October 7, 2011

The Obama administration's incoherence about medical marijuana.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog says:
In recent weeks, landlords of some pot shops [in California] have received letters from federal prosecutors warning them to stop sales within 45 days or risk seizure of their property and criminal charges....

The current crackdown... is spawning some backlash accusing President Obama of a reversal based on campaign statements, and those later by Justice Department officials, that the federal government shouldn’t and wouldn’t go after medical pot usage allowed by state laws....

Administration officials have countered, such as in this memo in June from Deputy Attorney General James Cole, that the recent aggressive enforcement isn’t a flip-flop — simply a reaction to a vast recent expansion of marijuana cultivation and distribution facilities....
If you tell businesses they can do something, and they rely on it and expand, how can you justify changing the policy because they expanded?

We were just talking about the way uncertainty about government policy inhibits the expansion of business. Now, here's a case where the government proffered assurance about something, triggered a big expansion, and now it's changing the policy.

Why didn't the Obama administration foresee that non-prosecution would lead to expansion? Or maybe I should ask why the purveyors of marijuana trusted the government not to flip the policy? Were they high?

Hey! Wait a minute. Here's some lateral thinking on the subject: All those other businesses owners who are inhibited in the face of policy uncertainty. Let them smoke marijuana. It might overcome their inhibition.

51 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Is it possible we have way too many laws which leads to way too many attorneys on the govt payroll?

Revenant said...

This isn't a recent Obama flip-flop. His administration has been cracking down on legal marijuana dispensaries since 2009.

traditionalguy said...

The government is always the enemy of new business.

That's why we "license" new businesses and add huge entry penalties to new business. And they are lucky to get an answer on their papers for years.

The existing businesses are paying off for that help.

In Obama World a new set of rules sold to the highest bidder comes out every month or two. The growth business is in new fascist agencies.

The housing industry is alive and well in only one place today... in Metro DC.

Hagar said...

To start with, I do not think that the Obama administration has very good control of any government departments, so that even sections or area offices within the departments are likely to go off on their own.

Second, this is basically how gangster governments operate: Never mind the official policy; you just behave yourself and don't stretch my patience if you know what's good for you!.

Lucien said...

Apropos of the currently airing "Prohbition", review of that part of US history (including Justice Stevens' recollections of his father's dealings with Al Capone)shows how crazy the current drug prohibition is. Of course it's not coherent, because its basis is illogical and any legitimate purposes have long ago been corrupted.

There must be something in the water (worse, even, than fouridation)served to government officials, because even candidates who start out with almost rational disdain for the War On Drugs chagne their tunes upon accession to office. (OK, maybe it's not thewater, but Pods.)

garage mahal said...

Guaranteed to piss of every liberal and libertarian in the state, potentially appeasing only a few people who would never vote for him anyway. Well played again, Obama.

Mary Beth said...

Smoking should have made them more paranoid, not more trusting.

Lamar63 said...

garage mahal said...
Guaranteed to piss of every liberal and libertarian in the state, potentially appeasing only a few people who would never vote for him anyway. Well played again, Obama.

10/7/11 4:22 PM

Exactly. He is not very good at politics.

Cedarford said...

Left vs Left.
The "hope and change" pot smoking type of liberal against the Leftist fascists of the Obama administration that hate all businesses and seek to have the Federal government control all aspects of what they do. (Except businesses that are on the top donors list..then the only thing the Obamites do is say "how much of this China IOU money can we give your business")

purplepenquin said...
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David said...

They are looking kind of incoherent on Solyndra too. Today's email dump says Obama fundraiser working at DOE (and who had agreed to recuse himself) continued to press for the Solyndra loan, and said he was getting big pressure from ""WH and OVP."

WH = White House
OVP = Office Vice President

KaBoom!

lemondog said...

Is it possible we have way too many laws which leads to way too many attorneys on the govt payroll?

State Legislators Pass Nearly 31,000 News Laws In 2010

That's in ONE YEAR Who the hell knows how many federal laws are past in one year.

Toshtu said...

Stoners for States' Rights.

Cedarford said...

Lamar63 said...
garage mahal said...
Guaranteed to piss of every liberal and libertarian in the state, potentially appeasing only a few people who would never vote for him anyway. Well played again, Obama.

===================
Yeahhhhhhh!!! Garage returns to 100% lucid form!!

Not just piss off every liberal and libertarian in the state, but every other constituency in every other state with libertarian or liberal "decriminalize pot", "let cancer patients use it if it helps" sort of sentiments.

And with the liberals and live and let live sorts of moderate political leanings - 95% being people that voted for the jug-eared numbnuts.

===============
I also see some voters that will flee the Obamites and gravitate to Ron Paul and other states rights people. Romney too, if he is smart - just say he personally opposes recreational drugs and believes the Feds do have a role in blocking importation and sales of hard drugs - but that like healthcare, he believes states are the best place to formulate their own healthcare and vice laws..

purplepenquin said...

As this link (http://tiny.cc/27nbv) shows, Obama has increased the War on Drugs to unprecedented levels. Despite his promise to not go after the medical marijuana clinics, his administration has been busting 'em ever since he got into office.


Nothing will change until people stop voting for the same ol' same ol'. And polls seem to indicate that most people want this policy to change.

J said...
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J said...

Perhaps due to... J Edgar Holder's troubles?

Another reason to let the tea-pigs take him down--his and BO's wafflings on decrim. of med. pot

Quayle said...

This is what happens when you supplant the rule of law with the rule of "men".

You never know what "men" are going to do.

Charlie Martin said...

If you tell businesses they can do something, and they rely on it and expand, how can you justify changing the policy because they expanded?

Better question: how can you stop them?

Paddy O said...

uncertainly is the great medium in which corruption thrives.

"Well, we could shut you down, or we could keep you open..."

garage mahal said...

Nothing will change until people stop voting for the same ol' same ol'. And polls seem to indicate that most people want this policy to change.

It won't change until all juries revolt and refuse to convict non violent possession cases. No matter their guilt. And it's starting to happen too. The threat of uncooperative juries probably enabled the CA medical pot industry to surivive and expand under the Bush administration.

Paddy O said...

At the same time, the incoherence of the LA city council for a number of years fostered an huge explosion of pot stores in LA.

So, local government provided the incoherence which the Federal government could exploit into being less coherent.

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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Maguro said...

They're cracking down on pot because it's a gateway drug to some really bad stuff - Cheetos, Doritos, Taco Bell, etc.

Obama is doing it for your own good, people. Stop grumblin', stop complainin', lay off the weed and get yourself some healthy snacks like baby carrots or arugula or somethin'.

Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.

/Slaps podium and walks away with furrowed brow.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Seconding what PaddyO said about L.A. It appears that a great many of those "dispensries" are run by gang bangers, who already had the logistics set up. The liberal city government created a monster and now is trying to deal with it.

John Thacker said...

Guaranteed to piss of every liberal and libertarian in the state, potentially appeasing only a few people who would never vote for him anyway. Well played again, Obama

I think you underestimate how many moderate and self-described "liberal" Democratic and swing voters dislike pot, even in California.

Or do I read too much into when Feinstein beat Tom Campbell while running far to his right on pot and civil liberties?

sorepaw said...
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Lem said...

Hey! Wait a minute. Here's some lateral thinking on the subject: All those other businesses owners who are inhibited in the face of policy uncertainty. Let them smoke marijuana.

Solar panels.. Solyndra.

That's the best explanation I've heard yet.

Ralph L said...

This has nothing to do with marijuana. Obama heard they were making a profit.

J said...

uh Fraudronius back to trading on Pynchon's name (ie,his character "Tyrone Slothrop"--which book, joto?). TP would not support the crackdown, or the Teabugs, even the glibertarian sorts--ie ,your "sorepaw" BS (nor likely the Obama-Holder policies). So like change your s-name (one of what 20-30??)--say to like "JanetReno" or something more fitting, trash. You don't know fock about the LA pot scene either,Marysville.

edutcher said...

The stuff shouldn't be legal in the first place; the whole medical marijuana thing is a scam. The health hazards alone are worse than tobacco.

Hagar said...

To start with, I do not think that the Obama administration has very good control of any government departments, so that even sections or area offices within the departments are likely to go off on their own.

We've seen this since Day 1. GodZero is supremely disengaged.

DADvocate said...

Incoherence, marijuana, Obama? Three of a kind.

Why didn't the Obama administration foresee that non-prosecution would lead to expansion?

The Obama administration can't forsee anything. Not the effect of their policies on employment, the economy, energy costs, not anything. All they can do is follow hard line left wing ideology and toss in poorly thought out stop gap measures here and there to pretend they're doing something.

J said...

Edutcher, the Nancy Reagan of Smurfhouse, with some deep thoughts.

Medpot's been supported by majorities for years. Decrim. as well in many areas. Not that that stops a snitch.

DADvocate said...

Obama just spouts out any bullshit he thinks will sound good to his immediate audience and hopes will get him votes. That's as coherent as he gets and as far ahead as he thinks.

Sixty Grit said...

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

edutcher said...

The only majority that supports medical marijuana is camped on the streets of Gotham.

Cedarford said...

edutcher said...
The stuff shouldn't be legal in the first place; the whole medical marijuana thing is a scam. The health hazards alone are worse than tobacco.
==================
State voters cannot determine if they want to decriminalize or criminalize a substance? Only the people in DC in agencies that justify their very existence by keeping things illegal?
Should Obama and his minions have the power to control calories and fat in restaurants and make tobacco use as criminal as marijuana?

What power wouldn't you give to the Fed Gov't? That those in DC believe the States use unwisely?

PatCA said...

Do you get the feeling this administration is imploding? One day it's SWAT teams to collect a student loan, the next pot busts.

It's like random mayhem.

Henry said...

Why not have a general purpose headline titled "The Obama Administration's Incoherence" and be done with it.

edutcher said...

Cedar, as always, jumps to the conclusions that support his own agenda.

At what point did I surrender the power of states to outlaw that garbage to the Feds?

That states like CA have been infested with the kind of Leftist idiots currently Occupying Wall Street doesn't mean that they shouldn't be returned to guidance of intelligent people some day.

Jim said...

Gary johnson time.

jamboree said...
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Firehand said...

Hey, BATFEIEIO has been doing similar crap for decades. Some 'law' is determined by them- not Congress- and they issue a letter saying "THIS is the law." Then, after people have spent money getting manufacture going, they change their mind and issue a NEW letter that screws everybody who worked by the first one.

Steve Koch said...

I don't see why pot should be illegal and I don't see the political benefit for Obama to go after medical pot.

An approach consistent with federalism is to let California do their thing with medical pot and see how it works out. The other states can check out the results in Cali and decide for themselves whether medical pot works for them.

Legalizing pot would reduce the pressure on mexico a bit from the narco gangsters that are terrorizing Mexico.

Another nice thing about pot is that people could grow it themselves.

Steve Koch said...

It does seem that it would be safer to consume pot in a non smoking way (say pills or in food) to reduce the damage to your lungs.

purplepenquin said...

The health hazards alone are worse than tobacco.

It is kinda cute how some folks still beleive all that "Reefer Madness" nonsense. Just wondering...are you claiming that tobacco doesn't kill you, or that marijuana does?

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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Fred4Pres said...

Obama cares only about reelection.