‘Young People’ Should Be Thinking About More Than Weed, Obama Says

By Brent McCluskey 03/18/15

In an interview with VICE, the president said younger generations should focus more on jobs and climate change.

President Barack Obama

President Obama advised America’s youth to stop thinking about marijuana and start thinking about climate change.

President Obama was recently interviewed by Shane Smith of VICE, and the number one question viewers wanted answered was: What are the President’s thoughts on legalizing marijuana? Well, mostly, he thinks it’s just not that big of a deal.

“First of all it shouldn’t be young people’s biggest priority,” said Obama. “Let’s put it in perspective. Young people, I understand this is important to you. But you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs. War and peace. Maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”

While Obama may want young people to focus more on environmental and political issues instead of marijuana, most activists have proven steadfast in their resolve. In fact, several states have already legalized the drug and it’s quite possible that many others will soon follow suit.

Obama confessed he felt the current policy on marijuana “doesn’t make sense,” but was quick to add that decriminalization isn’t necessarily the silver bullet so many have claimed it will be.

“I’d separate out the issue of decriminalization of marijuana from encouraging its use,” said Obama. “I always say to folks, legalization or decriminalization is not a panacea. Do you feel the same way about meth? Do we feel the same way about coke? How about crack? How about heroin? There is a legitimate, I think, concern about the overall effects this has on society, particularly vulnerable parts of our society.”

Regardless of Obama’s personal viewpoint on the legalization of marijuana, he mentioned in the interview that if enough states decriminalize the drug then Congress may reclassify it.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.