Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seattle's Mayor Calls for Marijuana Legalization in State of the City Address

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn dares to utter the truth that marijuana advocates know and that anti-drug crusaders fear: illegal drugs fund criminals, reports NPR affiliate KPLU.

 In his State of the City address, McGinn states:

 “It is time we were honest about the problems we face with the drug trade. Drugs are a source of criminal profit, and that has led to shootings and even murders. Just like we learned in the 1920s with the prohibition of alcohol, prohibition of marijuana is fueling violent activity.

 McGinn also calls on Washington state to legalize marijuana to end the erosion of civil liberties. He also remarked that though Seattle has taken a progressive stance on marijuana, federal anti-drug laws in place continue to fuel violence.

 Mayor McGinn's example shows that legalization will ultimately be a bottom-up process, rather than coming from Washington.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Obama Reversed Course Because Medical Marijuana Policy Too Successful

Kevin Drum, political blogger for Mother Jones magazine, plays connect the dots with President Obama's about-turn on medical marijuana.

 Citing coverage in The Rolling Stone, Drum points to holdovers from the Bush administration in the Drug Enforcement Administration but is quick to point out the U.S. Attorneys sending seizing property and money in California and Washington don't answer to or take orders from the DEA.

Drum adds that while the current administration maintains its position is "clear and consistent," its actions threatens to alienate the youth vote that voted the president into office.

 In an update, Drum floats a theory by The New Republic's Tim Fernholz that Obama reversed his stance on medical marijuana when state governments requested information on licensing growers and distributers.