In an interview with Vice News last week, President Obama suggested that removing marijuana from the list of federally prohibited substances would represent "progress." At the same time, he made it clear he's in no hurry to see that happen.
Although addressing the pointless pain caused by pot prohibition may not be high on Obama's list of priorities, he has intermittently recognized it as a serious issue. Jacob Sullum says a review of Obama's statements about marijuana during the last decade or so suggests that, as with gay marriage, he has often felt a political need to conceal his true beliefs, becoming more comfortable about voicing them as public opinion has shifted in his direction. Expecting Obama to lead on this issue is plainly unrealistic, Sullum says, but he seems willing to follow.