President Barack Obama was interviewed by The New Yorker and revealed his thoughts on the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. Obama admitted that it was just a bad habit that was no big deal.
He said, “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.”
Finally someone with power admitting something we all know: Reefer Madness was lies! What was more interesting was his discussion on how the criminalization of weed is largely related to class and race, saying, “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.”
According to The Nation and many, many other statistics, Obama is right about that, “Over the last fifteen years, police departments in the United States made 10 million arrests for marijuana possession—an average of almost 700,000 arrests a year. Police arrest blacks for marijuana possession at higher rates than whites in every state and nearly every city and county—as FBI Uniform Crime Reports and state databases indisputably show. States with the largest racial disparities arrest blacks at six times the rate of whites.”
Obama then admitted that the reason he supports Colorado’s recreational pot use is because it could help to resolve these unwarranted arrests that unfairly affect poor Americans of color, “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.”
So what do you think? Should marijuana be legalized to help reduce class and racial inequalities?