an open letter to president obama

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

FOUR DAYS AGO, on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion, an arm of the fed­eral government—and there­fore, an arm of the Pres­i­dent of the United States—raided four med­ical mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries in the Puget Sound area. There are now nine­teen states that have le­gal­ized med­ical mar­i­juana, in­cluding the three states that make up the west coast on the US.

With the pas­sage of Ini­tia­tive 502 in the state of Wash­ington, “the reg­u­la­tion of cannabis grown and con­sumed here [in Wash­ington state] has be­come a state con­cern. If there are to be raids, ar­rests and pros­e­cu­tions, they should be done under state au­thority un­less there is ev­i­dence of multi-state crim­inal en­ter­prise [em­phasis added].”

That quote is from an ed­i­to­rial pub­lished in The Seattle Times yes­terday (Sat­urday). So, without get­ting into a de­bate on the issue of ‘states rights,’ I offer this, an open letter to Pres­i­dent Obama:


Dear Mr. President,

Re­garding the re­cent DEA raids on med­ical mar­i­juana es­tab­lish­ments in Wash­ington state: this is NOT a good way to main­tain your standing with your ‘base.’ Ac­tions such as this—and the pros­e­cu­tion of Bradley Man­ning and the in­ter­na­tional hunt for Ed­ward Snowden (two other ac­tions cur­rently en­joying the at­ten­tion of the main­stream media)—alienate those voters who made it pos­sible for you to run for the De­mo­c­ratic nom­i­na­tion in 2008, and then made your elec­tion to that of­fice doable.

It’s been tough enough as a pro­gres­sive to de­fend you against the lies of the right; sending DEA thugs after small op­er­a­tions that exist pri­marily to as­sist in the al­le­vi­a­tion of pain—or pur­suing ‘whistle-blowers’ who are ex­posing lies, crime, and corruption—reminds too many of us ‘li­brulls’ too much of the Reagan and Bush ad­min­is­tra­tions—a place you do not want to go!

So, please call a mora­to­rium on these DEA raids. If you must, ap­point a com­mis­sion and hold public hear­ings re­garding the rights of states to pass and en­force these laws without the fed­eral gov­ern­ment over­riding them. A cancer pa­tient seeking re­lief from the hor­rors of chemotherapy is not quite the same as a black stu­dent being de­nied ad­mis­sion to a public school, now is it?

Heck, I will even make the com­mis­sion and its ap­pointees easy for you: I will sac­ri­fice my pri­vacy as a cit­izen and ac­cept the chair­man­ship and its at­ten­dant du­ties and chal­lenges for a pe­riod no longer than 48 months. Yes, I will give the equiv­a­lent of one of your terms in of­fice to make this country, my country, a better place to live!

Need­less to say, I will stand by and await your call.

Best in your re­maining three years.

Sith agus Slainte’ bha!

Neal Umphred, reg­is­tered De­mo­crat in the state of Washington

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I do hope that you mailed this but if not, please give us a link and we will send it on to him. I am very tired of the whole mess with the left looking more and more like the right.