Apr 152012
 April 15, 2012

obama finger in earsRemarks By President Obama At CEO Summit Of The Americas

I want to thank my friend at ENews Park Forest for sending over the link to this info. With so many sitting leaders across the world asking for global drug policy reform, one would hope that President Obama would be willing to at least have a constructive conversation about the topic, instead of giving generic answers that are clearly just delay tactics. In the transcript below, from President Obama’s visit to the CEO Summit of the Americas, you will see the words, ‘I’m a big believer in looking at the evidence, having a debate.’ Really Mr. President? Because that’s exactly what everyone else wants, we have been at the debating table waiting for you since you took office. The transcript is below:

MR. MATTHEWS: President Santos, I guess there are some issues in America — we have a very large Hispanic population. Ten percent of our electorate is going to be Hispanic in background. We are the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world after Mexico. People have dual languages in the United States, of course, but there is so much Spanish speaking. You have the chance to sit next to President Obama now. Do you want to ask him about the ways you think the United States could help your country in the drug war?

* * * *

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Do you want me to respond?

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, this is a conversation that I’ve had with President Santos and others. Just as the world economy is integrated, so, unfortunately, the drug trade is integrated. And we can’t look at the issue of supply in Latin America without also looking at the issue of demand in the United States. (Applause.)

And so whether it’s working with President Santos or supporting the courageous work that President Calderón is doing in Mexico, I, personally, and my administration and I think the American people understand that the toll of narco-trafficking on the societies of Central America, Caribbean, and parts of South America are brutal, and undermining the capacity of those countries to protect their citizens, and eroding institutions and corrupting institutions in ways that are ultimately bad for everybody.

So this is part of the reason why we’ve invested, Chris, about $30 billion in prevention programs, drug treatment programs looking at the drug issue not just from a law enforcement and interdiction issue, but also from a public health perspective. This is why we’ve worked in unprecedented fashion in cooperation with countries like Mexico on not just drugs coming north, but also guns and cash going south.

This is one of the reasons why we have continued to invest in programs like Plan Colombia, but also now are working with Colombia, given their best practices around issues of citizen security, to have not just the United States but Colombia provide technical assistance and training to countries in Central America and the Caribbean in finding ways that they can duplicate some of the success that we’ve seen in Colombia.

So we’re mindful of our responsibilities on this issue. And I think it is entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether the laws in place are ones that are doing more harm than good in certain places.

I personally, and my administration’s position, is that legalization is not the answer; that, in fact, if you think about how it would end up operating, that the capacity of a large-scale drug trade to dominate certain countries if they were allowed to operate legally without any constraint could be just as corrupting if not more corrupting then the status quo.

Nevertheless, I’m a big believer in looking at the evidence, having a debate. I think ultimately what we’re going to find is, is that the way to solve this problem is both in the United States, us dealing with demand in a more effective way, but it’s also going to be strengthening institutions at home.

You mentioned earlier, the biggest thing that’s on everybody’s minds — whether it’s the United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica — is, can I find a job that allows me to support my family and allows my children to advance and feel secure. And in those societies where you’ve got strong institutions, you’ve got strong business investment, you’ve got rule of law, you have a law enforcement infrastructure that is sound, and an economy that’s growing — that country is going to be like a healthy body that is more immune than countries that have weak institutions and high unemployment, in which kids see their only future as participating in the drug trade because nobody has actually trained them to get a job with Google, or Pepsi, or start their own small business.

And so I think that it’s important for us not to think that if somehow we look at the drug issue in isolation, in the absence of dealing with some of these other challenges — institutional challenges and barriers to growth and opportunity and the capacity for people to climb their way out of poverty, that we’re going to be able to solve this problem. The drug issue in this region is, in some ways, a cause, but it’s also, in some ways, an effect of some broader and underlying problems. And we as the United States have an obligation not only to get our own house in order but also to help countries in a partnership to try to see if we can move in a better direction. (Applause.)

Source: whitehouse.gov

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001180749592 Leslie Johnson

    BREAKING: David Axelrod Endorses Mitt Romney for President

    David Axelrod, Chief Strategist for President Barack Obama, endorsed Mitt Romney for President on Fox News Sunday this morning. He told Chris Wallace, “The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead and an economy that continues down the road we’re on.”

    http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/04/15/breaking-david-axelrod-endorses-mitt-romney-for-president/

    • Montylfl

      30 billion on prevention? Spend 10 and teach people how to growth pot. It would pay for itself in taxes in no time. Better yet use the tax money on legal pot to pay the debt. Once the debt is paid, pay back social security. Then everyone over 25 would have social security by the time they turn 65. It is a not brainer. Wake up American. Shit I would run for predicted base on the above. Montylfl for president 2012

  • Profbluntston

    So the president said the country just spent $30 billion more dollars on this so-call WAR ON DRUGS.This is why states don’t have money for school budgets and teacher are being laid off because schools are closing.REALLY WE HAVE GOT TO GET THIS MAN OUT OF OFFICE.PEOPLE I PROFESSOR BLUNTSTON THOUGHT THERE WAS HOPE WITH OBAMA.NOW UNLESS HE’S A GOOD ACTOR AND HAS ENDING PROHIBITION UNDER LOCK AND KEY FOR A SURPRISE ATTACK IS YET TO BE SEEN.BUT I WILL SAY HE WILL NOT HAVE MY VOTE THIS TIME UNLESS HE END THE PROHIBITION ON CANNABIS BEFORE NOVEMBER
    Professor Bluntston

    • floridabadger

      Butt what’s is going to happen once the House goes all Republican command! It WOn’t be a good thing!!

  • Hector_berlioz

    Clearly the man is very good at using a lot of words to say absolutely nothing.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZV2ZVM25XQ3ATPGCT4TAUJIYCE Mike W.M.

    You know this shows just how far out of touch the president is out of touch with the American people. These politicians think they can talk their way into or out of anything and they don’t realize Americans are fed up with their BS. Bottom line is this President is against ending prohibition now if he really thought that was the popular answer then why did he take so long to defend his answer. I have seen polls that range from 47% for prohibition to be stopped with 10% undecided to 80% for ending prohibition. These politicians do not take this for what it is, this is a hot button for the majority of Americans today. We are tired of seeing peoples lives ruined for the decision they made to grow a plant and consume it.We are also tired of seeing our tax dollars spent to wage war against us, it’s like paying some one to ruin our lives and destroy our families for no reason what so ever.MR. PRESIDENT WOULD YOU PLEASE PAY ME TO RUIN YOUR LIFE AND DESTROY YOUR FAMILY FOR A FEW YEARS AND THEN SIT DOWN WITH ME TO HAVE THIS DISCUSSION?

    • floridabadger

      No Shit!!!!! HE’s s’posed be there for the people!! He now is very well informed of the public feels as far as prohibiting this!! Remember how the gvmt tried to make this a “dry” Nation!! That blew up in their faces!!

  • floridabadger

    He’s trying to baffle the world w/B.S! Which helped to get him nominated in th 1st place!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Thorpe/1263122234 Don Thorpe

    No stamp of approval here. Last 7 words , we can move in a BETTER direction.

  • malcolmkyle

    An appeal to all Prohibitionists:

    Maybe you’re a police officer, a prison guard or a local/national politician. Possibly you’re scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks?Â

    Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem.Â

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marilee.armstrong1 Marilee Armstrong

    The drug war that is being waged today is unwinnable, and programs such as Plan Colombia have caused thousands upon thousands of gruesome deaths. One reason for this failure is corruption at the top, at the government level. Ending drug prohibition would eliminate the huge profits of the underground drug trade.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marilee.armstrong1 Marilee Armstrong

    The drug war that is being waged today is unwinnable, and programs such as Plan Colombia have caused thousands upon thousands of gruesome deaths. One reason for this failure is corruption at the top, at the government level. Ending drug prohibition would eliminate the huge profits of the underground drug trade.

  • http://www.datcakentrehberi.com/otel dat

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