Obama Calls for Dramatic Cannabis Reform

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, president Barack Obama took a clear, pro-decriminalization stance on cannabis. His latest statements stand in stark contrast with his administration’s increasingly hands-off but ultimately noncommittal stance.

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By Jimi Devine @JimiDevine | CannabisNow.com

In his most pro-cannabis statements of the decade, President Obama deviated from the moderate, wait-and-see tone he’s previously employed and leaned hard on the type of idealistic rhetoric not heard from him since the 2008 presidential primary.

When asked about cannabis by Rolling Stone, the professorial reserve of governing Obama vanishes and a wild, 2008 campaign trail Obama appears.

“I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it,” Obama said.

This statement comes from a man who, until recently, had his Department of Justice prosecuting patients across the nation. Some of the property seizures only ended last month, and the Obama DOJ continues its legal proceedings against Harborside around the application of IRS Tax code section 280E — the results of which are expected to have major implications for the industry going forward.

Early in the article, Obama uses a reference to Trump voters supporting marijuana decriminalization in large numbers as some sort of anti-establishment bipartisan bridge issue along with other issues like distrust of Wall Street, a higher minimum wage, and surprisingly, gay marriage.

Later on in the interview, the Stone’s reporter, Jann S. Wenner, presses the president more directly on the cannabis issue. Wenner mentioning that the whole West Coast has access to legal cannabis, says that the War on Drugs has failed completely and reiterates the fact that marijuana is still a Schedule I substance.

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