President Obama Says Marijuana Should Be Treated Like Alcohol

president_obamaIn a just published “exit interview” with Rolling Stone Magazine, President Barack Obama opined that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue, not a criminal matter, and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.”

“Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse,” Obama said. “And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”

He added, “It is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another. So this is a debate that is now ripe, much in the same way that we ended up making progress on same-sex marriage.”

Although the administration, largely in its second term, has permitted states to experiment with marijuana legalization policies without federal interference, it has not pushed strongly for any permanent changes in federal law, such as amending cannabis’ schedule I classification or permitting banks to work closely with state-licensed marijuana businesses. As a result, some marijuana law reform advocates believe that President Obama has not done enough to move the issue forward during his tenure. Responding to this criticism, Obama said: “Look, I am now very much in lame-duck status. And I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go.”

Why Obama believes that he will have greater opportunities to address cannabis policy as a private citizen than he did as President of the United States leaves us scratching our heads, but we certainly hope that he follows through on his pledge to focus on drug policy reform in the next phase of his political career.

You can read President Obama’s exit interview with Rolling Stone in it’s entirety here.

129 thoughts

  1. Medical patients better stock up! Ohhh Canada oh Canada here we come! This country is Fucked! I think it’s hilarious we have such a large collection of dumb people, Trump as president what a fucking joke! Here come short term economic gains 1-2 years for (only) corporate conglomerates to be exact, middle classes taxes are being cut only, to free up some money we all will be paying at the pump with. Russian OPEC oil deal that allows Russia and RUSSIA only to stock pile upto 55% of the WORLDS oil reserves, and reserve the right to control oil output, allowing the majority holder “Russia” to control price and availability! “Aka” supply and demand. $7-8 dollars a gallon coming to a gas station near you.

    If you’re real quite you can hear the rest of the world laughing their asses off at us. Weed is the least of this country’s worries! Count down to the shit show, I’ve got my popcorn DO YOU!

  2. America. Land of the fee, home to the tax slave. Freedom is an illusion in this country. Communism truly rules this day.
    We abolished slavery because it was the right thing to do, it’s time to abolish government for the same reason. Fickle people make fickle laws, all can be broken, buried and forgotten about.

  3. I have sent several emails to Arkansas’s Melissa Fults who was recently elected to be a state representative and who supported issue 7,l which allowed medical issues to be treated by MMJ and allowed for patients to grow their own plant if they live far enough away from a dispensary. Sad that I continue to send her emails but she nor her office will not respond.

  4. Pres Obama has the power to end cannabis schedule 1 status as well as appoint a new head of the DEA. He hasn’t done that because he isn’t a democrat. Obama is a centrist and always was. He is more concerned with his legacy vs standing for his beliefs and the rights of us, the people. Getting the states to manage their own cannabis laws wasn’t to show us he was for legalization it was to used to placate us. He has the power to sway thought and decisions and is some cases use his executive orders to circumvent a do nothing congress. Another case in point is that he put Merrick Garland as his SCJ pick. As congress did not vote on his placement Obama could have used an emergency executive order to place a new justice on the court – he has that legal power when the court is not fully filled. Instead he kicked the can down the road. Obama could have used his order to make $15 the new minimum wage, he didn’t. He could have help the cause we all are pushing for but he didn’t. He’s a centrist weak president that I will remember as the start of the lefts political decline. Wake up Obama, we need you to start acting like a President and DO SOMETHING!

  5. President Obama could reschedule Marijuana, and after Monday, would risk nothing after that day by doing so. (As the US being the land of the “tax slave”, one would do well to remember that we may have as much as 20 Trillion off shore in US Corporate bank accounts, that we had a 93% tax bracket (on income of $100,000)in the 1950’s which were considered to be our most productive period.

  6. Considering Trumps attitudes, as can be perceived by his displayed comments and remarks, it seems that he can have a libertarian streak, as well as reactionary one. If Obama can be prevailed upon to reschedule hemp–Trump might be able to to accept it. No one says so, be the Obama comment– that we are all commenting on–might be trial balloon for such a move if we can prevail upon him to do so. Let NORML try to do so.

  7. It is childish to complain that President Obama did not expend political capital on Marijuana, when the opposition Republicans stated that it was their responsibility to see that he would “fail”–as he leaves he has nothing to lose–noe is the time to prevail upon “Barry” as we say “good bye”.

  8. “The Fabes” comment about that there is no comment or reply for letters sent his Arkansan Representative seems to leave him no alternative but to right open letters to newspapers and magazines and on-line challenging that representative for an explanation and a reply!!!

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