Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama more conservative than Bush on medical marijuana

From the AP's Devlin Barrett in the Dallas Morning News (hat tip: C-J)...

I wish they were making a philosophical argument, but the practical arguments work well too.

Pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allow medical marijuana, prosecutors were told Monday in a new policy memo issued by the Justice Department.

Under the policy spelled out in a three-page legal memo, federal prosecutors are being told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law....

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Bush did that a few times-- crushing state rights/freedoms through federal policy-- most notably, with No Child Left Behind. Thanks, George!

By the government's count, 14 states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington....

The change has critics, including lawmakers who see it as a tactical retreat in the fight against Mexican drug cartels.

"We cannot hope to eradicate the drug trade if we do not first address the cash cow for most drug trafficking organizations — marijuana," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee....

Good luck with that, Lamar. Meanwhile, Mexico and Columbia thank you for destablizing their governments-- and the Taliban thanks you for helping to fund their efforts.

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