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Barack Obama’s Flip-Flop On Decriminalization




The administration of Barack Obama has been a huge disappointment when it comes to marijuana policy.

In 2008 then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was asked point black whether he would stop the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s senseless raids on medical marijuana facilities.

“I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism,” Obama said at the time.

Unfortunately, Obama was not true to his word.  Not only did he fail to stop the DEA’s efforts – his administration actually ramped up medical marijuana raids and prosecutions.  Obama also deliberately targeted medical marijuana growers who were in compliance with state law – even though he vowed in 2008 not to use Justice Department resources to “try and circumvent state laws on this issue.”

As public support for the decriminalization of marijuana soars “higher,” though,  Obama is changing his tune.

Now his administration thinks the matter should be left to state governments, saying a GOP effort to block decriminalization in Colorado, Washington State and Washington, D.C. “undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule.”


Actually, it undermines more than that … it undermines the right of free American adults to make grown-up choices with their own money, and do as they see fit in their own homes or private businesses.

This is an individual liberty issue more than a “states’ rights” issue.

Still, decriminalization advocates hailed the policy shift.

“It is great to see the White House accepting that a majority of Americans want marijuana law reform and defending the right of D.C. and states to set their own marijuana policy,” one national decriminalization group said in a statement. “The tide has clearly shifted against the failed war on drugs and it’s only a matter of time before federal law is changed.”

Let’s hope that’s true …

Also, with growing numbers of people acknowledging the unmitigated failure of government’s 43-year-old “War on Drugs,” so-called “Republicans” in Washington run the risk of further marginalizing themselves by opposing decriminalization.