Once again Barack Obama has asked for public policy feedback .
Once again this feedback tells him that the American public wants him to consider legalizing cannabis and hemp to gain their health-care and economic benefits and to create tax revenue.
Once again, president Obama dismissed all these hundreds of thousands of opinions with a three sentence reply. His press secretary later implied that the feedback must have been rigged.
At least this time, Barack Obama admitted to how popular the idea of legalizing cannabis figured in his on-line Town Hall. During his transition to office, as reported by Norml,
- More than 125,000 visitors to the site voted on 44,000 specific policy proposals. The leading vote getters are slated to appear in a ‘Citizen’s Briefing Book,’ which will be delivered to the new President imminently.The public’s demand to “stop imprisoning responsible adult citizens” who use marijuana received more votes than any other issue in the online poll.
Obama’s response was ignore, as best he could, the fact that so many people wanted change in US marijuana laws. He stated then he was against legalizing marijuana.
This time, in the town hall meeting, he did address the great interest, but again with negatively.
- WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legalizing marijuana is not the kind of change President Barack Obama can believe in — at least not as a remedy for the ailing U.S. economy.
- On Thursday, Obama tackled the issue head-on, only half-jokingly, at an online townhall meeting where he noted that the idea was a favourite among the 3.6 million people who voted on more than 100,000 questions submitted on the White House website.
- “I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high, and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation,” he said to laughter at the White House event.
- “And I don’t know what this says about the online audience,” Obama said, tongue-in-cheek. “This was a fairly popular question. We want to make sure that it was answered.”
- “The answer is, no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy,” he said before moving back to a more sober discussion of unemployment and health care reform.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reemphasized the negativity: “The president opposes the legalization of marijuana. He doesn’t think that’s the right plan for America.”
Gibbs went on to invalidate the question, suggesting that “marijuana advocates” had somehow gotten out invalid votes and encouraged multiple voting.
Gee, Robert Gibbs, based on what evidence do you make that assertion? Why do you ask people to participate with suggestions, and then if you don’t like the responses, ignore them and even accuse the earnest people making the suggestions of dishonesty? Don’t you owe them an apology?
Actually it is President Obama who should be apologizing to his Town Hall participants. Yet again, they have pointed out how federal drug policy, espcially for cannabis, is stupid, cruel and wrong. They have shown how money could be saved, lives salvaged, and tax revenue created by simple changes in cannabis policy.
And when confronted by the overwhelming interest in reforming marijuana laws, the President remarked, “And I don’t know what this says about the online audience.” Well, President Obama, maybe it says they have a treasure of great ideas about economic revitalization with hemp and cannabis as food, fuel, fiber and health care alternatives. Maybe it says they have great ideas you should to which you should be listening.