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Obama supports decriminilization of marijuana but lied about it in the debates

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Filed: Timeline

Last fall during a nationally televised presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama hesitantly raised his hand and joined with most of his Democratic rivals to declare that he opposed decriminalizing marijuana.

But as a candidate for the U.S. Senate four years ago, Mr. Obama told Illinois college students that he supported eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana use or possession, according to a videotape of a little noticed debate that was obtained by The Washington Times.


Asked about the two different answers, Mr. Obama's presidential campaign said he in fact has "always" supported decriminalizing marijuana as he answered in 2004, meaning the candidate mistakenly raised his hand during the presidential debate last fall.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Filed: Other Country: Canada

Not that I am in support of Obama at all, but I think there should be a clear distinction between the "legalization" and "decriminalization" of marijuana (or any other substance). It seems many people get the two terms confused and sometimes use them interchangeably as well.

Legalization is fairly simple, in that it means making the substance legal, so there are no penalties for using it. Decriminalization is more complicated, since it means degrading the use of the substance from a criminal offense to a much lighter penalty. In other words, where somewhere may have received jail or prison time for using a criminalized substance, if it were classified as decriminalized that same person would then likely receive some sort of "ticket" and be fined, not unlike for speeding or parking in a fire lane.

I don't see the decriminalization of marijuana to be a bad thing or a threat to the United States; however, I don't see the move really satisfying very many people either. Those who want it fully legal will still have to obtain their fix on the sly and those against marijuana will be angry that it's allowed in some form or another.

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