Obama: Pot is ‘a bad habit’ that is no ‘more dangerous than alcohol’

Obama (AFP)Raw Story – by Scott Kaufman

In an interview with David Remnick published in The New Yorker on Sunday, President Obama equated smoking marijuana with “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.”  

When Remnick asked whether it was “less dangerous” than cigarettes or alcohol, the president demurred. It is less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. 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.”

Obama then acknowledged the structural inequalities surrounding drug laws in the United States. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”

He went on to attack the hypocrisy of long sentences handed out to users by laws written by politicians who have likely committed the same crimes. “[W]e 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,” he said.

Of the challenges to federal drug policy issued by the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the president said that “there is a lot of hair on that policy.” By which he meant, it seems, that there is some validity to the slippery slope argument used by opponents of legalization: “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?”

Obama seemed particularly concerned with the plight of African-Americans and Latinos throughout the wide-ranging interview. “You have an economy,” he said at one point, “that is ruthlessly squeezing workers and imposing efficiencies that make our flat-screen TVs really cheap but also puts enormous downward pressure on wages and salaries. That’s making it more and more difficult not only for African-Americans or Latinos to get a foothold into the middle class but for everybody—large majorities of people—to get a foothold in the middle class or to feel secure there.”

Scott Kaufman Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club’s Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.


9 thoughts on “Obama: Pot is ‘a bad habit’ that is no ‘more dangerous than alcohol’

  1. Yea, obama knows all about smoking pot, he also knows about smokeing that crack too. Hey obama how about a executive order for the legalization of marijuana, how about it – yea obama E O`s everything else it – or at least it seems anyway – so how about marijuana. 🙂

  2. I’ve heard obama has smoked a choad or two….lol.

    Anyway, concerning drugs , no victim no crime.
    I’ll smoke what I want…and it’s my business alone.


  3. This may be the initial propaganda release to lead us toward the nation-wide legalization of pot, which they might encourage as a possible way to prevent a revolution.

    I always thought that rather than locking people up for it, they’d be a lot wiser to hand the stuff out for free if they want to continue the advancement of their tyranny, which they obviously do, because pot prevents people from being angry.

    Remember: there’s a propaganda motive behind every word uttered on the Zionist TV, or printed in the Zionist press, so rest assured that this discussion was publicized for a reason.

  4. Remember guys that when obama first ran he did say that he would push for legalizing it. And that means for total and complete legalization of it.

  5. It pretty much IS legal here. All you need to do is get a medical card (average $60), and they’re simple to obtain.

    Then go out and shop around for the best deals. Most places will give you a first-time customer deal as a promo to get you into their place of business.

    There’s only a few hundred or so shops within a 20 mile radius.

    1. Vices ain’t crimes my friend, like counterfeiting is and it can carry the death penalty like it should as observed in the Constitution of the United States of America.By the way that ain’t one nation.It’s a confederation of separate sovereign states who individually ratified the Constitution with the implied if not always written right of secession.Personally,I prefer the articles of confederation to the Constitution but what’s it matter since rights come from the creator and not the government who doesn’t give a damn about rights or constitutions anyway.But the creator does.And so,by default,do we.There comes a time in a thinking persons life when you ask yourself if you’re a part of creation or a part of the state.Not to promote phony religion but only God knows why.

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