Chris Matthews: Obama’s wrong about marijuana

The MSNBC host, usually one of Obama's biggest defenders, says pot is more dangerous than the president believes VIDEO

Topics: Video, Chris Matthews, Hardball, MSNBC, marijuana, Pot, Dope, Christopher Lawford, Patrick Kennedy, New Yorker, David Remnick, Talking Points Memo, Barack Obama, ,

Chris Matthews: Obama's wrong about marijuana (Credit: MSNBC, Hardball)

One of the president’s biggest fans in the media isn’t happy with his recently published comments about marijuana.

In a new, long profile in the New Yorker, Obama is quoted by New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick calling pot “a bad habit and a vice,” but one that wasn’t much different from cigarettes. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” Obama added.

Obama also criticized the law enforcement status quo on marijuana, arguing that the state “should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.” He also noted the ways in which laws against marijuana disproportionately harm those in lower incomes. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said.

You Might Also Like

While many applauded the president’s comments, marking it as a possible watershed moment in America’s complicated history with illegal drugs, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and two guests were decidedly more wary of Obama’s remarks.

Speaking on Monday during his “Hardball” show, Matthews said, “I generally support the president on a lot of things — I’m famous for that, or whatever, infamous for that — but the fact is I don’t think he’s right on this one because I think people have addictive personalities and some people react to freedom differently than others and we better be ready for it because it’s coming now.”

Matthews’ guests — activist Christopher Lawford and former congressman Patrick Kennedy —  agreed, saying that legalizing marijuana would only make substance abuse problems in America worse and that pot is much stronger today than it was when Obama smoked it in his youth.

Echoing earlier comments from MSNBC colleague Joe Scarborough, Matthews said that pot is dangerous because of the way is diminishes one’s energy and motivation. ”I think dope, marijuana makes you sort of vague-out, and sort of lose interest in tomorrow, two weeks from now, two months from now,” Matthews said. “Where ya headed? I do believe that.”

Watch the “Hardball” segment below:

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Michael Ohl/Museum fur Naturkunde

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Soul-Sucking Dementor Wasp

    Latin name: Ampulex dementor

    Truong Ngyuen

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    10,000th reptile species

    Latin name: Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi

    Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Colour-changing thorny frogs

    Latin name: Gracixalus lumarius

    Judith L. Eger

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Long-fanged bat

    Latin name: Hypsugo dolichodon

    Neang Thy Moe/FFI

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Stealthy wolf snake

    Latin name: Lycodon zoosvictoriae

    Michael Janes

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Feathered coral

    Latin name: Ovabunda andamanensis

    Jerome Constant

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    World's second-longest insect

    Phryganistria heusii yentuensis

    Nantasak Pinkaew

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 8

    Latin name: Sirindhornia spp

    Tim Johnson

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 9

    Tylototriton shanorum

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...