President Obama has been frustrating in a lot of ways to marijuana activists. Has he taken some steps to reform marijuana laws? Sure. For instance his administration late last year issued a memo stating that if Native American tribes wanted to cultivate and sell marijuana on tribal lands, that would be OK. But President Obama has dropped the ball a lot too in regards to marijuana reform, especially when it comes to rescheduling marijuana.
The fact that marijuana in classified as a Schedule I substance according to the federal government is a slap in the face to logic and science. In a recent interview with Vice Barack Obama stated the following:
“We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side. At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule marijuana,”
That statement in itself is very frustrating, because 1) if Obama can concede that progress is being made at the state level, and that those reforms will influence Congress, why doesn’t he get on the right side of history and fight for the inevitable, and 2) why does Obama constantly try to pass the task of rescheduling marijuana to Congress, when he can start the process himself? This is something that Marijuana Majority’s Tom Angell has pointed out over and over. Below is what Tom had to say in reaction to President Obama’s comments:
“The president is right that as voters force more and more changes to state marijuana laws, national policymakers will have no choice but to catch up. But he should think again about how important this issue is. On average, there’s a marijuana possession arrest in the U.S. about every minute. Billions of dollars are wasted on enforcing prohibition laws that don’t stop anyone from using marijuana but do ruin people’s lives with damaging criminal records. And the black market is controlled by drug cartels and gangs that use violence to protect their profits. This is a serious issue, and the president needs to treat it as such. In fact, his administration can reschedule marijuana without any further Congressional action needed. He should do that.”
Below is the full interview that Obama did with Vice: