Obama Just Re-Authorized the War on Drugs While Pretending to Reform It

February 4, 2015   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
February 2, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Though President Barack Obama often masquerades as a savior of the oppressed and downtrodden, his actions speak louder than his rhetoric. His stance on the War on Drugs is no different. In the budget the president just submitted to Congress, he allocates $1 billion more than last year ($26.34 billion to $27.57 billion) to continue the War On Drugs — the war that in rhetoric, he acknowledges has been unsuccessful. Before he was president, he said,

“The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. We need to rethink how we’re operating the drug war.”

In 2012, he then backtracked on decriminalization.

Nevertheless, his 2015 budget claims to be a,

“21st century approach to drug policy that outlines innovative policies and programs and recognizes that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern…”

He calls for

“….an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, effective law enforcement, and international cooperation.”

While he preaches high and mighty, Obama has appropriated an increase in funds directed toward the War on Drugs. According to Obama, to fight it, the Departments of Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security (as well as the Drug Czar) alone should receive over $14.5 billion.

The decades old Drug War funding ratio of law enforcement vs. treatment and prevention is still 60:40. While the DOJ, DOD, and DHS get $14.5 billion, Health and Human Services get $10 billion ($6 billion of which goes to Medicare and Medicaid).
As further detailed by Alternet:

“Justice Department drug war spending would increase from $7.79 billion this fiscal year to $8.14 billion next year under the president’s proposal. That includes nearly $3.7 billion for the Bureau of Prisons (up $187 million), $2.46 billion for the DEA (up $90 million), $519 million for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (up $12 million), and $293 million for the Office of Justice Programs (up $50 million).”

The $27 billion toward drug control overall spans 16 agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Agriculture.

In classic Obama smoke-screen style, there are some decreases in funding with regard to the Office of National Drug Control Policy ($375 million to $307 million),  the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program ($245 million to $193 million) and the Department of Defense drug spending (1.307 billion to $1.267 billion).

Obama further asserts in his budget that the recent D.C. legalization of marijuana will stand, in spite of Congressional attempts to nullify it in a recent spending bill.

Nevertheless, the president’s past and present actions show he has no intention of actually reforming or ending the Drug War. His DEA was still raiding medical marijuana dispensaries last year and continues to, even after Congress banned the use of DOJ funds to interfere with state laws. His new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, is a dedicated drug warrior, the DEA still classifies marijuana as a dangerous Schedule I drug, and the IRS, under his watch, still sneakily attempts to drive marijuana shops (where it’s legal) out of business.

These halfhearted attempts to appease public outrage mirror other Obama trends. He similarly called for an investigation into police militarization and brutality, only to appoint a corrupt police commissioner to consult on the project. His agencies refused to press charges against Darren Wilson. While putting police militarization under “review” and scrutiny, he continues to condone arming police with military equipment (throwing in a few restrictions and hurdles). He also spent his most of his administration facilitating this militarization.

While George Bush was just as violent and corrupt as Obama, the current president has a knack for concealing his true intentions and seamlessly fooling the people. Bumbling Bush was not nearly as conniving or cunning in his swindle of citizens, but Obama has expertly perpetuated total surveillance, corporatism, and war under the guise of freedom, equality, and peace. His stance on the Drug War is yet another example of his commitment to exercising unjust authority in a creatively oppressive way.


This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune-in to The Anti-Media radio show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST, 8pm PST.

Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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64 Comments

  1. Legalize weed and do away with the war drugs. War on drugs is war on Black People. They spend millions or billions chasing young black drug dealers, while the real criminals who supply these drugs get richer. The prisons are full of young blacks trying to make a buck selling this junk. Legalize it and close the prisons.

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  2. The real criminals are the people enforcing the laws. Don't any law enforcement officers have any morals? Any sense of what is right and what isn't? Obama has perpetuated the surveillance and police state to such a crazy extent that the next president in office will only have to take a few strides and the whole of the American people will be enslaved. People sit by passively and ignore what happens regardless of whether or not they care about it. Sure, a large number of us care about ending the police state and ending corruption in the United States and all around the world, but how many people will actually go out and try to do something about it? What CAN we do? HOW do we do it? WHEN is the right time to do it? The higher ups have done such a great job making people into sheep that just blindly follow each other without any thought that no one even knows the right avenue to explore that will help put the power back in the people's hands.

    I WANT to help, I NEED to help, we ALL do… But, be honest with yourself… Would you rather have someone else end the United States' decline into a full blown corporatocracy, or would YOU rather do it? It's all in the psychology of the human mind. Sure, we want to help and we realize that if we don't, we'll be completely enslaved to the point of no return… but there are two psychological factors that can prevent us from helping at all, even if we know we need to.

    1. Apprehension Evaluation, which is when people get concerned about what others will think of them if they do something to help a situation,

    AND

    2. The Bystander effect, which shows that people are less likely to help someone in need or help with anything in general if there is more than just you who can do something.

    The Bystander effect is a huge one here. Because of social media we can actively see and gauge how many people are supportive of a cause or movement, so we feel that we don't need to help or that our assistance won't change anything, but other peoples will. In reality, the "other people" that you think are going to help are also experiencing the same effect as you, so it's a never ending cycle of "Oh I'm not the only one here, so these people can help instead of me!" "No we won't, but they will!" "No, we won't but someone else will!" and so on. So, nothing ever gets accomplished.

    If we are ever to bring about change in this world, we must get over these psychological flaws that force us to be collectivist instead of individualist. In context, the collectivist mentality is bad, but the individualist perspective is good.

    In the real world, no one can seem to decide which is better, but I think collectivism is what the world needs. Not 100% collectivism, but in terms of psychology. We must overcome these restrictions our brain has placed on us if we are to ever change anything.

    "Be the change you want to see in the world." – Mahatma Gandhi

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  3. I like what you're saying…

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  4. Tommy L. Scott Just stop. You really think pigs are only harrassing and murdering blacks??? Wake up, pigs hate and will murder anyone who's NOT a pig.

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  5. Lol….why does everything have to turn into a racist propaganda smh…. If you do a little research you will find that the war on drugs was mostly a war on weed which back in the day was mostly white hippies. Whites Mexicans blacks ALL races have gone to jail over it. Granted there may be more black people in jail for because of weed but again if we do some research we will find that black population is much larger than any other race in America so the ratio of how many of a particular race is in jail on marijuana charges ONLY are probably pretty close. The war on drugs is war on blacks lmao some people say the most ignorant things smh

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  6. Lol….why does everything have to turn into a racist propaganda smh…. If you do a little research you will find that the war on drugs was mostly a war on weed which back in the day was mostly white hippies. Whites Mexicans blacks ALL races have gone to jail over it. Granted there may be more black people in jail for because of weed but again if we do some research we will find that black population is much larger than any other race in America so the ratio of how many of a particular race is in jail on marijuana charges ONLY are probably pretty close. The war on drugs is war on blacks lmao some people say the most ignorant things smh

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  7. No the pigs have 0 morales all they care about is keeping their jobs. Whatever though when shit hits the fan i hope people don't let them back out last minute. I wouldn't if real change did occur and if i had any say in the matter i'd call for the names of every single officer who served until chaos broke loose and charge all of them with treason, don't they all take an oath to protect and serve the population.

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  8. the people need to rise against their corrupt regime or live their life at their knees behind a prison wall forever debt slaves

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  9. Simply put. If you wanna find the real criminals of this nation, just look for the real big money. It will always lead you to them. So always follow the trail of big money packing a very large arsenal. Plain and Simple.

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  10. John Roy Unfortunately, it's not just the cops that want to keep their jobs; it's everyone from the grocery stores to the highest offices, locally and in the federal realm. I've seen a LOT of blind eyes turn away in order to maintain that job security, even when it means watching abuse take place. That's why more people film stuff than actually intervene and why sites only put up information instead of attaching a petition to their complaints.. nobody really wants to be bothered until it's at their own front doors and even then, most still don't want to be bothered.
    We're the extension of WWII that really never ended and instead went underground through programs like the Paperclip Project and have hidden behind large corporate giants with the help of our own government.
    Any war is profitable, that's why the Kennedy's were killed…. just to mention a few.

    Welcome to Corporate America… and the dying (or divided) Nation of United States!!

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  11. Obama doing his share to make sure that the for-profit prison industry is profitable.

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  12. War on drugs was only enforced in the inner cities. Why do folks have to lie?

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  13. Luke Cage The data available shows that police violence overwhelming disproportionately affects black people, particularly black men, especially mass incarceration produced by the drug war. Please study this before trying to argue about it.

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  14. The denial never cease to amaze me.

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  15. Okay this war on drugs does not need to be stopped. Cocaine heroin meth these are examples of drugs that will never be legal. This is why he continues to give money to the "war on drugs". Doesnt mean he does not believe marijuana should be legal. It means these other drugs are still dangerous. And im a republican! Jesus people get it together.

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  16. Tony Mitchell yes this is a race issue. but if you call it what it is, white people will get all defensive and resist it. unfortunately you have to pretend whites are just as much victims otherwise they will rebel against it. if you want white and blacks to work together and end the drug war, you gotta stop calling white people racist. it's entirely unfair. but it is what it is. no denial here.

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  17. Hiedi Powell-Howart The black population only makes up at best 13% of the nation. The war on drugs has affected everyone but very disproportionately Blacks! Just facts! Carry on! Plus Blacks are sentenced at much longer rates than any other. Just facts!

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  18. Just because the majority of scheduled substances are harmful it doesn't mean they all are.
    Obama could just as easily fight heroin or meth while removing marijuana from the fight.
    The money isn't all or nothing it goes where he says

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  19. Just because the majority of scheduled substances are harmful it doesn't mean they all are.
    Obama could just as easily fight heroin or meth while removing marijuana from the fight.
    The money isn't all or nothing it goes where he says

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  20. I agree it goes where he says but how do we know majority of the money isn't going to the harmful drugs? I user smoke marijuana recreationally so believe me I want it legalized more then anyone but majority of the scheduled substances are illegal for the right reasons. Marijuana unfortunately has been under the "reefer madness" clause.

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  21. PEOPLE of ALL colors need to STOP trying to make a living off what's going to end them up in jails or prisons. The drug war is here too and I promise you, we have less blacks than other races in our jails. Yes, it does seems black people are easier targets for the police to harass and it's up to the individual being harassed to stand strong so others CAN support them. I went to school with someone that just sued this small town and won!! He had major support from the community that isn't predominately black yet he is.

    The EXCUSE I hear and read most HERE to keep dealing illegal drugs is that, "A person has to make a living." and that's coming from those that came here and stayed here illegally. That's not the black community either.

    EXCUSES are what's gonna take this country under. Use your mentality and hustles to do what's legal… that goes for every race under the sun!!!

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  22. The drug war has been a way of continually enslaving and disenfranchising the American people for 30 years. The CIA continually smuggles cocaine into the country to be distributed in our cities while the local police then arrest our people and judges give them lengthy prison sentences, scar them as felons, strip away their sufrage, deny them their 2nd amendment rights and prevent them from holding decent jobs. The U.S. government fighting a war of their own creation, for profit. . . Disgusting.

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  23. Utter nonsense. Drugs are not a problem and never have been. Healthy people with jobs that support their families and lives worth living, do not misuse substances. You could hand out any substance free on every street corner in the nation and it would not be a societal problem until you introduce poverty racialism, mental illness, injustice and repression of rights and freedoms. People use substances to escape their lives. Lab studies have shown that even rats don't want cocaine if they have a good enviroment and are content…..only if they are over crowded and miserable will they keep using.
    We have real problems in this country. But drugs and alcohol or any substance are the least of them. In fact, the prohibition of drugs is what has caused all the problems for the people. No problem for prison industrial complex, though. They are making huge profits thanks to the status quo,

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  24. Just because some people can control them selves doesnt means the addicts will. Its utter nonsense to think every drug should be legalized. yes I could go into a store with cocaine and not purchase it. Does that make it right?

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  25. Jail people for smoking a harmless plant while we allow companies to spend millions in advertisement of prescription pills

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  26. Hiedi Powell-Howart – where did you get that information?

    "According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009 (841,000 black males and 64,800 black females out of a total of 2,096,300 males and 201,200 females).[47] According to the 2010 census of the US Census Bureau blacks (including Hispanic blacks) comprised 13.6% of the US population."

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  27. Chris Gonzales I agreee 100% thats why humans are doomed to suffer, it''s just in our nature as a society. Any animal in all actuality.

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  28. John Roy The greatest empires have been conquered and many were buried so far down that we're having to re-evaluate man's beginnings. It's like we, as a species, keep succeeding only to dissolve into greed. That's always the downfall; wanting too much from too many with no regard for societies as a whole. I think we basically enjoy having enemies and taking as much as possible to stay at the top of the food chain.

    It's so dumb bc man should have learned to evolve enough by now, not to think taking and killing are our only means for survival. We are natural growers, hell.. I just grew my first real garden this past summer and had way too much to keep. I'll have to learn to can when I do it again… 5 plants: toms, cukes, squash and peas. This summer, I'm decorating with squash bc those things have HUGE leafs!

    Anyway, we should have learned to treat each other well enough by now where we're not causing harm to one another or the Earth. I think we're able to adapt, learn and grow as humans. I do believe we are the greater species and that we are able to evolve into something good and long lasting.

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  29. we tried filing charges against a cop and after calling dozens of lawyers we gave up because not one of them would take it…they harass all of us.

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  30. we tried filing charges against a cop and after calling dozens of lawyers we gave up because not one of them would take it…they harass all of us.

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  31. If you're still in HS John Roy, it's good to see someone so young grasping what many refuse to even acknowledge. I'm in my 50's. Good posting with ya!!

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  32. If you're still in HS John Roy, it's good to see someone so young grasping what many refuse to even acknowledge. I'm in my 50's. Good posting with ya!!

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  33. All this means is the overpaid keep getting overpaid, this is how corruption works.

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  34. All this means is the overpaid keep getting overpaid, this is how corruption works.

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  35. just cause you want to smoke weed thats cool.. but we still need to clear our streets of hardcore drugs

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  36. now that is fucking real. i write for The Anti Media too

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  37. All substances need to be decriminalized and regulated, treatment programs need to be instated. A lot of the problems from any drug come from the legal status, if they are legal and can be made in actual labs then you do way with impure substances that are more dangerous than the drugs themselves

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  38. Explain to me how you can control someone thats snorting lines and shooting heroin from not over dosing because our Dumas government made it legal to sell at stores? You people need to get real. Marijuana will be the only drug thats accepted by the public. They will NEVER decriminalize coke meth and heroin because its way too easy to over dose. You people must be high right now. America lacks common sense lol

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  39. Hiedi Powell-Howart The black population is only 13 percent. Where tf do you get your statistics? Because they are incorrect.

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  40. Sean Wiley It not our job to control anyone. People have the right to do as they please with their lives. There should be no drug laws at all. AT ALL. We have experimented with prohibition in this country for 100 years and the result has been disastrous. We should follow the lead of Portugal. Legalize everything. PROBLEMS SOLVED! Look it up. Read about it. Portugal is recovering from what it thought was a drug problem and found it was a drug law problem. All indicators are positive there. Less use, less crime, less health problems fewer overdoses. It is ALL GOOD. Get over yourself, Sean. You are not a wise man, you are just think you are. Doing the same thing for 100years and watching things get worse and worse is not when you decide to continue the same plan. Are you obtuse? Or just confused with reality.

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  41. Hiedi Powell-Howart If you actually did any research you would know the war on drugs started before the hippies parents were teenagers in 1914. Not going to waste time on your stats since its clear you know nothing.

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  42. Ouch Joan. I never said I was Albert Einstein. But it does not take a high IQ to know that decriminalizing dangerous drugs will in fact cause problems especially to young kids. You really think united states can be compared to Portugal lmao. You are not a wise woman and you should open your eyes and put that crack pipe down. You will never get your wish and the united states will never be portugal!

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  43. Ouch Joan. I never said I was Albert Einstein. But it does not take a high IQ to know that decriminalizing dangerous drugs will in fact cause problems especially to young kids. You really think united states can be compared to Portugal lmao. You are not a wise woman and you should open your eyes and put that crack pipe down. You will never get your wish and the united states will never be portugal!

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  44. I smoke marijuana and my head is 20 times more clear then yours. I am not full of myself. Making meth accessible when I have yet to see it in my 25 years of life is NOT smart. It doesnt matter if you think the people can control them selves. If your idea is to kill off a small percent of addicts we have then by all means you should be president and start influencing young kids even more then they are now. Id love to see the world run by someone like you. You just have it all figured out. Legalize meth so kids can think their superman an jump off of buildings. Wow im not a genius but you have proven I have common sense.

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  45. If you feel so strongly about decriminalization you should move to portugal. There's probably a large percent of people that would agree with me in that you are NOT a wise woman. But to each is own. Im not insulting you im just saying your crazy if you think you can compare Portugal to the United States. Plum crazy.

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  46. Hiedi Powell-Howart The black population is larger than any other race in America? Really? Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is Ignorance. You my dear are the leader of the "ignant" world.

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  47. Thomas Jaeger I've already done my research and the OP's comment is STILL false. Now if you want to say blacks are disproportionately targetted as opposed to other ethnicities (NOT race, race is an evolutionary term and made up; there is only the human race), well, no argument there. People need to stop referencing ethnicity when discussing harrassment from pigs. Just read an article where a feeble 80 yr old white man was MURDERED in his bed when pigs broke into his house because they claimed they smelled someone cooking meth. In the audio, one pig, KNOWING that they just MURDERED an old man fr NOTHING, immediately tries to cover their ass and says "drop the gun", AFTER they shot him multiple times, in his own fucking bed. I could go on all day w/ stories like this. Now was that old man getting any benefit from being white?

    As I said, pigs will murder who they want, and the last thing they think about is anyone's ethnicity. Bringing that up only divides us and I can tell you I'm just as angry and disgusted when its black folks being MURDERED fr NOTHING by badged thugs that are trusted to "protect" us. When people play the dreaded "race card", yr playing into their hands. They WANT us to hate each other and be divided because they know if we unite, TRUE change will come and these pigs will be held accountable. Same goes fr democrats/republicans. BOTH criminal cartels have screwed We the People and they LOVE it when we bicker among ourselves. Bush jr = Obumma. Both POS war criminals.

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  48. I wonder if Obama would be the president if he had ever gotten caught with the cannabis and cocaine he admits to using in college…?

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  49. This is false. I went to jail for a single ecstasy pill.

    I'm white, but I'm also poor.

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  50. "The drug war has lasted for decades. What this suggests is that there's a war…and the people on drugs are winning!" – Bill Hicks

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  51. Sean Wiley You are right about Portugal. It is not like the USA. It is smarter and wiser….at least on this issue.
    You need to take a close look and the new book by Johann Hari called "Chasing the Scream" Also the work of Dr. Carl Hart. These are new and important voices to the debate around substance abuse issues, but they are just confirming what I have always believed and known to be true. You, on the other hand, are an old warrior with the same old tired attitudes that have contributed to the worsening crisis we face today. It aint workin', buddy. If you are honest, you will see that too. Whether you believe that the USA will ever become enlightened is not the issue. The issue is that it is wrong wrong wrong now and we need to keep saying that it is and do what we can to make it better.
    This damn drug war has destroyed the US Justice Department from the SCOTUS to the cops on the street. The resulting corruption and dysfunction has spread to all three branches of government and to foreign policy decisions. I think it has destroyed the republic and there is no going back.
    Empires don't correct themselves, they just die.
    But that doesn't mean we should just give up or be silent about these issues.
    Your whole tone is irritating in it's strident ignorance. I repeat that you are not a wise man and add that a little humility and thoughtfulness on your part regarding this issue is called for now.

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  52. Sean Wiley It is always a weak argument when you have to drag out the "what about the children" meme. Nobody really cares about children in this country. If they did, this wouldn't be the worst developed nation to have or raise children. But that doesn't stop the old standby phony concern.

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  53. Sean Wiley OMG. I just noticed how young you are, Sean. I have shoes older than you. You have so much to learn about life yet. Before I saw your profile shot I thought you were closer to my age….I am an old woman. I have seen a great deal in life. I have been using cannabis for 45 years and have known all kinds of users and abusers of substances. I used to think like you do but I evolved with education and experience. I think you will too. You seem like a smart kid. Don't let the old warriors sell you a bill of goods. They have always been wrong and we are reaping the worldwinds of their disastrous policies.

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  54. of course not. He would be a convicted felon…maybe still doing time.

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  55. Obama is the President Nixon always wished he could be.

    Consider, for a moment, what Nixon was impeached for; while Obama is celebrated and applauded by the Main Stream Media and Progressives alike, for doing the exact same things (using the IRS to target political adversaries, unilaterally starting new wars overseas, escalating the war on Drugs, including Marijuana, basically saying one thing behind a podium while doing the exact opposite in action; the ultimate 'Do what I say, Not what I do' that is so popular with middle America).

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  56. Pharma Corporations & our Primary Care Doctors have been SELLING DRUGS to American Citizens. ( so that we are not paying attention, or at least researching and staying aware of what's really going on behind the scenes. I wonder…where the Drug Trade port is in America that filters in Drugs from other countries? War on drugs is a lie and we know that.

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  57. I'd buy the shirt, "Other People" in every color and wear one everyday. We don't know who to trust. We are out here, you are right. But for every one of us, there are ten more toting guns.

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  58. Obama does what he is told to do. Always has and always will ! Pull out the pitch forks my brothers and sisters. No one in the white house will work for the people untill we take this country back. I had a feeling this was going to be a messy deal.

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