Barack Obama has been a president who has righted many wrongs in our country. With this in mind, Bill Maher urged the president to legalize pot and pardon all nonviolent drug offenders who are currently incarcerated.
You can see the progression. From Clinton copping to it, but still needing to say that he didn’t inhale to George W. Bush not denying it, but just saying he wouldn’t answer, to Obama who said yeah, I smoked weed. I smoked a lot of it, and I looked cool doing it. But don’t all these guys, Clinton, Jeb, W., Obama, don’t they all owe a debt to the 40,000 unlucky Americans currently in jail for the exact same crime?
In David Axelrod’s new book he confirms that Obama actually was always for gay marriage. He just couldn’t say it for a long time, because well, he was already black, and he didn’t want to give Bill O’Reilly a heart attack. So he waited, and then made up some s*it about evolving. Isn’t it time to do that with pot?
Come on, man. You’ve gone down the list reversing the stupidities of the past healthcare, torture, gay marriage, immigration, Cuba. It’s pot’s turn, and not just legalization. Obama should acknowledge that putting people in jail for nonviolent drug offenses was a giant mistake in the first place, and then he should use the power of the presidential pardon, and free them all.
Come on, you know you want to. You’ve been stingy with those pardons, and there’s plenty of precedent. Lincoln, a Republican, pardoned the Southern rebels after the Civil War. Ford, a Republican, pardoned Vietnam draft dodgers. Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty for 2.7 million Mexican illegals. If Republicans can forgive people for armed insurrection, desertion, and speaking Spanish, a Democrat can forgive us for getting high.
Republicans blew a gasket over President Obama’s immigration executive actions. They would impeach him if he pardoned 40,000 nonviolent drug offenders so that bong dream isn’t going to happen. However, Maher’s broader point about legalization is a good one.
Legalization movements on a variety of issues have followed a similar trajectory for decades. In the United States, legalization movements start at the local level, spread to the state level, then the federal level is the last to get involved. President Obama won’t make a top down move to legalize pot, but there are steps he could take in terms of federal enforcement that would help the state legalization movement grow.
Bill Maher’s bigger point that legalization is coming is accurate. One does get the sense that the generational change in American politics is going to lead to legalization. The just say no crowd of the Reagan ’80s are being replaced by a younger generation who knows better than to buy into the Reefer Madness hysteria.
It may not be today or tomorrow, but legalization of pot is definitely coming in the future.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association