“Obama now lags Pat Robertson in a sensible approach to marijuana." - Barney Frank
Image: The drug warrior.
In the wake of the 08 Presidential election, marijuana advocates were briefly ecstatic about the chances of decriminalization of weed. Obama had been seen as the guy who was going to change everything for the better. There is no surprise here as the message of the campaign was nebulous enough to give everybody the impression he was on their side.
Even libertarians were split owing to some sort of implied civil liberties agenda, which was mostly born of hopefulness of change. While little was really known about Obama, some of us were aware that he was mainly speaking from the heart of the state, with little other than lip service to individualism. That said; there was little indication that he would turn out to be the aggressive drug warrior we see now.
Now Reason has highlighted the antics of his proxy in ‘justice’ Eric Holder, who while running an extraordinary campaign against marijuana while lying about it to the House Judiciary Committee:
Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee last week that his department was not prosecuting medical marijuana businesses that are in compliance with state law. In the week since, drug reform advocates have culled together an overwhelming amount of evidence that Holder either lied to the committee, or—as seems to have been the case with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm's "Operation Fast and Furious"—is oblivious to what his department is doing outside Washington, D.C.At the same time the DOJ has been on the rampage:
Just to review, here's what Holder told the House Judiciary Committee:
Asked about what critics have charged is an overly aggressively enforcement campaign and broken administration promises — including in states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes — Holder denied the charge. "This is inconsistent with the little thing called the facts," Holder said in testimony in front of the House Judiciary committee.
U.S. Attorneys have threatened state governors that the Justice Department would prosecute state employees who are carrying out state law. In June 2011, the threats were so real they worried New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), a former U.S. Attorney himself.It is quite clear that both major parties have little interest, in fact are scornful of any libertarian agenda, nor do they have any lasting commitment to individual liberty beyond the next election. While there is some speculation that the President may have an ‘evolution’ on the subject if the polls indicate such a need, there is little reason to believe he will go through with it.
In Delaware, this spring U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly, III, threatened to prosecute state employees while state officials were developing the regulations to fine tune the state law. In that case the Justice Department was trying to prevent any possibility that anyone could be in "conformity" with state law! Governor Jack Markell actually stopped state employees from going forward in the regulation writing process. …
This time around, libertarians, the broad minded, and those who think it is nonsense to fill jails with non-violent marijuana offenders to no good purpose, need to hold the line and vote for positive reform. The LP Nominee, Gary Johnson is the only one who has made a definitive and strong campaign issue of reform on drug laws.