The Corner

On a Liberal High? Come Down a Little

Those adding marijuana legalization to their premature paeans to the Ultimate Victory of Liberalism might want to wait a little. Despite his past, Barack Obama has been something of a drug warrior, and that seems unlikely to change in a second term. Per Reuters:

Votes making Colorado and Washington the first U.S. states to legalize marijuana for recreational use could be short-lived victories for pot backers because the federal government will fight them, two former U.S. drug control officials said on Wednesday.

They said the federal government could sue to block parts of the measures or send threatening letters to marijuana shops, followed up by street-level clampdowns similar to those targeting medical marijuana dispensaries the government suspects are fronts for drug traffickers.

“This is a symbolic victory for (legalization) advocates, but it will be short-lived,” Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to the Obama administration’s drug czar, told reporters.

As Reason noted in September:

What’s more insulting is that Obama would wink and nod at marijuana use for political gain while federal agents under his control raid the homes and businesses of people who operate state-legal medical marijuana businesses, threaten to seize the assets of landlords who rent to medical marijuana businessesraid the homes and threaten the children of men and women who sell marijuana paraphenelia, and continue to obfuscate and denounce research that shows the medical uses of marijuana.  

If the Tenth Amendment Center is smart, they’ll use this tension as a means of effectively demonstrating the dangers of an all-powerful federal government to a political constituency not typically receptive to the issue.

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