In case you missed it, PBS’s recent program Pot Republic has some of the best footage of the various marijuana specials that have been popping up on TV. It provides a poignant look at the evolving relationship between marijuana professionals and local law enforcement, juxtaposed against the cynical efforts of federal officials to destroy those collaborations in a desperate quest to delegitimize the industry and maintain their draconian drug war powers. In other words, it’s interesting stuff.
This face-off between state and federal laws has been in effect for fifteen years, but following the issue has never been more frustrating than it became after Obama pretended to fix it and failed. We’ve got this huge, profitable marijuana economy in America that’s expanded dramatically in response to Obama’s own comments, yet they’re still being threatened with arrest by the same administration that said it wasn’t going to get too involved.
As absurd as the situation continues to be, it ought to be obvious to anyone paying attention that this is all part of the somewhat painstaking process we must endure on the road to reform. We aren’t all going to agree at once on where to go from here, and you can bet that any federal withdrawal from the war on marijuana is destined to take shape at a pace so slow as to be invisible to the naked eye.
What really matters in the end, no matter how hard anyone tries to obscure it, is the fact that states can ultimately decide for themselves what types of marijuana activity will and will not be tolerated. There are now large parts of the country where federal policy has become a total joke, and if you think about it, that’s how America was supposed to work in the first place.