A couple of months ago, the White House added a “petitions” section to its website, the idea being that regular people could petition the administration for whatever blew through their minds. If the petitions got enough signatures (originally 5,000, now 25,000), Obama or one of his underlings would take a gander at it. One of the most popular petitions was to abolish the highly ineffective TSA, which we talked about before. And not surprisingly, legalizing marijuana was a blockbuster, gathering more than 75,000 signatures.
Today, the administration responded to a few of the petitions, including the one on legalization. The short answer is “no.” A slightly longer version of the answer is that marijuana is bad for you and has no proven medicinal value; but education, not law enforcement, is the key to curbing use, and so they spend a little more money on education than arrests.
No word on why the same arguments don’t apply to alcohol and tobacco, or why the state is in the nanny business to begin with — maybe it’s trying to earn money for college and nanny taxes are more attractive than stripping. It also completely ignores that the government’s message on marijuana being evil is diametrically opposed to the mainstream media’s message on it being the bee’s knees; somehow, between the billions spent on both sides, and Hollywood being way cooler than D.C., it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which way teenagers are going to skew.
So despite legalization being supported by a virtual majority of the population, drug prohibition lives to see another day and will likely do so until there is such massive support for legalization that it can no longer be ignored. Probably also on Obama’s mind is that, as the first black president, he should try not to do things like legalize chronic and declare fried chicken to be the national bird.