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.