By Anthony Jauregui
On Jan. 19 2014, President Barack Obama said in an interview for The New Yorker, “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice.” Obama then went on to say, “ I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
Expressing an opinion on a controversial topic like this wouldn’t be as bad for a day-to-day person, but Obama is president, and ultimately this statement will be taken seriously and be used for or against him.
Frank James of npr.org said, “Obama’s comments, cautious as they were, could still fuel momentum for legalization at the state level, especially since he endorsed that approach.”
Washington and Colorado have already legalized recreational marijuana use, but since Obama made this statement, an expanding nation-wide legalization debate has started.
Misinterpretation of Obama’s statement has left people wondering whether he’s saying this to get supporters on his side or whether it’s to give discretion on marijuana.
Some think that Obama made this claim to get people on his bandwagon since previous supporters have dropped off over the term he’s been president.
Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com says “The President spends years opposing its normalization, then as states start acting on their own, he tries to jump out ahead of it by slowly embracing in public opinion. That worked for Barack Obama on same-sex marriage, and it’s beginning to look like the same strategy is in play for marijuana legalization.”
Giving this unclear comparison between marijuana and alcohol seems like the perfect way to resurrect fallen allies.
President Obama lost a lot of supporters during the Affordable Care Act conundrum.
Marijuana enthusiasts still assume there’s a chance of legalization even though Obama’s views haven’t changed.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney answered a question from CNN saying, “The President’s position on these matters haven’t changed.”
The issue with Obama’s whole statement is that he is not straightforward.
First he says it’s a bad habit, and then he says he smoked it. After that he says it’s not as bad as alcohol, but then he says we should be careful because it affects the user in different ways.
Obama is unclear with his answer. I don’t think he should be playing for both teams.
Obama is entitled to his opinion, but he should be more cautious to how he expresses things to avoid a chain reaction of hopeful marijuana enthusiasts.