokay, Sauterne, Riesling, Claret and Burgundy.

Will Rogers often joked about the southern pro-prohibitionists: "The South is dry and will vote dry. That is, everybody sober enough to stagger to the polls." Supporters of the Amendment soon became quite confident that it would not be repealed, to the point that one of its creators, Senator Morris Sheppard, joked that "there is as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a humming-bird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail."

Upon signing the amendment, Roosevelt made his famous remark; "I think this would be a good time for a beer." The Cullen-Harrison Act became law on April 7, 1933, and on April 8, 1933, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. sent a team of Clydesdale horses to deliver a case of Budweiser to the White House.

The restart of beer production allowed thousands of workers to find jobs again.

The Twenty-first Amendment explicitly confirms the right of states to restrict or ban the purchase or sale of alcohol. This led to a patchwork of laws in which alcohol may be legally sold in some but not all towns or counties within a particular state. After repeal of the 18th amendment, some states continued to enforce prohibition laws. Mississippi, which had made alcohol illegal in 1907, was the last state to repeal Prohibition in 1966. Kansas did not allow sale of liquor "by the drink" (on-premises) until 1987. To the present day, there are still numerous "dry" counties and towns in America that restrict or prohibit liquor sales.


Active Member
This is just another example of the Obama admins behind the surface true anti mmj feelings. He is nothing but a vote greedy liar supported by a bunch of stupid Hollyweird phonies that want people to :adore::adore::adore::adore: them. He's showing his true political colors early on in this election allowing his goon squads to run loose despite state laws that he promised to respect in the past. RD :goodluck::peace::peace::bigtoke:
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