This is a short post, not so much a legal analysis but an attempt to do a “big picture” moment wherein one puts the situation in context.
If there is a legal aspect, it is called “shifting the burden.” The burden was once upon the proponents of cannabis normalization to justify their position. It should have been the other way around: now the time has finally come for proponents of cannabis prohibition to justify their position.
Cannabis prohibition from the beginning was always a mistake: a foolish, false and massively destructive policy.
It was a mistake when the federal government prohibited cannabis on the basis of reefer madness in 1937, it was a mistake in 1972 when the Nixon Administration rejected the proposal of the Shafer Commission, it was a mistake in 1979-1980 when the “drug prevention movement” AKA the “parents movement” took over the federal government and made eradication of all cannabis the foundation of drug control policy, and it was a mistake in 1988 when the DEA administrator rejected the conclusion of the DEA Administrative Law Judge to reschedule.
The arguments now over whether there has been sufficient research to establish a medical use, whether anyone should allow medical use without FDA approval, whether federal law preempts state law or whether state law preempts local law all dance around the big picture – the time has come for the forces of prohibition to justify the last 75 years of prohibiting the plant and all human enterprise associated with it.
One thought on “Cannabis prohibition was always a mistake and now there is a lot of explaining to do”
Well articulated analysis of the situation. I agree that it's time to turn the question on its head.