5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

marijuana 300x200 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized (Credit: Drome)

The legalization of marijuana (cannabis) is gaining steam and the push has some strong supporters. This comes as Weedmaps.com founder Justin Hartfield said he plans to legalize marijuana nationwide and become the Philip Morris of pot. Here are five powerful Americans who believe marijuana should be legalized in some fashion:

president obama1 300x193 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

President Barack Obama believes marijuana should be legalization

1.President Obama:  “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do… We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing. It’s important for [the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington] to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.” - The New Yorker

bill clinton monica lewinsky scandal 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

Former president Bill Clinton backs decriminalization of marijuana

2. Former president Bill Clinton:  “I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be. We really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment.” - Rolling Stone

judge richard posner 300x208 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

Federal court judge Richard Posner backs legalization of marijuana

3. Federal Court Judge Richard Posner on U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit: “I think it really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana. I can’t see any difference between that and cigarettes. But also I’m skeptical about the other drug laws … The notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs, I don’t think that’s sensible at all. That is responsible for a high percentage of our prisoners. And these punishments are often very, very severe … It’s all very expensive, and it’s a waste of a lot of high quality legal minds, but it’s also a waste of people’s lives who could be as least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.” - Lecture at Elmhurst College

grover norquist 300x194 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

Grover Norquist backs legalization of marijuana

4. Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform:  “[Letting states legalize marijuana] would free federal law enforcement resources for the more urgent tasks of thwarting, apprehending, and prosecuting international terrorists or murderers … [A]s a matter of States’ rights, regulating marijuana and alcohol seem indistinguishable; and, alcohol policy has been entrusted to the States since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.” - Letter to Congress

andrew cuomo 300x193 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo backs the legalization of marijuana

5. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:  “[There are] roughly 50,000 arrests in New York City for marijuana possession [every year] … Of those 50,000 arrests, 82 percent are black and Hispanic … These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it must end and it must end now … Stop stigmatizing these young people, making it harder to find a job, making it harder to get into school, making it harder to turn their lives around.” - 2013 State of the State Address

GOP Rep. Randy Weber Attacks Obama for Appearance on “Between Two Ferns”

obama between two ferns 300x167 GOP Rep. Randy Weber Attacks Obama for Appearance on Between Two Ferns

GOP Rep. Randy Weber Attacks President Obama for Appearance on “Between Two Ferns”

President Obama was asked by actor Zach Galifianakis during an appearance of “Between Two Ferns” what it feels like to be the last black president.

The interview began with the president needling Galifianakis, saying that “when I heard that people actually watch this show, I was actually pretty surprised.” Obama went on to express his admiration for Galifianakis’s co-star in The Hangover.

“I’ve seen the show before, and some of the episodes were definitely better than this,” Obama said. “Like the one with Bradley Cooper, that was definitely a great show.”

Galifianakis responded testily, asking Obama, “what is it like to be the last black president?”

“What’s it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?” Obama shot back.

“You said you would not want your son to play football,” Galifianakis said. “But what if your son didn’t want to play football. What if he was a nerd, like you?”

“Do you think a woman like Michelle would have married a nerd? Why don’t you ask her whether she thinks I’m a nerd,” the president responded.

“Could I?”“No,” the president said. “I’m not going to let her near you.” Source: Raw Story

The right wing isn’t to be outdone in its criticism of President Obama, no matter how ridiculous. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) popped off on Twitter saying “Instead of wasting time with a parody interview, he [Barack Obama] should be focusing on finding answers re: #Benghazi. Really?

Watch President Obama on “Between Two Ferns:”

Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates Defends Obama’s Handling of Crimean Invasion

robert gates1 300x219 Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates Defends Obamas Handling of Crimean Invasion

Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates Defends Obama Handling of Crimean Invasion

Former president George W. Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended President Obama’s handling of the Crimean invasion and his weekend golf outing on “Fox News Sunday.” Gates pushed back at conservatives who blamed President Obama’s “weak” foreign policy for Russian President Vladimir Putin being emboldened to invade Ukraine’s Crimean region.

Robert Gates also dismissed arguments that President Obama’s handling of the Syrian conflict or his efforts to reduce the defense budget gave Putin impetus to invade Crimea. He argued that Putin also invaded Georgia during the George W. Bush administration.

Gates said, My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.” He added, “So, I think Putin is very opportunistic in these areas. I think that even if, even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren’t cutting our defense budget, I think Putin saw an opportunity here in Crimea and he has seized it.” #BOOM

You will recall Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said President Obama is “weak” and “invites aggression.” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said, “Putin is playing chess and I think we’re playing marbles” and that Russia is “running circle around us.” Sen. John McCain also called President Obama weak.

Robert Gates also dismissed criticism of President Obama being on vacation as the Crimean crisis intensifies. He told Chris Wallace, “I’ve seen this happen year after year, president after president. President takes a day or two off and plays golf. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a President Obama or the first President Bush going fishing. I think you’ve got to give these guys a little time off, you know, mostly they are working 20 hours a day.”

Robert Gates also predicted that Russia will continue to control Crimea for the foreseeable future.

Obama Signs Executive Order ‘Blocking Properties of Certain Persons’ in Ukraine Crisis

ukraine1 300x226 Obama Signs Executive Order Blocking Properties of Certain Persons in Ukraine Crisis

Obama Signs Executive Order ‘Blocking Properties of Certain Persons’ in Ukraine Crisis

#BREAKING: President Obama signs executive order “blocking property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine” and threatening security. The White House says the U.S. is prepared to consider additional steps and sanctions as necessary depending on how Ukraine situation develops. (@Reuters) This comes as the Crimean parliament overwhelmingly votes to become a part of  Russia.

The Obama administration did not say how many people were subject to the visa bans or reference their nationality. However, the targets described as “officials and individuals” are believed to be Russians held responsible for the week-old occupation of Crimea.

The White House said the visa restrictions reflected “policy decision to deny visas to those responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and was in addition to visa denials for figures close to the government of former president Victor Yanukovych, over oppression of protesters.

The president’s press secretary, Jay Carney, said the additional executive order “authorises sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine”. He said those included: “threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; contributing to the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine; or purporting to assert governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without authorization from the Ukrainian government in Kiev”. Source: Guardian

Foreign Policy Expert Sarah Palin Says Obama Wears “Mom Jeans and Equivocates”

obama on phone with putin1 300x209 Foreign Policy Expert Sarah Palin Says Obama Wears Mom Jeans and Equivocates

Foreign Policy Expert Sarah Palin Says Obama Wears “Mom Jeans and Equivocates”

Foreign policy expert and Alaska’s half-term governor Sarah Palin continued to insult President Obama with a barrage of nasty comments on Fox News, saying he wears “mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”

Vladimir Putin, Palin said, is viewed as a man who “wrestles bears and drills for oil,” while Obama’s “potency” is one of “weakness” and said he’s viewed as a man who “wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”

She bashed Obama for having a policy of “leading from behind” and warned that nations other than Russia are “taking advantage of that weakness in America at this point.” Palin also quipped that if Putin wants to quell uproar about his violations of the law, he should borrow a page from Obama’s playbook and call them “executive orders.”

Sarah Palin said, “Anyone who carries the common-sense gene would know that Putin doesn’t change his stripes, he harkens back to the era of the tsars, [and] he wants that Russian empire to grow again, he wants to exert huge power and dominance, so he has to get to those border areas and he has to capture them.” Yeah, she also said she could see Russia from her backyard. Enough said. Next….

If you can stomach the bullsh*t, watch it here:

German Chancellor Accuses Putin of Breaching International Law in Crimea Invasion

crimea ukraine1 300x233 German Chancellor Accuses Putin of Breaching International Law in Crimea Invasion

German Chancellor Accuses Putin of Breaching International Law in Crimea Invasion

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin in telephone call of breaching international law with “unacceptable Russian intervention” in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Reuters reports Vladimir Putin has accepted Chancellor Merkel’s proposal to set up a ‘fact-finding mission to start political dialogue over Ukraine, German government spokesman.

This latest development comes as NATO condemned the Russian invasion and is looking at its options. It called on Russia to withdraw forces back to bases and refrain from interfering elsewhere in Ukraine.

This latest development comes as the Washington Post is urging President Obama to spell out the consequences directly for Russia’s aggression.

Mr. Obama should make clear that he will no longer shrink from applying sanctions to Russian leaders and businesses complicit in aggression or human rights violations. An expanded list of Russian officials subject to visa denials and asset freezes that was drawn up by the State Department late last year should be immediately approved by the White House. Russian officials in the chain of command of the Ukraine invasion, as well as Russian companies and banks operating in Crimea, should be the next targets of financial sanctions.

The most powerful non-military tool the United States possesses is exclusion from its banking system. Mr. Obama should make clear that if Russia does not retreat from Ukraine, it will expose itself to this sanction, which could sink its financial system. Russia’s economy, unlike that of the Soviet Union, is heavily dependent on Western trade and investment. It must be made clear to the Kremlin that the Ukraine invasion will put that at risk.

We are beyond mere words and warnings. The time is now for President Obama and his allies to act against Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

Watch NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen press conference on Crimea invasion:

President Obama Tells Vladimir Putin He Broke International Law Invading Ukraine

obama on phone with putin 300x209 President Obama Tells Vladimir Putin He Broke International Law Invading Ukraine

President Obama Tells Vladimir Putin He Broke International Law Invading Ukraine

President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin spoke today for 90 minutes over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region. The U.S. will pull out of the G8 Summit to be held in Sochi later this year over the crisis. The fact is that cancelling one meeting is no big deal to Vladimir Putin compared to keeping control of the waterway. Despite all these phone calls, it seems Vladimir Putin isn’t backing down. The next 48 hours will be pivotal in this crisis.

Russian version of phone call from the Kremlin:

In reply to Mr Obama’s concern over the possibility of the use of Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin drew his attention to the provocative and criminal actions on the part of ultranationalists who are in fact being supported by the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian President spoke of a real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that in case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.

Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin:

President Obama spoke for 90 minutes this afternoon with President Putin of Russia about the situation in Ukraine. President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

The United States calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. We have consistently said that we recognize Russia’s deep historic and cultural ties to Ukraine and the need to protect the rights of ethnic Russian and minority populations within Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has made clear its commitment to protect the rights of all Ukrainians and to abide by Ukraine’s international commitments, and we will continue to urge them to do so.

President Obama told President Putin that, if Russia has concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, the appropriate way to address them is peacefully through direct engagement with the government of Ukraine and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As a member of both organizations, Russia would be able to participate. President Obama urged an immediate effort to initiate a dialogue between Russia and the Ukrainian government, with international facilitation, as appropriate. The United States is prepared to participate.

President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community. In the coming hours and days, the United States will urgently consult with allies and partners in the UN Security Council, the North Atlantic Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and with the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum. The United States will suspend upcoming participation in preparatory meetings for the G-8. Going forward, Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.

The people of Ukraine have the right to determine their own future. President Obama has directed his Administration to continue working urgently with international partners to provide support for the Ukrainian government, including urgent technical and financial assistance. Going forward, we will continue consulting closely with allies and partners, the Ukrainian government and the International Monetary Fund, to provide the new government with significant assistance to secure financial stability, to support needed reforms, to allow Ukraine to conduct successful elections, and to support Ukraine as it pursues a democratic future.

Vladimir Putin also spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the crisis in Ukraine:

Vladimir Putin noted that in case of any escalation of violence against the Russian-speaking population of the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea, Russia would not be able to stay away and would resort to whatever measures are necessary in compliance with international law.

Both parties stressed the need to prevent further exacerbation of the crisis in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin also spoke with French President Francois Hollande:

At the request of Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin shared his assessment of the situation in Ukraine, stressing that there exists a real threat to the lives of Russian citizens and our compatriots.

The two presidents exchanged views on possible ways of resolving the situation in Ukraine and agreed to continue contacts.

President Obama Absent from Security Briefing Amid Ukraine Invasion Crisis

president obama 3 300x166 President Obama Absent from Security Briefing Amid Ukraine Invasion Crisis

President Obama Absent from Security Briefing Amid Ukraine Invasion Crisis

UKRAINE INVASION CRISIS:  Is President Obama leading from behind? He was absent from the national security briefing held in the Situation Room at the White House Saturday that most likely dealt with Russia’s invasion of the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Vice President Joe Biden joined the meeting remotely.

There are reports that there is some concern that the White House doesn’t want to seem being held hostage by Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukrainian crisis.

What’s President Obama up to? It seems rather foolish that he would be absent from a national security briefing on the biggest foreign policy crisis to occur on his watch. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted Obama has been briefed by his national security team and spoken to several foreign leaders throughout the day on #Ukraine.

Yegor Pyvovarov, spokesman for the Ukraine mission at the UN told CNN that Russia currently has 15,000 troops in Crimea.

[UPDATE]: Russian news agency is reporting that President Obama and Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone. The White House will release read-outs of the conversation shortly. The Russians are blaming the crisis on ultra-nationalists getting involved. The White House begs to differ. President Obama told Putin that he broke international law. The U.S. will suspend upcoming participation in preparatory meetings for the G-8 over Ukraine crisis.

Russian version of phone call from the Kremlin:

In reply to Mr Obama’s concern over the possibility of the use of Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin drew his attention to the provocative and criminal actions on the part of ultranationalists who are in fact being supported by the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian President spoke of a real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that in case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.

Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin:

President Obama spoke for 90 minutes this afternoon with President Putin of Russia about the situation in Ukraine. President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

The United States calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. We have consistently said that we recognize Russia’s deep historic and cultural ties to Ukraine and the need to protect the rights of ethnic Russian and minority populations within Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has made clear its commitment to protect the rights of all Ukrainians and to abide by Ukraine’s international commitments, and we will continue to urge them to do so.

President Obama told President Putin that, if Russia has concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, the appropriate way to address them is peacefully through direct engagement with the government of Ukraine and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As a member of both organizations, Russia would be able to participate. President Obama urged an immediate effort to initiate a dialogue between Russia and the Ukrainian government, with international facilitation, as appropriate. The United States is prepared to participate.

President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community. In the coming hours and days, the United States will urgently consult with allies and partners in the UN Security Council, the North Atlantic Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and with the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum. The United States will suspend upcoming participation in preparatory meetings for the G-8. Going forward, Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.

The people of Ukraine have the right to determine their own future. President Obama has directed his Administration to continue working urgently with international partners to provide support for the Ukrainian government, including urgent technical and financial assistance. Going forward, we will continue consulting closely with allies and partners, the Ukrainian government and the International Monetary Fund, to provide the new government with significant assistance to secure financial stability, to support needed reforms, to allow Ukraine to conduct successful elections, and to support Ukraine as it pursues a democratic future.

###

Kremlin Approves President Vladimir Putin’s Request for Military Use in Ukraine

crimea ukraine 300x233 Kremlin Approves President Vladimir Putins Request for Military Use in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin Asks Russian Parliament for Permission to Use Military in Ukraine

[UPDATE]: Russian parliament, Kremlin, approves use of military in Ukraine. A new Cold War?

Cold War or Bidding War 2014:  In another sign that Russia is thumbing its nose at President Obama’s ‘blunt’ warning against a Ukraine intervention, Vladimir Putin has asked parliament for permission to use the country’s military in Ukraine. Haaretz reports Putin said the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in the Crimean region.

Russia’s RIA news agency said pro-Russian authorities in the region, which has an ethnic Russian majority, and the Russian Black Sea fleet based there had agreed to guard important buildings. Regional premier Sergei Aksyonov said that that Fleet personnel had already been deployed.

The peninsula’s main civil airport at the fleet town of Simferopol announced it had closed its airspace. Russia accused Kiev-backed gunmen of attacking the Interior Ministry building and wounding personnel in “treacherous provocation.”

As armed men described as Russian troops took control of key airports and a communications center in Crimea on Friday, Kiev accused Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis, and raised fears that Moscow is moving to annex a strategic peninsula where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.

Conservative pundits are wasting no time in slamming President Obama as leading from behind on the Ukrainian crisis. Charles Krauthammer blasted the president on Special Report saying, “The Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.” He also said Obama is telling the world that we aren’t going to do anything about the invasion of the Ukraine.

Russian flag flies on building in Ukraine:

Uganda President Museveni Thumbs Nose at President Obama, Signs Anti-Gay Bill

Yoweri K. Museveni 300x214 Uganda President Museveni Thumbs Nose at President Obama, Signs Anti Gay Bill

Uganda President Thumbs Nose at President Obama, Signs Controversial Anti-Gay Bill

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed controversial anti-gay legislation into law, despite international outcry. The Anti-Homosexuality Act, calls for seven years in prison for “the offense of homosexuality” and a life sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.” Uganda newspaper The Observer reports, “The bill will formally become law when it gets published in the Uganda Gazette. That, however, remains a formality. For Uganda’s largely anti-gay population, the most important part was the president’s signature.”

I guess President Museveni doesn’t value his country’s relationship with the U.S. Earlier this month President Obama warned that the signing of the bill would “complicate” the U.S.’s relationship with his country. The U.S. sent Uganda over $256 million in aid last year.

The bill’s author, David Bhati, claims that the law is aimed at protecting children. Let’s be real, it’s not about protecting children for him. Being gay doesn’t mean one is a pedophile.

I think President Yoweri Museveni has what it means to be gay all twisted. The Observer reports:

The president suggested he could not to understand how men could fail to be attracted to Uganda’s beautiful women and, instead, get attracted to fellow men.

The president also paraded the mostly Ugandan scientists who concluded that homosexuality wasn’t generic.

I’m not sure if the writer of the article meant to say ‘genetic’ instead of generic. Since Museveni specifically said he was looking for a gay gene and that his scientists couldn’t come up with one.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denounced the bill in a scathing statement:

Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality. As President Obama has said, this law is more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda, it reflects poorly on the country’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and will undermine public health, including efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world.