It is not hard to see how critics of the war on drugs got the impression that Barack Obama was sympathetic to their cause.
Jacob Sullum does a fine job of analyzing Barack Obama’s record so far regarding drug policy, both candidate Obama and President Obama.
Kerlikowskeâ€™s earnest insistence that you can end the war on drugs if you stop calling it that gives you a sense of the chasm between rhetoric and reality in Obamaâ€™s drug policies, which by and large have been remarkably similar to his predecessorâ€™s.
The jury is no longer out. The verdict is clear.
â€œI initially had high hopes,â€ says Marsha Rosenbaum, â€œbut now believe Obama has abdicated drug policy to the DEA.â€
It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want. But he clearly does not care enough to change the course of the life-wrecking, havoc-wreaking war on drugs.
Sullum ends with a powerful punch:
A misdemeanor marijuana conviction could have been a life-changing event for Obama, interrupting his education, impairing his job prospects, and derailing his political career before it began. It would not have been fair, but it would have spared us the sorry spectacle of a president who champions a policy he once called â€œan utter failureâ€ and who literally laughs at supporters whose objections to that doomed, disastrous crusade he once claimed to share.