Pot is a winner
Last week’s votes give massive momentum to the anti-prohibition movement
Published: November 14, 2012
In the long run, it will be the federal reaction that defines this battle. Whatever that reaction is, it will probably be delayed. The Obama administration has plenty to deal with in the aftermath of the election — most prominently the economy, not to mention things like rescuing the East Coast after two major storms. Public opinion is far ahead of the politicians on the issue. The most reliable polls show that 50 percent of Americans support legalization and regulation of marijuana; support for medical marijuana is at 80 percent. The most important number is the 55 percent margin that voters in Washington and Colorado gave to legalization. Do the feds want to take on two states about this?
"The big question that's been asked all over the place is, of course: What will the feds do if the states keep moving forward?" says St. Pierre. "If the state licenses the cannabis, the federal government is largely leaving them alone. Colorado has seed-to-sale regulation. The feds are not giving them much grief. Compare that to California, where the state has not given the permission to selling marijuana in a regulated taxed way. That has left the state open for federal meddling. It looks like if the state sanctions them and there is a cooperative relationship between the industry and the state, the feds are not going into that hornets' nest. ... For 40 years a slow but sure run of states and large cities have been abandoning the federal policies. It's going to take a couple of more states to push the federal government into the corner."
We all know that animals are most dangerous when they are cornered. But this second Obama administration may be a different type of beast.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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