It’s 2014, and the White House now says that cannabis is a state’s rights issue. That’s great, but it’s a long time coming. President Obama – the same man who said that federal funds shouldn’t be used to circumvent state marijuana laws when he was a Senator – became President in January of 2009.

For over 5 years we have seen an evolution from a record number of raids on legal medical marijuana businesses to a return to a position Obama held 6 years ago. Why did we need all the bad stuff in between? Who was The Obama Administration trying to impress? What was gained but allowing hundreds of raids against state-legal businesses?

Why did we need 5 years of delay? As I’ve asked recently, what is wrong with a progressive Democrat favoring states being allowed to decide on marijuana issues? Did Obama somehow gain conservative voters in 2012 that were convinced by his tough stance on medical marijuana?

Unlikely. So why? Why did people have to suffer for 5 years for Obama to make a full circle back to where he said he was in 2008?

I hate to be cynical, but could it have been campaign cash from those who have a vested interest in the continuation of cannabis prohibition? Is the answer that simple? Or is it a combination of things, including a true distaste for legalization? Does Obama really believe that marijuana legalization is a bad thing, and is just now bending to the prevailing winds? Was he just paying lip service to the “weed vote” in 2008?

“Better late than never” is a popular saying for a reason. It’s true. But “sooner rather than later” is also a popular saying. Swifter action could have saved a lot of people.