Why Obama Won't Be The One To End The War on Drugs
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Why Obama Won't Be The One To End The War on Drugs
Posted by CN Staff on November 29, 2012 at 13:16:11 PT
By Paul Waldman
Source: American Prospect
USA -- In New York magazine, Benjamin Wallace-Wells has a long article about the failure of the War on Drugs, in which he says, "Without really acknowledging it, we are beginning to experiment with a negotiated surrender." This is in reference to the recently passed marijuana legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington, which will likely be followed by other states in upcoming elections. Hanging over these policy changes is the still-to-be-determined reaction of the Obama administration, which hasn't yet said whether it plans to send DEA agents to crack down on the businesses these laws allow for, or the growing operations they'll produce. And I'm beginning to suspect that the administration will try to set some kind of policy course intended to be as low-key and neutral as possible, neither giving the two states the green light to proceed as their new laws envision, nor embarking on some kind of dramatic and visible crackdown.
Why? Because that's what Barack Obama appears to want. One of Andrew Sullivan's readers noted a video from 2007 in which candidate Obama evaded and hedged in his response to a question about legalization; the reader said, "the sense I got was that whatever Obama's actual position on marijuana is, he's not about to let that be the issue that he wastes political capital on. That's not going to be the issue that prevents him from becoming president and fixing everything else that he cares more about." That sounds about right to me: While Obama may believe that the War has been a failure and it's absurd to lock up hundreds of thousands of people for possessing, buying, or selling small amounts of marijuana, it just isn't all that high on his priority list. If making a major policy change is risky, he's not going to bother. On the other hand, he doesn't want to alienate the 50 percent of the country that now supports legalization, many of whom are his staunch supporters, so his preferred outcome would be that no one pays much attention to the issue for the next four years. Obama has been a continuing disappointment to his supporters who favor legalization, but there's a kind of inverse Nixon-to-China thing going on with him. As the first president who admits to being an enthusiastic pot smoker in his youth (and of course the first black president), he'll be the last person to begin the dismantling of the War on Drugs. But maybe, bit by bit, it'll happen without him.Source: American Prospect, The (US)Author: Paul WaldmanPublished: November 27, 2012Copyright: 2012 The American Prospect, Inc.Contact: letters prospect.orgURL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on November 29, 2012 at 18:27:20 PT:
The media still doesn't get it
It is not "What will the Feds do?" but "What will the people do next?" Washington is reputed to have said that "Government is like fire: a useful servant and a fearful master." The DrugWar has created a government that resembles the latter.The DrugWar has created a deep schism between the idea of government-as-servant and the present paradigm of government as an uncaring, unresponsive, dangerous alien force we should fear; Washington did warn us after all.What happened in WA and CO has ramifications beyond merely being able to enjoy a natural gift in peace. But one thing is certain: It was a shot across the bow of the Federal Behemoth, a warning that it has gone too far and it's time for it to resume its' true status as servant.In short, the people, the masters, have indeed spoken, and for the Feds to try to ignore that voice is to court disaster. That's what happened on Election Day...and that voice will get louder and louder, and woe unto the idiot pol that feigns being deaf to it.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 29, 2012 at 16:52:14 PT
Roger Waters: The Tide is Turning
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 29, 2012 at 16:46:10 PT
Thank you for your kind comment. Welcome to CNews. I too believe the tide is turning.
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Comment #1 posted by CajunAggie on November 29, 2012 at 16:32:20 PT:
Just Maybe....
One can always hope... But we know Obama swore to defend the laws as they are written. At least he is getting rid of Kevin Sabat and Eric Holder. Let's see who's next on base. I've always believed that change would come as soon as science was allowed to influence "decision makers" (ie.. those jerks in DC), but they seem to really be addicted to the power trip they get "controlling" this weed. I really feel the "cat is out of the bag" and am encouraged by recent events (semi-legal weed!!!) to believe that the tide is finally turning.BTW Been reading news here for over a decade and feel like I know a lot of you. Seen you come and go. Through sickness and in health. You all inspire me with your insightful comments and life stories.Thanks
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