The Laugh Heard ‘Round The World

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director April 9, 2009

    By George Rohrbacher, NORML Board of Directors

    On March 26, in a town hall meeting-style format, President Obama ginned up a laugh that is still ringing, a week-and-a-half later. Obama’s attempt to address the fact that cannabis legalization questions keep pushing their way to the top of his online political issues polling lists, that marijuana legalization had even popped up in the area of economic development. He looked aside at the crowd, “I don’t know what this says about the on-line audience…” Wink, wink…and the people around the President cracked up. “The answer is no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy,” Obama chuckled along with them.

    Humor is based on tension; a joke releases it. Obama’s pot ha-ha has released a powder keg of tension. The national commentary on the topic of marijuana driven from his laugh has been far reaching: Time Magazine, The Week, Town Hall, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Salon, Boston Herald, etc…

    Mr. President, do know what all your ‘cannabis friendly’ Internet polls really say about “the online audience”? What? You don’t recognize us, “the online audience”? We’re the very people that helped get you elected, helped raise all those millions on the Internet–people like my wife and I, both 60-years old, parents and grandparents, business owners, taxpayers, involved in our community, we are the people who want you to end marijuana prohibition, the worst American public policy since slavery.


    The question to you, Mr. President, is this: After the 20-million marijuana arrests since 1965, what’s so damn funny???

    157 responses to “The Laugh Heard ‘Round The World”

    1. Darryl H says:

      I do not profess to be very smart, nor do I have the ability to understand this “War on Drugs”. But I do have common sense, and my common sense tells me that going around in circles will get you no place.
      Our government is dragging us around in circles, and chucking our money right down the drain with their war on drugs.
      So what are we going to do about this? There has got to be an answer that everyone can agree on. It is time to stop the wasteful spending and make the hard choices that will keep our children off drugs and people out of jail for drug use.
      I have been reading about countries that have legalized drugs, and they have had real good outcomes, the sky did not fall, as the US government would have you think. Why? Why can’t we try that here, are we so far gone into this circle of spending billions of dollars to wage a war on something that is not going to go away until we legalize it and regulate it, just like alcohol and tobacco and prescription drugs.

      I am just a old country boy that happens to be disabled, and I am forced to take “legal drugs” to control my problems with severe pain and nerve damage, but here is this plant that grows out of the earth, that would allow me to get of off all of these man made drugs, that are destroying my liver slowly but surely, but no here in Arkansas this devil plant, this so called scourge on the world Marijuana is against the law, and if I were to buy or grow some I would be taking my freedom into my own hand.
      So what do I do? I can’t afford to move to a state that is marijuana friendly, I don’t want to move away from my family, but I want to get off of these medications that are making me sick and are not doing a very good job.
      My only choices are to stop taking the medication and becoming a complete invalid, or continue to go down the road that I am going, which by all rights is involuntary suicide.
      Now, by what right does my government have to do this to me? Are they above there own laws that they preach so loudly, are they above what God has said about the plants that have been put on this good earth?
      I say NO, and I believe that it is time for those that would prosecute us need to look in the mirror and ask, what would I do? What would you do if you were in my shoes?

    2. L Dub says:

      that’s right. the “internet crowd” is the one that got obama elected. why he would laugh at that question? he’s doing the same thing that law makers did to the blacks. discriminating due to ignorance. the blacks are no different from the whites so why can’t they eat at our resturants? someone asked this question and someone said “you’re right. they can eat with us.” but no one is listening to us, the pot smokers. they will continue to discriminate and be ignorant. what we need to do is stand up to the government and tell them that no longer shall they shit on us. no longer shall they hold us down. we know we’re right and we’re gonna prove it. Keep smoking no matter what and one day…yes one glorious day they will legalize.

    3. Ray B. says:

      What the hell is so funny?

    4. Andrew. L says:

      DOnt worry everywpn Obama will legalize within his 1st Term because it geruntees his 2nd term…All of the young people this year, that voted showed obama that we as a majority can control the polls. Us young people voted you in office having faith in new changing policies. You laugh at Marijuana Legalizatin but I laugh at the fact if you dont legalize you can kiss a few million votes of the younger generation goodbye cause its soley what they voted you infor whether you like or not whether you stand for it or not, your a symbol obama for the younger generation and with legalization you eliminate the status Quo of the Government being the bad guy and unite the nation bringing an end to the biggest crime in humanity.We can solve all this Corruption by LEGALIZATION

    5. James says:

      It’s time to end this foolishness. These prohibition laws are as outdated as the legislators wanting to keep them in place. If those in Congress continue to turn a deaf ear to the citizens they are supposed to represent, it’s the citizens’ right and responsibility to replace them. It’s time to legalize marijuana and hemp…do it or step aside.

    6. tonE says:

      This is a clear cut case of “what’s in his wallet?”, or should I say, “who”. Big pharma is yanking his strings as well as all the federal and state agencies who recieve extra funds to fight the ‘war on drugs”. regretfully the government has became a corporate entity in of itself and this comment is not strategic political posturing . Obama’s words are part of a shallow facade that justifies backdoor pocket stuffing that avoids earmarking which his propaganda claimed to be against. The bottom line is that prohibition is unconstitutional as it violates our ninth amendment rights which includes all assumed rights not defined by the constitution. Our drug policy is based on statutes which are flimsy mockeries of the core basis of the federal government, the constitution. The answer tothis corporate deception is re education and action. Our politicians know what damage they are causing, but like the addicts they are theycontinue to partake in the most dangerous narcotics of all; money and power.

    7. Pedro says:

      fuck obama

    8. aaron says:

      plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz texas needs your help, are state reps know nothing about marijuana and there ganna vote on hb 902 plz plz plz e mail the Criminal Jurisprudence House Committee in texas,all the members and let them know the truth. thanks

    9. CKDK29 says:

      Quit being SCARED and jus do it Mr.President

    10. The Oracle says:

      Legalize it now!