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You are viewing posts tagged:   Barack Obama

President Obama’s Half-Brother Arrested

February 2nd, 2009 by Perry

George Obama

The more and more we learn about Obama, the more he seems to be like one of us, complete with family members he barely even knows, causing him grief.

Barack’s brother, George Obama was recently arrested in Kenya for marijuana possession (it’s called Bhang in Kenya according to CNN reports) over the weekend.

The brothers share a father neither of them knew very well. The pair have met, but are not very close to one another, having grown up with different families about a continent away.

The younger Obama, who is in his mid-20s, is active in the community and studying to be a mechanic.

Update: Charges have been dropped. Imagine that.

Obama to Address Drug-Related Violence Near Mexican Border

January 27th, 2009 by Perry

Mexico President Felipe Calderon

In a break from the norm, Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon to discuss violence and drug trafficking in his country. Since FDR, presidents have been severely scrutinized with what they do in their first 100 days, and expected to work on domestic issues first, especially in light of the nation’s economic woes.

The meeting is an indication of just how out of control the violence down there has become in the world’s No. 1 producer of marijuana.

The issue of violence south of and near the border however, was the No. 1 issue of national security people asked about on Change.gov.

YouTube Find: Ganjtanamo Bay

January 15th, 2009 by Alex

This is an interesting one…

Produced by WeedSnob for NORML, this video is a 1:00 piece on what would happen if Obama had a dream about marijuana law reform – think of it as a Ghost of Marijuana Past.

I’m not exactly sure what this animation will be used for, but it seems like the ‘Yes We Cannabis’ phrase is starting to catch on with people.


Fine Lines: Legalization Vs. Decriminalization

December 24th, 2008 by Perry

President-elect Barack Obama has repeated several times he is not for legalization, he is for de-criminalization.

Obama continually refers to “changing paradigms” with how we police drugs, referring to the drug war as “an utter failure.” Unfortunately, how much of it is partisan rhetoric, how much he wants to change, and how much he can change are all still in the speculation stages.

What is known is that the economy is by and large an overwhelming concern. And if you look at the popular support afforded presidents who have turned around the economy, they usually enjoy political dominance in a second term – which is when many predict, if ever, we’ll see legitimate action on drug policy legislation by Obama and his administration.

Obama’s Vague Stance on Smoking

December 19th, 2008 by Perry

obama_smoke.png

Straight from Obamablunt.com, here’s a great picture of the president-elect from his youth smoking a cigarette. In recent interviews, the president’s cigarrette-smoking habit has come under scrutiny, especially in light of a no-smoking policy in the White House since the Clinton administration. That gave us all the opportunity we need to justify posting this picture.

On Obama’s Change.gov website, the soon-to-be president addressed the issue of marijuana legalization:

President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Update: Looks like our friends over @ CelebStoner got the jump on Lisa Jack’s 1980 shots of Barack Obama, his fancy hat and what looks like a cigarette. Good find.

Team Obama Says “No” to Legalizing Marijuana

December 16th, 2008 by Alex

obama_nyt.jpg

A few people have written to us for an opinion on the recently updated ‘Open for Questions‘ feature on the President-elect’s official Change.gov website.

It’s a pretty simple format. People submit questions that they would like answered by Obama’s transition team, then those questions are voted up or down depending on their popularity / relevance. The 5 most voted on questions then get answered.

Out of the 5, here is the question that most of us are interested in:

Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.? – S. Man, Denton

And here is the transition team’s expansive response:

President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

It might not be the answer we wanted, but at least their reasoning is clear. And by clear, I mean non-existent.

Before everyone gets worked up about this, let’s think about the venue more than the response. Is a Change.gov blog post really going to be the launching point for an incoming administration’s marijuana policy? I don’t believe so.

Instead, this feels more like a boilerplate response than a final answer. Out of all 5 questions, the marijuana response was the shortest answer (only 1 sentence) and there was no attempt made to delve into any of the root issues.

In other words, this isn’t what marijuana progressives wanted to see, but it’s not an end-all / be-all either. I’m sure the MPP, NORML and LEAP will all continue to push just as hard for marijuana reform. I also bet they’ll hold the incoming administration accountable for a logical and thorough response to the legalization movement as a whole.


NBPA Voices Disapproval for New Drug Czar

December 4th, 2008 by Perry

Not due in office for at least another six weeks, President Obama’s cabinet decision has already triggered some preemptive signs of concern.

The National Black Police Association, and other nonprofit organizations, recently wrote a letter to Obama voicing concerns over news that Rep. James Ramstad (R-Minn.) would be Obama’s Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, commonly referred to as the “drug czar”.

The NBPA cited Ramstad’s past opposition to medical marijuana, needle exchange and sentencing reform for drug users as their main objections with the choice.

Excerpt from the letter:

While we applaud Representative Ramstad for his courageous and steady support for expanding drug treatment access and improving addiction awareness, and honor his own personal and very public triumph over addiction, we have strong reservations about his candidacy for the drug czar position.

While Ramstad is generally considered a “rank-and-file” Republican according to his voting history, he also has a record of bi-partisan effort, which may have been a factor in his nomination.

Obama has yet to publicly respond to the letter.

Obama Drug Reform: A Troubling Sign

November 17th, 2008 by Alex

rahemanuel.jpg

Jacob Sullum, from Reason Magazine, wrote an extremely insightful article on the possibilities of drug reform in the Obama era.

We’ve already documented Obama’s vague positions since becoming a major party candidate, but Jacob takes the topic a step further.

Beyond nitpicking the meaning of ‘decriminalization’ or the potential to follow in Bill Clinton’s footprints, it should be noted that Obama’s new Chief of Staff – Rahm Emanuel – is a staunch anti-drug crusader.

His quotes on drug reform sound more like a military commander than a former Democratic representative. It should be noted, while Emanuel was in office, NORML rated him as a -20. That’s right in the middle of NORML’s -10 to -30 rating for “hard on drugs.”

Although a Chief of Staff doesn’t directly affect policy (his main duty is to co-ordinate and support the President at the highest level of executive interactions), it’s still worrisome to know someone so militant about drug reform will have Obama’s ear.





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