DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: President Barack Obama says in a new interview that that it’s up to Congress to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of the most serious narcotics, implying but not explicitly saying that he might support such a move.
In an interview with CNN that aired Friday, Obama was pressed on recent remarks he made to the New Yorker that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and on whether he would push to remove pot from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of so-called “schedule I” narcotics.
“First of all, what is and isn’t a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress,” Obama said.
“I stand by my belief, based, I think, on the scientific evidence, that marijuana, for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge,” Obama added. “But as I said in the interview, my concern is when you end up having very heavy criminal penalties for individual users that have been applied unevenly, and in some cases, with a racial disparity.”