Questions for Obama

It’s already been discussed some here on the comment threads, but YouTube is once again collecting questions for the President.

Who knows what they’ll end up letting through, and who knows whether he’ll give a serious answer, but if you’re interested in the exercise, here’s the site.

One of the better questions is from LEAP:

As a police officer, I saw how waging the war on drugs has cost a trillion dollars and thousands of lives but does nothing to reduce drug use. Should we discuss legalizing marijuana and other drugs, which would eliminate the violent criminal market?

In the search box on the right, type in “as a police officer” and you should easily find this one, so you can vote favorably for it.

Feel free to check out any others about drug policy as well.

Note: there are some glitches (intentional?) in the search engine. Marijuana and cannabis come up with no valid questions, yet there are currently valid questions with those terms (search drug policy, for example, or just look at the most popular questions).

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45 Responses to Questions for Obama

  1. Matthew Meyer says:

    Lots of questions with “marijuana” in them. I tried a few different searches and concluded that the search engine is just not good. Doesn’t seem to be programmed to reject those queries, necessarily.

  2. darkcycle says:

    Ugh, sign up again for you tube? Has anybody else had this experience?: In surfing around on you tube, I wind up eventually trying to view content the censors there have deemed inappropriate for yung-‘uns And I have had to sign up. When I go back and try on another day, I find that my username and password are no longer valid. So I try to re-enter it, and I get thhe message box that it’s already in use. So I type ANOTHER username and password….go back another day and bang, it’s no longer valid, is “in use” and I do it yet again! This has happened every time I do this without fail, and I vowed never to dance with them again. Oh well. Here goes, this is like the fifth or sixth time I’ve done this.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      I had a similar experience, then for some reason months later and quite out of the blue they sent an email which allowed me to reinstate that account. I kept the email, and have used it to reinstate the account on 3 other occasions.

      I’m using Firefox.

  3. moshpit says:

    Did it occur to you that you are trying to re-register each time, rather than logging in? Your user name is taken because YOU took it, and if you were signing in, it would say ‘wrong password’, not ‘user name taken’.

    • darkcycle says:

      No. Not the case. The website behaves strangely in other ways too. Maybe it doesn’t like my browser choice? Anyway, managed to register and vote, regardless.

    • Maria says:

      By that message it really does sound like you’re trying to re-register instead of log in. You could set up a secondary email address to receive a password reminder in case you forget it and need to reset.

      Youtube’s a bitch about user names. I registered way back and hate my user name, unlike other Google services there is no way to change it and since I have a long history with it i don’t want to sign up for a new one.

      • Maria says:

        Though there is something wonky with the youtube/google linkage. Are you running noscript? I had to change my settings to even be able to vote on the questions.

      • darkcycle says:

        Naw, I thought so too, the first two times it happened. But I know how to log in, I do it multiple time a day at various sites. Perhaps it doesn’t like the funny hat I wear.

  4. Chris Gentile says:

    Do you find it disconcerting that the real cost to society for legalizing marijuana are not being discussed like reduced job performance, reduced student performance, liabilities and lawsuits for accidents, loss of quality of life-family, loss of highly trained doctors for them self serving as serving as marijuana brokers, etc ?

    • Just Legalize It says:

      unless you think no one is smoking marijuana now, we are already dealing with all those things without taking in any tax money.

      most of them are easily taken care of with regulation and common sense but are made much worse under a prohibition model

    • pfroehlich2004 says:

      @Chris Gentile:

      As you’re undoubtedly aware, marijuana use did not become widespread in this country until the late 1960s. As of today, roughly 100 million Americans have tried it.

      Therefore, if marijuana use actually costs society in the ways you claim, there should be an abundance of data from the last 40 years showing steadily declines in worker productivity and student performance, accompanied by increased workplace and highway accidents.

      If you can provide us with this data, please do. Otherwise, please refrain from making unsupported claims.

  5. Windy says:

    I was already signed in to YouTube but it told me I needed to sign in with my Google account to ask a question or vote on a question. I don’t think I have a Google account, at least I don’t recall having one.

  6. jhelion says:

    For all questions, sorted by popularity, the top 50 (after which I stopped counting) are about cannabis/hemp prohibition. Hopefully he won’t ridicule us again.

  7. pipe says:

    Chris, Do you find it disconcerting that the real cost to society for drinking alcohol is not being discussed like reduced job performance, reduced student performance, liabilities and lawsuits for accidents, loss of quality of life-family, loss of highly trained doctors for them self serving as serving as Bar owners, etc ?

    get my point!

  8. darkcycle says:

    We endure those costs under the current system. Plus the additional societal burdens of law enforcement, courts, attorneys, and imprisonment. As well as the costs to the individual of a criminal record, job loss, family dissolution, and incarceration. I’ll take the costs associated with a rational system of regulation any day.

  9. Mark says:

    I flipped through the top questions in all categories until I got bored and all of the top questions were cannabis. Maybe he’ll finally answer the question and maybe salvage his hopes for re-election in 2012. Or crash and burn depending on the answer.

  10. Paul says:

    I just typed “marijuana” in the search box. It came up with just this:

    Results 1 – 2 of 2 questions for marijuana. View all questions »

    Report to owner
    This submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate.

    Report to owner
    This submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate.

    Looks like censorship, plain and simple. This time, the President need not answer any embarrassing questions.

  11. Paul says:

    Here’s my submission:

    Dear Mr. President, Why was the search function of “Your Interview with the President” rigged to remove all questions about M@rijuana? Could some of your supporters think you’ll find the questions embarrassing, given your broken campaign promises?

  12. Jake says:

    @Paul, a couple of questions I was following had the same thing written on them this morning.. one even had about 460 positive votes, but I guess that if 10 people find it ‘inappropriate’ they have to take it down…

    My submission (I wonder how much longer it will last):

    Mr President, by your own admission you smoked Cannabis and took Cocaine. Had you been caught with either of those you would not be President right now. How can you justify denying your fellow citizens their freedom for something you also did?”

    p.s. Pete, the search function ‘glitch’ also happens from the UK… well.. two turn up but they have been removed as they are ‘inappropriate’…

  13. tintguy says:

    Sorry’ I’m not in the mood to be laughed at, ignored or even told that the country has bigger problems right now so I’m gonna sit this one out.

  14. Maria says:

    Seems that the top 20? 30? of the Hot questions are about prohibition, cannabis, and the drug war.

    • Jake says:

      too bad they will probably be removed overnight like the last batch.. or just ignored as they ‘breach terms and conditions’… would be great if he actually answered a question, even if it was filled with the usual prohibitionist BS…

  15. darkcycle says:

    Aw c’mon. Nobody here thinks he’ll take one of these questions, regardless of thier popularity, now do they? The only point to this excercise is to make sure people KNOW what the top questions were and that he DIDN’T answer them. The only thing we’ll accomplish this time, like the last time, will be to show he’s a hypocrite. In Washington, being a hypocrite is as common as having ears, so that won’t be a big deal.
    Myself? I think it’s a good idea to make that hypocrisy obvious, but I don’t think it will have any effect. Obama may have wanted to legalize in his second term, but we’ll never know, ’cause he ain’t gettin one.

  16. tintguy says:

    Right you are Darkcycle :”I think it’s a good idea to make that hypocrisy obvious, but I don’t think it will have any effect”

    You mean the non effect it had the last couple times? Or did we miss the positive press our side got out of his back handing or ignoring our questions?

  17. Mr. President,

    Will your administration start any program or programs like the tech boom that came out of the space program of the 1960’s, that started under Predident Kennedy? Can the congress get behind a program that will bring this country out of the down period that we are in now. All of the fighting that is going on is like a cat fight in an alley one cat has to win but in the end nobody wins.

    John A. Kintz
    Enid, OK

  18. claygooding says:

    I gave up on Obama ever doing anything for the people,,,,anything.
    I asked him if he would kiss my ass,,, don’t think it will make the list.

  19. legalize2012 says:

    “as a police officer” question now says it weas marked innapropriate.

    • Maria says:

      No, it is still there. There was another one that was brought up with the keywords “As a police officer” and has been removed. LEAPs question is still there. Vote it up.

      • Pete says:

        Correct, Maria. It is there, and the second one was a silly mistake. Someone stupid had re-copied the LEAP question and submitted it word for word, thinking that was the way to get it visible, when all that did was water down the voting. So it was marked inappropriate because it was a duplicate.

  20. Windy says:

    Since I could log in to vote on questions or ask one of my own, I went to Obama’s contact page ( and quoted some of your comments (no names) and then added my own comment:
    “So, you gonna prove you are a hypocrite, or answer the most popular questions — those relating to legalizing cannabis? Frankly, I expect you to be the hypocrite; I don’t think you will even acknowledge any of those most popular questions, let alone answer one. Any chance you will prove me wrong? Nope.”

    Perhaps some of you will want to do the same. We canmake certain the cannabis question floods not only YouTube but his WH emailbox, too.

  21. Duncan20903 says:

    Even after disabling the search engine cannabis issues are still the most popular? In my mind I can hear Darth Vader saying “Impressive.”

    • Maria says:

      Yeah. Search is hamstrung.

      I was going to post how it not working for words like ‘cannabis’ and ‘marijuana’ but searching for ‘immigration’ or ‘education’ brings up 0 and 16 results respectively.

      search is completely borked.

  22. stevo says:

    I suppose they can be as tyrranical as they like. Any criticism will just be marked innapropriate. What if people think being shot @ and having their lives ruined by their government for no good reason is innapropriate?

  23. Dante says:

    These “ask the citizens” events always seem to end the same way – the most common question, by far, is about legalizing/decriminalizing MJ, and it is ignored.

    My paranoid side says this is all a ruse, an evil trick to get the pro-cannabis crowd to identify themselves and provide law enforcement with a list of people to SWAT raid.

    Bottom Line: Based upon history, you simply cannot trust our government to tell the truth. You can, however, trust our government to engage in dirty tricks.

    Be careful of the information you give up just to ask your question.

    • Maria says:

      That’s a good point for sure. But, if I am a Google and/or Facebook and/or Twitter and/or anyISP (etc) user I have already given up more than enough information and left more than enough trace activity to be identified as a pro-cannabis anti-prohibitionist entity (or pro conra anything else for that matter.) I doubt that voting on a publicity stunt youtube poll will be the straw that breaks the donkeys back.

      Just in case, I’ll lock my puppy up tonight. 😉

    • Pete says:

      What about the name that’s at the top of every page of this blog?

      • Dante says:

        “What about the name that’s at the top of every page of this blog?”

        No doubt, Pete, you have bigger stones than I. You might be too big of a fish for them to fry, but they seem to delight in making little people suffer.

        Where I live, in just the last two or three years, our government has sent SWAT in to punish a motorcycle rider for filming his traffic stop and putting it on Youtube. Also nearby, the police have placed the names of peace activists and anti-death penalty activists on the “drug kingpin” and “terrorist watch” lists because the police did not agree with their politics. I am sure you’ve noticed the treatment our government is giving to Bradley Manning.

        There are many, many examples of how the government retaliates against those who speak out.

        I don’t have any examples of that same government being punished for misconduct like that. Probably never will.

  24. denmark says:

    Love the comment you left Windy. It’s how I feel.

    In actuality I think this is just another public attention getter. Funny, be a Prez for two years, muck things up as far as legalizing marijuana goes, and then spend two years campaigning for reelection. What a set-up, he’s got it made.

  25. Largo says:

    My question:
    Will your style of foreign policy continue to be imposing flawed American hegemony (The War on Drugs) on other nations, such as your administrations recent objection to Bolivia’s proposal to amend the UN conventional agreement on coca leaf chewing?

    Really wish there could’ve been more characters to pose the question. There wasn’t even enough room for me to say “Mr. President”
    It seems wrong to address the president without proper preamble.

  26. Rookie says:

    I found the suggested submission and signed in to give it the thumbs up. The submission has been removed from the site due to inappropriate content. Go figure…

    • Pete says:

      It has not been removed. It’s the second one that shows up in the search that has been removed. If you can read the question, it hasn’t been removed.

  27. Rookie says:

    I logged in a second time and it allowed me to vote.. I guess a glitch in the first attempt…

  28. Mike R says:

    Friends and I are experiencing the same. Took me three separate logon attempts AFTER being informed that the questions hasn’t actually been removed.

  29. Cindy says:

    Tonight will be like any other night… he’ll say a bunch of meaningless words and they’ll go on for hours explaining whatever he just said… and it will still make NO SENSE!! Pete is right… it will NEVER happen in Washington… like all else… it begins at home!

  30. vicky vampire says:

    Your right on the mark Clay,I have givin up on this called enlightened progressive to do anything regarding the Drug War or much of anything else for the people too, any time soon or ever.
    Would be massively shocked if he ever did.

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