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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marijuana, Federalism, and Public Opinion

In chapter 3, we discuss ways in which debates on federalism may make for unusual alliances. The latest example is marijuana policy. From The New York Times:
People who use marijuana for medical purposes and those who distribute it to them should not face federal prosecution, provided they act according to state law, the Justice Department said Monday in a directive with far-reaching political and legal implications...The politics swirling around marijuana cross ideological lines. For instance, in effectively deferring to the states on some issues involving marijuana, the Obama administration is taking what could be seen as a states’ rights stance, more commonly associated with conservatives.

Chapter 8 discusses public opinion. According to Gallup, support for legalization of marijuana has risen: