Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Obama and all Dems would end medical marijuana raids

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, in response to a Marijuana Policy Project affiliate member's question in New Hampshire, has affirmed that if he were elected president he would end Drug Enforcement agency raids on medical marijuana patients and dispensaries in the 12 states that have medical marijuana laws. "It's not a good use of our resources," he said. So right (although disbanding the DEA altogether would be an even better way to conserve and focus resources on actual public safety matters, but that's an argument for another day).

With Obama on board, that means all eight of the Democratic presidential candidates have promised to end those silly (but sometimes terrorizing) raids. In addition, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a longshot presidential candidate who just signed (after working the legislature) New Mexico's medical marijuana law, has sent a letter to President Bush asking him to end the raids now. If he's really a "compassionate conservative" he will do so immediately, but if he were really all that compassionate (or wise) he wouldn't have started the war on Iraq.

Among the Republican candidates, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson (who pulled out after the Iowa straw poll) promised to end the DEA raids. Giuliani has been especially stupid on this issue, as I noted previously, but all the rest are pretty terrible. Why a politician would steadfastly oppose a policy supported by 70-80 percent of Americans in every national poll where the question has been asked is something of a mystery. But as I've also written before, prohibitionism is a religion more than it is a considered policy. If it weren't, nobody even slightly familiar with the costs and benefits would support it.

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