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Debate on legal pot heats up after President's remarks

Over the weekend, an extensive interview with President Barack Obama was posted on the New Yorker magazine's website, only a few paragraphs dealing with marijuana.

But those few paragraphs have touched off a lot of debate online and on the air as the country continues to come to grips with the idea of legal, recreational marijuana.

Two states have already (famously) made the leap, Colorado and Washington.

Four more have possible ballot initiatives which voters may act on this year, Alaska, Arizona, California, and Oregon.

In Florida, Republicans want to block a similar measure from getting on the ballot, openly admitting that it would bring out a lot of young and minority voters, who tend to favor Democrats.

And a recent Gallup poll indicates that 58% of Americans now favor the legalization of recreational marijuana -- up from just 12% when Gallup first asked the question in 1969.

The U.S. House saw a measure introduced last year which would prevent marijuana from being listed as a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic.

It would also remove the federal prohibitions from possessing, producing or distributing marijuana in states where it's legal to use for medical purposes.

As for the President, he said he has discouraged his daughters from experimenting with pot, though he admits having smoked it in the past.

While stopping short of saying he favors legalization or decriminalization, he did say he has concerns over the disparity between races when it comes to arrests for marijuana.

According to the ACLU, despite similar levels of usage, black or Latino people are four times as likely to be arrested and get jail time for pot than whites.

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