Prior to the 2008 Presidential election many liberals and marijuana users were exultant at the possible legalization or at least a liberalization of use of it. There seemed to be some confusion afterwards when enforcement was stepped up. It seems that Obama managed to successfully promote himself as all things to all people.
The President turned out to be a greater drug war warrior than bush, something that has come back to haunt him this time around with the strong candidacy of Governor Johnson, who openly campaigns for legalization. Some Democrats have realized the danger and called for an end to these actions but it is belated and Obama is not listening. This is going to cost him in a number of states:
… The Democratic Party may not talk much about the impact of the year-long campaign of stepped-up enforcement in medical cannabis states, but patients and their loved ones are very aware of raids, arrests and prosecutions. The Justice Department's crackdown creates local headlines in states across the West every week. These actions are costing Obama votes in crucial swing states. …The article from HuffPO advocates ‘progressives get involved’ because:
- In the three and a half years of Obama's Presidency, his administration has raided more medical cannabis facilities than in the eight years of President Bush.
- Despite his pledge to govern by science rather than politics, Obama's DEA has taken the position that marijuana is "without accepted medical use" …
- There are now over one million legal medical marijuana patients in the United States, twice as many as in 2008.
- Seventy-four percent of Americans oppose federal interference with state medical cannabis laws.
- Elections can turn on this issue. From Democratic Congressional primaries to big-city District Attorney races to statewide elections, candidates opposed to medical marijuana have lost when the issue is present.
- Obama can move us forward on this issue without being wrong. Circumstances have changed since 2008, with many more states (as well as DC) adopting compassionate use laws, and with marijuana's status in the Controlled Substances Act under scrutiny by federal courts. …
He has stated that he will be coming at Romney from the right, and Obama from the left. One thing that marijuana supporters can be certain about is that Johnson means what he says, unlike the President.