The House Minority Leader and unquestionably the most powerful woman in the country, Nancy Pelosi, took the weed debate to the next level yesterday in an interview with the Denver Post Editorial Board. She did not mince words or beat around the bush in her comments about the historic vote legalizing weed in Colorado and Washington States, as well as states with medical cannabis laws on the books. Here is what she said:
Pelosi said the federal government should not fund enforcement of its marijuana laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana and in Colorado and Washington, which have also legalized recreational use of pot.
“The state (Colorado) has spoken. The law has been passed,” Pelosi said. “There are issues with taxation and regulation, and we need to get on with it.“
CAN YOU HEAR US NOW???
That is right. The people of these states have spoken and it is time for the Feds to do the right thing and end their interference into the laboratories of democracy. Like Nancy said….”GET ON WITH IT.”
This is an important statement for many reasons. First and foremost, it is the highest ranking official to come directly out in support of ending enforcement of weed laws in states that have voted to allow for it. That in itself is an amazing evolution. Just last year I could not imagine Nancy Pelosi ever having the courage to make this statement publicly. But numbers do not lie. When laws pass by 10+ points in a climate where virtually nothing passes by those margins, it is impossible to ignore. Nor is it wise politically to ignore the overwhelming support of the people in order to continue with policies that have been nothing short of a disaster and an absolute failure.
This could also be an important statement from Pelosi because of the way the Obama Administration does business. They have been criticized for their methods of releasing big statements in “trial balloon” form before making direct policy shifts. Just like Vice President Biden was the first to trickle out the policy shift on gay marriage; or when former OMB Director Peter Orszag sent out the Social Security cuts trial balloon right after the election; or the infamous trial balloons introducing the possible controversial Cabinet appointments of Susan Rice and Chuck Hagel. The point is that this administration is notorious for “feeling out” the situation before making a move, so it is very possible that one of Obama’s closest partners, Nancy Pelosi, could be the bearer of the weed legalization trial balloon in this case.
Pelosi is one of the smartest politicos in the game, regardless of where you stand on her politics. She is a shrewd leader who knows how to get on the right side of history when the time comes. She did the same thing last year with gay marriage, as she pressured the Democratic Party to include support for gay marriage in their official party platform. And sure enough, they did…and they won the election big. It is night and day for gay marriage in the political world from where it was just two years ago. It is amazing to see politicians do a complete 180 on this issue, and now it is not politically viable to oppose gay marriage, unless you are some right wing nuthole from Alabama.
The same thing is happening with the weed debate. Just look around you. Politicians are scrambling to wrap their heads around it. Prohibitionists are out in force kicking and screaming to maintain the evils of the drug war because they too see the writing on the wall. This thing is ending…and it is ending soon. The debate has turned the corner, and it is only a matter of time before legal weed is a reality in America. While Nancy may be the first prominent big name politician to come out in support of changing these policies, be sure she will not be the last.
A lot of these politicians will learn to BE A NANCY.
Pelosi has long been a leader of policy change and a powerful voice in the national political scene. Nancy is also a powerful voice in the weed debate because of her role as a woman and a mother. That is a powerful position for the cause because women are a lot of the folks that we need help convincing that legalizing weed for adults will be okay. The “soccer mom” situation is very real, as we have allowed the prohibition lobbies to scare the bejeezus out of parents, and moms in particular, convincing them that weed would somehow be the downfall of their precious children. A strong woman’s voice can help to ease those fears and will help to shift the debate.
I do not know how to convince the folks in this movement to wake up and see what is happening before their eyes. When I hear California activists continue to talk about waiting until 2016 to put forth an initiative, all I can think is that they need to “BE A NANCY.” When we have the ultimate politician and most powerful woman in the nation saying “WE NEED TO GET ON WITH IT” and our own movement of folks supposedly committed to reform saying “We should wait a few more years to get on with it” there is a pretty big disconnect IMO. The world is gonna get on with it, with or without us. That is a fact.
So call me “Nancy.” I am down….I am ready to get on with it and to get on with it now.