A hearty congratulations to the many legal and state regulated growers of medicinal marijuana in California. After eight years of being treated like felons by the Bush administration, medical marijuana distributors will no longer be the subject of terrifying and exorbitantly expensive DEA raids.

That’s the gist of Attorney General Eric Holder’s press conference earlier today, during which he stated that raids would only be carried out on marijuana producers who violate both federal and state laws. Not only does this let the 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana get to the matter of regulating the substance without fear of DEA agents kicking down doors action movie style, it also frees up federal resources for important matters – like, say, fighting real crime.

The even better news is that this policy shift, taken alongside the appointment of longtime Seattle Police Chief and leading marijuana decriminalization wonk Gil Kerlikowske for drug czar, points to the current administration taking a more common sense view on national drug policy. It remains extremely doubtful that we’ll see decriminalization of marijuana in the U.S. anytime soon, but until we do, any cease fire we take in the expensive and ultimately futile war on drugs is a step in the right direction.

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