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Obama: Prohibition ‘Not Tenable’ If States Legalize Cannabis on Tuesday

November 7, 2016
In case you missed it: During Bill Maher’s 37-minute interview with President Obama on Friday night’s Real Time, Obama all but conceded that federal prohibition could begin to crumble if all five states voting on adult-use cannabis legalization were to approve the measures. 

The good stuff starts at around the 10:00 mark. Here’s the money quote:

“The good news is that after this referenda, to some degree it’s going to call the question. Because if in fact it passed in all these states, you’ll now have a fifth of the country that’s operating under one set of laws and four-fifths in another. The Justice Department, DEA, FBI, for them to try to straddle and figure out how they’re supposed to enforce laws in some places and not in others, they’re going to guard against transporting these drugs across state lines – you’ve got the entire Pacific Corridor where this is legal. That is not going to be tenable. It’s not something that I think is going to happen overnight. I think their are some legitimate concerns that people have about how you draw lines on these issues, but it is indisputable that right now the biggest drug crisis we have is with opioids, many of which are legal and are ravaging entire communities all across the country. For us to re-sort how we think about these problems and not think of everything through the criminal justice lens, but also through the public health lens, I think is something that’s going to need to happen.”

Watch the whole thing here:

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Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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  • Sitkajo

    Sanity may peak in thru the darkness of 80 years of cannabis prohibition.

  • Beverly Elliott

    I just Can’t vote for a felon and a criminal

    • Connor Farrell

      there are four candidates

    • Wipster

      Yeah, that’s why I’m not voting for Trump either. Secretary Clinton has been accused of many things, all of which have been proven to be false. Trump has been caught red handed, but was able somehow to buy his way out of it. I welcome and applaud President Hillary Clinton!

    • Sitkajo

      You could also go back to where your immigrant ancestors came from.

    • Chris M

      I can’t vote for a person who couldn’t carry out the duties of Sec’y of State to a higher office.It’s just that simple.

    • Dawn

      Then don’t vote Trump

    • George W. Bush

      It takes a conviction to be a felon….did you know that? Please list her crimes…this should be good for a medium laugh…

      • Dawn

        lmao

      • Beverly Elliott

        George…..put you head back up your ass….

  • Paul Shadforth

    What a clever thoughtful intelligent man. While he has not achieved the ‘change’ he promised the world will miss his steady hand on the tiller

    • John Paul Jones

      Are you speaking of…..OBAMA? He has been instrumental in creating a 2nd Class Power of the US…..A Country that can’t protect it’s citizens from the Immigrant Threat HE Created….Not to mention His Empowering IRAN with Nukes and $28 Billion Ransom Money which immediately went to ISIS and their Allies! Releasing CONVICTED Islamic Enemies……on and on!

      • Dawn

        So sick of ignorant people blaming all the country’s problems on this man.
        He came into office with a mess on his hands, a republican party who had the goal of making him fail and we came out on the other side stronger.
        As far as ransom money????
        Get your head out of you _ss!
        That money was theirs to began with, they were getting it either way.
        Immigrant threat??? Please! It’s easier for a terrorist to enter this country on their own than trying to sneak thru the immigration process lol.
        I think the fact that the Bush administration dismantled the middle east with their false claims of WMDs is what threw this and most other countries into terrorist danger.
        Please, open your mind and check facts before spewing out what FOX News put in your head.
        I know you won’t want to hear this but…..Obama will go down as one of the best presidents ever!

        • Skankherder

          If we would have worked with Iran, we would be running their nuke program. Instead GW sternly (with the backking of millions of ignorant Americans) told Iran no nuclear power for you. Russia moved in and built and operated the nuclear facility in Iran. How can Obama be blamed for Bush’s cowboy bs. Same way with Poland and the nuclear treaty…SOB started another cold war. Yet Obama gets blamed. Yes, i farted in church, but it is the stupid presidents fault. IHML

        • John Paul Jones

          FACT: Obama was Instrumental–“Chief”–in giving $28 BILLION to IRAN knowing 99% of it would go directly to ISIS and ‘affiliates’…..Iran became a Nuclear Power under Obama….N.Korea threatens to Nuke the US and US Forces weekly since Obama became President…..Obama was #1 in Releasing Convicted Terrorist Criminals + DOMESTIC VIOLENT Criminals….Obama has made Deal after Deal w/Islamic ‘Forces’ (Religious leaders and ‘Advisers’ of/from Islamic ‘Persuasion’…)….Obama has done virtually NOTHING for Christians being persecuted by Islamic forces in M.E. ..Oh, Yeah, US-Russian Relations worst since Cold War/1960’s….PRAISE OBAMA!

          • Wipster

            Man are you misinformed or maybe just stupid. Watch something other than Faux News and open your eyes.

          • Dawn

            I can’t fix stupid….try taking the blinders off.

    • ALAN GANN

      LMAO!!!! ARE YOU LIVING IN WONDER LAND!?!? DO YOU SEE THE WORLD AROUND YOU!?!? THE WORLD IS SO MUCH WORSE NOW THAN BEFORE OBAMA!! WOW SOME JUST CAN NOT SEE PERIOD!!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19d4592a42ac4ae80abcf7e4d7d47f140ac8065850ef9e625da0ba660446596c.jpg

      • Paul Shadforth

        Yes, matter of fact I am. You might call it Australia. You’ve had your 100 years as THE Superpower. Now it’s China’s turn. You can blame all your stupid wars and foreign policy disasters for that. It was nice while it lasted though, eh!?

      • John Paul Jones

        My Sentiments Exactly! They WON’T see! They absolutely refuse to see–or to answer any questions about Influx of M.E./Islamic Immigrants being a Threat to US Way of Life and Commerce….They say crap like “Deal w/Domestic Terrorists First–They’re the REAL THREAT!”……I have gotten this in response to my questions ref: ‘Islamic Ingrates’ who demand WE CHANGE to suit THEM and their Barbaric, Medieval Ways! Nope! There IS no Terrorist Problem, Islamic ‘Invasion’ including Rapes Galore and violence against White People by THEM…No ‘Christmas “Lights-Out” in Norway’ (or more by now) …that stuff is all lies to discredit Policies by Obama and Hillary Clinton!

        • Paul Shadforth

          So you think your problem is an influx of M.E./Islamic immigrants? Sounds a bit xenophobic to me. Your problem is you have a hegemonic foreign policy and attack brown people and their countries around the world without well thought out plans or thoughts of the consequences. We are living through the demise of the U.S. Empire and I for one am happy to see it.

  • the.universal.font

    cannabis legality!!? Now its more profitable to have those 800k odd some ppl in prison to just buy the drug and work and pay taxes, than it is to incarcerate them, use them as cheap labor drain our tax dollars and fun the biggest union in the state.

    But im happy anyhow.. bout time, when the head of the CDC says Mary Jane isnt a gateway drug, and them f**king Opioids are obviously are.. Which Bayer and Big Pharma are pushing.. ohh yeah by the way, they are about to control our food now too.. *cough* Merger * monsanto.

    but again, finally!

  • Michael Marion

    One way to solve this is legalize it federally ain’t we all Americans

  • ALAN GANN

    IF THAT IS THE CASE THAN THIS CRIMINAL POLITICIAN SHOULD HAVE ALREADY MADE IT LEGAL BUT THIS CRIMINAL POLITICIAN JUST LIKE https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3751bb45cfbc3a952736e35c6b41e4f8e49159106ba39e54e1ad1cbcf55056ec.jpg MOST OF THE OTHERS ONLY CARE ABOUT HIS RICH BRIBERS AND NOT ALL THOSE OF US SUFFERING NEEDLESSLY!! #WhatsYourReason? MakeItLegal

  • Austin

    Should have happened overnight, dumbass! People are dying all around us from your flipping pills!!!

    • Austin

      I didn’t want to hate this president, going out, he is making me do it! thanks Bama, thanks Hill…. for progressively “getting things done” you know?

  • bmiller147

    They know its bullshit, Period!

  • bmiller147

    This is the only thing I thought was good about what he’s done. If he get any credit at all its for assisting in holding the dogs back and giving it a chance.