Fresh From Hemp News

U.S.: President Obama Says Marijuana Is No More Dangerous Than Alcohol

Submitted by steveelliott on Sun, 01/19/2014 – 23:01 2014
Obama on Marijuana

President Calls New Laws Legalizing Marijuana in Colorado and Washington ‘Important’

In an interview with the New Yorker published on Sunday, President Barack Obama spoke about his past drug use, said marijuana was no more dangerous than alcohol, talked about racial disparities in marijuana arrests and said the new laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington are ‘important’.

In the interview, conducted by David Remnick of the New Yorker, Obama discussed cannabis and the War On Drugs.

“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 than alcohol,” Obama told Remnick.

The president expressed concern about disparities in arrests for marijuana possession. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” Obama said, adding that individual users shouldn’t be locked up “for long stretches of jail time.”

In the interview, Obama said he believes these new laws are “important.”

“It’s important for it to go forward 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,” said Obama.

President Obama’s interview is generating national news and is being applauded by drug policy reform advocates.

“What’s most important about President Obama’s comments is that he called the new laws in Colorado and Washington ‘important’,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “This really puts the wind in the sails of the movement to end marijuana prohibition both around the country and abroad.

“It will undoubtedly open the door for other elected officials in the United States and around the world to say the same, and to move forward with ending marijuana prohibition in their own states and countries,” Nadelmann said.

Marijuana is currently classified by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I controlled substance, which the DEA considers “the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence.” Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, ecstasy and LSD.

Incredibly, cocaine and methamphetamine, both Schedule II drugs, are officially considered less dangerous than marijuana by the U.S. federal government.

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steveelliott’s blog

– See more at: http://hemp.org/news/content/us-president-obama-says-marijuana-no-more-dangerous-alcohol#sthash.d8pIPuzm.dpuf

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~ by beibejones on January 20, 2014.

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