"Legalized 420 will lead to massive crime on our streets and a nation of pot addicts ... If Libertarians controlled the country, we would be living in a third-world country,” said Jack Bardo, southwest chair at Virginia Young Democrats
No, seriously, he said that.
In response to criticism on Facebook of his proposed “Obama Campaign Kickoff” at Virginia Tech — which is mostly centered around the fact that Barack Obama has made George W. Bush look “liberal” when it comes to civil liberties and the war on drugs — Bardo seriously argued that legalizing marijuana would be tantamount to legalizing murder.
Why would a “liberal” sound like he was pandering to Bible Belt social conservatives? It’s probably because he is so eager to defend President Obama that he has cast reason, principle and logic aside.
There is a lot of truth to the line of thinking behind, “Only Nixon could go to China.” But it fails in defense of the current president.
Sure, a “liberal” Democrat legalizing, or even being soft on, drug policy could be destroyed by a Republican in his reelection campaign.
That said, Obama did not just continue the status quo in the failed war on drugs. Instead, Obama has been far worse than Bush with regard to wasting taxpayer dollars to ban the sale and possession of marijuana.
“I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” Obama said while campaigning in 2008 — he was referring to raiding medicinal marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal.
Campaign Obama was a great guy, with all that “hopey changey” stuff, but things have changed for the worse.
A scathing article in “Rolling Stone” on Obama’s marijuana gaffe sums things up perfectly: “With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts. There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana. He’s gone from first to worst,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. College students flocked to Obama in record numbers in 2008, in part because of his statements on marijuana policy.
Many others were attracted to him because he seemed so strong on civil liberties, which should make sense because, obviously, college students do not like the idea of the government wire-tapping their phones or hacking their computers without a warrant.
Despite this, Obama reneged on his campaign promise to revise or completely repeal the Patriot Act.
Here again, however, one could make a very good argument that Obama was worse than even Bush on civil liberties. For example, Obama signed the unprecedented National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, breaking his campaign promise on “signing statements” and allowing for the indefinite detention of foreign nationals without trial and, arguably, the same for U.S. citizens.
We could go into the particulars of Obama’s failures on wide-range issues related to civil liberties, like the Guantanamo Bay, Bradley Manning, torture policy, etc. However, his entire philosophy on civil liberties can and should be summed up by the murder of Abdul Rahman al Awlaki.