Politicians tend to go along with whatever is becoming popular, and such is the case with the growing favor of legalizing marijuana. Case in point, Obama voiced his support to CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s during the third installment of the latter’s documentary, which aired on Monday, April 20th.
Obama, who has admitted to using pot in his youth, carefully crafted his opinions for Gupta: “I’m on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue, but I’m also on record as saying that the more we treat some of these issues related to drug abuse from a public health model and not just from an incarceration model, the better off we’re going to be”.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta himself originally was against the legalization of marijuana, but changed his mind in 2013 in light of the growing evidence of marijuana’s potential to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
Morgan Fox of the nonpartisan policy group Marijuana Policy Project believes that Obama’s words indicate that the government is going to continue to refrain from introducing criminal laws to medical marijuana programs. Fox believes that the government’s acceptance will in turn help the general public accept the concept of using marijuana medicinally. Fox said, “It would be great to see the President ask Congress to remove marijuana from the [controlled substances] schedule. I just don’t know if we can expect anybody at the federal level to necessarily go out on a limb yet”.
So far, the acceptance of marijuana is a balancing act between two things: science and ideology. Gupta may have said it best when he said, “It can be tricky to be on the right side of science, but on the wrong side of ideology”.
However, for many people who have found relief through marijuana for their various illnesses, full acceptance and legalization cannot come soon enough.