AP/JACQUELYN MARTIN – APIMAGES.COM
“The last time I was that high, I was trying to decide my major,” President Obama said. The joke was a reference to the president’s approval ratings, which have been on the rise during his final year in office.
— CNN (@CNN) May 1, 2016
“Obama and his friends drove around the lush Hawaii countryside, hot-boxing their VW bus and re-upping with a long-haired pizza-tossing dealer named Ray, whom Obama thanked in his yearbook ‘for all the good times,'” Time reports.
While the president says he regrets his past marijuana use, and has emphasized that he wouldn’t want his daughters to use the substance, his stance on the issue of marijuana legalization has been considerably progressive. He’s allowed states to experiment with legalization, advocating against federal intervention for states such as Colorado, which have defied federal drug laws by legalization marijuana for recreational and medical purposes.
To hear a president joke casually about marijuana at a black tie event like the Corespondents’ Dinner, however, is reassuring in its own way. That said, advocates feel Obama should go further than joking about the issue and take action to reform federal marijuana laws before the end of his term.
“It’s fine to joke about the old days, but let’s not forget that students in Obama’s America today are losing financial aid and having to drop out of college for doing the exact same thing the president laughs about once doing himself,” Marijuana Majority founder Tom Angell told ATTN:. “He didn’t get caught, but the marijuana prohibition policy he senselessly continues to support leads to hundreds of thousands of harmful arrests every year.”
UPDATE April 30 8:54 PM: This article has been updated to include comments from Marijuana Majority founder Tom Angell.