Obama Thinks Drug Policy Is “Serious Issue,” and Not Much Else

Jan 28, 2011 , , , , , , , ,

President Obama held another public forum yesterday on Youtube, and once again the questions were dominated by concerns about our nation’s drug policies. Many in the reform movement were worried that we would be ignored or laughed off again. Well, the President did respond:

We at MPP are pleased that President Obama is at least taking the issue of drug policy reform seriously. But his response is not much better than what President Bush might have said. Yes, we need to improve access to drug treatment and we need to focus on other options in the criminal justice system for first-time, non-violent offenders. But we need to have a far more serious discussion about the potential benefits of creating a legal, regulated market for marijuana.

It is time to end marijuana prohibition and it is inappropriate for the president to group that subject into an across-the-board opposition to “legalizing drugs.”

51 responses to “Obama Thinks Drug Policy Is “Serious Issue,” and Not Much Else”

  1. It’s the people who have to fight this fight… the Feds are an instrument or the public…. get it? The public must stand up and be counted or the Harry J. Anslinger’s and DuPont’s and etc. of the world have won!

  2. The LEAP question was inappropriate. It lumped Marijuana in with legalizing all drugs. I think maybe the question had been formulated to do so. It gave Obama the upper hand. I would rather him been asked how the Federal Government can continue to list Marijuana as a Schedule 1 Drug considering the AMA has stated it has obvious medical value.

  3. You really think the answer would have been different if Mac Allen had simply said “marijuana” instead of “all drugs” in his question? And to belittle the historic importance of the president’s answer in legitimizing the debate is very short-sighted. Recall that until now the administration’s line is that legalization isn’t even in the president’s vocabulary. Gain some perspective, please.

  4. CANNABIS REFORM!! Is that so hard to say? When or where will we as AMERICANS get that those two simple words will save us all? Obama wants to fight the cartels. Obama says we need to look at something besides jail for first time offenders. Obama smoked cannabis lots of times. What a piece of SHIT!! As long as you don’t get caught, its ok. What about those of us who use cannabis for medical reasons in a state where it is illegal? Are we to be jailed, fined or killed by law enforcement? I say we have had enough. Obama WILL NOT get another term. He just shit on every American who uses cannabis, legal or not!! If I am wrong,PLEASE, let me know. “nuts42062@yahoo.com”.

  5. At least he threw us a bone and said, it was a legitimate debate, 2 years after Arnold said it, plus billions of dollars and hundreds of deaths later. In 2 years, you think he got the message? No. He also said he wants to “change our attitudes”. I don’t know about you but I think he needs to change his own attitude and quit smoking cigarettes.

  6. President Obama on Thursday called drug legalization “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” but quickly added “I am not in favor of legalization.” my response is simply, Put Up or Shut Up Mr. President! The debate you claim is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” is long over due. We the People have been a…sking this Government to give us this debate and debate this issue like reasonable human beings. The government’s response has “shocked the sense of fair play,” they have openly lied and mis-informed the general public for since 1937. Mr. President we want this debate! We dare you to set this in motion and since you clearly stated, “not in favor of legalization”, you and your party should put up or shut up and defend Prohibition. We the People will bring it on, set the ground, we’ll debate who ever you send. All we ask is that it be live and transparent to the public.

  7. President Obama is so confused. Rehab must have really screwed him up because he’s straight to nowhere and totally narrow minded. His opinions are extremely shallow.

    It seemed that he was already prepared to give out his remarks on the marijuana issue but somehow got stunned when he heard the popular number one question. Then the president just mumbles away when his mind goes blank.

  8. Ten years ago the issue was being ignored.
    Two years ago it was being laughed at.
    Yesterday it was being fought.

  9. In typical fashion for government people, Obama tries to establish some commonality, but then describes activities which are the opposite. He says we should treat it as a public health issue, but says nothing about ending the violence, then he talks about finding the most effective ways at interdiction. He sucks!

  10. Of course, did you really expect that any politician would openly answer any questions on YouTube? I mean, we shouldn’t let ourselves be tricked by this. “Open interview using YOUR questions!!!” Yeah, they’ll ask our questions, but he isn’t going to give any straight answers.

  11. There is a good reason to mention “all drugs” because anti-marijuana prohibitionist tries to confuse the marijuana issue by using the term “all drugs”, so why not use it.

  12. President Obama on Thursday called drug legalization “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” but quickly added “I am not in favor of legalization.” my response is simply, Put Up or Shut Up Mr. President! The debate you claim is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” is long over due. We the People have been a……sking this Government to give us this debate and debate this issue like reasonable human beings. The government’s response has “shocked the sense of fair play,” they have openly lied and mis-informed the general public for since 1937. Mr. President we want this debate! We dare you to set this in motion and since you clearly stated, “not in favor of legalization”, you and your party should put up or shut up and defend Prohibition. We the People will bring it on, set the ground, we’ll debate who ever you send. All we ask is that it be live and transparent to the public.

  13. I have to agree that the question made it far to easy for Obama to sidestep answering about cannabis reform. Do not get me wrong, it was a completely legitimate question but completely unrealistic. It is much easier to ignore cannabis reform when it can be lumped together with Crack, Heroin, and Methamphetamines. All of us here know that ending the drug war completely is the best thing that could happen but right now most of America is not willing to accept the idea that Heroin or Meth could not be illegal anymore but they are much more willing to accept that Cannabis could not be illegal. Obama couldn’t have prayed for a better question. He believed the top question would have to do with cannabis law reform again and he knew he would have to answer that question or suffer the repercussions next year at the poles and when the question was asked I’m pretty sure the laugh he made at the very start of his answer was one of joyful relief. Because the question refereed to all drugs instead of simply cannabis he was able to shrug off the “absurdity” of “wackos” asking to legalize all drugs while throwing out the Schwarzenegger response in an attempt to win over the cannabis law reformers. Any one who read the questions before watching his interview will have noticed that the written question that leap submitted was about all drugs and then specified cannabis but the video question just refereed to all drugs, I really doubt the lack of clarification during the interview was an accident.

    One of the most important things I have learned about participating in a debate about Drug Law Reform is to be very very very very careful with wording.

    All that being said, what he said is pretty much the best we could have hoped for too. It is the same thing that was said in California right before Prop 19 got started. I feel we are truly entering the tipping point on this issue but that means we must be extra vigilant in what we say and do because we all know the closer we come to Cannabis Re-Legalization the harder prohibitionists are going to struggle and fight to win over enough of the American people or politicians to stall or stop the removal of their cash cow.


  14. The question was asked way to broad i do agree. I live in pennsylavnia which is not legal for medical use. i personally use it for medical. once a day to help me be mobile for the day due to a military hip problem. My ex-husband is abusing the system by calling CYS on me. I think it is unfair for non medical use due to the fact i have tried so many different pain killers and it did not do me well at all. So please MPP keep up the good work. Me myself i need help here in pennsylvania. for if it is medically passed there will be no reason for me to be in DATS. Way i look at it in my situation. CYS is getting paid to mak emy life miserable. and same with all these counselers who label me ass an abuser. looking at the pain medication pills says take 1 tblt 4-6 hours per day. any mro eis considered abuse. i smkeo once a day how am i an abuser. sorry so long but im stuck and sick and tired of this situation.

  15. Call it cannabis, call it marijuana, call it pot, call it drugs; it doesn’t make any difference. When it is in great demand and it’s illegal the prohibitionist and the cartels both have the upper hand. It doesn’t matter why it is in demand? Prohibition and cartels are both taking advantage of the situation and the compromising president just throws money at the situation.

    Prohibition is the problem and prohibitionist will not back down or own up to anything. So the “war on drugs” continues …..

    Stop the madness, legalize!

  16. we all must vote for the same policy, legalization. what a shame the growers in california found it in their best interests to vote down complete legalization. it just goes to show you the pocketbook with the deepest pockets will win at the polls. which candidate will stand up and make marijuana a key issue for their platform? probably most of them, until the election is over, then they bow to the 15 levels of government that are now above the president. the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots. you’ll either bow or fight, of course you’ll be fighting your own government, but we were warned…woodrow wilson…there is an element that has invaded our government, and robert byrd…they are all following their own agenda’s, and now the supreme court has ruled corporations can give politicians campaign contributions. so they flood the ballot with several candidates and you vote for one of there sleepers. those nazi’s took over without firing a bullet, and your bullets are next. what good is a gun with ammunition with a shelf life of 6 months. paul revere said the british are coming, i’m saying the nazi’s have already taken over.

  17. The number one question was put together by retired pigs (LEAP), how convenient. Leap can be trusted about as much as G. bush.
    Obama is not the answer to stop the WAR ON FREEDOM (drugs). We need someone else to vote for in 2012. Let this woos Obama go in 2012.

  18. person above is correct when saying that its how the question is phrased. we need to know about marijuana decrim, not all drugs…but can we at least get it bumped out of the current schedule featuring heroin

  19. “Why does the propagannda remain accepted by the Law?” This showed be asked until we get the answer. this propagannda for prohibition of Cannabis is harmful to the welfare of our society. It endangers the society as a whole. It is destructive to the relationship between citizens and law enforcement. It interferes with any kind of real mental health issue surround it’s use. The propagannda causes death to American Citizens without any due process and a denial of equal protection. The sick have an absolute right to pursut happiness in the form of good health, cure from sickness and the present law violates that right. Sinces that is a constitutional right the law is unconstitutionally applied to cannabis and any citizens choosing to use for better health and to fight cancer. Can we have the debate NOW!

  20. I do not use cannabis or even alcohol anymore, but it is maddening that at least half the people are forced to pay for this prohibition that they oppose. If a President gets >50% of the vote it is considered a land slide. I paid about $25,000 in fed taxes last year, and I’m sure a great deal of that has been used to pay goons to go after and lock up peacefull Americans who want to grow and use a God-given PLANT! All you liberals who thought that Obama would be a different kind of President: get out of the rut and start looking at true libertarians who believe that people should be able to do what they want, as long as it is not hurting others (this does not include getting high and driving around, which is not allowed currently with alcohol or any other prescription drug).
    And yes, I know I’m terrible at spelling, what do you expect I’m an engineer.

  21. “Every word appears to have been weighted with the utmost deliberation and its effect to have been fully understood.” Wright vs United States, 302 U.S. 583 (19…38)
    ANd what case over turned this? Please post the case law that chnages this or over rides it? “Where rights are secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491.
    Now did you read that part about “there can be no rule making or legislation which would aborgate them” and yet our rights stand aborgated do they not?

  22. I read all your guy’s comments. 1 thru 28. Yes it would have been good if Barry from Punahou would have gotten just the cannabis ?, but he got the whole kit and kaboodle ?. Full legalization of all drugs, so F”n what. First off that’s the way it will have to be. Full legalization-all drugs, how could it be otherwise. Mj is this ones only preference. I will not be doing heroin and meth, or coke etc.,, tomorrow or any other day just because it became legal, F ‘ that . Now steppedonmyrights, I am gladder than hell about LEAP, are you ignorant of the impact these people can/could have on the elite class/powerbrokers/politicos, I have great respect and appreciation for these men and women, they don’t particularly care for drugs themselves personally, but they not only want mj legal, they want all drugs. I am not personally for all drugs being legal, but I can see it is the only way! Bad Heroin and overdoses of heroin kill less people than fucking tobacco every year ok.
    Never mind the devil’s water called alcohol. I think the real crime is that cigarettes go unaffected by any kind of prohibition -EVER!- WTF!
    How this persists is beyond me, oh I know the Tobacco lobby power and influence. Hey, stompedonmyrights we have the power thru the Constitution to overthrow or dissolve/dissolution our govt. correct? Yet we do nothing, cause we know if we demonstrate, it will be watched closely, scrutinized and broken up by the establishment at any level, whether state of fed. So we do not have the right basically to overthrow the govt. .It is funny to see that we have the right according to our constitution to abolish our govt. if we see fit, yet we do nothing for the fear of we will be crushed by the army/navy/airforce/marines/nationalguard(think4deadinOH.) of the most powerful nation in the world, and then on the other side of the world we have the people who have no right to abolish their govt. rioting in the streets, just look at CNN, Egypt and elsewhere are offered no rights like the sheep here in our flock in the U.S., but the have the balls to stand up and put it all on the line, its so funny “real life”. No rights they stand up, those who do have rights ” Uhh!, where do you want me to go, what do you want me to do, which way to be brainwashed, which way to the slaughter house. Obama is a piece of work/shit. I hate to say it, but I bought into his lies also. Yes I’m saying I voted for Barry from Punahou. WE CAN GET IT LEGAL! THEY (the Feds) WILL NEVER GO FOR IT ON THEIR OWN!

  23. I think the debate has long since been won… We should legalize marijuana. Any opposition is plain insane. Science has beaten this topic stupid. Literally. Legalize it and stop the lies.

  24. Senator Vicki Schmidt is the Assistant Majority Leader from the 20th District, of the Kansas Senate. Her email address is: vicki@vickischmidt. Please email her and let her know you want the cannabis laws changed in Kansas this Year!

  25. A few things.
    1-I can’t stand Nobama, but how he worded that answer I did. Someone before said if he would hve been all for it, the repubs would have smelled blood, pounced on it, and all efforts would have been for naught. Him saying it’s a serious topic for debate opens it up for just that – a debate. Him saying he is against it holds off the hounds. Now you have over 12 states with brand new bills.
    2-If we want weed legal due to our rights to put whatever we want in our bodies without gov’t interferance, then you HAVE to be for the regulation of all drugs across the board. Otherwise, you become a hypocrite.
    3- In the words of Mr. Bean – “We’re WINNING! We’re WINNING!”

  26. Is marijuana a public health issue? You don’t ever die from pot. You die from a cop shooting you for possessing pot. 100 years from now Obama is going to look as progressive as Strom Thurmond.

  27. Don’t give up on Obama yet. You must remember he will be running for relection in 2012. Supporting Marijuana legalization now is still an issue the establishment in D.C. is afraid of. As much as we hate it the money still comes from the side that is against legalization. How much money are you willing to give to your candidate of choice who supports legalization? Not much is my guess. Money is the bottom line of just about every issue before congress. Money to hold elections and conventions. Money for those looking for government grants. The list is a very long one. Obama can only sign bills put to him from congress. In other words he can’t do as much as you think. He can lobby congress for a bill that supports legalization or decrimalization and there will be compromises to meet. My guess is you’re only going to get legalization of MJ. Focus on that. That’s why you’re here and it’s a compromise. The perception that hard drugs are harmful isn’t going away for a long time. Face reality. Support Democratic congressmen. It’s your best bet. Republicans are not going to cave on this issue for now. D.C. is a 2 party town and will be for the forseeable future. Stay away from the Tea Party. They lean to the right on personal responsiblity and that means being drug free. They are Republicans in sheep’s clothing. And besides their focus is on fiscal responsibilty not drug legalization. Quit blaming the pharm companies and the tobacco industry. They will find ways to profit if MJ is legalized. They are very clever or more likely just don’t care. Legalizing MJ could be a boost for Pharm companies. Focus on law enforcement though that is a tough one. Quit placing blame on ignorance. It turns people off. Do you like being called ignorant? Be smart not angry. Thanks for your time.

  28. The “War On Drugs” really is a war on the people of color throughout the world who are farmers who’s climate and environment allows the growth of plants which will grow no where else on the planet and some of these are medicine plants which the creator places on this planet to cure our ills.
    The drug companies do not want people to use natural medicines but want to work thier alchemy and sell poisonous pills as if it were medicines, only with sometimes terrable side effects (If you have athsma and the side effect, from the drug that the doctor prescribed to you could be an asthsmatic death, and knowing this you continue to use that poison ) don’t take just one take two!!!
    Profits will be lost by the drug manufactures, and the poor farmers will have money in their pockets. Now you know that you can’t have farmers with money in their pockets, why they might start to get uppity and you just can’t have that now can you?

  29. I do not agree that we should legalize all drugs that to me is not a good idea.But I do think we should re-schedule cannabis as a non toxic non lethal herb that has a lot of medicinal uses which has already been proven by the 15 states who have made medical use legal. To know about the medical use and keep it classified non medicinal is like telling a lie .Not legalizing cannabis as a cure for cancer is inhumane.Intentionally keeping it illegal ,knowing it is a major medicinal herb suggest malice towards humanity .Sever punishment for obtaining it and using it and growing it also suggest too much punishment for a non toxic non lethal herb(non violent crime) which to me also suggest malice towards humanity .

  30. Drug court was the worst thing I have ever been involved in , I should have just gone to jail for a few months and been done .

  31. President Obama’s actions speak louder than his words, in a recent statement that he “opposes legalization,” but when he goes on vacation? Hawaii is one of the most compassionate states for cannabis commerce! For crying out loud! Stand up and show some leadership skills because we are the future green economy.

  32. For the sake of argument the legalization forces have the ball and its time to ask our leaders to debate the War on Drugs. Don’t hide in your political Ivory Tower, use condescending language or sweep the seeds of legal cannabis off the table!

  33. Obama Thinks Drug Policy is Serious Issue, not much else! I really like working with hemp textiles. The natural fiber is gorgeous; its fibers take dyes with beautiful results. Hemp textiles are breathable and durable. Hemp fiber would make (U.S. patent) awesome healing material for casting broken bones because the fiber is the most durable on the planet and breathable. Having had broken bones requiring a cast without allowing my skin to breathe was torture, slowing the healing process. When you fracture or break a bone, the healing process is both inside out and outside in.

  34. I do need your support and I need it today. Please don’t brush me off like the legislaotrs do in this nation. The president call for a debate on cannabis, I want to hold him to it, don’t you? I ask you to sign this petition and demand an open deabte on this issue that has harmed us all. Join me, join the fight to bring these lies into the light. Time to share and show and tell with the evidence.

    Here my lastest brush off from the Kansas Legislators.
    Connie O’Brien View
    Medical use of cannabis is hard to control, look at California where it was misused by doctors. I am sure if it did all of the things you said the p…eople who have abused it would not have any medical problems. My sister had a stroke at the age of 39 from misuse of drugs and she started with cannabis. Until it can be controlled very strictly I will not support it use. Thank you for contacting me.
    Rep. Connie O’Brien
    Kansas State House 42nd District

    The Kansas Legislator’s behavior “shock the sense of fair play.”
    From: Susan
    Wagle View Contact
    Thank you for your e-mail. The thoughts of my constituents and all Kansans are always important to me.
    The 2011 legislature session is well under way. I can’t always personally respond to each and every e-mail but each communication is read and taken into consideration as I make important decisions and vote on each issue.
    If you have urgent, more specific concerns, please do not hesitate to call my office at 785-296-7386.
    Again, thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns.
    Susan Wagle
    State Senator

    Here yet another brush off response from the Kansas Legislator.
    From: Annie Kuether View Contact
    To: Anthony
    I understand your plea and think there is a place for the use with canc…er patients. I… just don’t thiank with the makeup of this new legislature, this issue has as much of a chance as a snowball has in hell. Sorry to say that. Annie

    Bottom line is our State Legislators don’t care. They don’t care if the sick die. They don’t care if this herb will heal or not. As my House of Representartive said above, “as a snowball has in hell”, Death due to the Kansas Legislators willfull ignorance.
    Please sign my petition and lets drag these fools into the street. Lets put a light on their lies.

  35. Some would say we are already debating the cannabis issue. We are already going over the facts and discussing them. This is true only to a degree but we the citizens can not stop the death, the 900,000 plus arrest this year unless we pull this horrid falsehood completely out from the darkness and into the light of day. The government will never be properly confronted and made accountable unless we get a forum, a National Debate, a transparent public debate between those who continue to write, arrest, enforce, and refuse to yield their point of view over the will of the people, the Prohibitionist and those who claim that the actions of the government violates some if not all the basic concepts of liberty, justice, freedom, due process, and equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution. Further that the Anti-Prohibitionist claim that the 1937 & 1970 US Congresses did not have the right or privilege to abrogate the rights of the people because no threat to the Nation’s welfare & safety existed for them to act on. Signing the petition put the cannabis issue back into the President lap. The Government has no real evidence, it is a fraud, fables and myths. But by signing you the American people are saying Shut up! or Put Up!

  36. President Obama’s comment that we need to focus on other options is a tepid response and this concerns me for several reasons foremost it demonstrates a shallowness or lack of thinking through problem solving by POTUS with respect to the federal government approach to 15 states’ medical cannabis laws; and public acceptance of cannabis for medicinal uses. The federal government has imprisoned many Americans during the War on Drugs who are still wasting away in jails and prisons around the country; the federal government continues wasting U.S. Treasury and human capital on punitive remedies to prosecute sick people with federal exclusions penalties imprisonment abandonment loss of property ad infinitum. I pray President Obama show leadership to end cannabis prohibition and open dialog with cannabis, hemp, and medical marijuana industry proponents; because the War on Drugs is the fulcrum for failure into the future; and for the U.S., and Obama Administration.

  37. The President is wrong, we should have cannabis no matter what. Alcohol is the worst , it is right up there with cigarettes, that kill millions of people, every year!!Cigarettes killed my father and the cigarttes companys could care less. All are greedy bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Its easy to imagine the tobacco industry will benefit with marijuana reform since they will rotate cannabis crops or use it for soil replenishment. I remember reading cannabis plants have all essential amino acids and have heard from big tobacco that
    “they aren’t among our enemies.” Thus, its fair to surmise big agribusiness benefits with cannabis reform as they will rotate cash cannabis crops into farmlands all over the U.S. It’s hard to imagine any friends in Big Pharma because every single friend I know will grow their own medicine. Speaking of Big Pharma, their media ads are worse than illegal drug paraphernalia …. “Just ask your doctor if the purple pill is right for you.”

  39. The Republicans are on the war path to shrink federal government as per mandate in the last election cycle, and we’re told the budget cuts will hurt. It might be practical and prudent to ask marijuana be removed from dangerous harmful substance to herbal status with allowable personal usages; to issue federal permits to grow cannabis or hemp permits for agricultural farms and green commerce.

  40. I myself am a recovering meth addict..I have been clean from meth for over 4 years; these are the type of drugs that need to be focused on. The drugs that kill people and tear families apart. I am a medical marijuana patient and can honestly say that this drug is not addicting. I have stopped using marijuana several times and since using the medical form have had far less migraines and my muscle spasm in my shoulder has decreased. This industry could put so much money into the economy of our country and eliminate us taxpayers from having to rely on other countries for money! Alcohol and tobacco are far worse for our health yet those are regulated and legal..

  41. Yesterdays Cannabis is today’s Methamphetamine. Look at how tweekers behaved in the 1920″s compared to now. Our treatment of Meth users is literally causing them to degenerate in to the criminals that the prohibitionists need. The health issues are independent of the behavioral issues. Bad people are bad people. In fact, many of the “worst” people were not on any drugs. Perhaps they should have been.

    The ex-meth user above me here does not understand addiction. Nothing can be stated as being non-addictive. Addiction potential rests entirely on the genotype of the individual. Ergo, the person is inherently prone to addictive (compulsive usage, a form of OCD) behaviors.

    I actually qualify as being a full fledged Cannabis addict if one is to maintain a narrow perspective. I cannot maintain the necessary sleep patterns required to function in society without medication. Ironically, I do not have any compulsion issues as I have maintained abstinence of Cannabis multiple times in the face of great suffering from sleep deprivation and stress from “malignant ” social structures.

    Self control is the key to addiction of anything. You either have it or you dont.

    Drugs can be “bad,” but their prohibition and criminalization is “worse” as it magnifies any harms that may be associated with the drugs per se.

  42. I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the way everyone, not just the president, immediately change the word in their argument from marijuana, to “drugs”. As far as i know, MPP is not attempting to legalize any drug except marijuana. Lets stick to the point.

    Moreover, I’d just like to say that myself, and many others I know are appreciative of the work you’re doing here at MPP. We love watching your televised debates. You pick apart your opponent, and stick to the topic Mr. Kampia.

    Rob Kampia, and whomever else it may concern here at MPP, you have more supporters than your statistics show. I wish there was more I could do to help the cause. Keep it up!

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