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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Obama Speaks On Marijuana Legalization

With everything going on throughout the world and here at home, it turns out that perhaps the biggest thing on the mind of young people is marijuana. This week, President Barack Obama met with Vice founder Shane Smith to discuss a number of issues, ranging from climate change to marijuana legalization.

After a series of in-depth responses from the President, regarding foreign policy, global warming and political gridlock, Smith asked Obama, “What does the President think about legalizing marijuana?”

"First of all it shouldn't be young people's biggest priority," Obama told Vice. "Let's put it in perspective. Young people, I understand this is important to you. But you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs. War and peace. Maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana."

Clearly, Obama makes valid points worth taking into consideration; however, many young Americans have witnessed firsthand the effects of draconian drug policies in America. The targeting of minorities, as well as the impoverished, handing out lengthy prison sentences for nonviolent offenders should be a major concern for young people.

While Obama did not come out in favor of full on legalization of marijuana, he did, however, say that current drug policy "doesn't make sense." "I'd separate out the issue of decriminalization of marijuana from encouraging its use," said Obama.

"I always say to folks, legalization or decriminalization is not a panacea. Do you feel the same way about meth? Do we feel the same way about coke? How about crack? How about heroin? There is a legitimate, I think, concern about the overall effects this has on society, particularly vulnerable parts of our society."

"At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule," said Obama.

You can watch the Vice interview in full, below:

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

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