In an interview with CNN Friday, President Obama expanded on his remarks regarding marijuana made in a recent New Yorker interview. In that latter interview, Obama described marijuana as not being any worse than alcohol, and CNN interviewer Jake Tapper pressed him on those comments. When Tapper asked him about rescheduling marijuana out of Schedule I, the most restrictive classification, he declined to take a position, instead trying to pass the buck to Congress. "First of all, what is and isn't a Schedule I narcotics is a job for Congress," he said.
That comment was misleading. While Congress created the drug schedules and placed drugs in different schedules when it passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, the act gives the executive branch the power to reschedule drugs. In fact, the DEA has denied three separate petitions seeking to reschedule marijuana. "I stand by my belief based on the scientific evidence that marijuana for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge," he said.
The president added that his main concern was the criminalization of marijuana use.
Click here to read the full article.
Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.