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Obama being soft on pot

President Barack Obama is lukewarm on pot use, comparing it to cigarettes - but Ben Shapiro believes that's it's a little bit more of an issue. (AP)

It is a big deal.

Despite how President Barack Obama might downplay it, marijuana use is a big deal in America says Ben Shapiro, who is taking on Obama’s vanilla view of the dangerous drug.

In a recent interview in The New Yorker magazine, Obama appeared brush off the drug, saying that he viewed it as a “bad habit and a vice” but “not very different” than the cigarettes he smoked – that it’s not as bad as alcohol.

Obama said he would “not encourage” his daughters to use pot, saying that he thinks it is a “bad idea, waste of time, not very healthy.”

As if he was talking about Doritos or video games, not a drug that, according to one recent study, 4.8 million Americans are hooked on.

Shapiro, who is in favor of legalization, mainly because prohibition laws have not been effective, sees marijuana as an important cultural issue.

“Our culture is so perverse, [marijuana use] is being considered a good thing, culturally,” Shapiro commented, citing how “stoner” comedies and other leavings of pot culture are considered funny or even harmless. “That’s what’s problematic; it’s not about pot being less effective than alcohol.”

“Until we as a society treat [marijuana] as a big deal, we’re going to get more kids trying it,” Shapiro continued. “I never tried pot, that’s because my parents made very clear, ‘you will not try pot, only losers use it.'”

While larger cultural forces – like Barack Obama, or even Hollywood actors – try to normalize attitudes toward pot, it is important to resist, and to teach values instead.

“We as conservatives understand there’s a great difference between legitimizing a law and legitimizing an activity,” Shapiro said. “That’s why your culture matters; that’s why our community matters.”

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