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Obama Admits Marijuana Is Less Dangerous Than Alcohol

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obama marijuana legalizationAn interview was released by the New Yorker today in which United States President Barack Obama had some interesting things to say. It was a lengthy interview covering many areas of public policy, with a specific Q & A session about marijuana. When asked asked about marijuana, Barack Obama stated the following:

 ”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.”

There are two ways a marijuana reformer can look at these sentences. One way to look at it is ‘Obama just said that marijuana isn’t more dangerous than alcohol.’ This is a significant statement for the President of the United States to make about marijuana. The other way to look at it is ‘Obama is such a hypocrite. Why the F doesn’t he just legalize it like alcohol then!?’ Both ways to look at Obama’s statements are definitely valid. Obama went on to say:

“Less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. 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.” What clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.” But, he said, “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.” Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington that “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.””

I agree with Barack Obama that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is important for going forward. Everyday that marijuana is grown and sold legally, and tax revenue piles up, is a day that the world gets to see that legalizing marijuana is a great thing. Everyone wins, no one loses, no matter what Kevin Sabet says.

What do readers think of President Obama’s comments? Are you surprised at his comments? How many of you out there think that this is rhetoric, and that he needs to back up his words with actions? That’s how I feel for the most part. I can read 1,000 of these types of statements by Obama, but until he actually backs it up with actions and does something more than issue a meaningless memo, I still think he sucks.

To learn more about how marijuana is safer than alcohol, check out this great resource that Marijuana Policy Project has.

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90 Comments

  1. Pure and simple Rhetoric, and until we see action its only words, and empty ones at that. What happened when Obama promised to cease the raiding of medical dispensaries and patients but as soon as he got into office it continued! Political BS. When are we going to grow up and realize we don’t need this government body to decide what is right or wrong for us, when will we truly be free to make our own mistakes and learn from them?

  2. Yeah, I get you were messing around, I said in the end that you were probably right and I’m super high right now.

    That aside though, I do think that the Pres has an idea on the current situation, and will leave any state that wants to legalize it alone. I’m hoping that the next president doesn’t go all out and attempt to destroy any forward momentum, though.

  3. I totally share this opinion Salted. I am a libertarian and don’t want anyone dictating what I do in the privacy of my own home.
    I assumed on this one issue at least, Obama would be appealing to me. His rhetoric certainly was.. But the hypocrisy is amazing. The DOJ under Obama, has busted MORE marijuana dispensaries in one term, than the Bush DOJ did in two terms! Wow…I was very disappointed to realize that when it comes to pot, all Obama sees is a threat to federal power by the states daring to decide for themselves.

    The arguments the opposition uses are ALWAYS about the “mis-use” of pot, which would be like constantly referring to drunk driving and alcoholism, when discussing alcohol prohibition.

    Once again, the concept of responsible use by private citizens in their homes, never occurs to government authorities. But responsible use is what most of us do! Pot smokers are NOT serial killers nor are they violent, (despite what Nancy Grace may claim).

    To me, this is a civil rights issue b/c it clearly has medical benefits, yet remains prohibited in most places, without any basis in science. It’s cruel, really.

  4. I agree that the remarks are simply PR to show how “cool” Obama is, without costing him a political cent, b/c he does nothing to back it up. I was shocked to learn that under this administration, the Feds have busted more (legally compliant) marijuana dispensaries during his first term, than Bush’s team did in all his 8 years. WTH? And I noticed that the Obama administration started to attach a “no guns for pot smokers” campaign too. Almost makes you wonder…

  5. He is still falsely implying that drugs are a vice though he was probably referring to the more neutral meaning of the term. If you ask me, pedophilia is a vice regardless of what any authority may decree about it.

    vice 1 (vs)
    n.
    1.
    a. An evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit.
    b. A serious moral failing.
    c. Wicked or evil conduct or habits; corruption.
    2. Sexual immorality, especially prostitution.
    3.
    a. A slight personal failing; a foible: the vice of untidiness.
    b. A flaw or imperfection; a defect.
    4. A physical defect or weakness.
    5. An undesirable habit, such as crib-biting, in a domestic animal.
    6.
    a. Vice A character representing generalized or particular vice in English morality plays.
    b. A jester or buffoon.

    Oh, and Obama cannot “just legalize it.” We do not have a king and the rule is too popular to slip through as an “executive order” (these are probably not legal anyways).

  6. The bong has jack shit do do with it.

    You said;

    “I would rather have the states make all the progress and Obama STFU and allow them elbow room to do it.”

    I repeat, isn’t that going on in Colorado right now, or am I missing something?

    I’ve yet to see anything in the news that says Obama will do ANYTHING to Colorado and/or Washington. What I have seen, however, is this;

    “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.”

    And this;

    “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do”

    Also, this;

    “African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”

    These are things that he’s probably been itching to say, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he respects the balls that Colorado and Washington has.

    A lot of people hate the Pres. due to the DEA raiding a shit ton of FOR PROFIT MMJ dispensaries, even though the Cali law (SB 420) stated that they were supposed to be NON PROFIT collectives.

    (see http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/03-04/bill/sen/sb_0401-0450/sb_420_bill_20031012_chaptered.html)

    These other states don’t do it out of fear, they do it out of profit. Andrew Cuomo, my governor, completely refuses to do anything about the vast amount of arrests made here in New York at all. He apparently thinks that 20 hospitals that aren’t allowed to grow cannabis can provide for the 25 million or so people who actually need it as a medicine. He’d much rather give us casinos, and keep our booming prison population running. That also reinforces the cycle of the poor committing more violence, but that’ll take too long to explain.

    Finally, you have people spouting bullshit on TV about it, like Nancy Grace and her talk about how she’s seen people “smoke pot” and murder people, and says it was the cannabis that did it. Here in NY we also have Fox News spreading their bullshit, with Bill O’Reilly saying that cannabis arrests don’t happen here in NY, and attempting to tell neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart that his bullshit was true (Dr. Hart corrected him several times).

    Obama had to play his cards carefully, especially with the current fiasco with the NSA (which was known as the Army Security Agency under President Truman before HE changed it to it’s current name) doing what they have always done.

    As a president, you have to be on your Ps and Qs, especially when quite a bit of your colleagues go out of their way to besmirch you. The people who will be hit hardest by your apparent “betrayal” are those who don’t truly understand the finer intricacies of politics. Very subtly, he gave leeway to those two states, and there isn’t any doubt in my mind that if any other state does it, he won’t mess with them, either.

    Then again, you’re probably right, and I’m super high right now.

  7. Vitriol, eh? I’m afraid, once again, you’re mistaken (no surprise) or simply projecting. What you took for vitriol is jubilation because you’ve resorted to personal attacks and nothing else. Means you’re thoroughly in your place, as you’re not even pretending to make a point, anymore. Not only are your insults all you have left, you’re *repeating* them.

    By the way, calling someone an egotistical narcissist, over and over, is redundant in several ways. There’s no such thing as a narcissist who *isn’t* egotistical — that’s what the word means. It’s like saying “PIN number” or “ATM machine.” I’m not insulted in the least (you’ve been boosting my ego through simple contrast for about a day), but I’ll be annoyed by the pointless repetition for at least another minute or two. So you have that, if that’s worth anything to you.

    As a typical anti-Obama puppet, you’ve gone through so many predictable dance steps, I feel like I’ve been watching the same choreography, over and over, for five years. Those of you filled with the same, tired, manufactured rage against Obama are all so easily needled, because you’re all *exactly* alike. All spewing the same nonsense, using the same talking points, all of you struggling to cover up the real reason you don’t like the President. The way you hope the economy fails so it’ll be Obama’s fault. The way your ears perk up at any new scandal, legitimate or not. Oh-so predictable. It’s too easy to pull the strings of anti-Obama puppets.

    I admit, you jumped through *almost* every hoop I thought you would, only missing a few (for example, you forgot to ask about his long form birth certificate and/or suggest he’s a muslim plant from Kenya). Be that as it may, I’m afraid you’re not quite committed enough to your fake outrage to be convincing. All you’ve accomplished in the last 24 hours was giving me some mild amusement with your little tantrum. But hey, you just keep thinking I’m chalk-full of vitriol. Whatever gets you through the day, champ. Tee hee.

  8. OF:
    Perhaps your avatar name is a little premature. I’m not sure how one defines failure when we’re discussing presidents, but if I were to step into President Obama’s shoes, I don’t think I would consider myself a failure. Heck, I’d have an intelligent (and gorgeous) wife, two great daughters, a mother-in-law to help around the house, and a cute dog. I’d be the first black president — something history will never forget. Yeah, I’d feel pretty successful if I was living in the White House, no matter what anyone else thought.

    The level of your animosity towards President Obama brings back one certain memory for me: It was a couple of years ago when I walked into my local CVS and saw a headline in a newspaper rag declaring in a large, bold font that Obama was the devil. I don’t know why I was expecting that, after Obama’s first term, all of America’s latent racism would have already surfaced and the vitriol would decrease. But no, it’s gotten worse. Jesus christ, he’s just a man, not an alien or a socialist or the devil. I mean, I couldn’t stand President Bush, but I never hated the war criminal.

    I suspect you are not a cannabis lover at all, and that your purpose here, on The Weed Blog, is just to slam President Obama. Fine, you’ve every right to do that. But your posts have revealed your real purpose, for everyone to see, and if I were you, I wouldn’t feel so smug about it. Just my humble opinion.

    We welcome everyone here on The Weed Blog… almost. Bigoted and racist commenters need not apply. We have enough problems with legalization — we don’t need to exacerbate these problems by inserting prejudicial biases.

  9. Kushington Budz III on

    I totally agree with Australian blazin Hemp is definitely a social thing you are gonna w/o question have something in common with a fellow cannabis connoisseur, If your with the No MiD movement check out my IG, My campaign for issues on legalization amongst other pro pot policies @kushingtonbudziii…

  10. Wow, ego much, thinking I worry about you being mean on a message forum. I simply pointed out what a hypocrite and an egotistical narcissist you are. Just like I did about Obama. You are so quick to find fault with every one else but get your panties in a wad the minute your idiotic user name is toyed with. Stick a pin in it blow hard, deflate that ego some. You are such a stickler for details and accuracy but now are so full of vitriol that you have become exactly what you despise, a turgid impotent fool. Pathetic indeed pal.

  11. The fact that I’m the least diplomatic advocate on these comment threads isn’t a new development, fella — as you’re obviously aware. Not that it matters. You lost all rights to common courtesy when you put that homophobic spin on my username, peaches — and now you want sympathy because I was MEAN to you? That’s pathetic!

    If you’re looking to be coddled, call your mother. OR get a different username, deal with your not-so-latent homophobia, and never again speak about hot-button issues you don’t understand. Because otherwise, you should expect more of the same from me, pal.

  12. Whether my opinions are objective or subjective is irrelevant. They are my opinions based on years of life and experience. You on the other hand are an egotistical narcissist that gains gratification from your own verbal masturbation. Your ‘facts’ might actually have changed opinions but its your opinion that nullify your facts. You put people off with your superiority complex. I have seen you do this to so many other dissenting posters on this site that maybe the problem is you and not my comment.

  13. wowFAD: I didn’t read past that word. Anyone who uses such language to denigrate is not worth my time. (Too bad, because I thought he had an earlier point about the feds “letting” Colorado take all the initial heat for legalization.)

  14. LOL!!! Oh where to begin. I suppose the most obvious place to begin would be to define a “gish gallop” for the kids at home.

    Gish Gallop : the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time.

    In this case, you went from cannabis to healthcare to Bin Laden to Benghazi to Fast and Furious to the NSA — that tells me you don’t have the intellectual honesty to stick to ONE topic on a website called the WEED BLOG. Hilarious.

    Let’s go in order, then. The man said something GOOD about cannabis. The affordable care act has insured almost 2.5 million people. Bin Laden *is* dead, and SEAL is an acronym (seal teams work at Sea World). Benghazi doesn’t bother me nearly as much as you wish it would. Fast and Furious was a wiretap program, not a gun-walking program. And finally, the NSA and our other 15 intelligence agencies have been violating your 4th amendment rights long before President Blackenstein got stuck in your craw.

    Happy, yet? No? Of course not!!! Fake outrage doesn’t allow it. It’s in the handbook, right? Page 1 — don’t ever allow yourself or anyone else a moment’s peace. LOL

    I find it uniquely hilarious that you’d tell me I’m wrong for keeping people on topic, because last I checked, this is called “The Weed Blog” and not the “POTUS Blog.” Honestly, can’t you fellas get a chat room on AOL or something? Bitter you can’t slam him on HuffPo without showing people who you really are? HAHAHA. Buddy, you’re not the first craven Tea Party troll I’ve stomped on, and you won’t be the last.

    This has been fun, though — your lovely little outrage tantrum had *half* the authenticity of Miley Cyrus with 5x the entertainment value. Keep those tears of impotent rage flowing. Don’t ever let them stop!!! Only YOU can prevent Obama from getting a third term!! HAHAHAHAHA

  15. Indeed. He didn’t make it more than 4 words into his comment before using a bigoted slur. Generally, someone needs to talk to me a little more before they start calling me names, but he did it right out of the gate!

  16. We will truly understand who sucks if the Republicans regain the White House and immediately clamp down on the states that have made such dramatic changes in the last five years.

  17. Okay sunshine, please tell me anything that he has directly done that is good for us? I can Google and Wiki just like you. Don’t give me the ‘he hasn’t attack Colorado cannabis laws’ BS because he hasn’t done anything concerning their change in laws and that is different that doing something. Nothing is a cowards walk. Rescheduling is a start and I would take his comments more seriously if he took that one simple step. How about all the good his EOs have done concerning our 2nd? How about all the NSA crap? Fast and Furious anyone? Benghazi? Oh yeah he, yes that’s right, HE got bin Laden, not the seal team. I can keep going all day and I can do the same for the last 6 presidents. So don’t let your outrage at our difference of tactics blind you and make you look like the fool here. I would have CORRECTED my typo of your name but just like Obamas inability to fix anything I didn’t have access to an edit button. Additionally auto correct does not like wowFAD but did approve the misspelling, which I thought was rather interesting. My opening comment to Zomg was a quip not an insult and my name is directly related to Obamas failure to do more than blow smoke up our asses.

    You attack anyone who dares to mention Obama and ACA in the same breath and have on every post on this site. You have the rage brother and its misdirected. You keep directing your ire at “Tea Party” and assume (you know what that means) that anyone that does not like the Presidents policy is part of that BS. You may have your facts down in many areas of knowledge wowFad but you are a piss poor judge of character. You keep referencing ‘manufactured’ ire as if anyones opinion/anger but yours is a paltry attempt at making a point. You are a hypocrite and your “100%, completely MANUFACTURED outrage.” is not fooling anyone either. Your responses to posts that DARE to bring up any of the POTUS other policy failures makes you look like a fool. It makes you look like the only thing that matters is what you think matters. I look at the entire package and I do not like what has been happening to this country at the hands of fools that somehow get elected.

    You say that I would “switch sides as easily as breathing” yet you applaud a simple common sense quote by Obama that has been known for decades? HE changed sides as easily as breathing yet has done nothing more than flap his lips. It reminds me of his campaign statements. Its easy to throw us a bone but its a lot harder to actually do something besides talk. This may be a cannabis site but the actions of the POTUS directly impact every aspect of our nation and your denial or narrow minded focus is not going to change that.

  18. Australian blazin on

    I do enjoy the obvious contradiction upheld through the views and subsequent action of so called leaders. I myself hail and reside on the fair shores of Australia. I find the prejudice I recieve for my “drug addiction” highly irritating when the acts of numerous alcohol related offences are highly publicized with no approach to curb the spiralling trend appearing. The only action that is being tossed around in parliment is to reduce trading hours of venues selling alcohol which will have no effect other than drinking heavily quicker and being turned loose on the streets earlier..
    In my 23 years of life I am still yet to hear a purely cannabis caused major offence In my land but you are still demonized and slapped with excessive legal proceedings and fines. Criminal records cripple ones job prospects drastically.
    I went to L.A, San Fran, NY and Vegas a year ago and I found it astonishing how easily available marijuana can be accrued. I established bonds with all walks of life through this from Blood gang members to ex us military combatants of the middle east. When I went out drinking I got abused for the mere fact that I am Australian and had to physically defend myself on numerous occasions.
    Marijuana makes mates! Keep blazin that shit.

  19. I can’t imagine why Obama would make this statement unless he was preparing the way for reform to happen. What would he have to gain?

    It seems he is ready to help make this happen. Maybe he had it planned this way all along. Accomplish the “major” things early and then near the end, when it can’t hurt him, he stands up to do the right thing about the monstrous war on marijuana consumers.

    Figurative fingers are crossed big time!

  20. OF: “Observe which side resorts to the most vociferous name-calling and you are likely to have identified the side with the weaker argument and they know it.” Charles R. Anderson, brainyquote.com

  21. No, I don’t think so — I’m certain that Obama could save your grandma from a fire and you’d complain he took too long. Know how I know that with certainty? All Tea Party know-nothings always always ALWAYS fall back on slurs and prejudice whenever someone disagrees with them. Cannabis advocates don’t tell each other to “put down the bong” or make homophobic quips. Only weak, pliable minds use that pitiful backstop for defense when confronted. Add that fact to your CLEVER username and the context of your, ehem, “outrage” is not just obvious, it’s blatant.

    It tells me you’re hardwired to never thank the man for saying or doing anything. It tells me that, were Obama to DO SOMETHING about cannabis, you’d switch sides as easily as breathing. So save your paltry attempt to explain away and/or rationalize your absolutely, 100%, completely MANUFACTURED outrage. You’re not fooling anyone.

    Next time you feel the urge to go on the internet to jump on an anti-Obama train, do us all a favor and yell at an empty chair, instead. Not only is that a popular activity for people with manufactured ire for the POTUS, but the *exact* same number of people will be taking you seriously in either case.

  22. Sounds as if you are most concerned about the politics… not the freedom. Too bad, this issue is bigger than politics. I’m independent but many of my principles align with the right (though the political party itself is something I have no loyalty for). This is a freedom vs. tyranny issue. It is very clear where Mr. Obama is on this issue, it is clearly written on the White House’s website… and it is tyrannical. Hillary Clinton will be no better, in fact worse on this issue. She is a drug hawk, just as Obama has been. We the people of the states must make a stand against the federal government for our freedom… waiting for a politician to come through is a fool’s errand.

    While I’ve never been a supporter for Obama, as he is for more government power and less individual freedom, I did hold out some hope that he would be friendly to liberty on this one issue. Yet all any of us get is cheap talk from a frightened small man.

  23. Last I checked wowFAG, I have every right to an opinion as do you and thinking your opinion stinks less than anyone elses is part of the problem with this country. My outrage is directly related to the government trying to do ANYTHING and continually fucking up everything. The relationship between ACA and cannabis reform is exactly what I am referring to. The fact that you cant see that almost everything the Fed touches turns to shit and Obama like the Bushes and Clinton and the rest of them for the last 45 years have fucked up more than they have EVER managed to fix. So MY outrage is legitimate. I am sick of an overbearing government that does more damage than good and I am not hyping anything. The fact is that we have heard over and over that Obama is going to do this or that and nothing comes of it. Remember hope and change? Remember letting science lead the way on reform? How much more science does this jackass need? And next up is Hillary, Chris or Ted for POTUS in ’16? Jesus Christ man place the blame where it belongs and quit fighting the rest of us that may not say it EXACTLY the way you want to hear it said.

    Thanks for your opinion and the Tea Party insult is just as tired as your outrage over my outrage with this sham of a reform policy…health care or cannabis related. Obama can say whatever he wants but until he DOES SOMETHING and does it without making it worse than it started out, I will compare topics as I see them.

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