Obama’S Remarks About Pot Could Shape States Debates

KOMU via Johncombest:

President Barack Obama’s comments published Sunday on his history with marijuana could significantly shape the debate over decriminalization and legalization of the drug in Missouri.

In an interview published Sunday in New Yorker magazine, Obama said his administration will not interfere with implementation of new state laws that authorize the purchase of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use.

The administration said it will focus enforcement on targeted goals, such as making sure the drug stays out of the hands of people under the age of 21.

Obama said he does not believe the drug is more dangerous than drinking alcohol.

“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,” Obama said. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Obama said he supports laws that treat users fairly. The president said too many African-American and Latino children are receiving harsher penalties for marijuana use.

Dan Viets, a Columbia organizer with Show-Me Cannabis, told KOMU 8 News he welcomes Obama’s up-front explanation of his experiences with the drug.

“It doesn’t seem to have harmed his career too much and I think the president is again being honest,” Viets said. “He’s acknowledging the truth that many Americans are well aware of and that’s that marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol and that there is no justification for treating people who use marijuana responsibly as if they were criminals

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