- Toddler Stuck in Claw Machine
- Religious Complaint Against Clemson
- Lacey Holsworth, 8, Dies of Cancer
- Mazda Recall Due to Spiders
- ATM Gives Out Bonus Cash
- Fort Hood Gunman Had Sought Treatment
- Nationwide Search for Suspect
- Healthcare Sign-up Deadline Day
- Hero K9 Reunited with Partner
- Update: Malaysia Plane Search
- Westboro Baptist Pastor Dead
- Chopper Crash Victims Remembered
- 2 Killed After News Helicopter Crash
- NYC Fire Department Responds to Explosion
- New Food Labels Highlight Calories & Sugar
- Instagram Soldier Scandal
- Lobbyist Wants Ban on Gay NFL PLayers
- Harold Ramis Dead at 69
- Scout Sells Cookies at Pot Shop
- Hot Pocket Recall
- Football Player Comes Out
- Google Not a fan of Russia's Anti-Gay Law
- 5 Things to Know About GI Joe
- CVS To Stop Selling Tobacco
- South Still Reeling From Snowstorm
- Wanted: Flu Research Volunteers
- Requiring Pre-Marriage Classes
- Amazon to Charge Sales Tax in NC
- President Talks Marijuana
- Target Email, Not Scam
- Little Leaguer Sued by Coach
- Neurologist Claims ADHD Doesn't Exist
- Super Bowl Commerical Contest
- Same-Sex Wedding at Rose Parade
- Children Overdose Concerns
- Phil Robertson Speaks About Marriage
- Most Admired Person
- Minimum Wage Increases for Some
- Ban on Kids Playing
- A&E & Cast Of Duck Dynasty Settle Differences
- Target: Encrypted PINs were Stolen
- 1.3 Million Losing Unemployment Benefits
- Plus Size Barbie Debate
- Poll: Americans Hopeful for a Better Year
- Major Delays with Christmas Deliveries
- Y'all, Youse, You Guys...What?
- The Grinch, Arrested
- Teacher Disciplined for Racial Santa Remark
- Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year
- Base Takes Down Nativity Scene
- Top 100 Baby Names of 2013
- Sam Champion Leaving ABC
- Wanted: Ugly Women for Army Ads
- Zimmerman Back in Headlines
- Male vs. Female Bosses
- Shots Fired In NJ Mall
- Hallmark Apologizes for Ornament
- Hallmark Apologizes for Ornament
- ND Woman Intends to Trick Overweight Kids
- Facebook Giraffes...What?
- Hough Costume Backlash
- Cheerleades Punished for Giving Condoms
- Study: Spanking Could Lead to Agressive Behavior
- Halloween Decorations Prompt 911 Call
- Facebook Teens Share with Bigger Audience
- Cost of the Government Shutdown
- Senate Passes Bill To Reopen Govt.
- Mom Lives to See Daughters Marry
- Soldier Delivers 'Salute Seen Around the World'
- Columbus Day 2013: Hero, Villain or Both?
- Thousands Protest Closures During 'Million Vet March'
- McDonalds: "No Sagging" Warning
- Early Snow in SD Kills Thousands of Cattle
- NE Teen Ruled Too Immature for Abortion
- Nobel Peace Prize Winner
- S.C. Man Maintains Memorials
- Truckers Plan D.C. Protest
- VA Secretary: Shutdown Could Hit Millions of Vets
- New $100 Bills into Circulation
President Talks Marijuana
Updated: Monday, January 20 2014, 09:14 AM EST
(AP) — President Barack Obama said he doesn't think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer."
"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol," the president said an interview with "The New Yorker" magazine.
Smoking marijuana is "not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy," Obama said.
Obama's administration has given states permission to experiment with marijuana regulation, and laws recently passed in Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana recently went into effect. The president said it was important for the legalization of marijuana to go forward in those states to avoid a situation in which only a few are punished while a large portion of people have broken the law at one time or another.
The president said he is troubled at the disproportionate number of arrests and imprisonments of minorities for marijuana use. "Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he said. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties."
He said in the interview that users shouldn't be locked up for long stretches of time when people writing drug laws "have probably done the same thing."
But Obama urged a cautious approach to changing marijuana laws, saying that people who think legalizing pot will solve social problems are "probably overstating the case."
"And the experiment that's going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge," the president said.
Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance praised Obama's words, saying his use of the word "important" about the new Colorado and Washington laws "really puts the wind in the sails of the movement to end marijuana prohibition.
Critics of the new laws raise concerns about public health and law enforcement, asking whether wide availability of the drug will lead to more underage drug use, more cases of driving while high and more crime.