In light of a recent New York Times article demanding the federal government repeal marijuana prohibition, the White House has issued a response claiming to understand the arguments expressed by the Times, while standing firm that legalizing the leaf is not the answer.
“We agree that the criminal justice system is in need of reform and that disproportionality exists throughout the system. However, marijuana legalization is not the silver bullet solution to the issue,” reads the statement.
The White House goes on to say that the editors of The New York Times failed to consider several important variables that must first be carefully reflected before the United States could ever, in good conscious, dissolve its ban on marijuana. For starters, the Obama Administration believes that legalizing marijuana would not keep Uncle Sam’s soldiers from duking it out on the battlefields of the drug war, but fears giving Americans more access to marijuana could conceivably be a detriment to the social order of this great nation.
“While law enforcement will always play an important role in combating violent crime associated with the drug trade, the Obama Administration approaches substance use as a public health issue, not merely a criminal justice problem.”
Some of the public health issues the White House cites as the reason for not lifting the nationwide ban on marijuana as it did back in 1933 for alcohol,includes concerns over brain development in adolescents, lack of academic achievement, addiction and drugged driving. And while the Obama Administration had a field day referencing biased studies that claim legal weed will make brain dead junkies out of the youth of America, these hypocritical statements never once apologize for allowing booze, a substance that kills nearly 88,000 Americans each year, to become sort of a right of passage for teenagers all across the country. “Man, I can’t wait to turn 21,” said them all.
Interestingly, the White House admits the editors of The New York Times have some valid concerns when it comes to this country’s racist criminal justice system, but the idea that marijuana is an addictive and harmful substance, in the eyes of old Uncle Sam, appears to supersede any past or future casualties of the drug war.
“Increased consumption leads to higher public health and financial costs for society. Addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco, which are legal and taxed, already result in much higher social costs than the revenue they generate. The cost to society of alcohol alone is estimated to be more than 15 times the revenue gained by its taxation. For this reason, the Obama Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy remain committed to drug use prevention, treatment, support for recovery, and innovative criminal justice strategies to break the cycle of drug use and associated crime. This approach is helping improve public health and safety in communities across the United States.”
The White House argues that the economic benefits of legalized marijuana have been overstated and that establishing a federal tax and regulatory system on the herb would not eliminate the black market. However, the administration insists it is closely monitoring the progress of Colorado and Washington in hopes of uncovering the true colors of legal weed.
In conclusion, the Obama Administration said that despite the opinions of The New York Times, “Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking.” However, they provided no leads as to how that evidence is to be collected since the National Institute on Drug Abuse seems intent on standing in the way of independent marijuana research.
“The Obama Administration continues to oppose legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs because it flies in the face of a public health approach to reducing drug use and its consequences. Our approach is founded on the understanding of addiction as a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which people can recover. We will continue to focus on genuine drug policy reform – a strategy that rejects extremes, and promotes expanded access to treatment, evidence-based prevention efforts, and alternatives to incarceration.”
Considering these arguments, we have to wonder, where is President Obama in this response? Earlier this year, the nation’s leader told The New Yorker that he did not feel marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol. Now, all of a sudden federal prohibition is about public health. Nonsense.
It is our opinion, or at least mine, as the writer of this piece, that all of the heat Obama has taken throughout the course of his term would be immediately pardoned by the majority of the American people if he would just do the country a solid and legalize marijuana, once and for all, before leaving the Oval Office.
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