White House Press Secretary Tries To Defend Obama’s Opposition To Taxing And Regulating Pot — He Can’t!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 30, 2009


    The HuffingtonPost.com, one of the most visited political websites in the world, has just posted a version of my commentary online here. Please post your feedback to the Post, and make it clear that marijuana law reform must be part of the ‘progressive’ agenda.

    If you thought President Barack Obama’s mocking response to the question of whether “taxing and regulating cannabis would raise revenue and reduce prohibition-associated violence” couldn’t be any worse, just listen to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stumble below.

    Kudos to the reporters who held the White House’s feet to the fire on this one. First, Gibbs is asked: “When the President said he doesn’t think that legalizing marijuana would give the economy a boost was he giving a political answer or an economic answer? Does he have numbers to back (his position) up?

    The pained expression on Gibbs’ face says it all as he mumbles that, in fact, he is aware of no economic analyses — as in zip, nada — that support the President’s dismissive position. Naturally, we have numerous credible economic reports proving just the opposite. Perhaps Mr. Gibbs would like to review them here, here, here, and here.

    Minutes later, the White House Press Secretary appears even more desperate for a place to hide when a second reporter asked Gibbs to articulate the reasons why the President refuses to consider the issue. Gibbs’ response is priceless.

    “Uh, he, he does not think that, uh, uh, that that is uh, uh, [pause] he opposes it, he doesn’t think that that’s the, the right plan for America.”

    And there you have it. Wow. Such a vapid response wouldn’t cut it if Gibbs was a third-grader standing in front of his classroom, no less the Press Secretary to the White House!

    Keep in mind, both Obama and his press secretary knew in advance that they were going to publicly respond the question of taxing and regulating cannabis. They had at least 24 hours to prepare an articulate, rational, and substantive response. And yet the best response they could come up with was snickers and “uh.”

    Are the final days of marijuana prohibition upon us? It sure looks that way from here. But why not write the President and ask him yourself.

    250 responses to “White House Press Secretary Tries To Defend Obama’s Opposition To Taxing And Regulating Pot — He Can’t!”

    1. kazakh says:

      NORML needs to cut a new ad quoting Obama on restoring science to its place, followed by his mocking at the town hall, followed by Gibbs gibberish. Devastating.

    2. Angie Blakely says:

      OMG, He is straight and can’t speak. He had 24 hours to prepare for his speach, he was squirming and ready to drop any questions about marijuana. He didn’t have an answer and kept tripping over his words. Thank you press agents for keeping it forfront and making him answer it.

    3. J.T. says:

      Good Lord… they could’ve at least regurgitated the same lies about marijuana that they always have rather than just stubbornly say, “Nope. Nope. Nope. I don’t want to legalize it. No, I don’t want to hear your facts. Nope.” These people are more stubborn than a damn mule.

    4. Brad P. says:

      I’m very excited to see this topic on the news almost every single day now, whether its in our favor or not, its still finally getting out to the public.

      It will shappen, and pretty darn soon.

    5. Jason says:

      It’s kinda like your parents used to say….”Because I said so!!!!”

      This administration is full of LOSERS, change my ass! Only chnage is new faces, same BS…..

    6. Sean says:

      I’m very surprised that this even got asked AND they actually pressed him on it, while their answers are disappointing, just them making him look stupid is good enough to get the topic out there.It looks like the media has grown a pair.

    7. Outfluence says:

      For this debate to go anywhere, someone needs to write an authoritative, academic study on the precise economic benefits of legalization and a proposed regulatory framework.

      So how about it NORML?
      I don’t see much of an economic plan on your website.
      I think you’re missing a great opportunity to take advantage of the recession.
      How about offering a $50,000 stipend towards a fellowship that would generate just this sort of document?

    8. mlhiatt says:

      See, marijuana doesn’t make you stupid; trying to justify a stupid position does.

    9. Raibies says:

      I voted for you, now don’t let us down!

    10. Krist says:

      Yea honestly that was a really weak response, i could’ve thought up a better lie than uh uh uh to that question, looks like big tobacco and alcohol need a more articulate pawn to spout nonsense and lies.