It doesn’t look like the Obama Administration is going to take any kind of leadership role when it comes to marijuana law reform in the last year of his presidency.
At a recent House Democratic retreat, the President told Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) that he would prefer Congress take the lead on the issue.
"On marijuana, he gave the same answer as when I asked him seven years ago: 'If you get me a bill and get it on my desk, I'll probably sign it,'" Cohen said.
Obama’s Press Secretary clarified things further: "There are some in the Democratic Party who have urged the President to take this kind of action . The President's response was, 'If you feel so strongly about it, and you believe there is so much public support for what it is that you're advocating, then why don't you pass legislation about it and we'll see what happens.'"
If Obama was interested, he could take the lead on this issue and get real, concrete things accomplished, but for whatever reason, he holds back. He’s done running for office, so who is he worried about offending?
Furthermore, Obama has shown a penchant for bypassing Congress, but when it comes to marijuana rescheduling he wouldn’t even have to. Why won’t he at least get the process of rescheduling started or throw his weight behind the idea? Why won’t he pressure the DEA to take action on the multiple petitions that have been filed with them?
At the very least, the cannabis community knows where they stand with Obama. If they are looking for support from that direction, it seems there will be none coming.