For another layer of absurdity, consider that one of the authors, Karen Tandy, presided over the DEA during a dramatic expansion of the medical marijuana industry that she now claims is legally impossible, even though it actually happened in real life while she was in charge of federal drug enforcement. She knows as well as anyone that California can make its own drug laws whether the DEA likes it or not. It's true that she could have prosecuted everyone in sight under federal law, but for a variety of practical and political reasons, that isn't what happened. It's not likely to happen if Prop 19 passes either, at least not unless Obama has a masochistic desire to further alienate his base as we heads towards 2012.Morgan's absolutely right that the law is one thing, and politics is very much another. And he's right that the success, to date, of medical marijuana has definitely been one of pragmatism and politics trumping the letter of the law.
But let's take a step back and and stop projecting our pothead wish fulfilment onto our President. B-Rock's got things he's trying to accomplish, and greening up the west coast is probably not at the top of his list.
If Prop 19 passes, Obama is going to have three choices.
1. Come down on California like a stern parent, and explain that this is not a choice they get to make until they move out and go to college.
Morgan's right, that's going to disillusion a lot of people. But half of them were going to forget to vote.
2. Hold up California as an example of the way forward, and instruct his Justice Department to disregard relevant federal law in California, and maybe on the whole Pacific coast.
Can you imagine? While some of us would be celebrating a move towards sanity, Republicans would be popping champaign corks as well as they began drawing up strategy for the ultimate 2012 wedge issue. It could cost Obama his second term.
3. Try to ignore it, hoping it will go away.
Same result as #2, just slower to take shape.
What do you think, stoners?