President Obama says marijuana is no more dangerous and destructive to the fiber of American society than alcohol. During an exclusive interview published in Sunday’s edition of The New Yorker, President Obama opened up to editor David Remnick about his overall feelings regarding marijuana, stating that while he did still have a mostly-negative opinion of the herb, it is not the devilish drug the opposition has portrayed it to be throughout the years.
"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,” he said during the interview. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."
The president said that smoking pot should actually be considered less dangerous than drinking alcohol, especially “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," he said.
Marijuana is currently classified under federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance and the White House says the president will not support a downgrade of that status anytime soon. Still, Obama told The New Yorker that he is concentrating his efforts on passing new laws that will benefit the everyday marijuana user.
“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,” he said.
The president said that the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington is a valuable social experiment "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 further says that while he is certain the legalized marijuana trade will not put an end the world as we know it, he wonders if loosening the laws around one drug will not create a more relaxed environment for other, substantially more dangerous illegal drugs.
“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?’” Obama wondered. “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 okay with that?’”
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.