Jump to content

Obama: If Enough States Decriminalize Marijuana, Congress May Change Federal Law


mibrains
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/obama-marijuana-decriminalization_n_6881374.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2a01Rg2g2Z8

Obama: If Enough States Decriminalize Marijuana, Congress May Change Federal Law

President Barack Obama said if enough states reform their marijuana laws, Congress may change federal law that continues to make the drug illegal.

Obama, during an interview with Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith released in full on Monday, said he's encouraged that liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans seem to agree that current U.S. marijuana laws don't make sense.

"We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side," Obama said. "At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule marijuana."

 

Last week, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which has high potential for abuse and no medical value, to a Schedule II drug, which has lower potential danger and recognized medical benefits. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Twenty-three states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Four states, as well as D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana.

"I'd separate out the issue of criminalization of marijuana from encouraging its use," Obama said. "I think there's no doubt that our criminal justice system, generally, is so heavily skewed towards cracking down on non-violent drug offenders that it has not just had a terrible effect on many communities -- particularly communities of color -- rendering a lot of folks unemployable because they got felony records, disproportionate prison sentences. It costs a huge amount of money to states and a lot of states are figuring that out.

"But what I'm encouraged by is you're starting to see not just liberal Democrats, but also some very conservative Republicans recognize this doesn't make sense -- including the libertarian wing of the Republican Party."

Obama cautioned that legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, or any other substance, isn't a panacea.

"I think there is a legitimate concern about the overall effects this has on society, particularly vulnerable parts of our society," Obama said. "Substance abuse generally, legal and illegal substances, is a problem. Locking somebody up for 20 years is probably not the best strategy, and that is something we have to rethink as a society as a whole."

Smith told Obama marijuana was the most popular topic that Vice readers wanted the president to address in the interview, parts of which were released last week. Obama said he understands the interest in the drug, but said the issue of marijuana "shouldn't be young people's biggest priority."

Young people should care about "climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace," Obama said. Maybe at the bottom of that list, the president said, "you should be thinking about marijuana."

According to a recent study from the American Civil Liberties Union, blacks were nearly four times as likely than whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though usage was about the same for both groups. In Washington, D.C., Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, blacks were 7.5 to 8.5 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possessing pot.

The United States is home to just 5 percent of the world’s population, but a full 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The harsh and lengthy sentences for nonviolent drug crimes have helped bolster that figure. In 1980, there were roughly 40,000 drug offenders in U.S. prisons, according to the Sentencing Project, a prison reform group. By 2011, the number of drug offenders serving prison sentences had ballooned to more than 500,000 -- most low-level operators with no prior criminal records.

While relaxed state marijuana laws have begun to affect incarceration rates, an average one person is arrested for marijuana possession every minute in the U.S., according to FBI statistics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone watch the entire Vice interview?

 

For someone who was a leader of the elite Punahoe Hawaiian prep school's Choom Gang and was well known for bogarting passed joints the President's comments were hardly supportive of MJ and/or MMJ.

 

While many here seem to promote the Democrats and (understandably) denigrate the Republicans, I say a pox on both parties.

 

Neither party's bureaucracy has clean hands or good intentions in my view. I condemn them for their bigotry and shame them for their ignorance.

 

Anyone of either party who fears MJ is first and foremost a clueless coward.

Edited by outsideinthecold
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone watch the entire Vice interview?

 

For someone who was a leader of the elite Punahoe Hawaiian prep school's Choom Gang and was well known for bogarting passed joints the President's comments were hardly supportive of MJ and/or MMJ.

 

While many here seem to promote the Democrats and (understandably) denigrate the Republicans, I say a pox on both parties.

 

Neither party's bureaucracy has clean hands or good intentions in my view. I condemn them for their bigotry and shame them for their ignorance.

 

Anyone of either party who fears MJ is first and foremost a clueless coward.

i did..

and i agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, jailing our people should be on the bottom of the list.  Jobs and the economy are second when having a sentance keeps you from both?  What an azzhole.

i agree...with everything except the azzhole part

this is the part where i said to myself.. WTF  this is a HOT topic.. a game changer.. not a second string.

this is our lives.

we live for our plant

the good people amongst us strive to be better and better.

1 person every 19 seconds arrested in the USA for non violent cannabis possession??

not ok with any of us.. and that is priority number ONE.

 

time for Obama to strengthen his legacy with some real changes...

 

unlike the healthcare act.. and what ever else.. this is his golden moment to do something about a tangible wrong...

we all know cannabis prohibition is wrong.

it is far time the gov admits it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The azzhole part is a bit harsh but it was meant to show how he just doesn't get it or is intentionally misleading.  I don't know which is worse?

  It hits home for me.  I forwent many life choices and worked for myself since I was too anxious to have that over my head every day of my life and have my family hanging in the balance.  It's why I didn't go on to further education, yet.

A friend is an electrician and he once said "if I wake up in the hospital from getting hurt on the job and I've been drug tested I'm left with no job, no career, a large medical bill, no health insurance and my family suffers".  Basically a ruined life in a second.

How does the economy and a job matter for a kid with a record? 

 

Coming from a guy who has dodged run ins and reached the highest echelon, it does come off as very azzholeish.

Edited by Norby
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's why I didn't go on to further education, yet.

 

are you passionate about this?  seems like a good career path.. the "yet" made me respond..

 

i felt a bit of.. whats the word.. excitement about the mere fact u may go on to further your education..

 

it really is good for any person to further their intellect by any means possible.

 

hope you get the opportunity to achieve your goals Norby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...