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Attacking Obama for Supporting Medical Marijuana Isn't Going to Work

Submitted by smorgan on

As I'm constantly pointing out, political strategists always have the hardest time coming to terms with widespread public support for reforming marijuana policies. Maybe their hearts are in the wrong place, or they only read each other's books, or, more likely, they're all stuck in 1988 and they think if someone yells "Drugs! Crime!" loud enough, all the voters are gonna jump out of their socks and vote for whoever promises the most ass kickings.

That's why today's frantic press release from the RNC lambasting Obama over medical marijuana is as predictable as it is foolish. Just look at the remarks from Obama that RNC highlights in an attempt to make people afraid of him:

Obama Pledged To Stop DEA Raids On Oregon Medical Marijuana:

Obama Pledged To Stop The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Raids On Oregon Medical Marijuana Growers. Willamette Week: “Would you stop the Drug Enforcement Administration’s raids on Oregon medical marijuana grows?” Obama: “I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism. The way I want to approach the issue of medical marijuana is to base it on science. And if there is sound science that supports the use of medical marijuana and if it is controlled and prescribed in a way that other medicine is prescribed, then it’s something we should consider.” (James Pitkin, “Six Minutes With Barack,” Willamette Week, 5/14/08)
That's what we're supposed to be worried about? Americans overwhelmingly support medical marijuana and will greet all of this with a gigantic yawn, if not a backlash against McCain. But that won't stop the RNC from trying:
WASHINGTON – RNC Communications Director Danny Diaz released the following statement today:

“Barack Obama’s pledge to stop Executive agencies from implementing laws passed by Congress raises serious doubts about his understanding of what the job of the President of the United States actually is. His refusal to enforce the law reveals that Barack Obama doesn’t have the experience necessary to do the job of President, or that he fundamentally lacks the judgment to carry out the most basic functions of the Executive Branch. What other laws would Barack Obama direct federal agents not to enforce?”

So conducting violent raids on medical dispensaries, while ignoring the will of voters, the advice of doctors, and the medical needs of sick Americans is one of "the most basic functions of the Executive Branch"?

I wish the RNC the best of luck calling attention to Barack Obama's statements on medical marijuana. I really do, and I will gleefully post every press release they dare to send out about it because their candidate's views on this issue are deeply unpopular with Americans.

Few things I've written have generated more web traffic than this post revealing how John McCain literally turned his back towards a wheelchair bound medical marijuana patient who asked him for help. So if the clever strategists in the republican party want to play hardball over medical marijuana, they'd better put their helmets on.

[Thanks, Bruce Mirken]


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