Pubdate: Wed, 29 Feb 2012
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2012 The Register-Guard
Author: Jim Greig
Note: Jim Greig of Eugene is a member of the board of directors for 
the Voter Power Foundation, Oregon organizer for Americans for Safe 
Access and co-director of the Regulate Medical Marijuana Political 
Action Committee.


"...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will
within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not
add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the
tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an
individual." - Thomas Jefferson

A movement in drug policy circles is afoot in this election season
that so far has flown under the media's radar but holds the potential
to be a game-changer.

The movement? A challenge to President Obama from millions of cannabis
activists and consumers that simply states, "No change, no vote, no

As a candidate, Barack Obama pledged that his administration would not
interfere in the state's medical marijuana policies. As president he
said in a 2009 memorandum on scientific integrity, "The public must be
able to trust the science and scientific process informing public
policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter
scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific
and technological information is developed and used by the federal
government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public."

The chasm between scientific integrity and U.S. drug policies is one
that humbles the Grand Canyon. The president may be able to carry a
tune, but he plays the fool in not moving toward the real science of

As we know from recent raids in Southern Oregon, California, Montana
and Colorado, the deeply entrenched federal drug war bureaucracy is
doing its utmost to squash states' medical cannabis programs.

In a news release last October the Drug Policy Alliance called Obama's
medical cannabis policies worse than the policies of the Bush and
Clinton administrations. That's saying something.

But the real crux has been in Obama's condescending disregard for the
dozens of marijuana legalization questions in online polls, White
House "We the People" petitions and Twitter and YouTube townhall-type

In every case, the No. 1 question asked was on marijuana
re-legalization. In every response but one, the president was at best

In January of 2011 he did finally answer, responding to a YouTube
question from MacKenzie Allen, a retired deputy sheriff, now a member
of and speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. In his
statement, the president said that drug legalization is "an entirely
legitimate topic for debate."

Well, Mr. President, here's a fact your re-election staff hasn't told
you: The reason cannabis was the top vote winner over and over again
is because it's important to millions of people who are one-issue
voters and highly motivated to vote. And we are eager for that debate.

In the presidential election years, turnout among young voters is high
- - a vote I am sure Obama would like to count on.

What he apparently doesn't realize is that polling shows that
two-thirds of voters between the ages of 18 and 25 support the
legalization of cannabis.

Drug policy activists, especially us medical cannabis types, are
angered by our president.

In Oregon the rising tide of dissatisfaction has led to the founding
of six chapters of Students for Sensible Drug Policy on our college
campuses, and state cannabis activists are having discussions on the
formation of a statewide coalition specifically to deal with the
constant assaults on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.

Clearly, there is no doubt that cannabis has proper medical uses, just
as there is no doubt about the science of medical marijuana.
Unfortunately, since cannabis is still a Schedule I drug in the
Controlled Substances Act (meaning it has no accepted medical use in
the United States), and because of the power of the
multi-billion-dollar drug war bureaucracy, the only studies allowed to
be conducted in the United States are those seeking to find harm in
cannabis use.

Every responsible American should be feeling the pain as cannabis
patients, medical cannabis programs and the truth all try to survive
under government edicts based not on science, but on plain
old-fashioned lies.

We, the people, are the leaders on this issue, and we are fed up. We
are ready to demonstrate our dissatisfaction in the voting booth.
Candidate Obama promised change. President Obama has not changed a

This will not be tolerated. We say no. No change, no vote, no
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.