The War on Drugs continues, four decades after President Richard Nixon commenced hostilities. President Barack Obama--the third president in a row to have used illicit substances in his youth--is no drug warrior. However, he seems unlikely to challenge the disastrous new prohibition.
The president has, however, ended the federal campaign against medical marijuana, ordering administration officials to respect state laws legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes. This policy will grow increasingly important as more states allow use of med-pot (for instance, in November Maine voters legalized medical marijuana dispensaries). Congress should approve legislation introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), codifying administration policy into law.
In my opinion, the Nobel Peace Prize is well awarded. It may be also the strongest-ever political act of the premier peace-forwarding organization in the world. They offer the prize to President Obama not only for his achievements but also as an allotment of authority to work on the world stage, at a time when he needs it.
Here the Nobel Prize is not a symbol of recognition but a vehicle to end wars.
Many were surprised by the announcement. But I think we lose perspective on how momentous it is for an African American to be the leader of our powerful nation. Our President has shown himself to be quite adept at his job. His time in office so far, less than a year, has hinted at an influential presidency. The world looks at all of this, rightly so, as a major shift in the global political landscape.