The stoner nation is always hopeful at the turn of every new year that the federal government will dig deep into its dastardly agenda to finally repeal prohibition once and for all, and subsequently launch the American marijuana industry into full swing. Unfortunately, from the sound of a recent interview with a leading advisor for the Obama administration, it is not likely the United States will legalize marijuana within the next two years.
Dan Pfeiffer, Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications, was asked by the folks at The Huffington Post this past week if President Obama had any plans to further reform the nation’s marijuana laws. While Pfeiffer did offer up some discussion on the topic, the sentiment appears to be that the White House will not work towards any progress in this regard for the remainder of the president’s term.
“He’s done two things on this,” said Pfeiffer. “One, the Attorney General has dealt with sentencing disparities with focus, and we have given, within the constraints we have, appropriate deference to the states of Washington and Colorado. And we don’t have anything additional planned on that… Nothing.”
Despite Pfeiffer’s discouraging comments, there is still a possibility the Obama Administration is developing some top secret plans in the realm of reefer reform. After all, none of the minute progress made thus far, including a recent budget announcement keeping the DEA from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, has been publicized to any degree before it was revealed by the Powers That Be.
Therefore, while top advisors for the White House remain tight lipped on the possibility of restructuring American pot laws in the next two years, it is foolish to believe the President will turn his back completely on the prospect of supporting changes to U.S. drug policy before packing his bags at the end of 2016.
However, any degree of optimism on this matter is not to suggest that prohibition will be dissolved before the next president takes office in 2017 – it will not. First and foremost, nationwide legalization is not possible at this time because there simply remains too much of an argument surrounding what actual drug reform should look like; not to mention the battle between cannabis activists on whether weed should be legalized for recreational or medicinal use… taxed and regulated or free rein cultivation – no consensus can be made.
These days, it seems that every stoner, patient, and politician has an unwavering opinion about how the United States should legalize marijuana. Unfortunately, this has created so much white noise within the movement over the past few years that I fear the concept of federal pot reform has experienced somewhat of a set back, and it will probably take much longer to come to fruition than the predicted 10-year span that many lawmakers once touted. Let’s hope that I’m wrong.