In a surprise reversal of Administration drug policy, President Obama announced at a White House press briefing today that he is proposing legislation to declassify marijuana as a Class I Controlled Substance and make it legal both to possess and grow for personal use as well as commercial production.
A pungent, but not completely unpleasant odor permeated the press room as the President admitted that, in addition to enjoying a few daily cigarettes, he also indulges in the occasional spliff while taking a stroll in the Rose Garden in the evening, decompressing from a stressful day of trying to reason with rabid right-wing Republicans, self-interested rogue Democrats and power-hungry religious fanatics bent on forcing their political agendas on the rest of the world, although he was quick to add that he doesn't exhale . . . for a very long time.
While the President seemed euphoric, presumably at the prospect of taxing marijuana sales, he soberly admitted that his proposed legislation will not come without compromise.
Succumbing to the wishes of the cotton and paper-manufacturing industry, the proposed legislation would classify hemp as a Class I Controlled Substance.
Possession and manufacture of hemp clothing and paper would be prohibited by law. Manufacture would be a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of one hundred thousand dollars. Possession of hemp clothing or paper products would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of ten thousand dollars and on-the-spot forfeiture of the illegal contraband.
Asked by a reporter whether stripping off the hemp clothing of a citizen walking down the street might be considered Constitutionally cruel and unusual punishment, the President quipped, "To whom?"
The press briefing concluded with the White House Press Secretary passing out massive joints rolled, ironically enough, in non-hemp rolling papers imprinted with the entire Preamble to the U. S. Constitution.