It seems as though President Obama, the same man who loved him some marijuana when he was a swinging dick roaming the halls of Harvard, who makes jokes about marijuana and its millions (and millions) of otherwise law abiding users while sitting on Jimmy Fallon's couch, and promoted his reelection campaign using Kal Penn's popular movie stoner character Kumar (as well as his buddy Harold) in a pot reference laden campaign ad, has to spend the final few days of his first term deciding whether or not to go full asshole on small time users (of a substance a majority of citizens in their state said should not be illegal) in order to scare States into compliance with unsuccessful Federal policy.
Two states (Washington and Colorado) voted to legalize marijuana within its borders (Washington voted to permit for individuals 21 years of age and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana while Colorado allows for possession, sale, and taxation of said sale of the substance; essentially treating the controlled substance no different than that state’s law enforcement community would treat alcohol).
Needless to say, this leaves Washington and the Obama Administration in a bit of a lurch. On the one hand, Obama has always said he is in favor of State’s rights in such nickel and dime bullshit (remember, he did say that it would be the only practical solution to the gay marriage debate). But on the other, as the Nation’s chief law enforcer (and a leader perceived to be a little weak in his seat), to have not one but TWO states thumbing their nose to Federal Law (not to mention the 16 other states that allow for the medicinal usage of marijuana) doesn’t really give off an air of a strong Federal Authority at the helm of this ship (especially on the heels of all fifty states garnering sufficient votes to have the President hear their petitions for secession and receive an answer in kind).
In a recent article, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage claims that his sources close to the Administration are claim that while there is no decision imminent on how to handle the matter, Senior level officials at both the White House and the Department of Justice have been batting around two possible courses of action… neither of which seem to favor the concept of just letting this sort of social experiment play out.
According to the Times, there has been a taskforce of Main Justice, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy has come up with two gems:
One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.
A more aggressive option is for the Justice Department to file lawsuits against the states to prevent them from setting up systems to regulate and tax marijuana, as the initiatives contemplated. If a court agrees that such regulations are pre-empted by federal ones, it will open the door to a broader ruling about whether the regulatory provisions can be “severed” from those eliminating state prohibitions — or whether the entire initiatives must be struck down.
He also notes that while following either course of action would force the Administration’s hand to break a campaign promise (and a notion that the President has reiterated throughout his first Term) to not prosecute any individuals who are taking advantage of the rules of the States in which they live, the Federal Law Enforcement community’s disgust to the idea that residents of two states within th Union are so openly comfortable with breaking Federal Law that it demands a swift and stern Federal response so as to dispel other States from following a similar course of action.
So, when does cool Obama come back????
Isn’t it amazing how in the two courses of action the Government is considering in order to handle the two states giving a different course of action in the Drug War, not one of the options include letting the States- acting on the will of its citizens- experimenting with the idea of letting people have ready access to marijuana in an effort to curb crime, save money (a concept more and more popular with both political parties these days), and allow the citizens within its borders to make their own decisions.
And why wouldn’t there be such an option… not like the Founding Fathers hadn’t intended the States to be just that- little democratic experiments where the citizens could create the manner of State in which they wanted to live in…
But no, what daddy wants, Daddy gets… Nevermind that the States are tired of just throwing money into a hole and of getting nothing more out of it than the criminalization of a relatively harmless activity that otherwise law abiding upstanding citizens choose to partake in, or like this decades long crusade to eliminate the usage of marijuana from the American people has had any sort of tangible success… There are more people smoking marijuana currently in the country than ever before AND marijuana could not be easier to get.
Besides, Big Brother has made satanic pacts with the Law Enforcement and Prison Guards Unions, Big Lumber, Big Booze, and Big Pharma insuring that marijuana stay in the shadows and away from the hands of citizens looking t exploit the plant for all of it’s various uses! How dare those self-governing sons of bitches really believe all that “State’s rights” bullshit their high school history teacher would go on and on about when discussing his grievances with the Civil War and that no good busy body Lincoln. Those fools… Don’t they know the first rule of getting along with the Government is “Never fuck with the Money”…