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Obama's belief that pot's less risky than alcohol (sort of) is refreshing, says Mason Tvert

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President Barack Obama.
In the latest issue of the New Yorker, President Barack Obama says marijuana isn't more dangerous than alcohol and is actually less so in at least one significant way.

Obama, who admits to smoking pot during his younger years but has spoken critically about the substance, hasn't turned into a cheerleader for weed.

But Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert is still upbeat about the President's statements and hopes they signal more progressive cannabis policies on the part of his administration.

In the New Yorker piece, penned by David Remnick, Obama initially addresses the subject of marijuana in a manner reminiscent of his comments in an interview with Barbara Walters from December 2012.

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," he tells Remnick.

But then he breaks new ground to some degree by adding, "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

When asked if he believes marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, Obama grows cautious, arguing that it's not as risky "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer." Then, after stressing that pot smoking is "not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy," he takes on the subjects of enforcement and race.

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President Obama during a 2011 appearance in Colorado.
"Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he maintains. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties." As such, he goes on, "we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing."

He also references Colorado and Washington, the two states that have legalized recreational pot sales. In his view, their efforts should be allowed to move ahead "because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."

Tvert's response?

"It's refreshing to finally hear our nation's top governmental official acknowledge that marijuana is less harmful for the consumer than alcohol," he says. "Although it's somewhat odd that it has to come as a surprise when our President simply acknowledges a fact -- an obvious fact. But the evidence is clear, and finally, it appears our federal government is shifting toward a more evidence-based approach. And hopefully this translates into action."

One obvious step Obama and company could take pertains to allowing marijuana entrepreneurs in Colorado and Washington to use banking services, as can other legal businesses. Based on reports he's received, Tvert believes this fix is already underway. As such, he feels the first priority should be "Congress taking action when it comes to changing specific marijuana laws."

Continue for more of Mason Tvert's reaction to President Barack Obama's recent marijuana-related statements.



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18 comments
InnocentBystander
InnocentBystander

Mason will be remembered as a monumental figure in our nations history. His actions alone have placed us upon a new direction that will be forever honored. When everyone else was failing, Mason stepped forward and showed us the way to legalization through common sense actions that have brought tremendous results. If that doesn't make him worthy of Rushmore, what would?

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi

Time to review why cannabis needs to be removed from schedule, Mason, not re-scheduled.

"Although it's somewhat odd that it has to come as a surprise when our President simply acknowledges a fact -- an obvious fact. But the evidence is clear, and finally, it appears our federal government is shifting toward a more evidence-based approach." Mason Tvert


The fact is the Westord isn't quoting some of the most important conclusions from DEA Judge Francis Young as far as Mason and the conversation of re-scheduling if we are really talking about  "facts" and "evidence based approaches ". 

“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. 

Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."[DEA Administrative Law Judge - 1988]”

Cannabis doesn't qualify for schedule because it is less harmful than anything on Schedule.  

Does Mason see aspirin on the schedule? because I don't.  It doesn't qualify for even Schedule V yet "The July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine: "Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone." (Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy”, The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S)


Substances are placed in their respective schedules based on 

1. whether they have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States 

2. their relative abuse potential and likelihood of causing dependence when abused. 

3. LD50 (Lethal Dose for 50% of test subjects)

IMPORTANT NOTE:

All drugs listed in Schedule I have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and therefore may not be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use. In contrast, drugs listed in Schedules II through V all have some accepted medical use and therefore may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.

Schedule I Substances: Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. 

Some examples of substances listed in Schedule I are: heroin; lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); marijuana (cannabis); peyote; methaqualone; and methylene-dimethoxy-methamphetamine ("ecstasy").


Schedule II Substances: Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse with severe psychological or physical dependence.

Examples of single entity Schedule II narcotics include morphine, codeine, and opium. Other Schedule II narcotic substances and their common name brand products include: hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®), and fentanyl (Sublimaze® or Duragesic®).

Examples of Schedule II stimulants include amphetamine (Dexedrine® or Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®). Other Schedule II substances include: cocaine, amobarbital, glutethimide, and pentobarbital.

Schedule III Substances: Substances in this schedule have a potential for abuse less than substances in Schedules I or II. 

Examples of Schedule III narcotics include combination products containing less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (i.e., Vicodin®) and products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (i.e., Tylenol with codeine®).

Examples of Schedule III non-narcotics include benzphetamine (Didrex®), phendimetrazine, dronabinol (Marinol®), ketamine, and anabolic steroids such as oxandrolone (Oxandrin®).

Schedule IV Substances: Substances in this schedule have a lower potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III. 

Examples of a Schedule IV narcotics include propoxyphene (Darvon® and Darvocet-N 100®).

Other Schedule IV substances include alprazolam (Xanax®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), midazolam (Versed®), temazepam (Restoril®), and triazolam (Halcion®).

Schedule V Substances: Substances in this schedule have a lower potential for abuse relative to substances listed in Schedule IV and consist primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotic and stimulant drugs. These are generally used for antitussive, antidiarrheal and analgesic purposes. 

Examples include cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC®, and Phenergan with Codeine®).

Registration Requ

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi

5 years in and Obama has prosecuted 4 times the number of medical marijuana caregivers and patients acting as dispensary owners as bush jr. and now he's the one throwing around the word hypocrite? Obama continues to be one of those LEADING hypocrites until he signs some MANDATORY EXECUTIVE ORDERS to correct his cannabis hypocrisy :

1. REMOVE CANNABIS (THC and ALL cannabaniods) from schedule!
2. RELEASE all non-violent CANNABIS PRISONERS NOW! and CLEAR ALL NONVIOLENT 'CRIMINAL' RECORDS.
3. Give STUDENT LOANS for college BACK TO CANNABIS USERS!
4. STOP EXCLUDING PEOPLE from receiving lifesaving organs from the ORGAN DONATION PROGRAM over cannabis use.
5. STOP PUNISHING VETERANS who USE for PTSD.

Until these transgressions on the American people are corrected--Obama is still a HYPOCRITE to be SHAMED!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

Let's be blunt. Middle class kids don't (often) get locked up for possession, because they're far less often dealers. People who know me and/or are familiar with my posts know that's not a slam. I've got nothing against selling pot without asking for permission from any government. The point, though, is that it's reality. Most of the dealers are people of color.


That said, I have little doubt people of color are treated as suspects more often, and an end to the war on drugs will benefit them.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi

And didn't the feds just reject a petition to be rescheduled to Schedule II  (incorrect scheduling again) last August?  And in 2012?  And in 2011? 

Obama is a pathetic hypocrite he spoke about.   

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi  "1. REMOVE CANNABIS (THC and ALL cannabinoids) from schedule!"


The most important part, and a distinction that most clueless stoners miss. Cannabis and all its derivatives must be completely de-scheduled from the CSA since any RE-scheduling to Sch. 2 or 3 would have the consequence of giving -- requiring -- the FDA and DEA total control over its manufacture, distribution, prescription and sales, COMPLETELY ELIMINATING the entire amateur "medical" marijuana market nationwide, instantly.


Re-scheduled pot would put it in the greedy hands and control of BigPharma.


De-scheduled pot would return it to THE PEOPLE.


Watching ignorant stoners running around chanting "re-schedule marijuana" is as hilarious as watching those clueless morons fuck themselves in the ass while chanting "Regulation Works" ... then whining when the FIST they begged for isn't lubricated enough.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  "The point, though, is that it's reality. Most of the dealers are people of color."


You pig-ignorant clueless racist piece of crap.


See many "people of color" dealing 100s and 1000s of pounds of pot -- for decades -- in the Emerald Triangle of Mendocino, Humboldt or Trinity counties in California?


See many "people of color" -- unbathed dirt excluded -- dealing 100s of pounds of pot -- for decades -- in Nederland Colorado?


Does it hurt to be such a bigoted dipshit?






DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi  ... did Obama reject those petitions?


Didn't Eric Holder implement the most wide-sweeping Criminal Sentencing Reform in the last 50 years, reducing the abuse of mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent crimes across the U$A?


Didn't the Obama administration just explicitly allow Colorado and Washington -- and any other state -- to directly violate federal law and continue with their recreational marijuana experiments?



Would Mormon Mitt Romney -- or any other Repuglykkkan -- have implemented a kinder gentler drug policy?



It should be PAINFULLY clear to you by now that Mendacious Mason Tvert, Lyin' Brian Vicente and Bullshit Betty Aldworth are NOT working toward true legalization -- or even any meaningful decriminalization -- of cannabis for individuals, but instead have duped thousands of fools into supporting their Strict Government Controlled COMMERCIALIZATION of Cannabis under the phony guise of "legalization".

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident 

It's plain statistics, not racism, dipshit. Also, note where I said I've got nothing against it. Reading is fundamental, asswipe.

I'm so obviously a racist for "fingering" people of color for doing something I explicitly approve of, fucking moron.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi ... well now those greedy self-serving scumbags have the not-so-symbolic FIST of REGULATION permanently planted deep up their collective rectums ... exactly what they myopically bargained for.


KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi

@DonkeyHotay@KathleenChippi  "It should be PAINFULLY clear to you by now that Mendacious Mason Tvert, Lyin' Brian Vicente and Bullshit Betty Aldworth are NOT working toward true legalization -- or even any meaningful decriminalization -- of cannabis for individuals, but instead have duped thousands of fools into supporting their Strict Government Controlled COMMERCIALIZATION of Cannabis under the phony guise of "legalization"."

I think I'm one of the handful of people who have been PAINFULLY aware of the SCAMpaigners and their BS prohibitionists monopoly.  Are you forgetting I was the only person to file a complaint against A64 and the only one to sue the state over HB1284 in Jan 2011 and again in June of 2011 and then the Beinor appeal in July of 2011?  

Yeah, I do PAINFULLY KNOW what the fuck is going on. 

It was PAINFULLY clear to me back in 1997 when DPA/MPP, brought language to CO called A20, (Then operating through AMMR, a now defunct group that morphed into CMMR back in 2010)

--CMMR was Josh Stanley and Matt Brown collecting tens of thousands of dollars from ignorant dispensary owners and then both accused each other of stealing $70,000 of it.  The group "imploded" according to the WW, the day after passage and celebration of hb1284  (an unconstitutional attack on A20).

Their vague ass "symbolic" language initially said one could grow 6 plants with no leafs.  DPA ignored the activists whose "backs they stepped on" (Ethan Nadelman DPA) plea's to correct over 20 problems in the language and then threw us a shit ass 'bone' and corrected ONLY the "no leafs" language.  Living with shitty "symbolic" language enshrined into our Constitution till forever has caused the arrests and prosecutions of innocent Coloradans since A20 passed.  Sure everyone wasn't arrested but lets ask everyone who lost their job, kids, housing or freedom if they think symbolic language works. 

I even understand that Soros/Monsanto and DPA and Lying Brian Vicente are conveniently working in Uruguay taking over the $1/gram 'experiment'.  With eighths costing $60-$100 here in CO, $1/grams down south sure become more valuable/profitable here in the Rocky Mtns, encouraging international illegal drug running....(well illegal for the unprotected 99.95% of us who are not working hand in hand with the US government/Big Pharma/tobacco/MONSANTO in their 'takeover' of)...

The millions in medical marijuana that was grown for and  stolen from patients of less than 40 storefronts (so 20,000? people max) and sold here Jan 1, 2014 surely can't supply the new 2.5-3 million 'recreational' users in CO. 

It's mathematically impossible that the HB1284 model can have enough 'lawfully' produced pot by this monopoly even TODAY!  

http://www.evilyoshida.com/Thread-Uruguay-first-nation-to-legalise-marijuana-trade

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/12/10/uruguay-becomes-first-country-to-legalize-and-fully-regulate-production-sale-and-distrubution-of-marijuana/.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

@KathleenChippi @DonkeyHotay 

Listen. It doesn't have anything to do with racism. They're systematically put into the position they're in. It's too easy to look like this and scream "racism." Reality matters, and the reality is that the drug war puts poor people in this situation, and the majority of those poor people, nationwide, are people of color. The thing to do is fix the actual problem (the drug war), about which I think all three of us happen to agree.

I'm not going to even give DH's continued  hyperbole on this topic any more attention--didn't even read the last response. His hatred for people who stand up to his trolling causes him to pull shit like this, and I'm going to blow it off.

By the way, the following part of the original comment seems to have been missed: 

"That said, I have little doubt people of color are treated as suspects more often, and an end to the war on drugs will benefit them."

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi

@DonkeyHotayI'm going to have to agree with Donkey on this one, minus the harshness....except for singling out Ned -  could be viewed in the same light ....  freakism?  bias?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... it's an obscene grotesque racist LIE, you daft dipshit.


Anyone who's been in the drug business for more than a minute knows -- especially in the pot industry -- that it's almost ENTIRELY dominated by WHITE people.


Your repugnant "statistics" show that "people of color" are ARRESTED more often, not that they represent the majority -- or even close -- of actual users or dealers ...


... hence the institutional racism and bias of the justice system. White dealers / users -- by far the majority -- don't get arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned at the same rate that minorities do.



Only a clueless bigoted fuckwit would ADOPT the extreme racial bias of the perverted U$ Justice System as proof that it isn't.




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