Obama’s Real Talk: Pot ‘Shouldn’t Be Young People’s Biggest Priority’

President Barack Obama wants young Americans to reconsider their political priorities.

In a new interview with Vice (above at the 14:20 mark), Obama talked extensively on marijuana law reform — and the president had a strong reaction to the fact that the pot topic was the “number one question from everyone on the Internet,” as Vice founder Shane Smith said in the interview.

“For young people,” Smith said, “I’m sorry, but if you legalize marijuana it would be the biggest part of your legacy.”

Obama spoke directly to the issue — and to youths.

“It shouldn’t be young people’s biggest priority,” Obama said. “Let’s put it in perspective. Young people, I understand this is important to you. But you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace.

“Maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”

Obama then pointed out a couple possible options for moving forward.

“I’d separate out the issue of decriminalization of marijuana from encouraging its use,” Obama said. “There is no doubt that our criminal justice system generally is so heavily skewed toward cracking down on nonviolent drug offenders that it has not just had a terrible effect on many communities, particularly communities of color, rendering a lot of folks unemployable because they got felony records, disproportionate prison sentences. It costs a huge amount of money to states. And a lot of states are starting to figure that out.”

– Read the entire article at The Cannabist.