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President Will Not Make Marijuana Reform a Priority in 2016

Photo by Nick Knupffer


President Will Not Make Marijuana Reform a Priority in 2016

Although many people had hoped that President Obama would make an effort to end marijuana prohibition before turning in his keys to the White House later this year, a recent article from The Washington Post seems to indicate that this policy will remain unchanged unless Congress decides, all of sudden, that the world would be a better place if we could all smoke weed without a man in blue trying to wrestle us into a pair of handcuffs.

On Friday, White House press secretary John Earnest told reporters that President Obama has no plans of digging into marijuana policy reform before the end of his term, suggesting that any action on the issue would need to come from the halls of Congress. Sadly, this statement is consistent with what Representative Steve Cohen claims President Obama told him earlier in the week.

Calling the president’s response to the question of rescheduling “disappointing,” Cohen explained that Obama’s attitude on the issue was the same as it has been for the past seven years, “If you get me a bill, and get it on my desk, I’ll probably sign it.”

Interestingly, Earnest took some time on Friday immediately following the briefing to elaborate on the reasoning behind the president’s refusal to take the issue of nationwide pot reform seriously.

“There are some in the Democratic party who have urged the president to take this kind of action, and the president’s response was, if you feel so strongly about it and you believe there’s so much public support for what it is that you’re advocating, then why don’t you pass legislation about it and we’ll see what happens.’”

Ever since Obama told The New Yorker in 2014 that he didn’t feel marijuana was any more dangerous than alcohol, cannabis activists have been gunning for the president to step up and make some kind of an effort to pull the United States out of the trenches of federal prohibition. Yet all the Obama Administration seems to be comfortable with is issuing random memos stating their intentions to stay out of state marijuana issues, while the president continues to put the ultimate resolve of this problem in the hands of Congress.

“This isn’t the first time President Obama has unnecessarily tried to pass the buck on marijuana rescheduling to Congress,” Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority told The Washington Post. “It’s unacceptable and frankly embarrassing for a president who has so nonchalantly acknowledged his own marijuana use to allow the federal government to continue classifying cannabis in such an inappropriate category.”

But the truth of the matter is the President can only initiative the rescheduling process, his hands are tied when it comes to single-handedly legalizing the leaf for the entire nation. It’s really up to the FDA and the DEA to make the decision of whether to offer a rescheduling recommendation before any concrete policy changes can be set in motion. Throughout the years, several rescheduling requests have been reviewed by the DEA, but so far, they have refused to even consider moving the substance to a Schedule II. But if he really wanted to, the President could take a hardcore stance on legalization and sternly persuade his administration to do whatever it takes to get it done.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear we are going to see any changes to federal marijuana policy in 2016.

Are you disappointed by this announcement from the White House? Let us know why.



  1. darren

    February 3, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I think it should be legalized nation wide cause its a plant its not like all this other man made bs thats killing people. Whenr the last time you heard someone dying for smoking to much weed?

  2. Felon for life

    February 2, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I made a huge mistake that has cost me my career in healthcare due to a recent marijuana arrest in Pa. I have no prior criminal record as an adult or juvenile and have done everything possible on my part to show the courts that I have taken responsibility for my actions.
    I am not going to be sentenced to a jail term, but I am forced to plead to a felony distribution charge that will follow me the rest of my life.
    I was careless and never stopped to think about how much my life was about to change forever when I looked in my rear view mirror to see the black and white behind me with its lights on signaling men to stop. No joke people.
    If you’re involved in any type of cannabis activities in the commonwealth be aware that the courts do not give out slaps on the wrist to first time offenders that unfortunately end up in the system. They’re gonna throw the book at you. And take it from me, it’s not anything you would want on your plate.

  3. Gary Jenkins

    February 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Although I didn’t vote for the man, I had hoped that the fact that he admitted that he had used marijuana in the past that it would mean that he would be open for change in the policies.

  4. Stephanie Shack

    February 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Sad world we live in when medicine that actually helps people is illegal!! My daughter is in jail under a 50,000 cash bond over a little bit of marihuana you would have thought she murdered someone! The police, court and jails make to much money on people to smoke it!

  5. Kevin Kettell

    February 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I m not mad at him but it proves people are not psychic. about the effects of pot. i called that he wouldnt help it (pot) in 2008. kinda wanted clinton to win. we are gonna vote here in nevada on it . i hope it passes. they have medical mj cards here in nevada.

  6. Rod is on the Gas

    February 2, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Mike, good point but………..

    None of the smiling faces in the upper reaches of American government will reform marijuana prohibition. It’s a political liability. Far too many nice voters get their ire cranked-up at the mention of marijuana. It’s turned into a ‘I double dare you to take a step’. The stigma of marijuana has continued to evolve. I feel as though the wedge has been driven ever deeper.

    I still advocate for a Cannabis Political Party. We have a pretty good selection of smiling faces our selves.

  7. knowa

    February 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

    History will remember him as a prohibitionist and will not be kind to this hypocrite

    • tamara scallion

      February 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      POS POTUS #billionaireDicktatorsclub

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