June 25, 2012
Capital Times: Gary Storck: Obama could legalize cannabis with stroke of pen
Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, June 25, 2012
Here is a letter to the editor published today in the Capital Times.
Dear Editor: On June 20, a House committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his failure to release records of “Operation Fast & Furious,” which ended up funneling numerous weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
While putting guns in criminal hands is certainly bad policy, so is lying to the House Judiciary Committee, as Holder recently did. In testimony about the Obama administration’s crackdown on medical cannabis providers in the 17 states and Washington, D.C., where it is now legal, Holder falsely stated that federal actions were limited to those in violation of both state and federal law. That was not true.
In Colorado, federal authorities forced the closure of numerous medical cannabis facilities because they were within the federal definition of 1,000 feet from schools. These businesses were all state and local licensed and complied with all of Colorado’s stringent requirements. Yet federal authorities found a way to subvert state law and close these taxpaying businesses that provided hundreds of jobs.
With hundreds of medical cannabis access points that supplied medical-quality cannabis now gone, many patients are finding themselves back buying cartel-supplied pot on the streets, despite their respective state laws.
A recent poll found that only 15 percent of Americans support the Obama administration crackdown, with 74 percent saying, “Respect state laws.”
Why is the Obama administration siding with the overwhelming minority on an issue that the president himself had said should not be a priority? It was Obama’s promise to take a hands-off approach that sealed the deal for my vote and millions of other Americans in November 2008.
Obama agreed to ignore federal immigration law in his recent pronouncement allowing younger immigrants to remain in the U.S. However, as the executive branch has the power to reschedule or deschedule controlled substances, Obama does not need to ignore any laws and could literally legalize cannabis with the stroke of a pen. What is holding him back?