After his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, Actor Kal Penn defended President Barack Obama’s marijuana policy.
As the co-star of the stoner series Harold & Kumar, Penn is closely associated with marijuana culture. However, his appearance in character in an Obama campaign ad and his speech at the DNC didn’t sit well with medical marijuana advocates.
“I think that the president’s been pretty consistent with [his marijuana policy],” Penn told Yahoo News. “He’s not in favor of legalization, we should be open about something like that. But what the president has done is take a really smart look at the Department of Justice and said, given the fact that the federal government has limited resources, we should be allocating them toward violent criminals and not towards nonviolent criminals.”
Following the election of President Barack Obama, the Department of Justice had suggested that it would not target state-authorized medical marijuana providers. The department later clarified that it would still treat medical marijuana providers as criminal enterprises, although it believed prosecuting medical marijuana patients was not a good use of resources.
“We can see that not just in things like marijuana but in things like immigration reform where he’s going after and deporting violent criminals and making sure that if you’re a DREAM Act eligible student that you know that you can apply for your deferred status,” Penn continued. “Wherever the federal government has an appropriate role, I think the president’s been very consistent in that. That’s something that I think folks should know.”
Watch video of Kal Penn’s DNC speech, courtesy of PBS, below: