Well, the reviews are in and the consensus seems to be that Obama missed a major opportunity to deliver a bold statement on one the biggest debacles facing our nation: the failed war on drugs.
Even Business Insider is highlighting the fact that Obama failed to so much as mention marijuana during his speech. "Obama could have used the State of the Union to announce that he was directing the Drug Enforcement Administration not to interfere with the legal marijuana trade in Colorado and Washington, and to call on Congress to repeal federal laws against marijuana," the magazine argues.
Obama's silence on the issue is all the more maddening, given the remarkable developments regarding marijuana that have unfolded in the past few weeks.
First, there was the interview Obama gave with The New Yorker's David Remnick two weeks ago, in which he acknowledged that marijuana was no more dangerous than alcohol. Then, last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama Administration was planning to come up with a way to allow banks to work with legal marijuana dispensaries despite the fact cannabis is still illegal under federal law.
"You don't want just huge amounts of cash in these places," Holder argued during a speech at the University of Virginia. "There's a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash–substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective."
Indeed, as even Time magazine noted, you don't have to look much further than Orange County to see examples of how the cannabis-cash nexus is hazardous to your health. The magazine specifically cited the terrible case of an unnamed O.C. dispensary owner who was tortured and sexually mutilated by suspects who apparently thought he'd buried a large pile of money in the desert.