Obama and marijuana

I’ve been hearing through the grapevine that a lot of people are upset that Obama didn’t come out in favor of legalizing pot today.

Uh, okay.

What happened was that Obama held his online town meeting today. During that town meeting, he answered some of the most popular questions that regular people submitted on the White House Web site (as judged by the number of votes people gave to each question). One question that got a lot of votes was about legalizing marijuana. In fact, there were several. It appears there was an organized effort to make pot legalization one of the top questions for Obama to answer.

Here, for example, is the number two question in the “health care reform” section of the site:

Why is marijuana still illegal? Cigarettes and alcohol are far more harmful, and with the taxes put on the legal distribution of marijuana the US could make millions”
Ben R, Washington, DC

And here was the top-voted question in the category “Green jobs and energy”:

“”Will you consider decriminalizing the recreational/medical use of marijuana(hemp) so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and a multi-billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?””
Green Machine, Winchester,Va

And here was the top-voted question under the topic of “Financial Stability”:

“Would you support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence?”
Anthony, Warrington, PA

Actually, the top four questions in this section were about legalizing pot, and none of them were about medical marijuana – they were all about legalizing all pot:

“Has the administration given any thought to legalizing marijuana, as a cash crop to fuel the economy? Why not make available, regulate, and tax something that that about 10 million Americans use regularly and is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol.”
Sarah, Atlanta, GA

“Growing up I have noticed many around me always talk about legalization of marijuana, and I always thought, why not put a tax stamp on it. If marijuana was legalized it could really change a lot of things. America had the same problem with Alcohol.”
Peter McNamara, Minneapolis, MN

“Could legalizing marijuana and laying a tax on it, given restriction allow the government make back some of the glaring debt considering it’s inelasticity and the history of economics of prohibition?”
Andy Drake, New Brunswick, NJ

If you visit the remaining categories on the WH Web site, you’ll also find that the top-voted questions are about legalizing pot – again, none of them about medical marijuana, all of them about making pot totally legal for everyone. The most popular question of them all was the one about legalizing pot to save us from the recession. It’s the one Obama read on the air. Needless to say, Obama read the question, laughed, and said no.

Now people are upset.

Well too bad. It was an idiotic question to ask the President of the United States. The question wasn’t about medical marijuana, it was about legalizing pot 100%. No President of the United States, today, can come out in favor of such a thing. It’s political suicide. I can’t even believe some people are upset with Obama over this. They ought to be upset with whoever organized the campaign to get the stupid question asked, rather than the intelligent question. Maybe next time they’ll actually ask a question about medical marijuana, and not make the number one question about legalizing pot across the board.

Garbage in, garbage out.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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