Obama is a historic president and up against an opposition party with too many corrupt, idiotic, and powerful people. Yet, I have some quarrels with the Obama Administration, having failed, at times, in offering up courageous leadership. I will give two salient examples of that.
One is marijuana related. Now in 2014, innumerous states have legalized medical marijuana and two states have legalized recreational marijuana. However, federal law still considers marijuana an illegal and dangerous narcotic in the same category as heroin and cocaine. It is now common knowledge that it is ludicrous to make these comparisons.
Federal policy, interfering with scientific research, is denying the medical benefits to too many people who would greatly have their lives enhanced by its use. It is well known that people afflicted with MS, cancer, brain injuries and impairments, just to name a few, can be helped by the medical benefits of marijuana. It’s time for president Obama to provide leadership in this area and, at least, legalize medical marijuana.
A second problematic area is the Obama Administration’s view of Edward Snowden. Snowden has significantly altered the public consciousness of spying in this country. The veracity of his revelations have not been challenged and the reverberations continue as the sleeping public now realizes privacy has been compromised. The administration’s view is that Snowden violated his oath and has jeopardized national security. They want to prosecute him and the prospect is 35 years in prison.
The Snowden situation parallels Daniel Ellsberg and the “Pentagon Papers” during the Vietnam War. Ellsberg stole secret Pentagon papers and illegally revealed them to the New York Times, who published them. The “Pentagon Papers” clearly showed that the Johnson Administration had lied to the American public for the justification of going into Vietnam. With impending prosecution for treason, Ellsberg holed up in sanctuaries and ultimately was pardoned.
Obama, though embarrassed by Snowden’s stark disclosures, needs to respect that it has created a worthwhile debate if we are to be a free society. President Obama needs to be a courageous leader and pardon Edward Snowden.