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Drug Czar Doesn't Want to Discuss California's Legalization Effort

Submitted by smorgan on
California could legalize marijuana this November and the drug czar isn’t sure exactly what to say about it:

The Obama administration's top drug enforcement official sidestepped a question Thursday on how the federal government would react if California voters legalize pot this fall.

Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said he wouldn't speculate on what the Obama administration would do if California voters approve a ballot initiative that would make marijuana legal for consumption but subject it to regulation.

"Since it hasn't passed, right now it would be improper to speculate on what the federal government's role is," Kerlikowske said during an appearance on ABC's "Top Line" webcast. [The Hill]

There's not much here to try to interpret, but it's certainly an improvement from the hysterical response I'm sure we'd have seen under the Bush Administration. Isn't it incredible that the nation's top anti-drug official -- the man whose primary responsibility is to serve as head cheerleader for the war on drugs – can't think of anything more interesting to say about the country's most populous state attempting to legalize marijuana for recreational use? You could get as much insight from a random guy on the street.

This comment from the article is helpful in explaining what's going on with marijuana policy at the White House:

Obama has played the medical marijuana issue perfectly, allowing MM states to push the envelope and creating acceptance for cannabis in the general population while expending no political capital of his own…

This is exactly right, and it's vitally important to understand this concept even as we condemn the Obama Administration for upholding the status quo in most aspects of drug policy. We've reached a point where it's no longer politically wise for the Administration, particularly a Democratic one, to be visibly associated with aggressive reefer madness. They've appeared to understand this so far, thus the Administration's tone regarding the California legalization effort will speak volumes, regardless of whether or not they actually say anything.

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