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Why hasn’t Obama called off the federal war on marijuana?

One of the more mystifying aspects of Barack Obama’s presidency is the man’s resistance to changing public attitudes — and changes in state and local laws — regarding marijuana.

Polls show that most Americans favor legalization of pot, and studies show that such a step would save tens of billions of dollars annually expended to enforce laws against the stuff.

Then, too, there’s the matter of how such enforcement strains the criminal justice system, complicates efforts to curb the abuse of more dangerous drugs and creates significant hassles for people arrested on marijuana charges.

Simply stated, pot prohibition has been a colossal failure.

But the president remains OBSTINATE on the issue:

President Barack Obama has turned out to be a real buzzkill.

Back when he was running in 2008, Obama said he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs” and that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.” He didn’t go farther. But he also didn’t do anything to dissuade speculation among medical marijuana proponents who took this as a sign that the man headed to the Oval Office was on their side.

Four years later, the raids on drug dispensaries have kept up — despite a Justice Department memo formalizing low-enforcement priority instructions from Attorney General Erick Holder, who announced in a March 2009 press conference that the raids would stop on distributors who were in compliance with state and local law. Obama never said anything about supporting legalization or decriminalization, but his medical marijuana statements were enough to get him heralded by some in the larger pro-pot community as the best hope for chipping away at the decades-long drug war.

But the hopes that Obama would be a kinder, gentler, more tolerant drug warrior have gone up in smoke.

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7 Comments

  1. Two things: financial profits for those invested in the incarceration industry, and some version of closed-mindedness and/or need to control others.
    Unfortunately- these people might not see the ripple-effects these policies have on our communities.

    Personally- I have family who have been effected by getting imprisoned for drug possession…
    To compare with another popular drug- why is alcohol promoted so much, when we know how much death and destruction is tied in with drinking?

  2. Bently Hathaway

    YAYYYYY! Just say no to change YAYYYYY!

  3. The War on Drugs failed $1 Trillion ago! This money could have been used for outreach programs to clean up the bad end of drug abuse by providing free HIV testing, free rehab, and clean needles. Harmless drugs like marijuana could be legalized to help boost our damaged economy. Cannabis can provide hemp for countless natural recourses and the tax revenue from sales alone would pull every state in our country out of the red! Vote Teapot, PASS IT, and legalize it. Voice you opinion with the movement and read more on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/vote-teapot-2011.html

  4. Neftali

    The inevitable legalization of marijuana will be a very gradual. Expect to see more states dramatically reducing the fines and penalties for being caught with the the stuff along with increasing acceptable rates of what is acceptable for personal use.

    Pot heads are not going to get their wish of out right national legalization anytime soon. But it eventually will happen. It will first start in obscure places like Alaska, and then possibly Vermont or Oregon. The rest of the states will quickly follow. I’m thinking it will all take about 15, perhaps at the most, 20 years.

  5. State decriminalization laws AND medical allowances, such as in in Alaska only deepen the confusion about its legality. Those who claim that billions will be saved and that Xanadu will exist between users and non-users are living a fools dream. I’ve families ruined by the associated crime that goes along with its trafficking, sale and use. To include murder, homes seized by the Feds and so forth. One of the best defenses against personal use is an increase in drug-free workplace testing. Workplaces retain the right to protect their investment(s), product, customers and have a responsibility to their communities to maintain safe workforces. Wanna smoke and pretend to be 16 again, no worries. Grow up. You’ll be just as unemployed as you were then too.

  6. BettyLou

    In response to Bill. Apparently the closed minded people will never grasp the TRUTH about marijuana use. Your comments are extremely self-righteous, going into great detail, referring to people who smoke marijuana as if they were nothing more than a bunch of murderous thugs. The comments, “Wanna smoke and pretend to be 16 again, no worries. Grow up. You’ll be just as unemployed as you were then too.”. are comical. If you lived in a realistic world, you would take note that if marijuana is legalized, it would be acceptable to have the substance in your blood or urine when applying for a job. If you knew anything about marijuana, you certainly hide it in your statements. There are millions of people who smoke the sustance, from doctors to lawyers, judges, teachers, police officers AND researchers. People you would least expect, have to hide a perfectly natural sustance for fear of people like you that have their high-horse (no pun) attitude that everyone is scum. How many drinks or beers do you toss back at night & call it okay, because it is legal?? I’m sorry for those who don’t catch the FACTS – how maby people kill each other behind the wheel of a car while drunk? How many do you hear of when they are stoned on pot? I’m really tired of people like you saying things to deter the public from seeing the truth. If someone’s home was seized by the feds over just marijuana, these things would stop if it were legal on the state and Federal level. The DEA & police departments across the United States could focus on TRUE drug problems, like Meth, Heroin & Crack! Monies for law enforcement, judicial systems and education could be spent more wisely than on seeking out “pot-heads” (as you called them) that hold PROFESSIONAL, EDUCATED positions in the corporate & blue-collar market equally. Talk to your local scum-bags, you might find out they don’t smoke pot, then judge someone else based upon your so-called expertise!

  7. The biggest drug problem in the country right now is abuse of prescription pain killers.

    No contest.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/AP3d8960c42a3a430ca5f6437ca964c857.html

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