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President Obama States That he is in Complete Support for the National Legalization of Marijuana

People are so concerned about the upcoming Presidential election, and what the candidates’ stances on the legalization of Marijuana are. Often overlooked, is perhaps the stance of the current figurehead for the country, Barack Obama. Despite being on his way out the Presidential door, Obama is not afraid to try and make his voice heard regarding his opinions of Marijuana legalization. President Obama is, in fact, one of the world’s most active spokespeople who is for the legalization of Marijuana. Obama makes several fascinating points when commenting on the issue of Marijuana. He includes the fact that the United States alone has 25% of the world’s prisoners, higher than any other country on the planet. By legalizing marijuana, people would be far less likely to be sent to prison for it(1). This means that the percentage of the United States population locked up in prison will decrease on a rapid rate, because no longer would people go in for charges of possession, trafficking, use, or selling of the substance. This is most likely the main reason he would want to legalize Marijuana.

Another reason he would choose to speak out for Cannabis would have a bit of ulterior motive behind it as well. Being a two term democrat, with a low approval rating; people are naturally inclined to wish for a figurehead of a different political party. That being said, social standards have also changed to the point where the support for the legalization of Marijuana outweighs the disapproval. If Obama, being a Democrat, took a stand on a hot-button issue, a stand which would keep his party in office, he would be able to rally more support for his political party by affiliation. In essence, his choice to support Cannabis legalization could just be a strategic plan to rally support for his own political party(2). In the end, while there are many presidential candidates taking stands on Marijuana, one of the most forgotten-about opinions is that of the current American President. Barack Obama supports Marijuana strongly, and has two good reasons to do so. Between needing to empty out the prison cells, and needing more support for his own political party, it would be politically unstrategic for him to not publicly support the legalization of Marijuana.

(1) Ferner, Matt. "Obama Signals Support For Changing Course In Federal War On Medical Marijuana." The Huffington Post. April 17, 2015. Accessed October 20, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/17/obama-medical-marijuana_n_7088594.html.

(2) "Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana." NPR. March 16, 2015. Accessed October 20, 2015. http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/03/16/393444049/obama-2016-contenders-deal-with-changing-attitudes-on-marijuana.

-Jammin Joe

10/14/15