As I’ve written multiple times, I really couldn’t care less one way or the other about marijuana: I don’t smoke it, have no plans to smoke it, and, really, it is a much less dangerous drug than alcohol. I’d prefer they not smoke it in public, a contact high is not in my daily plans. But, it is a federally controlled Schedule I drug, meaning it is illegal to use, possess, and or sell, and has no medical benefits. Alas, liberals are really put out that Obama is considering actually enforcing pesky federal law. Here’s Excitable Andrew Sullivan
What he’s thinking about doing is going after those who use pot in Washington and Colorado, which made the drug legal per a referendum this November, as well as suing those states.
Well, since they’re asking: if they decide to treat the law-abiding citizens of Colorado and Washington as dangerous felons; if they decide to allocate their precious law enforcement powers to persecuting and arresting people for following a state law that they have themselves just passed by clear majorities; if they decide that opposing a near majority of Americans in continuing to prosecute the drug war on marijuana, even when the core of their own supporters want an end to Prohibition, and even when that Prohibition makes no sense … then we will give them hell.
Except, under federal law, they aren’t law abiding citizens. And Obama and his DOJ stooges take an oath to uphold the laws of this land (not that they haven’t already broken that covenant multiple times). It’s funny, though, what really gets liberals upset. Not adding $7 trillion to the debt in under 4 years. Not rampant high unemployment and record numbers of people dropping out of the jobs market in despair. Not record numbers of people stuck on food stamps. No, they’re enraged by enforcing federal law on drug use.
But the main reason the president should instruct the Justice Department that this is not an area for discretionary prosecution is that choosing to focus on pot-prohibition in states that have legalized it defies reason. One of my core arguments for Obama has long been his adoption of what I consider pretty reasonable, if always debatable, policies. He is not an extremist, proposing laws and regulations that are designed to make a cultural point or wage a cultural war; he’s a pragmatist, trying to fix existing problems.
It defies reason because……it defies reason. Has Andy been smoking? It’s not discretionary prosecution: it’s following the law as laid out.
The Plum Lines’ Greg Sargent is on board with Sully (he does realize that the Washington Post drug tests, right?)
Now, on the one hand, it’s admittedly hard for liberals to argue that the federal government doesn’t have the legal authority to do this. But on the merits, there’s an argument to be made that pursuing this course of action would undermine one of Obama’s own long-held moral positions.
See, there’s a bit of a problem: The Law trumps Obama’s “long held moral positions”. But, then, our nation has already moved past that “we’re a nation of laws not a nation of men” notion long ago.
This last suggestion ain’t happening any time soon, but Sullivan is speaking for a lot of angry people here. If the administration can agree not to make enforcement of other bad laws—like the Defense of Marriage Act—a prosecutorial priority, it can do exactly the same thing with pot.
Isn’t kind of hard to get angry when stoned? Hungry, yes. Lethargic, yes. Angry? Dude, pass the bong.