Who didn’t see this coming? Anyone who read or heard about President Obama’s recent interview with The New Yorker and didn’t expect some sort of political outcry was, well, high. Despite the fact that the Administration announced in August that it would more or less stay out of the states’ ways when it comes to legalizing (or not) marijuana, the President’s recent non-denouncement of the plant was bound to cause a reaction from both sides of the argument.
And, of course, it didn’t take long. Although President Obama did say that he discusses with his daughters that he thinks smoking pot is something that they should avoid, the rest of his words weren’t much that the National Drug Control Policy would likely be able to stand by, particularly with the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal, and likely will be for quite some time, at least while the individual states continue to work out the details and show how legalization will or won’t impact economics and health as a societal whole.
Among items that upset members of the White House team is the fact that cannabis is currently listed as a Schedule I product on the DEA’s List of Controlled Substances. Schedule I also includes substances like heroin, LSD, and meth, and in such great company, it’s a given that the authors of this list consider Schedule I substances to be the most dangerous (and generally come with the most severe penalties when associated with possession, trafficking, and other crimes). In fact, those drugs found Schedule I are defined as follows: “Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”
It’s safe to say, that, more than likely, you’ll be seeing another story on this subject sooner than later. After all, any PR professional worth their weight in weed will be lining up around the corner with a politically-correct rebuttal ready.