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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama Chokes on Marijuana

President Obama's experiment Thursday with an otherwise traditional town hall format flecked with questions posted and voted on at whitehouse.gov was a useful experiment with interactivity. But it was a relatively small step forward, and the online crowd did not provide much of a disruptive alternative to topics Obama certainly would have been asked about anyway.

How did the tech president do? Fine. He genuinely took popular questions and he certainly took many of the top-rated ones. His answers were long, which meant he took only five of the 104,000 questions submitted and, more important, only a tiny fraction of the approximately 1,000 questions that the public seemed truly enthusiastic about.

But it wasn't exactly as if he took penetrating, unanticipated questions from "Open for Questions," which the administration set up two days ago to solicit questions in advance. In fact the only subject that might not have otherwise been addressed came from an organized campaign to ask Obama his position on legalizing marijuana.

Obama obeyed the spirit (and letter) of the event by entertaining the question while blunting the troll effort that had put it to him: "No, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," he said to laughter in the room.
Other than that bit of comedy relief how exactly would it have differed if this town hall were to be entirely scripted by the White House? They would have touched many of the same subjects — health care, veterans, outsourcing — and Obama would have given his regular stump points.



Change my ass! I'm insulted as an American that the President would only offer a one liner on the marijuana issue...I'd even give it a reverse Michelle Obama. "Up to this point I was a proud American..."

I'd rather see 10 bridges to nowhere built than see another penny wasted on marijuana enforcement. The hell with the money gained from taxation. What about the money saved at every level of government from not enforcing, prosecuting and/or incarcerating people for smoking weed?

I'll even play devil's advocate here for a second..."What about all those poor cops across the country who would lose their Federal funds they use to buy new cop cars and weapons to chase all the potheads? Some of them might even lose their jobs!"

I say fuck em'. Welcome to the real world. I hear they need cops in Mexico.

I say now is the time for public outrage on this issue. Are we going to let the President give 40% of the population lip service? I certainly plan on giving him my two cents. I'm tired of spending billions of dollars on this when there is no measurable progress. It's not working no matter how much money we throw at it. It's simply time to move on. Prohibition doesn't work.
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