Carlos Santana wants to legalize marijuana & give the money to schools


Last week, President Obama held an online townhall, in which people could write in their own questions and vote about which he should answer. So of course, Obama got the question about legalizing marijuana. His answer: “The answer is no, I don’t think that’s a good strategy to grow our economy. All right.” So it’s pretty clear with Obama’s one-sentence answer that pot-smoking is not on his agenda.

Carlos Santana disagrees. The music icon spoke to the Associated Press about his desire to see state and federal officials step up and legalize marijuana. Santana has a plan too! He thinks that marijuana should be sold by the government (or taxed heavily) and then the proceeds can go to America’s school systems. The AP is billing this as Santana criticizing Obama’s statement, but Santana actually sounds like he’s directing his comments at California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

President Barack Obama brushed off a question about legalizing marijuana in his online town hall last month, but guitar god Carlos Santana says he wishes he would seriously consider it.

“Legalize marijuana and take all that money and invest it in teachers and in education,” Santana said in an interview this week. “You will see a transformation in America.”

During his online town hall on March 26, Obama fielded a question about whether legalization of the illicit drug would help pull the nation out of recession. Obama said he didn’t think it was good economic policy, and also joked: “I don’t know what this says about the online audience.”

But Santana said making pot legal is “really way overdue, like the prohibition with the alcohol and stuff like that… I really believe that as soon as we legalize and decriminalize marijuana we can actually afford a really good governor who won’t keep taking money away from education and from teachers and send him back to Hollywood where he can do ‘D’ movies and we can get an ‘A’ governor.”

Santana made the comments as he was promoting his upcoming rock residency in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The show debuts May 27 and runs through 2010.

[From The Associated Press Hosted by Google]

I do believe marijuana should be legalized and taxed to the extreme. My problem with the question directed at President Obama last week was that people were assuming the legalization of marijuana would have some major effect on the economy. I doubt it, but hopefully we’ll find out at some point. At the very least, the legal system needs to treat marijuana as a different, much lesser drug. The criminal penalties for it vary state by state, but too often possession of marijuana is treated with the same sentencing guidelines as cocaine or crack.

Here’s Santana in L.A. on October 3rd. Images thanks to Fame Pictures .

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35 Responses to “Carlos Santana wants to legalize marijuana & give the money to schools”

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  1. Howie says:


  2. HEB says:

    I think it should be legal too, hey I’d rather be driving on a road with high people going 3 miles an hour than drunk people going 90 mph.

    But at the same time it turned my cousin into a lazy irresponsible sloth who will probably never finish college and do anything with his life…

    tough call.

  3. for_realz says:

    I love how people blame weed for slacker behavior!! Yes, it can sap motivation, but there are many, many functional tokers in this world.

    If someone is lazy, that’s who they are, and maybe their family members should do more to light a fire under them.

    I really think it speaks more about ones own flaws than to blame a lifestyle choice. Kids today are lazy and want the world handed to them. The idea of working hard or appreciating what they have is foreign to most.

  4. HEB says:


    My uncle already sent him to college TWICE and he failed out because he wouldn’t go to class.

    What else would you recommend we do?

  5. Sarah O. says:

    I think it should be legal. I mean here in Cali there are “legal” growers who pay a sh*t load of taxes per year to both state and federal governments, yet they can still get raided & arrested by the DEA. BUT THEY PAY TAXES! I don’t do any drugs, not my style, but I definitely think it would help our economy. Big Time. The Oaksterdam University guy pays almost $1 mil a year in taxes. Where is it?

    However, I do agree it will make today’s kids even more lazy as “For_Realz” pointed out. There’s ups and downs, but overall I think it’d be a good idea.

  6. HEB says:

    Yeah I agree, I should point out that I do have another cousin who has a masters degree and is incredibly sucessful. I just let my frustration with the first one get in the way sometimes.

  7. t says:


    YOur cousin is unmotivated and lazy. sorry.
    its not the pot
    i’m sure your family is doing something to enable this behavior. Just the fact that they sent him to collegeg after he refused to go to class the first time gives him the message that he can slack off and not face any repercusions.

    show some tough love. like really tough love. kick him out the house, take away his car dont pay any of his bills. I bet he will lget his act together real quick

  8. t says:

    and i went to an ivy league undergrauate school full time, graduated in 4 years, worked 15-20 hours a week, was an RA senior year, was in student governement for 2 years and smoke weed damn near every day.

    now i’m 24 with 2 masters degrees.

    its not the pot its the person

  9. Legalize & tax! Come up w/a kind bud breathalyzer (also called a “nose”) & tax, tax, tax! This is a line of revenue that needs to be tapped.

  10. for_realz says:


    IMO, your uncle should not have sent him to college twice. Maybe he just isn’t cut out for college (at this time). Maybe the pot is just a cover for him being a late bloomer. What about a trade school? What about a full time job?

    I agree with “t”, that tough love is in order.

    I think we have a generation of parents that want to be “cool” and give their kid the world, or what they think they missed out on in their own childhood. Great in theory, but lousy in practice when all that turns out are bratty self-entitled kids.

  11. Bobby the K says:


    Of course it should be legal. But because it’s easy to grow, I don’t think people would pay a great deal for it out of a store – that is, I don’t know how much tax you would get.

    BUT! Think of all the law enforcement resources it would free up. How expensive is it to keep non-violent offenders in jail or even on parole?

    And it would remove a huge revenue stream from organized crime.

    And it would help remove the stigma of using hemp and hemp seeds the way they could be used – that is, it would solve a lot of other problems as well.

  12. D-nice says:

    It’s time to put your $ where your mouth is and fight for the right!

    Legalize & tax!

    Besides it would put the thug drug dealers out of business, and it could be regulated (to assure safety).

    There are so many poisons that are legal. Look at the RX industry, and how there is abuse of those substances too.
    Alcohol & cigarettes are more toxic and they are legal.

    Fact is people will abuse substances if they have addicted personalities period. They will find something to hurt themselves with, glue, food, sex, cutting, purging…the list goes on & on.

  13. marilee bazzano says:

    I think it would help the economy quite a bit; the money from taxation of the product, the amount of money saved on prosecuting cannabis users, not to mention the cost of housing, food & medical care while incarcerated. Hemp products can be used for a variety of products-it is the strongest natural fiber known to exist, requires no pesticides or herbicides and are actually a good rotation crop for agriculture. Its an amazing natural resource and we’re not even using it, even though we’re depleting so many other resources that this could susbtitute for, like trees for paper. Someday it will be legal, its just a matter of time…

  14. Trillion says:

    If only Obama had the guts to explore this option. He’s too afraid of being labled a mega-liberal-pot-president. They’re gonna say wack crap (terrorist, muslim, socialist, communist are a few we’ve all heard on the news) about him anyway, so he might as well go for it and at least show some willingness to listen to the pro-legalization side. He won’t even do that!!

  15. That sounds cool to me! I read on that it would generate over 100 million a year…

  16. Steph says:

    Of course it would help the recession!!! How many people smoke it? If you put an 8% tax on a 20 sack, that is $1.60 into the governments pockets. Multiply that by, say, 20 million+ Americans, plus the tourists that would be flocking here, and BAM! You have revenues up the behind, not to mention, the tax that legal businesses that sell it would have to pay on top of it.

    Not only that, but the rest of the plant can be used as well. The seed can be used for oil, the stems, textiles and paper. How much more money would that bring in? Also, how many jobs would this create?

    Pot doesn’t make people lazy and unmotivated, that is a cop out. I know plenty of people who went to college, have high paying jobs, and smoke almost everyday, if not everyday. The people that I know that are lazy bums, are lazy bums because they drink heavily at night and can’t make it to work in the AM.

  17. Miss C says:

    D-nice, actually marijuana contains 5 times more carcinogens than a cigarette.

    But I do agree with legalization. Carlos Santana has a good idea and I think it would help out our school system as they are lagging behind the rest of the world.

  18. Orangejulius says:

    I think Obama just has too much on his plate to deal with this particulat issue right now. I’d like to see him get around to it eventually, but he’s already facing an uphill battle on too many other fronts – like health care, which is higher on my priority list. Pardon the pun.

  19. Kerry says:

    If he makes it to a second term (which I pray he does!) I think he will do it then. People are looking for ways to discredit him and sadly pot is still very looked down apon. Look at what happened with Michael Phelps. I think he just wants to secure his next term as much as possible. If he legalizes weed now I doubt he would get a second term. America is full of @ssholes.

  20. Naje says:

    I’m a hardworking student who has worked full time and ALWAYS busted my ass. I have a good GPA and work part time. I have always been coherent and present at work or school and have always tried my best to put as much effort as possible into what I’m doing. Oh and I get high. I’m a toker and I enjoy it.
    Some people can’t handle marijuana and it does turn them into sloths. Some also can’t handle their liqour either. You can’t punish the whole of society because some people can’t control themselves.
    I know plenty of people who smoke who are active positive contributors to society.
    Legalizing it seems logical and frankly well warranted by now.

  21. madam ex says:

    Time for an Intevention yall.

  22. Shannon says:

    Another high-achieving pot smoker here. I’m a double major (English and philosophy) with plans to go to law school. My GPA is currently a 3.7

  23. Trillion says:

    I feel what you guys are saying about Obama, but on that virtual town hall he just had, he dismissed the legalization question out of hand and even made a joke about it. I would’ve preferred a more measured response, if indeed he is willing to entertain the possibility.

  24. Raven says:

    Well, at least Santana has an informed opinion. What Obama could do is to get Congress to stop making it a federal crime and leave legalization up to the states. Some states would legalize it and get the revenue. They would also provide statistics for other states to consider in legalizing it or not. My guess is that legalization wouldn’t change behavior much but it could be more easily studied.

  25. Ashley says:

    HEB – I had many, many friends in high school who smoked waaaay too much weed and they were the laziest bastards on earth. In fact I’m sure they’re still sitting around a bong talking about the Simpsons.

    My brother used to smoke weed and get into all sorts of trouble. He was a waster but then he stopped and now he has a job, saves all of his money and only thinks about work.

    I agree there are a few people who smoke who are an exception to the rule but in my experience I’ve never met any of these genius pot smokers, oh except for one who now designs rockets for NASA but he can’t really hold a conversation because he laughs a lot. How he got hired for that job is beyond me.

  26. jaym says:

    there are no physiological addiction properties of weed, no withdrawal symptoms.

    yes, you can become psychologically dependent on weed, but there is no addictive chemicals in weed.

  27. Anna says:


    Thats a blatant stereotype of a pot smoker. Just like theres a stereotype of the college kid who binge drinks every thursday night and misses friday morning class … theres the stereotype of the dumbass college kids who hits the bong while watching Tim and Eric Awesome Show … of course there are elements of truth in a stereotype but the fact of the matter is, weed does not make you who you are. I live in a house with pot smokers (I personally dont smoke that much, it makes me distant and anti-social) and many of my friends are also pot smokers but they are also some of the most motivated, smart people that I know and they work hard towards their goals in life. Furthermore, some of my profs are pot smokers and hit the bong with us on occasion.

    Point is, theres not a FEW exceptions but MANY exceptions. You make yourself what you are. Marijuana is not cocaine.

    Legalize it, tax it and you’ll be surprised who comes out of the closet as a pot smoker.

  28. Nightbird says:

    Never smoked pot in my life, but I do drink.

    Legalize it. I simply do not understand why it isn’t legal. Anytime someone brings up a point I just say “But alcohol is legal.”

    There is no reason. Period. Hell, the tax on it alone could bring in millions for state and fed.

  29. MzKiTty45 says:

    Another high acheiving pot smoker here. I have 2 degrees, Eng & Psych, taught HS for 5 years and currently work in the corporate world. I am the sole bread winner for a family of 6. I go to work every day and pay my bills and my taxes. I don’t drink because I can’t, also never really developed a taste for it.
    Why are drinkers allowed their vice that makes them sloppy, rude, aggressive & belligerent but not us pot smokers? Besides it’s just too much trouble when your stoned to go out and be like that.

  30. Nightbird says:

    MzKiTty45, agree.

    Never did an illegal drug in my life, but I can pound beer like no other. (I don’t like wine, liquor once in a blue moon) but my friends do.

    And for the straight tokers they are more handable then the drinkers. The drinkers? Some of them want to go out and fight someone. The tokers? The only thing they want to fight is a bag of Cheetos. And the tokers will win that battle. Can’t say the same with drinkers.

    I am for the legalization.

  31. JustMe says:

    “And for the straight tokers they are more handable then the drinkers. The drinkers? Some of them want to go out and fight someone. The tokers? The only thing they want to fight is a bag of Cheetos”

    Damn Right!!! Couldnt have said it better myself!!!

    I’ve smoked sence i was a kid and the only trouble i ever got in from it was laughing to much…I’ve been drunk twice in my life and both times were a horroble experience for me and everyone around me!

    Alcohol is way worse then pot; it makes people at like idiots and not themselves at all… is it legal and weeds not? doesnt make any sense at all….how many people die each year from alcohol poisoning or drunk driving?? and how many people have died from being high? yeah thats what i thought

  32. Pufft says:

    Some five years go I went to this former army base in Copenhagen called Kristania (I don’t know if I got the spelling right) that allows you to smoke all the marijuana to your heart desires. Now, pot is not exactly legal in Denmark, but it is controlled. In Copenhagen, you are ONLY allowed to smoke at Kristania and no place else. If you are caught dealing or smoking marijuana anywhere else you are arrested and fined

    The Danish government is basically saying “look, large numbers of people will always smoke weed whether it is illegal or not, so instead of banning it all together, why not control it so that it is not accessible on the streets?”

    I think this is a good place for the American government to start. Don’t legalize it but restrict it. If that works out, than go big and legalize and tax it.

    I’d also like to add that Kristania has some of the coolest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The place is covered with beautiful spray-paint artworks and everyone there is so effing chilled and down-to-earth.

  33. This could be a revolutionary idea, but I don’t think it will work. I don’t Carlos Santana knows all the implications of legalizing marijuana, and he doesn’t know anything about the legal system, so such a plan will fail.

  34. Atta Boy!

    Happy Growing,

    -Ganja Garden

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