Obama Keeps Up His Promise. A Cautious Step In Drug Policy.
During his campaign for Presidency, Barack Obama promised that he would restore respect for science whenever Federal policy decisions are made. On Monday, 19 October, 2009, he took the first cautious step when his Department of Justice issued a communication directing agency lawyers against prosecuting those who use or prescribe medical marijuana. But this is limited to states that have legalized the drug for medical purposes.
But it has been categorically clarified that drug traffickers will not be spared.
This announcement represents a very significant departure from the policies of Bush administration and is considered a major breakthrough for those who advocate marijuana for medical purposes. Patients get relief from pain and nausea related to cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other malignant diseases. After Jimmy Carter embarked upon certain enlightened approaches, it is Obama who has embraced science for his drug policy.
The DOJ order clearly states that lawful use of marijuana can be allowed for medical purposes. The expected next step is to codify the DOJ directive so as to formally put cannabis in the list of Schedule II drugs. Other States can enact laws permitting use of medical marijuana.
It is arguably clear that Obama is willing to abandon the backward and punitive rules and policies of earlier administrations.