In the last election, Colorado and Washington approved recreational marijuana use, and made it legal for individuals to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for private use. There were already 18 states that had approved medical use of marijuana and are working out the details to enact the law.
But from the United States Attorney’s Office, they claim that marijuana is a Schedule I substance that the federal government considers growing, distribution, or possession to be a federal crime regardless of the state laws. As a result of this statement everyone is confused of who to believe, and they are waiting to see what President Obama is going to do about the use of marijuana across the country.
Everyone knows that the president has admitted that he regularly smoked pot in high school in his 1995 memoir, “Dreams of My Father.” The president is well aware that the youth are smoking pot and it makes no sense to put folks in jail, when the states and federal government can tax the product and put additional revenue in their treasuries.
“It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that’s legal. At this point (in) Washington and Colorado, you’ve seen the voters speak on this issue,” says President Obama in an interview with ABC News.
It appears that the president and his Attorney General Eric Holder are walking on a thin line, and they have no idea what to do. The states and the federal government must have a conversation on how to reconcile the federal and state laws. The federal government says possession of any amount of marijuana is against the law, but some states say it’s fine to possess an ounce of the product and buy it from a state store.
The Department of Justice is claiming that they will respond quickly to the marijuana confusion, but Congress is sitting on the side and letting the president handle this mess. There are 18 states plus the District of Columbia that is trying to implement medical marijuana use and only a few have a system that is working. Each state has a different set of rules for the medical use of marijuana and most of them are not being efficiently managed and run.
In some the states, the registries are not organized and complete and there is always the threat of robbery. There is also fraud, because many of the individuals on the medical list are not sick, and using the list to buy and sell marijuana on the street. Marijuana is not going away and more Americans will experiment and use marijuana because they like it.
It is time for the president and the Attorney General to take the lead on the question of the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is here to stay and the question should be, “Why should marijuana use be punished at all regardless of whether it is for medical purposes or personal use? Marijuana laws are the product of racism, ignorance, and nonsense, and they should have been repealed long ago.
President Obama can dance around the marijuana legalization issue and not develop comprehensive laws that allow the federal government and the states to work together and solve the marijuana issue with a credible system. Without consistency, and a credible system of the legalization of marijuana, every state will continue to do their own thing, and the federal government and President Obama will follow instead of lead.