Monday, January 20, 2014

Press Release: Obama: "It's Important for [Marijuana Legalization Laws in Colorado and Washington] To Move Forward"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 20, 2014
Contact: Darby Beck: darby.beck@leap.cc 415.823.5496

OBAMA: “IT’S IMPORTANT FOR [MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION LAWS IN COLORADO AND WASHINGTON] TO GO FORWARD”

Decries Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests

President Obama cited the fact that “middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor…it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished” as among the reasons why “it’s important for [Colorado and Washington’s laws legalizing marijuana] to go forward” in an interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick just made available online.


 “I don’t know that Obama’s increasingly supportive stance toward legalization represents a sea change in his own personal philosophy – he’s an African-American former law professor who has to know prohibition is destructive to people of color and to the criminal justice system generally,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “But it does show the political calculus is changing and smart leaders are scrambling to be counted on the right side of history. Now he needs to back up those words by allowing banks to work with marijuana businesses and making other needed reforms to support legalization.” 

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