If B. Barry Bamz wanted to continue sitting back indefinitely, pretending to be “cool with the youngs” while locking probably at least half of them up in jail for drugs, he’s in for a rude surprise from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt). Leahy wrote a letter last Thursday to Obama’s director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, because he would like to know when he should book his vacation to Denver! And when someone sends you a letter in Washington – well, normally you chill for a few years, see if they manage to organize a little hearing to discuss the possibility of another hearing to highlight the points that would be discussed should there ever be an actual, action-oriented, non-hearing discussion, and hope the stupid issue loses relevance. But does Patrick Leahy want to wait forever for his weed meeting?
According to Leahy, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing early next year to discuss the feds’ policy toward states moving forward with pro-marijuana legislation. This might force the President to clarify the specific actions he’ll take to continue eviscerating the only legislative movement the far-right and far-left seem to agree on (because the other option is simply nonsense!), but will likely result in further stalling behind tired, platitude-filled speeches and “evolving” positions, which means maybe weed is the new “gay?”
For now, Leahy’s letter offers possible (and might we add, pragmatic) solutions to the sticky State vs. Fed issue.
“Legislative options exist to resolve the differences between Federal and state law in this area and end the uncertainty that residents of Colorado and Washington now face,” Leahy wrote. “One option would be to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law.”
Leave the states alone, you know? This approach is certainly gaining popularity from voters, particularly those belonging to the center-left coalition that helped elect the President. Of course, taking a laissez-faire approach creates problems: as more and more states receive mandates from their citizens to lighten up on the pots, federal and local prison facilities alike will begin to seem hollow and empty. Public Safety jobs everywhere will be in jeopardy as a dwindling population of low-level offenders leaves fewer and fewer prisoners to escort to the prison cafeteria. Faced with this conundrum, the Obama Administration will presumably let everyone else wonder what state marijuana legalization means while they plug up their ears and sing “la la la la.”