USA Today: Opinion: Jonathan Turley: Fighting Pot With Water
All the evidence that you need to know that Barack Obama is not a Liberal (even though I wish he was) is to look at his administration's approach when it comes to the failed War on Drugs, marijuana, privacy and civil liberties. It's always security first with this President and his security team. Security always before freedom with them. I'm not saying President Obama is not a Liberal, but certainly not a Liberal in the classical sense. And at best a Progressive in the paternalistic prohibitionist sense when it comes to these personal and security issues. But with clear liberal or progressive leanings when it comes to economic policy.
And the Obama Administration's water policy with their federal water agency when it comes to shutting down marijuana farmers and their water by refusing water to these farmers and saying they can't have water for their marijuana growth is a perfect example of that. They've concluded that taking a big government anti-federalist position when it comes to marijuana and saying that even though two states have now legalized it that they've decided they aren't going to shutdown their marijuana in the old fashion way. By continuing to arrest marijuana users, dealers and growers. Because now they would be on their own and without the help from state police. And politically it wouldn't look good with their own liberal base.
So what the Obama Administration does instead of breaking through the front door to prevent marijuana use of all kinds, they sneak through the backdoor and cutoff marijuana farmers supply of water so they can no longer grow their product that is now legal in their own state Colorado or Washington. And that is where the anti-liberal, anti-federalist, pro-big government leanings of the Obama Administration comes in. To prohibit things they see as dangerous even if they are now legal in some states.
What the Obama Administration could do to help themselves with their liberal base and with Independents and with Congressional Democrats who are facing tough elections in November is to back off on marijuana where it is now legal at least at the state level. Back off technically and in actuality and to say "we are going to see how these experiments go and see them through. Because we know prohibition is not working because people use marijuana anyway regardless if it's legal or not and generally smart enough not to get caught". That would help them with Congressional Democrats who are in tough races because it help bring Democrats to the polls and give them a reason to vote Democratic in November.