According to Reuters, nine former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are trying to convince Attorney General Eric Holder to oppose legalization of recreational marijuana in three western states, worried that silence on the matter would sound like acceptance.
They are worried that this would result in a conflict between the federal law, which outlaws the plant. It is up for a vote in November in three states: Colorado, Washington and Oregon where they may approve recreational use and regulate and tax the sales from it.
They are quoted:
To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.
In California Holder may have played a role in voters rejecting in when he declared the federal government would both oppose state legalization and enforce federal laws.
Smart money seems to lean towards Holder repeating his promise of enforcement in California, although with elections season coming up the Obama Administration must know these are sensitive waters.
Nationwide, support for legalization is hovering around 50%, which is remarkable considering the negative outlook given to many during their youth through campaigns such as “Just Say No” and all the rest.
Marijuana is said not only to have medicinal benefits but hemp is incredibly durable and excellent for producing paper, oil, housing and more.
In 2011 there was a petition to legalize and regulate marijuana. Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said he had concerns because it may be associate with:
Addiction, respiratory disease and cognitive impairment.
There are no states that allow recreational use of marijuana but 17 now permit use for medical purposes.
The Mexican drug war is directly related to the United States policy towards marijuana laws, in addition to the policies by the majority of the United Nations.
While most active Presidents don’t dare to speak against the United States policies, former leaders have spoken up.
Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has become one of the most outspoken, along with ex-presidents from Mexico and Colombia–who have experienced the bloodshed close to home. They claim that the world simply adopts US policies so until America changes, most of the world will comply.
As it stands now “the young people have to enter into contact with drug traffickers to buy marijuana and the traffickers will induce the young people to jump from marijuana to hard drugs because they are more profitable. So you have to break the contact,” he argues. There is also the problem that Brazilian prisons are brimming with inmates serving time for trafficking because they were caught with amounts of pot above the legal limit. Decriminalization would reduce rates of incarceration and the large number of lives ruined by prison systems that teach people how to become criminals.
With Obama looking to win the hearts of younger voters, this is an issue that he probably wishes would go away for now. Still, many of the Obama faithful think he’s just protecting himself because of the elections and that if he wins he will loosen up. Obama has confessed to smoking Marijuana and doing “a little blow” in his youth. This laid back way of talking leads many to speculate his actions as president fly in the face of his true beliefs.
Even Tommy Chong is hoping and thinking President Obama will chill out about the whole pot thing:
I think Obama will change after this election. I mean change back to being pro-pot. I believe he will work to reschedule pot to what it should be. His opponents are determined to get him out of office by any means, which is why Obama’s stance on anything will be used against him and which is why he’s backpeddled on the pot issue. The DEA is threatened by us, which is why they’re conducting the raids now when Obama cannot stop them. Believe me, I know where Obama’s heart is and once he regains total control he will do the right thing.
Is this idealistic thinking accurate or is this the same faulty logic that lead for many people to vote for Obama in 2008? If the actions in Obama’s first four years are any indication, Chong’s hopes may be nothing but a pipe dream.
Video Contribution from our Guest blogger and Legal Czar JusticeMayBeBlind.com.