The other day, a spokesman for Barack Obama announced that as president he would stop federal raids on medical marijuana providers. Since California and other states have legalized medical marijuana, they've been unable to completely flourish because producing and selling marijuana is still a felony under federal law. Unfortunately, that's been the policy since those laws started popping up back during the Clinton administration. Obama's position would be a clean break with current policy.
So the GOP, of course, is jumping all over it. Stupidly, of course:
Barack Obama’s pledge to stop Executive agencies from implementing laws passed by Congress raises serious doubts about his understanding of what the job of the President of the United States actually is. His refusal to enforce the law reveals that Barack Obama doesn’t have the experience necessary to do the job of President, or that he fundamentally lacks the judgment to carry out the most basic functions of the Executive Branch. What other laws would Barack Obama direct federal agents not to enforce?Actually, it's that statement that raises "serious doubts about [the] understanding of what the job of the President . . . actually is."
See, the thing is, people with the duty to enforce the laws possess something called "prosecutorial discretion." That means they don't have to throw every person they can in jail just because they can. On a broader scale, executives - say, the President - can prioritize what crimes should be investigated and charged. There is a finite amount of resources, after all. It would be perfectly reasonable for President Obama (or Clinton) to decide that the resources of the DEA, FBI, and US Attorneys could be better spent going after violent criminals or big-time white collar crooks. In the same way that Duhbya's administration has prioritized anti-terrorism and obscenity prosecutions.
Feel free to disagree with Obama's position on the merits - argue that it makes sense to spend taxpayer dollars to imprison people providing pot to terminally ill folks under a state-approved system - but don't get all blustery about what the "job of the President . . . actually is" when it's clear that you don't understand it yourself.