Should Obama Push for Legalization of Marijuana, Gay Marriage?

Voters in a few states sent both issues skating to the left Tuesday, but was the landmark election a fluke or a sign of federal legislation to come?

The U.S. took a big hop to the left in Tuesday’s elections.

Voters in three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington—approved same-sex marriage, joining the lot that already includes Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Meanwhile, though it remains illegal in Minnesota, voters there rejected a constitutional amendment to ban it.

Washington and Colorado threw another left-leaning punch by being the first two states to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and older. It is unclear how these measures will be handled at the federal level, where it remains illegal.

President Obama, who grabbed a sweeping Electoral College victory Tuesday to push him into a second term, has already come out in support of gay marriage. "I've always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally," he said earlier this year.

In his 2004 U.S. senate race, he called the war on drugs "an utter failure, and I think that we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws, but I’m not somebody who believes in legalization of marijuana."

But since taking over as president, there have been crackdowns on medical marijuana, especially in California.

"I can't nullify congressional law," Obama told Rolling Stone this year. "I can't ask the Justice Department to say, 'Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.'

"What I can say is, 'Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.' As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes."

Should President Obama steer marijuana and gay marriage toward national legalization?

Bob November 09, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Oh, by the way. Please let us all know where in the bible it says that using marijuana is sin. I already know the bible prefers incest, violence and slavery to homosexuality.
Christopher Lee Raley November 09, 2012 at 04:20 AM
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. -- Ezekiel 34:29 Amen
Bob November 09, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Now that is really stretching it. This plant of renown is marijuana? Thanks for the laugh.
Ryan Mortensen November 09, 2012 at 07:47 AM
I would agree with you, but I think weed causes the opposite of, "...they shall be no more consumed with hunger..."
Ryan Mortensen November 09, 2012 at 07:51 AM
The president should treat both of these subjects seriously. The problem is that too many people forget that the president is not the final authority to what the government does. There are a few hundred other people we have to get through before it's his call, and far too many people pretend those others do not exist. We have news coverage on the presidents almost two years before the election, but in many cases, people don't see the name of their legislators until they're at the polling booth.
Christopher Lee Raley November 09, 2012 at 08:37 AM
The tax dollars will be in our community, instead of drug dealers. 90-150 billion dollars taxable nationally. Canada has the proof. Colorado, and Washington are role models for where the rest of this country is going. They will have no choice, our economy is too far gone to not look at this issue VERY SERIOUSLY.
Ryan Mortensen November 09, 2012 at 09:39 AM
If those are the numbers right now while it's illegal, imagine how many closet marijuana supporters who do not use simply because it is illegal would then also be factored into the amount of profit the nation would see from this.
Pete November 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Because if we allow our bible to determine law, we are no different than the fanatical countries in the middle east that are killing our soldiers... You can't see a difference?
Pete November 09, 2012 at 02:39 PM
It is a cash crop, it is an untapped source of revenue and tax, it is unregulated, therefore susceptible to unhealthy conditions and unclean practices. On the law side, it is a waste of government resource to patrol, takes valuable tax dollars to manage since it has proven to be unmanageable, and legalizing it would eliminate a huge portion of crime in society. People have been making untaxed dollars off of it for decades.. To the person that said legalize prostitution I somewhat agree, in the sense regulation would safeguard health and safety but morally I would be somewhat against - but if you left it up to the states to manage thats a little different, because tourist revenue could help some states :)
Lilly White November 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
My sentiments EXACTLY! People who choose to partake in drug use will get their drugs whether they are legal or not. Instead of spending billions to try and fight a war that will never, ever be won...why not tax it and allow it to be sold and maybe, just maybe this country will bet out of debt. Just kidding!! The current administration will more than likely spend faster than drug sales could replenish!
Lilly White November 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
"get" out of debt, not "bet" out of debt!
Kenya Weaver November 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM
To make a comment that the Bible prefers incest and such reveals your indepth study of the bible. Read about Gomorrah, it was full of homosexuals and incest and it was wiped off the face of the planet.
Ryan Mortensen November 09, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I never have understood this concept that it is immoral. It hurts no one, no one has died from it, it reduces the risk of cancer in tobacco smokers, and some claim it is a cure. I haven't heard stories about some redneck who smoked a joint and then beat his wife. Someone please explain how it is not moral to use marijuana, recreationally, without the typical use of some religion-based argument because contrary to what many believe, religion is not the final authority to what moral means.
Just my thought November 09, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Do none of you believe that pot is just a gateway drug to other harder substances? Besides if it were a gov't controled substance- do you not think that there would be growers out there that have " the good pot" not the gov't pot? Still you would have illegal pot and when all of the pot smokers were tired of pot they would move on to other drugs. You would have people buying pot for underage people just like they do alchol and then you have a child that may not have been a drug user, but, "hey I mean it is legal...so why not, right?"
Lorelai Golightly November 09, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The idea that pot smokers would "get tired of pot" and move on to harder drugs suggests that the people that are going to smoke pot aren't already doing so. It is already in widespread use, the issue is prosecuting peaceful members of society for doing something basically harmless (and, if there is harm, it is only to the person doing it and certainly isn't any more harmful that alcohol or tobacco, both of which are legal). Personally, no, I don't believe it's a gateway drug to harder substances. I think the very fact that it's illegal makes exposure to other harmful drugs more likely. When are people more likely to see hard drugs? When people involved in the criminal drug trade are selling them pot.
Rhett November 09, 2012 at 06:47 PM
"Do none of you believe that pot is just a gateway drug to other harder substances?" No. Are soft drinks a just a gateway drink to other harder drinks, like vodka or beer? "Besides if it were a gov't controled substance- do you not think that there would be growers out there that have " the good pot" not the gov't pot?" No. It will be government regulated, not "controlled". Also, if anyone has the means to grow potent hemp, it's the government. "You would have people buying pot for underage people just like they do alchol and then you have a child that may not have been a drug user, but, "hey I mean it is legal...so why not, right?" Caffeine is a drug, literally. Whether you like it or not, your kids are theoretically already drug users. Legalizing pot will not increase juvenile delinquency.
East Cobb Prophet November 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM
For all the bible-loving crowd: Genesis 1:29 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
East Cobb Prophet November 09, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Here's the thing about it being a "gateway drug". Those who are against it rig their studies so that they interview those folks already using hard drugs. And when they are asked if they started with MJ of course they are going to say yes. Yet I know many, many people who smoke and the only other hard drugs they have gatewayed to is alcohol. Any study can be set up to achieve the results you are looking for. Please just do your own homework instead of blindly believeing Nancy Reagan and her ilk. It's very easy to research for yourself on the net these days.
Christopher Lee Raley November 09, 2012 at 08:05 PM
How stupid do you look letting your country push you around. I decided to share this from my Facebook page in hopes more people will lead. This country still believes in a system that is obviously broken. Greed has taken the hearts of the free, and turned them into prisoners. We live in a country that was founded on freedom, and enterprise. But around every turn is a road block, and union bailout. Private corporations are profiting from our poverty. Public schools, police departments, healthcare, counties, businesses, and the country are all in danger of collapse. Wasted tax dollars, dirty politics, fraud, theft, big business, and corporate corruption have left us on a downward spiral. I will fight for my freedom, will you? Like · Jonathan Madden, Linda Ngan Nguyen, Ricky Allen and 3 others like this. Julie Ngo What are you gunna do Tuesday at 1:14pm via mobile · Like Christopher Lee Raley Revolution is what happened last time the people demanded change. Today we have technology. Our words are our weapons, and information the bullets. We will make a difference now that everyone has access to the bullets. Their weapons are undeniable facts. The technological war is here. I fight on the front lines.
Christopher Lee Raley November 09, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Here's a link to the Douglas County D.A. on Facebook responding http://www.facebook.com/#!/DouglasCoDA/posts/507231525968835?comment_id=87014695&notif_t=share_reply
Brian November 09, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Ok, first a question for the author: How is legalizing marijuana left-leaning? Pot is neither socialist or fascist. Both forms of government tend to restrict things like that. However, people on the right are also in favor of small government. Therefore, legalizing pot seems more right-leaning to me since it's in favor of shrinking government. I think you just looked at the states that did it and assumed "left-leaning". On another front, we waste too much money on the war against marijuana. Of course, smoking too much pot and driving should be illegal and there should be legal limits for driving, just like for alcohol. And yes, there are some drugs that are really bad that we need to keep out. However, for pot our money could be better spent on a war against identity-theft, fraud, and more proactive measures to prevent copper and appliance theft in urban areas by things like setting up "bait houses" from land bank holdings with goodies to attract thieves in a sting.
Kenneth Buxton November 10, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Please do not publish articles without 1) the name(s) of the author(s) , and 2) references for their factual claims. Thanks!
Craig Ballew November 11, 2012 at 08:58 PM
The government's War on Drugs made marijuana a gateway drug. In 1976 you could buy a Glad bag full of pot (over an ounce) for $10 and a pound for $100. At the high school I attended 80% had tried it, 60% smoked it occasionally and about 25% smoked it all of the time. All of the harder drugs (cocaine, meth, heroin) cost about a $100 and hardly anybody tried or did any of the hard drugs because it was too expensive and not worth it with cheap pot. Then Pres. Carter's Administration started spraying herbicide on the Mexican marijuana fields that reduced supply and by the time he left office, an ounce of pot was selling for $80-100. So then people had a choice to spend $100 for pot or for a hard drug. They could rely on a friend to buy a bag of pot so they would try the coke or meth and share it with that friend. All of a sudden in the 1980s cocaine and meth use spiraled out of control. Why? The Federal and state governments attempt to reduce the supply of pot raised the price to where it was equivalent to the hard drugs which led to experimentation and addiction. Studies from other countries who have legalized drugs have shown that use actually decreases because illegal drug use funds other illegal activities which leads to an ever increasing drug culture. Cigarettes are legal but use is declining because of taxation, regulation and education.
Brian November 14, 2012 at 05:11 AM
It's a state's right, not a federal right, to legalize marijuana. We should divert some resources from the war on drugs to a war on ID theft and scams.
Pete November 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM
@ Just my though - This fallacy of gateway drugs makes me a little jaded, sorry.. Pot is as much a gateway drug as is alcohol or tobacco . Sorry, a little grumpy from having to get carded for buying an OVER THE COUNTER decongestant - thank God they only let me have 30 tablets to get over this cold, because I am liable to go and make some meth or something.. Regarding gov't control - it's not control, it's regulated - Let's take alcohol.. Yeah, you still have local distillers making moonshine, but all in all it is fairly mainstream - the same would inevitably happen for Pot. You would have legal dealers, licensed to sell, and required by law to check ages for minors or possible misuse.. See my above example for decongestant... And regarding your comment on children purchasing - I'd rather my kid smoke pot than sniff bath salts, or smoke synthetic products or anything else kids try or do now a days because they can't get the real thing - but I also have been good about raising my kids so i don't worry so much about drugs with them, but still parent - if we do our job, they don't abuse. The smokers will still be smokers, but what makes you think there will be a huge wave of new smokers suddenly craving pot after all these years? Let's spend more time working on real world problems like childhood obesity and education failures and less time on "supposed what if" problems like what might happen if pot is legalized..
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