Our president is rather fond of making law enforcement decisions on a piecemeal basis— see Dream kids and DOMA— so why not make this one of the ones he declines to enforce? He could pretty easily make a federalism argument for not going guns-blazing into dispensaries obeying state law, and in fact, that was his explanation of his campaign promise. Does he imagine the upside of looking like a tough, law-and-order type with older independents and conservative Democrats is worth the disillusionment of his young, hip base? I’m not so sure, now that legalization has hit 50 percent in the Gallup poll. Ten of the 16 subgroups Gallup tested support legalization at 50 percent or above. Women, southerners, Republicans, conservatives, and 65+ are all under 50 percent (50-64-year-olds just barely, at 49 percent).
Again, I’m going to have to go with institutional support. So long as pot dispensaries need busting, then the DEA has a job. It’s not like his vanishing jobs office can handle explaining to the 10,000 people that work for DEA that their services are no longer needed. Democrats don’t argue with public sector employees.