Marijuana policy tops Obama’s “Open for Questions”

With over 600,000 votes cast and thousands of questions posted, Barack Obama’s “Open for Questions” tool has closed its first round of questioning.  Topping the list is the following:

“Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?” (link)

This is a clear indication that visitors to Obama’s transition Web site want to see a change in America’s marijuana policy.  After decades of failed prohibition, rising marijuana use, and the recent surge in drug trade violence along the Mexican border, it makes sense that Americans are ready for a new approach.

The Web site’s blog will post responses to this and other questions over the next few days.

17 thoughts on “Marijuana policy tops Obama’s “Open for Questions””

  1. I told my wife the other day our generation will pretty much see some of the biggest historical changes that most generations will ever fail to see. 9/11, the start of the internet and now the legalization of marijuana plus many more.

  2. Don’t hold your breath. I went to the Obama transition website change.gov and typed “marijuana” into the search tool…zero hits!!!

    I think he is picking his battles & does not consider the irrational imprisonment of American citizens much of an issue right now.

  3. Hmm why not it would help the enconomy because ppl have to grow it sell it and shops to start up with pre rolled and not prerolled and they coul tax it and all the money can stop going to the dealers

  4. Since I went to VietNam, I have been intermittently or occasionally using Marijuana. I will continue to use it until the day I die regardless of what this government says. My bible says that God gave us every herb of the field which bears seed for food. I suppose I could make a salad. Sheds a whole new light on the word ‘bowl’.
    Before I ever started, I observed many of my fellow soldiers using a myriad of different drugs (including alcohol and caffeine) and I arrived at the conclusion that Marijuana is the least lethal drug of which I observed usage. True, there are side effects, but that is true of many substances which we use daily. One of those is refined white sugar whose chemical structure is very akin to cocaine, hence it’s addicting effect. Aspirin breaks down the lining of the stomach and tylenol is very hard on the liver. Many pain relievers raise blood pressure – bad news to those of us who are already hypertensive.
    I have never heard of any MJ user wrecking his car, beating his wife, starting a bar fight, or any of the other alcohol-user negatives. No matter how much MJ you smoke at night, you never get a hangover the next day, so you can still show up for work and do that job properly. No broken facial capillaries; no destruction to the liver.
    Marijuana should never have been made illegal, and the real CRIME is that it continues to be lumped into the same category as cocaine, heroin, crack, methamphetamines, and etc.

  5. I faced this issue during a Q&A after addressing the county Libertarian Party some years back.

    “So you’d rather have everybody smoking pot than tobacco,” a fellow in the back derisively snorted.

    I replied that given the fact the cigarette smoking in the U.S. (at the time) killed 500,000 annually, if half the population were to switch from tobacco to cannabis, then we could cut our long-term smoking deaths by 250,000 per year, which ended the conversation from him.

    The answer was a bit simplistic perhaps, but the point is valid. From a health perspective, cannabis is a safer, healthier alternative to tobacco. And given the phropylactic effect Dr. Tashkin’s research suggests, cannabis could be seen as an eventual counter to second hand smoke.

    No matter what social discomfit exists about encouraging cannabis use, people will continue to find vices, and safer alternatives should not be discouraged.

  6. Looking at the blog, it looks like they copped out already. The illusion of interaction is all they are looking for and pot heads don’t get to vote!

  7. I too see they won’t even consider it. So everything they talked about with the creation of green jobs and saving the environment, and stopping global warming is all bull shit, because without the legalization of cannabis, we can not grow hemp, and hemp is the answer to all the problems we now have. I am bitterly disappointed. I bet most of them has used at some point in their lives, so they must know it’s not the dangerous drug the DEA likes to make it out to be. They will just keep making making war on regular people, while the real crooks get to steal the taxpayers money.

  8. Q: “Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?” S. Man, Denton

    A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

    Seriously? I am probably deluding myself here, but I’m going to pretend that Obama’s REAL response was thrown down the memory hole by some fascist goon and replaced by this literary gem above. Every other question was dealt with at least a basic explanation. This one seems out of character. (me still pretending the gov is listening….lalalalalalalalala)

  9. …apologies, addendum…

    If indeed this IS the real answer, it better mean “Although President-elect Obama is against legalization of marijuana, he is in total support of outright comprehensive decriminalization of the cannabis plant and all natural products thereof.” Come on, Barack!!!! The People (with a capital ‘P’) have SPOKEN!!!! Will you listen????

  10. Barack doesn’t care about the 800,000 Americans who are arrested each year and are assured never to be president. What a fraud. I’m changing my voter registration to a third party (lib or green) from demo- rat. These democrats are all the same. They are nothing but a bunch of spineless mealy-mouthed worms that care more about appeasing the right than about pushing the progressive agenda of it’s base. Hasn’t the base had enough of being urinated on by it’s leaders? Barack, I want you tom spend time in jail for your drug crimes so that you can see the prsioner on prisoner crimes you just exposed millions of Americans too.

  11. I have been watching this poll for the last few days and I have to say it’s a very interesting result. First of all, I do not casually or habitually use marijuana but I strongly support legalizing and taxing it. I think everyone who has taken a class on American Social Problems can agree that the war on drugs is futile, especially within the realm of marijuana.

    I think it is an issue which Obama’s team will eventually tackle, but I think given our current economic status and his new appointment to office it wouldn’t behoove him to seem too progressive just starting off. I do very much hope to see a change in his first term if not a full 8 years.

  12. C’mon people…don’t let this stop us…now more than ever we all need to re-submit questions/comments and tell them that WE the people DO support legalization/decriminalization.

    “A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.”

    That statement from a talking head inside the Obama camp should be a rallying cry for all of us.We can’t depend on one person to instantly make the changes we want,even if it’s whithin his power to do so.There are still many powerful people and huge corporations that don’t want to see our beloved plant in the hands of people who can think for themselves.

    We have the support of organizations like the MPP to help us in our fight,but they can’t do it without the help of John Q. Public. We need to help the effort in ANY way we can.I understand that many are not in a financial position to donate to the cause( I have been unemployed for almost 6 months due to the rotten economy),but we can help in other ways.I have personally sent email after email to my local and state elected officials and we they expressed that they didn’t agree with my views I did more research and continued to badger them relentlessly and call them out on all their misinformation.

    We all need to continue to do so..UNTIL they CAN’T ignore us anymore.One martyr won’t make a difference in today’s world..but several hundred thousand will.

    I’ll step off my soapbox now…Happy Holidays to all!!

  13. As a group we need to form a better question and then follow through on voting for it. With the question being about legalizing marijuana we offered the new Administration a way out of giving a truthful answer that can be tracked and followed up on. Unfortunately we are still not at a point in US society that such a broad based reversal of policy will be supported. (Whether this is something that could actually help our ailing economy is another story.)
    The main issue that we “reformers” face is the public’s general opinion on the subject. The country does not currently support legalization and therefore this level of reversal in policy is unlikely to occur. Polls show that decriminalization (like that in Massachusettes) is still a up for debate, while the use for medicinal purposes leads the way in public opinion. We just need to be realistic when we pose questions to the new Administration. The main goal being to get a concession about how Obama will use the resources of the DEA in states that have set their own laws, or what the Government will do reconcile all of the conflicting information on the drug. I personally would like to see a Government Hearing concerning the Medicinal Use of Marijuana and the possible reclasification of the drug.

    Prevoiusly you made a commitment to transparency in the creation of new public policy. Will The Obama Administration commit to a Commission on Medicinal Marijuana like we had for 9/11?

    There were a lot of good thought provoking questions that were asked on his blog pertaining to marijuana. Unfortunately the one question that all of us would love to see happen (full legalization, regulation and taxation) is simply not in the cards and I think we need to refine our request and make sure that all of the organizations (MPP, NORMAL, etc.) that this will apply to gets on the same page and votes for the same question (not one with similar wording). If we can get a promise for a Commission we will be able to insure that experts that we agree with will be heard and not just the “experts” of the government.

  14. He said no and that’s all there is to it. though he admits to using marijuana and even cocaine he is not the president yet. anything he says is critiqued. The fact is that politicians SPEAK about change. but they generally change things in favor of their own views. marijuana laws shouldn’t have to be limited to only medical use. i’m not a doctor so i can’t say if it has medical uses. but does tobacco? or alcohol? NO. It’s very easy to get new laws passed, but when an old law is in place it’s quite the fight. i equate this to the civil rights movement, and slavery issues, and PROHIBITION. we need to rally together to find a qualified person to run for office. any office, but doing things the way we’re supposed to is obviously getting us nowhere. lets act like politicians and play the system the way we NEED to. Hopefully then something can get changed. Obama says he wants change, but I’m still waiting for him to get detailed. Maybe we can pledge to pay for national health care if we can create a legal market. I’d gladly give 50% of profits if it ever became a reality.

  15. no one can complain. we are not talking about leaglization over night, that just wont happen. for every person rooting for it here, there will be twice as many that stand up to protest the day it is announced to the people it is up to be legalized. we are doing this right. day by day. state by state. we are slowly seeing the decriminalization and should be happy its gotten this far. after we get there we should focus on legalization. imagine the ease on our jail system, the funding that is takin out of “the terrorist” pocket, there isnt a bad side of this issue. the only thing that really works against us is enforcing driving laws. which is the smallest peice of the puzzle.

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