As someone who has been observing the medical marijuana movement, I experienced a sort of “bong hit of irony” when I saw the headline “Obama Creates Jobs Program For Illegals” on the Drudge Report yesterday. It wasn’t just due to the fact that Obama’s administration has been running around closing and prosecuting well-run, state-legal medical marijuana facilities (after their explicit announcement to the contrary), but because of Obama’s often-repeated hand-wringing to the effect that he couldn’t personally change the status of marijuana, because that’s a job for Congress.
Well, Obama just did just that, by exercising “prosecutorial discretion” in an announcement that certain illegal immigrants would no longer be deported, but allowed to stay here and even work legally. Reason magazine reasonably asked Why can Obama bend the law for young immigrants, but not for drug users? To me, it’s not “drug users” that need protection, but legitimate medical patients who just happen to need cannabis for their particular illness. Do we demonize people who are unlucky enough to need opiates to kill their horrific pain?
So, President Obama, if you really want to help law-abiding Americans with jobs, why not do something to protect the hard-working, law-abiding Americans who happen to need legal medical cannabis to treat their conditions from losing their jobs, simply for testing positive for the harmless substance they already acknowledge to be taking? It’s not like anyone is deliberately contracting cancer, AIDS, depression, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, Crohn’s, etc. just so they can smoke a joint.