Major Fail: No Mention of Marijuana in Obama's State of the Union Speech

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Jay Brockman
Well, the reviews are in and the consensus seems to be that Obama missed a major opportunity to deliver a bold statement on one the biggest debacles facing our nation: the failed war on drugs.

Even Business Insider is highlighting the fact that Obama failed to so much as mention marijuana during his speech. "Obama could have used the State of the Union to announce that he was directing the Drug Enforcement Administration not to interfere with the legal marijuana trade in Colorado and Washington, and to call on Congress to repeal federal laws against marijuana," the magazine argues.

Obama's silence on the issue is all the more maddening, given the remarkable developments regarding marijuana that have unfolded in the past few weeks.

First, there was the interview Obama gave with The New Yorker's David Remnick two weeks ago, in which he acknowledged that marijuana was no more dangerous than alcohol. Then, last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama Administration was planning to come up with a way to allow banks to work with legal marijuana dispensaries despite the fact cannabis is still illegal under federal law.

"You don't want just huge amounts of cash in these places," Holder argued during a speech at the University of Virginia. "There's a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash--substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective."

Indeed, as even Time magazine noted, you don't have to look much further than Orange County to see examples of how the cannabis-cash nexus is hazardous to your health. The magazine specifically cited the terrible case of an unnamed O.C. dispensary owner who was tortured and sexually mutilated by suspects who apparently thought he'd buried a large pile of money in the desert.

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Email: nschou@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @NickSchou. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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12 comments
paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

The silence on this issue in the SOTU speech is just negligent and sad. California can become fiscally solvent in a matter of months if we follow the lead of Colorado and Washington States. Juries must become aware of the damage done to society by the drug war and push back. www.fija.com 

roman_archer
roman_archer

Well I firmly believe that "windmill" is "tilting" in the right direction. Two states down, 48 to go. One last thing, is anyone really surprised that Obama failed to bring up this important topic during his speech? This is the same administration that at first said they would take a "hands off" approach (at least in California) while at the same time sending DEA goons into the state to wreak havoic on medical dispensaries and their patients. My attitude is today as it was two decades ago: I don't need permission from anyone to grow and use a plant that does no harm what so ever. I am however a legal prop 215 patient and proud of it.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@paullucas714

Wow...sounds like you're getting railroaded. :-(

If I were on a jury I'd never convict you. I'd say the only thing you're guilty of is being an intelligent, decent person. :-)

roman_archer
roman_archer

Why do they always go so far out of their way to tack on the extra bullshit charges? Trust me though, I'm the last person you'll ever have to convince that this kind of crap goes on, and routinely at that. I'm guessing you're in that endless cycle of show up for court for a pre-preliminary, or maybe a preliminary hearing where nothing is accomplished and then turn around and do it again next month. Over and over and over again. I have a friend going through that. It's crazy! Good luck and hang tough. I know you will.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

@roman_archer Im a patient. a real patient. And yeah the medical ting is shady. But tht is the hoop you have to jump through to Ry and not get n trouble for cannabis. In my case, that's been dragging for two and half years cause I keep telling them to kick rocks, I had 7 Buena park cops come to my house in orange and they found my own cannabis a total of 10.7 ounces and they have been trying to get me to take a plea to go to jail for a year over that. Youd think after 2.5 years and all the changes in the law they would give up. A of now the cop that served the warrant, has been forced to go into retirement, and his partner has been demoted to patrolman. But the DDA wants to send me to jail because they found my guns that Ive owned since the early 90s in  my garage all unloaded no ammo , locked up in the storage container. But to the OCDA that makes me armed in the commission of a felony. Fuck You OC!

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@roman_archer 

I know what you mean. Luckily, the last guy I saw seemed almost "legit". But if they just legalized weed, no one would have to see questionable doctors or live in legal limbo.

roman_archer
roman_archer

Absolutely! Especially because the whole "medical" thing is a bit shady. These "doctors" that work at clinics that only dispense medical marijuana recommendations, the ones I've come accross anyway, are some real oddballs. You'll find that the vast majority of them are heavily sanctioned and the only thing their medical license is good for is mmj recommendations. The last guy I saw was priceless. I'll never forget him. He had the exact look and demeanor as the lawyer character Saul from Breaking Bad. During the entire recommendation interview he kept interupting to take phone calls. All of the calls were to his other office where he was handing out Vicodin prescriptions left and right like candy on Halloween. The whole thing left me a with a bit of a dirty feeling like I needed to get home and take a shower.

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