Why is Obama ramping up the war on marijuana?

| April 12, 2012 | 1 Reply

The war on drugs, including the war on marijuana (i.e., prohibition) is extremely expensive and destructive, and a strong majority of Democrats now approves of medical marijuana. With that as the backdrop, why is Barack Obama cranking up the war on medical cannabis patients, providers and, in some cases, their advocates?

At Alternet, Paul Armentano reviews the draconian steps being taken by the Obama Administration and considered several possible explanations for reigniting the drug war with regard to marijuana. Is this the result of pressure put on the Administration by Big Pharma, which will soon market a cannabis-based drug? Is it pressure by drug-war hawks? Perhaps these are factors, but Armentano argues that Obama fears that Americans were starting to see the truth about about the hyped-up federal fear-mongering about marijuana:

While the passage and enactment of statewide medical marijuana laws – 16 states and the District of Columbia now have laws recognizing marijuana’s therapeutic use on the books – is not solely driving the public’s shift in support for broader legalization, it is arguably a major factor. Why? The answer is simple. Tens of millions of Americans residing in these states are learning, first hand, that they can coexist with marijuana being legal! And that is the lesson the federal government fears most. In states like California and Colorado, voters have largely become accustomed to the reality that there can be safe, secure, well-run businesses that deliver consistent, reliable, tested cannabis products. They have come to understand that well-regulated cannabis dispensaries can revitalize sagging economies, provide jobs, and contribute taxes to budget-starved localities. Most importantly, the public in these states and others are finally realizing that all the years of scaremongering by the government about what would happen if marijuana were legal, even for sick people, was nothing but hysterical propaganda. As a result, a majority of American voters are now for the first time asking their federal officials: ‘Why we don’t just legalize marijuana for everyone in a similarly responsible manner?’

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Category: Drug laws

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    “More than 300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/economists-marijuana-legalization_n_1431840.html

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