For the first time since taking office President Obama has made it clear that he supports legalizing cannabis similar to how the law handles cigarettes and alcohol; allowed but regulated.
The comments came as part of an interview published today by the Rolling Stones. Although Obama states that he doesn’t believe legalizing cannabis will solve the country’s drug issues, he says it’s a much smarter approach than continuing to retain cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, which puts it alongside dangerous and fatal substances such as heroin.
“It is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency] to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another,” Obama said in the interview. He went on to praise the process of legalizing cannabis state-by-state.
“The point is that politics in a big, diverse country like this requires us to move the ball forward not in one long Hail Mary to the end zone, but to, you know, systemically make progress,” Obama said.
The Rolling Stones’ full interview with President Obama, which covers many topics, can be found by clicking here.