Obama Legalizing Pot, at Least in Blue States

by the Left Coast Rebel

I'm reading a breaking story from the AP right now, the writer cites two anonymous Justice Department officials and the details of a soon-to-be-released memo on the administration's new official policy toward state laws/federal enforcement of marijuana use. The gist of the article being that the Obama Justice Department will now take a lenient approach toward states that have lax marijuana laws on the books and/or medicinal use statutes. Federal prosecutors will be told that pursuing medicinal marijuana arrests 'is not a good use of their time' according to the AP.

In laymen's terms, if you are a resident of Alaska, Californian, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Verrmont and Washington and use marijuana for 'medicinal' value, you may have a lot less to worry about.

Apparently the Obama Administration and Justice in particular have found a case of Federalism that they actually agree with.

Too bad it isn't a state's-rights issue pertaining to income confiscation, firearm-rights, privacy with health care, or a myriad of issues that the federal government has no business being involved in....

And isn't it the height of preposterous when the same government is stepping up efforts to criminalize tobacco use? Or at least tax the holy-hell out of them?

Because frankly, if it is my body and my health, and if marijuana should be viewed as a non-crime and benign, (as I certainly think is reasonable), then why the parallel hypocrisy?

Perhaps answers from a window into the soul of Obama, certainly a big part of this new found tolerant policy, Ann Althouse has a great passage up from "Dreams From My Father":

Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the
young would-be black man. Except the highs hadn't been about that, me trying to
prove what a down brother I was. Not by then, anyway. I got high for just the
opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my
mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges
of my memory. I had discovered that it didn't make any difference whether you
smoked reefer in the white classmate's sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of
some brother you'd met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of
Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time
looking for an excuse to brawl. ... You might just be bored, or alone. Everybody
was welcome into the club of disaffection.

Which brings me as well as Althouse to a confusing crossroad of thought. Summary -

Pot ok for headaches; illegal and a prison-offense for belonging to the club of disaffection.

Count me in as card-carrying club-member, for a host of opposite reasons......
Also read Ann Althouse
Also read Michelle Malkin, h/t for the tobacco links
Also read Cato

UPDATE: Gallup has a new poll up today that shows Americans favor marijuana legalization in........the west. 53/46 in the western US while only 34% are in favor in the midwest. This issue, like many others comes down to a coasts vs. heartland issue. View the thread at Memeorandum here.


  1. If it is a health issue, marijuana is more harmful to the body than cigarette smoke. The white house clearly prefers some drugs over others. This is an odd platform to pursue. I doubt middle America will be enamored with this effort.

  2. @ Opus - I know for a fact that middle America will not approve of this, I can think of what my grandma is surely thinking right now.

  3. I know what I think of it. It infuriates me that a big push was instituted against tobacco by the very people who want drugs legalized, solely on political grounds. I cannot believe Republitards went in on it. Compassionate conservativism has to die a quick well deserved death.

    I never fail to mention that to my Democratic smoking friends and family. As I am leaving the discussion I love to mumble just barely audibly, "Buyer beware."

  4. @ Doom - I know what you mean, I know people that hate 'big tobacco' but then think that pot should be legalized. How stupid is that?

  5. Gosh, I had nearly forgotten about that part of BO claiming to get high because he's "oppressed". This man knows nothing of oppression except how to dish it out. As for this step towards the decriminalization, it's, pardon the pun, a smoke screen. He's all for this "state rights" issue only because on one main issue: taxes. In the end, the only reason the liberals will decriminalized pot is so they can screw the pothead like the smoker: by taxing the crap out of it. Given how big pot smoking is, it would bring far more revenue than cigarettes and make us, as country, far more dumber, docile, and wouldn't this increase the cost of our health care as the negative effects hit as well?

  6. @ Madmath - Great points, isn't it funny that statist believe in state rights only when it comes to drug legalization?

  7. I believe this is a fundamental states rights issue. If states want to legalize it, their voters are for it, how does it hurt you other than your tax money is paying to incarcerate people for a personal choice, and when that door was cracked a century ago, the government has pushed and pushed and pushed until now french fries are on their way to being scheduled just like pot. And if you live in a state where most folks don't want pot smokers, why can they not be happy when the potheads leave for another? Both sides win that way but that is too simple a solution. Middle America would be pot free and california could tax their post smokers to death and everyone would be happy. I am consistent on such things though as I believe Roe v Wade should be overturned and states should get to decide abortion too along with so many other issues not defined by the Constitution. If it's not going to be that way, why do we even have states? The point in having states was so that people who had drastically different cultures could work together and it would be okay to be different. The southern colonies...then states were drastically different than the north. We went wrong when we started letting the federal government decide right and wrong for everyone, everywhere. If that doesn't change, there will be a split in the union and I don't think it would end like the last one. The southern US is now the leader in manufacturing, and it would likely be a far different split, with the Northeast and West going one way and the whole middle going another. I don't think the peacenik commies would have the stomach for a war in their back yards. They dont even have the stomach for disagreement.

  8. On the surface, this sounds good to me. But seeing what this administration has been up to since (before) the election and since, this tells me this is just another political smokescreen for something else.

    Does Obama think he is going to have pot supporting libertarians come over to his, and Pelosi/Reid's dark side because he is all chummy with medical marijuana state laws, and their right/libertarian leaning advocates? Hardly! Most libertarians have some knowledge of free market economics, and this brother, ain't it!

    I support legalization of marijuana for reponsible adults. I know many folks who use the stuff in moderation, the way responsible drinkers use alcohol products; to relax. These folks are active, moral, and cling to a good work ethic. Absolutely nothing wrong with a person doing what he feels best for themselves in the privacy of their own home. But when Democrat politicians all of a sudden are jumping on the marijuana rights wagon, my BS meter ticks off the chart.

  9. I have never used 'illegal' drugs and probably never will. I don't even like taking aspirin. :) I do believe in State's rights and believe that ALL drugs should be legal. Nobody has a right to tell me what I can or can not do with my health. Period. That does not include murdering unborn children. They have their own body's and have the right to be born. Adoption is always an option, but that's a seperate issue.
    Just my two cents.


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