Andrew Sullivan is still trying to defend his absurd claim that Obama somehow deserves credit for growing support for marijuana legalization. In fact, though, while the decades long trend towards greater support for marijuana legalization hasn’t stopped since Obama took office, it has continued despite the Obama Administration’s overt opposition. From Sullivan’s response:
Oh please. If you accept my premise – that he “leads from behind” for a “long game” – you can begin to see my case. Obama is not going to crusade for either cause [marijuana legalization and marriage equality]. But he is not going to oppose them either and has quietly encouraged them. Hence instructing the DEA not to interfere with state laws on medical marijuana and withdrawing a legal defense of DOMA. Yes, there’s been some regional slippage in California on allowing states to determine their medical marijuana laws, but that hasn’t apparently come from Obama’s office.
The statements that Obama “is not going to oppose [states' medical marijuana efforts] . . . and has quietly encouraged them” are simply factually wrong.
The facts here are perfectly clear: President Obama since talking office has proven to be an adamant opponent of marijuana policy reform. Despite his campaign promise to leave the issue of medical marijuana up to the states, under Obama multiple agencies across the federal government have systematically worked to impede state medical marijuana systems.
The aggressiveness of the federal government actions taken under Obama caused both the Drug Policy Alliance and Russ Belville, the Outreach Coordinator for NORML, to conclude that Obama has been worse than Bush on the issue of medical marijuana. Similarly Rob Kampia, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, wrote about Obama, “he has become arguably the worst president in U.S. history regarding medical marijuana.”
Obama did in fact oppose Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California. His administration also seriously undercut the campaign by saying the DOJ would disregard the will of the electorate even if Prop 19 passed, promising to “vigorously enforce” federal laws against marijuana.
Sullivan’s statements are not consistent with these facts. There is no proof at all that Obama has been “quietly encouraging” the idea of marijuana legalization.
By repeating these claims, Andrew Sullivan has only offered more evidence proving my point that he lives in a fantasy world where Obama deserves credit for good things even if Obama had nothing to do with them or is actively fighting against them.
I half expect Sullivan to next claim that Obama, like some ancient King, also deserves credit for good aspects of the seasonal rains and making the sun rise every morning in the East.