Obama: marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol

President Barack Obama has said he does not think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer".

Loading Comments
Share
Print

"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 in an interview with The New Yorker magazine

"I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

Smoking marijuana was "not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy", Mr Obama added.

Mr Obama's government has given states permission to experiment with marijuana regulation and laws recently passed in Colorado and Washington state legalising marijuana recently went into effect.

The president said it was important for the legalisation of marijuana to go forward in those states to avoid a situation in which only a few are punished while a large portion of people have broken the law at one time or another.

He said he was troubled at the disproportionate number of arrests and imprisonments of minorities for marijuana use.

"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 said in the interview that users should not be locked up for long stretches of time when people writing drug laws "have probably done the same thing", but urged a cautious approach to changing marijuana laws, saying that people who thought legalising pot would solve social problems were "probably overstating the case".

"And the experiment that's going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge," the president said.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, praised Mr Obama's words, saying his use of the word "important" about the new Colorado and Washington laws "really puts the wind in the sails" of the movement to end marijuana prohibition.

Critics of the new laws raise concerns about public health and law enforcement, asking whether wide availability of the drug will lead to more under-age drug use, cases of driving while high and more crime.

Families

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

148899

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

New Year resolutions

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Yorkhill does great work and Black Friday

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.