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Contribution to Book
A Federalist George W. Bush and an Anti-Federalist Barack Obama? The Irony and Paradoxes behind Republican and Democratic Administration Drug Policies
A War that Can’t Be Won: Binational Perspectives on the War on Drugs (2013)
  • José D. Villalobos, University of Texas at El Paso
Abstract

During President George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House, his administration stood clearly against state-level efforts in California and elsewhere to decriminalize soft drugs. Despite his loyalty to smaller government values and state sovereignty on other issues, the prospect of state-level drug decriminalization led Bush to pursue federal means of enforcing anti-drug laws. Years later, President Barack Obama, though known for his reputation as a federalist, shifted power over drug policy enforcement more towards the state level as a means to allow certain states to enact drug decriminalization policies at their will, particularly with respect to medicinal marijuana. The irony of Bush and Obama’s willingness to turn away from their philosophical views of government control in order to satisfy their personal political preferences regarding drug policy has been largely overlooked and merits scholarly inquiry, particularly at a time when polarizing rhetoric over government involvement in people’s lives has been dominating the political airwaves. In this chapter, I examine this historical irony, the institutional impact of such policy shifts, and how they may shape U.S. drug policy moving forward.

Publication Date
September, 2013
Editor
Tony Payan, Kathleen Staudt, and Z. Anthony Kruszewski
Publisher
University of Arizona Press
Publisher Statement
Copyright belongs to the University of Arizona Press.
Citation Information
José D. Villalobos. "A Federalist George W. Bush and an Anti-Federalist Barack Obama? The Irony and Paradoxes behind Republican and Democratic Administration Drug Policies" Tucson, AZA War that Can’t Be Won: Binational Perspectives on the War on Drugs (2013)
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/jdvillalobos/38/