Obama Talks Cannabis in Jamaica

While the legalization process is speeding up all over the country, the creation of the cannabis industry is happening right under the noses of the government who is completely oblivious to this reality.

A pretty big shift in perception of cannabis is happening, so much that for the last few months in most public interventions or interviews that Barack Obama has given, he is been questioned about Marijuana.

Why don't you love cannabis, mon?

Why don’t you love cannabis, mon?

His visit to Jamaica was not the exception: During a meeting a man asked about the decriminalization and legalization of Cannabis happening in the US, and the opportunity it presents as an engine for economic growth and poverty reduction for Latin America.

It is important to take a very close look at his words in Jamaica because after seven years as sitting president, this is perhaps the lengthiest answer he has given on an impromptu Q&A session.

The President’s Mind (Without Cannabis)

President Obama started his answer by saying he was going to talk two big areas: First he was going to address the current wave of cannabis legalization in the US; and second what is his foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean.

He talked about decriminalization, acknowledging that the “War on Drugs” has been a complete failure (“counterproductive”) in the United States and went on to describe the terrible consequences of massive incarceration of non-violent young people.

He addressed the legalization processes in Colorado and Washington State, made clear he’s not going to take any executive action to expand it, and closed by putting the responsibility of any national legalization on the shoulders of the US Congress.

On the second part of his answer about Latin American and the Caribbean, he started off by saying that legalization is not a “silver bullet” because this could open the door to legalizing other drugs. He is also worried that big (legal) multinational corporations could end up taking over and expanding a potential cannabis market.

He closed his statements with some platitudes about cooperation from Latin America to stop the flow of cash and guns from the US, the need for new working opportunities for young people, and the importance not to massively jail non-violent people which is what is currently happening with the “War on Drugs”.

Conclusion

Inside the federal government there is the understanding the “War on Drugs” has been a failure yet they continue to pursue it. This is so clear that the president says it as a matter of fact and doesn’t even bother on take any responsibility for it.

While the legalization process is speeding up all over the country, the creation of the cannabis industry is happening right under the noses of the government who is completely oblivious to this reality.

It will be then until 2017 when the next president is inaugurated that national legislation could be introduced. Obama clearly demonstrated through his words the little understanding of tectonics shifts that are happening in the country and across Latin America.

A longer article deconstructing piece by piece the words of Obama during this Q&A and explaining the current cannabis reality, can be found here.

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