Nick Gillespie: Obama says he doesn't want to end up a forgotten, no-name president. Ending the War on Pot would fix that.


President Barack Obama apparently doesn't want to be "one of those presidents who are just on the list"—a Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce.

As his health-care plan falters, his economics policies come a cropper, and his foreign polcy goes nowhere, Nick Gillespie says the president should do what he knows is right and end the federal war on pot:

If Obama announced that he was de-prioritizing the federal government's war on pot—not even on all drugs, but just marijuana—he would almost certainly be joined by a growing number of libertarian Republicans who think drug policy is a state-level issue. Indeed, if Obama framed the issue explicitly in federalist terms, he could likely count on the support of characters such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

As important, he wouldn't need congressional buy-in to get this party started. It's fully within the president's power—power that he has happily exceeded when it comes to waging wars overseas and delaying aspects of Obamacare—to start the process to reclassify pot from a Schedule I drug to something more credible (a Schedule I drug is deemed to have a high potential for abuse, no known or accepted use as medicine, and no reliable safe dose). That alone would kickstart a long overdue national conversation about the costs and benefits of prohibition.