Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama says NO

President Obama, in his online Town Hall meeting Thursday morning, brought up the topic of cannabis legalization for the purpose of bringing in tax revenue. He dismissed it with a laugh, joking about what this says about the online audience

Now, he was laughing and joking about it. This is a fairly serious subject around here so I did take a bit of offense at it at first. But I realized and was reminded by a good friend, Hoff @ Hoffmania, that he brought it up. It was not posed to him, he wasn't backed into a corner and forced to respond; he chose to address the issue. Andrew Sullivan, who I rarely consider an ally, didn't see it that way. This is the comment I left at Hoff's place:

I agree, Hoff with a caveat. True, making any motion toward legalization would be political suicide. I hope the MPP and NORML see it that way. The proof will be in what his administration does about the other cannabis issues like raiding medical marijuana facilities and the legalization of hemp. Another would be to quietly drop cannabis from the Schedule One list at the DEA.

Those would involve a lot less sacrifice on his part since they aren't allowing potheads to go to the store to buy a bag of weed. It would green light more research and hard science about the medical benefits that cannabis has and give the US a foot up in the production of hemp and hemp products. Both of those would be a huge boon to the economy.

Ending prohibition will take state legislatures passing laws and direct citizen involvement. However, while pot is a Schedule One drug, that is unlikely. Attorney General Holder said he won't raid medical marijuana clinics but seems to have gone back on that. Keeping his word would be a great first step.

We have to stop putting sick people in prison for treating their illnesses.

If we are to end prohibition, we have to do in it by the numbers. The issue is still hot and, with the Mexican drug lords killing dozens of people just over the border down south, we may not be able to get past the emotion of it. Reason and logic dictate that if you take away the money that funds the drug lords, you can take away the guns they buy with that money. We supply the customers for their weed and, through our gun shows and private dealers, provide the weapons they use to keep their drug war with the Mexican government fully armed.

Pres. Obama could have been more diplomatic with his response. Paul Armentano, at NORML, sees nothing funny about it. He rightly points out that this is a serious issue and not about guys sitting around their mom's basement getting high. Obama made the crack about 'what this says about the online audience'. Well, Mr. President, we expect you to treat this issue seriously.

The joke is getting old.

So Mote It Be,
David A.


Grandpa Eddie said...

I really wish Obama would look at this differently. There are many people in this country who need pot for medical purposes. I know that when I was still able to afford it, it made a big difference on how my RA and Fybromyalgia effected me.

I sometimes wonder if he really realizes just how large the amount of tax dollars the govt would be able to collect from legal sale.

nunya said...

When are we going to start the "War on Stupid?"

Why do only those who make money on them get to start wars?

David Aquarius said...

Thanks for the comments, folks.

Nunya, that must be one of those natural mysteries. Like teats on men. Any war on stupid is going to come from those who get fed up with dealing with it night and day. As long as groups like the GOP, neocons, the Media, and local government rely on stupidity to get their way; we will always have to deal with stupid people. As long as our education system is constantly in the toilet, then crappy students will continue to come out.

Eddie, I feel your pain - literally! There's a good chance in the next few weeks that I may have to submit to a urinalysis test for work.

My website has been outed at work and my boss' boss is not happy. They found out that I'm requesting vacation for Hempfest in Seattle this year so it remains to be seen if they're trying to catch me with pot in my system.

So, this is the price we pay for telling the truth!

So be it.