• Press Release: President Obama should respect state cannabis laws

    by  • July 24, 2012 • Blog


    President Obama, in the mirror, before taking oath of office

    President Obama should listen to Candidate Obama and respect state cannabis laws.

    PORTLAND, July 24 – Oregon cannabis activists join concerned citizens across the country urging President Barack Obama to respect state cannabis laws.  Following protests in Oakland, Washington and Colorado surrounding President Obama’s visit to the Bay area, Oregon activists will join in solidarity during the President’s swing through Portland.  Activists and concerned citizens are gathering at 777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, starting at 10:00am to coincide with President Obama’s noon fund raiser on Tuesday, July 24.

    The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was heralded by many cannabis law reform activists as a monumental event for those who have worked to reform cannabis laws for the better. After eight years of the George W. Bush Administration’s attacks on medical cannabis dispensaries and of decisions that seemed based more upon politics than science, most activists were hopeful that President Obama would be different. After all, when asked by the Willamette Week whether he would stop prosecute Oregon’s medical cannabis growers, then-candidate Obama answered, “I would, because I think that our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism.”

    Unfortunately, after several raids of medical cannabis growers and dispensaries in Oregon, Colorado, Washington and California, it seems that President Obama disagrees with Candidate Obama and now thinks that federal agents should be arresting medical cannabis growers instead of utilizing those resources catching serious criminals and preventing terrorism.  While joining the Bush Administration in threatening property forfeiture against medical cannabis dispensaries and imposing tax regulations that can bankrupt medical dispensaries, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency has warned gun sellers to not to provide firearms to medical cannabis patients, banks have been threatened to not do business with medical cannabis businesses and federal prosecutors have actively campaigned against state cannabis law reform measures and even threatening publications that publish advertisements for dispensaries.

    “President Obama should respect state cannabis laws. While not necessarily opposing President Obama’s re-election, cannabis activists are merely urging him to follow his campaign promise to respect the will of the voters,” said Anthony Johnson, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Coalition.  “With possibly three states voting to legalize cannabis this November, it is imperative that our federal government respect state laws and concentrate our limited resources on combating serious and violent crime.”

    “We report daily on the actions taken by the Obama Administration in persecuting the state-sanctioned use of marijuana for medical purposes,” adds Russ Belville, executive producer of National Cannabis Radio.  “Frankly, the excuses given by the administration are beginning to border on the ridiculous.  Harborside Health Center is attacked for being too big and well-run, since that must mean criminal activity is occurring, according to the US Attorney.  Berkeley Patients Group is shuttered for being too vulnerable to robbery, despite its massive security and cooperation with local law enforcement.  Dispensaries in San Francisco are shut down for being too close to a school while liquor stores and strip clubs are closer.  Worst of all, the day Oaksterdam is raided for merely being a school that teaches how to grow marijuana, the raid pulls police away from a violent shooting happening at another school just blocks away!  This federal crackdown is simply a bullying attempt to squash medical marijuana laws that are overwhelmingly popular with voters of all political persuasions across the nation and we plan to let President Obama know it.”

    National Cannabis Radio will be live-streaming the Portland protest (a day after live-streaming the Oakland protest) at noon, Tuesday, July 24 at www.ncr420.com.


    Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the National Cannabis Coalition and our parent division, the American Victory Coalition. He also serves as a Board Member of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


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