Obama vs Bush on Medical Marijuana

During his 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama repeatedly said that if elected he would make sure the DEA shifted its focus away from those states were marijuana is legal. In reality, the opposite has happened. He’s actually spent more in 4 1/2 years fighting medical marijuana than Bush did in 8 years.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry … It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal,” he said.

But a recent report by Americans for Safe Access, as noted by The Weed Blog, a pro-marijuana research group, shows that the Obama administration is still spending massive amounts of money fighting cannabis use in states that have legalized the plant.

To be specific, the administration has spent $289 million dollars fighting medicinal marijuana policies in the last four-and-a-half years. This breaks down to over $100,000 per-day spent fighting citizen-approved medicinal marijuana policies. For pro-legalization voters that elected President Obama in hopes of seeing federal marijuana policies loosened, this has to be disappointing.

What’s more disappointing is that in just four-and-half-years, the Obama administration has spent $120 million more fighting medicinal marijuana than the Bush administration did over eight years.

We’ll just add this to the list of broken promises. And I swear, if someone leaves a comment that says “yeah well, would you rather have a Republican in office” I’m going to stab them in the leg with a spork. That is completely irrelevant. It would be ridiculous to stop criticizing someone who deserves that criticism just because someone else is worse.

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  • colnago80

    Rather interesting in that both Obama and Dubya had a toke or two in their time.

  • jeraldv

    Obama has been a disappointment in many ways.

  • machintelligence

    I certainly haven’t seen much in the way of federal enforcement activities here in Colorado. The only thing really noticeable is the reluctance of banks to open accounts for dispensaries or process credit cards. This puts them on a cash only basis and makes them more likely targets for theft.

  • Sandy Jones

    my best friend’s step-aunt makes $85/hr on the internet. She has been fired from work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $21931 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more….. http://www.max38.com

  • F [is for failure to emerge]

    Sandy Jones @ 4:

    You get stabbed in the eye with a spork.

  • Artor

    Sandy Jones is a robot. It doesn’t have any eyes.

    On topic, this is one of the many reasons I couldn’t force myself to vote for Obama last time around, no matter how much of a weasel Rmoney was. Not just the MJ issue, but the fact that Obama campaigned on being a progressive and bringing “change.” Instead, once in office, he immediately pissed all over his base, and proceeded to ignore the important issues that he ran on, in favor of letting BushCo war crimes slide, banksters getting away with billions, and assassinating American citizens without any whiff of due process. Anybody who still claims (or complains) that Obama is a liberal is a fucking idiot.

  • caseloweraz

    Que the Republicans in the House complaining that this $289 million is another example of liberal “tax and spend” government excess…


  • Loqi

    Should not have clicked link. Now all the ads I get are about weed.

  • Loqi

    Well he can’t be soft on drugs or he’ll lose the conservative voters he’s been oh so effectively courting.

  • ebotebo

    Any moneys spent by the U.S. Government to eradicate Fun Tickets is not only idiotic, it’s downright mean and uncaring! I know, I know, there are many more that use Ghanja for recreational purposes, but Jeebus Jump Up Cripes(!), let’s try and use a bit of empathy, humor and good heartedness here! Burn one for me! Cheers!

  • Nemo

    @Artor #6: I take issue with the statement that Obama ran as a progressive. Early in the 2008 primary, it was clear that he was staking out a position as a centrist — left of H. Clinton, perhaps, but well to the right of Kucinich or Gravel. As the campaign proceeded, and it came down to Obama and Clinton, he was the more progressive choice; but that was always a relative thing. He opposed the Iraq war, unlike Clinton — but not the war in Afghanistan. He supported civil unions, but at the time, actually said he opposed gay marriage… a position he held onto until public support crossed the 50% threshold (if not longer). Etc.

  • Crudely Wrott

    For all Obama’s talk and books about his folks and his childhood and the values that he grew up with upon which, we were lead to believe, he would use as a foundation for leadership; for all the campaign promises; for all the smiling photo ops; for all the repeated assurance that his administration would be something new and bold and liberating, we are left feeling like the kid on Christmas Day who only got socks and underwear. And they’re last admin’s fashion to boot!!

    I’m pissed off. I’m disillusioned. I’m disenfranchised. Plus I am sad for myself, my kids and grandpups and for my fellow Americans. It ain’t right, I tells ya. It just ain’t right.

    Who, then, shall I trust? Who?

  • katkinkate

    People keep going to polling booths thinking they’re going to vote in the next great saviour who has made some wonderful promises that sound so … promising, and then find soon out all they got was a politician. Never fails. All politicians lie. The higher up the food chain the more lies they’ve had to tell to survive to get their paycheck.

    On the other hand, there’s also the problem that the President doesn’t seem to have as much power as some think. US is not a dictatorship after all, if the prez want’s to do something it usually has to be OKed by the government first. So whatever promises he really wants to keep are still constrained by the process of getting it past all those other members of the government.

    Also, I’ve gotten the impression too that there are President secrets that the candidates don’t know of until they are sworn in. I imagine them going in to the office on their first official day, all naive and eager to govern and they are faced with a committee representing the real government who then lays out for them just what they can and can’t do as President. But that last one may only be just my conspiracy theory enthralled mind.

  • unbound

    Perhaps one day the masses will wake up to the fact that they are voting for a party that is largely conservative, focused more on corporations than the citizens of this nation, not particularly interested in civil rights, and are almost completely disconnected from the reality of the masses as the vast majority of the members of the party are very rich. Or, they can vote for Republicans.

    Once that day arrives, perhaps a party representing the people can be created or resurrected. Until then, expect more and more conservative candidates from both parties.

  • mithrandir

    If you treat elections as game theory: under first-past-the-post election rules, unless you genuinely believe the two major party candidates are exactly equally bad, your expected utility is maximized by voting for the least worst of the highest-polling two candidates. That’s just math.

    Of course, if the difference between the top two candidates is great enough in either direction, such that your vote for one of the top two is less than usually likely to tip the election, there can be utility in voting third-party beyond the actual election results. If, say, Jill Stein made a 5% showing in Massachusetts or Texas, that’d be a pretty sharp rebuke of Obama from the left. But if you’re in a battleground state, failing to vote for the lesser of two evils is foolish, unless as previously stated you genuinely cannot identify one of the evils as the lesser.

  • freehand

    I have now voted twice for a president who is largely ignoring the greatest threat to the human species in at least 60,000 years. It may be too late for avoiding utter catastrophe. It’s not simply a matter of getting a less bad president; by voting for Obama and validating the Democratic Party’s belief that they can “count on my vote” no matter what, I may have played my own small role in the sixth great extinction. Now, it’s possible that the damage Romney would have done would have been impossible to extricate ourselves from, at least in time to accomplish anything significant. But we are doing little now to alleviate the situation.


    We don’t have time to waste. We. Are. Facing. Extinction.


    I can no longer support a party that is ignoring a danger greater than WWII. I’ll vote Green, or maybe Pirate. To Hell with the corporate pet fake progressives.



  • lordshipmayhem

    Obama IS a Republican: the moderate kind, the ones the Tea Party and their sponsors the Koch Brothers have chased out of the Republican Party.

    In Canada, which is governed by an avowedly right-wing party, nobody gets excited at all over recreational drug use, even when consumed openly. Perhaps Obama should look to Canada’s Conservatives as his inspiration, not to the moderate former Republicans.