POST CATEGORY: Highly Likely

Highly Likely: Barack Obama

July 03, 2017 | PacerStacktrain

Highlighting amazing Cannabis pioneers who helped pave the way to greater herbal acceptance.

highly-likely-barack-obama.jpg

highly-likely-barack-obama-quote.jpgIt’s been just seven months since Barack Obama occupied the highest office of the land, and the lasting legacy of the 44th president of the United States is still being defined. One thing that’s for sure: he was a good president who accomplished a great deal despite historic obstruction. And, to the point: Barack Obama was probably the first president in history to consume and understand Cannabis like we understand and consume Cannabis, and that’s because—for a time, at least—he consumed it himself.

Obama wasn’t just a casual smoker, according to accounts from his school classmates at Punahou High School in Honolulu in David Maraniss’ new book, Barack Obama:The Story. In fact, quite the opposite. Obama had an affinity for “hot boxing” his classmates Volkswagen bus, affectionately known as the “ChoomWagon,” and for coining the term “Total Absorption” in the social circle, which meant holding a hit as long as one could in their lungs. Classmates describe smoking “sticky green Hawaiian buds and drinking green bottle beer” with the former president. Unfortunately, after high school, Obama’s relationship with Cannabis gets a bit more, let’s say, vague.

Of course, there was his famous “I inhaled frequently…. that’s the point” statement in 2006 that set then-senator Barack Obama apart from other presidential candidates by openly admitting he had smoked Cannabis as a young man. Or in 2014, when he told the New Yorker, “I don’t think it’s more dangerous than alcohol.”

And, even more recently in his “exit interview” with Rolling Stone this past November, he noted his desire to see Cannabis being regulated in American like cigarettes or alcohol. In the same article Obama also praises the idea that states such as Oregon, Washington and Colorado are the perfect place to experiment with full legalization of Cannabis on the Federal level, while noting the challenges of changing the culture of the DEA.

While Obama hasn’t admitted publicly to smoking Cannabis since high school, he did hang out in the islands with Richard Branson for a month after his term ended and he did have that wider-than-usual smile on his face… the whole time. Just saying.

While many Cannabis advocates wish Obama would’ve gone further with efforts to federally legalize, or at the very least reschedule Cannabis, it’s what he didn’t do that was so positive for the industry. For one, when Colorado and Washington legalized recreational Cannabis use, Obama took a staunch “hands off” approach from the federal level, citing state’s rights on these important issues. He also pardoned countless non-violent offenders serving long prison sentences for Cannabis-related crimes.

Hopefully, this story is far from over. Now that Barack Obama has entered public life, there will be more opportunities for him to speak out politically about issues that matter to him. If we use his rhetoric as a guide, it’s not too far-fetched to see this former president as the next great Cannabis advocate. One can only hope.

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