The Obama administration will no longer pursue the course of harassing patients using medical marijuana or their providers in states where the drug is legal for that purpose.
On the point of marijuana, it also holds some promise as the first step in reviewing the war on the herb that costs us billions of dollars and infringes on personal liberties while attempting to protect us from ourselves — and a product less lethal than alcohol. Maybe we can finally have a rational debate on at least this front of the “war on drugs,” which has done more damage to federalism than Democrats or Republicans combined.
First, it must be said again that the War on Drugs is both a disaster and a farce. It’s done little except waste billions of dollars and cause a run-up in crime and gang-related violence. This outcome was predictable given the American experience with Prohibition, another bad idea that empowered the federal government overmuch.
Second, the Bush administration’s puritanical pursuit of medical marijuana miscreants clearly violated the rights of states to make the final judgment about the criminal code within their own borders.
If anything, the Obama administration’s decision doesn’t go far enough. Rather than merely stating that it won’t enforce federal laws, it would be better to remove them from the books entirely. Why not begin that process immediately?