Obama Administration to Stop Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensers - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Obama Administration to Stop Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensers

March 19, 2009
Obama Administration to Stop Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensers
By DAVID JOHNSTON and NEIL A. LEWIS

WASHINGTON — 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.

Ethan Nadelmann, the founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, said Mr. Holder was telling the Drug Enforcement Administration that it should leave legitimate growers of medical marijuana untouched. “The message from the Bush Justice Department was ‘watch out — we have the authority to go after everybody,’ ” he said.

On other matters, in his first wide-ranging conversation with reporters as attorney general, Mr. Holder said the Justice Department was still reviewing the case files of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to determine whether they could be released or would be tried in a civilian criminal court or some other legal forum. He said it was possible that some detainees like the Uighurs held in Cuba could be released into the United States.

He also said the department was “monitoring” developments related to accusations of abuse of detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency, but stopped short of endorsing the appointment of a special prosecutor. “We will let the law and facts take us to wherever we need to go,” he said.

Mr. Holder said the department should be open to preserving a healthy newspaper industry. He said he would consider adjusting enforcement of antitrust statutes if that would help news organizations develop collective distribution systems.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 01:44 PM
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When will this common sense shit end, lets get back to doing what is constructive and RIGHT.................................right....... .........
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 01:46 PM
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Wait, sick people won't be arrested and harassed for seeking comfort and relief? What is this country coming to?!

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
Wait, sick people won't be arrested and harassed for seeking comfort and relief? What is this country coming to?!
This is all just to appalling, we have all the best Pharmecuticals ever, all you need is a scrip, don't believe me.......just watch TV......
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 05:33 PM
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If we could just somehow insure that the Republicans got 'scripts maybe they would mellow the hell out for a while and quit trying to run other people's lives.

I think I see the genesis of a quasi-cunning plan.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
If we could just somehow insure that the Republicans got 'scripts maybe they would mellow the hell out for a while and quit trying to run other people's lives.

I think I see the genesis of a quasi-cunning plan.
I fear that plan has been in motion for some time................outcome as of yet confusing......
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:27 PM
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I fear that plan has been in motion for some time................outcome as of yet confusing......
I think they are just taking the wrong drugs. The target is mellow, not stupid.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:51 PM
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I have had the dubious privilege of watching someone die of cancer. The only thing that let him live long enough to hold a grandchild was the relief supplied by the herb. It helped.

My position in this debate will always be colored by that experience. As one persons' tagline in here says: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is not.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:52 PM
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I think they are just taking the wrong drugs. The target is mellow, not stupid.
lmao.. you're so right.



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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 08:53 AM
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Wait, sick people won't be arrested and harassed for seeking comfort and relief? What is this country coming to?!
For comfort and pain relief, the AMA and the ethics committee has gone much farther than this, ie there is a gray line between assisted suicide and pain relief.
As doctors we have always had to face a dilemma: Do we alleviate a patient's pain even if that therapy can possibly end the patient's life? YES!!!!

EXAMPLE:
You have a terminally ill patient with cancer and has a DNR order (DNR=Do not resuscitate=means you don't bring them back if they stop breathing or their heart stops and to just let them go) Now the patient is in severe pain and the patient want relief and you already are giving him a very high dose of a pain killer, lets say morphine. If up up the dose, you know that the patients may have a depression in breathing and eventually he will stop breathing. DO YOU UP THE DOSE? You tell the patients that this may lead to his death and the patient or guardian is OK and says go ahead. Do you do it? ABSOLUTELY!! This is considered good clinical practice as well as legal as well as standard of care as well as ethical.
So what is the big deal with MEDICAL marijuana? Your primary duty is to your patient.
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