California, like several other states, has legalized marijuana for certain medical purposes. Previously, the feds were affirmatively hostile to this, routinely raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in California on the theory that federal law barring distribution of marijuana trumped California law. As a matter of existing law under the Supremacy Clause, the feds were almost certainly right; as a matter of public policy and principles of federalism, they were almost certainly wrong.
Now the new Attorney General — though clearly no friend to the drug legalization movement — has signaled that such raids will not continue under the Obama administration. They're not legalizing the stuff, they're just announcing a prudent and appropriate discretion in the use of DEA resources.
Now comes the part where we find out which conservatives actually stand behind federalist rhetoric. Who will come out and denounce Obama as pot-promoting and soft-on-drugs? Who, at this point, will continue to assert that the Great War on Drugs justifies federal policy overriding democratically enacted state policy?
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