Many politicians may not support marijuana legalization, but they do support ending the confusion surrounding how the federal government will institute its laws versus how the states will. But apparently one Republican senator likes the confusion.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas made an appearance on Sunday TV yesterday when he was asked about marijuana legalization. Cotton said that he supports medical marijuana and states who decide to legalize the drug, but said he doesn't think the federal government should change its laws on the issue.
“I think right now what we’re seeing across the states is exactly what our federalist system is designed to do, to allow the states to experiment and see what may work and what doesn’t work,” Cotton said. But added, “I don’t think we should, in Congress, change the laws that would essentially not just decriminalize or even legalize marijuana but allow it to be commercialized because of all of the negative side effects that would have.”
These are two seemingly inconsistent beliefs. He says he believes states should be able to choose their own laws, but he doesn't support the federal government changing the laws to allow them to do so?
Cotton then said that he doesn't think the federal government needs to change their laws because he doesn't think they will go after states with legalized marijuana.
“I don’t anticipate the Department of Justice will take steps to interfere with states like Arkansas that have taken the somewhat modest, restrained step of adopting a medical marijuana program that is going to be very tightly regulated,” he said.
Of course, he fails to note that the only reason the DOJ doesn't go after states with medical marijuana is because they're prohibited to do so by Congress. And that many worry that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to go after states with recreational marijuana because they do not have the same protections as medical states.
Essentially, Cotton is showing the two sides of the Republican position on the issue. They're trying to appease pro-marijuana voters by saying they support states choosing their own laws, but then they want to appease the conservative anti-cannabis voters by keeping the drug illegal.
They won't be able to straddle the fence forever.
(h/t Marijuana Moment)