In an interview with New Yorker’s David Remnick, Barack Obama states that marijuana is no more dangerous to a person’s health than alcohol. Obama also states that marijuana may not be healthy, but it surely isn’t as dangerous as many might claim it is. But most people in America now agree to legalizing marijuana. According to a CNN survey, among U.S. citizens aged 18 to 34, support for legalization is 67%, and for those aged 35 to 49 years old, support for legalization is 64%.
Obama admits to smoking marijuana saying, “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”.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 substance, along with much harder drugs like heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. This means that the DEA sees marijuana as a big threat. The DEA also considers these “The most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence”.
Obama later states in the interview that “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.”
Later in the interview when asked if the government will stop Colorado and Washington from legalizing marijuana, Obama states how important it is that the law is passed because, “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.”
Obama is trying to cut down on the number of drug offenders and feels that marijuana shouldn’t be the main a drug people are worried about.