Mainstream Media Finally Recognizing That Americans Want Marijuana Law Reform

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 27, 2011

    [Update! While President Obama’s YouTube remarks may have been predictable, the mainstream media’s focus on the popularity of marijuana law reform has been nothing short of extraordinary — as noted by the growing number of mainstream outlets (CBS, Fox, USA Today, etc.) that have devoted ink to the story. Via today’s YouTube forum, the public has made their case to the mainstream media and that ultimately is just as important, if not more important, than making their case to the President.]

    Regardless of whether or not President Obama addresses the question of marijuana law reform in today’s live YouTube ‘Ask Obama’ Q&A, the American public has made their case to the mainstream media.

    Last night, Universal Press Syndicate ran with the headline, Top Obama YouTube questions: Legalize pot. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    The top questions Americans want to ask U.S. President Barack Obama on YouTube Thursday deal with legalizing marijuana, a review of the questions indicated. … The YouTube questions Obama will answer will be based on the number of votes each question receives, YouTube said.

    More than 193,000 people submitted nearly 140,000 questions and cast almost 1.4 million votes by midnight Wednesday, the submission deadline, a United Press International review indicated. This is 10 times last year’s 14,000 questions, the first year YouTube hosted an Obama interview.

    The top 10 questions all involved ending or changing the government’s war on drugs, legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana and embracing industrial hemp as a “green” initiative to help farmers, the UPI review found.

    As NORML’s Russ Belville blogged yesterday, marijuana’s popularity is not just limited the top 10 questions. In fact, the top 100 most popular questions (See them here.) posed to the President are about marijuana and drug law reform.

    In the minds of the mainstream media, that is a statement just too big to ignore:

    USA Today: Obama’s questions from YouTube deal mostly with legalizing pot

    The Politico: Obama is urged to talk about drugs

    Huffington Post: Obama Barraged By Pot Questions For Upcoming YouTube Town Hall

    CBS News: Marijuana Dominates Questions for Obama’s YouTube Q&A

    Fox News: Mr. President, America Wants to Know About…Marijuana

    Washington Post: YouTube interviews President Obama

    Regardless of how President Obama responds, the media has their story: The American public is ready to engage in a serious and objective political debate regarding the merits of legalizing the use of cannabis by adults. Is the President? Tune in here at 2:30 est today to find out.

    38 responses to “Mainstream Media Finally Recognizing That Americans Want Marijuana Law Reform”

    1. Seth Riggenbach says:

      I can’t wait to hear what the president has to say about all of this.

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    3. Ron Combs says:

      Now we get to see if Obama is capable of a sputnik moment

    4. TxGrandma420 says:

      The first time, he laughed about it, the second time, he ignored it. If he does not address this in a positive way, because this is what the people want, screw the government, then he will be on his way out of office. We thought he was green and wanted change. Evidently, we all were wrong about him.

    5. dylan h says:

      i’m so excited about all of this. its time for the world to not have to go behind the scenes to enjoy their medicine!. The times are coming! : )

    6. There is no good reason to continue this “War on Ourselves”. Too many politicians earning too much money for a job that could be done by the handicapped. Corruption is rampant, Social Security and our economy is in disarray. Stop paying exorbitant pensions to already wealthy former politicians. Spend that money on paying back the IOU’s to the SSA, maybe then we could all breathe a little easier. Legalize marijuana, tax it, allow free commerce of marijuana and it’s derivatives. Stabilize the economy and listen to the voice of reason, the American people!

    7. ck31 says:

      Lets see if he answers us this time, instead of laughing it off, we all were serious the last time an, are serious now.

    8. Michael says:

      I don’t know what to expect, but in 2011, I’m ever slightly more optimistic that Obama will give some serious considerations to questions #1 through #100 and #102 through #200.

      If he doesn’t, consider my vote in 2012 going towards the Republicans.

      This is my voice, and if Obama doesn’t want to listen to it, he will not receive my vote. I encourage everyone to do the same.

    9. David762 says:


      Getting Obama or the Obama administration to seriously engage in an objective political debate over re-legalization of marijuana would be akin to getting the To Big To Fail | To Big To Jail banksters to break up their monopolies, willingly submit to old fashioned usury laws, and still lend money to Main Street.

      But I’ll play along and watch the show. I recommend popcorn.

      Here’s an argument in favor of reform:
      What one thing could the Obama administration do to cut (certain) government programs, spur the creation of hundreds of thousand of new jobs, initiate the creation of many new industries, help protect the small farmers across this country from foreclosure, generate a vast new revenue stream to the Feds, States, and Localities, and do it without spending any new taxpayer funds?
      Legalize (re-legalize, like beer) both cannabis and hemp, nationwide.

      Too simple, and it doesn’t cater to the “welfare queen” crony corporations, so it’ll never happen.

    10. Daniel says:

      Did I miss him brushing off the question already? I’m only 10 minutes late, but it only takes a few seconds to laugh off and ignore the top rated questions.