Nanny of the Month: Drug Warrior-in-Chief Barack Obama

[Video Link] Ted Balakar of Reason says: "This time top dishonors go to the Drug Warrior-in-Chief Barack Obama (with DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart grabbing a dishonorable mention), whose DEA banned fake pot, thwarted a scientist's decade-long campaign to study marijuana, and raided dispensaries in Montana and California--all in one month!

"Seems like only yesterday when Obama promised he wouldn't waste Justice Department resources raiding medical marijuana dispensaries."


    1. There is no equivalence to GWB.
      For this to be true, Obama would have to:
      Start a $2-Trillion war because he wanted to show up his Dad.
      Give $1.5Trillion away to the rich, because, hey, he’s rich.
      Allow Satan to suggest Himself for Vice-President, and accept His offer.
      Destroy the economy.
      Weaken our alliances with every country on the globe.
      Create a semi-police state.
      Give really awkward back massage to female European head of state.
      Be recorded talking to a different European head of state while chewing with his mouth open.
      Have goofy laugh that really is too easy to parody.
      Not be able to pronounce “nuclear”.
      Have his stated hobby be “clearing brush”.

      1. And you do realize that Obama has in essence doubled down on everything that GWB did? Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Semi-police state? Destroy economy through massive spending? All checks. So what you’re saying is that you’re glad we now have a somewhat Bush-like President who is more articulate?

        On a side note, while obviously not agreeing with him on everything, I believe Christopher Hitchens stated it best that ‘Bush is stupid’ jokes are jokes for stupid people to make and for stupid people to laugh at. Anyone can do it. You should get some new material.

  1. So disappointing. I almost have a hard time mustering anger at the mind numbing destructive stupid of prohibition. Politicians and a non-trivial portion of the population are just too fucking willfully stupid and uptight to get it out of their small little minds that they are inflicting massive harm against the populace. Frankly, I don’t think prohibition will ever be given up on until we get off world colonies that get a chance to start over and try government again. There are just too many assholes, nannies, and interest groups to ever expect sane policy here.

    1. One termer? Not even close, unless a credible independent steps in, like perhaps Bloomberg. The GOP certainly has not a single credible person available.

  2. With the shit-show the Republicans are putting up for presidential candidates, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins again. It’ll likely be close though.

    Not that it matters. Same corporate masters and special interests, same policies that treat the citizenry as producer-consumers and not humans.

    1. I’m tolerably certain that wasn’t complimentary and that he called us as a dig at the geeks. Although, I’ll probably change that story next time I ask for a raise.

      1. Agreed. The only other possibility is that he wanted to clarify that BB is a site. I have sometimes elicited very odd looks when I’ve mentioned BoingBoing to people IRL. They immediately assume it’s something dirty.

        Anyway Mr. Obama…. would you please stop fucking up your reputation? Your ignorant actions on this subject are putting more dollars and power in the hands of non-American gangs, and taking tax revenue from you. Gangs keep their profits, the US loses tax revenue and expenditure on protecting the southern border continues to rise. You are digging yourself into a hole that every President in the last 90 years has worked on.

        Weed is not the devil it has been portrayed as. The population, by way of voting with their wallets, has proven this. Your continuation of this ridiculous prohibition just perpetuates myth and misinformation. The AMA was strongly opposed to the control of Marijuana when it was introduced, but it happened anyway. How stupid would the US government have to be to ignore the opinion of doctors? Stop the stupidity now!

        1. I hope he reads this! The special interests/pharma lobbyists are deep in Washington…deep. From the FDA saying Red dye 1 food coloring is safe (while Europe has banned it) thanks to a food color lobby(?!) to this heinous disregard for the natural benefits of cannabis thanks to the heavy hands and pockets of the pharma lobby, he is chasing the dollar vs. serving the public. You can make pretty speeches sir but we are “hip to you game.” Better do something righteous for the people or you will be gone… yes we can.

      2. Although, I’ll probably change that story next time I ask for a raise.

        Have the moderators considered unionizing?

        1. No, since we’re independent contractors. But a bloggers union would be a great idea so that we could all get group health insurance.

    2. Now, now. Remember, President Obama stated that he “skims the comment section” of Boing Boing.

      Right, and I’m talkin’ to YOU, Obama. One… termer….

  3. It’s a little bent, but I’m kind of glad Obama is doing repressive things. This way I won’t feel as bad when he isn’t elected to a second term.

  4. I live in Montana. I follow the state politics to a point. I really don’t understand our marijuana laws, but I’ve also never seen the federal government stepping into dispensaries. Hell, even the state government failed to pass any reform on our current medical marijuana laws. Nanny of the Month is usually pretty entertaining, but I just can’t get behind this one.

    1. “I’ve also never seen the federal government stepping into dispensaries”

      Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it hasn’t occurred. You just didn’t happen to be within viewing distance of one of the 10 dispensaries raided by the DEA and company on the 14th of this month, about two and a half weeks ago. The raids are ongoing, even in Montana.

      1. The raids are ongoing, even in Montana.

        They’re not “raids”, they’re “kinetic law enforcement activity”.

  5. You would think that a guy who did cocaine might feel like a bit like an ass enforcing drug laws that if applied to himself would land him in jail rather than the White House. Of course, the blatant hypocrisy of enforcing a law on others that you don’t enforce on yourself is hardly something new for politicians and presidents in general. Bush and Billy are in the same boat as assholes who merrily enforced drug laws and conveniently overlooking their own guilt.

    I really hate politicians. I would say I am disappointed in Obama, but truth be told, I had no expectations. Having disappointment would imply I had hope that the hypocrisy would end.

  6. It was obvious from the look on his face as he exited his first meeting with Pentagon officials that he knew he really wasn’t in charge of jack shit. He’s just along for the ride. Shut up and do as we say and no one gets hurt. Sad really. Business as usual.

    1. “It was obvious from the look on his face as he exited his first meeting with Pentagon officials that he knew he really wasn’t in charge of jack shit. He’s just along for the ride. Shut up and do as we say and no one gets hurt. Sad really. Business as usual.”

      Thank you.

      I’m reminded of a bit from the late, great Bill Hicks. He said every president-elect gets called into a meeting with the big folks who REALLY run things. They show him footage of the JFK shooting, but from an angle he’s never seen before – shot from the grassy knoll. Then they ask him “any questions?”

      Personal story: I know someone who knows someone who was in harvard with Obama. They said even then, everyone knew he wanted to be president. He had those aspirations even then. So he’s been willing to “compromise” again and again, to reach his goal.

      Still, could be worse. Imagine what McCain/Palin would be doing right now?

  7. As interesting as this is, It’s from a source that has a clear agenda. I’m not surprised, and I’m not calling it either way yet, but I am doing my own research before I make my mind up.

    Looking over their site, there are some causes for concern – they seem to take Ayn Rand almost entirely seriously, and consider many of her her ideas to be good ideas – but nothing too overt, yet.

    I’ll check back in once I’ve gone over the whole thing more thoroughly so that Mark can get snarky at me properly.

    1. @churba Reason is libertarian magazine, but their clear agenda with regard to war on drugs has always been to end it. Here is a story from 2008 where expressed hope that candidate Obama was going to be better than McCain (or Bush) on drug policy.
      If you think they are another conservative magazine looking for cheap shots at Obama, go read anything they wrote about Bush from 2001-2009. They don’t like politicians from either side.
      You might disagree with them on wealth distribution or unions or many other issues, ending the drug war ought to be one area where progressives and libertarians work together.

      1. @mccleary,
        I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you about Reason. If you look at the Reason Foundation’s list of officers:

        …you’ll see many investment organizations listed, along with David “Tea Party” Koch himself. It would be naive to think that there wasn’t a larger agenda there.

        I may agree with Reason’s take on drug laws and the Iraq War, but I vehemently disagree with their take on economic policy (I’m a unionized teaching assistant in Wisconsin). These types of stories strike me as a rather pointed attempt to divide and conquer progressives, so as to further the larger pro-big business program of the Reason Foundation.

        1. These types of stories strike me as a rather pointed attempt to divide and conquer progressives,

          Are you suggesting that progressives should accept the drug war, expanded foreign military involvements, continued civil liberties violations, and Wall Street revolving door policies of the Obama administration in order to guarantee that the administration will continue to take determined pro-labor actions, such as they did in Wisconsin?

        2. @abulaf1a. I’m a left-leaning libertarian, and I completely respect that view. And I appreciate the civility. I think BB editors do a good job of picking out Reason content that is pretty well-documented. As with this piece on federal drug policy, I would say Reason content should be judged on its merits as opposed to the perceived agenda of its source. As a tool of corporate America, I can’t imagine anything less effective than Reason — companies just don’t have anything to gain from a magazine that spends an inordinate amount of time writing so many articles that are anti-war, pro-civil liberties, anti-drug war, anti-corporatism/crony capitalism, pro-privacy, anti-eminent domain abuse, anti-police militarization.

          I do think Reason has blind spots about legitimate places where government is beneficial, and they definitely have a snarky tone — which progressives seemed to love when the were attacking Bush, less so now. I tend skip over the articles that are going to bug me, but I still think Reason is a valuable voices that is consistently skeptical of government as an institution, as opposed to being skeptical when “my guys” are out of power.

      2. It’s not about cheap shots or scoring points – it’s just that ANY source with a clear agenda makes my journalist sense tingle, no matter if I agree with the conclusion they come to or not.

        To do otherwise would just be, well, bad journalism. They might be correct, they might not be, but I’d rather take the time and know they’re not talking bullshit – even if I agree with them – before I say owt about it.

        Also, on a purely personal note since it’s on boingboing, I’ve bollocked Mark about it before, and it’d be rather hypocritical to do the same thing afterward. I’m a bastard, but I’m not that kind of bastard.

  8. I keep hearing about this Barrack Obama character in the news, and I often wonder what his role in the Obama administration actually is. Sometimes I think he’s some sort of official White House greeter, sometimes I think he’s just there to babysit Joe Biden, or to run errands for Senator Joe Lieberman, at other times I think he’s been promoted to spokesperson for the Pentagon or DEA. I’d be grateful if anyone could clarify this for me.

  9. I’m unclear on the specifics, but I’m for the banning of fake pot production (not criminalizing the user, to be clear).

    That stuff is a nasty concoction of who knows what the f…and it has little to do (physically) with the real thing (but many kids willing to experiment would be content overlooking that possibility).

  10. I can’t believe the armchair turdslinging in this comment thread. Maybe he’s not Nobel Prize material, but on balance, Obomb’s pulled ‘us’ back from the stinking precipice we were shoved toward by the Bushes, Clinton, and Reagan. In my view he’s been more ‘libertarian’ than any president I can remember. Blathering “one termer” reminds me of a 7 year old girl I know, who responds to everything with either “lame”, or “boring”. It doesn’t show a lot of creative thinking, it sounds more like a person who has nothing to add, who would rather get back to their game. Yep, Obama, thwarter of scientists! Ridiculous.

    1. Obomb’s pulled ‘us’ back from the stinking precipice we were shoved toward by the Bushes, Clinton, and Reagan.

      He’s vastly increased our troops in Afghanistan, got us into Libya, posturing against Iran, Yemen and God knows where else, Guantanamo is still open. How, exactly, has he pulled us back from the precipice?

      1. I really don’t want to drag this out, but, to answer your question with one currently relevant example: how about Obama’s visit to Egypt and speech to Muslims and Arabs in, um, June of 2009? Think that might have had a positive effect on the world? Think that was business as usual for an American politician in 2009?

  11. I have no problem with legitimate criticism of Obama’s policy. But why is boingboing uncritically firing turds for a Libertarian publication?

    1. But why is boingboing uncritically firing turds for a Libertarian publication?

      Uhhhhh…. let me think. Maybe because a “happy mutant” would be unlikely to be an orthodox, party line conservative or liberal??

      Nah, that can’t be it the reason I guess.

  12. This country is in a shitty situation, no doubt. Unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee that it would be in a far shittier situation were someone else in charge.

    As far as I’m concerned, Obama is the finest president this country has seen during my lifetime. Someone who isn’t afraid to make unpopular decisions, if he thinks it’s the right thing to do.

    For all you who are butt-hurt that he is a moderate, well golly. You’re the same sort of myopic fools who voted Nader in Florida because Gore was just too conservative. How did that work out for you? How did that work out for the whole fucking WORLD?

    Antinous: Oh, my Goodness! He’s POSTURING. How horrendous! I shudder to think! Someone fetch the smelling salts!

    1. You really think Obama is unafraid to make unpopular decisions? Name me one bold decision he has made? Especially regarding all the promises he made. If by doing the right thing, you mean that Obama waits until the very last moment to make a decision or allows others to do the dirty work while he stays ‘above the fray’, then you might have a point.

    2. Someone who isn’t afraid to make unpopular decisions, if he thinks it’s the right thing to do.

      That’s a crock of shit. He didn’t push for, nor explain the tremendous benefits of, a single payer system for health care. He has tremendous resources at his disposal and could have focused them on educating the public (at least most of them that can be) on this issue and pushed for it.

      But he IS afraid and he DIDN’T do.. the right thing.

      If he at least had tried and put a huge effort and it failed it would have been one thing… but it’s quite another.

      1. Expecting the conservative/Blue Dog Democrats to go along with a single payer system (even after heavy ‘education’/lobbying by the president) is fanciful enough, but expecting any of the Republicans to go along with it is just laughable.

        They were (and still are) voting against every single one of the president’s proposals in an effort to sink him politically. Even stuff they previously supported, like virtually everything in the health care law. There is nothing the president could have said or done that would have gotten something like a single payer system passed.

        1. There is nothing the president could have said or done that would have gotten something like a single payer system passed.

          Another cop out. Well, anyway, I guess we’ll never know because he certainly didn’t say or try anything… at all after being elected.

  13. Oh, and one last thing, if you really think that in the state the world is in, that pot legislation is even fucking anywhere near the top of the list of battles our president should be fighting… well. It says a lot more about your priorities than it does anything else.

    1. The point is that he doesn’t have to do anything. Fine, don’t legalise it, don’t control it, or tax it, or fight the gangs that are getting the money instead.

      But that doesn’t mean he should be wasting time and money on another un-winnable war.

      I watched a fantastic trashy police show on TV last night (UK) whereby they raided a mans home suspecting him of being a dealer, found the tiniest amount of weed (teenth at the most), and arrested him anyway, pretty much just cause they were there and needed to justify their salaries. He just seemed like your average guy having a peaceful night in.

      They then spent the rest of the episode arresting folks and tackling anti-social behaviour in town centers because half the populace was drunk and fighting. It doesn’t take a genius to see how pointless and retarded drug laws are – even the police should be able to understand it.

      1. I’ve met quite a few police in the UK who are in favour of legalising everything, because they’re bloody sick of dealing with the mess prohibition causes. Uniform and CID officers, not the pompous stuffed shirts higher up the chain, sadly.

  14. Obama promised all kinds of crazy stuff back in the day. I haven´t heard of Guantanamo in some time. But don´t worry, it´s all part of his liberal, peace loving masterplan. See, to trump his right wing competition he first needs to match the worst shit they have done and maybe surpass it. Nice strategy! Aces!

  15. The lesson of the Obama administration is a pretty simple one. Throw out your ideals and concepts about the power of the president. Realize that the money trail is long, deep and wide. Short of a president willing to commit political suicide, the status quo is going to be maintained. Sure there are edge cases which might amount to a loss or win for one party, but any real, serious change won’t happen just because one party is in power.
    The reality is that change moves like frozen molasses through our political system. Pot will be decriminalized but probably not in my lifetime. There’s just too much money involved in the prison system. Removing marijuana offenses from that equation means cuts in funding for prisons, prison technology, law enforcement and tech etc.
    The two party system has reached a relative equilibrium that allows the main political purchasing power to remain no matter who won the big ticket. The dog and pony show is now the elephant and donkey show.
    As for increased presence in Afghanistan, we’re there for two main reasons. The primary one is instability in Pakistan which is a nuclear power with radical Muslim elements. The second is that the country is a proving ground, a way to bloody our troops and keep our military active. It also keeps troops operational in the region. The government is rightfully expecting increased instability throughout the Arab countries. As we hit issues of declining oil supplies in the middle East this is just going to increase. The puppets won’t be in power forever once their golden egg disappears. Tin foil hat thinking? Maybe, maybe not. Ask yourself, why are we in Libya?

    1. Short of a president willing to commit political suicide, the status quo is going to be maintained.

      Maintaining the status quo is political suicide.

  16. One minor whine before commenting… when people sign in it is at the bottom of the page, the screen refresh takes you back to the top. On a topic with many comments this is a major scroll task to get back down again. Whining over…

    Obama promised ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’. Now? We have ‘No Hope’, ‘No Change’, and (apparently) ‘No Dope’. Trying to work out how people can be so fooled. He is, after all, a politician who is ‘promoted’ by money men (Goldman to be precise). Regardless of political affiliation, politics took a sharp left (direction only that is) turn some time back when ‘Government OF the people’ became altered. Instead of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” there is now ‘Control of the people, by the corporations, for the corporations’. This is reflected in the ‘blame game’ whereby a lot of the economic woes are blamed on the public sector while no financier has been punished. You are simply a Cost Unit to those in power.

  17. I am always surprised that people keep believing the whole two party Repub/Demo thing when there is so obviously no difference between the two. In Canada there are more faces to the puppets, but they still is are puppets.

    We simply live in nations that are governed by the wealthy. Until we stop believing the lies, that won’t change.

  18. So … you’re telling me that I took hallucinogens this morning, right?

    What else could account for the state of the nation?

  19. In this corner we have the prison industry which makes a ton of money from the drug war against Marijuana, the pharmaceutical industry which makes a ton of money from people not having access to a mostly harmless drug that they could grow in their backyard for free, and a huge voting block of religious conservatives who have been told pot has some connection to Satan and abortions, although they couldn’t say just what the connection is. Even the illegal drug trade is in this corner. All of their Marijuana profits would vanish overnight if people could grow pot for free.

    And in this corner we have a smaller block of people that just wants to be left alone in peace to live their lives. No big industries in this corner.

    Who’s taking bets?

    1. If pot is legalized nationally, it will be contingent on very strict regulations that make it prohibitive for the small grower. In other words, pot will be legalized when Phillip Morris and the other tobacco companies or perhaps agribiz companies can be assured a large stake in it.

      That’s my prediction/belief in any case. Like you said, you have to follow the money and weed doesn’t make corporations any money in the short term if just decriminalized.

  20. I’m from Montana, voted for (and still support) our medical marijuana law. But criticizing these raids there is supremely ignorant.

    They raided the businesses belonging to a single family, who were using their medical marijuana business as a cover to traffic weed out of state. Not to mention not paying taxes, and selling guns to undercover ATF agents.

    The DEA not only didn’t raid the hundreds of other medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, they called most of the large ones with storefronts ahead of time and basically told them not to panic.

    These assholes were straight up criminals, before and after going into the medical marijuana business, and they are probably going to be responsible for getting our medical marijuana law repealed this legislative session. Screw them, and all the people from out of state who are ignorantly jumping all over this issue.

    1. OK, that’s reasonable. Trafficking firearms and selling weed across state lines are the Feds purview and one that I’m OK with.

      However, calling them criminals doesn’t really say very much. You’re a criminal in most states if you have minuscule amounts of weed. You’re a criminal if you break sodomy laws in states that have them. Criminal is not a valid moral judgement.

    2. If this is true, then it changes the whole fact of the “raiding medical marijuana dispensaries” line, and a number of people here should admit they made a mistake.

      When Obama said he wasn’t going to raid medical marijuana dispensaries, I think it was clear that he meant legal, above-the-line, medical organizations — in contrast to Bush, who, if you remembering, was raiding medical marijuana dispensaries which were completely legal within their state laws. He was also raiding colleges whose labs were doing legal experiments with marijuana, if I recall.

      Raiding a dispensary which is engaged in illegal activities by the state’s laws and is selling across state lines is a completely different kettle of fish.

      I was all ready to be mad at Obama, but it looks like this story doesn’t really have legs.

  21. Just a note to those that feel the GOP has nobody good to put in a presidential race: simply look at the Tea Party candidates who got in to see how willing people are to vote in complete loons with no attachment to reality. Michelle Bahcman doesn’t seem qualified to be a Wal- mart greeter, yet look what she does for a living. Of course, the Dems could simply go for a different candidate…

    1. Well (as of now) there’s no GOP hopeful that even has a shot, especially considering what a complete amateur hour, freakshow/spectacle their primary fighting will be. Barring an even worse economic downturn, Obama should have no problems. I’m not a fan of Obama either.

  22. I think that Obama is the best conservative president of recent history. The problem is the lack of a political center, or even left of center party in the US.
    At least he isn’t breaking things on purpose?

  23. If you stay within the state laws you should be safe from the DEA. The Montana ones, seems like they were running it very loose. The West Hollywood ones I don’t know the details.

  24. This hasn’t anything to do with pot at all.

    It has to do with setting up an apparatus – at the behest of Monsanto and Cargill and others – to identify people growing their own food and then charging them with patent violations and destroying their crops.

    Pot is just the excuse.

    When the Supreme Court finally hands nature over to Monsanto every gardener and farmer will be getting a cease and desist letter.

    Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser

  25. What a tremendous disappointment this guy has been. New boss same as the old boss. It is clear that the system will not be changed via the system.

  26. Don’t like it? Don’t vote for him next time. He fooled us all. It’s a damn shame. Same as the old boss.

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