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White House Still Opposes Marijuana Legalization


White House Still Opposes Marijuana Legalization

Although the federal government seems to be coming around to some degree in terms of loosening the restrictions its agencies have against the use of cannabis at times, make no mistake about it, the Obama Administration still remains adamantly opposed to the legalization of marijuana.

A week before a group of cannabis advocates are set to get high on the front lawn of the White House in protest of the president’s unwillingness to reclassify weed in a lesser schedule than heroin, Michael Botticelli appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. During the meeting, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy placed some of the blame for the American opioid epidemic on marijuana.

Standing firmly by the belief that pot is a gateway to more dangerous substances, Botticelli told lawmakers — who met to discuss the heroin and opioid crisis — that the “high level” of minor pot consumption across the nation was destined to contribute to “more significant problems in the United States” like the ones the nation is currently experiencing with regard to the junk epidemic.

President Obama’s drug czar then went on to explain that efforts to legalize the leaf have created an increase in abuse among young people because they no longer believe marijuana is a dangerous drug.

“We have historically high levels of marijuana use among youth and we also see historically low levels of perception of risk of marijuana use among the youth in our country,” he said.

Botticelli’s testimony almost mimics an official White House statement that suggests the Obama administration opposes the legalization of marijuana because it would “increase the availability and use… and pose significant health and safety risks to all Americans, particularly young people.”

“Confusing messages being presented by popular culture, media, proponents of ‘medical’ marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana is harmless,” the White House said. “This significantly diminishes efforts to keep our young people drug free and hampers the struggle of those recovering from substance use disorders.”

Although Botticelli, a recovering addict, believes legal weed creates more use among young people, a recent study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy finds this popular prohibitionist claim is more propaganda than fact.

In an analysis of the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use in Household data, the report states there has been “no increase or even a decrease in youth marijuana use after the passage of medical marijuana laws.” Yet, even though the federal government’s own research shows no evidence that legal weed has contributed to more young stoners, the man who leads President Obama’s drug policy efforts remains convinced that pot reform is a detriment to the next generation.

“I think the evidence is pretty clear that early use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana – often used together – significantly increases the probability that someone will develop a more significant addictive disorder later in their life,” he said. “Early substance use actually effects brain development and predisposes people for more significant vulnerabilities later in their life.”

Although there was some opposition to Botticelli’s claim, some committee members, like Representative Stephen Lynch, said that while he wasn’t sure whether marijuana was actually a gateway drug, he argued that every kid on opioids and heroin that he knows —  “100 percent” — admit their transgressions with drug abuse began with marijuana.

However, earlier this year, a report from The Washington Post slaughtered the argument that marijuana is a gateway drug by suggesting “99 percent of illicit drug users also tried coffee, or soda, or chocolate milk before moving on to stronger substances.” The article was centered on a study conducted by Texas A&M in which researchers discovered that 54 percent of U.S. 12th graders tried alcohol before tobacco or marijuana – providing some proof that booze is the real gateway drug.

“Alcohol was the most widely used substance among respondents, initiated earliest, and also the first substance most commonly used in the progression of substance use,” researchers said.

President Obama said in February that he had no plans to initiate any level of federal marijuana reform before leaving office.

What do you think? Is alcohol the real gateway drug?



  1. Rayburn Wells

    April 1, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Big pharmaceuticals have enough to pay politicians to keep cannabis illegal. They know deep down that if marijuana is made legal their sales are going to take a pretty big hit.

  2. YearofAction

    March 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    “[Nixon] had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

    — John Ehrlichman, one of President Richard Nixon’s top advisers.

    As the cannabis advocates gather in front of the White House, they have an opportunity to provoke the reform of the marijuana laws by appealing to the President’s duty to uphold the Constitution. Shown below is a simple reform of the format of the federal definition of “marihuana” which will put it in compliance with the Necessary and Proper clause, the Ninth Amendment, and the Tenth Amendment. Once that definition is reformed to uphold the Constitution, then the plant Cannabis sativa L. will be descheduled. After that definition is reformed to uphold the Constitution, then marijuana can be rescheduled. In other words, by defending our Constitution, then following established legal procedures, we can Legalize Cannabis Now, and Marijuana Later.

    The important thing that they should point out to the President, and to Congress, is that the meaning of that definition is determined by the interpretation of its circumlocutory text. One interpretation is familiar, and hostile to the People and our Constitution. The other interpretation has been skillfully kept as a legal secret, but conforms to the guidelines in the Constitution. Those advocates seem to be willing to expose that secret. Their act of demonstrating that the federal definition has two interpretations should be enough to acknowledge it as being unconstitutional.

    The Literal Interpretation, which is literally contemptuous of the Constitution, is the interpretation which most people are familiar with: marijuana is all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L. (except for the mature stalks), its products (unless made from the mature stalks), its seeds (unless they are inviable), and its resin (especially the resin), which is where the medically useful cannabinoids are found, and which is a component of marijuana smoke.

    The Holistic Interpretation, which interprets the whole meaning of that definition, including the parts which have been parsed out into the specifications of the Schedules (i.e. “…or other substance”), is that marijuana is precisely cannabis smoke.

    They can can point out, in words as well as actions, that cannabis is not marijuana, but cannabis smoke is exactly marijuana smoke. They can also recognize that this definition makes that point clear:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion
    of the plant Cannabis sativa L.

    But by taking advantage of the prohibitions currently in force due to the schedule of the existing definition, they can appeal to the President and Congress to enact this reform of that definition which upholds the Constitution of “We the People”:

    Sec.802.(16). The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company.

    This year is a good time for cannabis advocates to take action to reform the federal definition of marijuana.

    The existing federal definition of marijuana is shown here:

    Other uses for the plant Cannabis sativa L. are in Sec.7606 on page 264:

  3. jim heffner

    March 31, 2016 at 2:33 am

    The ‘Gateway Theory’ has been discredited over and over again. The prohibitionists keep citing it and we remind them it’s not credible, they state the same nonsense. A cross between “Groundhog Day” and Whack-A-Mole. You’ve got to remember, rehab rangers have been ‘resocialized’ to believe ‘a drug is a drug is a drug’. Just like Michele Leonhart and her “all drugs are equally harmful” testimony to Congress. I have to wonder if Obama is trying to muddy the waters with the appointees that are uninformed and inconsistent with his policies.

  4. Buzzby19491

    March 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    The seemingly innate human desire modify consciousness is the “gateway drug”. Which substance a person tries first is largely irrelevant. As cannabis is the safest consciousness-changing substance known to man, it makes sense that it would be on the list of first things to try.

  5. Lawrence Goodwin

    March 30, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Real, destructive tyranny is all we will know from now on. The United States of America is dead. This 80-year war on “marihuana” is just a front for the impending totalitarian system that federal/state/local “authorities” are imposing upon us. President Barack Obama was really our only hope for repealing the Schedule I “marihuana” fraud. Instead, he has arrogantly chosen to betray us—especially the vast numbers of his own people, African Americans, who bear the brunt of the anti-“marihuana” war—and he should therefore be scorned forever. Barack Obama is nothing but a coward.

  6. KellyTrevino

    March 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    botticellis is uninformed. Alcohol consumption and OVER prescribing of opioade pain pill to people is what is the problem. the deaths of alcohol and opiate use is high. an even higher with young people. the over prescribe of the pills to parents/adults is what is causeing the problem. the only thing marijuana has lead me to is the refridgerator. Never once in all the years ive used marijuana from 16-33 (now) have i ever said or thought “hey, i think ill try crack”. i am college educated, a father, artist,occultist, husband. guess what? i havent went to any other drug nor do i even drink alcohol. not a drop. this stuff needs to end. no amount of jail/prison will make me stop. In the words of Thomas Jefferson “Any unjust law should be opposed,no, it is the duty of a american to oppose the unjust law”. (soemthing close to that)

  7. Deborah Turner.

    March 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Gateway my @$$, I began smoking pot daily several times a day from 15-23 years old. While doing this I maintained a 3.5 grade average, joined the military acted the test not even taking the mechanical part, a little high then with a 141IQ, and when I decided to make a life change and follow Christ, I just quit. I did try coke once because I was dating a guy who sold it. I could have had coke 24/7, but I was like, what’s the big deal here. He said you feel like you can do anything. Oh, I always feel that way, don’t need coke. Said all that to say quitting smoking cigarettes was the hardest habit to ever break.

    Now, I am disabled and need Medical Marijuana. I am Conservative, a Veteran, and my husband is a retired Pastor. This is just a bunch of crap. Marijuana never damaged my brain, I still have a didactic memory. No one becomes a physical Marijuana addict, psychological, yes. And how is United States Government going to explain their research and patent# 6630507 held by the Department of the Health and Human Services expounding the virtues of Marijuana on so many hopeless illnesses, and they’ve known since 1999? This is not a morality issue but medical. 40 people die daily from opiate prescription overdose. If the Police killed 40 gang members, youths, all killers, this Country would burn to the ground with riots and protest. And all POTUS worries is Gateway Drug . Gag on a Marijuana gnat and swallow a Opioid camel. Weak, really, weak.

  8. Adrian Djbrummie Goh

    March 30, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    So wtf is alcohol legal then?

  9. zonedude

    March 30, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    As I’ve often said when confronted by the idea that marijuana is a gateway drug, I attribute my attraction to altered states of consciousness to spinning around in my front yard as a kid… until I would get dizzy. I didn’t try marijuana until I’d already experimented with alcohol, speed and mescalin… searching for that rush of dizziness I experienced in the front yard.

  10. Kurt Miller

    March 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Alcohol IS a gateway drug I used it Way before cannabis

  11. Denzidrine

    March 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    While maybe 5% of the people who used marijuana went on to use harder drugs that still leaves 95% who didn’t! Just like Ron Paul used to say, “If heroin was legalized today, how many of you are going to go do it?” DEA seems to have the job of keeping drug use to an acceptable level, (stopping it will never happen, ever.) but they shouldn’t be allowed to use lies to fit us into their own moral opinions.

  12. LoveUSAHateTheHate

    March 30, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Another recovering drug addict dictating what is good for the rest of the community.

    And what is worse is he is profiting from his status as a drug addict

    That is the quickest way to return to active addiction

    Botticelli – I hope your giving your salary to poor as if you’re not your purchasing your own destruction with it – you Patrick Kennedy and the mayor of Boston need to stand down as your wrong on cannabis –

  13. lovingc

    March 30, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Botticelli is an ignorant savage who obviously can’t read. There is no such thing as a gateway drug. To blame cannabis for opiate abuse is complete idiocy.Cannabis helps adicts get off their problematic use of substances.The lack of knowlege displayed in this artical is obscene,especially in an official representative of the government.

    • Denzidrine

      March 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      True many studies and personal experimentation have proven weed helps remove drug cravings. as well as providing its own benefits.

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