DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The dangers of marijuana use are overstated, and the last three presidential elections prove it, an expert told a congressional panel on Friday.
“When we talk about marijuana as a gateway drug, we have to remember that the last three occupants of the White House have smoked marijuana,” said Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University.
“We can very well say marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House,” he added.
President Obama has admitted to using marijuana as a teenager, and has expressed support for efforts in states such as Colorado and Washington to legalize the drug for recreational use. The Treasury Department, meanwhile, has outlined how banks can provide services for businesses selling marijuana without breaking federal law, which bans the drug.
That has drawn pushback from some members of Congress who say the administration is encouraging illegal conduct.