Several cities and states have gone against federal law to legalize marijuana. I do think it should be legal federally, but that is a topic for a different thread. The Obama administration has respected the wishes of these places, and asked the DEA not to enforce marijuana laws there. Is this going to continue in 2017 when we have a new president? I know Bernie Sanders wants to legalize it, but would any of the other candidates?
I’m guessing the current policies will continue. There doesn’t seem to be much interest or support for cracking down.
The candidates, particularly the Republicans, are in a tough place–they still have a conservative and anti-drug constituency, but also have to support “states rights.”
Clinton says that she does not support or encourage federal intervention in state cannabis laws. And she supports rescheduling cannabis federally to allow for federal funding of medical cannabis research.
Cruz has been hit and miss, but has said that he also does not believe the feds should prosecute.
Rubio opposes legalization and has called for enforcing federal law in states that have legalized. He’s been pretty consistent about it. If he were President, I can’t believe he’d be willing to send the DEA into legalized states, but he might be willing to push back somewhere.
The Donald has no coherent position, which is more or less par for the course. Back in the day he took a pretty libertarian stance in favor of legalization (of everything). Recently, he’s pretty clear about supporting medical use but generally seems to oppose recreational use. I can’t imagine he’d interfere with any state laws, but he doesn’t seem likely to push strongly for federal decriminalization or rescheduling.
Sanders would recommend legalizing it, but congress won’t do it. Why piss off the anti-drug constituency? So current policy would continue.
Clinton would say (correctly IMO) that there are higher priorities for drug enforcement resources to be focused on, especially meth and opium abuse. So the current policy would continue.
Republicans would give lip-service to enforcing the laws against marijuana, but again, won’t actually do anything different.
There’s just not enough political upside for anyone to change what’s happening now.
This is not entirely correct. The current administration most certainly continues to conduct enforcement operations against marijuana growers in states such as Colorado, in keeping with the policy guidelines it laid down in 2013.
All those things are still illegal under the state law, though. Yes, if you’re feeling pedantic, the feds still enforce some marijuana laws in the states that have legalized it, but they don’t do any enforcement on people who are in compliance with their state’s marijuana laws.
It’s illegal under Federal law, only Congress can change that. The current administration is only enforcing the above as a matter of policy. The next administration could tighten up, and the law is with them. It would be unwise, where it is legal it has become entrenched. Maybe potheads can start ratting out the heroin traffic.
One possibly complicating factor is that about half a dozen states, including California, are likely to vote to legalize it this year. And not all of them are in the West either; Maine and Massachusetts will likely have it on their ballot this year too. The more states with legalization, especially if they’re geographically widespread, the more difficult it is for the Feds to police it.
Yes, I understand that, but I’m saying that the fact that the Feds continue to prosecute people who aren’t in compliance with their state’s marijuana laws isn’t particularly relevant to the discussion at hand.
They can do nothing. They would be overplaying their hand and everyone knows it. They’d be at risk of being considered a laughingstock.