Obama Pot Policy a Victory for States' Rights

Administration takes long-overdue steps to end Bush-era excesses
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 5:31 PM CDT
A box is filled with marijuana plants at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration’s decision to respect state laws on medical marijuana is good policy—and not just because it demonstrates compassion toward cancer and AIDS patients, writes Glenn Greenwald. Despite his critics’ charges of “socialism” and “fascism,” President Obama is showing that his administration, unlike the Bush White House, is willing to stick its neck out for states’ rights.

The policy change is part of a larger shift away from the “drug war” mentality that has dominated US policy since the Nixon era, Greenwald writes for Salon. "The War on Drugs is the pernicious precursor to the War on Terror in so many ways,," he contends. "Anything that moves even a little bit towards abandoning the orthodoxies which sustain it should be applauded."