Barack Obama called for re-thinking the federal government’s stance on marijuana, and said that the drug should be treated as a “public health” issue, in a recent interview with The Rolling Stone.
“It is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another,” Obama told The Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner.
Obama said that while he doesn’t believe that legalization is a “panacea,” he thinks that marijuana should be treated as a public health issue similar to cigarettes and alcohol.
There’s already a thriving commercial market for marijuana in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and seven more states, including California, voted to legalize marijuana in various forms on November 8.
At the federal level, however, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Obama stressed that whatever his position, de-scheduling marijuana is not something he can do by “presidential edict.”
“Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA,” Obama said. “As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.” read more at businessinsider.con
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