Barack Obama says marijuana is not more dangerous than drinking alcohol and about the same as smoking cigarettes.

But playing football is so dangerous he wouldn’t allow his imaginary son to do it.

The question on the table is: Would Obama allow his imaginary son to smoke pot? Or how about his daughters?

The reason I ask is that Obama has, whether he knows it or not, encouraged lots of other parents’ real children to experiment with smoking pot.

Maybe he doesn’t understand that some people actually believe what he says. That might surprise even him. I’m thinking about impressionable young minds – those too young to have realized they aren’t actually going to get more affordable health care from Obama … or keep their doctor … or keep their health insurance.

Did it ever occur to Obama that real kids would read his real words about marijuana? Did it ever occur to Obama that parents trying to keep their real kids clean and sober will hear his real words reverberate in their ears from their own children mimicking Obama? Did it ever occur to Obama that he is no more expert on the effects of marijuana, despite his passionate, frequent, enthusiastic, first-hand experience smoking pot, than he is on health care?

Ask any expert on drug abuse – especially those who have to deal every day with the tragic consequences of ruined lives – and you will learn that every addict starts with marijuana. It’s not a gateway drug. It is the gateway drug. That’s not true of alcohol. It’s not true of cigarettes. It’s not true of football.

Drug programs are loaded with broken lives that began with pot smoking.

One study found kids age 12 to 17 who use marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than kids who do not use pot. The research also found that 60 percent of the kids who smoke pot before the age of 15 move on to cocaine.

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It’s also true that today’s marijuana is not always like the pot of the 1960s smoked by the flower children. Today marijuana is sometimes combined with harder drugs. Joints are sometimes dipped in PCP, a powerful hallucinogen. PCP is a white powder, also available in liquid form, often used with cannabis. PCP is known for causing violent behavior and creating severe physical reactions including seizures, coma and even death.

Here’s what Obama’s National Institute of Drug Abuse says about marijuana: “Marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form new memories and to shift focus. THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia – parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination and reaction time. Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks, participating in athletics and driving are also affected.

“Marijuana users who have taken large doses of the drug may experience an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions and a loss of the sense of personal identity. Short-term psychotic reactions to high concentrations of THC are distinct from longer-lasting, schizophrenia-like disorders that have been associated with the use of cannabis in vulnerable individuals.”

I don’t want to appear to be minimizing the dangers of alcohol, either. But doesn’t the U.S. government – Obama’s government – spend tens of millions of dollars or more every year running TV and radio commercials warning of the dangers of driving while drunk? Are thousands of Americans killed every year on the highways by drunken drivers?

By promoting pot as relatively harmless, is Obama not inviting even more human roadkill in the years ahead?

Don’t get me wrong. I think the so-called “war on drugs” has been a disaster. I’m not a prohibitionist. I do not believe we can ever prevent people from killing themselves and others by driving while intoxicated. But I don’t think Obama is acting like a responsible parent and adult, let alone a president, by saying, “I don’t think it (pot) is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Is this what he would tell Malia and Sasha?

And if he had a son, would he rather he play football or smoke pot? I don’t know the answer to that question. Do you? Maybe he should clarify. Just saying.

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