Monday, January 20, 2014

President Obama Says Marijuana Better Than Alcohol


President Obama believes that marijuana is not as dangerous as alcohol and that the ban in most states unfairly targets the poor and minorities.
President Obama Says Marijuana Better Than Alcohol
In an interview with the New Yorker, the president stated that marijuana use is not something that he would suggest for his daughters or anyone else, but prohibition has become a problem for the U.S.
"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous," Mr Obama said.
Marijuana has been a taboo topic for politicians, and even caused former President Bill Clinton some troubles while running for office in 1992 when it was revealed he smoked pot while studying in England, and he responded that he 'didn't inhale' and 'didn't try it again'.
President Obama on the other hand, has been far more candid, admitting to smoking pot and even taking cocaine in his 1995 memoir Dreams of My Father.
"I think that, at this stage, my life is an open book, literally and figuratively. 
Voters can make a judgment as to whether dumb things that I did when I was a teenager are relevant to the work that I've done since that time."
By 2008, voter sentiment across the U.S. had relaxed on the issue of marijuana enough that it didn't seem to factor much in his campaign.
In the New Yorker interview, Mr Obama clarified that he believes pot is less dangerous than alcohol 'in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.
President Obama Says Marijuana Better Than Alcohol
"It's not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy."
But the most troubling aspect of the federal ban on marijuana is it's impact on specific segments of the population - especially African-Americans like himself.
American opinion seems to be falling in line with Mr Obama following the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington State.
"We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing," Mr Obama added.
Following the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington State, the tide seems to be turning towards a more liberal view of pot usage.
The president said it's important for legalization to happen in Colorado and Washington because "it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."
At the same time, Mr Obama believes legalizing marijuana is going to be a challenge for the two states, and that legalizing the substance nationwide lead society in the wrong direction.
"I also think that, when it comes to harder drugs, the harm done to the user is profound and the social costs are profound. And you do start getting into some difficult line-drawing issues.
If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that?
If somebody says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?"

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