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January 30, 2012

"Marijuana questions dominate White House online chat -- again"

The title of this post is the headline of this CBS News report, which gets started this way:

President Obama's live, online chat slated for Monday afternoon is intended to focus on issues raised during last week's State of the Union address -- but his online audience seems to be much more interested in marijuana policy.

Following Mr. Obama's State of the Union address, the White House invited voters to submit questions to the president via YouTube. The president plans on answering some of those questions during a 45-minute "hangout" session on on Google's social networking site Google Plus. In the "hangout" session, Mr. Obama will chat from the West Wing with some of the voters who submitted questions. The chat will be streamed live on YouTube and WhiteHouse.gov at 5:30 p.m. ET. 

According to the White House's YouTube page, 133,216 questions were submitted for the discussion (voting is now closed). YouTube visitors could give the questions a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rating, and more than 1.6 million votes were cast. 

Sorting the questions by popularity reveals that 18 of the 20 most popular questions, according to YouTube, have something to do with marijuana policy, including the legalization of marijuana use, the cost of the war on drugs and other related issues.

January 30, 2012 at 03:54 PM | Permalink

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Comments

1~ It’s all about respecting and appreciating the pot smoker:

"So what if I'm smokin' weed onstage and doing what I gotta do? It's not me shooting nobody, stabbing nobody, killing nobody.
It's a peaceful gesture and they have to respect that and appreciate that"—Snoop Doggy Dog

2~~ President Obama definitely has the stoner vote:

"Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it," wrote Obama about what he would later say were "bad decisions." "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man." {“Dreams from My Father”} cbsnews.com

Posted by: Adamakis | Jan 30, 2012 4:17:13 PM

We have a national debt we can't pay off, entitlements out of control and driving us toward bankruptcy, the weakest recovery since WWII, the highest sustained unemployment since the Great Depression, and a terrorist nation getting ready to build the atomic bomb -- and what's the No.1 question to the President?

Dope.

Yikes. Put down the bong, people. There's a world out there needing some serious thought.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 30, 2012 6:17:27 PM

Well, we could save the cost of arresting over 800,000 citizens per year. That would be the cost of arresting them, prosecuting them, and housing them in facilities. We would also save the enormous cost of saleries and pensions for a signigficant number of government employees.
Ending marijuana prohibition is just logical. It's prohibition is a sensible as the prohibition of alcohol.

Posted by: beth | Jan 30, 2012 7:56:16 PM

The war on drugs makes no sense. It costs too much.

Respect liberty. Let people put what they want to put in their own bodies.

There is no more need and/or justification to criminalize the use of marijuana than there is to criminalize the use of broccoli.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Jan 30, 2012 9:05:35 PM

Bill, good post...Obama walked into a big mess, for sure...I'm sure Mary Jane
is the least of his worries.....I notice his hair has a tinge of grey in it..
Good thing his wife still looks extra strong, I'm sure hes pretty weiry and has sleepless nights....Its a job that even my own incompetencies doesn't want..

Mary Jane seems harmless, but is a fast stepping stone to hard drugs for many a young..Shame stuff like this exists on the planet...Oh well....


Posted by: Josh2 | Jan 30, 2012 11:17:57 PM

Actually, if we want to get to the heart of the "gateway drugs," we need to look first at (1) caffeine; (2) nicotine; and (3) Baby Bayer aspirin.

Some nutritionists would also throw processed sugar in that list.

"Just say no" would carry a lot more weight if there wasn't such Government support for Big Pharma. "Just say why" is a better question about our failed "war" on drugs -- and the answer can be found when we just follow the money.

Posted by: Jay Hurst | Jan 31, 2012 8:56:21 AM

Bill, the questions weren't all about "dope" per se, although I suspect you already know that. Many questions from LEAP on the failed policies of the war on drugs, questions from students wanting to know Obama's views on why many states spend more on inmates than on college, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans' desire to use medical marijuana to alleviate PTSD symptoms, and suggestions to regulate and tax the heck out of marijuana to alleviate states' budget woes. Resolving these issues may not be your priority, but it's unfair to lump them together under the reductive heading "dope" and just dismiss them. http://www.youtube.com/whitehouse

Posted by: def atty | Jan 31, 2012 10:56:55 AM

Before we begin to debate the merits of questions about legalizing Pot, or the War on Drugs, what is more notable is the fact that even though 18 of the 20 most popular questions were about POT or the War on Drugs, the President addressed 0 questions on either of those subjects, as in zero, nada, none! Why have a forum soliciting questions and having participants vote on the most popular if the most popular are totally ignored???

Posted by: saintswriter | Jan 31, 2012 12:00:55 PM

Good question, saintswriter. I mean, I wouldn't expect him to spend 90% of the time on those questions, but it seems pretty lame not to address them *at all.* But of course, I guess this is mostly political kabuki theater. The appearance of grassroots outreach, etc., but in actuality stage-managed by the campaign. Campaign probably sees no political advantage out of Obama saying anything about the issue at this stage.

I do think this shows that marijuana legalization is inevitable. The younger the demographic, the more likely they are to be completely baffled/outraged by prohibition and punitive drug laws in general. Eventually, generational change will put this issue over the top.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 31, 2012 3:50:27 PM


'generational change will put this issue over the top.'

Yes exactly, kudos to you Anon...

Posted by: comment | Jan 31, 2012 5:53:46 PM

i was thinking the same thing Anon. that the website and question list is more of a stupidity test of the american people and unfortunaly IT FLUNKED and was part of it!

anyone dumb enough to think he was gonna ANSWER their questions almost like he was ACCOUNTABLE TO THEM is living in a DREAM WORLD!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 31, 2012 11:56:37 PM

you know its an actual policy question, so the President of the United States should be willing to at least answer an actual policy question. Its way more important than answering questions about playing tennis or dancing which apparently President Obama had no problems asking. I mean, I like playing tennis and dancing, but why would anyone ask such fluff to the President of the United States and be satisfied that while he answers those questions he doesn't answer questions about actual policy.

of course when many people just seem to scoff at the very fact of asking a policy question laughing about stoners or attempting to prove they are hip by quoting Snoop Dogg and then ignoring what he said, maybe it is just as well that Obama was busy answering questions about dancing.

erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Feb 1, 2012 9:32:11 AM

Anon --

The odd thing about generations is that the young one becomes the old one and changes the beliefs it held before its experience of the world taught it better.

Take a moment to remember that the generation now most firmly against the legalization of marijuana was the generation that, 40 years ago, put marijuana on the map, and was out in rallies and marches and everything under the sun.

It's one thing to be for dope when you're 20. Your attitude changes when you're 50 and you find some joints, or maybe a tinfoil packet of this or that, in your teenager's jeans. No one I ever heard of views that as anything but a cause for a whole lot of worry.

Time is dynamic, people grow older and (sometimes) wiser. This has happened for as long as there has been a human race, and it's not going to stop now

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 1, 2012 1:09:42 PM

'Take a moment to remember that the generation now most firmly against the legalization of marijuana was the generation that, 40 years ago, put marijuana on the map, and was out in rallies and marches and everything under the sun.'

I seriously doubt that and would appreciate seeing any study that backs that statement up. I would also expect that most of the crowd that might fall into your stereotypical viewpoint never had anything to do with pot the first time around anyway and are probably still fascinated by watching reruns of 'Reefer Madness".

Posted by: comment | Feb 1, 2012 5:52:50 PM

comment --

You wouldn't need a study if you were there, as I was.

"I would also expect that most of the crowd that might fall into your stereotypical viewpoint never had anything to do with pot the first time around anyway and are probably still fascinated by watching reruns of 'Reefer Madness'".

Ummmmmmmm.....got a study to back that up?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 1, 2012 9:30:31 PM

'You wouldn't need a study if you were there, as I was.'

funny thing Bill...I was and also found time to serve during Vietnam too :-)

...and you???

Posted by: comment | Feb 2, 2012 1:36:12 PM

comment --

How easy it is to say anything you want about your age and record when you insist on remaining anonymous. You make sure there's no way to check on what you claim. That's just so cool.

For things that ARE publicly verifiable, I'm still waiting for you to produce the study to support your fantasies about "Reefer Madness."

Somehow, I think I'll be waiting a long time.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 2, 2012 4:20:30 PM

'Somehow, I think I'll be waiting a long time.'

Look closely, it's in the second section Appendix A of the study you based your original statement on.

Bill, I'm sorry but I don't know who you are or what you may represent and have no inclination or a desire to know. I don't see the need to post a biography of my life other than it's suffice to say I have one and it does have relevant influences on my opinions just as yours does. After all, this is a public opinion forum not a resume posting site. You've made a general statement and I reply. I would wildly guess during the time period in question you may have been taking advantage of a college deferment and not necessarily pondering the mathematical systems being used to determine the draft. Many others with lesser means or abilities have stepped up in numerous conflicts to protect the rights of everyone to express their beliefs as you so frequently exercise on this forum whether agreeable or disagreeable to others. As I'm sure, you also understand that people with differing experiences have differing opinions whether you want to acknowledge that or not and sarcastic remarks have never been known to induce physical injury. I will say that although I agree with few of your opinions I do respect your viewpoints in that it's a constant reminder to me to maintain patience and tolerance of others with perspectives different from those of my own and maybe at the same time I may learn something else useful in the process. I don't mind being taken to the woodshed for mine either. It's a skillset similar to that required when raising kids.

Posted by: comment | Feb 2, 2012 6:50:21 PM

comment --

"Look closely, it's in the second section Appendix A of the study you based your original statement on."

You get all fussy when I state a commonly known fact (among my generation) without citing a study, but think it perfectly OK for you to make a far less obvious assertion, and NOT produce a study.

Is hypocrisy among those parenting skills you were mentioning?

"I don't see the need to post a biography of my life..."

But you DID think it necessary to ask me whether I served in the military, even though military service has nothing to do with the subject of this thread, and I never brought it up.

"I would wildly guess during the time period in question you may have been taking advantage of a college deferment and not necessarily pondering the mathematical systems being used to determine the draft."

You are of course entitled to your wild guess. You are not entitled to have the rest of us regard it as evidence.

As to the rest of your post: I largely agree with it. Surprise!!!


Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 2, 2012 8:24:39 PM

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