Drug policy and mass incarceration were the most glaring omissions in President Obama’s State of the Union address last night, says The Atlantic. The egalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington is significant, given the number of Americans in custody for drug offenses, the disproportionate impact on minority families, and the tension between anti-prohibitionist states and federal law enforcement. Obama told the New Yorker that state legalization experiments should go forward. But drug policy was missing from his speech.
So was the subject of mass incarceration generally, despite its relevance to a problem that was mentioned: Americans who face obstacles to joining the middle class. Prison reform is actually a subject where significant bipartisan cooperation is possible, says the magazine. Obama barely mentioned guns, saying, “I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.”