The DEA Signals Loud & Clear The Only Real Hope Is Congress

“For many, it’s just plain stupid that the federal government’s official policy on marijuana is that it “has a high potential for abuse…and no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.,” but that local jurisdictions are free to develop their own legal medical and recreational markets to sell it.

“Advocates for marijuana and criminal justice reform feel that they were led on by Obama, who in 2015 said that “we should follow the science as opposed to ideology” when it comes to marijuana. But it became clear that the administration was not willing to spend political capital on downgrading or removing marijuana from the controlled substances registry. In January of this year, a White House spokesperson said Obama was waiting for Congress to take the lead: “Why don’t you pass legislation about it and we’ll see what happens?””

“But advocates say that when confronted with a Congress unwillingness to take action on other issues—such as fighting terrorism or helping immigrants—Obama hasn’t hesitated to use (and some say abuse) his executive powers to act. Meanwhile, he’s proved unwilling to take on his own DEA.”

Did The DEA Pragmatically Do Anything?

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