The important lesson from all of this is that leaders in Washington shouldn't start believing their own press releases. Go ahead and claim voters endorsed everything you stand for, but don't start acting like it's true. The American people did not suddenly decide they don't care about clean air, clean water, and a healthy climate.
Despite repeated public declarations by the Obama administration that it isn't targeting patients growing for their own personal use, the Department of Justice continues to aggressively go after people who are in full compliance with their state's medical marijuana law.
Even in states with medical marijuana laws, VA clinicians are still forbidden to discuss the benefits of this medicine with their patients.
No matter where you stand on the issues, you must concede that there will be extreme gridlock for the next two years: Congress will block President Obama's appointments, while in turn the president will use up a lot of ink with a steady stream of vetoes when Congress passes bills to undermine his agenda.
What may seem like a surprisingly fast turn toward legalization has actually been a long, slow movement against pot's prohibition -- one that began in the early 1960s, peaked in the late '70s, and then failed to secure a single major victory again until the late '90s.
As we elevate our vision and lift our voices, I urge Congress to propel reform of the drug war as it affects all Americans by investing a blue-ribbon panel with a charge to review prohibition alongside other possible approaches to control and regulate illicit use of drugs.
Championed by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, the newly passed Ballot Measure 2 will tax and regulate the substance in a manner similar to alcohol, allowing sales to only those 21 years of age and older.
A high GOP just might become introspective enough to realize that Americans are fed up with corrupt Wall Street Banks, tax loopholes for greedy corporations, a shredding of a safety net for neighbors in need.
Last night, Democrats got well and truly shellacked once again in a midterm election. It was so bad, it's pretty hard for Democrats to even attempt to gild the lily or spot that elusive silver lining. Republicans are consumed with glee, which they've well earned this year.
I'll leave it up to others to debate the reasons behind this apparent contradiction. My own opinion is that ballot initiatives more accurately take the ideological pulse of the people because debates over issues must focus on issues, not personality, temperament or looks.
When historians look back at the movement to end the war on drugs, they might very well point to the 2014 election as the moment when it all got real. With marijuana legalization measures passing in Oregon, Alaska and D.C., there's no longer any denying that drug policy reform is a mainstream -- and quite urgent -- political demand.
Should Initiative 71 become law, our people, our families, and our communities will be freer from the threat of incarceration by the heavy hand of a federal government for which we did not vote and against which we have no democratic recourse.
Much as my kids hated me doing it, I decided to talk to my daughters' friends about their views on Amendment 2.
My Mom, who describes herself as "an antique", has much wisdom to share. What she believes is the bottom line on Amendment 2 -- compassionate care for all -- is what Florida voters should rest their vote on. Needless to say, I completely agree.
None of these items are particularly controversial, but represent simple ways that we can save lives, save money, and make laws fairer. It's too early to call it quits for the year -- it will be even more difficult to get anything done next year with half of the Senate running for president.
As interesting as it is to see which parts of the country will be the next to reform their marijuana laws, the reality is that every candidate on every ballot represents a chance to vote on medical marijuana.