Obama’s Hypocritical War on Marijuana

May 26, 2012

A forth­com­ing biog­ra­phy on Pres­i­dent Obama is mak­ing head­lines, with new details about the pres­i­dent smok­ing mar­i­juana with his teenage friends in Hawaii. David Maraniss’ book, Barack Obama: The Story, describes Obama as a mar­i­juana enthu­si­ast: “When a joint was mak­ing the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Inter­cepted!’ and took an extra hit,” Maraniss writes. Maraniss also describes Obama’s tech­nique of “roof hits” while hot-boxing cars. “When the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceil­ing,” he writes. Obama has been less than shy about his drug use in the past, writ­ing about the topic in Dreams from My Father, “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a lit­tle blow when you could afford it,” he writes in the mem­oir. While Obama’s term began with great promise for drug pol­icy reform­ers, in the past two years it has been dif­fi­cult to distin­guish Obama’s drug poli­cies from those of his White House pre­de­ces­sors. Although Pres­i­dent Obama has acknowl­edged that legal­iza­tion is “an entirely legit­i­mate topic for debate” — the first time a sit­ting pres­i­dent has made such a state­ment — his administra­tion has made a string of increas­ingly dis­ap­point­ing moves over the last year. Half of all U.S. drug arrests are for mar­i­juana — more than 850,000 Amer­i­cans were arrested for mar­i­juana in 2010 alone, 88 per­cent for mere pos­ses­sion. Barack Obama won a lot of hearts and minds some years ago when he talked so openly and frankly about his youth­ful mar­i­juana use. That con­trasted refresh­ingly with Bill Clinton’s hem­ming and haw­ing about not hav­ing inhaled, much less George Bush’s refusal to even acknowl­edge what old friends revealed about his mar­i­juana use. But the pres­i­dent has been los­ing lots of hearts and minds, espe­cially those of young vot­ers, with his strik­ing silence on mar­i­juana issues since he became pres­i­dent — apart from pro­vid­ing lame excuses for the fed­eral government’s aggres­sive under­min­ing of state med­ical mar­i­juana laws. Most dis­ap­point­ing is his fail­ure to say a word as pres­i­dent about the fact that half of all drug arrests each year are for noth­ing more than pos­sess­ing a small amount of mar­i­juana, which is some­thing Barack Obama did lots of in his younger days, or to offer any crit­i­cal com­ments about the stun­ning racial dis­pro­por­tion­al­ity in mar­i­juana arrests around the coun­try. Roughly twice as many peo­ple are arrested for mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion now as were arrested in the early 1980s, even though the num­ber of peo­ple con­sum­ing mar­i­juana is no greater now than then. If police had been as keen on mak­ing mar­i­juana arrests back then, it’s quite pos­si­ble that a young man named Barry Obama would have landed up with a crim­i­nal record — and even more likely that he would not have his cur­rent job. With 50 per­cent of Amer­i­cans — and 57 per­cent of Democ­rats — now in favor of legal­iz­ing mar­i­juana use, accord­ing to Gallup’s most recent poll, Pres­i­dent Obama needs to come clean once again about mar­i­juana — but this time he needs to speak not of his own youth­ful use but rather of the harm­ful con­se­quences of today’s puni­tive mar­i­juana poli­cies for young Amer­i­cans today. Ethan Nadel­mann is the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Drug Pol­icy Alliance (www​.drug​pol​icy​.org) Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Author: Ethan Nadel­mann Pub­lished: May 25, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

f35c613f8a0x4180.jpg 150x133 Obama’s Hypocritical War on Marijuana

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Obama’s Hyp­o­crit­i­cal War on Marijuana

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