If Obama doesn't want to take the political risk that such a mass pardoning may bring, he could at least start with the most heinous cases, like the many people serving life sentences for as little as cocaine residue in a clothing pocket.
With almost half the states allowing marijuana to be used medicinally, and with Obama's stated opinion that it is "less dangerous" than alcohol, the time has come for rescheduling marijuana. Obama should use the his upcoming State of the Union speech to outline this historic change.
The CSA still provides for criminal penalties for those aiding and abetting the growing and selling of marijuana. That means that if you invest just $1 in purchasing a share of a public company involved in the medical marijuana space, the Federal government could theoretically arrest you.
Obama's plan is good news for medical marijuana advocates, but although this is a historic shift in the War on Drugs, it does not go far enough because it does not resolve the illogic of the underlying legal issue.