(NaturalNews) The push to once and for all end cannabis prohibition nationwide is expected to gain significant momentum following new reports that President Barack Obama sees marijuana as no more of a threat than alcohol. During an extensive interview with The New Yorker's David Remnick, Obama recently confessed that he used to use cannabis himself, and he even went so far as to voice his support for continued legalization efforts across the country, despite his administration's unremitting classification of the plant as a "Schedule I drug."
While he does not personally advocate for the use of marijuana, Obama has apparently adopted the position of more than half of all Americans, who now believe that cannabis should be completely legalized even if they do not use it themselves. Too many people have been needlessly incarcerated for the non-crime of using cannabis, insinuated Obama, who also took aim at anti-drug legislators, many of whom have hypocritically used the plant themselves.
"We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing," stated Obama. "[I]t's important for [legalization] to go forward because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."
Obama is referring here to the disproportionate number of African-American and Latino youths who he says have had to serve prison time for possession or use of cannabis, while middle-class folks and others are allegedly let off the hook for these same "crimes." Even so, nobody should be forced to go to prison for growing, using or possessing a plant that, when used appropriately, offers so many positive benefits.
Majority of Americans want cannabis prohibition to end
Ten or even five years ago, a sitting president who not only held such a position on cannabis but also declared it publicly would likely have been raked through the coals by the media and perhaps by the more conservative elements of society. But things have changed, with more Americans than ever now in support of ending cannabis prohibition.
A recent poll conducted by CNN and ORC International revealed that an astounding 55 percent of Americans now believe that cannabis should be made legal. This is up nearly 250 percent since 1987, when just 16 percent of Americans supported cannabis legalization. And with the truth about the medicinal benefits of cannabis continuing to spread far and wide, it is reasonable to predict near-unanimous support for cannabis legalization within the next few years.
"Attitudes toward the effects of marijuana and whether it is morally wrong to smoke pot have changed dramatically over time," stated Keating Holland, the polling director for the new survey, to CNN. "That also means that marijuana use is just not all that important to Americans any longer," he added.
And believe it or not, former president Abraham Lincoln, if he were alive today, would wholeheartedly agree that cannabis prohibition needs to end. In a speech he delivered to the Illinois House of Representatives back in 1840 while he was still president, Lincoln made it clear that prohibition in and of itself is a driver of the same type of intemperance that prohibition is supposed to curb. In other words, it doesn't work, and it never will.
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance," stated Lincoln. "It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."