|Jesse Warren Image|
As of 7pm Pacific, I checked the YouTube.com/WhiteHouse page to see how many votes our question received in President Obama’s latest YouTube Forum. The good news? Our question, “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010, for marijuana charges alone, and tens of billions of tax dollars being spent locking up non-violent marijuana users, isn’t it time we regulate and tax marijuana?” received 4,023 votes, making it one of the most popular submissions to the forum.
The bad news? See for yourself.
“The submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate.” Hmm, well, who are these people? The question got 241 “thumbs down” votes from viewers, was that it? I notice that of the 615 questions submitted that asked about “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010″ in the text, some still remain with 28 “thumbs down” and others are removed with as few as three, so it doesn’t seem like “people” refers to viewers or the public, does it?
Who are these people, President Obama? They’re not the people out here who keep making marijuana legalization the number one topic of these online forums. They’re not the millions whose lives are impacted by a marijuana arrest; the tokers and their families who lose jobs, houses, kids, freedom, assets, respect, security, and peace of mind because of marijuana prohibition.
Sadly, I think these people are actually just one person… a guy who smoked weed (and snorted coke) back in the day as a teenager in Hawaii and was damn lucky he didn’t get caught or today he’d be Barry the Drug Criminal.
(YouTube.com/WhiteHouse) On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. ET, President Obama will speak to the nation in his annual State of the Union address.Starting today, you can ask President Obama the questions that are on your mind about the direction of the country and vote on others that you think should be asked. He’ll answer several of your top-voted questions during a special interview, which will take place on January 30, live from the White House. A selection of people who submit questions will also be invited to join a Google+ Hangout live with the President during the interview.
The deadline to submit is January 28 at midnight ET so submit your question now.
Here we go again. How many times will President Obama ask the American people for their questions on national policy, how many times will we resoundingly call for marijuana legalization, and how will he diminish, mock, or ignore our concerns this time?
- We petitioned him to legalize marijuana: in September 2011, the number one petition;
- We Twittered him to legalize marijuana: in July 2011, making up one out of eight questions asked;
- We asked him via YouTube video: in January 2011, with LEAP’s question the number one video;
- We asked him via Ideas for Change: in March 2010, with legalization again the number one question;
- We lobbied him via Citizen’s Briefing Book: in May 2009, with the number one idea being legalization;
- We asked him via Open for Questions II: in March 2009, where he mocked the number one idea of legalization helping the economy;
- We asked him via Open for Questions I: in January 2009, where legalization topped most categories of questions;
- We asked him via Change.gov: in December 2008, where legalization was again number one and a dozen of the top fifty questions.
Maybe the ninth time is the charm? Once again in this “ask the people” exercise the most popular questions deal with legalization of marijuana*.
Here’s the official National NORML question:
Here’s my entry:
* Though this time, we may get beaten by SOPA, PIPA, and NDAA questions… which wouldn’t bother me a bit. A free and open internet, threatened by SOPA and PIPA, is crucial to spreading the message of marijuana law reform. NDAA is an abomination that allows the president to declare citizens “enemy combatants” and lock them up indefinitely without charge, without trial, and without rights. We’re big fans of the First and Fourth Amendments here and these acts are counter to the spirit and Constitution of America.
NOTE: If you feel marijuana legalization was an entirely “appropriate” topic for debate, tweet your dissatisfaction of the White House’s censoring of NORML’s YouTube question by tweeting them using #WHchat and @WhiteHouse.
“Pres. Obama, what is inappropriate about saving billions and not arresting nonviolent american citizens for marijuana? #WHChat @WhiteHouse”
Please visit and support NORML to help end marijuana prohibition.