by Jeremy Leaming
Taking the “bolder step” of legalizing a limited amount of marijuana has sparked other state lawmakers to consider similar measures, even as the Obama administration remains silent on how it will respond to the bold measures passed in Colorado and Washington.
University of Denver law school professor Sam Kamin covers possibilities the administration could take, such as enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, which bans the sale and possession of marijuana. Another possibility, Kamin added, is to reclassify marijuana or remove it from the CSA.
In a piece for The New York Times online commentary, Timothy Egan hopes the administration will have “the backbone” to embrace change. He also urges policymakers and pundits to dump the lame talk about the munchies and take seriously the message sent by two “progressive Western states” that “arresting 853,000 people a year for marijuana offenses is an insult to a country built on individual freedom ….” He also notes that other states, such as Maine, are likely to follow those Western states. Indeed Egan believes that it is likely “a dozen or more states will do so as well.”
And why should the Obama administration embrace a societal change? Egan cites a litany of compelling reasons. For starters its base hypocrisy for the government to tolerate legal drugs – alcohol, caffeine and a slew of supplementary vitamins that make all kinds of “exaggerated health claims” -- but continue to arrest people for marijuana use.