President Obama said in an interview published on January 19, 2014 that marijuana no more dangerous than alcohol. Mr. Obama, the top drug enforcement officer in the country, qualified his answer by saying that he would not encourage his children to use marijuana. Marijuana is currently classified as a schedule I drug. That means it is in the same category as heroin, crack-cocaine and a litany of other “serious drugs.”
It appears that Mr. Obama was stating the obvious as a majority of Americans already believe marijuana should be legal. In the criminal justice system it the criminal penalties and stigma of being a criminal that is worse than the drug itself. Most people in the criminal justice system know the problems alcohol causes, but it is rare to find an assault, domestic violence incident, robbery or over-dose related to simply using marijuana. So finally, the President of the United States of America has essentially admitted that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. So why do we continue to spend so many law enforcement dollars prosecuting marijuana crimes?
How long will we have to wait until the US Government starts treating marijuana like alcohol, instead of like heroin, crack, and other schedule I narcotics?
Unfortunately, our current policy remains and marijuana crimes are strictly enforced. It is even more unfortunate that if you use marijuana you can become president, but if you are charged and convicted of even possessing marijuana your whole life can be ruined and you can be thrown in jail.
Here’s a link to the article.