This is one of those topics where it’s really easy to have a knee-jerk opinion. But then you think about it, and it gets really, really complicated.
President Obama has publicly stated that he will not order his minions to pursue charges against those providing medical marijuana, and there are those who are up in arms about it.
So here’s the question: Should the government be prosecuting people for selling/using marijuana, if it is legal in that state (such as California, which has a “medical marijuana” law)
My first reaction was yes, they should be prosecuting because marijuana is a federally banned substance.
Immediately on the heels of that reaction, the other half of my brain said, ‘what about State’s Rights? Don’t you think that the Feds are overstepping their bounds by banning substances that states have deemed legal?’ to which my answer is yes, so maybe they shouldn’t be prosecuting.
But then I think, well, there are some times when it’s appropriate to have an overarching law that encompasses all the states. Murder, for example, is a federal crime, and should be punished regardless of whether it’s a state law or not.
I think the problem I have with this whole situation is as follows: Why are there laws that we have no intention of prosecuting? If President Obama wishes for medical marijuana to be legal, then he should campaign for an adjustment to the law – and I’m sure there are plenty of CA representatives who would propose it – that states something like, “marijuana is legal and regulated for medicinal purposes only. All others will be subject to existing laws.” (written, of course, in politi-speak, with appropriate loopholes for Congress and their families) I have the same problem with a lot of other laws, too… illegal immigration, prostitution and polygamy, to name a few. If it’s illegal, it should be prosecuted. If it’s too expensive to prosecute, the law should be examined and changed so that it’s enforceable. And if it’s “not enforceable”, then don’t make it a law in the first place.
And now that I’ve said all this, I still don’t really know where I stand on the issue.