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Opening Arguments

Pot shots

Apparently, the Obama administration is planning to announce new federal policy guidelines that call for ignoring medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws. Such a move would be a step in the right direction:

The Justice Department has to set prosecutorial priorities, as there are more federal crimes on the books than federal prosecutors can ever hope to prosecute.  The aim should be to focus federal resources in those areas where there is a distinct federal interest, or where the federal government has a comparative advantage of state and local law enforcement.  Where federal law conflicts with state law, prohibiting activities state laws allowed, federal efforts should still focus on those instances of alleged lawbreaking where there is a distinct federal interest, including spillover effects on neighboring jurisdictions.

The best place to end up would be with the federal government treating marijuana the way it now treats alcohol. There would be a federal role in controlloing illegal interstate traffic, but each state could set its own marijuana policy, whether that be prohibition, decriminalization or something in between. The author doubts the administration will make such a move, and he's undoubedly right.


Bob G.
Mon, 10/19/2009 - 11:40am

I have to admit this is a "slipepry slope" gig with me...
Like alcohol, marijuana comes down to being able to MAKE GOOD CHOICES and KNOW ONE'S LIMIT when consuming it...

And we all know HOW WELL booze goes down (no pun intended) with SOME people that simply begs for legislation against their own inability to MAKE those good choices, while they put everyone else at risk along the way.

It also asks the question...When do we say "enough is enough" and where EXACTLY should we "draw the line" when it comes to using controlled substances?

Will we be looking at "medical heroin" or "medical cocaine" in the future, and will San Francisco lead the way THERE (again) as well?
Is that what we have to "look forward" to?

See...that slope CAN get real slippery...real fast, as well as increase in declination when we least expect it.
One helluva conundrum, indeed.