Obama: Pot is not more dangerous than alcohol

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Updated: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 01:38:16 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he doesn't think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.

Obama doesn't argue for legalizing pot. But he says in an interview with "The New Yorker" that pot is less dangerous than alcohol, quote, "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer."

The president has acknowledged using pot when he was young and calls it "a bad idea." He says he's troubled that poor kids, many of them African American and Latinos, are far more likely to get locked up for smoking pot than middle-class kids.

But Obama urges a cautious approach, saying people who think legalizing pot will solve social problems are, quote, "probably overstating the case."

When it comes to harder drugs, he says, the harm to users and the social costs are profound.

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