Barack Obama

"Obama's Unfathomable, Bottomless, Contemptible Cowardice on Pot"

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Our story thus far: President Barack Obama, late of the pot-smoking Choom Gang back in the day, says that marijuana is no "more dangerous than alcohol," that black and Latino kids are arrested disproportionately for drug crimes, and…well, nothing.

The commander in chief of the federal War on Pot can't be bothered to do a damn thing about something he knows shouldn't be a federal crime.

From my latest article at Time.com:

What does it say about our elected representatives when even a president who grants that marijuana is no "more dangerous than alcohol," jokes about his past drug use, and faces no more elections in his lifetime is terrified to go along with a massive and still-growing majority of Americans?

That we can't look to them for anything resembling leadership. The campaign to legalize marijuana — and thus expand personal freedom while minimizing the massive harms that attend to prohibition regardless of the substance being banned — is decades old and has always had to fight first and foremost against establishment politicians and media outlets. Colorado's liberal Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper staunchly opposed legalization, which ultimately passed by a 55 percent to 44 percent margin. In 2010, when California put legalization on the ballot (it failed), virtually every daily newspaper editorialized against such a move.

Thankfully, citizens and some brave pols are so cowed and are pushing for change.

Temporary, odd-bedfellows arrangements have helped to avert military action against Syria last summer, register opposition to mass surveillance by the National Security Agency, call for auditing the Federal Reserve, and preserve all manner of Internet freedom from government regulation. Theschool choice movement is a perfect example of this dynamic as well.

In an America where a record 60 percent of us agree that "the government has too much power" and political independents grow in number, this sort of "permanent non-governing minority" that comes together over a single issue and demands change, represents the future of American politics at all levels. Citizens, it turns out, are more than ready to step and demand change when our leaders are too feckless to lead.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: Department of Health and Human Services Spending Nearly $3 Million to Equip Vietnamese Villages with TVs and Study Effect on Culture, Sexual Behavior

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  1. Being President means never having to be intellectually consistent.

  2. Draft the Jacket for Prez. I’m being serious. Really.

    1. and Leather Tuscadero as 1st Lady.

  3. As if his dithering about pot is a serious concern compared to the rest of the stuff he’s up to.

    What IS it with you folks and pot?

    1. Yes, there are no other stories on Reason but pot stories, Homple.

      Seriously, the illegality of drugs is a huge civil rights issue. The WOD deserves every bit of criticism it gets.

    2. Yeah…it’s more about the thousands of people being criminalised than the pot itself.

      It is also about the pot, though.

    3. How dare reason write about what they want to write about!

      1. They can write about whatever pleases them. I am merely curious about emphasis.

        1. The WOD is a big deal because it’s one of the most draconian abuses of human rights in modern history(past 100 years) of civilization. And there’s that little thing about whether you own your own self, or not. I mean, there’s that.

        2. 1) The ball is finally rolling on it in a big way, after decades of incremental progress at best.

          2) It is a hugely symbolic issue for all civil liberties types, left and right, in that pot is demonstrably harmless and yet is regulated in an undeniably arbitrary and draconian manner because of the inertia of a nanny-government error that the government now refuses to admit. It thus fundamentally questions the government’s basis for regulating markets, as it is such a manifestly catastrophic example of such regulation.

          3) Arbitrary drug prohibition has caused widespread disrespect for law and law enforcement, particularly among the young and the poor, and has unhealthily made drug addiction a symbol of resistance against “the Man.”

          4) The WOD has been unbelievably expensive and in every way has only caused more harm than good.

    4. I agree with Homple. When are going to see Reason explore this Snowden thingie.

      1. They could write about puppycide. When are they going to get around to that?

      2. I’d like to hear more about any books that the staff might be writing…

      3. I agree with Homple. When are going to see Reason explore this Snowden thingie.

        Didn’t the president have some healthcare reform issue? ObamaHealth? Maybe someone like, I don’t know, Suderman, could look into it for us? Write a piece or two?

    5. Damn hippies! You should enjoy having your property stolen, your lives ruined, and being anally raped by the New Mexico police on the unfounded suspicion that you have the devil’s narcotics up there!

      There are more important issues, like how we should put the ten commandments in every school! And we must fight everyone trying to destroy Christmas!

      1. Jeez, I didn’t mean to get everybody’s bloomers in a sheepshank.

        1. As long as it isn’t a reef.

        2. You asked.

          My question is what is it with people who aren’t completely outraged that prohibition continues unabated?

          People are being brutalized, robbed and locked up by agents of the state for no justifiable reason at all. If I came to your house, beat the shit out of you and then took you to my basement and locked yo in there for several years, I bet you’d be outraged. Well that’s what the war on drugs is.

          1. Not to mention prohibition being used to justify invasions of privacy, militarization of the police, etc.

        3. Ha! Nice try. I stopped wearing bloomers days ago.

        4. SWARM!

        5. The fuck is a sheepshank?

          1. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

            1. And if you can, you shouldn’t do it.

            2. We are knot amused.

    6. The Land of the Free imprisoning more people per capita than any other first world nation largely because of non-violent victimless crimes is not a serious concern to people who believe in liberty and justice?

  4. The commander in chief of the federal War on Pot can’t be bothered to do a damn thing about something he knows shouldn’t be a federal crime.

    Well, here’s where we often make an error in the way we think.

    You see, Obama is above all of this. He cannot be concerned with the plight of the peasants. He is one of the chosen and if he or one of his chosen wishes to smoke weed, drink and drive, or engage in whatever behavior that is deemed illegal for us peasants, then it’s none of the concern of us peasants.

    There are 2 classes of people in Murika. Those who enforce at their discretion and are above the law, and those who are subject to and often enough victims of the same law.

  5. What IS it with you folks and pot?

    Considering the damage done to the rule of law in this country under the battle flag of the War on Drugs, I’d say anybody who isn’t concerned about pot is a fucking moron.

    1. I’d say anybody who isn’t concerned about [insert 50 things here] is a fucking moron.

      1. What are some specific things you would insert?

  6. Is anyone else finding Gmail to be fucked right now?

    1. Yeah, it was for me a few minutes ago. Back to normal now though.

      1. Yeah, it seems to be back now. Remember back in 2008 (I think) when Gmail went down for a few hours? My god, it was like the world was ending.

        1. My god, it was like the world was ending.

          In a thousand years, I wouldn’t be surprised if 2008 was noted in history books for being the beginning of the end.

          1. Yeah, but in 2000 years no one will remember any of it.

            1. But they’ll still remember Obama and Nixon.

          2. The year The First Black President of the United States ™ was elected?

            Racist!

            1. Honestly, I’d put my money on 2001 instead, but I couldn’t resist being, uhm, Plisskeny.

        2. A free service not working?
          I DEMAND RETRIBUTION

    2. It’s hosed and I’m annoyed.

      1. I thought I was the hoser on this thread.

        1. What did you do to Gmail?

    3. Maybe the machine that funnels all of the emails to the NSA is on the fritz again?

  7. What does it say about our elected representatives when even a president who grants that marijuana is no “more dangerous than alcohol,” jokes about his past drug use, and faces no more elections in his lifetime is terrified to go along with a massive and still-growing majority of Americans?

    What it says is that the people who benefit from pot being illegal still represent both an organized voting block and a major source of campaign funding. That includes the drug warriors, prison guards, treatment industry, prosecutors, judges, and, of course, all the criminal organizations who grow, transport, and distribute illegal pot.

    Keeping pot illegal has absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s health or welfare. That little piece of fiction is just the justification that they dish out to the feeble-minded voters who desperately cling to the bullshit indoctrination they got in school about how government is the servant of the people.

    The fact that Obama isn’t up for reelection is immaterial. He’s still loyal to his party, plenty of whom are up for reelection and will need those votes and the financial backing of all those beneficiaries. The democrats are currently in the mode of trying to have it both ways. They will come around eventually, but when that happens, it will have absolutely nothing to do with principles, duty, or ethics.

    1. Right now, I’d say an endorsement from BHO is as desirable as an endorsement from Dennis Rodman.

    2. The democrats are currently in the mode of trying to have it both ways

      As long as their braindead sheep supporters keep allowing this, they’re going to keep doing it.

    3. Don’t underestimate the influence of government folks who just want to keep one of their favorite clubs for beating the populace into submission.

  8. We know how out of sync his policies are on WOD compared to his upbringing in an affluent, upper middle class, liberally tolerent home, but are they out of sync with Michelle Obama’s upbringing? From what I can tell she was raised in a socially conservative, fiscally communist home that likely despised drug use and blamed it on the social conditions of their neighborhood. I would bet she is the ultimate check on how far he is willing to go to expend political capital on ending the WoD.

  9. I’d say anybody who isn’t concerned about [insert 50 things here] is a fucking moron.

    My loathing for government in general, and the Retard-in-Chief specifically, is limitless.

  10. I demand unilateral executive action now! –libertarian bitch

  11. I think a better headline would be: “Obama’s Unfathomable, Bottomless, Contemptible, Cowardice on (fill in the blank).

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