Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama, Medical Marijuana, And Liberaltarianism

From Reason:
Today Attorney General Eric Holder gave the clearest indication so far that the Justice Department plans to respect state laws that permit the medical use of marijuana:
The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law....Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that's inconsistent with federal and state law.

As medical marijuana activists noted, that still leaves unresolved the issue of what will happen to pending cases against people who provide cannabis to patients in states such as California. Thomas O'Brien, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, has gone back and forth on that question. Charlie Lynch, who ran a medical marijuana dispensary in San Luis Obispo, is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday and could spend decades in federal prison.

It's telling that there's been no significant backlash against Obama's move to respect states' rights with respect to medical marijuana. I think this is evidence of the workability of a liberaltarian alliance. When the interests of liberals and libertarians overlap, it can be difficult for conservatives to offer an effective response.

But what's happening in this case could just be a result of there not being any good argument to be offered against allowing states to decide their own medical marijuana policy.

Update:

Just when I thought it looked like no major politicians were silly enough to speak out against Obama's change in DEA policy, the Republican senator from my own state steps up to the plate--from the Associated Press (via Slog):
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says the Obama administration's change in policy toward medical marijuana is a bad idea.

...

Grassley says the new policy outlined by Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday is counterproductive because marijuana leads to use of harder drugs.

Oh, Chuck, just when you were wooing me back with your suggestion that AIG executives ought to consider seppuku, you have to go and say something completely ridiculous. Well, that's the GOP way, I guess.

1 comment:

Vernon Malcolm said...

Now that the anti-science, superstition-based initiative presidency ends, we need several public works science Manhattan projects to make us great again and boost us out of this Grotesque Depression. First we must provide free advertising-based wireless internet to everyone to end land line monopolies. Then we must criscross the land with high speed rail. Because bovine flatulence is the major source of greenhouse gases, we must develop home growable microbes to provide all of our protein. Then we must create microbes which turn our sewage and waste into fuel right at home. This will end energy monopoly by putting fuel in our hands. We must address that most illness starts from behavior, especially from parents. Since paranoid schizophrenia is the cause of racism, bigotry, homelessness, terrorism, ignorance, exploitation and criminality, we must provide put the appropriate medications, like lithium, in the water supply and require dangerous wingnuts who refuse free mental health care to be implanted with drug release devices. Churches should be licensed to reduce supersition and all clergy dealing with small children should be psychiatrically monitored to prevent molesting. Osama bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh were the ultimate superstition based initiatives. Aborting future terrorists and sterilizing their parents is the most effective homeland security. Widen navigation straits (Gibraltar, Suez, Malacca, Danube, Panama and Hellspont) with deep nukes to prevent war. In order to fund this we must nationalize the entire financial, electrical and transportation system and extinguish the silly feudal notion that each industry should be regulated by its peers. Technology mandates a transformation of tax subsidies from feudal forecloseable debt to risk sharing equity. Real estate and insurance, the engines of feudalism, must be brought under the Federal Reserve so we may replace all buildings with hazardous materials to provide public works. Insects, flooding and fire spread asbestos, lead and mold which prematurely disables the disadvantaged. Disposable manufactured housing assures children are not prematurely disabled and disadvantaged. Because feudalism is the threat to progress everywhere, we must abolish large land holdings by farmers, foresters or religions and instead make all such large landholding part of the forest service so our trees may diminish greenhouse gases. We must abolish executive pay and make sure all employees in a company are all paid equally. We must abolish this exploitative idea of trade and monopoly and make every manufactured disposable cottage self sufficient through the microbes we invent.