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. Live long and prosper President Obama,, We’ll miss you.
    Now for Drug War III. If you liked Nixon and Reagan,,, Trump will give you and orgasm.

    1. You’re delusional anonymous. What has Obama done for legalization? That’s right, nothing. At least Trump said he would leave it up to the states.

      1. Obama wrote a memo to the DOJ to allow the state legalization we would now otherwise not see in our lifetime. If he had issued an executive order it would have killed state legalization in federal court.
        Drumph nominated Senator Jeff Sessions to US Attorney General, the most racist, outspoken prohibitionist in public office, who could single handedly take state legalization to federal court and dismantle everything weve worked for.
        You must be one of those folks that gets there “news” from Facebook. Because you clearly dont read this blog that often.

      2. Today we learned that General Kelly, who was southern command CINC, is gonna be the new head of “homeland security”.

        Southern Command. Think Central and South America. He has been the greatest general in the drug war. The war against people. The ineffective war which was started by Nixon, escalated by Reagan, sneakily GREATLY further escalated by bush post 911. Here we go again thinking the more troops and money and rights abrogation we throw at the drug war the more successful we will be.

        I wonder how many Americans know 911 was used quietly as an excuse to “end the drug war” as much or moreso than a reason to fight terrorists.

        Now we have an mj ignorant ag and a drug war general in charge of homeland security. As Arsenio Hall used to say ” things that make you go hmmm”.

        Drug addiction and abuse, not the same as partying, is a medical and social problem. Not a criminal problem.

      3. “911 was used quietly as an excuse to end the drug war” as much or moreso than a reason to fight terrorists” end quote. How in the heck was 911 an excuse to end the drug war? Do you mean GREATLY EXPAND the drug war and DESTROY ANY NOTION of PRIVACY aka PATRIOT ACT? Because it sure as heck didn’t end it.

      4. Learn from history but focus on what’s happening now – right now. The DEA is taking a critical look at how media is normalizing the use of marijuana. Media…NORML, Leafly, Word on the Tree, etc. In other words, the pesky media is getting in the way of the new administration’s plan to put marijuana back on the public enemy list. Please don’t underestimate the lengths that a well funded law enforcement apparatus will go to. Your constitutional and state rights will be violated first, and then you will be welcome to challenge it in court (if you can afford it). We have GOT to stop arguing about who shot john and go big to protect our media outlets and State laws.
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/08/dea-laments-that-media-attention-is-making-it-tough-to-put-people-in-jail-for-pot/?utm_term=.c56a96d4c282

      5. The “lame duck” comment seems to be a confession that he did not feel comfortable supporting legalization/decriminalization while in office for political reasons, and we can further assume that this is a factor in other Presidents’ stances on this matter as well.. I don’t think we should hit him too hard with criticism, because leaving states alone was very helpful by itself, but he should have had the principles to stand up for this while he was in office.

      6. Obama let the states go through with setting up a system of legizalization despite it being against federal law. He legally and very easily could have conducted raids in these states and didnt. In fact, former Attorney General Holder also wrote a memorandum to states outlining the administration policy hands off policy. This provided a level of certainty to governors that it was okay to move ahead and investors. See link to article on memo below

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/29/eric-holder-marijuana-washington-colorado-doj_n_3837034.html

        Trump now has nominated sessions as the new attorney general. One of the most ardent prohibitionists in government. I cant say for sure what Trump is going to do, but he very well could start raiding marijuana stores and grow operations. Its completely legal under federal law. Hopefully your right and Trump will be good for weed legalization, but I can’t say things are looking that good right now.

      7. Steve, it’s not what Trump says that counts, but rather what Trump does that counts. If you’re in favor of marijuana legalization, and you also voted for Trump, you’ve been betrayed.

      8. People who voted for Trump betrayed the legalization movement. But don’t take my word for it,, sit back and watch the show…

      9. Lets reward ourselves with a little “sit back” and toke after our work is done. Now is the time for NORML recruitment and activism. Petition our Senators and protest these nominations. Donate to NORML and the DPA. Contact our local legislators to continue progress at the state and local levels, and yes, that includes our Republican representatives who still have a moral compass for what is left of our Democracy under the incoming DOJ/Russian coup. These are not times to remain silent. There are those who with our support will respond with resistance to the Trump incursion. But only with our active participation and common good can we proceed forward.

      10. Delusional,,,, Why do we now have 29 medical states and 8 legal plus DC.
        Why are dispensaries no longer raided.
        Oh and that states rights thing. Lets ask Republican gov Asia Hutchinson of Arkansas which just somehow voted med.
        “This does not call for a state-by-state solution, it calls for a national solution.”
        Now who’s delusional

      11. So why didn’t Obama remove or reschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act when he had the chance? I hear lots of talk. Might as well wait and see what happens next.

      12. Leaving it up to the states is that which Obama did–he might have more helpful to Hillary if he had been more of an advocate for legalization — after all look at her margin in California where legalization was on the ballot.
        Trump has now set upon a course to eliminate much of our environmental protections and has put a gaggle of the reactionary Generals and others into his proposed cabinet–States may have to fight to keep their gains. He has neither a majority nor a plurality behind him.

    2. Yup. Newest escalation of the drug war no matter what the cost. 911 was an escuse to ramp it up further.

      Anyone who watches news and documentaries about border security and “homeland security” since have hopefully noticed all the new people and taxpayer money being spent are for the drug war. Dogs at our southern border and ports are drug dogs. Not explosives or biochem trained. No radiation detectors either.

      So many died on 9/11 and their deaths have mainly been used to spend, spend, spend on the drug war. Not prevention of future such.

      If Americans had a clue just how much we are truly spending on the drug war and prisons etc………

  2. That’s good he wants to help after he leaves office but it seems Trump wants to go against everything President Obama has done period no matter what it is. Sure hope this doesn’t backfire on us.

    1. I don’t remember Bush ( either one ) saying anything close to this on the way out. Ditto for Clinton or Reagan

  3. I just love President Obama. We will look back in 4 years and cry that he is gone. He did so many great things for us that many don’t realize.

    The only thing holding dispensaries from getting raided is the 2011 memo to Holder. This has been the first real Federal step. Folks have to realize that President Obama has been under attack since he took office. His peaceful vision of ending the wars and closing Gitmo was crushed by the establishment.

    Obamacare is without a doubt the best thing to happen to poorer Americans. What Trump failed to tell the people is even though premiums went up as much as 100% for 2017, the Govt still covered the premium so that the people get it free or for a small amount.

    I only hope that the momentum from 2016 will slow down an attorney general Sessions from going after dispensaries by the masses. Unless President Elect Trump secretly plans to leave marijuana alone, the only other reason we have not heard much from him is because he is planning a crackdown. His supporters although probably many marijuana consumers, the bulk of which want a police state crackdown where pot smoking hippies do NOT protest. Anybody remember Nixon? Trump five letters both republicans, see any synchronicities?

    To say the least I am concerned for the future of legal marijuana until we hear that President Trump wants to leave it up to the states. But folks got to remember Trump does not drink or do anything else and his brother died of drugs. So it is conceivable that Trump wants to go Reagan War on Drugs 2.0.

    You know what the media is going to say when marijuana sympathizers end up in the news when Trump’s crackdown is in full swing, “that is why elections matter.” Get used to it, I’m afraid….

    1. I agree that elections matter. Exactly. The American people have voted and legalized cannabis. The direction of the nation is to legalize cannabis. I love Barry, voted for him twice, however can hardly give him credit for leading the charge by having the DEA de-schedule cannabis. Some memoranda called off the prohibitionist dawgz BECAUSE that’s what the cannabis community wanted, wanted more but that’s about all they got. It’s not nothing; it’s definitely something. President-elect Trump should respect the states that have legalized, and not waste money and human resources on cracking down. If Mr. Trump wants people who didn’t vote for him to respect the results of the election, in my humble opinion he absolutely must respect the results of elections that have legalized, as well as the voting process that takes place in the states’ legislatures to legalize. There is no way to convince me it’s justifiable to spend any money on cannabis prohibition when that money is better spent on something else that improves the employment situation and chances for you, your family and neighbors, for everybody somehow. I would not like to see cannabis revenues feeding the federal government while it wages another full throttle military campaign, outright war, somewhere. That’s a lot of spending, again, whose money–public money could be used to built up the U.S.

      The Don needs to go to Camp David or someplace where he can’t Tweet and can be out of the media spotlight until he can be spoonfed what to say and told what not say. Convince him to legalize.

      1. Dear Oracle,

        I don’t think President elect Trump can be “…spoonfed what to say and told what not say.” This man is off the rails. Plus he is going to have his hands busy. He will not care about legal marijuana, and most likely want to exploit the Federal money machine that goes with busts and seizures. After all your ole “Don” is all about law and order. And this is a business.

        Just look at his latest blunder that has very much insulted China. Not only was he dissing China all thru his campaign about how he was going to make them pay, and tear up bad deals, but then first thing out the gate going against the “One China” policy. But even worse talks about “arms deals.” Now he is owning it by not apologizing and making it out like it is no big deal? This man is going to have his hands full! He will not have time for marijuana, he will leave it up to his attorney general Sessions, who might just as have confederate flags painted on top of his police cars and bust wagons. I don’t know about other marijuana consumers/patients, but this guy, and his hard nose bunch of picks scares the living bleep out of me.

        If you are one of his supporters, and I find it hard to understand how someone who is smart enough to expand their mind and reap health benefits with marijuana, would vote for this man, please, please go to the “Don” and tell him that he needs to support marijuana legalization with a tweet. But I bet everybody who uses pot and voted for this guy are going to hate themselves for it in a year or so. I hope, dear Oracle, that I am wrong. But for now I will be patient and accept that he will be the next president.

      2. I think you’re right that the Don is off his rails. He reminds me of Reagan when dementia or Alzheimer’s was wreaking havoc with his mind. I refer to him as the Don, as in a mafia don LOL, and no way did I vote for him, never even considered voting for him.

        Elections and the voting process DO matter, and the Don should respect the will of the voters and allow legalization to go forward. But I’m used to being let down by the government working my dead-end job, and no matter what I do no way for any more upward mobility than I already got. Yup, I’m sure Beauregard Sessions will be out to fill up the jails to get free prison labor and bring back the next best thing to slavery that way. Mercy please, Massa Sessions.

      3. I won’t. I’m petitioning every electorate with have a brain:

        https://www.change.org/p/the-538-members-of-the-u-s-electoral-college-electoral-college-members-please-save-us-from-donald-trump/sponsors/new

        https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19-4a78160a-023c-4ff0-9069-53cee2a095a8

        Even though FactCheck.org says its “doomed to fail without the support of Clinton or President Obama,” two electors here in Texas are already refusing to vote for Trump. Although, to be fair, an American Indian electorate in Washington State recently refused to vote for either Trump or Clinton, and he is a Clinton delegate (having originally voted for Bernie Sanders).

        At least we can keep contacting our Senators to stop the nomination of Sessions:

        https://engage.drugpolicy.org/secure/stop-jeff-sessions?ms=1A1_1611SessionsSenate&utm_campaign=fy17advocacy&utm_medium=web&utm_source=1611wsc3SessionsSenate&cid=701U0000000xybsIAA&_ga=1.90687194.1782907349.1425245208

        Maybe we can’t stop the rolling tyrannical emolument that is Trump’s Presidency without an impeachment. But at least I can tell my children daddy did everything he could to stop the evil Trump man.

  4. Obamas marijuana prohibition inaction. Was vital to get trump into the white house …because not many people think Hillary would ever legalize it and trump will eventually see all the money to be made by legalizing and thus will likely “change his tune”

    1. That’s highly unlikely.

      Trump ran to increase his personal wealth, because it’s the only reason he does anything. It’s his only guiding principle, other than pussy-grabbing.

      There’s always been more money to be made from prohibition than from legalization — that’s why it won’t die! Trump has surrounded himself with Drug War Profiteers. Marijuana Legalization is ultimately a social justice issue, and that is something about which Trump does not give one teeny tiny little fuck. Further, Trump’s own personal wealth is more likely to be financially tied to prohibition than legalization, directly or indirectly. Given all that, why would he “change his tune?”

      I suspect you’re in for a rude awakening!

    2. Inaction,,, He allowed Medical to go forward in the 25 states,,, He allowed 4 states to legalize recreation. He blocked Republican attempts to expand Drug testing. He admitted to his own marijuana use without the standard : Didn’t inhale, only did it once, didn’t like it, worst mistake of my life Rap that’s been the standard for politicians of both parties since we started electing people born since WWII.
      And If Congress would have passed a legalization bill,,, I believe 100% he would have signed it. Wasn’t going to happen with a Republican Congress.
      Republicans who toke up,,, make a choice, you can’t have both.

  5. wow, I like Obama and have always supported him but he’s really letting me down on this. why can’t he just sign an executive order on his way out?

    1. Because Trump promised to repeal all of his executive orders… progress has been put on hold for 4 years and the Republicans are going to try to undo it.. are you going to let them…
      Repeal and Replace the Republican Party.

    2. The only way to protect the industry from Trump’s cadre of snakes is for congressional action.. and action done right now. An executive order is cancelable on day 1 of the new administration, just like the Cole memo which is expected to be quashed also on day one. Trump let it slip out that every exective order, memo, and such were going to be immediately repealed on day one. I’m expecting the industry and legalization movement to be shocked into paralysis on day 2 of the Trump administration, especially after hearing how he’s in alignment with the Philippine’s psychopathic president Duarte’s drug control actions.

      1. Right. These propaganda-spewing Trump supporters are either deliberately making this shit up for “us” leftie, pinko commie types (sarcasm intended); or, perhaps those with functional brain-matter will realize they’ve been betrayed, and support different representative; or, perhaps they actually believe their own bullshit and will never come around — remember, they’ve officially (via Trump’s spokesperson) announced that facts no longer matter. (No shit! That happened. That amounts to spitting in our faces. There’s no more facade, only raw power now.)

        Which means we must resist, and overcome.

      2. Tho I don’t mean to pile on drumpf before he actually does something tragic in regard to legalization, I have to say that I’ve already noticed a pattern with the trumpetistas on this forum:

        these same posters who still moan and gripe about Obama not rushing ahead on legalization, seem to have their bars set much lower for drumpf. I haven’t read one post from the trumpetistas DEMANDING that he legalize, but instead tepid assurances that he’ll allow the states to continue on with the experiments.

        Interesting how the standards and expectations are so different once they have their boy in the white house. DEMANDS for legalization and expressions of self-righteous indignation curiously transform into “he, uh, he’ll . . . be stupid if he cracks down, uh uh. He, uh, he won’t . . . uh, uh.”

      3. You nailed it. I call it fake news amnesia. Some people get so used to eating $#!+ theyre just trolling around to find partners in crime. Trump supporters know theyre eating lies but theyre on the Fox news team, and everyone is going to get a tax break, and be in the rich boy’s club, right?
        We all know intuitively Trump is going to fu€k things up royally the day he takes office, but beyond his fascist, nationalist/populous AG and Sec. of Health nominations, even worse, Trump is inviting Phillipine President Duterte to the white house. This treasonous act of authoritarian embolding of a mass murderer in the name of a drug war must be met with great yet peaceful protest. Already dictators in Russia and Syria are becoming emboldened by a Trump presidency. Trumps emoluments from India to Argentina cannot be physically undone. Trump is a fascist demagogue who accepts influence and gifts from foreign heads of state through expedited construction permits, rental agreements from Trump hotels, and now the treasonous endorsement of mass killings in the name of the war on drugs. Trump is everything our forefathers warned us about when Hamilton wrote The Federalist papers, and explained the reasoning for the electorate’s existence. Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, everyone must look beyond the smoke and mirrors of “liberal” or “conservative” labels to see that our Democratic Republic is at imminent risk of failure. Preventing that will require massive, relentless grassroots activism.

      4. Evening Bud,
        You make a good point about the fact that this is all speculation, and I appreciate the opportunity to affirm that point: none of us anti-Sessions types are claiming to know with certainty what the future holds. Nobody can do that.

        What we are doing is looking at the evidence, and making the best assessment we can. And the outlook is grim. But anything is possible. Maybe Sessions will try marijuana for scientific, experimental purposes and become a flower-child — and unilaterally free the weed. He’ll be all peace signs, love beads, and interracial love and harmony! Maybe. But does the evidence suggest that? No. But I’d be thrilled if it happened. And I would happily admit I’d been wrong, if it did!

        The problem with these pro-Trump trolls on this blog is that they’re still trying to sell the idea that Trump and Sessions are NOT hostile to legal marijuana, when the evidence suggests otherwise. That’s deceptive, and insulting. To quote an old saying, “Don’t piss down our backs and tell us it’s raining!”

  6. I can’t think of anything that would expand revenue, lower expenditures, improve public safety, improve medicine in general and the heroin epidemic in particular, lessen government involvement in our lives, and so forth than reform of the marijuana laws.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that a good sativa works a damn site better than Viagra, too.

  7. While it’s fair to wonder why “Obama believes he will have greater opportunities to address cannabis policy as a private citizen than he did as President,” still let us not overlook the significance of a sitting President using the term “we” in reference to the marijuana legalization movement!

    It’s historical, at a minimum; and as to how much help he could help — I would imagine quite a lot. Let’s respectfully accept that offer!

    It’s fair to wonder why he didn’t do more, but it’s also fair to be grateful for the tolerance he shows us as sitting President (I have a feeling we’re going to miss that in a big way in the next few years!)

    If and when I get the chance to sit down with President Obama and smoke a bowl, I’d be very interested to hear his thoughts on the matter; but in the meantime, I suggest we not be rude and welcome him with open arms.

    And if any white supremacist Trump supporter has a problem with the company, then don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of the room.

    1. It’s unfortunate but true.. marijuana is NOT one of those issues that causes people to vote across party lines…
      And whatever Trump does or doesn’t say on any issue, it is now a Republican dominated congress and soon Supreme Court.
      Republicans and Weed, make a choice, you can’t have both.

    2. Mark,

      You’ve got to consider that a lot of these people who are belly-aching about Obama being more vocal as he’s going out the door, the same ones who belly-ached about Mexico’s Vincente Fox being more vocal about legalization after he was no longer Mexico’s president, and the same people who belly-ached when Nancy Pelosi supported Colorado’s and Washington’s legalization several years ago.

      These same people never hold GOPers to the same standards; these same people are more interested in partisan attacks than legalization. If they weren’t, they would be cheering Obama’s lack of interference with the legalization of the eight states. They are, in a word (two words): Raging hypocrites.

    1. Mark,

      I’ve called my two Democratic Senators, Udall and Heinrich, twice since the election. Among the issues I discussed with their office persons were MJ legalization. I got favorable reactions from both offices.

  8. President Obama is someone I really trusted when I voted for him – twice! I am very disappointed that he did not do more to end the idiotic Federal laws that keep cannabis illegal. I still tend to like him but consider him to be a failed president and that’s not just because of the “Just Say NO” republican congress.

    Is it possible that President Trump will do the right thing and finally put prohibition to rest? Judging by his cabinet choices I’d say no. However, being optimistic he might simply be putting people in place who can carry out his will, his plan, and maybe that plan includes ending prohibition.

    We know that President Elect Trump said he would respect States rights and supports medical marijuana. We also know he wants to produce jobs and spark our economy. So, unless he is the biggest liar around, that is the path he will take and we have nothing to fear.

    Senator Sessions is an awful and disgusting man in my opinion. As the AG, he must carry out his President’s orders. So as nasty, hateful, prejudiced, and ignorant as he is, he just might find himself writing laws to legalize cannabis across our great nation! That would be really sweet!

    1. Miles,
      From you regular posts, I know you to be a thoughtful and reasonable man. But, regardless of my views about President Obama, I’m afraid I simply cannot find any reason to be optimistic about Trump and Sessions. I cannot find the evidence for it. Trump’s “say so” just isn’t sufficient.

      One thing for sure, though — we’re gonna find out real soon!

      1. I have been trying real hard to be optimistic. Lately, since finding out that Trump won the election, I have to admit find it to be exceedingly difficult.

    2. Trump is a fan of Duterte’s extrajudicial murders of drug users! Trump isn’t likely to save us from Jeff Sessions, his own pick for AG! This, from Huffington Post, should have us all shitting bricks:

      Philippines Leader Says Trump Praised His Deadly Drug War, Gave White House Invite

      by Michael Darer Student, Wesleyan University

      U.S. President-elect Donald Trump praised Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte for his war on drugs that has left thousands dead, Duterte said on Saturday after the two held a phone conversation in which Trump also invited Duterte the White House.

      “He was quite sensitive also to our worry about drugs. And he wishes me well … in my campaign and he said that … we are doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way,” Duterte said in a statement. Duterte has conducted a severe crackdown on drugs in the country, where police and vigilante groups have killed thousands.

      1. I read that article when the Post published it. If the electoral college needed any more evidence to act upon the interest of our Democratic Republic than this than there is no reason why they should exist. Trump is a volatile threat to National Security. But as a woman said at Standing Rock, “We will not be Trumped.” It is time for everyone to donate to real investigative jounalism like The Washington Post, TYT, Alternet, put down the fake news on Facebook and God knows where else, learn the truth and join forces as Americans to stop this evil tyranny.

  9. One way to go after Republicans is to tell jokes. One’s that even they will like.

    A Gay CEO, an Irish Catholic, and the Orange man walk into a San Francisco bar.

    The Gay CEO says, “I’ll have a Marley* “.
    The Irish Catholic says, “That is a sin”.
    The Orange man says, “I’ll have a water”.
    The Irish Catholic says, “That is a sin”.

    *Marley is a cannabis brand Gay CEO is investing in.

    http://classicalvalues.com/2016/12/i-was-forced-to-write-a-joke/

  10. It is just a shame that Obama was not in a position where he had the authority to make a change in Marijuana laws. If only he was the president for the last 8 years maybe he could have done something!

  11. “Scratching our heads?” C’mon, NORML; That position is expected among the vast majority of miseducated voters, but we who engage both our state and federal representatives in order to legalize marijuana know that:

    A): State and Federal Congress is the path to de or rescheduling marijuana. No executive agency, whether its the ATF out of the department of the treasury or the rogue villains out of the DOJ, should regulate what is our health and drug policies. 45 years of the CSAct should make this very clear.

    B): Any executive decision by the President to de or reschedule cannabis under the current Congress would end up shot down in Federal court. (Although to be fair, Sessions is going to make sure of that anyway, so what do we have to lose?)

    C): This Republican Congress would love to prosecute President Obama as a civilian. In order for him to help lead Democrats back into the party that represents the working class he cant afford to be muzzled by disclosure agreements.

    President Obama has done the best job for fostering state legalization that could be expected working with or without the tits-on-boar-hog-do-nothing Republican-controlled Congress that he was burdened with since a majority of Americans polled in favor of legalization during his second term. All we can do is call, write and visit our Senators to block Sessions nomination and keep forging away at state legalization.

  12. This just means he doesn’t want flak for not doing anything about the issue.

    Same political bs that is called a politician

  13. Obama had two terms to “do something”. He did not do much. He did not do enough. Now with the end of his term being 1 1/2 months away, he could reschedule MJ or take it off the schedule entirely. He gives no indication of doing so. Weak sauce Obama!

    1. Once the Trump/Sessions crackdown on the cannabis community is in full swing, and all hell is raining down on us, we may long for a cool, refreshing drink of that so-called “weak sauce!” Legalization has progressed during Obama’s two terms at an astonishing rate. Anybody that can’t see that isn’t trying.

      You seem to be holding some kind of grudge against Obama. But that’s water under the bridge now — we’ve got Jeff Sessions and his boys to deal with now. You think they’re NOT looking for trouble? You think because of Trump’s campaign TV bullshit that somehow he’s going to PROTECT US from his own personal pick for Attorney General? Unlikely, to say the least. C’mon, buddy, get with the program!

  14. Don’t forget Trump is good friends with 2 powerful cannabis advocates. Alex Jones and Roger Stone and Jessie Ventura. These guys need to sit him down and lay out the truth. peace.

    1. And to think, all of us reading the Tea leaves from our real state and federal legislators when we could have been listening to a radio talk show host conspiracy theorist, a Blood-sucking lawyer conspiracy theorist, and a former Governor of Minnesota who went “off the grid” in Mexico to “hide from drones.”
      http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/jesse-ventura-drones-103144
      Thanks Wil; and here we thought talking to Congressman was the way to legalization!

  15. Barry, please do something to move cannabis on toward the legalization point of no return, you know, so that Trump or one of his functionaries can’t bring back Jim Crow and Nixon-era war on its own citizens. You got to do something to help us, please.

    http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/12/white-house-hints-at-possible-marijuana-moves/

    I am hoping that krampus has got it about Trump being one of the money hungry rich bastards who will focus on the pile of cash from legalization. That could be a muzzle on Sessions and Price, and put the brakes on them for coming down hard on the little folk. You know here I am working away at my thankless dead-end job that most people would never stoop to do, taking shit with a smile on my face and a polite and proper tone of voice, and I don’t want to drink to relax. And, when I want to make the safer, albeit not without some risk, choice over tobacco or alcohol, the Man, the Establishment, you know, this bunch of old white guys wants to roll back things to the old order of the way things used to be, and very likely to the detriment of people of color, poor people, and the people who side with them for equal rights for minorities, women, LGBT and other folks disenfranchised by the system.

    Barry, please help!

    http://hightimes.com/news/taming-californias-black-market-its-going-to-be-the-wild-west/

    1. Thanks for the link Oracle. We are in a precarious game of what my brothers and I call “Texas Indian” (TM), where the game is almost identical to Texas Hold’em, but instead of seeing your two cards you have to reverse them, (preferably on your forehead), where only all the other players can see your cards.
      The object of the game is that we are all forced to use everyone’s facial reaction to reading eachothers cards in order to judge whether our own unseen cards are worth the bluff.
      Not quite the way to run a Democratic Republic, but that is what we are reduced to at every level of our government, including the electorate.
      I have long suspected a few lame duck Aces out of Obama in favor of legalization… perhaps in the cannibanking sections, which hits Trump’s wallet most ;-), without arousing the full federal contempt of the CSAct…
      But the popular misconception that any President can make an executive action over cannabis without Congressional consent or said decision being shot down in flames by a Federal court confounds me.
      NORML, I know Sessions will take state legalization to federal court without being blocked by the Senate, but that does not mean we jeopardize state legalization indefintely from a Republican controlled Congress by pressing Obama to decshedule and end up with the same results.
      At least wait until after Dec. 19th. Another Texas electorate refused to vote for Trump yesterday. Lets let President Elect Trump make a few more amateur mistakes before we galvanize Big Pharma against President Obama. THAT shouldn’t take long…

  16. The attorneys general in legalized states needs to sue the DEA and the US government for placing marijuana on the schedule 1 alongside heroin for the sole purpose of $ and in the process ruining countless good people’s lives. Sessions will recite a dragnet Joe Friday moral rant how he shutting down pot to enforce the law and protect American lives. To take a wait and see attitude with Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III would be like waiting till the fox has had his fill of chickens

  17. I understand the CAUTION behind Jeff Sessions, but this FREAKING OUT is unprecedented. Loretta Lynch was anti-pot when she first got into AG office too. Trump has supported state’s rights for legalization. There are state laws allowing possession, growing, and sharing among adults. It’s up to the government to regulate or cause problems in their own state, they can’t put this away. We already won.

    It’s good to keep the pressure on Sessions, but this hysteria by some of you is too much. Very illogical when you think about it. I know a lot of you don’t like republicans or having a President Trump in office, but we need to think with logic and reasoning, not our emotions.

  18. The liberals also have to admit it was things like this of Obama not following through and being a good president and listening to his citizens about things like marijuana legalization / regulation that made many liberals lose hope and instead vote for Donald Trump. The liberals had just made excuses for his inexcusable actions for too long, and people got really tired of it.

    1. I promise you, you have no idea what you are regurgitating. Take a few tokes, stop reading Facebook or whatever you call news, and call me in the morning. The fate of our Democratic Republic rests on you educating yourself. You can start with the “Legalization” tab on the top right hand corner of the screen.

  19. Why do you think I voted for Donald Trump? Because I got tired of Obama’s lies and manipulative BS like this.

    Sure, say you support marijuana legalization… when you’re on your way out of office and it doesn’t matter.

    You coward.

    1. REEEEAAAAD!!!!!!!
      And when youre done reading? Read ANOTHER article on the topic from a REPUTABLE SOURCE!!!! ITS CONGRESS STUPID!!!!!

  20. re; “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…

    the answer; he is telling you he cannot do anything as president, that goes against the will of the REAL RULERS of the country.

    if you do not know who they are…

    they are the ones president eisenhower warned us about…

    they are the ones that killed 2 kennedys; JFK and RFK, and also MLK, and MARYLYN MONROE…

    they also distroyed the economy when JIMMY CARTER was president, so he would not get a second term.

    and they got away with it all.

    their symbol is on the back of every one dollar bill; the ALL SEEING EYE.

    1. Are you going to leave us in suspense? Or use the word “they” to cite your sources your whole life!?

  21. Obama was the Abraham Lincoln of the marijuana movement. If he had had a Democratic Congress the last 6 years, it would already be recreational in every Blue State, and we would have a few more Blue states at that. As for the South, and the Prairie,,, look for legalization to occur sometime between the 3rd and 4th Galactic Empire… I know we just voted medical here in Red Arkansas but…..

  22. Obummer, like all federal politicians, changes his tune. Early on, he was a hard-liner AGAINST our cause. Wise up, gang: politicians are reeds in the wind, and will blow in the direction of MONEY. That’s why states that have legalized, haven’t been invaded by federal troops; they’re watching the money. Hit ’em on that level, and they’ll listen.

    1. Jesus Seth, you DO realize that the majority of the nation polled for the first time since Reefer Madness in favor of marijuana legalization during President Obama’s second term, after he lost a Democratic Congress?!!

    1. Cole memos to the DOJ.
      Pardoning thousands on low level drug offenses.
      Allowing state legalization.
      Those are ACTIONS.

  23. Unless he demands an outright descheduling of marijuana, this is too little too late.
    When the Trump administration takes over, they will probably try to police the states that did legalize, and when the budget ends up way too high, they’ll end up having to take on a new approach.

    I hope that what happens is, it goes to the supreme court, and they rule the laws Unconstitutional in the first place. Hence, they legalize and end up ending prohibition against their will.

    Either that, or all states which have legalized so far, will sue.

    Either-way, we are heading for uncertain ground. One thing I will predict is that none of the legalized laws will change. It’ll end up allowing more room for other states to legalize. BUT. Not without Trump’s administration making some noise first.

    And after what ever happens happens, there will be people proclaiming they predicted it.
    And there will be people complaining that the decision was already made, no matter what the rest of us thinks.

    There’s also people claiming this is the beginning of the end. That Trump is the antichrist.

    To all Christians, we don’t know when it is going to happen, we should always be prepared. Only theorists predict such things, and so far, they keep being wrong.
    Enough with that.

    If I had any, I would be smoking it after hitting Submit Comment. 😀 🙂

    1. And they said unto the Lord, “Lord, when did we see you sick, or in prison or naked or hungry and give you medicine, or comfort or food or clothing?” And the Lord said, “Even what you did for the least of these my brethren, you did it for me.”
      Mathew 27:40

      1. WHere Was I?
        I don’t believe any God would damn me just for being gay.

        I don’t know if that first one went through or not.

        Thanks Though..

  24. How can anyone still believe this man? He is still steady locking people in cages. Look at the people he puts in charge. He has been saying one thing and doing another for too long. CHANGE????

    1. President Obama is on track to pardon more low level drug offenders than any other President elected.

      Meanwhile Trump elected the greatest prohibitionist ever known since Harry Anslinger, Senator Sessions, to US Attorney General, and his Secretary of Health wants to take babies from mothers who self medicate for anything from cancer to Chrone’s disease.

      1. Give ’em hell, Julian!
        I was getting tired –there’s too many of them! But you’re the troll SLAYER!

      2. I just hope theyre really trolls and not fake news zombies!! Dont we have to chop their heads off at that point?

  25. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines said on Saturday that President-elect Donald J. Trump had endorsed his brutal antidrug campaign, telling Mr. Duterte that the Philippines was conducting it “the right way.”

  26. Obama should’ve made this statement on the way in and not on the way out. It shows the true character of a puppet. I quess this is my day to complain. I’m so sick of everyone buying into the “baby steps” crap that keeps being shoveled at us. “Baby Steps” are nothing more than the profiteer’s side effects of using government and money to maneuver themselves into a position of a state level monopolies bought by special treatment written into our initiative to the highest bidders.
    When I was just out of school I was so proud and patriotic. Now at 60, all that was once “The Land of Milk and Honey” is gone from my mind forever. And now the patience being ask of me falls on deaf ears. Be respectful and wait is what I’m told to do while worthless wealthy people find one more way to profit while others suffer. To compliment Obama for what he does now at the end is just wrong. That puppet backpedaled on almost every campaign promise that came out of his mouth. As far as I’m concerned he’s joined the ranks alongside Harry Anslinger and all the ilk that followed.

    THE PROHIBITION OF CANNABIS IS A CRIME.

  27. Why do none of my comments ever get posted. What are you doing. I didn’t say anything bad against obama. Losing interest in your site when I can’t even participate.

      1. lol! Don’t worry Noles, You’re not the only one whose done that posting on this site for the first time. Sure is entertaining though. NORML firmly believes in free speech but it takes about 24 hours.

  28. He has had 8 years to act on this issue, but did not. The best I can say is that at least he did not stand in the way of any state efforts.

    1. Obama didn’t stand in the way of the will of the people, like so many other politicians. and that’s a good thing. So, you’re half right!

  29. All I can say is if thinks that then why didn’t or doesn’t him do something to change it. He is all talk.

    1. And thats probably because you dont read before you post. Its a commin misconception the President “should deschedule” but really, could you read SOME of the posts before posting?
      Its Congress!!! CONGRESS makes the laws. The President enforces them.
      Oh for fu€ks sake NORML do I have to run for the school board in Texas to make civics a core curriculum again?

  30. President Obama is right about marijuana although I do wish he had done more for the legalization/regulation cause during his presidency.

    I am very concerned about the incoming Trump administration. Senator Sessions is the most Nazi-like person that I am aware of to ever hold such a high position. It is unthinkable that this racist jerk might be our next AG. If Trump appoints him I hope he doesn’t live long enough to do the kind of damage to our society I believe he will try to do.

    Jefferson Bearegard Sessions III is not someone that should be in a position of power anywhere. I pity the people of Alabama that have had to endure his brutal reign of terror. I pray this ignorant POS won’t be unleashed on all of America.

  31. don’t buy his shit. if he really thought this then he would of done something about it. the man had 8 long years and NOTHING. i mean he could at least TRY to do something right now. he just wants to look cool before he leaves office.

    1. sigh…
      Cole memos…
      more pardons for low level drug offenses than any other president elected…
      Oh yeah, and he could have taken state legalization to federal court and ended it all like Sessions is prepared to do…
      Anyone else get the feeling that the reason Trump and Sessions are moving to power is because people only research what they want to read, post what ever they regurgitated as “facts” or “truth” and no one wants to PAY for or DONATE to real investigative journalism anymore?
      Research, journalistic integrity and government accountability are all hard work. If you like legalization, donate to NORML. If you like facts and truth, donate to Alternet, The Washington Post or the New York Times. Because if we don’t, then we’ll be eating lies and propaganda in place of our Democratic Republic. Don’t take our freedom for granted. Stay informed. Stay active.

  32. I’m really hoping that Presiden Obama will order the DEA to de-schedule cannabis while simultaneously sending Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. to tell the U.N. to de-schedule cannabis from its prohibitionist schedule, too.

    Meanwhile, start digging up dirt on Sessions and Price and the rest of Trump’s picks so that they don’t get confirmed.

    1. Oh theres plenty of dirt in Sessions’ back yard;
      http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/12-reasons-jeff-sessions-should-never-be-attorney-general

      But Trump’s nomination of Nickey Haley for US representative of the UN could bode well considering her previous comments in defense of medical marijuana legalization.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-administration-appointee-tracker/database/

      Especially considering the pending appointment of Antonio Guterrez for UN Secretary General, the former Prime Minister of Portugal who decriminalized that country in 2001.
      http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsId=55285#.WEdjbdIrJdg

      Hey, we’ll take good news where we can get it. Even if Trump makes a bull in a china cabinet look like a well oiled machine between Federal domestic and foreign failures, we can still make progress around him at the state level and internationally.

  33. The best battleground is in the courts. Thats where we always needed the fight to go. If Obama would’ve allowed it to go there in the first place, we would be in greener pastures. The 9th district will be where the final stand will be made.

    1. You might be at the “End of your rope” but you don’t have to jump blindly into the darkness.
      The courts are not at “end of the rope” much less a last resort option to legalization… If I said it enough times on this blog.. or perhaps you’re just provoking a response out of me… any executive action to deschedule cannabis by any President, under the current or especially the next Congress, will end up shooting down state legalization initiatives one by one in Federal court, because Federal law (The Controlled Substances Act) trumps state law. President Obama very graciously avoided taking state legalization to court.
      CONGRESS has to fix the CSAct. CONGRESS has to deschedule marijuana. That means WE need to start voting during state and federal Congressional elections and contacting our COngressman through the “Legalization” tab in the top right hand corner of this screen.

    2. End of the Rope says:

      “The best battleground is in the courts…” What, like our recent petition they sat on for 12 years before deciding we didn’t have “standing”? F*** those black-robed clowns. President Choom-gang needs to de-schedule it yesterday, by the same “authority” Nixon used to ignore his own Shafer commision, not to mention DEA administrative Judge Young…

  34. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Trump hates women, Mexicans, men, German Shepards, Black people, Muslims, goldfish . Im scared to death! Which bathroom will I use? Hillary was robbed. Only she can lead the free world. Trump is just a dummy and Im moving to Canada! Where are you people finding good acid?!

    1. From the bile of your own ignorance. Unless you have something substantive to say about legalizing marijuana crawl off this blog and go back to yahoo news comments or wherever you crawled out of where you seek false reward. Your nonsense has no purpose here.

  35. One of the few things I can agree with Donald trump, he’s finally talking some sense. I still find it bewelidering people think smoking marijuana is a lot worse then drinking alcohol / smoking marijuana…

    There’s way more deaths not only in the USA but worldwide from smoking cigarettes or alcohol related deaths… I can’t think of the last person to die from purely smoking wee?

    1. Where do you get the news that suggests Trump is making sense? In what way is that relevent to a blog dedicated to the legalization of marijuana? Please cite and paste your fact-based source with a link.

    2. $igarettes kill 6,000,000 a year worldwide (WHO 2011 estimate)
      Alcohol kills 2,500,000 a year worldwide
      (WHO 2011 estimate)
      Dr. Scott Olson, author of “$ugarettes” estimates eating too damn much $ugar kills 15,000,000 a year.
      Maybe this is where to voice my opinion that instead of vague warnings of “the munchies” it is correct to say cannabis inspires you to want to CHEW CHEW something, i.e. not $ugarjunk but GOOD FOOD, chew it thoroughly so it is mixed with intelligent saliva before swallowing and you get the NINV New Intuition Nutrition Value.

      1. Mexweed, I just love your inspired focus on robust health!

        Cigarettes: Want to save a life? give ’em up. Best thing you could do for yourself! You won’t regret it, I promise!

        Sugar: Mexweed, you got me. Sugar is my last drug problem. I quit tobacco and alcohol for my own good. Really happy with my decisions. But it would be a damn shame if I were to succumb to diabetes, after surviving all that! So I’ve cut way, way back. (Quit laughing, I really have cut back!)

        Marijuana gives you the munchies, that’s a fact. And it’s also true, sweet stuff tastes really, really fantastic when you’re high.

        But so does healthy food.

        I say, marijuana gives you the munchies, but it doesn’t force you to eat junk food — that’s on you!!

        (I mean, me.)

  36. President Elect Trump has endorsed Philipine President Dutertes indiscriminate mass murder of his own citizens in the name of the Drug War:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/07/world/asia/rodrigo-duterte-philippines-drugs-killings.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    Please donate to NORML by clicking on the donate button at the top right hand corner of this web page.
    And please donate to and read real investigative journalism like the New York Times or Alternet.

  37. As you said, take the good news where you can get it. If the President-elect does anything good for legalization, he deserves credit for what he does, just as he deserves derision whenever he does something that hurts legalization.

    Something good or false hope?

    http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/12/marijuana-legalization-activist-could-lead-trumps-fda/

    Ik vind het erg leuk in de cannabisindustrie in Nederland te werken. Zo in Mokum of Utrecht of zo zou heel mooi zijn. Of dat niet kan dan over de grens in Duitsland. Wie biedt me een baan aan? Ik heb er ook een connectie voor kofie uit Hawaii als je dat wilde importeren. Mensch, würd’ ich so gerne in der Cannabisindustrie in Düsseldorf, Berlin oder irgendwo im deutschsprachigen Raum arbeiten. Es muß sich allerdings lohnen.

    http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/12/another-german-capital-wants-cannabis-legalization/

    Legalization is jobs creation!

    NORML, feel free to hook me up with my European counterparts who are interested in engaging me in the Netherlands or Germany, Switzerland, Austria or somewhere thereabouts. I firmly believe cannabis should be legal, traded in U.S. dollars on international commodity markets, and that the U.S. should dominate and control cannabis internationally rather than prohibiting it. The future Prez has the non government organization through which to make sure the dollars don’t go to people who are hell bent on trying to kill us westerners, like not going to IS.

  38. As you said, take the good news where you can get it. If the President-elect does anything good for legalization, he deserves credit for what he does, just as he deserves derision whenever he does something that hurts legalization.

    Something good or false hope?

    http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/12/marijuana-legalization-activist-could-lead-trumps-fda/

    Ik vind het erg leuk in de cannabisindustrie in Nederland te werken. Zo in Mokum of Utrecht of zo zou heel mooi zijn. Of dat niet kan dan over de grens in Duitsland. Wie biedt me een baan aan? Ik heb er ook een connectie voor kofie uit Hawaii als je dat wilde importeren. Mensch, würd’ ich so gerne in der Cannabisindustrie in Düsseldorf, Berlin oder irgendwo im deutschsprachigen Raum arbeiten. Es muß sich allerdings lohnen.

    http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/12/another-german-capital-wants-cannabis-legalization/

    Legalization is jobs creation!

    NORML, feel free to hook me up with my European counterparts who are interested in engaging me in the Netherlands or Germany, Switzerland, Austria or somewhere thereabouts. I firmly believe cannabis should be legal, traded in U.S. dollars on international commodity markets, and that the U.S. should dominate and control cannabis internationally rather than prohibiting it. The future Prez has the non government organization through which to make sure the dollars don’t go to people who are hell bent on trying to kill us westerners, like not going to IS.

    1. Oracle,
      I read the article fully at Marijuana.com, and taken in analysis by itself, without camparison to the atrocity of Trump’s bucket of Drug Warriors, the nomination of O’Neill to run the FDA is most certainly good news. This guy has a dog in the fight for legalization, and quite frankly, Trump’s Presidency is going to be so fkd up from the get go its not clear that Big Pharma is going to be able to persuade O’Neill NOT to allow botanical whole plant trials. Big Pharma is going to be persuading Sessions to take state legalization to federal court. At the same time, O’Neil will be challenging the premise of our entire synthetic patenting system. God willing we can block a Session nomination and work with O’Neil on whole plant FDA policy.

  39. “Schedule I Cannabis” is a Damned lie. “Schedule II” will NOT do.

    Cannabis SHALL be removed from CSA “Schedule I”, and instead be placed in “CSA Subchapter I, Part A, §802. Definitions, paragraph (6)”, appended to the list “distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco”.

    Anything short of that is *ABSOLUTELY* unacceptable.

    1. Listed with distilled spirits or tobackgo?
      .
      Wee wee weed steps if we can get ’em, but it is damned insulting. Anything short of dignified respectful recognition of cannabis VAPAGE is “EVENTUALLY” unacceptable.
      .
      Teach, agitate, advocate worldwide flexdrawtube oneheater manufacturing industry to entirely replace shameful hot burning overdose monoxide paperpuffin’ joint (dopily imitative of corporate genocide $ig format), convert 3,000,000 southern Asia sweatshop hausfraus from rolling “beedis” to sifting and loading #16 and #30 bwdflower into 1-gram #750150 hinged-lid cannisters.
      .
      @Julian, as you remarked to a newbie it’s taking hours for a moderator to attend to posts here (which somewhat disrupts the discussion)– and you have often repeated the answer, let’s alleviate the understaffing by everyone doing a better job of $$ funding NORML!
      .
      AlterNet’s system allows instant posting but certain vicious troll posts are soon enough replaced by “This comment was deleted”– meanwhile a few quick responses to the deleted comment remain to be seen and give an idea what I’m missing by the time I got there.

  40. Obama had 8 years in which he could have put marijuana in the same classification as alcohol yet he did NOTHING. On the other hand he has allowed the Individual states to excersize their right contrary to Federal law, although he did allow many raids and incarcerations of ilegal growers but that stopped, am I correct?
    Now things are looking pretty frightening with a cabinet filled with guys with nicknames like ‘mad Dog’ and the AG that hardens back to the good old days of blacks on chain gangs, and says he liked the Klan except they smoked weed. So there you have it, he thinks smoking marijuana is worse than hanging innocent blacks from trees.
    This is all like a Dr. Strangelove the movie except I want to believe it is a bad dream but I wake up
    And watch the news and it is real.

  41. pss … Like the spine-less ___ he is,when he was Drunk, with his pen and phone! signing excuse orders like he invented them, not one to federally re-classify cannabis !!! But as he walks out the door, he NOW! has an opinion … Good Riddance barry.

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