Obama’s Embarrassing Silence on Marijuana

One thing you can bet we won’t hear anyone talking about at the Democratic National Convention is marijuana. Nobody will be discussing how bad it is, how good it is or even acknowledging that it exists. Then, at the end of the day, a not-insignificant number of attendees will be getting high at every hotel in Charlotte and bitching about what a buzzkill Mitt Romney is.

It sounds silly to even suggest that marijuana would get a mention at our nation’s biggest political showcase. Of course it won’t, and I actually agree, in theory, that it shouldn’t. But somehow our policymakers have managed to turn this mostly-helpful plant into a massive international fiasco that’s becoming increasingly difficult to deal with from one day to the next.

I’ve heard many democrats address Obama’s handling of the marijuana issue by asking, “what do you expect?” and I’m happy to answer them. I expect change. Absent that, I expect an explanation. An explanation is something you ought to have when you’re arresting millions of people to protect them from a piece of plant material they put in their own pocket. The billions we spend trying to stop people from relaxing in this particular fashion should be subject to the same scrutiny as any other enormous amount of money our government spends, if not far more.

So, in June, I went through the appropriate channels to try to get that explanation. At an event in Washington, D.C., I asked Obama’s drug czar whether marijuana users should be arrested and forced into drug treatment. His answer wasn’t very helpful. From Reason:

The other good question came from Scott Morgan, of StopTheDrugWar.org, who asked if Kerlikowske supported compulsory treatment of casual drug users, and if arresting marijuana users and forcing them into treatment was an effective policy. This time, Kerlikowske played dumb.

“Again, that’s a bit of a myth. If someone’s arrested for a small amount of marijuana, and the determination is made they have to go into treatment, treatment beds and space are a valuable commodity. I think professionals can clearly assess when someone is in need of treatment. Compulsory treatment is not something I’m as familiar with in great detail at the local level.”

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.