What I learned from David Remnick’s profile of the president in the New Yorker is that we shouldn’t count on President Obama to help draw a line on marijuana use among our children. Typical. I guess no one should be surprised. Obama has never been shy about his inhaling. But he has never clarified if his marijuana use affected his performance in school or if it was considered a hindrance when he applied for a job.

Cheyenne Fox attaches radio frequency tracking tags to maturing pot plants inside a grow house in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Claiming that smoking marijuana is a “vice, not very different from … cigarettes” gives the impression that doing drugs is not a big deal. The president’s words were more of a reassurance than a warning about the potential harm of pot use. What he said was dangerous.

My favorite part of the interview is when the president said smoking marijuana is “not something I encourage.” Well, that’s a relief. The president won’t be actively encouraging kids to light one up. 

Shrugging off the detrimental impact of drug use, particularly when you are speaking as the president of the United States, is irresponsible. We should all be disappointed that he chose to talk about drug use so nonchalantly in this interview. 

Republicans need to be clear: Marijuana use doesn’t lead to anything helpful or productive. The president won’t say so, but Republican leaders should.

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