Unfortunately, the rest of the government doesn't seem to have gotten the message. In the latest instance of a government agency trying to block legal access to marijuana, the obscure Bureau of Reclamation has stepped into the fray, blocking the use of federal irrigation water for the cultivation of medical or recreational pot. This action follows on the heels of the Treasury and Justice Departments' inconsistent messaging on whether banks will be able to handle funds related to legal marijuana businesses.
This patchwork approach to how the Feds treat businesses and individuals engaged in state-sanctioned marijuana activities will not beat back the legalization wave. Instead, it will only create problems, and slow the process of implementing intelligent and effective reforms.
It is too late to turn back. The choice now before us is between legalizing certain uses of marijuana well or poorly. We applaud Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer in his efforts to make sure legalization is done right. We just wish more of the Federal government would join him.
- Raife Neuman