President Obama: "I don't mind a debate around issues like decriminalization."


President Barack Obama further muddled his position on drug policy reform in an interview with Univision's Enrique Acevedo, saying, in the course of one response, both "I don't mind a debate around issues like decriminalization," and "I don't think that legalization of drugs is going to be the answer." 

EA:  Mr. President, this lively discussion on the issue of drug consumption, drug trafficking among the regional leadership seems to have caught American diplomacy a little off-guard. Many Latin American governments complain that the U.S. continues to filter drug trafficking by being the principle importer of these drugs. The Justice Department says there are over 20 million Americans using drugs. Do you think it's time to change this strategy in the war against drugs?

PBO:  I actually don't think it's taken us off guard. My first meeting with President Calderon, who obviously is engaged in a very courageous battle with narco-traffickers inside his own country, we had this discussion and I said that the United States has to be a partner in this process because it is true that we are a primary market for the drug trafficking that's taking place in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean, and that's why we've put billions of dollars since I've come into office into drug treatment programs, prevention programs, treating it as a public health issue so that we can lower demand. At that same time we've initiated unprecedented cooperation on the law enforcement side and obviously our efforts here in Colombia are an example of the progress that's been made when it comes to issues of citizen security — and the last part of this is what we've tried to do is make sure that security at our borders is not just a one-way street, that we are paying a lot of attention to arms that are flowing south, cash that's flowing south, because it's important that we take our responsibilities seriously and not just ask other countries to do their part. This is an enormous challenge and I don't mind a debate around issues like decriminalization. I personally don't agree that that's a solution to the problem, but I think that given the pressures that a lot of governments are under here, under-resourced, overwhelmed by violence, it's completely understandable that they would look for new approaches, and we want to cooperate with them. I don't think that legalization of drugs is going to be the answer.

Is the semantic distinction between Obama saying he doesn't think legalization is "going" to be the answer, as opposed to just saying "it's not the answer," a meaningful one? My guess is the president's remarks aren't a reflection of his own beliefs, or an impending policy change, but a public admission (hot on the tails of Vice President Joe Biden's) that Central American leaders are weighing the benefits of decriminalization. 

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  1. Cop being sued for destroying evidence, etc…

    Off topic, but I like it, so read it.…..ories.html

    1. i like it too

      ATFPAPIT, the cop shouldn’t just be sued, he should be prosecuted, granted sufficient evidence

  2. …and the last part of this is what we’ve tried to do is make sure that security at our borders is not just a one-way street, that we are paying a lot of attention to arms that are flowing south, cash that’s flowing south, because it’s important that we take our responsibilities seriously…

    Oh you.

    1. It’s almost like Fast and Furious never happened. No surprise there.

      The first thing I have seen “stick” to this President was the Rosen/Romney dust-up. That was remarkable.

      1. Only because they overplayed their hand on that one. It’s like they have never heard of a Venn diagram.

        The Sandra (appropriately named) Fluke deal didn’t work quite as hoped. People want free stuff, but the blatant man-in-the-mirror moment was disconcerting.

    2. To be fair, he didn’t say that we’re trying to stop arms from flowing south, just that we’re paying attention to it. IOW, he knew all along that his administration was trafficking guns to the cartels.

  3. All this expense and effort to “protect” people who want to use drugs. The same people we throw to the wolves in prison if we catch them carrying those drugs. The same people we force to deal with scumbags in order to acquire those drugs. The same people who are under the threat of gang violence sponsored by drug money which only exists because of our war on drugs.

    Long live The Greater Good?. We are truly humanitarians.

  4. Why write a whole article trying to analyze what this idiot says?

    It’s just more BS from the bullshitter-in-chief.

    1. ^^This^^ Obama has had over three years to do something about the drug war. And he has done nothing but support it and increase it. Who gives a fuck what he has to say now that he is trying to keep the country from throwing his sorry ass out of office?

  5. “I don’t think that legalization of drugs is going to be the answer.”

    Fuck you, slaver!
    I’ve never truly felt part of H&R until I got to post that immortal phrase.

    1. And remember he is very candid about doing a little blow back in the day. From the rumors it was more than a little. But no way could he ever support not putting people into jail for doing exactly what he did.

      It is nasty of me, but I can’t help but hope one his brats gets caught up in a drug bust some day.

      1. I don’t; he’ll probably react like McCain did when his wife looked like she might be in trouble with the law and destroy an innocent person’s life to keep his kids from being embarrassed or prosecuted.

        1. You can’t extort people. Not to excuse McCain’s hypocrisy. But I wouldn’t call the guy who extorted them “innocent”.

          1. Yes, that was probably a two-way street. FGuy A thought he had a good way to extort a presidential candidate, Presidential Candidate said “fuck you, mac, let’s see how far you get with THIS”

            1. Pretty much. It doesn’t excuse McCain. You would think that having a wife get hooked on pills would cause you to reconsider draconian drug prohibition. But alas it didn’t. Rules are always for the little people.

            2. It was not a two way street.

              But after a week, there is no glossing over huge gaps in the [story]:

              ? Cindy McCain lied about drug treatment she claims to have undergone. Although she told reporters she went into a residential drug treatment program earlier this year, she told investigators she had treatment during 1991 and 1992. Whom did she lie to–investigators or reporters?

              ? If Cindy McCain did undergo treatment before 1994, as she told investigators, the senator’s claim that he didn’t learn of his wife’s addiction until this January simply defies credibility.

              ? Cindy McCain and Jay Smith lied about her status with federal prosecutors. She told a Tucson reporter she had already completed a pretrial diversion program. … In fact, Cindy McCain hasn’t even been accepted into a diversion program.

              ? Jay Smith misled the Arizona Republic when he said that Gosinski had, in an act of retribution, tipped federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents after failing to get a cash settlement. In fact, Gosinski was talking to the DEA 11 months before he ever filed his wrongful termination claim.

              ? Tom Gosinski no longer has a civil lawsuit against Cindy McCain. It died of neglect this summer.

              While the stories told by the senator, his wife and his hired guns are rife with inaccuracies and inconsistencies, everything Tom Gosinski says seems to check out.

              1. Yes, it was a two way street:

                When Tom Gosinski, a man your wife fired, sued for wrongful termination and threatened to expose the whole sordid story, you didn’t hesitate to call in the big guns.

                It does not matter that the lawsuit died; the man had already threatened to reveal the story:

                Gosinski’s colleagues at AVMT heard him say he would be willing to use what he knew about Cindy McCain to enrich himself.

                AVMT employee Tracy Orrick told investigators Gosinski “would make comments like, ‘I wonder how much Cindy’s father would pay to keep this quiet,’ referring to gossip around the office.”

                Kathy Walker–who is identified in the report as being “employed by Hensley & Company as Cindy McCain’s Administrative Assistant and Director of Operations” of AVMT–told investigators that Gosinski told her in November 1992 that “I’m going to get her [McCain], I’m going to blackmail her if she ever fires me.”

                The truth, as they say, probably lies somewhere in between.

                1. If Gosinski was such a good guy and so concerned about what a bad person Cindy McCain was, why didn’t he just go to the police? Why did he bother with all of the rest of the stuff?

                  What Randian said. McCain was pretty sleazy and dishonest but Gosinski seems just as bad. Pigs wrestling in mud.

                  1. He did go to the police, John,

                    He went to the DEA… He went to the DEA long before he sued them. He went to the DEA pretty promptly after he told the McCains that Cindy was fraudulently getting doctors to write prescriptions for other people and collecting the drugs for herself and they fired his ass in retribution…

                    Seriously, this isn’t a hill you want to defend.

          2. There was no extortion…

            That was a lie John McCain made up to smear the guy.

            1. Yes there was. The guy threatened to go to the police. That is extortion. And even if he skirted the law, he is still a crap weasel. If he wanted to go to the police, do it. There was nothing innocent about that guy.

              1. The+ guy went to the police long before he sued the McCains.

                The McCains lied about the timeline.

            2. And last I looked McCain lost the election. So who cares? What are you doing here other than trying to concern troll and change the subject from what a shitty hypocrite Obama is?

              1. I’m not trying to change the subject away from what a shitty guy Obama is. I am merely dfending an innocent guy against your smears.

                I agree that Obama is a shitbag. I’ve never claimed otherwise. In fact, you’ll note that I commonly refer to him as the narcisist in chief when I write about him. I see in hist petulance the same vindictive streak that another shitbag, John McCain has demonstrated in spades.

                1. I’m not trying to change the subject away from what a shitty guy Obama is.

                  Yes you are you fucking idiot. You are the one who brought up McCain not me. You are the only one who thinks that McCain is somehow relevant to the conversation not me.

                  Did you take stupid pills? Is Shreek posting under your name?

            3. D– concern trolling terran. Sorry all of that hopey changey stuff didn’t work out so well for you. But changing the subject won’t help.

              1. If you’re accusing tarran of being an Obama supporter, you just went FULL RETARD, John. You shouldn’t drink this early on a Saturday, no matter how tasty Bloody Marys can be.

                1. I think it’s reflex action Epi.

                  Most Republicans look at McCain and see a war hero.

                  I look at him and I see the drunken, abusive, morally bankrupt, self-aggrandizing pieces of shit that Naval Academy grads in the bottom half of their class that go into Naval Aviation are.

                  If John had spent formative years working with people like McCain on a carrier, he’d see through McCain’s reality distortion field in a heart-beat.

                  1. It is not a reflex Terran. It is you going full retard. What does anything did have to do with Obama? Nixon was a really bad guy too. Do we want to have a discussion about him because he is just as relevant to this conversation. I pointed out that Obama was a hypocrite. Why on earth do you think that warrants some rant on McCain allegedly smearing someone?

                    Look, I am sorry McCain buttfucked you in the shower that day on the Forestal. But hey, it is the Navy. It is a bad thing. I guess I won’t vote for that guy again. In the mean time, could you please try to stay on topic? Maybe you and Welch could start your own all McCain all the time chat room. The rest of us would like to talk about people who still matter.

                    1. John,

                      I brought up not McCain, but an example of a scenario which you were hoping to see play out, where a big-name politician who supports the war on (some) drugs had a family member caught up in a drug investigation.

                      In the case involving Cindy McCain, the big-name politician destroyed a guy financially and reputationally who had done nothing wrong from a legal perspective.

                      Had it been Chuck Shumer instead of John McCain, I would have been talking about Chuck Shumer and saying nasty shit about him.

                      You’ll note, I said Obama would probably behave as badly as McCain did…

                      If I was defending Obama, or trying to distract people from Obama’s shitbaggery, comparing him to a shit-bag like McCain would not be the way to do it.

                      To sum up; I am sorry that you are offended that I said Obama is such a shit-bag that he would behave as scummily as a shit-bag like McCain has in the past.

                    2. Look, I am sorry McCain buttfucked you in the shower that day on the Forestal.

                      Ha Ha! That’s funny!

                      I never had any problems with the aviators physically; My uniform at sea included steel-toed work-shoes. I think those guys were scared of the engineering spaces.

                      The only time the aviators tried to get physical with the nukes on my ship, the aviators not only lost the fight, but also had to eat the nasty letters in their service records about their unbecoming conduct. After that incident they left us alone.

      2. My first thought, too: Are you saying you should have been put into prison, Mr. Prez?

  6. With all due respect, I’m growing a little weary of libertarians we’re-so-disappointed-with-democrats stories and blogposts on the drug war.

    The mainstream democratic (and frankly progressive) view on prohibition is not some outlier in their otherwise socially-liberal worldview, it is in complete and unambiguous consistency with their philosophy.

    When we observe progressives over the last twenty years, what has become the central thesis of their philosophy? Centrally controlled (read: government controlled) healthcare vis-a-vis “universal access”. And what tangental policies have grown out of this philosophy like tendrils from a cancerous tumour?

    Regulation of cigarettes, smoking in general, trans-fats, war on obesity, sugary drinks, muscling schools to remove vending machines, reform of school lunch programs etc., eschewing of consumer choice, the list goes on.

    Drug prohibition isn’t some accidental bedfellow to these ideas, it is absolutely consistent and necessary if public health becomes the central tenet of “social justice” (drink!).


    1. [contd]

      When liberals can push through policies where your healthcare provider is required to ask you about firearms in the home as part of a patient health profile, stop acting surprised that the so-called socially liberal and personal-behavior-tolerant progressives want to take away your drugs along with your tobacco, trans-fats, sugary drinks and grocery store choices and replace them with a more socially responsible set of limited choices provided by beneficent leaders.

      1. Paul is 100% right on this. TEAM BLUE is full drug war happy, they just want it to be a softer, more huggable war, and even that is because that is for their “image”. They, just like TEAM RED, will go medieval on your ass for not doing as they tell you.

        1. Agreed. Under what administration did prohibitions in its various incarnations appear? Granted, the 21st admendment also happened under FDR, but that was because so many states had repealed their prohibition laws. It should also be noted that Women’s Temperance League was quite powerful and fully enjoying the new found muscle it was flexing, thus dragging out the end to prohibition.

          The root of many, many nanny laws have their root in women’s concern groups, though not exclusively (I consider Beta Boys part of this bloc), which in itself is paradoxical, if you think about it. It is undeniable that women’s concern groups skew nanny, hence, as Epi said above, the “softer, more huggable” approach.

          Stuffed animal nannyism is still nannyism.

          1. It really was a bipartisan effort by progressives in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

            For example, an early proponent of the war on (some) drugs, who managed to get it put on the map as a political issue was one of Abraham Lincoln’s son, who was a reasonably influential Republican.

            The Republicans, of course, were the party that heavily pushed Alcohol prohibition, and for the same reasons supported the nascent war on (some) drugs.

            The two factions who love the war on (some) drugs in the modern era appear to be – for the Republicans: the socons (whose influence is slowly waning), the police/LEO community – for the Democrats, the police/LEO community and the progressives.

            The LEO faction would, on their own, be easily defeated. It’s the progressives who appear to be the well-spring for continuing prohibition, since while they have the maturity to experiment without ruining their lives, they know that the lower-classes would like totally destroy their lives if they had access to cheap, high quality drugs.

            1. It really was a bipartisan effort by progressives in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

              “Bi-partisan”, the Edward Furlong of political speak.

              since while they have the maturity to experiment without ruining their lives, they know that the lower-classes would like totally destroy their lives if they had access to cheap, high quality drugs.

              Ahh, there is the solution to this! The “Access” argument. Has Sandra Fluke heard about this? Seriously though, this is where decrim proponents lose, since the profit motive of dealers would go through the floor and which is why they fight decrim efforts with every bit of fervor as your average, garden variety prohibitionist.

              You’re 100% correct that both TEAMS have bloody hands in this clusterfuck. I did not intend to imply otherwise.

              1. I wasn’t saying you were wrong, I wanted to add to what you said. 😉

            2. “The Republicans, of course, were the party that heavily pushed Alcohol prohibition”


              Prohibition was a bipartisan project. In the Senate, 75% Democrats voted for the 18th Amendment; 78% of Republicans voted for it. In the House, 70% of Democrats voted for it as did 69% of Republicans. Only two states rejected the 18th Amendment.

              Prohibition is a case study in the consequences of bipartisanship. The US has a two-party system which pits the evil party versus the stupid party. When the two parties get together in a bipartisan way, the end result is something evil and stupid like Prohibition.

              1. It’s a one party system with two factions that combines evil, stupidity, and clueless good intentions pushing bad legislation.

                It’s not like team R has a lock on either evil or stupid.

              2. I think I confused the battle to repeal prohibition with the battle to impose it.

                Many apologies.

                1. Of course, in the early the 20th century, Progressives dominated both the Republican and the Democratic parties, and prohibition was the top item on their Christmas wish-list.

        2. ime, from what we (local cops) saw in grant money, etc. from da feds, bill clinton was one of the most pro drug war presidents in memory

          dems ARE just as bad, if not worse on the WOD.

          i agree

          1. ime, from what we (local cops) saw in grant money, etc. from da feds, bill clinton was one of the most pro drug war presidents in memory

            As you say, dunphinator. Now what can we do to pry your fellow porcines off of the federal drug war teat?

      2. Paul, you nailed it. Hell, the War on (Some) Drugs was heavily promoted by the Democrats, particularly when the Progressives ruled the land.

        1. Bubbut McCain smeared people and molested children. Don’t you want to talk about that anymore Tarran?

          1. John, accusing someone of molestation is a pretty serious thing and not to be done lightly.

            Do you have any evidence to back up your claim that McCain molested children?

  7. This just in: President Obama panders to a question.

    Drug abuse is a problem but he can’t wrap his head around the fact that prohibition is itself a problem. And only one of those problems government can actually fix.

    1. Dude,

      It’s not that Obama doesn’t understand.

      It’s that Obama wants to save the lower-classes from themselves as he tries to perfect them.

      It’s the arrogance of the progressive mind-set that leads them to conclude that they need to paternalistic ally control people.

      1. Nah, it’s that Obama has concluded that it is not in his individual political best interests to end the WoD.

        If he gets reelected, he will find it is in his team’s politician’s individual political best interests to continue the status quo.

        And when some poor black kids die in the WoD or rot in prison — well, you do what you have to do to cling to power.

        1. And when some poor black kids die in the WoD or rot in prison — well, you do what you have to do to cling to power.

          But if he had a son…

      2. well put

    2. The majority of the problem is the laws. Legalize marijuana and it will disappear into the landscape. There will be no Reefer Madness headlines.
      Plus all that Drug war money can be cut from the budget. Win/Win
      Dems and Reps, different pages from the same bad book!

    3. and ime (and my experience is extensive) the WOD is a BIGGER problem than drug abuse

      drug abuse (as opposed to drug USE) is certainly a problem. imo, we could also better fight drug abuse and hurt those who are hurt by drugs IF we were not simultaneously fighting a WOD.

  8. Progressive, Neocon, it’s all nonsense. They’re one in the same.…..Vfx-ftbd_k
    Dems and Reps, different pages from the same bad book!

  9. That Obama idiot is so full of himself.

  10. Barry: I think that it’s important for any candidate running for public office to be as transparent as possible.


    That was a good one! I almost peed in my pants! I might have to vote for him just to hear more jokes like that!

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