Marijuana is still placed in the same category as heroin, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms by the federal government, but according to President Barack Obama it’s no more dangerous than alcohol.
Speaking to New Yorker editor David Remnick, POTUS said he still views pot smoking negatively, but that on the whole, the drug isn’t the social ill that it’s been viewed as in the past.
Obama told the magazine:
“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,”
And the President said ganja was actually less dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” He has even talked to Malia and Sasha about weed smoking. He says:
“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,”
While Colorado and Washington have recently legalized the drug, 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. 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,”
On the new legalizations he says:
“If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that? If somebody says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?”
Drug Policy Alliance’s Executive Director, Ethan Nadelmann responded to Obama’s comments:
“What’s most important about President Obama’s comments is that he called the new laws in Colorado and Washington ‘important’. 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.”
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SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty