Marijuana: Obama's wrong about his ability to reschedule pot, advocate says

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Photos, video and more below.
President Barack Obama may be regretting his decision to talk marijuana in an interview last month. After telling the New Yorker that, in his opinion, pot is less risky than alcohol for the individual user, Obama was asked in a CNN followup if he'd consider rescheduling cannabis, currently listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a drug whose dangers rival heroin's. He replied that only Congress can do that, but a prominent marijuana advocate says he's wrong and offers documentation to support his argument.

As we've reported, the David Remnick-penned New Yorker piece quotes Obama acknowledging that "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."

But then he added, "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

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Photo by Eric Gruneisen
Obama during a 2012 campaign appearance in Boulder.
When asked if he believes marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, Obama maintained that it wasn't as problematic "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer."

Afterward, marijuana advocates such as Mason Tvert praised Obama's statement, and Colorado Representative Jared Polis even offered to take the President on a guided tour of a marijuana store and grow. But push-back followed Obama's subsequent sit-down with CNN's Jake Tapper.

We've shared a video and partial transcript of the interview below, but in response to Tapper's question about whether he's considering "not making marijuana a Schedule One narcotic," Obama replied, "Well, first of all, what is and isn't a Schedule One narcotic is a job for Congress."

"I think it's the DEA that decides," Tapper interjected.

Obama disagreed. In his words, "It's -- it's not -- it's not something by ourselves that we start changing. No, there are laws under -- undergirding those determinations...."

If that's the case, notes Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell, there's nothing on the Justice Department web page about drug scheduling that alludes to such a procedure. Indeed, the regulations, which we've also included below, repeatedly state that decisions about scheduling are made by the U.S. Attorney General, a presidential appointee -- currently Eric Holder.

Does this mean Obama doesn't understand how the process work? Or is he merely attempting to dodge responsibility for rescheduling because he fears the political consequences of making such a move without Congressional support?

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Tom Angell as seen in a photo taken during a Denver visit.
Here's Angell's take, shared with Westword via e-mail.

"It's very unfortunate that President Obama appears to want to pass the buck to Congress when it comes to marijuana laws, especially when his State of the Union speech...focused on actions he can take to move America forward without having to wait for the legislative branch to get its act together," Angell writes.

He adds, "If the president truly believes what he says about marijuana, he has a moral imperative to make the law match up with his views and the views of the majority of the American people, without delay."

The bottom line, from Angell's perspective: "He should initiate the long overdue rescheduling of marijuana today."

Continue to see a CNN video, read a partial transcript, and see information about scheduling drugs from the Department of Justice.


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43 comments
frank711
frank711

Congress has to take mj off the controlled substance act. I thought he could legalize aswell

by taking it off schedule I drug, turns out the feds. Wont touch it till congress moves on it.

Jim Earl
Jim Earl

He can change every thing else with out them!!!!

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13


we are not gonna need obama, soon as we get past the 30 state mark i expect congress or the supreme court to act, otherwise obama might be asked his final year to reclassify


from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades,  time to tie marijuana to the 2014, and 2016 elections

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...

love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

"(2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule."  


REMOVE CANNABIS FROM THE DEA SCHEDULE! 

Schedule is for DRUGS THAT:

1. KILL 

2. ARE HARMFUL AND 

3. ARE ADDICTIVE. 

ASPIRIN KILLS 16,000/YEAR AND IS NOT ON SCHEDULE...Cannabis is an HERB that IS HEALING THE NATIONS and mother nature gave us a plant that cannot KILL and has no physical addiction.....REMOVE THE PEOPLES PLANT FROM SCHEDULE! Nothing LESS!

And of course tobacco and alcohol are not on Schedule.....


http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/pending-regs/196373-lawmaker-wants-pot-off-federal-drug-list

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

Obama spreading misinformation again. Truth is, like many issues he claims to care about, he actually could care less. Think about it. He talks about using executive orders to do whatever he feels need done ASAP. He won't wave his magic pen for something like Gitmo, why would he consider cannabis?

Skid Jarrett Gilmore
Skid Jarrett Gilmore

If polling for doing this continues to do well between now and when he leaves office, maybe then there's a chance in Hell he'll stick his political legacy neck out for this.

Jason DrSoul Lewis
Jason DrSoul Lewis

So Philip died of a heroin overdose....how many weed (lol) overdoses have occurred since CO and WA legalized it? Ever?

Josh Cramer
Josh Cramer

"I will work, with or without congress." "Never mind"

Randy Hays
Randy Hays

He's lying. He does a lot of that.

Rob Payne
Rob Payne

Heroin defo does not equal cannabis in any sense.

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

In light of what just happened to Philip Seymour Hoffman, how can anyone in their right mind say cannabis should be on the same schedule as heroin?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter


                       *** DEATH by Cannabis !! ***


Devout Christian mother-of-three, 31, becomes first woman in Britain to DIE from cannabis poisoning after smoking a joint in bed to help her sleep


A young mother of three died after she was poisoned by the cannabis she smoked to help her get to sleep.

Gemma Moss, 31, was killed by the level of the drug in her blood, an inquest heard.

The regular churchgoer, who was found dead in her bedroom, is thought to be the first woman in Britain known to have died directly from cannabis poisoning. 

Her death was caused by cannabis toxicity, and a coroner recorded a verdict of death by cannabis abuse.

The inquest was told that Miss Moss smoked half a joint a night to help her sleep.

The devout Christian had  been a frequent user but stopped for two years before her death last October.

Her family say she started using the drug again to help her sleep after becoming depressed when she split up with her boyfriend. 



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548669/Devout-Christian-mother-three-31-woman-Britain-DIE-cannabis-poisoning-smoking-joint-bed.html



Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

He just grandstanded about how he's going to take matters into his own hands when he feels like it. He just doesn't feel like it.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Tom Angell = Regulation Works Douchebag


Tom Angell = stupid enough to think that RE-scheduling instead of DE-scheduling with solve any legal problems.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi  


Remove LSD, Psilocybin, Mescaline, Peyote, Ayahuasca, ALL Tryptamines and ALL Cannabinoids, natural or synthetic!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jason DrSoul Lewis  ... funny, since medical marijuana proliferation has been spreading across the U$A, so has an increase in Heroin use and addiction.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

Lets wait to see what killed him...from what I heard yesterday and from what I understand about heroin...it looks like it's the SHIT they cut the herion with that probably killed him.


If The longest war in the history of the US--the drug war--was over--then Philip Seymour Hoffman would probably be alive because he would have been able to go to a doctor to get a proper prescription for PURE heroin and he would have known how much to take.....instead we have a very talented dead actor.....and the war on drugs (Americans) KILLS another. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mitch Siff  ... how can any brain-dead bong-sucking dipshit say that marijuana should be treated like DEADLY ALCOHOL that maims, destroys and kills 10s of THOUSANDS of people every year?





KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay probably stupid but could also be touting the BS from Mason Tvert and MPP/DPA/ASA-- these guys want schedule II or III cause that keeps puts cannabis in the hands of big pharma.  

Does anyone really think Schedule drugs can be grown at home????   


Hell--cannabis is an HERB. 

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident @KathleenChippi--only schedule I supposedly have no medical use.  And all of them could be argued like cannabis as having medical use--ask a Native American if peyote has no medical value?  I know LSD helped me with a medical condition--saved my life.  Mushrooms even have a 14 month medical value. 

The rest of the schedule is drugs with medical use.....I'm pointing out the factors that put any medical or non medical drug on the Schedule--and pointing out alcohol and tobacco-(no medical use) are exempt from Schedule all together.  

2011 mushroom studies:   http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/GeneralPsychiatry/28788  

and:

The first clinical study of psilocybin approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1970[148]—led by Francisco Moreno at the University of Arizona and supported by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies—studied the effects of psilocybin on patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). The pilot study found that, when administered by trained professionals in a medical setting, the use of psilocybin was associated with substantial reductions in OCD symptoms in several of the patients.[149][150] This effect is largely caused by psilocybin's ability to reduce the levels of the 5-HT2A receptor, resulting in decreased responsiveness to serotonin.[83] Psilocybin has additionally shown promise to ease the pain caused by cluster headaches,[151] "one of the worst pain syndromes known to mankind."[152] In a 2006 study, half of cluster headache patients reported that psilocybin aborted the attacks, and most reported extended remission periods; similar results were reported for LSD.[150] A 2011 review of alternative headache treatments concluded that, despite flaws in the study design, these results suggest that LSD and psilocybin may warrant further study for use in the prevention of cluster headaches—only subhallucinogenic doses of the drugs are required for effective treatment, and no other medications have been reported to stop a cluster headache cycle.[151]

Several modern studies have investigated the possibility that psilocybin can ease the psychological suffering associated with end-stage cancer. Preliminary results indicate that low doses of psilocybin can improve the mood and reduce the anxiety of patients with advanced cancer, and that the effects last from two weeks to six months.[150] These results are comparable to those obtained from early studies that explored the use of LSD to improve the psychological well-being of terminally ill patients, but without the experimental rigor employed in modern clinical psychopharmacology research



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay

@DonkeyHotay Show research to support your assertion or just admit your a fucking ignorant troll.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi  ... the sad irony is that the DEA's recent war on PRESCRIPTION pain killers -- like Oxycodone -- is what is driving those MILLIONS of prescription ADDICTS in the U$A to switch to cheaper, easier to obtain, street heroin.


       *** Regulation Works! ... for the Regulators ***


... not so much for the regulated.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@Monkey @DonkeyHotay   


I agree it wasn't natural cannabis.  But let's not forget about deadly US Government created Synthetic 'Marijuana'--better known as bath salts, black mamba, incense, spice, K2, etc...all different concoctions of 400 plus fake cannabiniods...If I remember correctly they gave the professor a 4 million grant.


"Law enforcement agencies in the New Orleans area and across the country are waging a war against the spread of synthetic marijuana manufactured en masse, authorities say, by unregulated chemists overseas. But many may be surprised to learn that some of the most commonly used formulas for fake pot were created by an American professor conducting research for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

Former Clemson University chemistry professor Dr. John W. Huffman is the namesake of JWH-018, JWH-073 and JWH-200, three of the synthetic cannabinoids banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2011.

"The National Institute of Drug Abuse wanted to research marijuana," said Dr. Victor Tuckler, the emergency room toxicologist at Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans. "They were looking at different receptors of the brain to see if they could come up with a way that people wouldn't get addicted to this stuff."

Huffman and his colleagues created more than 400 synthetic cannabinoid compounds during the 1990s.

"Who knows how this got out," Tuckler said. "Pretty soon, it's on the Internet and people are making it over in China."

JWH-018 began showing up in 2008 in synthetic marijuana marketed as "Spice" and "K-2." The compound and its analogues have since been banned in several countries.

It's a shame, said Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, because Huffman was looking for beneficial uses for the compounds, similar to the synthetic cannabinoid Marinol, used to treat nausea during chemotherapy.

"He was doing good research. He never intended for his compounds to end up on the street," Ryan said.

Huffman declined to comment Friday about the misuse of the compounds he created. But in an 2011 interview with the Chicago Tribune, he said, "These things are dangerous -- anybody who uses them is playing Russian roulette.""


http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/07/clemson_university_professor_c.html


Professor Hoffman retired from teaching last spring.  When asked what he would be doing he said he would be helping legalize REAL CANNABIS because it is safer than what he created...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi ... or what Schedule of drug can be processed, distributed and sold by amateur pharmacists -- i.e. marijuana dispensaries.


Or name a single Scheduled drug that is approved for RECREATIONAL use in the U$A.


RE-scheduling cannabis would enable the DEA / FDA to IMMEDIATELY SHUT DOWN the ENTIRE "medical" marijuana industry nationwide, forcing YEARS of REQUIRED pharmacological study before ANY pot was allowed to be prescribed, and only then via LICENSED Pharmacists and only for the limited specific indications PROVEN in those clinical trials and studies.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi ... only because you don't understand organic chemistry.


Synthetic THC has the exact same effect and binding affinities as "natural" THC ... because they are the exact same molecule.


If you're going to assert that Cannabinoids are LETHAL merely because the molecules were synthesized in a laboratory, then you'll have to confess that those SAME molecules can be lethal when extracted from natural plants.


Now are street level "spice" or "bath salts" dangerous? Yes, because they often contain chemicals OTHER THAN synthetic cannabinoids -- thanks to the DEA's recent scheduling of many synthetic cannabiniods -- because the producers of "spice" and "bath salts" have been forced to switch to an ever-changing array of AMPHETAMINE based analogues to evade the new laws.


Deaths from pure synthetic cannabinoids are as rare as deaths from naturally derived cannabinoids.


Synthetic Mescaline is the same molecule as Naturally derived Mescaline.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiHKAL


hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotayFAKE <== whines the ignorant cunt who can't even come up with an original username.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi @Monkey  


You misunderstand Huffman's statement ... he wasn't criticizing the pure synthetic cannabinoids he -- and others -- isolated and synthesized since they are IDENTICAL in molecular structure to extracted cannabinoids. 


He was commenting on the potential unknown purity and potential contamination and potential mislabeling of the street level synthetics that were being hawked as "spice".


JWH-018 binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body, in the same manner as naturally derived THC does.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_JWH_cannabinoids

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @KathleenChippi@Monkeyapparently not exact because natural cannabis does not kill.  The scientist who created them " "These things are dangerous -- anybody who uses them is playing Russian roulette."""

and he now feels cannabis is the safest therapeutic substance known to man.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi @Monkey


Synthetic Cannabinoids are as "real" as any derived or extracted from pot -- they are in fact CANNABINOIDS, exact in chemical structure and effect.


hth.

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