President and pot politics

President Barack Obama openly discussed his views on marijuana in a recent interview with “The New Yorker” magazine. Among Obama’s comments:

– “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.”

– Smoking marijuana is “not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”

– “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. 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.”

Hmmm. Something is missing in Obama’s comments, including what he says he told his daughters. Nowhere in the president’s comments do we find this thought: Unless you live in Washington or Colorado, smoking marijuana is illegal.

Judging by his recent comments, the president clearly doesn’t think smoking marijuana should be illegal, and Obama has shown that his administration has no intentions of enforcing the federal laws banning marijuana use despite the new laws in Colorado and Washington. In fact, Obama said it’s important for the legalization of marijuana to go forward in those states to avoid a few users being punished when a large portion of people have broken the law.

Obama’s comments weren’t surprising given his own pot-smoking past. It’s yet another example of a president who has repeatedly ignored laws that he finds inconvenient or at odds with his own beliefs.