Obama laughed and as someone said, it is no laughing matter. He laughed I think not at the question but at the sheer silliness people who want cannabis legalised, at the irrationality that lies behind the call. Much of the legalisation argument is founded on falsity. Cannabis particularly, low CBD cannabis, has all the harms of tobacco and much more. Tobacco and alcohol as legal drugs (in most countries) cause far more personal and social harm than all the illegal drugs put together. The trivialisation of cannabis harms has been going on for too long, the normalisation and legalisation of this substance would inevitably lead to MORE USE, more use means, without any doubt, MORE personal and social harm as night follows day. So legalisation would not reduce that harm it would on the hard evidence of the tobacco/alcohol model, increase it. The second string of the argument is that illegal drugs are a gift to organised crime and that legalisation would remove that gift. This is a naive or dishonest argument. Illegal sales can always undercut legal sales by price, legal sales would allow crime to produce something “stronger”, regulations around age of purchase would encourage crime to target those excluded by age. Legalisation would produce counterfeit (cheaper) product, the application of any tax at all would encourage crime-to avoid that tax. The end result of legalised cannabis would be more consumption, by more people, for more of their lives. All that amounts to more harm. Just as we have with tobacco and alcohol. If anyone doubts what I say I ask them to consider the personal and social harm from alcohol in those countries where use is culturally or religiously taboo and to compare with similar sized societies where use is allowed and normalised. So why did Obama laugh? I suggest he knows the truth of what I speak, he knows that the tide of scientific opinion continues to move against the safety and harms of cannabis. He knows that the UK has only recently because of that social and personal harm and at the request of our National Director of Mental Health, reclassified cannabis to a more serious drug, (where it historically was under our system). We have rejected the nonsense of the pothead and stoner lobby. So should the USA. You should get off your drugs and get back to work.
Source: David Raynes response to article about drug use in USA March 2009