Obama answers California’s marijuana legalization question … sort of

The San Francisco Weekly reports President Obama recently addressed the issue of marijuana legalization.

Sort of.

As our Los Angeles medical marijuana defense attorneys reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration was in favor of a crackdown had California’s marijuana legalization effort become law. However, the Obama Administration’s Justice Department has not targeted medical marijuana for enforcement action in states where it is legal under state law.

“I think it’s an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” said Obama of whether all drugs should be legalized. “I am not in favor of legalization. But I am a strong believer that we have to think more about drugs as a public health problem.”

It’s worth noting that questions were selected via a national online poll following the State of the Union Address. For the third straight year, the War on Drugs made the cut.

The question was submitted by MacKenzie Allen, a retired L.A. sheriff’s deputy, who called the fact that Obama even answered the question a huge step forward.

“I was pleasantly surprised [that Obama took the question],” Allen told SF Weekly. “But I think the president gave short shrift to the enforcement issue. We are never going to legislate away people wanting to intoxicate themselves, regardless of substance. It’s not realistic on his or any other politician’s part to think that we can throw more money and manpower away and that drug dealers and cartels are going to go away.”

The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has high potential for abuse and no medical value. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

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