I watch with interest -- and some mistrust -- as two men I admire fight a battle they won't win.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne are doing all they can to stop medical marijuana, approved by the voters of this state, from ever becoming a reality.
These two law officers claim that the federal government will prosecute anyone involved in the growth, sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes. That is not true. The justice department, in a memo to all state attorneys, (John Leonardo included) said they would focus limited resources on drug traffickers, not ill individuals and their caregivers who are in compliance with applicable state laws.
Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Horne, Sheriff Arpaio, did you hear that?
Enforcement efforts on these individuals is not an efficient use of federal resources. So as it turns out, you three men really are powerless at this moment in time.
Now, let me say, I would go a step further. I am for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana (what is a small amount is to be determined) for personal use.
Conservative icon William F. Buckley pointed out in the National Review the hundreds of thousands of arrests each year and the billions of dollars expended in prosecution of minor marijuana offenses. The politicians who oppose decriminalization will stop in a liquor store, stock up and have a few drinks after work. Talk about hypocrisy.
They are appealing to a far-right constituency who also stock up at liquor distributors each weekend. Would it surprise you to know that the following were all users of marijuana: George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Ben Franklin? These are not just names, but the actual men who built our America.
How about Bruce Babbitt, Newt Gingrich? The list could go on, but you get the point.
The day is coming. The use of marijuana will be decriminalized.
Officials, stop fighting the will of the people. We voted for the medical use of marijuana. Don't tell me about the feds in "lawless" California, tell me about the feds taking a hands-off approach in Colorado, which happens to have a law similar to Arizona's.
By the way, the answer to your question if I partake, no I don't.