This Just In: Barack Obama Wasn't Actually Secretly Planning to End the Drug War

As my colleague Mike Riggs reported last night, the Obama administration is pondering ways to undermine the pot legalization laws that voters in Colorado and Washington state passed last month. Over at The Huffington Post, Radley Balko responds with a roundup of Obama boosters who assured us during the campaign that the president would back away from the drug war after he'd been safely reelected. Here's Lawrence O'Donnell in April, for example:

Although President Obama thinks it's entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether our drug laws are doing more harm than good, he has absolutely no intention of having that discussion in the United States until after he is reelected to a second term. With exactly 204 days remaining until the election, that makes possibly ending the war on drugs the 204th reason to vote for President Obama on November 6th.

That may or may not have worked as a get-out-the-vote drive, but as a prediction it looks like it was exactly backwards. Obama wasn't waiting for his second term to bring up an issue that's too hot for the voters. The voters themselves have shoved the issue onto the agenda, and second-term Obama is looking for ways to shove it back.

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  • ||

    That doucheface!! GAH!

  • Killazontherun||

    Great, now I have that doucheface's voice, the tone of an airhead who demands to be taken seriously, stuck in my head.

  • Jim Treacher||

    That's okay, he's got two of them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    President Obama thinks it's entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether our drug laws are doing more harm than good

    Cite, Larry?

  • sarcasmic||

    He didn't say how the conversation would go.

    Q: Mr President. Do you think the drug war does more harm than good?

    A: Ha ha ha ha ha. You're funny. Next question.

  • Trespassers W||

    To be more accurate,

    Q: Mr President. Do you think the drug war does more harm than good?

    A: Sounds like somebody's been smoking the "wacky tobacky"! *Pause for adulating applause from journalists, who wonder that we have some a hip, hilarious president* Do you have the "munchies", "dude"? *Pause for adulating applause from journalists, who are impressed that we have a president with such in-depth knowledge about drug culture* Next question.

  • sarcasmic||

    You got me there.

  • deified||

  • Loki||

    RTFA:

    "I think this is a entirely legitimate topic for debate," he said. "I am not in favor of legalization. I am a strong believer that we need to think more about drugs as a public health problem."

    And I just LOVE how the article goes out of its way to heap praise on him for just saying that it's "an entirely legitimate topic for debate". It's just like how a lot of the pro gay marriage types fell came all over themsleves over his "evolution" on gay marriage. Talk is cheap, but until he actually DOES something positive wrt the WoD I'm not impressed.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Hey, he said he's a strong believer that we should think more about it!

    What more do you want the guy to do when the whole gov't is run by the republithugs!

  • db||

    Only freed from the chains of public opinion can the President be freed from the chains of law.

  • R C Dean||

    So many rubes. Such a shame they vote.

  • SIV||

    This is why we need cheaper, more potent weed. So the rubes stay home on election day

  • Killazontherun||

    Now, you know what you gotta do to suppress the vote. Go house to house in Philly, Cleveland, and Detroit and offer free bags of weed to wrap ballots in.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    President Obama thinks it's entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether our drug laws are doing more harm than good

    This is Obama's way of saying STFU.
    It's easy to see when you consider that everything out of his mouth is a lie.

  • Randian||

    It isn't really a lie per se. Like sarcasmic said, there's no guarantee of where the conversation would go.

    Obama would make a decent working attorney.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Obama would make a decent working attorney"

    In other words, a spineless douchebag. check

  • anon||

    Obama would make a decent working attorney.

    I initially read this as "a decent working monkey."

    Does that make me a racist?

  • Loki||

    If you didn't vote for the Great Beneficent Leader, His Holiness Saint Barack the Wonderful, then you are a racist, straight up.

  • Killazontherun||

    Obama had to surrender his license. It's easier to swindle the people than it is to do so with boards of professional credentialing agents.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Obama would make a decent working attorney.

    You do realize BO didn't say this, one of his dogwashers did. And even what he says isn't decided by him, it's decided by whoever writes the stuff into his teleprompter.

  • Sevo||

    He's not going to play that game again!

  • SIV||

    As long as Obama is doing a 180 on his fake campaign "whisper promises" I'd like to see him sign a Fugitive Student Loan-defaulter Act.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Even if he wanted to end the drug war and then had the spine to stand up to drug warrior special interests, I don't know if he has the humility to allow something to take place that wasn't centrally planned. No legal drugs for you.

  • Loki||

    ^THIS^ It's all about control and power. Even if he thinks people should be free to put whatever they want into their bodies he'd never give up the power that the WoD gives the federal government over people. In a lot of ways that makes him worse than your stereotypical drug warrior who just thinks "drugs are bad, mmmkay". At least the stereotypical drug warrior thinks they're doing something for your own good [insert C.S. Lewis quote here], he's just a power hungry asshole.

  • Mensan||

    But he's such a narcissist that he believes that him ruling your inferior life is for your own good.

  • deified||

    Look, Obama's in a bit of a tough spot here.

    If his US Attorneys continue to be douchenozzles, what's he going to do? Is he going to say, 'Hey, leave those narcotics-selling businessmen alone or I'll fire you?'

    Republicans would go nuts and the media would have a field day.

  • entropy||

    If republicans went nuts over that, it could only help democrats.

    The GOP likes to shoot itself in the foot with this one. Want to make a conservative Republican quote Nancy Pelosi verbatim, ask him which part of the constitution authorizes the federal government to regulate vegetable consumption.

  • R C Dean||

    As we've seen, some Romney voters also support legalizing pot. The Repubs seem determined to drive libertarian-leaning voters out of the party, so the Dems have a golden opportunity here to set a trap for the Repubs.

    Of course, to do so they would have to cross the pubsec unions, who lurv them some WOD, so just guess which way the Dems will break on this.

  • anon||

    The Repubs seem determined to drive libertarian-leaning voters out of the party

    Soooo true.

    That is all.

  • Killazontherun||

    The GOP establishment are acting like late era members of an Eastern European politburo who realizes they are doomed but are too busy scrambling like rabid squirrels gathering their final nuts to look up and notice what day it is.

  • Killazontherun||

    The GOP establishment are is acting like

  • Sevo||

    deified| 12.7.12 @ 11:17AM |#
    "Look, Obama's in a bit of a tough spot here."

    Yeah, he'd have to grow a pair, and that ain't gonna happen.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Look, Obama's in a bit of a tough spot here."

    The perpetual state of hypocrites.

  • anon||

    If his US Attorneys continue to be douchenozzles, what's he going to do?

    Fire them. Hey, we're looking for cost cutting measures anyways, right?

  • some guy||

    You can't just fire a government employee. The only thing he could do is reassign them to some other task force. Be careful what you wish for...

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You must have missed the polls showing support for MJ legalization is a majority position now.

  • Loki||

    If his US Attorneys continue to be douchenozzles, what's he going to do? Is he going to say, 'Hey, leave those narcotics-selling businessmen alone or I'll fire you?'

    At the end of the day, he's their boss, so yes he absolutely should.

    Republicans would go nuts and the media would have a field day.

    Newsflash: more people are in favor of MJ legalization than are against it. This is 2012, not 1952. Some Repubs may go nuts over it, but public opinion has already shifted away from prohibition. Dems are more likely to oppose legalization at this point because they'd risk running afoul of the police and prison unions and their lobbyists.

  • Mensan||

    "If his US Attorneys continue to be douchenozzles, what's he going to do? Is he going to say, 'Hey, leave those narcotics-selling businessmen alone or I'll fire you?'"

    Would those be pharmacists? Most narcotics are available by prescription. Marijuana is not a a narcotic.

  • Redmanfms||

    Republicans would go nuts and the media would have a field day.

    And, unlike what happened when the Dems made firing people serving at the leisure of the President a political issue, it would go precisely fucking nowhere because the newsmedia would suddenly become rational and tell everyone that the President can indeed hire or fire a U.S. Attorney for whatever reasons he sees fit.

    But, it's always nice to see some new (but still stupid) spin on "it's RETHUGLIKKKAN OBSTRUKSHIONIZM!!!!!!!11111!1!1!!"

  • Hyperion||

    This Just In: Barack Obama Wasn't Actually Secretly Planning to End the Drug War

    NO! I AM SHOCKED! This can't be true!!!

    But, Obama is soo dreamy and the greatest president of all time. He wants to do it, he really does!, but some Rethuglicans would say mean things about him, so he can't. /clueless liberal

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Most punchable.

  • grrizzly||

    Hello, Secret Service!

  • wingnutx||

    Obama does not want any sort of precedent set that supports federalism or states' rights.

    He has to crush this.

  • anon||

    It's quite interesting the Dem trap that's been laid; pretend to be for legalizing drugs, and then do the opposite "because it's the law and the evil republicans won't let us change it."

    Fear will keep the locals in line. Fear of this battlestation the Republicans.

  • Loki||

    That may or may not have worked as a get-out-the-vote drive

    It worked on my sister-in-law's idiot husband. I should get his email address so I can start sending these stories to him with the subject line "Have you learned anything yet?" Fucking moron.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "my sister-in-law's idiot husband"

    Wouldn't that be your brother?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Wife's sisters' husband.

  • Loki||

    Correct.

  • anon||

    I think the point was for him to avoid declaring that he was related to someone that dumb.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm guessing his wife's sister.

  • SugarFree||

    Brother-in-law-in-law is what I use.

  • Loki||

    My sister-in-law would be my wife's sister. It was her idiot husband.

  • Mensan||

    Your brother's wife would also be your sister-in-law, so CIYP's mistake was understandable.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Is it just me, or is anyone else checking for their wallet after hearing someone propose "having a [national] conversation".

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Oh, and... ROMNEY WOULD HAVE DONE IT TOO!!!!!1!!!!!

  • deified||

    Are you kidding?

    Romney is a devout Mormon and a Republican. Stamping out MJ is what he lives for. Google the story about how he instructed cops to go after a pot smoker on the beach near his house in La Jolla.

    As bad as BHO has been on this, it's clear he's to the left of Mittens on this matter.

  • Redmanfms||

    As bad as BHO has been on this, it's clear he's to the left of Mittens on this matter.

    Merely by virtue of being on "the left" right?

    I'm not seeing much effort on the part of quite a few members of "the left" (like, oh, I don't know, the Progressive Caucus) to end the WoD. "The Left" isn't anymore in favor of ending the WoD than "the right" because of the unbelievable boon it has been to government power and spending.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "Although President Obama thinks it's entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether our drug laws are doing more harm than good......"

    This is the kind of empty, nuance filled nonsense that is causing me to withdraw from society. It's the kind of stuff you hear from corp. bosses too. Just a bunch of noise wasting my time.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "This is the kind of empty, nuance filled nonsense that is causing me to withdraw from society."

    Don't do that, we need your cash.

  • Spartacus||

    So, he's not really going to stop prosecutions?
    This is my shocked face (:-o)

  • mr lizard||

    By not enforcing drug laws, wouldn't that mean that state governments are subject to conspiracy charges, as in conspiracy to violate federal drug laws. And then follow through with the theory that by lack of enforcement they are furthering the drug trade.... And RICO here we come.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Ha ha, they actually thought Barack Obama was going to give up some measure of control over other people? Ha ha ha ha ha!

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