Ambers still believes that Obama will tackle America’s drug laws during his second term:
Several Obama advisers told me that he wants to tackle the drug problem at some point during his second term, and nothing has changed. I would be surprised, and chagrined, and apologetic to readers, if, at the end of the term, Obama has done nothing. He has four years ahead of him. I understand the frustration of drug reformers. They will have to wait. The politics are shifting on drugs, but they’re still optically difficult for a black president. Timing matters.
Mike Riggs voiced his skepticism last week. He’s right to. For two years, some of us assailed Obama for dragging his feet on gay rights. But now think of the last four years culminating in that Inaugural Speech yesterday – a speech that, despite its rather pedestrian critics, will for ever be a part of every gay American’s consciousness of American history. My own appreciation of Obama’s deep understanding of the gay experience – because of his extraordinary capacity for empathy and identity – is here. Throughout the 2008 primaries, we were told he wouldn’t be as fierce an advocate as Hillary Clinton. Well, that’s unknowable. What’s knowable is that those of us who trusted him but insisted on results … were right.
For all those of you who would love to see the corner turned on marijuana as it just has on marriage, I have just a few words: Make. Him. Do. It. With passion, anger, relentless – but above all, by reason and conversation with your fellow citizens. As with marriage, the closet must fall before real consciousness shifts.