Do I believe that marijuana should be legalized? Yes. Would I vote for legalization if I were a member of Congress? Yes. Would I support bills that decriminalize marijuana at the state level? Yes. Would I have voted for either the Colorado or Washington initiatives that legalized, rather than merely decriminalized, marijuana in those states? No. Would I have signed the bill that Colorado governor John Hickenlooper did to establish a regulatory scheme for marijuana in his state? No, I would have vetoed it.
At first glance it doesn’t sound logical that I favor legalization of marijuana and yet would oppose the various initiatives at the state level to do so. How, exactly, are these seemingly conflicting viewpoints not contradictory?
The answer lies in the second question I ask. The other four questions all deal with state-level issues. That second question is one of federal power. Individual policies are important, but there is something even more important than individual policies. That is respect for the federal Constitution, which includes acting in accordance with its provisions.