Sorry, Bill Richardson. My Bad.

I feel like a jerk. I wrote a hopeful piece about Bill Richardson, president-elect Barack Obama’s selection for the Department of Commerce, for AlterNet. Sure, it was also about Richardson’s stance on cannabis legalization, or marijuana for you non-scientific alcoholics, smokers, caffeine addicts and junkies out there. But it certainly didn’t warrant Richardson stepping down from the post before he could even take it, as he did last week.

But what can I say? I’ve got pull. People read me. And then they go out and ruin everything.

So, sorry Bill Richardson fans. I guess I should have just let him sneak in under the radar. But now he remains yet another Obama selection to suck wind. Read the rest at AlterNet.

Could Obama’s Pro-Marijuana Commerce Secretary Spell a Golden Era for Pot Reform?
December was an interesting month for marijuana, or cannabis as it is known to scientists and all too few others. To kick off the month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against reviewing a California state appellate court ruling arguing that its medical marijuana law trumped federal law. That, in effect, set the stage for better implementation of medical-marijuana law in not just California, but every state that has one, while also reminding local police that the job of enforcing federal drug policy is, in fact, not its job.

Two days later, the oldest stash of cannabis ever found was unearthed from a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi desert, aptly reminding humankind and its ass-backwards politicians that pot has been around a lot longer than lobbyists. If the eye-candy archaeological slideshow didn’t fully illustrate the value of such a stash, the scientists did.

“As with other grave goods, it was traditional to place items needed for the afterlife in the tomb with the departed,” explained Ethan Russo, lead author of the Journal of Experimental Botany paper that announced the find.

But as readers pondered packing their own trusty pot for use in the afterlife, better news broke on the same day: President-elect Barack Obama nominated New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to his Cabinet as secretary of commerce. Given that Obama had already confessed to inhaling — “that was the point,” he classically cracked — and once declared the hyperbolically named War on Drugs “an utter failure,” adding that America needed to “rethink and decriminalize” American cannabis laws, Richardson’s nomination to Commerce was cause for celebration. After all, Richardson signed a bill in 2007 making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana.

“So what if it’s risky? It’s the right thing to do,” he said of his decision. “My God, let’s be reasonable.” MORE @ ALTERNET

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