In a recent interview, President Barack Obama says smoking pot isn’t “more dangerous” than drinking alcohol.
“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,” Obama said in a lengthy profile in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
Obama said he thinks marijuana is less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” But he added, “it’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”
He did caution that the movement for legalization of marijuana raises “some difficult line-drawing issues. If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, ‘Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka,’ are we open to that? If somebody says, ‘We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth,’ are we OK with that?”
“Those who argue that legalizing marijuana is a panacea and it solves all these social problems I think are probably overstating the case,” he said “There is a lot of hair on that policy. And the experiment that’s going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge.”
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