The Pot at the End of the Rainbow

Federal drug agents won’t pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.

After years of “compasionate conservatism” which refused to decriminalize medical marijuana on the federal level, this is a welcome change. Not only does this provide a great relief to those who need marijuana for medical purposes, but it makes great economic sense as well.

If marijuana can be sold legally, it can be taxed. And by far and large, our prisons are bursting with non-violent drug-related “criminals.” We can save a bundle by not incarcerating those who use pot for medicinal purposes, as well as those who operate the dispenseries.

One caveat: if you’re running a dispensery as a cover for a wider drug operation, the DEA will still go after you.