President Obama’s YouTube Forum deems marijuana legalization questions “inappropriate”

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator January 24, 2012

    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”

    – E. Altieri, Comm. Coordinator


    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.

    In 2010, these were the Top 100 questions for President Obama, and they ALL dealt with marijuana legalization

    (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?

    1. We petitioned him to legalize marijuana in September 2011, the number one petition;
    2. We Twittered him to legalize marijuana in July 2011, making up one out of eight questions asked;
    3. We asked him via YouTube video in January 2011, with LEAP’s question the number one video;
    4. We asked him via Ideas for Change in March 2010, with legalization again the number one question;
    5. We lobbied him via Citizen’s Briefing Book in May 2009, with the number one idea being legalization;
    6. We asked him via Open for Questions II in March 2009, where he mocked the number one idea of legalization helping the economy;
    7. We asked him via Open for Questions I in January 2009, where legalization topped most categories of questions;
    8. 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:

    YouTube Preview Image

    Here’s my entry:

    YouTube Preview Image

    * 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.

    228 responses to “President Obama’s YouTube Forum deems marijuana legalization questions “inappropriate””

    1. Paul Pot says:

      Just another day in the Union of Soviet America.

    2. Doug Brannen says:

      I know your heart is in the right place. I am a vet with ptsd, I would like to use pot to help me stay calm. I like what you are trying to do. Thank you.

    3. dbeall says:

      No way I can vote any person to public office that refuses to represent the people. and by the way,, this refusal is also anti-American and probably unconstitutional as well.

      Obama laughed at us the one time, and I wrote him a letter bitching him out for that,,, why, because he was laughing off the very developers that built the white house website framework -Drupal- The White House -or- Obama has given Drupal a bad name.

    4. Mike Engle says:

      I am very disappointed in this latest decision President Obama. I am ashamed to be an American due to the drugwar and cannabis prohibition is particular. My experience living in Europe has shown me the horrible nature of cannabis prohibition and the value that the cannabis plant can create for America….I am not voting for you this time Mr. President. I am voting for none of the above…This country can go to hell after 2012 as far as I am concerned. Cannabis must be reintegrated OR I must remove all my assets from American and move to the EU permanently. I now understand Why my brother, after getting his Doctorate in International law Renounced his US citizenship. WE are enslaved by corporations that profit from the drugwar and cannabis prohibition. I can no longer tolerate this state of affairs.

    5. OneDirtyRat says:

      What happened to our Democracy?
      I thought we lived in the land of the free?
      I thought our laws are supposed to reflect the will of the people, of the majority?
      This used to be a great country…until our government and congress was bought and paid for by special interests.
      I’m so depressed.

    6. If you live in Connecticut and want to end marijuana prohibition in our state, please take a minute to visit http://www.ctprimaryproject.com.

      Please pass this on to anyone you know in Connecticut!

    7. Tripp James says:

      holding politicians responsible for putting the lobbyists and corporations before the good of the people is such a difficult task. perhaps a group bent on investigating for ways to prosecute politicians would get theyre attention. take away theyre peace of mind and disallow them from feeling comfortable living theyre life. give em a taste of theyre own crappy synthetic medicine

    8. Anonymous says:

      Dear OBAMA;
      Why and how is this question really inappropriate? Please explain yourself. Is it because you don’t know how to answer the question? Or are you afraid of the outcome? How about explaining to us why Marijuana is illegal in the first place, not the brainwash answer the government wants everyone to believe, how about the truth!!! I bet Obama doesn’t even know the truth. The facts are not hard to find if he would just look. We as americans deserve the right to know the answer to the question…and we know that this law is a complete scam from the start. Is this why you avoid answering? Is it because you know it’s a loosing battle from the start? You can’t handle the truth!!!

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