President Obama recently made headlines when he sat down with The New Yorker’s David Remnick for his piece “Going the Distance.” In it, he asserted that smoking pot is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol — and I agree.
“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
News outlets from The Huffington Post to USA Today, The Drudge Report to BBC all ran the story, but buried deep within the piece was an ever juicier bit:
“Let me be clear,” the president said. “We still have a lot of work to go. In some states gay marriage is legal, but what about polygamy? In fact, what about gay polygamy?” At this point the president leaned in close, lightly tapped on my knee with his index finger, and said in a near whisper “What about gay polygamist who want to legally smoke pot, David. What. About. Them?”
Mr. Obama rubbed his forehead. “The founders knew that we were all fallible people in a flawed system, but that we could always strive towards a more perfect union. When you unravel the public policy thread on the American cable knit sweater, what you soon realize is that in order to be free — truly free — men who want to live with and love other men while smoking copious amounts of marijuana for the rest of their lives need to be granted the opportunity to do so. When you zoom out from this amazing little blue planet known as earth you realize that we are less than a speck in the eye of the universe. And you and I and everyone else are specks within a speck! Do you really want to be the speck that denies another speck gay speck sex while high? I don’t.”
The president’s comments may seem ludicrous to some, but in his madness he makes some astute observations.
What does it mean to be free?
Does freedom entail something more than simply the ability to do whatever (and whomever) we want?
Are there objective moral truths out there that humanity can discern through logic and reason, faith and love?
Is marriage just about “loving” another person (or persons), and does true freedom mean having the freedom to destroy ourselves with plants, pills and crazy chemicals brought to us by the pharmaceutical industry?
I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I’m thankful that we finally have an American president who is standing up for gay polygamist pot smokers everywhere.