Seemingly, 2011 would have good year for the federal government to be engaged in increasing employment and securing the financial system from further meltdown. Unfortunately, the government did neither of these. Astoundingly, federal bureaucrats instead re-energized the idiotic and failed war on drugs, especially medical marijuana.
The year began dismally with a unanimous senate confirmation of Bush/Obama appointee Michele Leonhart to head the DEA. Any hope for cannabis rescheduling, or even research, are dashed by her choke hold on medical marijuana as administrator of this bloated agency. During confirmation hearing her anti-medical cannabis ravings were praised by powerful senators, such as Senate Judiciary Leader Jeff (“I love the DEA”) Sessions, R-Alabama. The bureaucrat Leonhart is now empowered to essentially single-handedly determine US doctrine on medical marijuana, predictably hard-line. Schedule I classification of marijuana has been very, very good to the agency and to the bloated pensions of thousands of needless, useless federal employees. This erroneous Schedule I classification for cannabis is the cause of life-crushing harshness of twenty million arrests during this senseless and on-going war on marijuana.
One possible bright ray of hope came with legislation offered by the retiring Barney Frank and presidential hopeful Ron Paul. H.R. 2306 would have repealed federal penalties for production, distribution, and possession of cannabis for medical use. This one piece of freedom-promoting legislation was quick quashed by a single powerful representative, Lamar Smith R-Texas. He simply refused to give the legislation a hearing and the desperately needed legislation died on the spot, tyranny in action.
Encouraged by this drug war zealotry, freedom-harming initiatives sprouted from seemingly every branch of the federal government.
- The ATF, perhaps trying divert attention from their appalling gun running to Mexican cartels fiasco, sought to deny second amendment gun rights to patients afforded relief by state legal medical marijuana.
- The IRS gutted the financial viability of cannabis dispensaries by denying ability to expense costs, as every other business is allowed.
- Congress, supposed infused by “small government” representatives voted in 2010, instead proposed new, big-government-at-its-worst intrusive legislation. Notable was the legislation, proposed again by the lamentable Lamar Smith R-TX that would criminalize American’s activities overseas, if they violated the Controlled Substances Act.
- Federal prosecutors across the country banded together to attack voter-approved state medical cannabis protections in the fifteen states with such legislation. By playing the federal Schedule I trump card, federal prosecutors have all they need to persecute, jail, fine, and seize assets from those working for medical cannabis freedom and building this new health care industry.
As George W. Bush would say, “they attack us because they hate our freedoms.” But the attackers in 2011 are our own taxpayer-supported federal bureaucrats. They attack fellow citizens benefiting medically from cannabis and the health care industry that was quickly growing, to protect and expand the rosy drug-warrior careers and pensions this failed war on Americans has provided these lordly bureaucrats.
Rescheduling cannabis and drastically downsizing the counterproductive war on drugs were easy steps that Barack Obama could have taken. He could have chosen a leader, such as Norm Stamper, rather than a drug war crazed self-server to head the DEA. Instead, as in so many ways, he has chosen to play out George W. Bush’ third term. Far more Americans support ending cannabis prohibition than support Obama’s reelection.
Sigh, 2012 does not look much better. Unless maybe Ron Paul were elected president.