HowStuffWorks "The Marijuana Plant"  Pot, marijuana, cannabis, weed, hemp, maryjane, ganja.

Call it whatever you wish, marijuana literally dates back thousands of years thanks to its psychoactive and physiological effects which range from heightened mood to a brief sense of euphoria.  Then there are pot’s negatives: major hungries, dry mouth, and red eyes as well as the more serious effects of short-term memory loss, decreased motor skills, paranoia, and anxiety.

Nevertheless, about 1% of the population of the United States or some 1.4 million people smoke pot daily, approximately 60% of Americans have smoked marijuana at some time in their lives, and some 20% of high school say they smoke on a daily basis.  At least seven past presidents are believed to have grown the hemp plant–solely for industrial purposes.

Conservative intellectual William F. Buckley Jr. conceded he smoked pot but only on his boat in international waters.

President Bill Clinton admits he smoked it during his college days but alleges he never inhaled the smoke.

Trayvon Martin smoked weed before he was killed by George Zimmerman.

President Barack Hussein Obama wrote in “Dreams from My Father” that he smoked pot in high school with his “choom gang,” and in college, and God only knows when and where else.

A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama | Education News  Yet, Obama, America’s first president who could fairly be labeled a (former) pothead, and his administration have long staunchly opposed the use of medical cannabis which is believed to lessen nausea and vomiting and to stimulate appetites in chemotherapy patients, lower eye pressure for treating glaucoma and gastrointestinal illnesses, for its antibacterial properties, and as an expectorant.

All that is verifiably true.

Now that medicinal pot has been legalized in 20 states, opponents such as Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder argue that it’s dangerous to use, lacks FDA-approval, and that a number of legal drugs make marijuana unnecessary. They say it’s addictive, leads to harder drug use, adversely affects fertility, impairs driving ability, and damages the lungs, immune system, and brain.  They also contend that medical cannabis advocates are really pushing for the legalization of all drugs and for wider recreational use of pot.

However, given those plusses of pot’s beneficial qualities and despite the negatives associated with weed, why would a (former) pothead president be so opposed to using medical  marijuana to alleviate pain and suffering?  Is Obama so contrite over his past chooming, (Hawaiian slang for smoking marijuana), that he now wants to save kids and adults from making the same mistakes he did?  Does he want Malia and Sasha to avoid turning into potheads by following in daddy’s footsteps?

AG Holder provided answers to those questions and a slew of others on Monday when he announced “a major shift in criminal justice policy.”

Specifically, Holder revealed that the Obama administration would move “to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses”  in order ”to curb soaring taxpayer spending on prisons and help correct what he regards as unfairness in the justice system,” according to the New York Times. 

The Secretary of the Department of Justice passionately explained that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason.”  (

And there we have it, the real answer as to why Obama seemed so regretful about his past, or so concerned over others traveling down his pot path, or so worried that his daughters would follow the same route he did that he felt he had to oppose the medicinal use of marijuana because those 20 states which have legalized that use are in violation of federal laws and would further clog up America’s courts and prisons if they were prosecuted.

Of course, Holder didn’t say that since his principal interest was the number of incarcerated blacks in America.  Whites, 78% of the U.S. population, currently account for 35% of  prison population but Blacks, 13% of the U.S. population, constitute 38% of America’s prison population, numbers he didn’t mention and nor did he cite the reasons for that disparity–the inclination many Blacks have to break our laws.

Had he referred to that last reality, he would have undermined his and his boss’s credibility even more than their credibility has already been stretched.