This story is sad in a number of ways:
Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations.
Even as marijuana legalization supporters are celebrating their victories in the two states, the Obama administration has been holding high-level meetings since the election to debate the response of federal law enforcement agencies to the decriminalization efforts.
Marijuana use in both states continues to be illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. One option is to sue the states on the grounds that any effort to regulate marijuana is pre-empted by federal law. Should the Justice Department prevail, it would raise the possibility of striking down the entire initiatives on the theory that voters would not have approved legalizing the drug without tight regulations and licensing similar to controls on hard alcohol.
Some law enforcement officials, alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly, are said to be pushing for a stern response. But such a response would raise political complications for President Obama because marijuana legalization is popular among liberal Democrats who just turned out to re-elect him.
“It’s a sticky wicket for Obama,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, saying any aggressive move on such a high-profile question would be seen as “a slap in the face to his base right after they’ve just handed him a chance to realize his presidential dreams.”
First, a heavy-handed response from the Administration would just infuriate me. But what makes me even angrier is this news story, which serves as yet another sign of our failed media experiment. If you look at the part of the snippet I have bolded, you’ll see that they have even managed to turn this issue into a political horse-race story. It’s all about the politics and the optics.
Noticeably absent from the discussion is the morality of locking up millions of Americans for using a harmless weed. No mention of the overcrowding in prisons or the wasted lives our laws have created. Also conspicuously absent is any discussion of the billions we have wasted on the drug war while having ZERO success stopping people from using drugs. Also missing, any analysis of the positive effects of marijuana use for certain medical conditions. No mention of the millions of people who spoke at the ballot box. No discussion of how criminalization of marijuana is the root cause in the rise of violence associated with drug gangs.
Good grief, our war on the harmless weed has failed so spectacularly that D.A.R.E., the most propagandistic organization this side of Fox News, has decided to stop preaching the evils of the sweet leaf to school kids. It turns out that when you lie your ass off to a bunch of kids that if they take one toke of pot they will jump out of windows and go into a pcp-induced mania, it piques their curiosity and then takes exactly one kid getting high and telling his friends you are full of shit. Hoocoodanode?