House Passes EQUAL Act to Erase Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

https://reason.com/2021/09/28/house-passes-equal-act-to-erase-sentencing-disparity-between-crack-and-powder-cocaine/

House Passes EQUAL Act to Erase Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

The Senate now has the chance to finally end one of the most disastrous legacies of the drug war.

By C.J. Ciaramella

September 28, 2021

The House of Representatives passed legislation today that would finally erase the sentencing disparity between federal crack and powder cocaine offenses.

By a wide bipartisan vote of 361-66, the House passed the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act, H.R. 1693. The legislation would reduce the penalties for federal crack cocaine offenses to the same level as those for powder cocaine offenses, and it would make those changes retroactive, meaning federal crack offenders currently serving prison sentences will be eligible to have their sentences reduced.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), where it faces a less certain future. The White House endorsed the legislation in June, and if it passes Congress, the law would close the book on one of the most regrettable pieces of President Joe Biden’s legacy.

In 1986, then-Sen. Biden (D–Del.) co-sponsored the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, one of the most disastrous laws passed in the 1980s by lawmakers posturing as tough-on-crime. The law created a 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenders, the former of whom were predominantly black. The result was that someone possessing five grams of crack cocaine would receive the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as someone with 500 grams of powder cocaine, despite there being little to no pharmacological difference between the two substances. 

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that black people made up nearly 77 percent of all federal crack cocaine convictions in fiscal year 2020.

Criminal justice advocates have lobbied for decades to roll back the law. In 2007, Biden endorsed legislation that would have completely eliminated the disparity. A compromise bill, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, reduced it from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1.

In 2018, the FIRST Step Act made the Fair Sentencing Act’s reductions retroactive, leading to the release of roughly 3,000 federal crack offenders. 

One of the first to receive a sentence reduction under the FIRST Step Act was Matthew Charles, who was released from prison in 2019. Charles was sentenced in 1995 to 35 years in federal prison for a crack cocaine offense.

“If crack and powder were treated the same, my sentence could have been 15 years, not 35,” Charles testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this June. “But the 100-to-1 disparity was in place at that time, and I honestly didn’t seem like someone who deserved a break.”

Inside prison, Charles found religion, turned around his life, and became a model inmate. He is now a criminal justice reform advocate.

The EQUAL Act, introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D–N.Y.), benefited from broad bipartisan support in the House. Conservative Rep. Louie Gohmert (R–Tex.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a letter supporting the legislation that the federal sentencing disparity was “unfair and unnecessary for public safety.”

“I never saw a need for a cocaine sentencing disparity in Texas, and I see no need for a cocaine sentencing disparity federally,” said Gohmert, a former Texas state judge.

However, the legislation faces a much tougher road in the Senate. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Sioux City Journal last week that there’s not as much Republican support in the Senate for eliminating the sentencing disparity. He doubts that he and Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, can muster the 60 votes needed to get the Equal Act to the Senate floor.

“Does that mean that there’s not some possibility for compromise? I would be open to that, but I’m going to have to get enough Republicans to go along to make sure we don’t scuttle the other good provisions we have,” Grassley told the newspaper.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.), of the staunchest defenders of mandatory minimum sentencing in Congress, wrote an op-ed in National Review last week suggesting that the proper solution to the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity, if it must be changed, is to raise the sentences of powder cocaine offenses to match those of crack.

Criminal justice groups and civil liberties advocates applauded the passage of the bill in the House.

“For 35 years, the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, based on neither evidence nor science, has resulted in higher sentences that are disproportionately borne by Black families and communities,” Aamra Ahmad, ACLU senior policy counsel, said in a press release. “We applaud the House for passing the EQUAL Act, which will finally end that disparity, including for thousands of people still serving sentences under the unjust disparity who would now have the opportunity to petition courts for a reduced sentence.”

September 29, 2021. Tags: , . Racism, War on drugs. 1 comment.

Justice Clarence Thomas Is the Unlikely Cannabis Supporter on the Supreme Court

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/marijuana-supreme-court-clarence-thomas-dissent-1190201/

Justice Clarence Thomas Is the Unlikely Cannabis Supporter on the Supreme Court

But federal marijuana decriminalization will still have to wait on Congress for action

By David S. Cohen

June 28, 2021

Marijuana legalization has an interesting advocate at the Supreme Court: Justice Clarence Thomas. Today, once again, Justice Thomas indicated his support for cutting back federal laws that criminalize pot. You might think this is good news since Justice Thomas is one of the most conservative Justices on the Court, therefore surely more liberal Justices would agree. But, unfortunately for the movement, his zeal to rethink how this country criminalizes weed has, so far, no other supporters on the Court.

The case today involved a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado that, even though it was operating completely legally within the state of Colorado, could not take advantage of federal tax breaks for businesses because the federal government considers it to run an illegal drug business. The dispensary challenged the tax provision, claiming that the federal government cannot prohibit medical marijuana in a state, like Colorado, that makes it legal.

This morning the Court decided not to hear this case, leaving the dispensary without the benefit. (Had they decided to take it on, and maybe even ruled in the dispensary’s favor, any lawful business would have been able to take advantage of the tax break — something advocates have been demanding for years.) Without explaining itself, the Court presumably was relying on a 2005 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could continue to criminalize and regulate local use and production of medical marijuana. The Court’s ruling was based on the concept that Congress can only legislate with respect to national problems, not local ones. The two California women who had grown pot for their own use in that case argued that their medical marijuana was not a national issue — it was just for them and thus purely local. The Court rejected this argument on the basis that the federal government had a strong interest in locking down the entire national market for marijuana, and that even though medical marijuana was legal in California, Congress could still criminalize it under federal law in its quest to stop illegal drugs everywhere.

That decision was 6-3, with Justice Thomas dissenting along with Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Those two Justices are no longer on the Court, but you may have thought that, 16 years after the 2005 case with dozens of states now legalizing marijuana for medical (37 states) and/or recreational purposes (18 states), Justice Thomas may have found others who support his position that the federal government needs to relax how it treats marijuana.

However, based on what the Court did today, it seems he has yet to find any allies. The Court’s decision not to hear this case was, as it almost always is, unsigned and without explanation. Justice Thomas wrote a separate opinion (available here if you scroll to page 28) that no other Justice joined. In that separate opinion, Justice Thomas called out the federal government for its “half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.” What he is referring to is the fact that the Attorney General has refused to reclassify marijuana to permit use in states where it is legal and other parts of federal law, such as the tax code in this case, continue to treat it as illegal. Yet, Congress has refused to allow federal dollars to be spent enforcing federal marijuana laws in states where it is legal for medicinal purposes, and the Department of Justice has a policy against interfering with state legalization.

To Justice Thomas, this confusing patchwork of federal approaches to state legalization undermines the 2005 Supreme Court decision. That decision was based on a comprehensive nationwide approach by the federal government to prohibit pot in all forms. But now, with the federal government picking and choosing what to do in the face of the state legalization movement, Justice Thomas argued that the justification for federal intervention in this area no longer exists. “Suffice it to say,” he wrote, “the Federal Government’s current approach to marijuana bears little resemblance to the watertight nationwide prohibition that a closely divided Court found necessary to justify the Government’s blanket prohibition in [2005].”

These are encouraging words for anyone who thinks the federal government is overreaching in the way it continues to prohibit and regulate marijuana, especially in the states where laws have been relaxed. However, as exciting at it is to have a Justice of the Supreme Court write these words, until Justice Thomas gains support from other Justices, federal marijuana liberalization is going to have to come from the Attorney General or Congress not the Supreme Court.

June 30, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . SCOTUS, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

In California, the left is eating itself – excessive regulations are making it very difficult for the state’s legal sellers of recreational marijuana

This is hilarious. Instead of reducing the excessive regulations, the government is planning to spend $100 million to help business owners deal with the regulations.

In addition, seven different environmental organizations have complained about the effects of legal marijuana on the environment.

In California, the left is eating itself.

As a libertarian, I am in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, and I am against excessive regulation of businesses. The fact that California wants to spend this $100 million, instead of reducing the excessive regulations, is hilarious.

Here’s the article:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-14/california-struggling-marijuana-industry-cash-grants-budget

California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry

By Patrick McGreevy

June 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO —

The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.

Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.

“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.

As a result, about 82% of the state’s cannabis licensees still held provisional licenses as of April, according to the governor’s office.

The funds, including $22 million earmarked for L.A., would help cities hire experts and staff to assist businesses in completing the environmental studies and transitioning the licenses to “help legitimate businesses succeed,” Ting said.

The grant program is endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said in a letter to legislators that the money is “essential in supporting a well-regulated, equitable, and sustainable cannabis market.”

Separately, the governor wants to give cannabis businesses a six-month extension beyond a Jan. 1 deadline to transition from provisional licenses by complying with mandates of the California Environmental Quality Act. That extension, which faces opposition for delaying promised environmental safeguards, was not included in the state budget bill approved Monday and is still being negotiated with lawmakers.

The governor’s proposal to extend provisional licenses has drawn objections from a coalition of seven environmental groups including Sierra Club California, Defenders of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy.

They said in a letter to Newsom that the proposal allowing the extension of provisional licenses and interim alternatives to CEQA rules goes against what voters were promised and is “wholly inadequate to protect local communities and the environment.”

At the same time, industry officials say the governor’s proposals do not go far enough in helping businesses struggling to stay open with provisional licenses while meeting what they see as burdensome rules under the state’s environmental regulations.

“It is a significant amount of money, but I don’t know that it actually answers the problem of provisional licenses making it through CEQA analysis in a timely manner to get an annual license,” said Jerred Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Assn.

He said delays in cities adopting rules, their limited staffing and lack of resources by cannabis firms mean some face two to four years to get through the licensing process. Many would face the prospect of shutting down, at least temporarily, if they don’t get a regular license by current state deadlines, Kiloh said.

California voters paved the way for state licensing of cannabis stores, farms, distributors and testing when they approved Proposition 64 in 2016. State officials initially expected to license as many as 6,000 cannabis shops in the first few years, but permits have been issued only for 1,086 retail and delivery firms.

In 2019, industry officials estimated there were nearly three times as many unlicensed businesses as ones with state permits. Although some industry leaders believe enforcement has reduced the number of illegal pot shops, a study in September by USC researchers estimated unlicensed retailers still outnumbered those that were licensed.

Supporters of legalization blame the discrepancy on problems that they say include high taxes on licensed businesses, burdensome regulations and the decision of about three-quarters of cities in California not to allow cannabis retailers in their jurisdictions.

The bill approved by the Legislature on Monday includes $100 million and identifies 17 cities and counties earmarked to receive grants, including Los Angeles, which would get the largest grant. Other cities that will get grants include Long Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Commerce, Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs.

Originally, pot businesses were supposed to transfer from temporary licenses to regular annual licenses by 2019, but many businesses were unable to comply in time, so the state allowed provisional licenses until Jan. 1, 2020, and then extended the deadline again to Jan. 1, 2022.

A key requirement to convert from a provisional license is to conduct a CEQA review to indicate how pot farms and other cannabis businesses will affect the surrounding water, air, plants and wildlife, and to propose ways to mitigate any harms.

However, Kiloh said, some cities are just setting up ordinances and staffing to process licenses, meaning many businesses cannot meet the looming deadline.

Each cannabis grower must provide evidence that they met the requirements for environmental review. If their city and county do not provide the required document, the applicants must prepare one, which often means hiring environmental consultants.

A bill by state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) would have allowed the state to extend provisional licenses six years until 2028, but she shelved it after it drew opposition from the coalition of environmental groups.

The groups sent a letter to lawmakers saying that the bill “does not provide adequate environmental protection.”

The governor’s proposal, which is being considered by lawmakers, would allow the extension of existing provisional licenses by six months.

Environmentalists still hope the budget trailer bill can be changed to address their concerns, according to Pamela Flick, California program director of Defenders of Wildlife.

The group “opposes the proposed trailer bill language because it needs stronger environmental protections consistent with the original commitments made in Proposition 64, in which the voters intended meaningful and timely compliance” with environmental laws, Flick said.

The Newsom administration is warning of dire consequences if pot businesses are not given more time to get a regular license.

“Absent this extension, it is possible that a significant number of these licensees could fall out of the legal cannabis system, significantly curtailing the state’s efforts to facilitate the transition to a legal and well-regulated market,” the administration warned in its budget proposal.

The $100 million would go to local agencies with the most provisional licenses for growing, manufacturing, distribution, testing and retail operations. Some of the money can be used by cities offering equity funding to cannabis businesses owned by people of color.

Lawmakers welcomed the budget proposal from Newsom, who has an interest in seeing the legal market succeed because he was a leading proponent of Proposition 64.

“Gov. Newsom is dedicated to the success of the legal cannabis industry in California,” said Nicole Elliott, the governor’s senior advisor on cannabis. “The purpose of this one-time $100 million in grant funding is to aid locals and provisional licensees, many of which are small businesses, legacy operators and equity applicants, in more expeditiously migrating to annual licensure.”

Garcetti said in his letter that it will help Los Angeles “in creating a robust CEQA compliance program and comprehensive assistance programs to aid licensees in meeting annual licensure requirements.”

However, industry officials note the money will go to a small fraction of California cities, and only those that have already decided to allow cannabis businesses.

“It’s not incentivizing localities who have cannabis bans to get their ordinances up and running,” said Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path cannabis store in Sherman Oaks.

“The real problem is CEQA analysis is a very arduous process,” he added. “I think it would be good to have more reform of the licensing system instead of just putting money to it.”

June 14, 2021. Tags: , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Liberals, conservatives, and libertarians agree with each other that Biden’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes will increase the number of interactions between black people and the police, just like his previous crime bill did

Liberals at the ACLU are worried about it:

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/biden-admin-expected-to-take-steps-to-ban-menthol-cigarettes/ar-BB1g9iJI

Conservatives at Breitbart are worried about it:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/04/29/nolte-ban-menthol-cigs-racist-criminalization-black-behavior/

Libertarians at Reason are worried about it:

https://reason.com/2021/04/26/a-ban-on-menthol-cigarettes-will-lead-to-more-confrontations-between-black-people-and-police/

And here are two previous articles from the New York Times about how Biden’s crime bill hurt black people:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190914095205/https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/us/politics/joe-biden-crime-bill-mass-incarceration.html

Joe Biden on Crime and Mass Incarceration

During the ’80s and ’90s, Mr. Biden helped shepherd a string of bills that transformed the criminal justice system — and, experts say, hurt America’s black communities.

June 27, 2019

As Joseph R. Biden Jr. makes his third run for the White House, he is being pressed to answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities.

During the 1980s and 1990s, when Mr. Biden was a senator from Delaware, he and other leaders of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee helped fashion a string of bills that overhauled the country’s crime laws.

Among the most significant were: the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses; the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which imposed harsher sentences for possession of crack than for possession of powder cocaine; and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was essentially a catchall tough-on-crime bill.

.

https://web.archive.org/web/20210101105655/https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/25/us/joe-biden-crime-laws.html

‘Lock the S.O.B.s Up’: Joe Biden and the Era of Mass Incarceration

He now plays down his role overhauling crime laws with segregationist senators in the ’80s and ’90s. That portrayal today is at odds with his actions and rhetoric back then.

June 25, 2019

Now, more than 25 years later, as Mr. Biden makes his third run for the White House in a crowded field of Democrats – many calling for ambitious criminal justice reform — he must answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts and his critics say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities. That he worked with segregationists to write the bills — an issue that recently dominated the political news and seems likely to resurface in Mr. Biden’s first debate on Thursday – has only added to his challenge. So has the fact that black voters are such a crucial Democratic constituency.

April 29, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Joe Biden, Racism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Good news for Democrats! President Biden is continuing Senator Biden’s racist war on drugs!

As a member of the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden made is so that blacks who used cocaine got longer prison sentences than whites who used cocaine.

In June 2019, the New York Times reported:

Joe Biden on Crime and Mass Incarceration

During the ’80s and ’90s, Mr. Biden helped shepherd a string of bills that transformed the criminal justice system – and, experts say, hurt America’s black communities.

As Joseph R. Biden Jr. makes his third run for the White House, he is being pressed to answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities.

During the 1980s and 1990s, when Mr. Biden was a senator from Delaware, he and other leaders of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee helped fashion a string of bills that overhauled the country’s crime laws.

Among the most significant were: the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses; the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which imposed harsher sentences for possession of crack than for possession of powder cocaine; and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was essentially a catchall tough-on-crime bill.

That same month, the New York Times also reported:

Now, more than 25 years later, as Mr. Biden makes his third run for the White House in a crowded field of Democrats – many calling for ambitious criminal justice reform — he must answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts and his critics say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities. That he worked with segregationists to write the bills — an issue that recently dominated the political news and seems likely to resurface in Mr. Biden’s first debate on Thursday – has only added to his challenge. So has the fact that black voters are such a crucial Democratic constituency.

On the other hand, President Trump gave early release to thousands of people who were victims of Biden’s racist crime bill.

In July 2019, the Washington Post reported:

3,100 inmates to be released as Trump administration implements criminal justice reform

The announcement came at a news conference to discuss the Trump administration’s progress on putting into place the First Step Act, a criminal justice bill President Trump signed into law in December.

Since the act’s passage, Rosen said, 1,691 people convicted of crack cocaine offenses also have received sentence reductions. That is because the measure retroactively applied a different sentencing law meant to resolve the disparity between penalties for those convicted of possessing crack cocaine and those convicted of possessing powder cocaine.

Here’s a video of one of those people who was given early release by Trump:

https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump/status/1319358716987277312

For Democrats who support the racist war on drugs, here’s some really good, brand new information.

President Biden is continuing Senator Biden’s racist war on drugs.

Lisa Monaco, Biden’s nominee for Deputy Attorney General, had previously helped prosecute a black man who was sentenced to 27 years in prison for selling $20 worth of heroin.

The Daily Caller has just reported:

Justice Department Nominee Lisa Monaco Prosecuted Black Man Sentenced To 27 Years In Prison For Selling $20 Worth Of Drugs

President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as deputy attorney general helped prosecute a black man who was sentenced to 27 years in prison for selling $20 worth of heroin to an undercover police officer.

Lisa Monaco, who Biden tapped for the Justice Department position, was one of the assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted a case in 2003 against Reginald C. Steward, a Washington, D.C. man who was charged following an undercover drug bust.

Steward was arrested in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 20, 2002 and was charged with unlawful distribution of heroin, according to court records.

He was convicted at a jury trial on April 16, 2003, and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Institutional racism is a very real problem in this country.

And I can’t think of any bigger example of institutional racism than the racist war on drugs.

I hope Democrats are happy with their election of a President who has a long track record of supporting the racist war on drugs.

February 2, 2021. Tags: , , , . Joe Biden, Racism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Justice Department nominee Lisa Monaco prosecuted black man sentenced to 27 years in prison for selling $20 worth of drugs

https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/01/lisa-monaco-joe-biden-justice-department-reginald-steward/

Justice Department Nominee Lisa Monaco Prosecuted Black Man Sentenced To 27 Years In Prison For Selling $20 Worth Of Drugs

By Chuck Ross

February 1, 2021

Lisa Monaco, who has been nominated to serve as deputy attorney general, helped prosecute a black man who was sentenced to 27 years in prison for selling $20 worth of drugs in a drug sting, court records show. 

Monaco disclosed in her responses to the Senate that she was an assistant U.S. attorney on a case against Patrick Steward. Steward and another man were arrested in 2002 on charges that they sold two dime bags of heroin to an undercover cop, court records show. 

Biden came under heavy criticism during the presidential primaries for sponsoring aggressive anti-crime and anti-drug laws while he was in the Senate. 

President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as deputy attorney general helped prosecute a black man who was sentenced to 27 years in prison for selling $20 worth of heroin to an undercover police officer. The government dropped charges against the man’s co-defendant as part of a plea deal, court records show.

Lisa Monaco, who Biden tapped for the Justice Department position, was one of the assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted a case in 2003 against Reginald C. Steward, a Washington, D.C. man who was charged following an undercover drug bust.

Steward was arrested in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 20, 2002 and was charged with unlawful distribution of heroin, according to court records.

He was convicted at a jury trial on April 16, 2003, and was sentenced to 27 years in prison. An appeals court in 2007 upheld Steward’s conviction, but noted that the evidence presented against him at trial wasn’t “overwhelming.”

But Steward’s co-defendant, who physically conducted the drug exchange with the undercover police officer, had his charges dropped after he pleaded guilty to drug possession in another case. Court records for the man, Bobby Praylow, show that he received a 12-month jail sentence.

Monaco, whose most recent government position was as homeland security adviser to then-President Barack Obama, disclosed her work on Steward’s case in her written responses to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of her confirmation process to the Justice Department position.

“Defendant was convicted of unlawful distribution of heroin after a jury trial,” Monaco wrote in her disclosure.

But Steward’s co-defendant, who physically conducted the drug exchange with the undercover police officer, had his charges dropped after he pleaded guilty to drug possession in another case. Court records for the man, Bobby Praylow, show that he received a 12-month jail sentence.

Monaco, whose most recent government position was as homeland security adviser to then-President Barack Obama, disclosed her work on Steward’s case in her written responses to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of her confirmation process to the Justice Department position.

“Defendant was convicted of unlawful distribution of heroin after a jury trial,” Monaco wrote in her disclosure.

“The government utilized expert testimony regarding the practice of drug distribution operations and eyewitness testimony,” she wrote. “The defendant was sentenced to 27 years of incarceration, with all but 180 months sentence suspended.”

Monaco did not give more detail about what role she played on the case. She forwarded a request for comment to the Department of Justice. A spokesman for the agency was unable to provide information about the case prior to publication of this article and did not offer comment. The White House also did not respond to a request for comment.

Monaco’s work on the case has not been previously reported, though she also disclosed it to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2011 when she was nominated to serve as assistant attorney general for national security in the Obama administration. Monaco was not asked about her involvement in the Steward case during that confirmation hearing, and it has not received media coverage.

A date has not been set for a hearing for Monaco’s confirmation to the deputy assistant general position.

Biden announced Monaco’s nomination on Jan. 7, calling her “a top-flight prosecutor who took on public corruption, corporate fraud, and violent crime.”

Monaco touted her work as an assistant federal prosecutor in her acceptance speech.

“I worked directly with communities and victims of crime, and I felt the weight of a prosecutor’s responsibility to ensure, not that cases are won, but that justice is done and that each individual defendant’s rights are protected,” she said.

Monaco made a name for herself in the Justice Department as a member of the Enron task force, which prosecuted executives from the energy giant in one of the biggest accounting frauds in U.S. history.

As much as Monaco and the Justice Department have touted the prison sentences handed down in the landmark case, none were as harsh as the one given to Steward.

Monaco was a co-lead prosecutor in cases against Ken Rice, Enron’s chief operating officer and Kevin Hannon, the company’s co-CEO. She said in her Senate responses that she helped negotiate plea deals that led to prison sentences of 27 month and 24 months for Rice and Hannon, respectively.

Monaco also worked on the case against Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the accounting fraud, according to her Senate disclosure. Skilling served just over 12 years of his sentence.

While Biden would have had no involvement in the Steward case, he has been dogged by allegations that anti-crime and anti-drug bills he sponsored during his Senate career have led to excessive prison sentences for non-violent offenders.

Biden came under scrutiny during the Democratic primaries for his sponsorship of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which created sentencing disparities for the sale of cocaine versus crack. Criminal justice reform advocates have asserted that stiffer penalties for crack dealing led to disproportionately longer prison sentences for poor people and minorities because of the higher prevalence of crack in their communities.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which Biden also co-sponsored, strengthened prison sentences for drug possession, according to Vox.

Steward may have had previous drug felonies, which could explain why prosecutors sought a harsh sentence against him in 2003.

Records from the D.C. superior court list a Reginald Steward as being sentenced to two years in jail for an attempted robbery in 1984. A man by the same name was sentenced to 20 months in prison in 1987 for distributing cocaine. A man named Reginald Steward who pleaded guilty in 1990 to distributing heroin was sentenced to three years in jail, according to superior court records.

Legal filings for Steward’s 2003 case were not immediately available, so it is not clear whether any previous felonies factored into his 27 year sentence. The D.C. superior court told the Daily Caller News Foundation that records for a case as old as Steward’s would take weeks to process.

Steward served just over 13 years of his prison sentence. Records from the Bureau of Prisons records show he was discharged on Oct. 31, 2016, when he was 54 years old. He applied for early release from prison in 2013 for good behavior but was denied, according to records from the Washington, D.C. superior court.

Details of Steward’s 2003 case are laid out in an appeal he filed in the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals in 2007 seeking to overturn his conviction or to have a new trial in Washington’s superior court.

Monaco said in her disclosure that she split time between cases in the U.S. federal court in Washington and on violent and drug crimes filed in the city’s superior court.

Perhaps the most glaring disparity in Steward’s case is the difference in punishment for Steward and Praylow, his co-defendant.

Steward and Praylow were arrested after Praylow sold the $20 in heroin to Clarence Brooks, an undercover Washington, D.C. police officer, according to the appeals court opinion.

During the sting, Brooks asked Praylow for two dime bags of heroin, worth $20. Praylow took the money and walked up to a group of people, one of whom Brooks identified as Steward, the court filing says.

Brooks, who testified he was 15 to 20 feet away from the transaction, said he heard Praylow say “two” before a man he later identified as Steward bent over to pick up two ziplock bags laying on the ground. Brooks said the bags contained a white powder.

Steward and Praylow were arrested after another police officer who was monitoring the sting operation followed and arrested them, according to the appeals court document.

Brooks identified Steward and Praylow as the same two men involved in the drug deal. Officers found $14 in cash in Steward’s pockets, the appellate court document says, but no drugs.

The trial court relied almost solely on Brooks’ testimony to link Steward to the drug deal. The appellate court did not raise issue with any of Brooks’ testimony, but the filing noted that other witnesses, including Praylow, claimed to have evidence that Steward may not have taken part in the drug exchange.

Three women, including Steward’s mother, testified at his trial that they were speaking with Steward at the time of the drug deal and did not see him walk to a fence where police say the transaction occurred, according to the appellate court.

Steward filed an appeal on April 21, 2004, asserting that his attorney failed to speak with Praylow, his co-defendant, who offered to provide exculpatory evidence. The appellate filing said Praylow signed an affidavit that he “never received drugs or money” from Steward and that he conducted the drug deal with Brooks, the undercover cop.

Steward filed one appeal seeking a reversal of his conviction due to lack of evidence. Another appeal sought a new trial on the basis that Steward received ineffective legal advice.

The appellate court did not grant Steward’s request to overturn his conviction. But the panel did find merit in his argument that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a hearing for his claim that he received inadequate legal counsel. The appellate court also disputed the trial court’s assertion that the evidence against Steward was “overwhelming.”

“Nor, in our judgment, was the evidence against appellant actually overwhelming,” the appellate court ruling says.

The court noted that the jury at Steward’s trial submitted a question during deliberations “about whether someone else might have been dressed in clothing similar to appellant’s and whether police had kept a steady eye on appellant before his arrest.”

Steward could not be reached for comment. His attorney during his trial, Walter S. Booth, died in 2012.

February 2, 2021. Tags: , , , . Joe Biden, Racism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Oregon just decriminalized personal useage of heroin and cocaine, but continues to ban their commercial scale manufacturing, distribution, and sale. How exactly is that supposed to work?

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

November 4, 2020

Oregon voters just approved a ballot initiative which decriminalizes personal usage of small amounts of heroin and cocaine.

However, it is still illegal to manufacture, distribute, or sell these drugs on a commercial scale.

Therefore, people who use these drugs will still be getting them from illegal manufacturers, distributors, and sellers.

Which means that the problems of contamination, unknown levels of potency, gangs, drive by shootings, etc., will still be possible.

In order to get rid of these problems, the drugs need to be legalized at all levels of manufacturing, distribution, and sale.

Only then, when the drugs are fully legal, and are manufactured by brand name companies whose reputations are on the line, and whose labels list all of the ingredients, as well as the exact concentration and potency of the drugs, will we be able to see what happens when these drugs are legalized.

As it stands now, with the drugs decriminalized only for personal usage, but still banned for manufacturing, distribution, and sale on a commercial scale, it will be impossible for users to know for certain what exactly is in their drugs, or how strong they are. And in order to buy the drugs, users will still be interacting with criminals.

By legalizing these drugs for personal usage, but continuing with the ban on on commercial scale manufacturing, distribution, and sale, how exactly is this supposed to work?

November 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . War on drugs. Leave a comment.

As a libertarian, I think it’s reprehensible that liberals are against medical marijuana, and also reprehensible that they tried to raise the price of wheat at a time when millions of Americans were hungry. I hope Amy Coney Barrett will help overturn these rulings.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

October 27, 2020

In the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Raich, the court ruled that a person who grew and smoked their own medical marijuana was engaging in interstate commerce, even thought the marijuana never crossed state lines, and no money changed hands.

Voting for the majority were Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Scalia.

The dissenters were O’Connor, Rehnquist, and Thomas.

As a libertarian, I was very disappointed with this ruling.

I was also dumbfounded at the fact that every single liberal on the court voted against medical marijuana.

The ruling was based on a 1942 precedent Wickard v. Filburn, where the court ruled that a farmer who was growing his own wheat and feeding it to his own livestock was engaging in interstate commerce, even though the wheat never crossed state lines, and no money was exchanged.

The 1942 ruling said that the farmer was in violation of federal limits on how much wheat farmers could grow. These limits had been passed in 1938 as part of the New Deal, in order to raise the price of wheat at a time when millions of Americans were going hungry.

The 2005 ruling was used to justify a federal ban on marijuana.

I think it’s reprehensible that liberals tried to raise the price of wheat when millions of Americans were going hungry.

And I also think it’s reprehensible that liberals are against medical marijuana.

I hope that Amy Coney Barrett will help overturn these rulings.

October 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Health care, SCOTUS, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

It’s because of Joe Biden that blacks who use cocaine get more time in prison than whites

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

October 1, 2020

I think drugs should be legal. They had to amend the Constitution when the federal government banned alcohol, and I don’t see anything different in the Constitution that lets the federal government ban cocaine without also amending the Constitution. I voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016. I’ll be voting for Libertarian Jo Jorgensen this year.

It’s because of Joe Biden that blacks who use cocaine get more time in prison than whites. The New York Times wrote the following about Joe Biden:

Joe Biden on Crime and Mass Incarceration

During the ’80s and ’90s, Mr. Biden helped shepherd a string of bills that transformed the criminal justice system – and, experts say, hurt America’s black communities.

As Joseph R. Biden Jr. makes his third run for the White House, he is being pressed to answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities.

During the 1980s and 1990s, when Mr. Biden was a senator from Delaware, he and other leaders of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee helped fashion a string of bills that overhauled the country’s crime laws.

Among the most significant were: the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses; the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which imposed harsher sentences for possession of crack than for possession of powder cocaine; and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was essentially a catchall tough-on-crime bill.

That New York Times article links to this other New York Times article, which says:

‘Lock the S.O.B.s Up’: Joe Biden and the Era of Mass Incarceration

Now, more than 25 years later, as Mr. Biden makes his third run for the White House in a crowded field of Democrats – many calling for ambitious criminal justice reform — he must answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts and his critics say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities. That he worked with segregationists to write the bills — an issue that recently dominated the political news and seems likely to resurface in Mr. Biden’s first debate on Thursday – has only added to his challenge. So has the fact that black voters are such a crucial Democratic constituency.

October 1, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Joe Biden, Racism, War on drugs. 3 comments.

White supremacist Richard Spencer said, “I plan to vote for Biden and a straight democratic ticket.” Here’s why I’m not surprised.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 24, 2020

Wikipedia says Richard Spencer

“is an American neo-Nazi, anti-semitic conspiracy theorist and white supremacist”

Spencer just made this tweet: (original, archive)

The text of Spencer’s tweet says:

“I plan to vote for Biden and a straight democratic ticket. It’s not based on “accelerationism” or anything like that; the liberals are clearly more competent people.”

Here’s why I’m not surprised.

The New York Times wrote the following about Joe Biden:

Joe Biden on Crime and Mass Incarceration

During the ’80s and ’90s, Mr. Biden helped shepherd a string of bills that transformed the criminal justice system – and, experts say, hurt America’s black communities.

As Joseph R. Biden Jr. makes his third run for the White House, he is being pressed to answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities.

During the 1980s and 1990s, when Mr. Biden was a senator from Delaware, he and other leaders of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee helped fashion a string of bills that overhauled the country’s crime laws.

Among the most significant were: the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses; the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which imposed harsher sentences for possession of crack than for possession of powder cocaine; and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was essentially a catchall tough-on-crime bill.

That New York Times article links to this other New York Times article, which says:

Now, more than 25 years later, as Mr. Biden makes his third run for the White House in a crowded field of Democrats – many calling for ambitious criminal justice reform — he must answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts and his critics say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities. That he worked with segregationists to write the bills — an issue that recently dominated the political news and seems likely to resurface in Mr. Biden’s first debate on Thursday – has only added to his challenge. So has the fact that black voters are such a crucial Democratic constituency.

So it’s largely because of Biden that the punishment for crack cocaine is more severe than the punishment for powder cocaine. And Biden worked with segregationists to create this policy. And it has devastated the black community.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post wrote the following about Donald Trump:

3,100 inmates to be released as Trump administration implements criminal justice reform

The announcement came at a news conference to discuss the Trump administration’s progress on putting into place the First Step Act, a criminal justice bill President Trump signed into law in December.

Since the act’s passage, Rosen said, 1,691 people convicted of crack cocaine offenses also have received sentence reductions. That is because the measure retroactively applied a different sentencing law meant to resolve the disparity between penalties for those convicted of possessing crack cocaine and those convicted of possessing powder cocaine.

So it’s largely because of Trump that the sentencing disparities between crack cocaine and powder cocaine are being reduced and/or eliminated.

Meanwhile, the New York Times wrote the following about Kamala Harris:

Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.

Consider her record as San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 to 2011. Ms. Harris was criticized in 2010 for withholding information about a police laboratory technician who had been accused of “intentionally sabotaging” her work and stealing drugs from the lab. After a memo surfaced showing that Ms. Harris’s deputies knew about the technician’s wrongdoing and recent conviction, but failed to alert defense lawyers, a judge condemned Ms. Harris’s indifference to the systemic violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights.

Ms. Harris contested the ruling by arguing that the judge, whose husband was a defense attorney and had spoken publicly about the importance of disclosing evidence, had a conflict of interest. Ms. Harris lost. More than 600 cases handled by the corrupt technician were dismissed.

Ms. Harris also championed state legislation under which parents whose children were found to be habitually truant in elementary school could be prosecuted, despite concerns that it would disproportionately affect low-income people of color.

She also defended Johnny Baca’s conviction for murder even though judges found a prosecutor presented false testimony at the trial. She relented only after a video of the oral argument received national attention and embarrassed her office.

And then there’s Kevin Cooper, the death row inmate whose trial was infected by racism and corruption. He sought advanced DNA testing to prove his innocence, but Ms. Harris opposed it. (After The New York Times’s exposé of the case went viral, she reversed her position.)

So Harris knowingly and deliberately kept innocent people in prison.

Harris opposed DNA testing that would have proved that someone on death row was actually innocent.

Spencer’s use of the word “liberal” in his tweet is not an accurate description of the actions of Biden or Harris that are described in those New York Times articles.

No real “liberal” would do those things.

Only an authoritarian would do those things.

August 24, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Racism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Change.org petition: Arrest Malia Obama for violation of federal marijuana laws

https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-president-of-the-united-states-arrest-malia-obama-for-violation-of-federal-marijuana-laws

Arrest Malia Obama for violation of federal marijuana laws

WHEREAS, on August 10, 2016, Malia Obama was recorded on video smoking marijuana in public in the U.S., and

WHEREAS, on August 11, 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said it would continue classifying marijuana as a dangerous and illegal Schedule 1 drug,

THEREFORE, we call upon the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to arrest Malia Obama for violation of federal marijuana laws.

August 11, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, War on drugs. 8 comments.

Hypocrite Barack Obama gives his own daughter an exemption from the laws against marijuana which he has prosecuted so many other people for

All of the people cited below were prosecuted by President Obama for smoking medial marijuana, despite that fact that it was legal in the states where they lived.

On the other hand, President Obama refuses to prosecute his own daughter, Malia Obama, for smoking recreational marijuana.

The below image comes from http://radaronline.com/photos/malia-obama-smoking-pot-claims-lollapalooza-twerking-video/photo/1329712/

Malia Obama


There’s also this video from YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm4PszxLSQ8

In May 2008, Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that Obama would end DEA raids on medical marijuana in states where it’s legal. Also in 2008, Obama said that he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs” and that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.”

However, in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana grower in Highlands Ranch in Colorado, a state where medical marijuana is legal. Also in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Culver City in California, a state where medical marijuana is legal. In July 2010, the DEA raided at least four medical marijuana growers in San Diego, California. Also in July 2010, the DEA raided a medical marijuana facility in Covelo, California. Then in September 2010, the DEA conducted raids on at least five medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, where medical marijuana is legal. In 2011, the DEA conducted raids on medical marijuana in Seattle, Washington, West Hollywood, California, and Helena, Montana, all places where it is legal. In April 2012, the DEA carried out several raids on medical marijuana in Oakland, California.

In February 2012, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Obama’s war against medical marijuana went “far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.” In April 2012, Mother Jones magazine wrote: “The president campaigned on the promise that he’d stop federal raids on medical marijuana operations that were in compliance with state laws, a vow that Attorney General Eric Holder repeated after the election. But then the Obama administration raided more than 100 dispensaries in its first three years and is now poised to outpace the Bush administration’s crackdown record.” In May 2012, the Washington Post wrote: “Obama has become more hostile to medical marijuana patients than any president in U.S. history.” In May 2012, U.S. Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said she had “strong concerns” about Obama’s forced closure of five medical marijuana facilities in Pelosi’s congressional district. In April 2012, commenting on Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said, “I’m very disappointed… They look more like the Bush administration than the Clinton administration.”

In July 2012, federal prosecutors filed civil forfeiture actions against Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, CA, which claims to be the world’s largest, and which claims to serve more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients. In April 2012, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, an educational institution in Oakland, CA, which teaches people about medical marijuana. In April 2012, federal agents raided a medical marijuana facility which had been serving 1,500 patients near Lake Elsinore, CA. In June 2012, the Obama administration filed asset-forfeiture lawsuits against two landlords who rented their buildings to medical marijuana stores in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The Obama administration also sent warning letters which threatened similar legal action to dozens of other, nearby landlords. During the first seven months of 2012, the DEA shut down 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, all of which had been operating in compliance with state and local law.

In April 2013, the DEA raided four medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, California. Also in April 2013, the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego, California. In July 2013, the DEA conducted multiple medical marijuana raids in Washington state, including the cities of Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle. In August 2013, the DEA raided People’s Choice Alternative Medicine, a medical marijuana facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In October 2013, the DEA raided 28 medical marijuana facilities in Michigan. In November 2013, the DEA raided 12 medical marijuana facilities in Denver, Colorado.

In April 2014, the DEA raided four medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver, Colorado. In June 2014, DEA agents visited the homes and offices of doctors in Massachusetts who had written prescriptions for medical marijuana, and threatened to confiscate their federal licenses to prescribe certain medications if they did not stop writing prescriptions for medical marijuana. In October 2014, the DEA raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, California.

In May 2012, ABC News reported that during Obama’s youth, he often smoked large quantities of recreational marijuana.  Obama’s marijuana smoking wasn’t even medical – it was recreational. And yet now, he is taking large scale, widespread action to prevent people with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other illnesses, who have prescriptions from their doctors, from using their prescription medicine – how cold hearted can a person be?

August 10, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , . Barack Obama, War on drugs. 5 comments.

Obama’s war against medical marijuana is the biggest of any president, which is the exact opposite of what he had promised

Campaign promises

In May 2008, Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that Obama would end DEA raids on medical marijuana in states where it’s legal.

Also in 2008, Obama said that he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs” and that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.”

Federal raids against medical marijuana in states where it’s legal

Despite Obama’s campaign promise, in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana grower in Highlands Ranch in Colorado, a state where medical marijuana is legal.

Also in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Culver City in California, a state where medical marijuana is legal.

In July 2010, the DEA raided at least four medical marijuana growers in San Diego, California.

Also in July 2010, the DEA raided a medical marijuana facility in Covelo, California.

Then in September 2010, the DEA conducted raids on at least five medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, where medical marijuana is legal.

In 2011, the DEA conducted raids on medical marijuana in Seattle, Washington, West Hollywood, California, and Helena, Montana, all places where it is legal.

In April 2012, the DEA carried out several raids on medical marijuana in Oakland, California.

Also in April 2012, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, an educational institution in Oakland, CA, which teaches people about medical marijuana.

Furthermore in April 2012, federal agents raided a medical marijuana facility which had been serving 1,500 patients near Lake Elsinore, CA.

In July 2012, federal prosecutors filed civil forfeiture actions against Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, CA, which claims to be the world’s largest, and which claims to serve more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients.

During the first seven months of 2012, the DEA shut down 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, all of which had been operating in compliance with state and local law.

In April 2013, the DEA raided four medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, California.

Also in April 2013, the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego, California.

In July 2013, the DEA conducted multiple medical marijuana raids in Washington state, including the cities of Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle.

In August 2013, the DEA raided People’s Choice Alternative Medicine, a medical marijuana facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In October 2013, the DEA raided 28 medical marijuana facilities in Michigan. In November 2013, the DEA raided 12 medical marijuana facilities in Denver, Colorado.

In April 2014, the DEA raided four medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver, Colorado.

In October 2014, the DEA raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, California.

Threats against doctors

In June 2014, DEA agents visited the homes and offices of doctors in Massachusetts who had written prescriptions for medical marijuana, and threatened to confiscate their federal licenses to prescribe certain medications if they did not stop writing prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Threats against landlords

In June 2012, the Obama administration filed asset-forfeiture lawsuits against two landlords who rented their buildings to medical marijuana stores in Santa Fe Springs, CA. At the same time, the Obama administration also sent warning letters which threatened similar legal action to dozens of other, nearby landlords.

Criticism from the political left

In February 2012, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Obama’s war against medical marijuana went “far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.”

In April 2012, Mother Jones magazine wrote: “The president campaigned on the promise that he’d stop federal raids on medical marijuana operations that were in compliance with state laws, a vow that Attorney General Eric Holder repeated after the election. But then the Obama administration raided more than 100 dispensaries in its first three years and is now poised to outpace the Bush administration’s crackdown record.”

In a May 2012 opinion column published by the Washington Post, Rob Kampia, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, wrote, “Obama has become more hostile to medical marijuana patients than any president in U.S. history.”

In May 2012, U.S. Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said she had “strong concerns” about Obama’s forced closure of five medical marijuana facilities in Pelosi’s congressional district.

In April 2012, commenting on Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said, “I’m very disappointed… They look more like the Bush administration than the Clinton administration.”

Obama’s own illegal use of recreational marijuana has never been prosecuted

In May 2012, ABC News reported that during Obama’s youth, he often smoked large quantities of recreational marijuana.  Obama’s marijuana smoking wasn’t even medical – it was recreational. And yet now, he is taking large scale, widespread action to prevent people with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other illnesses, who have prescriptions from their doctors, from using their prescription medicine. How cold hearted, as well as hypocritical, can a person be?

 

February 6, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Health care, Politics, War on drugs. 2 comments.

Why does the liberal, tolerant, and enlightened city of San Francisco arrest black women at 13 times the rate of women of other races?

Fusion.net reports:

Black women in San Francisco arrested way more often than white women, report shows

May 27, 2015

Black women represent 5.8% of the city’s female population, but accounted for 45.5% of all female arrests in 2013… For arrests related to weapons and narcotics—both felonies—black women made up 77% and 68% of all female arrests, respectively.

Black women were arrested “at a per capita rate 13.4 times higher than women of other races,” says the report.

Considering that San Francisco is said to be one of the most liberal, tolerant, and enlightened cities in the U.S., I wonder how this happened.

May 29, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Politics, Racism, War on drugs. 20 comments.

With help from 80 years of self-described “progressives,” Obama is now waging the biggest war against medical marijuana of any president in history

Anyone who has been following the self-described “progressive” politicians since FDR should not be surprised at Obama’s war against medical marijuana.

Obama’s war against medical marijuana is a direct result of the policies of the self-described “progressives” in the White House, Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court, going all the way back to FDR’s New Deal.

(more…)

April 7, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Health care, Police state, Politics, War on drugs. 3 comments.

Man who obeyed Montana’s medical marijuana laws could get life in prison from Obama administration

This seven minute video from the New York Times shows the story of Chris Williams in Montana. This makes me really glad that I wrote in Ron Paul for President in 2008, and voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2012. I also applaud Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s position on this issue.
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December 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Health care, War on drugs. 2 comments.

Government lab worker who conducted more than 60,000 drug tests deliberately botched many of them, sending many innocent suspects to prison

From Boston, Massachusetts, Associated Press reports:
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September 29, 2012. Tags: , , , . War on drugs. 1 comment.

The biggest current obstacles to medical marijuana are President Obama and the progressives on the Supreme Court

I’m a libertarian, and I think that both medical and recreational marijuana should be legal. That being said, I myself have never smoked marijuana, or tobacco, or been drunk, or used any illegal drug. I do, however, think that it’s completely ridiculous to put non-violent people in jail for using mind altering substances. And I especially detest the idea of the government preventing people from using a medical treatment which has been proven in scientific studies to be beneficial for patients who are suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other medical conditions. I voted for Ron Paul for President in 2008, and I will be voting for Gary Johnson in 2012. The ridiculous “war on drugs” has caused the U.S. incarceration rate to skyrocket in recent decades – to the highest rate of any country in the entire world. Ending the “war on drugs” is my #1 most important political issue.

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August 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Health care, Politics, War on drugs. 6 comments.

Wikipedia falsely implies that President Obama has stopped waging war against medical marijuana.

Wikipedia has an article called Presidency of Barack Obama.

Regarding the subject of medical marijuana, the article states:

On October 19, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a directive to federal prosecutors in states with medical marijuana laws not to investigate or prosecute cases of marijuana use or production done in compliance with those laws.

Gosh, that sure sounds lovely.

However, the following content has been deleted from the article: (more…)

May 21, 2012. Tags: , , . Politics, War on drugs, Wikipedia. Leave a comment.