Monday, October 19, 2009

Obama Administration Strikes A Blow for State's Rights

There's not a lot for a cynical libertarian to be happy about these days, but the Obama Administration has given me a small crumb of joy to impale on the toasting fork of my ideals.

Here at MANP, we're under no obligation to say nice things about people we don't like. (This is also true of the New York times, but they pretend it isn't.) 

Every once in a while even our bitter enemies do something smart, and in the spirit of even-handed magnanimity -- of which there is very little on this blog -- I sometimes mention it.

In that spirit then, lets have a grudging, desultory round of applause for the Obama Administration's recent move to tell federal law-enforcement agencies to leave medical marijuana users and suppliers the heck alone.

The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.
Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.
The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.
This will affect marijuana dispensaries in about 14 states. There is plenty to hate in the way the Obama Administration and its lackeys in Congress are screwing up health care, cap and trade, the financial system,and the auto industry, but on the issue of personal liberty for medical marijuana patients, they are a shining beacon of hope.


Atom Smasher said...

I hate weed and the people that smoke too much of it, but I really can't think of a bigger waste of effort and resources than sending cops after them.

Midwest Chick said...

It's amazing to me that the Administration would give over an iota of supposed federal power to the states. In Arizona, they're trying to keep the Maricopa Co. sheriff from enforcing laws and in North Carolina, the 'Justice Department' has stepped in and said that a small town has to have party designation on the ballet even after the town voted to not have it. Talk about micro-managing.

MeatAxe said...

Lets be accurate -- the statues in question in Arizona are FEDERAL immigration laws. I'm not sure its entirely reasonable for the FedGov to pass a law and then not allow a law enforcement agency to enforce it, but there may be some finer legal points that I'm not aware of. Maybe it makes sense for the Feds to say who can or can't enforce Federal law.

As to the ones in North Carolina, I'll agree that doesn't make a lot of sense, in fact its waaay stranger than your summary. I looked it up.

The Justice Department says that the party label is vital because black candidates won't get elected unless they are identified as Democrats.

“Removing the partisan cue in municipal elections will, in all likelihood, eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to be elected to office.”

The letter, written by Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King, flatly asserts that the decision was made on the assumption that the town’s citizens use race as the primary consideration in voting.

“In Kinston elections,” King wrote, “voters base their choice more on the race of a candidate rather than his or her political affiliation, and without either the appeal to party loyalty or the ability to vote a straight ticket, the limited remaining support from white voters for a black Democratic candidate will diminish even more.”

For my money, maybe the candidates in a local election could, you know, get out there and campaign for office and meet the constituents. Its a local election, after all.

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