This should come as no surprise by now, but President Obama has once again failed to address questions about the need for marijuana policy reform in a public forum. Once again, this issue was among the most popular, but it seems that after laughter, disagreement, and capitulation, the president’s responses are wearing thin, and the question will no longer be asked or answered.
Last week, the White House asked for people to submit questions to be asked during a Google+ Hangout with the president. As usual, marijuana questions dominated the site. Unfortunately for the majority of Americans who support making marijuana legal, the popularity of this issue no longer matters.
Then MPP’s question suffered the same fate.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition spokesperson Stephen Downing submitted a video question that quickly became the second most popular on the site. During the forum, however, the folks at Google decided that the president had already answered their question in previous forums and opted to ignore the people and ask inane questions about midnight snacks and tennis instead.
The White House, of course, had nothing to do with the exclusion of a marijuana reform question (or so they say).
The time has come to demand real answers to these pressing questions, not jokes or simple platitudes. Marijuana prohibition is a failed policy that causes far more harm than good, and alternatives must be seriously discussed in open forums before this juggernaut can do any more damage.
It is time for the president to take this issue seriously.
President Obama held another public forum yesterday on Youtube, and once again the questions were dominated by concerns about our nation's drug policies. Many in the reform movement were worried that we would be ignored or laughed off again. Well, the President did respond:
We at MPP are pleased that President Obama is at least taking the issue of drug policy reform seriously. But his response is not much better than what President Bush might have said. Yes, we need to improve access to drug treatment and we need to focus on other options in the criminal justice system for first-time, non-violent offenders. But we need to have a far more serious discussion about the potential benefits of creating a legal, regulated market for marijuana.
It is time to end marijuana prohibition and it is inappropriate for the president to group that subject into an across-the-board opposition to "legalizing drugs."