Here is the excerpt from President Obama’s interview in the New Yorker with David Remnick related to marijuana.:

When I asked Obama about another area of
shifting public opinion—the legalization of marijuana—he seemed even less eager
to evolve with any dispatch and get in front of the issue. “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. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
Is it less dangerous? I asked.
Obama leaned back and let a moment go by. That’s
one of his moves. When he is interviewed, particularly for print, he has the
habit of slowing himself down, and the result is a spool of cautious lucidity.
He speaks in paragraphs and with moments of revision. Sometimes he will stop in
the middle of a sentence and say, “Scratch that,” or, “I think the grammar was
all screwed up in that sentence, so let me start again.”
Less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact
on the individual consumer. It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my
daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.” What
clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and
incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “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.” But, he said, “we
should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail
time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the
same thing.” Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado
and Washington that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important
for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at
one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”
As is his habit, he nimbly argued the other
side. “Having said all that, those who argue that legalizing marijuana is a
panacea and it solves all these social problems I think are probably
overstating the case. There is a lot of hair on that policy. And the experiment
that’s going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I
think, a challenge.” He noted the slippery-slope arguments that might arise. “I
also think that, when it comes to harder drugs, the harm done to the user is
profound and the social costs are profound. And you do start getting into some
difficult line-drawing issues. If marijuana is fully legalized and at some
point folks say, Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we
can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that? If somebody
says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or
rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?”

A link to the full article is below:

President Obama Admits Marijuana Safer than Alcohol

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