On Marijuana, Obama, Christie, and a Nor Cal Judge All Agree: Legalization Is a bad idea

With presidential campaign politics upon us, it's hard to find areas of agreement among key leaders.

But there seems to be one issue that even President Obama, Governor Chris Christie, and a Northern California, Obama-appointed judge can all agree on: marijuana legalization is a bad idea.

Just last week, President Obama told an eager marijuana supporter in Jamaica that: "A lot of folks think you know what, if we just legalize marijuana, then it will reduce the money flowing into the transnational drug trade, there are more revenues and jobs created. I have to tell you that it's not a silver bullet."

He went on to say: "If you are legalizing marijuana how do you deal with other drugs and where do you draw the line? Right now that is not federal policy and I do not foresee, anytime soon, Congress changing the law on a national basis..."

And as if to be lock-step in line with the SAM message, he went on to say: "In the global economy, generally, if you have small- or medium-sized marijuana businesses scattered across the Caribbean and marijuana is suddenly legal, big multinational companies will come in and try to market and control and profit from the trade.

"Our current policy continues to be, in the United States, we need to decrease demand and we need to focus on a public health approach to decreasing demand."

And yesterday, almost in unison, Chris Christie and an Obama-appointed federal rejected legalization outright. Responding to a question at a town hall, the New Jersey governor said, "I will crack down and not permit it." Citing an "enormous addiction problem" in the U.S., Christie said that a very clear message needs to be sent "from the White House on down through federal law enforcement."

Finally, in a case closely watched by marijuana policy wonks, Judge Kimberly Mueller yesterday reaffirmed Congress' role in drug scheduling, and said that she considered all of the evidence presented to her in ordering marijuana remain a Schedule I substance.

Interestingly, all of this came at a time when Pew released a new poll on marijuana showing the same percentage of support for legalization in 2015 as had been the case in 2014 (53%). Democrats, however, were less supportive of legalization in 2015 than 2014 by 4 percentage points, and only 40% of Hispanics in 2015 agreed with legalization.

Some folks want us all to believe that legalization is just inevitable. It's not.