When Obama ran for the presidency, it was no secret that he was an occasional marijuana user in his youth and still a regular cigarette smoker. He made no attempts to rebuke his history of drug use and he seemed sympathetic to marijuana users, especially for legal medical purposes. In fact, he took the position that he would leave it up to the states, and because of that he garnered many endorsements and votes from medical marijuana users.
As Obama and the rest of the millions of cannabis users know firsthand, it is beyond foolish to label it a Schedule 1 drug. It is so obviously less dangerous and far more beneficial than thousands of other legal substances, that it's only a matter of time before collective common sense overwhelms the conspiracy that keeps it illegal.
Yet, even though 16 states have now legalized medical marijuana use, Obama has reneged on his campaign rhetoric and continues Bush's policy of aggressive federal action to undermine state laws. In California, where medical cannabis has been legal for over 15 years, the armed raids of dispensaries and grow-ops continued in plain sight under Obama. But, apparently, the hypocrisy became too exposed by tyrannical SWAT-style raids on lawful businesses and patients that the Feds had to figure out more creative ways to eradicate medical marijuana.
The Administration is clearly not in favor of states rights as they seem to use any excuse to target marijuana.
Here are five backdoor ways the Feds have targeted legal medical marijuana in 2011:
Property Rights: In October, the Feds announced a renewed crackdown on state-licensed dispensaries in California, referring to them as the "illegal marijuana industry," by going after the property owners where the dispensaries are located. This tactic included threatening property owners with property forfeiture and even warning lien holders that they'll be targeted as well. U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy made the federal stance on medical marijuana very clear by saying; “The California marijuana industry is not about providing medicine to the sick. It’s a pervasive for-profit industry that violates federal law."
The marijuana legalization organization, NORML responsed to these intimidation tactics was as follows: "The intention of these and other recent, well-publicized threats by the Obama administration is to stifle the development of a viable legal cannabis distribution industry, even in states that have enacted legislation to allow for such an industry."
The announcement also spurred an epic rant by comedian and activist Joe Rogan:
IRS Tax Persecution: Also revealed in October of this year, the IRS, quoting an obscure clause in the tax code that targets drug cartels, refused to allow tenured lawful dispensaries from claiming normal business write-offs. §280E of the Tax Code called Expenditures in connection with the illegal sale of drugs states: "No deduction or credit shall be allowed for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business."
The case involved Harborside Health Center who reported their income and welcomed an inspection by the IRS. They were denied claiming any legitimate business expenses and were handed a $2.5 million tax bill. Strangely enough, the IRS allowed them to write off the "illegal" product as a "cost of goods sold," but not normal operating costs. Harborside was also hit with abusive local taxes that were raised 4000% and had to be prepaid in advance.
Harborside was featured in the Discovery's documentary Weed Wars, see part 1 below:
ATF Removes Gun Rights from Cannabis Patients: The Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are now denying gun rights to lawful medical marijuana patients through a memo sent to all gun and ammo dealers nationwide. The memo written by Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director for Enforcement Programs and Services for the ATF, said "Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether or not his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or is addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition."
Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project commented, "Trying to treat medical marijuana patients like second-class citizens and stripping them of their rights as they are dealing with illness is just despicable."
Here is an interesting debate about it between former head of the ATF Mike Sullivan and Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project:
Removing First Amendment: The same U.S. Attorney in California, Laura E. Duffy, who said the medical marijuana industry is not really for sick people, also claimed she has the authority to shut down the First Amendment. She announced her intent to target to media outlets, threatening them to remove all ads for the medical marijuana industry. Duffy, claiming Federal law prohibits people from placing ads for illegal drugs, said she's "going after these folks with ... notification that they are in violation of federal law." She also warned that she has the power to seize property or prosecute them in criminal court.
NORML writes: "Whether or not Duffy’s unconventional interpretation of federal law has any legal merit is, of course, beside the point. Her intent is to create a climate of fear that is so pervasive that media outlets ‘willingly’ cease accepting advertising revenue from dispensaries and other like-minded business."
Here is the announcement from ABC News:
Banks Forced to Refuse Dispensary Business: Beginning last year, federal regulators prohibited banks from doing business with legal medical marijuana dispensaries, preventing them from being able to process credit/debit cards and even make cash deposits. Apparently, the banks were threatened not to work with companies that were breaking federal laws even if it was a private in-state bank. Now, lawful dispensaries are finding it harder and more dangerous to do business in several states.
Meanwhile, the big banks openly launder huge sums of money for illegal drug cartels with hardly a slap on the wrist. According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), "Up to 1.5 trillion dollars in drug money are laundered through legal enterprises, accounting for 5% of global GDP." Apparently, the well-connected banks are too big to indict, while legal mom-and-pop marijuana dispensaries are the real criminals according to the Obama Administration.
Watch a banking whistleblower Martin Woods below explaining the extent of the double-standard:
The Obama Administration is clearly using every weapon in the federal arsenal to intimidate and attack a legal enterprise approved democratically by the voters and permissible in our free Republic where states rights are supposed to have jurisdiction over federal decree. Not to mention that he lied during his campaign, is a world-class hypocrite, and marijuana is obviously not only safe but extremely beneficial medically.
Tell the White House that we've had enough and that it's time to stop the confusion and double standards, and it is time to end marijuana prohibition altogether.
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