President Obama: No To Decriminalization, Yes To More War On Some Drugs

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director July 25, 2011

    Ironic kudos to Political Rhetoric graduate student ‘Steve’ from the University of Maryland for asking President Obama last Friday a spot on and searing rhetorical question from the Millennial generation about our country’s need to end the nation’s longest war…the failed war on some drugs.

    Steve gets it. The audience gets it. According to all polling, in excess of 90% of U.S. citizens broadly believe the ‘war on drugs’ is a failure (75% support medical access to cannabis. 73% support decriminalizing adult possession for cannabis; and 46% support cannabis legalization outright).

    When will the two major political parties and presidents—like Obama—get it?

    According to polling last week, President Obama is quickly falling out of favor with the Millennial generation that helped sweep him to power in 2008. Lest President Obama forget who brought him to the dance, he might want to look at the clear discontent—across all party lines—with the way the federal government has been conducting drug warring, notably its full-throat perpetuation of antiquated and tax-draining Cannabis Prohibition policies.

    Instead, he should deliver a clear message for supporting a system of legally controlling cannabis, rather than deny economic reality, waste taxpayers’ money and constantly face embarrassing questions about a failed public policy that has long festered in the public’s mind.

    President Obama should endorse a ‘drug peace’ where cannabis is legally controlled like alcohol products; patients can access a safe and non-toxic naturally occurring medicine; and farmers, entrepreneurs and consumers in America can benefit from industrial hemp production.

    President Obama, NORML and tens of millions of cannabis consumers and lovers of liberty ask you not to re-commit us to war against ‘weed’, but, instead, to re-think the leaf.

    By David Edwards of Raw Story

    President Barack Obama said Friday that the U.S. would not be ending its war on drugs under his watch.

    “Much is being asked of our generation,” a doctoral student named Steve told the president at a town hall event in Maryland. “So, when are our economic perspectives going to be addressed? For example, when is the war on drugs in society going to be abandoned and be replaced by a more sophisticated and cost effective program of rehabilitation such as the one in Portugal?”

    “I have stated repeatedly — and it’s actually reflected in our most recent statement by our office of drug policy — that we need to have an approach that emphasizes prevention, treatment, a public health model for reducing drug use in our country,” Obama said. “We’ve got to put more resources into that. We can’t simply focus on interdiction because, frankly, no matter how good of a job we’re doing when it comes to an interdiction approach, if there is high demand in this country for drugs, we are going to continue to see not only drug use but also the violence associated with the drug trade.”

    After several minutes of explaining U.S. efforts to help Mexico fight transnational drug dealers, the president got to the point.

    “Just to make sure that I’m actually answering your question, am I willing to pursue a decriminalization strategy as an approach? No.”

    “But I am willing to make sure that we’re putting more resources on the treatment and prevention side,” Obama added.

    Watch the video from MSNBC, broadcast July 22, 2011 here.

    168 Responses to “President Obama: No To Decriminalization, Yes To More War On Some Drugs”

    1. No says:

      First of all, cannabis is a vegetation and not a drug. Heroin is a drug and so are PCP, cocaine and crack cocaine. Un-ban all vegetation and mushrooms. Silly morons.

    2. […] suggestion that marijuana legalization could help the economy? Remember when he emphatically stated he would not pursue a strategy of decriminalization of marijuana? Yeah, we do, too. So imagine our surprise at NORML to find an ad for President Obama’s 2012 […]

    3. Mike says:

      So who is running for president who wants to decriminalize a plant that the earth made for us to utilize? Has anyone seen the amount of recalls on prescription pills on tv? Republicans and democrats need to stop with there differences and at least elect a president who is for the people. We know what we want, why cant we take it?

    4. Bryan says:

      Don . 162 : I am known to be cryptic .,. though the om
      setting to deny understanding about “not understanding”
      ‘a word I say’ is known to me as abiding money role on:
      a premise the lacking “regard to understand freemason”,
      seen as the setting it gains allotted funding to those:
      who cannot agree the Manner of Speaking Former Activist
      did not allot a sense of funding to those choosing Anew
      reasonable sense of ignorance about higher thought . .,
      though you were quite polite about your choice to say :
      you cannot understand my denial of Republic Fraud{ing},
      the votes and so-forth about denying proper America[na]
      so thanks .,. I am used to this impasse . . . . . OK :)

      163 : “Ignorance is Bliss” yes , money grant ignorant.,
      is a bliss for those more interested in dollar bills as
      a continuing source of self-entertainment {etcetera} OK
      Thanks for your time . Please accept as written . Bryan

    5. […] Remember when he emphatically stated he would not pursue a strategy of decriminalization of marijuana? […]

    6. The American Genesist says:

      There must be a great reason why Republicans won’t give in. I wonder – do they get a piece of the illegal pie?

    7. Don says:

      @161 Bryan – I’m sure what you have to say is very important, but seriously, I can’t understand what you’ve written. Oh well, perhaps this is an example of “Ignorance is Bliss” :)

    8. Bryan says:

      OK Obama . Hello to Ron Paul . Whatever you are told to
      say and the way the sound bite about decrim refers with
      thought you don’t have the ability to decrim~in-alize#*
      during this term at office [hopefully your first and OK
      administration to begin another thought on the Inter(2)
      National Monetary Fund] without bothering the Republic$
      money and “maximum payout” which gave us IMF : Thought$
      to Begin Maximum PayOut During Potential Arab Conflict$
      during the GW Bush Administration and IMF resolve : (2)
      Economic Renaissance to Cancel Counterfeit Payout at ~*
      Bank Fraud and Republic[en] Funding Noted as Ruining %$
      Economic PayOut System Affecting Bank Foreclosure And A
      Problem with Value to Begin Moderate Refubishment On @!
      Principle of Economy to Deny Frauding and Exec Insult.,
      during the Obama Admin [first] administration . . . . .

      Did the People Who seem with reason of prohibition and!
      dis-content thereof : who want to vote for Ron Paul :@:
      as he seems to be the pot friendly presidential person~
      to begin “liberal ideas” such as legal ‘illegal’ drugs^
      and legally ‘procuring’ free laws on prostitution scene
      as the way to promote Law-Abiding Free America .,. note
      he’s not the best choice as he denied the ability for a
      State Department ruling to keep Laws at Natl State with
      US Free Decadence as debate policy on [m word] legally~
      referring to free-for-all law regression to civilized$~
      dispute with all existing Modern Culture to his joking*
      sense of post-modern decadence .|. _\|/_ what om
      a run-on sentence . . . as the State Department seem to
      respect the way to deny post-modern decline with survey
      about om surveillance technology and Food Safety as the
      thought about ways the 100% all or nothing vote for any
      Republican hopeful who will fulfil maximum payout to uh
      the now shadow govt of GW Bush and his Martial Law.s on
      attempt to receive maximum payout for nuclear munition&
      given the Intl Monetry Fund miasma they offered during$
      Arab Thought of Enforcement .,. I like our option will*
      be Ron Paul .,. though I don’t see any other right-wing
      as helping the actual Free Will progressive sense of uh
      Modern Nature as they would be falsely puppeted by Anew
      Fake Exec GW Bush and “Cheney”.|. for maximum payout to
      trash Earth Peace all over again .,. and with the GBush
      era bank fraud solved by Obama . . . we don’t have Anew
      ability to form a Republic[en] Tea Partier reasonabl om
      Cr@p Shoot if they will trash US Economy all over again
      as you should notice if you watch C~SPAN the raising uh
      debt ceiling debate and US House votes were all-or-nthn
      Republican majority , all voting the same , and if this
      became the standard at Presidential Election .,. what!!
      will be our ability to elect a pot-friendly President *
      if all we have is conservative majority voting 100% pay
      ruin and problem to GW Bush higher Exec .|. Hm . Owell
      the planned International Monetary Fund for Republican$
      payout next term was cited as : Global Warming and Anew
      Maximum FEMA payout for Natural Disaster as the Acts of
      Promoted God would be Natural Disaster en Nuclear Flood
      and we don’t want to ya know , destroy ecology .,. when
      we should want to begin “cannabis ecology” . . . . . :)

      Getting to my point . Last thought this statement . . .

      Ya DUMI . Obama can’t decriminalize pot this term . . .
      He’s got Republican 100% money voting US House and then
      former problem Presidential Caucus GW Bush [as patsy] $
      to “Cheney” Republican “Tea Partiers” telling him it’s:
      Not in the Best Interests of the American People to be+
      ready to Deny The Government Funding and Legally Begin:
      Cannabis Legally Smoked as ONCE AGAIN it’s not the most
      money on the money grant [illegal] system to the Govt1*
      Republican Economy who .,. if you will review : left us
      with a ten year wartime , counterfeiting bank fraud , &
      A War on Drugs with more busts recently as Obama Admin*
      cannot do what he wants and legally procure cannabis om
      until he begins the way to deny false voting and begins
      Manna Legal without Partiers insulting him AND Ron Paul
      about their hold-up considering Conservative Ignorance.

      Give Obama Admin some good tidings instead of uh
      the contrived stories he won’t support cannabis . . . .
      I know from the actual statement he made and his actual
      picture when he said it .,. He was high and you try to$
      berate the best President we have this modern decade N:
      not allowing legality . . . what did he actually say to
      be moderate to both sides of Peace and Greed . . . . :)

      Learn he’s not a person you have to insult with fed-up:
      Problems With Your Thoughts on Caucus and Ron Paul. OK+

      Thanks . May NORML accept this as written . Bryan Ev*

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