Barack Obama: ‘Marijuana no more dangerous than alcohol’
20 January 2014
US President Barack Obama has said smoking marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, but still called it a “bad idea”.
Speaking to The New Yorker magazine, he said it was wrong to think legalising the drug would be “a panacea” that could solve many social problems.
Mr Obama was referring to recent legalisation of marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington.
He has previously admitted using the drug when he was young.
“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Mr Obama said.
But he added that in terms of its impact on the individual consumer “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol”.
He also said that poor people – many of them African Americans and Latinos – were disproportionately punished for marijuana use, whereas middle-class users mostly escaped harsh penalties.
“It’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”
Mr Obama described the legalisation of marijuana in Colorado and Washington as a challenging “experiment”.
Colorado’s law went into effect on 1 January, while Washington is expected to allow the drug’s sale later this year.
US President Barack Obama says smoking marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, but still calls it a "bad idea".
Barack smoking weed
- basic site functions
- ensuring secure, safe transactions
- secure account login
- remembering account, browser, and regional preferences
- remembering privacy and security settings
- analysing site traffic and usage
- personalized search, content, and recommendations
- helping sellers understand their audience
- showing relevant, targeted ads on and off Etsy
Required Cookies & Technologies
Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy preferences, internal site usage and maintenance data, and to make the site work correctly for browsing and transactions.
These technologies are used for things like interest based Etsy ads.
We do this with marketing and advertising partners (who may have their own information they’ve collected). Saying no will not stop you from seeing Etsy ads, but it may make them less relevant or more repetitive. Find out more in our Cookies & Similar Technologies Policy.
Shop Etsy, the place to express your creativity through the buying and selling of handmade and vintage goods.