In Jamaica, Obama talks pot with a Rasta
By Oscar Pascual |
President Barack Obama visited Jamaica on Wednesday for a town hall meeting in Kingston, and it didn’t take long before someone brought up legalizing the ganja.
According to an AFP report, Obama fielded the inevitable question of marijuana legalization from the likeliest of sources — a dreadlocked Rastafarian named Miguel Williams.
Williams, sporting a “Rasta4life” wrist band and looking like someone out of a Morgan Heritage music video, gave the president a warm welcome before bringing up the pot topic.
“Give thanks! Yes greetings Mr President, life and blessings on you and your family. My name is Miguel Williams but you can call I and I ‘Steppa’… That is quite sufficient, ya man,” Williams said. “My question has to do and surrounds U.S. policy as it regards the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.”
“How did I anticipate this question?” Obama jokingly responded.
“We find realistically that the hemp industry, the marijuana industry provides a highly feasible alternative to rising out of poverty,” said Williams. “So I’m wanting to overstand and to understand how U.S. is visioning and how would you see Jamaica pushing forward on a decriminalization, legalization emphasis.”
While Obama didn’t necessarily share his personal opinion on the matter, he did voice criticism over the War on Drugs.
“I am a very strong believer that the path that we have taken in the United States in the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ has been so heavy in emphasizing incarceration that it has been counterproductive,” he said.
Ultimately, Obama passed the buck to Congress.
“I do not foresee, any time soon, Congress changing the law at a national basis,” he said.
While Obama believes U.S. legalization won’t happen in the near future (although he could just do it himself), he did get in a few irie activities while visiting Jamaica, like visiting Bob Marley’s former home, showing off his spot-on patois accent, and shooting a rainbow from his hand.
Photo credit: supermookinfiends.com