President Obama turns down joint, consumes more dangerous drug - Vox
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Marijuana
The research is pretty clear that alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana.
When Americans pick alcohol over marijuana, they're actually giving preference to the much more dangerous mind-altering substance.
The paradox was best exemplified during President Barack Obama's visit to Colorado, where marijuana is legal to possess and sell. When someone at a Denver bar asked the president if he wanted to take a hit from a marijuana joint, Obama laughed and walked away — a sign of just how ridiculous the offer seemed to a prominent politician. But afterward, Obama openly shared a beerwith Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
The chain of events speaks to the strange contradiction in America's drug policy. Although pot is legal in Colorado and Washington, the federal government considers marijuana a schedule 1 substance. That puts the drug at a stricter enforcement level than schedule 2 substances like cocaine and meth. At the same time, alcohol is completely legal for adults 21 and over.
But for all the debate about legalizing marijuana, the research is pretty clear that alcohol is much more dangerous — not just to an individual, but to society as a whole.
For one, there have never been any deaths directly linked to a marijuana overdose or marijuana-caused health problems. Alcohol, on the other hand, causes health problems that kill tens of thousands each year.
There's an excellent video about this at the bottom of the Vox article:
President's behavior is only the reflection of what our society considers appropriate. If it's irrational, this is reflection of us in the mirror. One still can drink and night and come to work, but taking a joint and getting surprise drug test can get them fired.
He's the President. He's in a position to change bad policy.
Presidents do not really move ahead of the nation at the moment, right? Gay marriage...wait for it. Mary Jane...wait for it. Presidents get slapped down if they are ahead of the times, yes? Is this the case? Has it always been the case? Lincoln may have been a bit ahead of his time, maybe?
Presidents these days get slapped down.
But Presidents like Reagan (who started the drug war) and LBJ and JFK and FDR and Teddy Roosevelt definitely used the bully pulpit to get Congress to change things and pass laws.
There's currently a bill going through Congress that would reclassify marijuana. It has bipartisan support. Now we just have to wait for the political process to do its thing.
But the President can lead. He can give speeches and ask, "Why is marijuana classified the same as heroin?"
But he won't do that because he has to pick his battles, and that one does not rank highly. So we wait.
In the meantime it's entirely possible that Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Alaska will all have made a schedule 1 substance legal for recreational purposes, because the states are ahead of the federal government on this issue.