Obama and the Weed

Responding to a deluge of questions regarding marijuana and drug policy that came from YouTube on 27th January, President Obama said he is not in favour of drug legalization.

However, acknowledging that the “war on drugs” has not been effective, Mr. Obama said he thinks of drugs as “more of a public health problem.”

More than 140,000 questions were submitted to the president on the video website for his virtual question-and-answer session today. YouTube visitors cast more than 1 million votes, rating the questions positively or negatively. According to the Huffington Post, 198 of the 200 highest-rated questions related to drug policy.

While drug policy is hardly a top priority in Washington, Mr. Obama said it is an “entirely legitimate topic for debate.”

In the top-rated YouTube video question, retired deputy sheriff MacKenzie Allen said, “The so-called war on drugs has been waged for 40 years at a cost of a trillion dollars and thousands of lives, with nothing to show for it but increased supplies of cheaper drugs and a dramatic increase in violence associated with the underworld drug market.”

“Do you think there will or should come a time to discuss the possibility of legalization, regulation and control of all drugs, thereby doing away with the violent criminal market as well as a major source of funding for international terrorism?” continued the retired officer, a member of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

The president said the United States has to “go after drug cartels that are not only selling drugs but also creating havoc” at places like the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

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