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Obama administration issues new policy on medical marijuana

By Carrie Johnson
The Obama administration delivered new guidance on medical marijuana to federal prosecutors Monday, signaling a broad policy shift that will mean fewer crackdowns against dispensaries and the people who use them.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. instructed government lawyers that in 14 states where medical marijuana use is legal, federal prosecutors should focus only on cases involving higher level drug traffickers or people who use the state laws as a cover story.

"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal," Holder said. "This balanced policy formalizes a sensible approach that the Department has been following since January: effectively focus our resources on serious drug traffickers while taking into account state and local laws."

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By Web Politics Editor  |  October 19, 2009; 11:36 AM ET
Categories:  Health Care  
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Next: Biden: Fix that drafty roof


I think we should have the illegal aliens dispensing the illegal Marijuana.

Posted by: cautious | October 20, 2009 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Creator made man, man made religion, religion made the drug war. So don't blame the Creator!

Posted by: xfdacsi | October 19, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

It's time to write a thank you note to the President. Here's the address

Posted by: conservativechristian1976 | October 19, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The amount of money they waste trying to inforce this law that still has 1950's thinking could be used to fund so many things they are taking away from us due to lack of funding. It would free up jail space, free up officers to do real police work, create a new industry for jobs and a tax sourced income. That would be the sane thing to do. More people die from those talking on the phone while driving then anything pot related. Yet this is an illegal act that is not enforced. The Gov of california's wife has been caught on camera severial times doing just that and this is a law her husband pushed through. Next time you have to call 911 count how long it takes to be helped. The long wait is because all the police are out busting pot shops. It was legal years ago and the country didn't fall apart. It was made illegal because it couldn't be regulated and a gov made his lifes work to make illegal. Booze was illegal and people woke up and brought it back, (more people die from drunk drivers then ever will from pot). I smoked for years and held down a good job, got married, Bought a house and was totaly in control of my life. I didn't sit around all the time with the munchies and not do anything with my life. Years of negative was drilled into the past few generations and most of what you have heard is false. Lets all stop living with these lies they have been feeding us all these years.

Posted by: rainman2 | October 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The only question worth asking, the only question that cuts to the heart of this issue and, really, every other that troubles those of us in this Christian nation, is, "What would Jesus have done?"

Fortunately, starting later this month, FOX News will air its first of a series with just that title. Hosted by Rush Limbaugh, the series will concentrate on soliciting the opinions of community, business and political leaders and present clear, fair and balanced answers so no one will be troubled by having to think.

Thank God for you Rush and all those like you.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | October 19, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

If you want real change then write to your members of congress to support H.R.2835 "To provide for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States."

If Obama wanted real change in the medical pot laws he would ask congress to take up this bill. But nooooo! He dickers around with disingenuous policy pronouncements while turning a blind eye to the fact that the federal laws, that he is sworn to uphold and enforce, mandate prosecution.

Posted by: aahpat | October 19, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse


How about dismantling the Bush-Cheney Era "Grassroots Gestapo" that unjustly targets American citizens for microwave/laser radiation directed energy weapons attack, financial exploitation, and warrantless GPS/cellphone activated "community stalking" harassment and terrorism?

A federal-local, secretive executive branch-directed multi-agency coordinated action program -- an ongoing legacy of the Bush-Cheney years -- is committing a quiet genocide on thousands of unjustly targeted Americans via microwave/laser weaponry; covert financial exploitation; and a grassroots vigilante army fronted by community policing, town watch and anti-terrorism units who use covertly placed warrantless GPS devices, and cell phones, to stalk their targets -- protected by federal and local law enforcement who know all about it... American Gestapo hiding in plain sight, unreported by a complacent mainstream media, unaddressed by naive and apparently misinformed Obama officials. OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 19, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing new about this disingenuous policy. It is what Obama has been saying out of one side of his mouth since taking office. Out the other side of his mouth is the caveat of "strict compliance" and federal support of local authorities. The feds investigate for pretexts and turn them over to zealous local prosecutors for action.

I wrote more about this here:

Drug Warrior Obama's Disingenuous "New" Medical Pot Rules

Posted by: aahpat | October 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This is a great step; it really is time to stop putting people in jail for using an herbal remedy. Next: As a nation, let's adopt an approach allowing individuals to grow a little marijuana for personal use. It will put the illegal drug dealers out of business in a year. Limit the size of the growing area or the number of plants, and put a small user-fee on it to cover administrative costs, something like a fishing license.

One possibility:$100 per year for a permit to cultivate a dozen plants.
It's a win-win.

Posted by: conservativechristian1976 | October 19, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Marijuana does have its medical benefits, and it would be much safe to legalize it than people taking a risk with a product that's not regulated....

Prohibition doesn't work....

The 1920s taught us that.....

So, why don't they just legalize and tax it? The government should could use the money....

Posted by: abbydelabbey | October 19, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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