By Anthony Johnson
Author David Maraniss’ biography of President Barack Obama,”Barack Obama: The Story,” will be published in June, but President Obama’s cannabis use in his younger days has already hit the web. BuzzFeed has an extensive rundown of his past cannabis use. The fact that the future president hung out in a pot-smoking crew, called the Choom Gang that rode around in their Choomwagon smoking Maui Wowi, is not exactly surprising and wouldn’t really be that newsworthy if President Obama wouldn’t laugh off the issue of ending cannabis prohibition and wouldn’t have gone back on his campaign promise to stop raiding medical marijuana providers operating within their state’s medical law. In fact, President Obama is arguably the worst president in history for medical cannabis policy as he has continued, and even exacerbated, the federal war on marijuana.
While President Obama has reached out to his liberal base by touting his support for women’s rights, marriage equality and student loan aid. However, with an economy still sputtering and polls showing a close race against Mitt Romney, President Obama would surely help his re-election chances if he would stop federal raids against medical marijuana states, a policy favored by a super-majority of American voters or call for legalizing cannabis similar to alcohol, a position now favored by a strong majority of Americans, according to the recent Rasmussen Poll, the same polling company that has Romney running virtually even with the President.
As more details of his extensive marijuana use becomes known, President Obama’s hypocritical position on cannabis could become a serious political liability that could even cost him his re-election. It is not too late for President Obama to “evolve” to a more sensible cannabis policy that will allow our country to better prioritize fighting serious and violent crime instead of arresting, prosecuting and jailing cannabis users who may not be as lucky at avoiding serious legal consequences as the young Barack Obama.
Source: National Cannabis Coalition
About Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the National Cannabis Coalition and our parent organization, the American Victory Coalition. He also serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the patient advocacy non-profit Oregon Green Free. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri. After passing the Oregon Bar, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties, including as co-author and chief petitioner of Oregon Measure 74, an attempt to legalize licensed and regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.