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For President Obama at the next Town Hall

The question I’d ask…

President Obama, every time someone asks you about marijuana policy you smirk and chuckle a little. What’s so funny?

Is it the 800,000 Americans arrested each year for doing what you did when you were young?

Or is it the people suffering from cancer and pain who are looking for much-needed relief?

Or perhaps the families who have been terrorized and whose dogs were shot by SWAT teams looking for an ounce of pot?

Or the taxpayers who pay for it all, or the Mexicans who are dying?

Let us in on the joke, Mr. President, so we can laugh, too.

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22 comments to For President Obama at the next Town Hall

  • muggles

    excellent brother, I would love to be the person asking that entire question.

  • SHuff

    It’s really sad, but his secret service would probably detain you.

  • divadab

    Unfortunately, if he gave an honest answer (which he won’t – ever), he’d tell you the joke was on you and every other person who thinks this is a free country.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Oh please. This most certainly is a free country as long as you do what your ordered to do. Some people do enjoy following orders you know.
      ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-
      The true masochist pleads, “beat me, whip me, make me write bad checks!”

      The true sadist responds, “No.”

  • Well you can ask those questions Pete. Kinda…

    Once again, our buddy Robert L. DuPont (does the L stand for “Liar”?), apparently some sort of high priest, evokes the ritual chant of die-hard prohibitionists in his latest anti-cannabis screed.

    US ME: OPED: Medical Marijuana Bad Medicine And Bad Public

    An editorial calling for federal rescheduling of cannabis was misguided and misinformed.

    In regards to “Our View: While cannabis is illegal, dispensaries will struggle” ( Aug. 8 ), the suggestion that marijuana be reclassified to a lower schedule, like prescription drugs, is misguided and misinformed.

    Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which reflects the facts that it is widely abused, that it has no approved medical use by the Food and Drug Administration, and that it lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

    The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that more than 60 percent of all Americans age 12 and older classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse in the past year were dependent on or abused marijuana. Marijuana remains a significant drug of abuse.

    Sound medical practice requires that medicines meet well-established standards to determine that they are safe and effective before they are approved for use by sick patients. This system includes the requirement that medicines be approved by the FDA and be distributed in a closed system to limit abuse and diversion.

    Some of the chemicals in marijuana may one day be approved for the treatment of specific disorders at specific doses within the well-established system of drug approval. They could then be dispensed by physicians’ prescriptions in the controlled system that has served this country well for a century.

    Undermining that system, as “medical marijuana” does, is bad public policy and bad medicine.

    It’s a perfect target to send letters-to-the-editor and your list of questions (with a small edit and redirect to Senor DuPont) would make a great letter Pete. I sent mine in just a bit ago. I have no idea if there are comments as I used the MAP DrugNews copy (but the link above goes to the original Maine paper). Pile -on folks, and join in giving ol’ Bob a kick in the nads. (and I realize I’m assuming he has at least one, albeit a small one, to kick)

    • kaptinemo

      I am afraid that link dead-ended. Here is a good one. Let ‘er rip!

      BTW, so far, there’s not a single prohib apologist for DuPont yet. They’ll probably show up later…(LOL) after reading here.

  • ɸʘΏͼΔͽϢѰѠѬѢ

    Hard hitting questions but only vanilla softball questions approved by oprah will be accepted.

  • A Critic

    That’s the “If they only knew how stoned I am” smirk and chuckle.

  • Ben

    I’d prefer something simpler, and more direct:

    “Mr President, you told the American people that your policies would be guided by science, and not politics. Why, then, have you consistently rejected all scientific studies which uphold the view that marijuana has medicinal uses? 16 states, plus The American Medical Association, believe that there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana, yet you believe that anyone who uses medical marijuana should be treated like a criminal. Could you please explain your position to the American people?”

  • Peter

    Doesn’t it just frost your balls to think you might have get behind this guy next year or risk president perry….

    • Windy

      You don’t. You could help Ron Paul win the nomination, instead.

      • Plant down Babylon

        He’s the BEST man for the job!!
        Or, you could just vote for the establishment same old/same old.
        How bad does one really want ‘hope and change’??!!

    • Francis

      How bad do you guys think Perry would actually end up being on drug policy? My sense is that, as a governor, he’s foolishly wedded to the war on drugs. But I’ve also read that he’s made some federalist / states’ rights noises on the issue. Of course, the question is how much that would actually be worth once he’s in office. On a somewhat related note, you may remember all the grief he caught from the SoCons when he seemed to endorse New York’s right to legalize gay marriage. (Apparently, the SoCons’ commitment to “states’ rights” only extends to policies they agree with.)

      • kaptinemo

        Perry won’t do anything sane about the DrugWar, just as Obama has proven he won’t, despite all Obama’s rhetoric about ‘science based policy’. Here’s why:

        Perry is being groomed by the very same Powers-That-Be that groomed Obama…and Georgie the Lesser…and Klinton…and King George the First

        Want proof? Google the following:

        Perry Istanbul 2007

        Just that. Nothing more. (Amazing how so few words can create such a font of startling information…and none of that information’s import is good for this country.)

        Then do:

        Obama June 6 2008 Chantilly Virginia

        See a pattern? Presidential Candidates (chosen by someone other than those who should be making the choices) will say what they have to to the public in order to sound like they will ‘change’ things…but as the French say, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” With that much money and power at stake, the Big Money Boyz aren’t going to let anyone get between them and their racket.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Well at least Mr. Perry won’t stab us in the back. We’d have to see a candidate approaching the character of Adolf Hitler before I’d consider supporting Barry for re-election.

      • darkcycle

        Here-here! Bye-Bye Obama.

      • Windy

        Have you seen this? http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/rick-perrys-army-of-god

        I’m not going to get an answer here, I’m quite certain but I’ve been wanting to inquire of social/Christian conservatives:
        You believe God created humanity, so you also know that God gave humanity free will. Right? So then, when any person or group of people impose their morality, their belief in what lifestyle all people SHOULD live on any other person or group of people that would, clearly, be interfering with that person’s (those peoples’) God given free will. Correct? Isn’t such interference in the free will of other people blasphemous? So why would you vote for a candidate who advocates passing laws based on his/her personal religious morality? If you do that would be advocating the use of law to interfere with other people’s free will.

        Due to that God given rights/free will thing, I always expected true believers to be natural libertarians (live and let live) but, instead, most self identified Christians (especially the politically active ones) appear to be authoritarians (wanting to legislate personal morality for everyone else). Why is that?

        One man’s sins are another man’s vices are another man’s pleasures. Leave those up to God to judge. Humanity doesn’t need 10,000,000 laws on the books to cover that sort of thing.

        The ONLY sins/crimes with which humanity needs to concern itself are the violations of the rights to life, self-ownership/property and liberty/free will. If what you do does NOT violate someone else’s rights then it does not rise to the level of a crime.

  • DJMoore

    My fantasy townhall exchange:

    “Mr. President, how would you handle [complex policy wonk question]?

    “Let me be clear: We need to….”

    “Ah, never mind. Who cares what a loser like you thinks?”

    And I’d turn and walk away.

  • Paul Armentano

    I have a commentary on this in today’s online edition of the WDC politico rag The Hill here:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/177139-if-obama-cant-articulate-his-position-on-marijuana-why-wont-he-reconsider-it

    Feel free to leave your feedback.

    If Obama can’t articulate his position on marijuana, why won’t he reconsider it?

    By Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) – 08/17/11 08:48 AM ET

    Regardless of one’s opinion of President Obama as a political figure, few deny his skill as an eloquent orator. So it is notable, even newsworthy, when the commander-in-chief is publicly at a loss for words.

    Such was the case on Monday at a presidential town hall in Cannon Falls, Minnesota when a flustered, tongue-tied Obama attempted in vain to explain why the administration continues to oppose efforts to allow for the legal use of marijuana as a doctor-recommended medicine. (Watch the full video of the town hall here. The question from the audience pertaining to medical medical cannabis and Obama’s response is at the 49-minute mark.)

    Confused? Perhaps this transcript will help to better explain the president’s position:

    Audience member: “If you can’t legalize marijuana, why can’t we just legalize medical marijuana, to help the people that need it?”

    Obama: “Well, you know, a lot of states are making decisions about medical marijuana. As a controlled substance, the issue then is, you know, is it being prescribed by a doctor, as opposed to, you know — well — I’ll — I’ll — I’ll — I’ll leave it at that.”

    And leave it at that he did.

    It is noteworthy that President Obama — someone who is used to speaking extemporaneously in public — could not provide one single legitimate reason why his administration believes in continuing the federal ban on marijuana, including the use of medical marijuana for ill patients. Obama’s failure to communicate becomes even more curious when one considers that within just the past few weeks, high-profile members of the his administration have publicly put forward several explanations for why the federal government is in the business of denying marijuana to sick people.

    For instance, the White House’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, released in July, devoted an entire section to rebuffing the notion that cannabis may hold value as a legitimate therapy, stating:

    “Marijuana and other drugs are addictive and unsafe, especially for use by young people. Unfortunately, efforts to ‘medicalize’ marijuana have widened the public acceptance and availability of the drug.

    “There is no substitute for the scientific approval process employed by the FDA. For a drug to be made available to the public as medicine, the FDA requires rigorous research followed by tests for safety and efficacy. Only then can a substance be classified as medicine and prescribed by qualified health care professionals to patients.

    “In the wake of state and local laws that permit distribution of “medical” marijuana, dozens of localities have been left to grapple with poorly written laws that bypass the FDA process and allow marijuana to be used as a so-called medicine. … Outside the context of federally approved research, the use and distribution of marijuana is prohibited in the United States.”

    Moreover, less than one-month ago, Obama’s hand-picked DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart formally denied a nine-year-old petition calling on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance without any ‘accepted medical use in treatment.’ Leonhart’s explanation, as stated in the July 8, 2011 edition of the Federal Register was:

    “[Cannabis possesses] a high potential for abuse; … no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; … [and] lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision. … [T]here are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving its efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts. … At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.”

    So if the Obama administration is willing to make such allegations in writing, then why is the president afraid to own up to and repeat these claims in public? Likely because he, like a majority of Americans, are aware that there isn’t a shred of scientific support for the administration’s ‘Flat Earth’ position when it comes to pot.

    So if the president of the United States can’t publicly articulate why we continue to arrest over one-half million Americans each year for possessing marijuana, then why are we as a nation continuing to engage in this destructive and illogical policy?

    Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and is the co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green).

  • Servetus

    Now that it’s clear Obama can’t answer questions about drugs, it’s better to frame future drug questions in a way that automatically exposes the absurdities of prohibition.

    An example of such a question might be: “Mr. President, do you think that Title VII of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998, H11225, is appropriate when it mandates that drug enforcement personnel lie to Americans about the medical effects and benefits of Schedule I drugs like marijuana?

    With this type of question, it doesn’t matter how Obama replies because the question itself sends the message that prohibitionists can’t be trusted to tell the truth about drugs. Mission accomplished. Obama can stumble over the question all he wants and it won’t matter.