Back in 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama said that his views on medical marijuana was that it was a state rights issue best left up to state and local governments to decide.
“I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” he said to the delight of many who utilize medical marijuana and it’s advocates. He also promised an end to Bush era raids on providers of medical pot, which is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
But it didn’t take very for President Obama to go back on those words and unleash a multiagency crackdown on medical marijuana that goes far beyond anything perpetrated by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, promising to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, in addition to threatening state employees with prison time for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, the Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts.
“There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana,” says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “He’s gone from first to worst.”
The estimated 730,000 patients nationwide, many of whom are seriously ill or dying, who rely on state-sanctioned marijuana recommended by their doctors are obviously being adversely affected by the crackdown. In addition, drug experts warn, the White House’s war on law-abiding providers of medical marijuana will only expand the black market for real criminals.
“The administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground again,” says Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a former Republican senator who has urged the DEA to legalize medical marijuana, pulls no punches in describing the state of affairs produced by Obama’s efforts to circumvent state law: “Utter chaos.”
Some might describe the president’s high school years as utter chaos. Those very same years when him and his friends were known as the “Choom Gang” for their marijuana smoking prowess.
In his 1995 memoir “Dreams of My Father,” Obama writes about smoking pot as a high school kid. He would smoke “in a white classmate’s sparkling new van,” he would smoke “in the dorm room of some brother” and he would smoke “on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids.”
Now a soon-to-be published biography by David Maraniss entitled “Barack Obama: The Story” gives more detail on Obama’s pot-smoking days, complete with testimonials from young Barry Obama’s high school buddies.
According to Maraniss, teenage Obama was not just a pot smoker, but a pot-smoking innovator.
“As a member of the Choom Gang,” Maraniss writes, “Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends.” One of which was “Total Absorption” or “TA”.
“TA was the opposite of Bill Clinton’s claim that as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled,” explains Maraniss. Here’s how it worked: If you exhaled prematurely when you were with the Choom Gang, “you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around.”
As one of Obama’s old high school buddies tells Maraniss: “Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated.”
Another Obama innovation was called “Roof Hits.”
“When they were chooming in a car all the windows had to be rolled up so no smoke blew out and went to waste; when the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling.”
Maraniss also says Obama was known for his “Interceptions”: “When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!,’ and took an extra hit.”
So not only was the president a weed head but he was also a bogart.
A bogart and hypocrite who wrote about doing drugs enthusiastically in his youth, who promised to respect state laws on medical marijuana and who is ultimately hurting those who rely on it to combat a variety of aliments.
A president so hip and cool he can laugh and brag about the fun times he had in his youth, while locking people away for doing the very same although not for fun but for relief from pain.