I haven’t seen any pigs zooming around lately, but I’m keeping my eyes open. That’s because Mitch Daniels and Rolling Stone agree on something: that the federal government has no business getting in the way of Washington and Colorado’s decisions to decriminalize marijuana.
First, Rolling Stone’s take: Tom Dickinson has a thorough piece in the current issue of the magazine where he brings up something astounding: When it come to medical marijuana, Obama is even worse than he-who-shall-not-be-named.
Legalization has set Colorado and Washington on a collision course with the Obama administration, which has shown no sign of backing down on its full-scale assault on pot growers and distributors. Although the president pledged to go easy on medical marijuana — now legal in 18 states — he has actually launched more raids on state-sanctioned pot dispensaries than George W. Bush, and has threatened to prosecute state officials who oversee medical marijuana as if they were drug lords.
What next? Is he going to start picketing abortion clinics?
Dickinson also points out that Obama’s tendencies are fantastic news for violent Mexican drug lords.
A study by the nonpartisan think tank Instituto Mexicano Para la Competitividad found that legalization in Colorado and Washington would deal a major blow to the cartels, depriving them of nearly a quarter of their annual drug revenues – unless the federal government decides to launch a “vigorous intervention.” If that happens, pot profits would continue to flow to the cartels instead of to hard-hit state budgets.
The states’ budgets would benefit because both plan to regulate and tax marijuana. So the choice is between more money for schools or more money for guys who make videos of beheadings. And the White House seems to be making the choice preferred by severed-head depositors everywhere.
Anyway, I talked to Governor Mitch Daniels about this issue about a week ago at a Buckley event at Yale, and he had some interesting thoughts. “I hope that people will be consistent,” he told me, referring to conservatives who support states’ rights. “I believe that federalism is, first and foremost, a protection of liberty. And I would just hope that people who say they believe that would be consistent.”
He continued to say that regardless of his personal opinion on decriminalization, states should be able to make their own choices on the issue.
“Without endorsing what they [Colorado and Washington] did, I think they had, under our system, a right to do it,” he said. “A lot of the worst problems we’ve got in this country, and some of the worst divisions we have, came when the right of citizens in community and in polities, like their state, had those rights usurped by the federal government. And having disagreed with it when it happened on other occasions, I sure wouldn’t call for it here.”
Honestly guys, that should be that.