Why Does Obama Hate Pot? We’ve Got A Theory

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US President, Barack Obama, is arguably the “coolest” cat to ever sit in the oval office, but what’s the deal with the unprecedented federal crack downs on marijuana?

When it comes to federal raids on state-authorized marijuana growers and entrepreneurs, Obama’s track record is worse than Bill Clinton’s, and even worse than that of George W. Bush. Though the reportage on Obama’s overzealous DEA is abundant, not many are willing to speculate on what’s led the Obama administration to pursue such aggressive enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act. If federal marijuana policy were a screenplay, we’d surely be wondering by this point—what’s Obama’s motivation? Obama is the most liberal president to take office in decades, the first president to openly admit to both smoking and “inhaling” marijuana. Something doesn’t add up.

State legalization initiatives are alleged to have given Obama an election boost, with marijuana legalization serving as a kind of magnet, drawing out a larger segment of the youth vote to the polls. Meanwhile, Obama’s been quite careful (vague) when speaking to the issue of legalization. “I don’t think legalizing drugs is going to be the answer.” That’s pretty much the entire transcript of Obama’s drug war commentary during this election.

It would make sense, to an extent, that Obama would avoid commenting too extensively on the drug war during a national election. While he doesn’t want to isolate the millions of Americans who support marijuana legalization, he’d also do well not to spook his more conservative contingencies, ie senior citizens and more conservative-minded independents.

Obama’s rhetorical choices may seem to make sense within the context of reelection strategy, but the greater mystery remains— why is Obama the most aggressive federal enforcer of drug laws in over 16 years?

The short answer is: we don’t know. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and find out. We want to know what the Greenies think of this conundrum. Leave your theories in the comments section below. Here’s one to get you started:

1) Obama’s historic health care reform will be fully implemented by the end of his second term. Though few (if any) have read the entirety of this massive piece of legislation, it’s safe to assume that many business relationships between the federal government, insurance companies, and drug companies will be reformed, redesigned, and newly brokered, with many of these restructurings cutting into the abusive profiteering of the big drug companies and insurers. “Big Pharma,” one of the most immense federal lobbies ever known to man, would like nothing better than to suppress the legal emergence of marijuana as a powerful medicine. Why? Well, unlike your standard inorganic pop-and-swallow meds that Big-Pharma banks on, marijuana is not readily patentable. If a pharmaceutical company attempted to patent a strain of marijuana, it would only take a matter of weeks before a new strain could be developed that could compete on the open market without patent infringement. Medical marijuana— especially as a potentially effective treatment for big-dollar, high-profile diseases such as cancer— does not bode well for the bottom line of the modern drug industry. Obama simply couldn’t afford to run a campaign without Big-Pharma dollars in his war chest, and the ongoing implementation of Obamacare makes this relationship all the more important. Perhaps Obama’s counter-intuitive aggressions against marijuana are the mark of a concession to the demands of the drug industry. Obama’s first priority is to accomplish the structural reform of a broken healthcare system. Ever the pragmatist, he probably sees it as unwise to welcome a powerful, competitive, organic medicine into the marketplace at a time when he needs to maximize cooperation.

What do you think of Obama’s harsh record on pot? Leave it in the comments.

[image courtesy of the Atlantic Wire and the Washington Post]



I myself think the whole white house is high and they dont want to share. I still don't understand how liquor is legal but weed in some states now is still illegal. I can smoke joints back to back all day long and still function, but if you drink all day long you lose most of your functions.

Sad but true

You rubes don't get it.

Obama is in the tank for big pharma.
Obamacare specifically halts the re-importation of US drugs from Canada and other nations, effectively locking in high US prices.

He cut a deal with them. They are pals.

Bryan Basamanowicz

pardon my ignorance– but what's a "rube" Don't feel up for asking Google at the moment.

Yahweh Smokes

Bryan, I suspect he personally doesn't give a damn. He did his "weed thing" in his youth and young manhood, as most intelligent and talented Americans. As a Community Organizer in Chicago, he certainly would have witnessed how individual lives of the unfortunate and dispossessed were affected by over-indulgence of various sort of drugs.

He has not had the time to sort out how Weed is different from other powerful narcotics. It is mental laziness to lump ALL drugs together—legal or illegal. I suspect that it is merely mental sloth on his part, and a fearful concern about his two beautiful daughters. Men do become protective of their daughters, especially, when they become middle age. Had Obama had a son, I think he would take a more pro-active role to decriminalize marijuana!

This is an issue that is evolving among our political elite! Presently, they are too fearful to buck the status quo. They like that paycheck they get each month off the working backs of the people!

However, I enjoyed reading your article, Bryan! Much food for thought!

Bryan Basamanowicz

Ps– I love the first sentence of this comment– "I suspect he personally doesn't give a damn"
Very Gone with the Wind =)


Obama is a servant of the Washington "beltway bandits," whose dollars fund his presidency. He lied to the people who voted for him, and instead became a stooge of the Federalies because he realized he could not change the law by himself. However, he could instruct the Feds to not raid pot dispensaries, which he tried and then reneged on. With a divided Congress, nothing will continue to get done in DC, and prohibition will be the law of the land. However, the trend of states to first pass medicinal laws, and now we see recreational legalization, it could spell the end of the CDS Act or at least a re-scheduling of cannabis. It seems he has a lot to prove, to himself and the people who voted for him. But will he, or will his legacy be one of hypocrisy? The war on drugs is the war for drug money – remember that.

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