Obama Again Reiterates His Support for Medical Marijuana
In another Sanjay Gupta CNN cannabis special that aired this month, President Barack Obama once again reiterated his support for medical marijuana, as well drug policy reform – despite his recent mixe
When it comes to speaking the truth about the relative safeties, and medical potential of marijuana, there are few that that have swayed the public as much as Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta is a neurosurgeon, and CNN correspondent who was initially against marijuana, but changed his mind when presented with hard scientific fact. He now investigates the real story, and spreads the word to everyday people, so that rational scientific based reasoning can break the stigma surrounding the subject.
In his most recent look at marijuana, Dr. Gupta had the pleasure to interview Barack Obama on the current state of marijuana policy within the US. Within the interview, Obama reiterated that he fully supports scientific based policy, and the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This comes as more and more states look to legalize cannabis for medical use, and as a bill that would reschedule marijuana from a schedule I to schedule II drug is submitted to congress.
This isn’t all though, not only is Obama is favour of medical marijuana, he also wants to see the way drugs and drug addiction are dealt with changed: ““You know, I think I’d have to take a look at the details, but I’m on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue, but I’m also on record as saying that the more we treat some of these issues related to drug abuse from a public health model and not just from an incarceration model, the better off we’re going to be.”
When comparing such a model to tobacco use, and the declining usage rates within the US, he said, “You know, we save tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of lives every single year. We didn’t throw anybody in jail; we just made sure that they were well-informed and if somebody has an addiction, we made sure that we made it easy for them to get help.”
MIXED MESSAGES FROM THE WHITE HOUSE
Despite this positive news, Obama recently made it very clear that the matter of legalisation should be a very low priority in the grand scheme of things (and we told him why he was wrong!). As such, whilst his words on this matter will carry weight, he is unlikely to put his own hand into play to make the matter happen.
Tom Angell, chairmen of the Marijuana Majority, said, ““If the president means what he says about following science, then there’s no question he should support legislation to move marijuana out of Schedule I, a category that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with no medical value. And, since it’s so hard to get anything through Congress these days, he should even do more than that. He should exercise his power under the Controlled Substances Act to administratively reschedule marijuana right away. The only thing stopping him from doing that is his own reluctance to follow through on his stated principle of letting science dictate policy.”
Irrespective of whether Obama decides to get directly involved or not, the fact that more and more states are considering both medical and recreational legalisation would indicate we are past the tipping point of ending prohibition within the US. Obama doesn't need to do anything, the people will take care of it themselves!