Obama: Weed Is Not 'More Dangerous Than Alcohol'
David Remnick profiles the cautious president
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2014 2:40 PM CST
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks about National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Justice Department in Washington.    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – President Obama takes the long view, considers the odds in any decision, sees both sides of the story, doesn't particularly like schmoozing—ring a bell? David Remnick's New Yorker profile won't exactly change your view of the president, but it does offer a few news nuggets, like the fact that Michelle is already writing a memoir and the president will write one after leaving office. Among Obama's better quotes:

  • On marijuana: It is "a bad habit and a vice," he says, but "I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol." Also, it's not fair that minority kids are punished for smoking it "when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing."

  • On football: "I would not let my son play pro football." Yet despite reports of concussions and early-onset dementia, Obama likes watching the sport. NFL players "know what they’re doing. They know what they’re buying into. It is no longer a secret."
  • On legalizing gay marriage: It’s "fair to say that I may have come to that realization slightly before I actually made the announcement" favoring it in 2012. In fact, he filled out a questionnaire in 1996 saying that he favored legalization.
  • On his handling of Syria: "You’ll recall that that was the previous end of my presidency, until it turned out that we are actually getting all the chemical weapons. And no one reports on that anymore."
  • On al-Qaeda: He once vowed to "decimate" the group, Remnick notes, but its flag now flies in Iraq. Says Obama: "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant."
  • On bugging German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "It was a breach of trust, but there are European governments that we know spy on us, and there is a little bit of Claude Rains in Casablanca—shocked that gambling is going on."
  • On his overall effect: As president, "you are essentially a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids, and that river is history. You don’t start with a clean slate, and the things you start may not come to full fruition on your timetable. But you can move things forward."
Click for Remnick's full piece.

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Showing 3 of 196 comments
rickydarlin
Jan 26, 2014 11:12 AM CST
and not nearly as destructive to our country as obumer
False Dichotomy
Jan 24, 2014 10:49 AM CST
No, on balance, and all things considered, alcohol is more dangerous, more addicting (physically in addition to psychologically), and has a much more powerful and detrimental effect on the user than "weed", and by a large margin. The main difference is that alcohol is more possible (or more likely) to be used as a mere beverage, or in very moderate amounts, without producing its altering effects, or only very mildly so, whereas it can take just one or two tokes of good weed to produce even a (relatively) mild effect. But so f**cking what? If you argue marijuana prohibition based on its altering effects, then you also must argue for the prohibition of ever consuming enough alcohol to reach the typical "legal limit", even, as its effects are much more debilitating and dangerous, and in more ways, than the weed, for most people, that is. The exception to that would be the average person using marijuana the first number of times, before the intensity of effect totally moderates, virtually permanently. But even in those rare cases, it would still be at worst the mere equivalent to alcohol, except for one little detail: one of alcohol's major effects is totally impairing one's basic judgement and causing them to lose some to all of their inhibitions, whereas marijuana has almost the opposite effect, to the point of being utterly paranoid :) To put it another way, consider the number of f*cked up automobile accident deaths attributed to alcohol versus marijuana--they are not even remotely comparable. The same goes for f*cked up cases of domestic violence and abuse and other crazy, stoopid sh*t people do when hammered versus merely baked. Case closed.
FURonnie Bed Time For Bonzo
Jan 23, 2014 11:42 PM CST
Karl Sagin and Thomas Jefferson both smoked it...that's why they were Soooo un-intelligent.