Obama's flip-flop on medical marijuana last month might seem like a political ploy meant to appease Middle Americans for whom legit cannabis dispensaries aren't even an option, let alone a right.
After all, if you don't like it, who are going to vote for? Mitt Romney? Yeah right.
But it turns out that if you look at the numbers — at least these numbers — Obama's anti-weed stance might constitute a political misstep:
Nearly three-fourths of American voters (74 percent) say they “want the Obama administration to respect individual state medical marijuana laws,” according to data just released by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research (PDF).
The numbers, at least on the surface, look legit, including a random sample of 1,000 Americans and an error rate of plus or minus three percent.
Still, these things can be twisted depending on how the questions are asked. Here's how they asked that one:
Do you feel President Obama should: (ORDER ROTATED)
– Respect the medical marijuana laws in these states, or
– Use federal resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who
are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws?
Not bad. The poll was commissioned by the pro-pot Marijuana Policy Project.
As a candidate, Obama pledged not to make federal prosecution a priority in medical marijuana states.
But last month he told Rolling Stone magazine that his hands were tied (which isn't true) — that his Department of Justice couldn't just ignore federal law and stop its enforcement efforts against what he described as “big” cannabis businesses.
Surprisingly, every demographic that pollsters looked at was in support of keeping Obama's federal agents away from pot in medical-legal states, including, according to MPP:
… 75% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans, and, notably 79% of Independents … Even among the least supportive group (those identified as over 65 years of age), 64% were in favor of respecting state law.
Wow. Time to flip-flop again, Mr. President?