In a bid to decriminalize marijuana, president Obama will help with the prison overcrowding problem . He tends to support the decriminalization of the drug and leave the legislative part to the various policy and study groups to come up with recommendations.
At present a number of States have legalized the weed in the U.S. with other states following in their footsteps. However it remains illegal in general.
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In an interview on KMBC, Obama said: ‘As a general matter, I think that we have to separate out legalization — you know, there’s a lot of concern about drug abuse of any sort by our children and the general population — versus the heavy criminalization of non-violent drug offenses. And I think that a lot of states are taking a look to see, do we have proportionality in terms of how we are penalizing the recreational user? We still want to discourage that. But we’ve been able to discourage tobacco, we’ve been able to discourage a lot of other bad things that people do, through a public health approach as opposed to an incarceration approach’.
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Obama’s support of marijuana decriminalization but not legalization also helps show that marijuana policy reform can be handled in various ways — a point drug policy experts have tried to make in the past few years, as several states have moved to fully legalize pot.
“One of the things we’ve been working very hard in marijuana legalization discussions is to get people to recognize there are at least 10 different fundamental architectures for legalizing marijuana,” Jon Caulkins, a drug policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University, recently said.
In a January report on marijuana legalization for the Vermont legislature, Caulkins and other experts outlined 12 alternatives to the current model of prohibition. Among the options: continued prohibition with decreased penalties, legalization with commercial sales, letting adults grow marijuana, allow distribution only within small private clubs, and have the state government operate the supply chain and sell pot.
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