Conservative Columnist Kathleen Parker Applauds Shift on Marijuana Policy
Posted Oct 22 2009 10:01pm
When you think about it, it makes sense. Conservatives purport to want the federal government to have less influence over state governments, and they support greater autonomy for states. It was George W. Bush’s war on medical marijuana that was the real head-scratcher; if he wanted the federal government to stop interfering in people’s lives, why did he greatly expand the reach and power of the Executive branch? Weird, right?
Some Conservatives in the William F. Buckley mold are coming out in favor of repealing marijuana prohibition. On this issue, liberals and conservatives appear to be united. What does this mean for the future of marijuana policy? Only time will tell, but I have to say, things look pretty rosy for the pro-marijuana reform crowd.
From the Washington Post:
In an act of merciful sanity, the Obama administration has made good on its promise to stop interfering with states that allow the medical use of marijuana.
Clink-clink, hear-hear, salud, cheers, et cetera, et cetera.
The announcement from Attorney General Eric Holder surely comes as a relief to the many who rely on cannabis to ease suffering from various ailments. This new, relaxed approach doesn’t let drug traffickers off the hook. It merely means that 14 states that now provide for some medical marijuana uses no longer need fear federal raids on dispensaries and users operating under state law.
It’s a good move, long overdue. But is it enough? Not quite.
The debate over whether Americans ought to have the right to be stupid — or to make other people seem more interesting — continues apace after 40 years of the (failed) “war on drugs.”
Arguments for and against decriminalization of some or all drugs are familiar by now. Distilled to the basics, the drug war has empowered criminals while criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens and wasted billions that could have been better spent on education and rehabilitation.
By ever-greater numbers, Americans support decriminalizing at least marijuana, which millions admit to having used, including a couple of presidents and a Supreme Court justice. A recent Gallup poll found that 44 percent of Americans favor legalization for any purpose, not just medical, up from 31 percent in 2000.