President Obama recently lifted Bush era federal funding limits for embryonic stem cell research citing science over ideology. A cannabis legalization advocate hopes it is a sign of future drug policy.
"I'm hoping President Obama is going to extend his 'following the science' plans to drugs," says Gary Storck, co-founder of Madison NORML .
Storck has optimism stemming from a recent statement by Obama's attorney general that DEA raids on state medical marijuana programs will no longer happen.
Critics of drug decriminalization or legalization point to the dangers that drug dealers and users cause to communities. Storck says that is a result not of the drugs themselves but prohibition laws that create a lucrative black market. If drugs were legal people wouldn't have to buy "crack on the street corner" but could go to a regulated place says the advocate.
Storck believes current US drug policy has led to destabilization in Latin America including recent escalating violence in Mexico.