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1.) Obama said he would stop the federal crackown on
One thing incumbents have that challengers generally don’t is a list of promises kept. You can't say it often enough: Obama promised to do the drug war differently, but hasn't.
In 2008, Obama said he believed the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs.” He also said he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.”
Going back even further, to 2004, he said, "The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. We need to rethink how we're operating the drug war."
As Jacob Sullum wrote last year, "Obama’s reversal on this issue is hard to reconcile with his avowed concerns about the drug war’s disproportionate impact on minorities." It's also hard to reconcile with his own youthful pot smoking. "A misdemeanor marijuana conviction could have been a life-changing event for Obama, interrupting his education, impairing his job prospects, and derailing his political career before it began."
It's also notable that unlike ObamaCare, various economic stimuli, unconstitutional recess appointments, and the no-fly zone in Libya, ending the crackdown on medical marijuana requires Obama to do absolutely nothing. He simply has to call off the U.S. Attorneys Office and the DEA—much the way he’s called off ICE. Considering that Obama won office in part thanks to his drug reform promises, it’s truly a mystery why he hasn’t kept his word.
Mike Riggs is an associate editor at Reason magazine. Follow him on Twitter.