President Barack Obama, despite admitting to inhaling, probably doesn’t have too many stoner friends in the Nation because his promises and his Presidential actions regarding medical marijuana policy have differed.
Despite laws in some States that made legal the use of medical marijuana, Obama’s Department of Justice has continued to use Federal resources to conduct raids on medical marijuana producers in places like Colorado and California.
Obama, promising to end the raids that had begun under President George W. Bush, said on the campaign trail in 2008, “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”
But that is exactly what his Administration has done, and now he is backpedaling.
“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” Obama said in a recent explanation of his policy. “I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law.”
Rolling Stone magazine calls out the Obama Administration in a recent article:
The administration’s retreat on medical pot is certainly consistent with its broader election-year strategy of seeking to outflank Republicans on everything from free trade to offshore drilling. Obama’s advisers may be betting that a tough-on-pot stance will shore up the president’s support among seniors in November, as well as voters in Southern swing states like Virginia and North Carolina that are less favorable to drug reform. But the president could pay a steep price for his anti-pot crackdown this fall, particularly if it winds up alienating young voters in swing states like Colorado, where two-thirds of residents support medical marijuana. In November, Colorado voters will likely consider a referendum to legalize all pot use for adults – and undercutting enthusiasm for the issue will only dampen turnout that could benefit the president.
Like so many of President Obama’s other promises, many medical marijuana advocates say his “rethink and decriminalize” rhetoric during the 2008 election went up in smoke when he got in the Oval Office.