Monday, October 19, 2009

Federal Medical Marijuana Policies

About the “new” federal medical marijuana policy

By Michelle Malkin • October 19, 2009 11:16 AM

Longtime readers will know that I have been very supportive of state initiatives on medical marijuana dating back to my years at the Seattle Times (see here, here, and here).

So, I have no general policy quarrel with this at all. Finally, an Obama policy that officially reduces the role of the federal government. Or so it seems:

Federal drug agents won’t pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law…Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

The question is: Why is this “news?”

AG Eric Holder announced it back in March:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday outlined a shift in the enforcement of federal drug laws, saying the administration would effectively end the Bush administration’s frequent raids on distributors of medical marijuana.

Speaking with reporters, Mr. Holder provided few specifics but said the Justice Department’s enforcement policy would now be restricted to traffickers who falsely masqueraded as medical dispensaries and “use medical marijuana laws as a shield.”

In the Bush administration, federal agents raided medical marijuana distributors that violated federal statutes even if the dispensaries appeared to be complying with state laws. The raids produced a flood of complaints, particularly in California, which in 1996 became the first state to legalize marijuana sales to people with doctors’ prescriptions.

Graham Boyd, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union drug law project, said Mr. Holder’s remarks created a reasonable balance between conflicting state and federal laws and “seem to finally end the policy war over medical marijuana.” He said officials in California and the 12 other states that have authorized the use of medical marijuana had hesitated to adopt regulations to carry out their laws because of uncertainty created by the Bush administration.

Mr. Holder said the new approach was consistent with statements made by President Obama in the campaign and was based on an assessment of how to allocate scarce enforcement resources. He said dispensaries operating in accord with California law would not be a priority for the administration.

Mr. Holder’s comments appeared to be an effort to clarify the policy after some news reports last month interpreted his answer to a reporter’s question to be a flat assertion that all raids on marijuana growers would cease. Department officials said Mr. Holder had not intended to assert any policy change last month but was decidedly doing so on Wednesday.

The “clarifying” memo that will be sent out today, seven months after Holder first announced the “shift,” makes clear that the Obama administration will actually retain the same discretion the Bush administration exercises to prosecute someone whose activities are deemed legal in states that allow medical marijuana use.

A three-page memo spelling out the policy is expected to be sent Monday to federal prosecutors in the 14 states, and also to top officials at the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

The memo, the officials said, emphasizes that prosecutors have wide discretion in choosing which cases to pursue, and says it is not a good use of federal manpower to prosecute those who are without a doubt in compliance with state law.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the legal guidance before it is issued.

“This is a major step forward,” said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality.”

At the same time, the officials said, the government will still prosecute those who use medical marijuana as a cover for other illegal activity. The memo particularly warns that some suspects may hide old-fashioned drug dealing or other crimes behind a medical marijuana business.

In particular, the memo urges prosecutors to pursue marijuana cases which involve violence, the illegal use of firearms, selling pot to minors, money laundering or involvement in other crimes.

And while the policy memo describes a change in priorities away from prosecuting medical marijuana cases, it does not rule out the possibility that the federal government could still prosecute someone whose activities are allowed under state law.

In other words, they will continue Bush-era policies when they find it expedient to do so in the future — but they want praise and obeisance from the Left for paying lip service to Transformative Change now. It’s the Obama way!


Meanwhile, the Big Nanny feds continue their power grab over tobacco:

FDA bans flavored cigarettes.

Except menthol, that is:

Because of a loophole written into the law, the FDA banned all flavored cigarettes except menthol. The only flavor sold by Philip Morris, the FDA’s industry ally in passing legislation to allow the ban, just happens to be menthol.

Sold as a way to protect public health, the ban is more flash than substance. At the time he signed the legislation President Obama crowed, “The decades-long effort to protect our children [has] emerged victorious. … Today, change has come.” Change came, but it didn’t do much when it got here.

Menthol is the No. 1 cigarette flavor used by underaged smokers and the most popular among all smokers. A menthol ban would have had many times the impact of banning all other flavors combined.

The menthol exception makes the new regulation particularly toothless among blacks. Mentholated brands are preferred by three-quarters of black smokers. Blacks tend to be more likely to smoke and to smoke more. As a result, blacks suffer a disproportionate share of lung cancer.

Consumers should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to smoke or go hang gliding or eat fattening ice cream, but even by the standards of nanny state advocates this rule is ludicrous. There is no logical health explanation for why menthol flavored cigarettes are allowed but other flavors are banned.

However, there is an economic reason for the distinction and for Philip Morris to be a cheerleader for regulation. The more regulatory hurdles faced by potential competitors, the easier it is for large tobacco concerns to keep their markets.

Government Ciggies, Inc:

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday began collecting millions in fees from the nation’s tobacco companies to help fund the agency’s newly granted authority to regulate the industry.

The user fees, which will be collected quarterly, are based on each company’s share of the U.S. tobacco market. The FDA will collect about $23 million for fiscal 2009. That will rise to $235 million in 2010 and grow to $712 million by 2019.

The FDA would not disclose the assessments for specific companies.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher Growe said in a note to investors that Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc., owner of market-leading Philip Morris USA, would be responsible for about 50 percent of the fees.

FDA spokeswoman Kathleen Quinn said the fees will be used to fund the Center for Tobacco Products, the agency’s group tasked with regulating tobacco. The fees will pay for staffing, offices, systems that will be used to register products and outside contractors.

No One Is Born Gay It's A Choice Not A Birth Defect

The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" -- meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are born that way.

For decades, the APA has not considered homosexuality a psychological disorder, while other professionals in the field consider it to be a "gender-identity" problem. But the new statement, which appears in a brochure called "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality," states the following:

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles...."

That contrasts with the APA's statement in 1998: "There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality."

Peter LaBarberaPeter LaBarbera, who heads Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, believes the more recent statement is an important admission because it undermines a popular theory.

"People need to understand that the 'gay gene' theory has been one of the biggest propaganda boons of the homosexual movement over the last 10 [or] 15 years," he points out. "Studies show that if people think that people are born homosexual they're much less likely to resist the gay agenda."

Matt Barber with Liberty Counsel feels the pronouncement may have something to do with saving face. "Well, I think here the American Psychological Association is finally trying to restore some credibility that they've lost over the years by having become a clearly political organization as opposed to an objective, scientific organization," he states. (Hear audio report)

With the new information from the APA, Barber wonders if the organization will admit that homosexuals who want to change can change.

Matt Barber"It's irrefutable from a medical standpoint that people can leave the homosexual lifestyle," he argues. "Homosexuality is defined by behavior. Untold thousands of people have found freedom from that lifestyle through either reparative therapy or through -- frankly, most effectively -- a relationship with Jesus Christ."

LaBarbera agrees. "Change through Christ is possible -- and it's one of the most heartwarming aspects of the whole gay debate," he shares. "Many men and women have come out of homosexuality, mostly through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The fact that these professional organizations will not study that, will not acknowledge that, shows how 'in the tank' they are for the homosexual movement."

LaBarbera stresses that even though elites will not recognize the change, that does not mean the change does not exist. In fact, both Barber and LaBarbera believe that God changes people through Christ -- regardless of the sin.

Liberal Christian There Is No Such Thing

For the Liberals, damn the Bible, damn the Constitution and damn the moral standards our parents reinforced in us, (if it feels good, we should do it, damn the consequences).

Liberals justify the absence of God in their lives by casting aside moral standards as nothing more than outdated, hateful views by ignorant people who don't understand how our morals needs to change to keep up with the world.

If the Bible doesn't align with their views...then the Bible must be wrong and anyone who preaches from it should be demonized and attacked. How sad it must be to be a liberal.

Clowerd Piven/Obama Democrats Way

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty" in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called "crisis strategy" or "Cloward-Piven Strategy," as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer
Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare -- about 8 million, at the time -- probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a "massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls." Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level."

Their article called for "cadres of aggressive organizers" to use "demonstrations to create a climate of militancy." Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of "a federal program of income redistribution," in the form of a guaranteed living income for all -- working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act.

This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements -- mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown -- providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That was the theory.

Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named
George Wiley to lead their new movement. In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). His tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven's article. His followers invaded welfare offices across the United States -- often violently -- bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law "entitled" them. By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.

Regarding Wiley's tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, "There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests - and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones."These methods proved effective. "The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley's wildest dreams," writes Sol Stern in the City Journal. "From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city's private economy."As a direct result of its massive welfare spending, New York City was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. The entire state of New York nearly went down with it. The Cloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.

The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise. Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York's welfare crisis horrified America, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in "the end of welfare as we know it" -- the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements. Both Cloward and Piven attended the White House signing of the bill as guests of
President Clinton.

Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven. But New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990s. As his drive for welfare reform gained momentum, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage. "This wasn't an accident," Giuliani charged in a 1997 speech. "It wasn't an atmospheric thing, it wasn't supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare."

Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article. Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system. When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.

In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new "voting rights movement," which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new "voting rights" movement was led by veterans of George Wiley's welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.

All three of these organizations -- ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE -- set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. The Motor-Voter bill is largely responsible for swamping the voter rolls with "dead wood" -- invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people -- thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and "voter disenfranchisement" claims that followed in subsequent elections.

The new "voting rights" coalition combines mass voter registration drives -- typically featuring high levels of fraud -- with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, unfounded charges of "racism" and "disenfranchisement," and "direct action" (street protests, violent or otherwise). Just as they swamped America's welfare offices in the 1960s, Cloward-Piven devotees now seek to overwhelm the nation's understaffed and poorly policed electoral system. Their tactics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections heretofore encountered mainly in Third World countries.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute and his "Shadow Party," through whose support the Cloward-Piven strategy continues to provide a blueprint for some of the Left's most ambitious campaigns.

A nuke goes off in Florida

Only three months ago, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, declared by Barack Obama to be his favorite Republican, maintained a 30 point lead over Marco Rubio.

The Chamber of Commerce this weekend released a new poll this weekend that has lots of people buzzing in Florida. Only days after Crist’s top supporters began to buzz that Crist might drop out of the race, the Chamber of Commerce shows, “Among likely Republican voters, 44 percent back Crist for the Senate and 30 percent would vote for Marco Rubio.

Keep in mind that we have many months to go and Rubio keeps getting closer and closer to the lead.

Friends, this race must be a Hill to Die On for conservatives across the country. This race is not about Florida. This race is about the future of the nation and the direction of the Republican Party. Will we go toward ever bigger government and greater spending, or will we return to a government that, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “lets every man make himself”?

Marco Rubio needs our prayers, but he also needs our support and our money.

The Republican Establishment that raced to help Charlie Crist will take notice of our efforts when Marco Rubio wins the Republican Primary. The Republican Party must learn to either respect its base or lose without us.

In both NY-23 and the Florida Senate race, we can send a very powerful message for freedom, limited government, and the opportunity of people to make themselves free of government control and constraint.

Racist Pimp Al Sharton

Race Pimp Al Sharpton used his National Action Network to run the campaign against Rush Limbaugh’s ownership of the St. Louis Rams.

Like most race pimps, Sharpton takes his bullhorn to corporate America and demands that they either pay up or be tarred and feathered as racists. It is the race pimp equivalent of the mob protection racket.

The National Legal and Policy Center has put together a list of corporations who have paid off Al Sharpton to keep him from bring his bullhorn and Tawana Brawley to their doorstep.

You might like to call them and get them to stop funding the race pimps of America.

The information is below the fold:

The following companies were identified this year by NAN as “sponsors”: American Honda, Anheuser Busch, Colgate-Palmolive, Comcast, Entergy, Ford Motor Company, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s, PepsiCo, Pfizer and Wal-Mart. Sponsorship reportedly cost $50,000.

NLPC is asking these companies to end their support for Sharpton and NAN. Here’s how to contact them:

American Honda
phone: 1-800-999-1009 (Mon.-Fri., 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Pacific Time)
Fax: 310-783-3023 (24 hours)
Click here to find your local dealer.

Anheuser Busch

Click here to send an email.
1-800-468-6502 (Consumer Affairs)
1-212-310-2000 (Corporate Headquarters)

1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278), (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Click here to send an email. (go to “Other Questions and Comments” at bottom of page)
1-800-368-3749 x: 4 (Customer Service)
1-504-576-4000 (Corporate Headquarters)

Ford Motor Company
Click here to send an email.
1-800-392-3673 (Mon.-Fri., 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Local Time)

Home Depot
Click here to send an email.
1-800-553-3199 (M-F 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET, Sat: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET, Sun: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. ET

Johnson & Johnson
Click here to send an email.
1-732-524-0400 (Corporate Headquarters 7:30 a. m.-5:30p.m. ET)
Fax: 1-732-214-0332

Click here to send an email.
Click here for many phone numbers.

Click here to send an email.
Phone 1-914-253-2000 (Corporate Headquarters)

Click here to send an email.
1-212-733-2323 (Corporate Headquarters)

Click here to send an email.
1-800-925-6278 (Customer Service)

Boycote of Beck isn't woking

noticed Stu Burguiere of the Glenn Beck show point out something fascinating on Facebook:

Olbermann 8pm + Maddow 9pm + Olbermann 10pm + Maddow 11pm + 109,000 other people = Beck at 5pm.

So . . . um . . . how’s that boycott against Beck going? The one designed to get him off the air? Sure there have been some advertisers who fled. There have been many more who were never there, but claimed to be part of the boycott.

But does it really matter? Other advertisers are filling the void and Roger Ailes is, so far, perfectly willing to take care of the show.


Olbermann 8pm + Maddow 9pm + Olbermann 10pm + Maddow 11pm + 109,000 other people = Beck at 5pm.

So how’s that boycott working out? Heh.

Stop the crazy spending

Naturally the White House waited until Friday evening to let this news out. It is catastrophic to his agenda even though he’ll want to blame George Bush.

The Obama administration has released new deficit numbers, and they are not pretty.

The deficit for Fiscal Year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, came in at a record $1.42 trillion, more than triple the record set just last year.

In addition, future deficits are currently projected to total $9.1 trillion in the coming decade.

The Democrats’ natural reaction will be to raise taxes. But that would hurt the alleged economic recovery. In fact, the Democrats are going to need to halt their spending spree. Likewise, if the Blue Dogs are serous deficit hawks, it will mean they must vote no on health care reform.

Farming for politics

John was in the fertilized egg business.

He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets,'

and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

He kept records, and any rooster not performing

went into the soup pot and was replaced.

This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells

and attached them to his roosters.

Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance,

which rooster was performing.

Now, he could sit on the porch And fill out an efficiency report

by just listening to the bells.

John's favourite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen,

but this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing

bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, could run for

To John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't

He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair

and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the No Bell Piece Prize

but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making.

Who else but a politician could figure out

how to win two of the most highly coveted awards

on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace

and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.

Vote carefully next year,

the bells are not always audible.

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” - George Bernard Shaw

Barack Hussein Obama mmmm mmmm mmm

I think Obama will do more damage to the Democratic Party then any president since Jimmy Carter. Soon we will be getting into inflation so buy gold.

Bonsai for fun

Bonsai is a great way to relax. It is also a great way to art up your home.

Bruce Fealk is a danger to society