Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal In All 50 States Thanks To Congress


While Congress was busy stripping away consumer protections and legalizing bank fraud, they managed to slip in a little provision which made many marijuana advocates rejoice. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes will no longer have to worry about federal raids on their operations.

The Obama Administration has made it part of their policy, although unofficially, to neither indict nor raid dispensaries and growers of medicinal marijuana. While this is encouraging, it is a tenuous hope at best. Just because the Obama Administration has not made it a priority and put focus on other issues within the nation does not mean that a future administration could reverse course and begin a hunt to take on the medical marijuana movement.

Since the “War on Drugs” began back in the 1970’s the United States has spent more money fighting this than any other moral social expenditure. We have created a system of imprisoning more people than all other nations on the planet – combined! The vast majority of our prisoners are in jail due to the harsh sentences imposed by the “war on drugs.” In fact, 1 in 8 prisoners is in prison because of marijuana. And the disparity between blacks and whites receiving sentences for marijuana is also sadly depressing.

But Congress may have finally begun a stage of waking up from decades of failed policy. As stated above, tucked in the newest budgetary act, Congress approved a measure to legalize all the creation, distribution, sales, possession, and use of medicinal marijuana.

All 50 states are affected by this measure. This does not mean that medicinal marijuana is effective immediately in every state. The states must first ratify at their own legislature the passage of medicinal marijuana in order for the process to begin. Currently, there are 32 states that have medicinal marijuana approved. The remaining 18 states need to realize it’s time to catch up and put this horrible legacy of imprisoning our population behind us.

This brings to light a problem plaguing combat veterans suffering from PTSD. Many of them have been given prescriptions by the Veteran’s Administration and receive medicinal marijuana in states that have measures legalizing it for medicinal purposes. Will this now extend the medical practice to any of those 18 states who have yet to see the light?

That is another question that could set a precedent for speeding up the process to making this the non-issue it always should have been.

H/T: LA Times | Featured Image: wikimedia

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91 Comments

  • Ed Selby says:

    Not exactly. The feds will no longer interfere in the 32 states where medical marijuana is legal, but there are still 18 states where it is illegal on the state level

    • Paul Loebe says:

      That’s exactly what the article stated.

    • Bill Allyn says:

      Ed’s right. The title is very poorly worded. Sensationalist.

    • JJ Smith says:

      Yes, the title makes it sounds as if medical marijuana itself has been mandated as legal by the Feds. What the law changed was all states’ rights to legalize it, if they now choose to do so. In states that don’t, it is still illegal. It’s not as sensational, and is a bit wordy for a headline, but the title should say something like, “Feds legalize states’ rights to legalize medical marijuana.”

      • marionrose says:

        Exactly, but you know darn well people will be passing this article around facebook, claiming it is now “legal in all states”, as the title suggests. I suggest that “IfYouOnlyNews” only knew their headlines are misleading.

    • Angalee Jones says:

      Most of the states are as bad as the feds.

    • Chi says:

      …Except Feds ARE still interfering when and where they whim to do so, in States which have legalized.
      Bullies trying like mad to maintain their control and power margins…and protect their jobs….

  • sjburkhardt says:

    A step in the right direction!

  • JeniW says:

    What’s the catch? Will the federal government be collecting income tax revenue from the people who earn their living selling medical marijuana? Will the employees working at those businesses be required to complete a tax return like all other employees? Nothing wrong with that, just wondering.

    • Paul Loebe says:

      Since it will no longer be illegal for medical dispensaries this means they can open bank accounts now and begin to pay into the federal tax system.

      Presumably, anyhow….

      • BoxingCannabyte Epicurus says:

        Yeah we love our “grey-areas” in this country’s laws, don’t we? There will be some more clusterfucks ahead (on this issue) of course. But as someone living in Utah I’m tickled-pink because even though I’m so close to a few states that have it, it’s easier said-than-done when actually getting there, and having the money for a trip, to pick stuff up, and transport it back.

        So in other words it’s still easier to buy from a dealer in many areas, including “legal” areas. I’ve spoken to quite a few people living in Denver and Washington. But Ithink the prices will lower and we’ll tax the stuff (whatever good that does if we don’t get our tax system fixed)

      • Labgramma says:

        Banking is a huge catch in the system. CO is exploring how to handle that one. While the dispensaries pay enormous taxes (because the MJ is taxed), no banks will take their business because they are all federally regulated and therefore, cannot take an account from a co. that is federally illegal.
        It’s a huge Catch 22.

  • pianoman says:

    While this would be fantastic if true, I don’t think it is – I have been unable to find any other source for this story.

    • Paul Loebe says:

      Well, I linked to one source. It’s been written on by Rolling Stone, Vice, and The Atlantic to name a few.

      • pianoman says:

        I found some news reports after I posted, it seems there is some debate on if this actually does what people think it does…

        • Paul Loebe says:

          I suppose I should look at the actual language of the bill in-depth. I will do so.

          • pianoman says:

            If I am understanding it correctly, the Justice Department, and the DEA will not be permitted to go after medical users, or suppliers, but there seems to be nothing stopping an agency like the IRS from taking action. It’s very confusing.

  • danielistical says:

    US Patent 6630507
    already proves Marijuana is medicinal?

    As much as I would like to see pot become legal I am very
    much against medical Marijuana
    since it would give a monopoly to the drug companies,in the big pharmacy click

    “Medicinal marijuana” is code for “marijuana available only
    by prescription”,
    meaning monopolized by our greedy medical and drug industries. We have
    “medicinal morphine”, that’s the opposite of legal. Physicians prescribe dangerous and addictive drugs, marijuana is neither. Once they get their greedy hands on pot, they’ll never
    let go. They wouldn’t even let statins go OTC, too much profit in keeping it on script.

    We
    didn’t need a note from the doctor to drink when Prohibition ended. If pot
    goes on prescription, it won’t be. No prescription drug is legal
    without a prescription, pot will be the same.

    • msdaisy says:

      And you think getting a prescription will be a problem, medically necessary or not? Just look at CA. Prescriptions also allow you to grow your own.

    • jbelch says:

      There are no MM prescriptions in any state that already had MM. It is sold at dispensaries to people who have received a recomendation from a doctor then got a state issued MM card. you can’t buy weed at a pharmacy.

    • Sooner says:

      I live in Oregon. Medicinal marijuana is in no way controlled by big pharma. Far from it. I can designate someone (a person) to grow it for me or buy it in a licensed dispensary.
      And i have no “prescription” for it, just a card that lets me purchase it.

    • marionrose says:

      danielistical, in california “medicinal” marijuana has been legal for years. People merely get a card from their doctor to be able to purchase in marijuana dispensaries. It is NOT by prescription. It is not made by pharmaceutical companies. medical marijuana is different…..it is an oil made with marijuana plant with only CBD in it, no THC. I am sure , if a state makes it legal, there would be similar dispensaries, but you WOULD need a prescription. CBD oil in a unregulated formula, is now sold legally in many health food stores. I don’t think it can help with things like seizures. It is made from the hemp, not the plant. So I don’t know how effective it is.

      • danielistical says:

        it is NOT M/J is it ? Nor is it leagal to walk down the street with a doobie IS it?

        • marionrose says:

          WTF does that have to do with what I wrote? Yes, it is legal in CA to “walk down the street with it” if you have a Medical Marijuana card issued by the state, with doctor’s approval. How would you suppose they would buy it from a Medical Marijuana dispensary, if they couldn’t take it home with them? No, I don’t think it is legal to walk down the street smoking a “doobie”. What is your point? The discussion was about your belief that BIG PHARMA is controlling this.

      • surfdal says:

        thc, cbd, are just 2 of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. both have medical applications (thc..tumor killer!!), separate or in combination and research is revealing more applications as time passes. what you think is knowledge on this subject is pure nonsense. facts show that ingestion of cannabinoids is preventative medicine and that one is pleasant is just a happy side effect! please update your personal misinformation on this subject as you do seem to have concern. peace.

    • bellatrix318 says:

      That is why we should be able to grow a small quantity of our own.

    • Andrew Trent says:

      You should read more into the history of prohibition. Medical prescriptions for alcohol greatly expanded during that time, and this weakened prohibition greatly. Many of the distilleries producing medical alcohol were remnants of pre-prohibition distilleries and precursors of post-prohibition distilleries. There is a lot more money to be made in recreational marijuana than medical marijuana, just like alcohol.

    • Robert Gemerek says:

      what you say would make sense if it wasn’t for the versatility of the marijuana plant and the fact that its seeds are very common….thats the difference between marijuana and the plants that other prescription narcotics are derived from. The poppy plant, for instance, will only grow in certain climates and under certain conditions….its much more difficult to grow and maintain properly when compared to marijuana….same with the coca plant….

    • PaminIndy says:

      Good point, Daniel

  • Rick Derris says:

    Maybe if we get stoned enough, we won’t care that our government is bought and paid for.

  • Morgan says:

    And yet the feds are still pussing out when it comes to even re-classifying MJ. I don’t see how the hell they keep it at Schedule 1 (which means NO proven medicinal use whatsoever) when their own laws clearly negate that classification. Absolutely mind-boggling.

    • William White says:

      They are reclassifying it it will be schedule 2 sometime this year but beware this now means big pharma can come in and make pills charge you thousands a year or your insurance for something you can make yourself they may make it really hard to get it recreational use

      • Robert Gemerek says:

        thats the thing, they can’t make it hard to get because marijuana is easy to grow and will grow in almost any climate except the arctic…unlike poppy pods (where almost every prescription opiate and heroin come from) and the coca plant (where cocaine comes from) which only grow in specific climates and are more difficult to properly grow.

      • Angalee Jones says:

        Schedule 2 is another lie…another scam on the public that’s saying it’s like Cocaine which it certainly is not. People will still be arrested, harassed, killed. Grapes are food & we can make wine…we can grow or buy grapes or wine…cannabis is no different..

    • Hope says:

      it is called hypocracy

    • Because politicians are in bed with the for-profits prison industries that want you in jail to make money off of you – roughly $64,000 per prisoner per year.

    • brian says:

      nothing but pure 100% GREED. for profit prisons and the pharmaceudical indrustrywould lose billions thats why

  • AnimusInvictus says:

    So, let me see if I have this correct…
    It is believed that one cannot rules one’s self…
    But at the same time, it is believed that a few people can rule hundreds of millions of others.
    Yeah…
    If we could just stop this whole compulsory thing, that’d be great.
    Repeal 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.
    Strike cannabis and its derivatives from all relevant bills, ordinances and legislation.
    If we’re still doing this whole government thing, you know…

    • Angalee Jones says:

      That’s the bill by David Simpson of Texas…full repeal clean the laws from the records totally. What they don’t realize the same exact thing would happen. Businesses will make products, pharma will make drugs, people will buy vape pens, plants, seeds, fertilizers, lights, buy edibles, buy dispensary products, buy it as a garden vegetable to juice. Gov. does not need to fear cannabis is a repeat item…it’s like your hair it keeps growing you always get your hair trimmed. The taxes & opportunity is tremendous…they should just repeal all the laws and let play out & move on to something that can’t be fixed so easily. If only they used common sense.

  • Heather Van Wilde says:

    “Many of them have been given prescriptions by the Veteran’s Administration and receive medicinal marijuana in states that have measures legalizing it for medicinal purposes” … say what? I’m a veteran with PTSD, depression and fibromyalgia (all of which can be improved with MM) but I can’t get a prescription from my PCP … where are they getting this info from?

    • marquita620 says:

      Heather, in WA all you have to do is go to an independent clinic with clinicians licensed to issue you an mmj card. Quite often this person is a naturopathic physician. There is usually a small fee involved. With that card you are eligible to buy mmj products at the dispensaries located all over the state. With the symptoms you have you will have no problem. You can also, of course, buy it legally here for recreational use only but you really don’t want to do that. It’s much more expensive and they tax it by 75%. An ounce that is usually $200 from a dealer or dispensary is around $600 in the recreational stores. I honestly can’t imagine anyone shopping there.I think everyone just uses their same dealers or gets a medical card. Don’t even try with your pcp. They don’t want to get involved. I paid $65 for my card. The dispensaries are awesome. Good luck. I have to grandsons who are army. The oldest also has PTSD. I’m sure the laws are probably similar when it comes to all of the other states with mmj laws.

  • This is a step, but it still does not make it legal in all 50 states. I’m in Florida and I know I can still be arrested for possessing and or growing medical marijuana for my own use. As a patient I just want to grow my own for edibles to help control my pain and muscle spasms. Edibles work best for me and to be able to afford enough for edibles I need to grow my own.

  • nkrempa says:

    It doesn’t matter if the Feds continue to pursue those growing and using medical marijuana. Although I have ulcerative colitis and could, under my state’s regulations, get a card to use medical marijuana, I will not. I would benefit tremendously from having medical marijuana, but I live in a county that aggressively pursues and prosecutes both caregivers and patients for the smallest infractions of the medical marijuana laws here. If I were to get my card, I would become a target of this overzealous police-state mentality… no thanks!

  • G Backsheer says:

    You lost me at disparaging people who wear turbans

  • marionrose says:

    Sadie, Sadie, Sadie…..Doctors don’t “prescribe” acupuncture or massage. They merely REFER you for those alternative treatments, and most “suggest” it, but don’t really believe in it. It is not a “prescription”. Read my lips: in California, you don’t need a “prescription” for medical marijuana. You need a doctor’s signature to get a Medical Marijuana CARD, issued by the state. No doctors are “giving out prescriptions” for marijuana in states where it is legal for recreational use.

    • Labgramma says:

      Same here in CO. Although it’s use is prohibited in public. A person can grow up to 6 (or 8, I forget) plants for their own use, or have a licensed grower do it for them.
      MMJ is only available legally in privately owned dispensaries which sell both MMJ and recreational. The MMJ is less expensive.
      MJ intoxication while driving is illegal and regulated like DUIs from alcohol (as it should be).
      Maybe that stupid law suit from Nebraska and Oklahoma will go away now.

  • Labgramma says:

    Not over marijuana. That kind of hatred just furthers the entire hate/hate thing.

  • kristine08 says:

    HURRAY! I have a card already but glad to see this plant catch a break finally. Those CBD’S are a frigin miracle for those with chronic pain. I am elated the oils are tailored for those of us with spinal injuries, fusions. You will not need a narcotic once you find that perfect blend.

  • bellatrix318 says:

    Time to play catch up Louisiana.

  • G Backsheer says:

    While we drop missiles on villages and torture people who have been proven to have no connection to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Painting a religion of billions with one broad brush stroke to make them all into “ragheads” and monsters proves the simplicity of your thought.

    • shaun jones says:

      easier to ignore people like him, horrible racists are easy to find these days, stereotyping anyone that doesnt like just like them.

  • Myke Folkes says:

    It’s NOT legal, they just defunded money for raids. Raids can become self funding, as they’ll just do civil forfeitures and take what they want. Don’t be fooled by this.

  • Jimmy 6 says:

    I am a Veteran who struggles with PTSD and lives in South Carolina. The V.A. gives me powerful meds that have crazy side effects. I don’t take them much any more and just smoke herb. I have to deal with sub par weed not too mention the punks that sell it. I hope some day soon S.C. will remember all the people I killed in their name and let me use the best medicine I can get.

  • lucian says:

    if every one just smoked it as thay wish and did not wory about the law over pot it would change. thay can put some in jail but thay cant put us all in there lol! i say lets flood them out.

  • Abby Rybarski says:

    Another BS headline to get you to read the crap they want you to hear

  • ThomasThePaine says:

    The cartels must have been late making their payments to congress. . .

  • Wayseer says:

    Two months now and I still care.

    • Fritz The Cat says:

      34 years old, been smoking for 20, I care about this country and I want to see it prosper once again. The current regime in our government is a joke which needs to be replaced. Lets put some actually intelligent, wise, & good people in office with the next few elections. College degrees don’t prove intelligence, they prove education which is something completely different.

  • sammy leo says:

    We do discrete overnight delivery of top shelf medical marijuana.We sell at affordable prices.Please contact me at (424)259-1198 or email (sammyleo90@gmail.com) for price list.Thanks

  • Hope says:

    Congress may have cleared the way for it to be legal, but that does not warrant a headline stating that it is legal in all 50 states. That is exceedingly misleading.

  • Karl Baba says:

    Geez, misleading click-bait headline and no reference to the actual language in the bill or link to a credible source. Medical Marijuana is obviously still NOT legal in all 50 states, but still isn’t even federally legal in ANY state, They seem to have just removed any budget for enforcement which could change in a moments notice, particularly after any election.

  • Dilligaf0124 says:

    This is not true. It is easy to find the BullSh@t about a supposed change in the law. They did not provide the Bill number that was passed into law so it is nonsense.

  • MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS NOT LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES, DESPITE what the headline of this article states.

  • Hank Henry says:

    OK so explain to me how a funding cut prohibits anything. The DEA like most other intelligence and law enforcement agencies at the federal level have many funding options including all the monies they steal from people through civil forfeitures, money made through drugs (funny Drug enforcement runs drugs) and others. Congress will not stop them until they write explicit laws legalizing cannabis period.
    The Drug warriors are not going to stop because there is too much money involved. Doing away with the DEA and completely de funding it might help.

  • Chi says:

    MMJ is legal in WA, too.
    One pays a Doc, annually, to get a renewal “recommendation”. In WA, initial Recommendation is around $140, unless you can find a better deal, and/or, have disability/financial hardship. Renewals cost about $100. One must have a medical evaluation to determine if you still need it, annually.
    V.A. has only just started giving Recommendations, and you might still have a hard time finding Docs in that system to give them, or, might need referred to Docs in that system who do recommendations.
    The ‘Recommendation’ means the Doc has evaluated your medical conditions, and determined you might get relief from using MMJ. IT’s a regular size piece of paper, which has watermarks and signatures and dates–a legal document. MMJ patients need to carry it with them all the time [why it has not yet become a credit-card-size thing to fit wallets, I don’t know.]
    But most mainstream Docs still avoid getting involved, out of fear of losing their corporate/ clinic jobs. Insurance industries are still controlling them.
    Take the Recommendation to any “MMJ dispensary”, choose what form you want to use [some stores cater only to MMJ; others only do recreational; few do both, yet]. OR, get seeds or plants to grow your own, in whatever amounts are allowed under your State’s parameters.
    In WA, taxes are levied in 3 layers–growers pay taxes, sellers pay taxes, and consumers pay taxes…that’s how I understood the wording last time.
    Now, in WA, we also have legalized recreational use.
    Recreational users pay higher prices for their MJ, than MMJ users, I have been told. MMJ users are supposedly protected, as other MJ use-issues get argued and passed or not.
    So far, Prices have not started to drop yet, as I just saw for CO.
    It’s a Gonzo market for products: there’s NO certainty that a product will do what’s expected. One can get one product one time, and get certain results, but the next time, that same product will not do the exact same. And there are issues building up tolerance–a good thing, and a bad thing. HOWEVER…that can be a feature of using ANY herbal as medicine. And can be a problem with Pharma drugs, too.
    There are so many different strains of MJ, and so many are hybridizing for maximum strength, or for high CBD’s, or balanced CBD’s and THC’s, that this can be a frustrating factor for those used to predictable doses of Pharma drugs.
    SOME states insist on only allowing high CBD products for MMJ users.
    THAT is a big mistake, because for many, the THC is what they need.
    It would be very short-sighted to single-out one or two components in MJ…that would be treating MJ as they do regular Pharma drugs, where they purify and single-out one or two components. That makes it easier to get reliable, repeatable doses, but very bad for adverse effects jacking up.
    Herbals have many components which work synergistically, to get best results, with fewer adverse effects.
    MANY herbs are medicines, and need to be honored and respected for that, instead of treating them lightly.
    IMHO, allowing Pharma to control it, would be extremely bad judgment. Very detrimental to variety, viability and access. Public are NOT imbeciles [despite some stupid-human-tricks]. Industries, via bribed politicians, need to stop treating everyone as if we lack brains and good sense [even though some folks do seem to lack good sense, they should be free to choose].
    Prohibition failed last century; MJ prohibition has also been an epic failure [EXCEPT that it has successfully fed untold trillions of dollars into “war” against it, fed same obscene monies into prison systems, and caused unimaginably epic suffering for not having access to it for medical reasons].
    AND, Humans are hard-wired to need MJ.
    Literally, we have receptor sites in the brain that function best with MJ and little else. During times of hardships, humans always increase seeking substances which can relieve their suffering, emotionally and physically……alcohol and other bad drugs cause violent behaviors and suicides; MJ relaxes people……which would you rather people use to help themselves feel better, when Life feels hopeless?
    Pharma doesn’t like MJ, because it can short-circuit their profit margins for numerous drugs [oh. wah!]
    Drug dealers don’t want it legalized either, because it short-circuits their profit margins [too bad].
    Chemical companies might love it, because as soon as they can, they’ll be GMO’ing it, making single-growth seeds [terminator seeds] which they can control, and force sales of chemicals to grow them, same as they have with food crops…..THAT needs stopped before it gets started!
    The Smithsonian had a great article about The Portugal Solution, a year or two back: Portugal passed laws to legalize, control and tax ALL drugs.
    Then they used the tax money to make education, treatment, and other programs widely available. Kids stopped being curious, because adults were not lying to them anymore about drugs–they got proper education they needed, and stopped being interested; so the school-aged use dropped drastically. Medical patients get what they need without harassment, and can grow their own. Drug cartels kinda dried up, and general crime dropped drastically, because Gov’t was now their main competitor. People who need treatment, get it. Prison populations dropped, removing a huge cost from budgets. Overall drug use has been dropping, too. Sounds pretty rational.

    Just because USA is far behind in education, crime, and many other things, doesn’t mean USA must be so far behind in getting back on track to do the right things with MJ and hemp.
    Industrial lock-outs of hemp and MJ started over 100 years ago. It’s way past-due for massive turn-arounds in the good-op’-boys ‘business as usual’ games, which have successfully brought USA to it’s knees, making it fall far down the ranks in almost every sector. MAYbe this issue will be what gets things going again.

  • PaminIndy says:

    If u take a statin drug, pls also take coq10

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  • Allie Birmingham says:

    The problem with medical marijuana is that doctors charge up to $175 for a yearly prescription. I’m a senior citizen and that’s a real burden.

  • nick says:

    This article is extremely inaccurate. First, MMJ not legal in all 50 states. All this bill does, once ratified, is put current policy of not interfering in state MMJ into law. It in no way tells states without MMJ programs that they suddenly have to have them.

  • Jeff Brown says:

    Cannabis is the most useful plant on the planet; food, clothing, shelter, energy, medicine, insight, re-creation. It has been mankinds companion since the beginning. Any law against it is a crime against humanity

  • ScottGilbert says:

    Congress did that? The group of people who don’t want you to have any fun did that? I’m thinking this smells like a hoax.

  • Beth Prichard Robison says:

    “This does not mean that medicinal marijuana is effective immediately in every state. ” Then fix your deceptive headline!

  • SgtStorm says:

    Your headline writers should read the story first …

  • red_slider says:

    It may be legal, but medical use is so emeshed in regulations that put a heavy
    burden on the sick, elderly, terminally ill, those in extreme pain, that
    it is clear that it is only being used as wink&nod to medical use
    and is mainly a back-door way to legalizing recreational use. Nothing wrong with recreational use. It just shouldn’t be tangled up with medical use.

    There is absolutely no reason the sick (those with a legitimate Rx for
    marijuana) should have to go to special “dispensaries”, limited in
    number, in remote (often dangerous) areas of town, and treated to light
    shows, disco and 60’s Dylan tunes and asked by sales clerks if they want
    ‘Supernova Blue’ or some “dynamite Equatorial Gray”. Nor should anyone
    pay taxes for medicine. Yet this is exactly what an accident of history
    and criminalization has done. And, for the poor it can often mean a
    denial of access to important medicine.

    The sick already have perfectly good dispensaries. They are convenient, staffed
    by health professionals who care about the health of their clients, have
    good security, records keeping and communication with patients’
    doctors. They are called ‘pharmacies’ and every pharmacy should be
    permitted to fill such prescriptions. To do that, marijuana must be
    reclassified as a schedule III substance and released from severe controls. Our cities and states must do all they can to pressure the FDA and DEA into doing just that. to not do that is as criminal as criminalizing the drugs in the first
    place was. No reason sick people should be paying for an accident of
    an ill-conceived history.

  • Khristie Collins-Reed says:

    The Obama administration has raided more dispensaries than Bush’s did. So, I don’t really believe the DEA is going to quit raiding California’s dispensaries ant time soon. This is one issue that Obama has really disappointed me.

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