In an extensive interview with David Remnick from The New Yorker, President Obama said that marijuana is comparable to cigarettes and alcohol, only a lot less harmful in its effects on the individual.
“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,” he said.
Our President’s thoughts are in direct contrast with federal law as the DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, or one of the most dangerous drugs, along with LSD, heroin, and ecstasy, to name a few.
To put that in context, methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, which, if you've ever seen “World’s Most Dangerous Drug,” or Breaking Bad for that matter, is ridiculous.
President Obama’s ideas on legalization of the drug are clearly rooted in equity and the reality that arrests and punishment for drug-related crimes disproportionately affect black and Latino youth.
“Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do . . . 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,” said Obama.
But even though Obama supports Washington and Colorado on it’s legalization of marijuana for recreational use and notes that current drug laws are a social justice issue, he won’t be supportive if his daughters decide to light one.
“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,” he said.
How do you feel about legalization of marijuana? How would it affect you if marijuana were legalized?